At the risk of beginning to sound a little, here in these postings/musings of mine, like Cato the Elder in his relentless sounding, in the Roman Senate, of the note: 'Carthago delenda est!' - Carthage must be destroyed! - I feel the need, here, at the beginning of this year, to return to the main issue of our time: the need to release the old form of 'commercial enterprise' that has dominated the world for so long, in order for a new, more advanced form of social life to come into being; and hence to recognise our fuller selves in the process.
To get into it, I refer to an article in the (UK) Guardian, of 18 January, by its Economics editor, Larry Elliott, headed: 'For all our sakes, let's hope China "gets it"'. The point of the article was that for the sake of the global economic system, it was important that China take "dramatic action" to spur its domestic economy/consumption, instead of concentrating on its "export-led growth"; or else the world risked being flooded with goods that nobody could afford, thus "making the threat of deflation extremely real" ("and adding to pressure for trade barriers").
Needing to increase consumption, at a time of limits to growth? Resource depletion, and environmental pollution now a global crisis issue, and so forth?...
And speaking of 'getting it': Many years ago, I began looking seriously at the way the world 'works' (or doesn't, as it were). And I finally got it: Many people believed there was something more than Man, but didn't act as if there were. Rather, often - mostly? - acted as if there weren't.
Folks: Either there is or there isn't. If there isn't, then nothing really matters anyway, and one might as well live simply for oneself, independent of the effect of that pursuit on others, as not; for the end of the closed system of life could, then, as easily be seen as that as anything else, a presumed 'social dividend' by acting in harmony with others (as Richard Dawkins posits, in his 'The God Delusion'), or whatever. (What in your philosophy constrains a banker/trader from nearly collapslng the system that rewards him, Richard?) If there is, however, then certain things follow.
It follows, for one thing, that 'the universe' has plan and purpose. The 'trick', then, is to find out whether that purpose is Good or not Good, ie to say, whether it is of the Light or of the Dark; blessed or malevolent. (Think an Alien-type creature feeding on our emotions, as a possibility: that we are merely food.) My research, and feeling into the matter, tells me that it is of the former. And that is all the motive I need, to live a life that reflects that Light into the world, in all that I say and do. To the best of my ability.
I can at this point perhaps best summarize my 'credo' by quoting an email I recently sent to the host of an e-newsletter called EarthRainbowNetwork, one Jean Hudon, out of Canada. A remarkable fellow, and activist for positive change in the world; whose regular compilations are in part to provide "spiritual material from various sources that may help foster global awakening, individual empowerment and a sense of hope for our common future". He is currently spearheading a campaign for something he calls a 'Save the Earth Convention'. My response (on 16 January):
"In response to your call for feedback on this idea:
"I feel it is a valuable initiative, and I'm glad that you modulated it to take out the emphasis on 'carbon'. One doesn't have to believe in the AGW [anthropogenic global warming] doctrine to want to see progress on our lovely planet Earth in regards to living more harmoniously with our home.
"The ultimate answer, and need, is to do away with the western monetary system. It is broke, and it is better to release it than to try to fix it, for it has only been a stage of our development here anyway, not, as I say, the ultimate answer.
"It's time to take a closer look at this matter, of living together on our now-globalised home. Some salient points:
"* Capitalism requires continual pedaling - aka growth - to keep the system/bicycle upright. Thus such wasteful phenomena as planned obsolescence, and so forth. We need a system that conserves resources, not wastes them - and doesn't pollute the environment in its outworking.
"* It is throwing workers out of work, as technology develops. That 'development' should be a boon, not a scourge. (The less that we have to do drudge work, and can concentrate on doing things that interest us, the better.)
"* It spawns undesirable, unsocial qualities.
"The current system, of exchange of goods and services - for let us remember that that is fundamentally what we are talking about; all else involved in it, all the 'financial' aspects of money-creating legerdemain, is merely secondary - invokes qualities that don't agree with me, for one; like competition, and greed, and so forth. I feel we need - and the time is now ripe - to move to a system that invokes qualities like cooperation, and mutual respect, and so forth. The sort of thing that socialists talk about; and many people give the negative epithet 'utopian socialist' to. But is it really so outlandish an idea?
"Maybe in the past. But not now. For a few reasons. One: Technology. Two: Globalisation. Three: Knowledge. About things like reincarnation. That there is a Plan, of which human life is but a part. And there, not so incidentally, you have your motive for doing things: because life is for growing from the experience. Has meaning, beyond just in and of itself only. Is a gift from our Creator. And out of gratitude for life with meaning, we will give of our best.
"Socialists, and other mere materialists, can try to get their ideas off the ground without the spiritual component of the picture if they want. But I wouldn't hold out much hope for that approach to the modern matter - OUR modern matter. Because simply 'wouldn't it be nice if people were nice to each other' isn't enough of a reason, to give of one's best, without the understanding - real, soul-felt understanding - that life has meaning.
"Not to belabor the point. Just to conclude: Money - at least as we now it today - needs to go. It's an anachronism, and a belittling one, and a dangerous one, at that; is blocking us from our full potential, by creating separation. All we need is a system of credits - 'mutual credit clearing exchanges', like Prof. Thomas H. Greco, ,Jr. calls them ('The End of Money and The Future of Civilization'), or like those used in local LETS systems today. Only worldwide.
"We need to think big. Or at least, bigger.
"About where we're at, in our Time on this lovely planet.
"Now acutely asking of us our best. As great Crisis presents us with great Opportunity.
"To create 'a harmonious, sustainable way of living' here, as Prof. Greco categorizes it.
"Now, at this time of pending Ascension.
"With all the help from other levels that that process implies.
"P.S. Another good commentary on the picture of where we're at is the book 'Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth' by David C. Korten. So a lot of good thinking is going into this matter. Including from the likes of Diana Cooper.
"And the inspiration of such initiatives as yours, Jean, with earthrainbownetwork. Bringing us closer together; for an abiding sense of One Planet - One Humanity - One Destiny.
"Keep up the good work," etc.
So, in sum: We need to start living our lives as if 'it' - the awareness that there is something more than Man, and that life is part of a larger Plan, which is Good - were true; not as if it were not, as we are doing at present. And thus will our social and environmental aches and ills fall away.
The only things that will get done will be things of social value, because there will be no 'reward' in doing anything else. The reward for doing something of social value will be in doing it for its own sake - in contributing positively to society, and concomitantly to one's own progress on the spiritual path. Not the 'economical' path.
Been there. Done that. Seen the results.
It's time for change, all right.
P.S. As for the question about AGW: That is a very interesting subject, and will have to wait for another time, to do it justice. Suffice it to say for now: Don't believe everything you read, or hear, about it. Practice discernment. There's more going on here than meets the eye.
Which also goes to the need to release the old, and make space, in our hearts and deeds, for the new. The truly new.