My Mind On Money

How money affects our hearts and minds.

Archive for April 2009

Law of Time and the World Economic Crisis – The View from 2012

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“And if you have means and wealth, and you hear these words, or have explained to you the curse of 12:60 time and the blessing of 13:20 time, then do not doubt it and practice charity. Provide for the children orphaned by war and provide for the reconstruction of the Earth that the practice of art and culture may flourish once again. Practice such charity with zeal, for soon you shall see an end to money. No more will flow the drunken wine of Babylon’s fornication, and then what will you be with your paper credits and useless machines?

Telektonon of Pacal Votan, Section XVII, “The Prophets of Peace are Awakening” v. 108.

In all the endless talk about the “world financial crisis,” no one seems to be remembering the “Second Law of Thermodynamics.” That defines entropy, the inevitable tendency of energy to dissipate, a law which affects all phenomena occurring in the third-dimensional, material/physical plane of reality. That happens to define the world of materialism as well and the artificial commodity which governs and dominates it: money.

No one also seems to want to think about the old adage, “what goes up must come down.” The manipulators of reality who run the world with a ruthless monetary hand, think that the only trend for money is up. When it goes down, they freak out. It’s only money, it really doesn’t exist as value in the cosmic reality, so why get so excited? And they go around almost afraid to use the word “recession.” The myth of progress has burst its bubble.

The poor, poor banks! Governments are rushing around pledging staggeringly huge sums of money intended to rescue these impoverished banks and their elite class from collapse. No one seems to recall another adage, “robbng Peter to pay Paul.” The taxpayer is Peter and Paul is the banker. All these efforts bring to mind one further homily, “Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall, all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, couldn’t put Humpty together again.”

At least when Lehman Brothers Investment bank folded and its London employees were informed that they were now unemployed, they had the good sense to play REM’s “It’s the end of the world as we know it, but I feel fine”

Yes, that is very much to the point. But when you’ve been holding all the marbles and the rules of the game in your hands and your house of (credit) cards has just folded, you still don’t want to believe that the game is over. Yes, the game is over, the system crashed, and the damage is irreparable. The biosphere has been waiting for this moment for a long time, because as long as the bankers ruled the world, the biosphere knew all too well that “What’s good for business is bad for the biosphere.”

Now the tables are turned. It may be too late to stop global warming, but at least the cause of the problem is now bleeding to death at your local stock exchange. This is a problem that can’t be fixed no matter how much money the governments throw at it. You can’t reverse the second law of thermodynamics with money! As Einstein said you cannot fix a problem at the same level or with the same means that created it. You’ve really got to get out of the box and see what is really new and what is really going on – in the Big Universe.

So with four years to go until 2012, why not get smart. There is still a little cash left, much of it being withdrawn from investment and mortgage banks in a panic as the system folds. Instead of stashing it away for a time when nothing in the old world is going to work anyway, think of what useful means that remaining money might be utilized – like feeding people, creating gardens, planting forests, investing in new non-polluting technologies, and, yes, envisioning a different world, a world where time is no longer money but time is art.

There is still a little of the old time left, so if you’ve got the means really consider investing it in a new world, a new vision of reality. Why not use what you’ve got left to create the foundations of the next evolutionary order – the noosphere.

You see, money, banks, war, and taxes – all of that is history. And the meaning of 2012, in case you hadn’t heard, is that it is the end of history. You don’t need any better proof now than the current phrase, “world financial crisis.” That’s right, the end of history is the beginning of something better – a new time in tune with the natural cycles and rhythms of the universe.

“You don’ t need a weather man to know which way the wind blows.” Bob Dylan

A good place to focus your new sense of charity might be the First Noosphere World Congress, Envisioning Earth as a Work of Art, to take place in Bali, July 18-22, 2009. If the world is going down the tubes, then who is going to bail out the world? What we need is fresh vision, a new blueprint, and a new navigating manual of human purpose and destiny. If we’ve got that in hand then we can intelligently figure out how to spend the rest of our money and at least have the foundation of the noosphere – the new cycle of human evolution – in place by 2012.

