I Love How Stories Can Change the World!
Today I am having fun because (according to Sacred Economics), the old story that I told you last time is going away and a new one is starting to show itself. The old story is one of economic enslavement of the masses, non-conscious ideation (that means most of us had no idea we are slaves), abuse of the earth and its (limited) resources, money as impersonal, and the biggest problem of a market economy: interest-bearing debt. I didn’t mention interest-bearing debt in my last post because, as you may remember, I was not having fun anymore, so I had to quit. But today I am ready to mention it quickly because I am so excited to go on to solutions.
So here’s the quick version: Interest-bearing debt is the main culprit when it comes to economic enslavement because those on salary or hourly wage have the ability to earn only so much. For some it is enough so they can put away savings that earn interest, but these days more and more people have to borrow money to buy what they need to survive, and sometimes the interest is so high (example: credit cards) that there is no way to dig out of the hole into which it spirals them. When the hole gets too deep, bankruptcy is often the only option, which has financial consequences of its own. Even the person or family who is able to save and earn interest is in danger if a catastrophe such as an illness strikes unexpectedly sending them into borrowing instead of saving. In this system the more financial distress the poor experience, the more money the already-rich make off their suffering.
Whew! I kept my cool while writing that last paragraph and that’s a good thing, cause now I’m ready to write about the new story–or as the title of my website so aptly declares–write my future. And yours.
So what exactly is this emerging new story? If the old story was one of the separate self needing to do what is necessary to survive (fear resulting in abuse, greed and despair), the new story is one of generosity and hope because we are all human beings in this experiment together. It is the story of humankind transitioning from child to adult. When we were children our psychology was one of needs and dependency on the (family) system. When we become adults, we switch from needing to providing for needs. Instead of being what I like to call “little me” or the separate self, we become community, or “big me.” And that’s when life takes on a non-monetary kind of richness because we are in a situation to offer our true gifts to the world.
Eisenstein says the old story is already breaking down because there is no way economic growth can continue forever. Life on this planet is cyclical, and growth is always followed by decay, which then accommodates more growth, and so on. Money is an artificial system, and for awhile society was duped into thinking it was an exception to the cycle of growth and decay. However, as I mentioned in my last post, this is a naive viewpoint which economists early in the 20th century recognized, but money strategists have been too focused on taking advantage of the system to pay attention. On a planet with limited resources, we cannot just keep over-producing and consuming without harsh consequences.
The question now is, will we have to experience a catastrophic collapse as the old story ends, or is it possible to transition to the new story with a minimum of trauma? It all depends on you, individually and collectively, which I will explore in more detail next time.