Drinking the Kool Aid

In the past few months I have been attuned to a yearning I feel, both inside me and that I sense in many other people.

My sense is that many people know, at a deep soul level, without having the right words to be able to explain it, that our way of giving and receiving value in the world is fundamentally and irretrievably flawed. Our model for money, exchange, banking, debt, credit, capital, what has value and what does not have value; the foundations of our economic system, are keeping us stuck in the very broken patterns and system we long to escape from.

Some people/companies feel they have ‘cracked the code’, but on closer examination, all they have done is found a new ‘smart’ path into a system that is already broken.
When I hear people talk about money and success, they speak entirely in the old language, animating once again a system that is designed to do exactly what is now going on. A very wealthy club for the few, and decreasing returns for the majority. Galloping inflation, increasing cost of living, food scarcity…..

We are so blind to this, and have accepted the status quo on this to such an extent that very few people question it. They just keep seeking ways to crack the code, thinking when they have that they have somehow found the keys to the kingdom. All they have done is drunk another version of the kool aid.

The keys to the kingdom are in another room entirely. Most of us have been tapping, banging, trying to break down the wrong door. In fact, very few people I know on this planet actually understand the very system that conducts our life. And that would include me. I have often used the metaphor that if our economic/value/exchange system was a language, most people cannot count to 10. After studying it for several years, I am lucky if I can count to 20. I am sure that the leaders of our governments would have trouble counting to 20. A very few bankers might be able to get to 30. Seriously, how scary is this…decisions are being made by people who really have no clue!! (well are we really surprised?) Our business ‘moguls’ are certainly not fluent in the language, but instead have spent their time becoming fluent in how to have the system work for them, at the cost of others. For indeed, our economic system has as its operating principle, scarcity…which means, in order for someone to win, someone has to lose. And that is the game we have all been playing, day in day out, whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not…although now to not know it means that we have to be in complete denial that the children starving around the world, or being forced into prostitution, has anything to do with us.

Sorry people, no pass…it has everything to do with us. Our wealth comes at the price of their hunger.

Scarcity is the root of our work/life. Built with intention into the system that we use every day. How scary is that? Our whole lives are built on a platform of intentional scarcity! It is no wonder the fear factor in human beings is going through the roof, rampant depression, suicide, and all the myriad side effects of stress and rabid fear.

Several years ago, as I increasingly realised that we are the fish in the water and that the water is polluted, yet no one questions the water, I decided to find out who on the planet is fluent in our current system, or at least has a high degree of fluency, and of these people, who ALSO has a high egoless intention to support the creation of a healthy system that supports all of humanity to survive with dignity, and to thrive.

I confess part of my motivation was a yearning to gain understanding of this myself, so I could make different choices in how I work and play. And the other part of my impulse behind this was the sense that many others feel as I do.

You guessed it…I have not found many people. One of these people is now part of The Constellation. David Martin. Please check out his weekly blog. Caution, David is not an easy read. You need to persevere. However, his thinking will challenge you. David has designed an integral accounting platform that considers value in 6 domains. When working with Dave, the practice becomes thinking in at least these 6 domains about pretty much everything. It is a really trippy mind warp. Yep…in the practice you simply have to start seeing things differently. An indeed, for anyone really committed to a new value mechanism, we must begin to recognise just how entangled we are in the tentacles of our current system. The other person I have met is Bernard Lietaer.  Bernard’s expertise is around complementary currency. He and David have different pieces of the puzzle, both important. I will also reference my great teacher, R.Buckminster Fuller. Bucky wrote about our current system extensively. In 1983, he even predicted the coming ‘bail-outs’, using this exact language.

In their own way, these three are mystics. They understand the energetics behind money, and our economic system.

David has also crafted a new model which he calls the Fusion model. When I first saw it, it was like seeing something I already knew but did not have the words to explain. It encompassed everything that was intrinsically right, respectful, honouring, in a way of adding value to the world.

In plain English, what all of this means is the creation of a economic system, able to be used in parallel to our current model, that allows people to create ‘enoughness’ through their own work, and in so doing, allows for the respect, care, and dignity of all of life.

Today as small group of us are working to create ways we can bring all of this knowledge to the people who are yearning for it. Plus to create platforms that allow people from around the world to live and work in a way that embraces what Bucky would call natural design, what Joseph Campbell would call following your bliss, and in so doing create enoughness, and lives that are built on a platform of abundance, respect, care, dignity, and love. Sounds like pie in the sky? Not at all. Nature has been doing this for ever.

But first, we have to get that we are drinking the Kool aid.

 

9 Comments on “Drinking the Kool Aid”

  1. I appreciate this article as a useful starting point to explore an important issue. Some thoughts that came to my mind: “…that our way of giving and receiving value in the world is fundamentally and irretrievably flawed” is a significant statement. I find it even more significant and meaningful when I make a small change, “…that our way of understanding and nurturing value in the world is fundamentally and irretrievably flawed.”