First Noosphere World Congress – Envisioning Earth as a Work of Art.
July 18-22, Bali Indonesia
www.lawoftime.org.www.noospherecongress.org (forthcoming)

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Written by Ilana

April 30, 2009 at 12:39 am

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The Wisteria Lane Syndrome

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Lynn McTaggart (The Intention Experiment) expounds on scientific research proving that “keeping up with the Jones’s” may be the leading cause of unhappiness, stress and even suicide…

The Wisteria Lane Syndrome

April 24th, 2009 by Lynne McTaggart · 37 Comments

My two teenager daughters are suckers for Desperate Housewives, the television soap opera detailing all the jealousy, intrigue, backstabbing and criminal activity that lays behind the doors and manicured lawns of that upscale suburban neighborhood, Wisteria Lane.

Although almost all the inhabitants are beautiful and affluent, no one stays happy for long. All of these ‘best friends’ are miserable in their constant comparison with each other.

So I was fascinated to read a recent intriguing study of suicide, carried out by Mary Daly and Daniel Wilson of the US Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, with Norman Johnson of the US Census Bureau.  They examined suicide deaths to see if it had anything to do with income.

The rich are different
Although it appeared that the less you made the more likely you were to kill yourself, closer analysis showed this wasn’t the case.

It was true that individuals in the very lowest income bracket – with family incomes below $20,000 in 1990 dollars (the equivalent of about $31,000 US in 2006) — were significantly more likely to commit suicide than those with incomes above $60,000.

But for anyone making anything over $20,000, one’s own income had no significant effect on suicide risk.

The only time individual income mattered in any way was in comparison to the level of income in your own county.

And most startling of all, the richest areas of America had the greatest risk of suicide.

So Daly, Wilson and Johnson examined this a little more closely.  They looked at whether this had anything to do with the high cost of living, or the high cost of housing, or the difference between renters and buyers, the cost of living across the entire state, the reporting biases about suicides or even poorer access to emergency health care.

Me and Mrs. Jones
But in every instance, the only connection that wouldn’t go away was the effect of comparing one’s own income to others around you.  And the richer everyone was around you, the more miserable you were likely to be.

In the crudest terms, for every $10,000 more your neighbors made than you, your suicide probability increased by 7.5 per cent.

Simple desire to keep up with the Joneses was the most likely ingredient for self-harm.

Most significantly, in the Federal Reserve study, the higher the benchmark (in terms of the most affluent neighbourhoods), the higher the stakes, the more likely the inhabitants were to find themselves falling short and the greater the suicide risk.

Income envy across the pond
Income envy also is rife in Europe.  Another study prepared by Andrew Clark and Claudia Senik from the Paris School of Economics, showed once again that Europeans also are constantly judging themselves by examining where they stand on the economic ladder in comparison to everyone around them.

In the European Social Survey, which polled 34,000 people from 23 countries, Clark and Senik found that three-quarters of those polled in Europe believed that it was important to compare their own earnings against others.  Nevertheless, the more they did so, the unhappier they became.

The researchers judged happiness through responses to questions about whether people believe that they live comfortably, felt optimistic, had been depressed recently and felt satisfied with their lives thus far.

The least harmful to overall happiness were comparisons made against co-workers, while income envy of family members proved to be far more erosive.

Nevertheless, the toxic of all was what I call the Wisteria Lane Syndrome: comparisons against one’s friends.  These were considered twice as damaging as against work colleagues.

The constant yardstick
The other fascinating aspect of this study and others that examine happiness is that they scientifically confirm that overall rise in standard of living doesn’t buy happiness and contentment.

As two studies have demonstrated, someone’s self-declared happiness had nothing to do with any objective benchmark, such as increase in overall national income, but only whether he felt that he measured favourably against entirely personal benchmarks: his aspirations and expectations of what he should be making, particularly as compared with everyone around him.

It’s called the Easterlin Paradox, in psychology studies, and it means that there is no objective measure of success, only individual measures formed by our aspirations and expectations and those of our nearest and dearest.

A yardstick is always on hand, to measure my accomplishments, my possessions, my money and even my children against yours.

So it’s come to this.  In our modern-day world, happiness is entirely dependent upon expectation and certain entirely arbitrary or conditional standards against which you judge yourself, which are usually what you believe are the standards of other people.

Studies of optimists and pessimists show that optimistic people only compare themselves with those less fortunate (lucky me), whereas pessimistic people make constant comparisons with the more successful and find themselves wanting (unlucky me). Both in a sense are toxic. On the one hand you enhance yourself by demonstrating that you’re so much better off than all the other sorry souls around you; on the other, that you are the sorriest soul you know.

