I talked about Charles Eisenstein and his book Sacred Economics in my previous blog (www.sacred-economics.com). Now, I’d like to address another phenomenon enhanced by money: separation. It starts with a view that everything in the universe which you don’t recognise as ‘you’ is separate and hence alien. At best you and it are indifferent about each other but chances are that you, as a human being, see it as something to be afraid of, something hostile. And that asks for control. But how can we control nature? We do impact it but can we control it? When you don’t feel part of the universe, part of nature, you may see it as things, or ‘a bunch of stuff’ as Charles Eisenstein labels it in this video (http://youtu.be/EEZkQv25uEs). It becomes a bunch of stuff you can get hold of, process it and then sell it back to the people to whom it belonged in the first place, leaving you with more money than before. And with that money you can buy stuff. I find it interesting that renting out storage space has become a market of its own, at least in the US and in several European countries. We buy so much stuff that we can no longer store it in our homes. I like to believe that most products we buy, are not bought because of their functional qualities but as a kind of sedation. An attempt to lift the loneliness and void our money driven lives have given us. Who was it that said: ‘the best things in life most of the time are not things?’. How can a bag cost several thousands of dollars or euros? And hold the stuff it’s supposed to hold indescribably better than a, let’s say two hundred dollar bag would? Of course I’m aware of the underlying psychological patterns of the buyers. But really: a 10cm square cm strip of leather with a Luis Vuitton ring to it should cost over a hundred euro’s? I’m wondering if anybody has researched the sustainability of the psychological well-being of a person as the result of owning exorbitantly expensive luxury goods, that can be produced at only a fraction more of what it costs to produce commodities. And commodities are what most of the things are that we use in the first place. Or is there anyone out there believing he’s the only one with an iPhone? Of course I’m not saying we should move to a state controlled plan-economy where everything we can buy is of poor quality, not sufficient in quantity and as standard as it gets. The point is that I believe (and agree with Charles Eisenstein) that we have come to the point that we’re reaching the end of economic growth as we have been taught to have it. And hence a different, arguably far more limited role of money is required. I predict that the focus on human needs will grow. To experience meaningfulness, significance and hence get out of the money game. How much more stuff do we need to have in order to feel happy? Fulfilled? Satiated? What is finally enough? Of course the emerging economies around the world provide the last profitable stretches in this dead-end street. Indeed this was mentioned in my first novel (www.geerthofman.com/glass-dome) I lost track of how much coca cola the average chinese is drinking, how much Cartier and Rolex watches they own and how much Mercedes, Porsches, Beamers and Ferrari’s have been sold more to China than last year? More expensive stuff won’t fill the void. More expensive stuff doesn’t feel the rather basic human needs of wanting to feel fulfilled by deploying our talents where they’re needed and where they make sense. Naturally, without being forced to serve whose ever bottom line.
It is time we start seeing and experiencing the connection again. It is time we leave the money game behind us and enter the human game, which is played on a global scale with fairness and access to the planet’s richness for all. Charles Eisenstein refers to this as the coming of age ordeal. Now it’s time to individually and collectively reconnect to our purpose and direct the deployment of our unique talents exactly in that direction.
All love and blessings,