    I see the world and the life we have as a consequence of what we understand, care about, and nurture. I think the current challenges are rooted in the magnitude of the contradictions between our concepts of what we think we understand, care about, and nurture and the behaviors that demonstrate what we actually understand, care about, and nurture. And then there is the question of what is worth understanding, caring about, and nurturing and do the answers matter to us?

    Without a desire and conscious purpose to ask, explore, understand, and act on meaningful answers grounded in experience versus concepts to these and derivative questions, the systems and solutions we try to create keep us on an endless carrousel. Today’s “solutions” become tomorrow’s problems, just as many of today’s problems are a direct consequence of yesterday’s attempted “solutions” lacking a sufficient understanding of what is worth caring about and has enduring value.

    1. Thank you for your very considered response, Ron. I deeply respect your thinking on this matter, and appreciate their added value to this article,

      warmly,

      Christine

  2. Thanks for the article Christine, liked your last comment around not being a marketing genius; I feel disappointed when people who have ‘cracked the marketing code’ use their powers to sell regurgitated fluff. You may be interested in looking at some of Rudolph Steiner’s philosophies around banking and finance.

  3. “scarcity . . .means, in order for someone to win, someone has to lose. . . . Our wealth comes at the price of [other people’s] hunger.”

    I agree, Christine.

    And I think it’s because we’re (most people are) asleep and our (most people’s) personal values are really warped. It’s the lowest common denominator out there . . . comfort and escape and convenience and ease and easy disposable pleasure sells. Virtue and substance and real growth really don’t do well in the marketplace because they’re difficult and unpleasant and require effort; they don’t feel good (at least not right away; they put the pain up front and promise the pleasure down the road); they aren’t immediately gratifying.

    And of course, yes, we grow up swimming in polluted water (not just our economic, but our education system), which makes most of us into unthinking, unquestioning good little anesthetized consumers who dream of and crave the safety and security or the American dream . . . an effortless stream of income, a nice house and a fancy car, little to no stress or adversity or difficulty (the very things, which by meeting with them and dealing with them head on create our courage, conscience, character, resilience, wisdom, growth, Love), the freedom to travel and host big parties and to laugh and be happy because we’re set for life. . . . And so how do we get there — to this mirage of a Promised land? By selling something that will appeal to the lowest common denominator in the greatest amount of people . . . Glorified and slickly marketed and omnipresent sugar water (Coke or Pepsi), fast unhealthy food, some form of technology that can be used by the masses (the vast majority of people) for brain softening and escape and relaxation (iPods, Facebook, a self-helpless book, etc), something that makes people feel good and hopeful and gratified and soothed without any real effort or lasting effects (in essence, it creates addicts who will need another and then another hit of your product).

    But heaven forbid we try to limit the scope of our product and make sure that it can’t be used as an escape or brain softener; because the moment we do that we loss the lion’s share of our potential customer base, lol.

    So what’s the solution?

    Until a larger percentage of human beings change what they value and what matters to them, we’re pretty much stuck with the continued decline and emotional (and perhaps physical) fattening of Western Civilization. As the Dalai Lama put it: “Although attempting to create a more harmonious society and bring about more peace in the world through the internal transformation of individuals is difficult, it is the only way. Peace must first be developed within an individual. And love, compassion, and altruism are the fundamental basis for peace. Once these qualities are developed and sustained within an individual, then he or she is able to create an atmosphere of peace and harmony and love all around her. The inner atmosphere is expanded and extended from the individual to his or her family, from the family to the community, and then eventually to the world at large.”

    Agreed. Everyone thinks of changing the world, no one thinks of changing themselves.

    Not that this has to be an either/or proposition where doing one excludes the other.

    But until real spirituality and psychological growth becomes an integral and thus meaningful part of people’s daily lives and their moment to moment decision making, the status quo will reign. Until more and more people are able or willing to deal with stress, difficulty, adversity, challenge, pain in a much more head on and less escapist and avoidant manner, the economy will not change for the better. Others will still have to lose so that we can win and stay comfortable, have things easy, convenient, fun, enjoyable, et cetera.

    That’s just the way of the world.

    So until more of us trim our gluttonous comfort- and convenience- and path-of-least-resistance-mongering ways, the world will just continue it’s slow and inexorable slide into entropy and lowering the bar and lowering the lowest common denominator.

    Thanks for the thoughtful post and website, Christine, and best wishes in your continued pursuits!

    John

    1. Thank you John for your deeply thoughtful reply, for taking the time to read my post and for taking the time to write your response. A deep bow in gratitude.

      warmly,

      Christine

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  5. Well, what can I say? Great ideas on your post, mate! I’m glad I stumbled upon your website. It has given me a lot of ideas for my other projects. I’m sure I will subscribe to your site. This is really awesome. Thanks!

  6. Pingback: Beaten down by life, daring greatly | Christine McDougall's Blog - Guinea Pig C

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