Taking out the competition
There’s a growing batch of research demonstrating that when you remove the competitive nature of human relationships, we begin to flourish. New developments in behaviorial psychology and biology reveal that we were never meant to live a life of fundamental isolation and self-serving survival.

Compare this to the research I’ve discussed before of a sampling of Americans in the US’s lowest income bracket.  They suffered from virtually no stress about their financial circumstances, so long as they had two means of support:  a strong spiritual connection and a strong community. Clearly, even when engaged in a daily struggle to survive, they were able to manage so long as they didn’t do so alone.

It’s now evident why ‘Do not covet your neighbor’s goods’ was included in the Ten Commandments. Comparison is one of the most toxic of all human endeavors.  It’s time we thought about setting up a new style of neighborhood, where the primary goal isn’t a bigger car or a more immaculate lawn but a committed, supportive and sharing community, whatever its income level.

Written by Ilana

April 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

The Obsolete Monetary System

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this is another chapter from Jacque Fresco’s essays on redesigning our culture…to read the entire essay go to http://the venusproject.com and click on A New Social Design… I am posting this here because the font is a little bigger and easier to read, and hopefully to make it a little easier to find

THE OBSOLETE MONETARY SYSTEM

Although skillful advertisers lead us to believe otherwise, in today’s monetary-based economies, whenever new technology is introduced, the human consequences are of little concern to those introducing the technology – except, of course, as customers. In a monetary-based system, the major concerns of industry are profit, maintaining a competitive edge, and watching the bottom line, rather than the wellbeing of humanity. The social problems that arise from mass unemployment of people, who are rendered obsolete by the infusion of automation, are considered irrelevant, if they are considered at all. Any need that may be met is secondary to acquiring a profit for the business. If the profit is insufficient, the service will be withdrawn. What industry seeks to do is improve the competitive edge to increase the profit margin for their shareholders. It does not serve the interest of a monetary based society to engage in the production of goods and services to enhance the lives of people as a goal. With rising public concern regarding the greenhouse effect, acid rain, polluted air and water, etc. some companies are also beginning to realize that for sustained market presence it is in their best interest to heed social and environmental concerns. While such trends are commendable, they are insufficient as a method of solving the overall problems of waste, environmental degradation and unnecessary human suffering.

The monetary system has been a useful, but interim tool, it came into being as a means of placing a value on scarce objects and labor. The monetary system of course replaced the barter system, which involved direct trading of objects and labor. However, just as there was no universal-bartering standard in the past, there is no global monetary system today. Individuals and groups, now as in the past, however, still need to exchange objects and labor for today’s goods and services. The unequal distribution of skills, resources and materials throughout the world necessitates global trade.

Until the last few decades, the monetary system functioned to a degree. The global population of three billion was not over consuming world resources and energy, global warming was not evident, and air and water pollution were only recognized by a relative few. The start of the 21st century however finds global population at an exponentially rising six billion, with resources and energy supplies dwindling, global warming a reality, and pollution evident worldwide. Planet earth is in crises and the majority of world population cannot meet their basic needs because people do not have the means to purchase increasingly expensive resources. Money is now the determinant of people’s standard of living rather than the availability of resources.

In a monetary system purchasing power is not related to our capacity to produce goods and services. For example, in a recession there are CD’s in store windows and automobiles in car lots, but many people do not have the purchasing power to buy them. The earth is still the same place; it is just the rules of the game that are obsolete and create strife, deprivation, and unnecessary human suffering.

In today’s culture of profit, we do not produce goods based on human need. We do not build houses based on population needs. We do not grow food to feed people. Industry’s major motivation is profit.

The monetary system is now an impediment to survival rather than a means of facilitating individual existence and growth. This imaginary tool has outlived its usefulness. The limitations on earth’s population now caused by the monetary construct can be phased out. It is not money that people need but the access to goods and services. Since humanity requires resources to exist, the replacement system should provide those resources directly to people without the impediment of financial and political interest for their private gain at the expense of the lives and livelihood of the populous. The replacement system is therefor logically a resource-based economy. This global resource based economy would be gradually phased in while the monetary system is phased out.

All of the world’s economic systems – socialism, communism, fascism, and even the vaunted free enterprise capitalist system – perpetuate social stratification, elitism, nationalism and racism, primarily based on economic disparity. As long as a social system uses money or barter, people and nations will seek to maintain positions of differential advantage. If they cannot do so by means of commerce they will resort to military intervention.

War represents the supreme failure of nations to resolve their differences. From a strictly pragmatic standpoint it is the most inefficient waste of lives and resources ever conceived by any creature on the planet. This crude and violent way of attempting to resolve international differences has taken on even more ominous overtones with the advent of elaborate computerized thermonuclear delivery systems, deadly diseases and gases, and the threat of sabotage of a nation’s computer networks. Despite the desire of nations to achieve peace, they usually lack the knowledge of how to arrive at peaceful solutions.

War is not the only form of violence in the developed and underdeveloped countries that is superimposed upon the populace by inadequate social arrangements. There is also hunger, poverty, and scarcity. As long as there is the use of money, the creation of debt, and economic insecurity these conditions will perpetuate crime, lawlessness, and resentment. Paper proclamations and treaties do not alter conditions of scarcity and insecurity. And nationalism only tends to help propagate the separation of nations and the world’s people.

Even the signing of a peace treaty cannot avoid another war if the underlying causes are not addressed. The unworkable aspects of international law tend to freeze things as they are. All of the nations that have conquered land all over the world by force and violence would still retain their positions of territorial and resource advantage. Whether we realize it or not, such agreements only serve as temporary suspensions to conflict.

Attempting to find solutions to the monumental problems within our present society will only serve as temporary patchwork, prolonging an obsolete system.

In this world of constant change it is no longer a question of whether we choose to make the necessary changes; it is now mandatory that we take on this challenge and adopt these new requirements or face the inevitable decay of our present social and economic institution.

This is the dilemma we must face head-on, and the solutions we arrive at must fit the circumstances of the “real-world.” There appears to be no other way than to update our outlook and create a newer direction by relegating the old values to past civilizations. Unfortunately, this may not be accomplished prior to the point of no return in the global economy.

Written by Ilana

April 23, 2009 at 5:42 pm

Resourced Based Economy

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I found this article at http://thevenusproject.com and I’m posting it here so it’s easier to read.  Please visit the website for more about The Venus Project: Future by Design.  We need a positive vision for our future, and this could be it!

A Resource-Based Economy is a system in which all goods and services are available without the use of money, credits, barter or any other system of debt or servitude. All resources become the common heritage of all of the inhabitants, not just a select few. The premise upon which this system is based is that the Earth is abundant with plentiful resource; our practice of rationing resources through monetary methods is irrelevant and counter productive to our survival.

Modern society has access to highly advanced technology and can make available food, clothing, housing and medical care; update our educational system; and develop a limitless supply of renewable, non-contaminating energy. By supplying an efficiently designed economy, everyone can enjoy a very high standard of living with all of the amenities of a high technological society.

A resource-based economy would utilize existing resources from the land and sea, physical equipment, industrial plants, etc. to enhance the lives of the total population. In an economy based on resources rather than money, we could easily produce all of the necessities of life and provide a high standard of living for all.

Consider the following examples: At the beginning of World War II the US had a mere 600 or so first-class fighting aircraft. We rapidly overcame this short supply by turning out more than 90,000 planes a year. The question at the start of World War II was: Do we have enough funds to produce the required implements of war? The answer was No, we did not have enough money, nor did we have enough gold; but we did have more than enough resources. It was the available resources that enabled the US to achieve the high production and efficiency required to win the war. Unfortunately this is only considered in times of war.

In a resource-based economy all of the world’s resources are held as the common heritage of all of Earth’s people, thus eventually outgrowing the need for the artificial boundaries that separate people. This is the unifying imperative.

We must emphasize that this approach to global governance has nothing whatever in common with the present aims of an elite to form a world government with themselves and large corporations at the helm, and the vast majority of the world’s population subservient to them. Our vision of globalization empowers each and every person on the planet to be the best they can be, not to live in abject subjugation to a corporate governing body.

Our proposals would not only add to the well being of people, but they would also provide the necessary information that would enable them to participate in any area of their competence. The measure of success would be based on the fulfilment of one’s individual pursuits rather than the acquisition of wealth, property and power.

At present, we have enough material resources to provide a very high standard of living for all of Earth’s inhabitants. Only when population exceeds the carrying capacity of the land do many problems such as greed, crime and violence emerge. By overcoming scarcity, most of the crimes and even the prisons of today’s society would no longer be necessary.

A resource-based economy would make it possible to use technology to overcome scarce resources by applying renewable sources of energy, computerizing and automating manufacturing and inventory, designing safe energy-efficient cities and advanced transportation systems, providing universal health care and more relevant education, and most of all by generating a new incentive system based on human and environmental concern.

Many people believe that there is too much technology in the world today, and that technology is the major cause of our environmental pollution. This is not the case. It is the abuse and misuse of technology that should be our major concern. In a more humane civilization, instead of machines displacing people they would shorten the workday, increase the availability of goods and services, and lengthen vacation time. If we utilize new technology to raise the standard of living for all people, then the infusion of machine technology would no longer be a threat.

A resource-based world economy would also involve all-out efforts to develop new, clean, and renewable sources of energy: geothermal; controlled fusion; solar; photovoltaic; wind, wave, and tidal power; and even fuel from the oceans. We would eventually be able to have energy in unlimited quantity that could propel civilization for thousands of years. A resource-based economy must also be committed to the redesign of our cities, transportation systems, and industrial plants, allowing them to be energy efficient, clean, and conveniently serve the needs of all people.

What else would a resource-based economy mean? Technology intelligently and efficiently applied, conserves energy, reduces waste, and provides more leisure time. With automated inventory on a global scale, we can maintain a balance between production and distribution. Only nutritious and healthy food would be available and planned obsolescence would be unnecessary and non-existent in a resource-based economy.

As we outgrow the need for professions based on the monetary system, for instance lawyers, bankers, insurance agents, marketing and advertising personnel, salespersons, and stockbrokers, a considerable amount of waste will be eliminated. Considerable amounts of energy would also be saved by eliminating the duplication of competitive products such as tools, eating utensils, pots, pans and vacuum cleaners. Choice is good. But instead of hundreds of different manufacturing plants and all the paperwork and personnel required to turn out similar products, only a few of the highest quality would be needed to serve the entire population. Our only shortage is the lack of creative thought and intelligence in ourselves and our elected leaders to solve these problems. The most valuable, untapped resource today is human ingenuity.

With the elimination of debt, the fear of losing one’s job will no longer be a threat This assurance, combined with education on how to relate to one another in a much more meaningful way, could considerably reduce both mental and physical stress and leave us free to explore and develop our abilities.

If the thought of eliminating money still troubles you, consider this: If a group of people with gold, diamonds and money were stranded on an island that had no resources such as food, clean air and water, their wealth would be irrelevant to their survival. It is only when resources are scarce that money can be used to control their distribution. One could not, for example, sell the air we breathe or water abundantly flowing down from a mountain stream. Although air and water are valuable, in abundance they cannot be sold.

Money is only important in a society when certain resources for survival must be rationed and the people accept money as an exchange medium for the scarce resources. Money is a social convention, an agreement if you will. It is neither a natural resource nor does it represent one. It is not necessary for survival unless we have been conditioned to accept it as such

Written by Ilana

April 16, 2009 at 4:52 pm

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A Mind With Heart On Money

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My mind on money can be compared to a landfill that’s close to a large city.

There’s a whole lot of useless junk, much of it is rotting, but if I take the time and pick carefully I do find treasure on occassion.

In this blog, I will attempt to point out the useless junk so you won’t have to waste much time on that anymore, and bring out the treasures to share with you so you might benefit from them as I have.

This is not a blog about investing, or how to make money, or how to spend it.  It is about the effect money and the money system has upon the human mind and heart.  It’s about how to live in an economy that is based on profit, and not lose sight of who you really are.  It’s about having a mind with heart, and functioning in a world that is constantly attacking your mind-heart connection.

Your mind-heart connection must be protected if you desire a happy, healthy and prosperous life.  It is your connection to source that provides intuitive guidance, inspiration, and information for every aspect of your life.  A mind with heart on money can help you achieve your life’s purpose and goals, without sacrificing your connections to yourself, to others, and to the world you are a part of.

Written by Ilana

April 15, 2009 at 9:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized