In the history of the world it is often the seemingly small events that have the power to make the most significant changes. Rosa Parks refusing to sit at the back of the bus. Mohamed Bouazizi personal sacrifice sparked an uprising across the Middle East.
In my world, the small but significant event took place July 22 to 24, 2011 in Berkeley California, where a group of about 20 magnificent people gathered to give birth to a project I have been working on for some 25 years. These great people found themselves in a deep exploration of financial literacy. Not the type of financial literacy you will find at business school. Or in the economics department. We stepped into the conversation, guided by the insight of David Martin, looking to bring truth to the very core animating impulse behind our current global financial system. What was the intent of design? How did the intent become manifest? What does this mean to humanity? What can we do to repurpose this system, allowing a different outcome to the one we are currently observing around the world. (Massive personal and sovereign debt, an ever increasing gap between the wealthy and the poor, global hunger and starvation, gut wrenching poverty for the majority of citizens on spaceship earth.)
Through this extraordinary process over three days, our Universe was tilted. Even without being able to fully get the language, as one participant said, “I am able to deeply get that this is truth.”
This journey began for me when I was 26 years old and, as an ambitious young entrepreneur, I wanted to understand how to make money. So off I went to a class called Money and You. Still running to this day, this program, designed by the great Werner Erhard, tipped me completely onto a path of self discovery and development. More than that, it also introduced me to the work of R. Buckminster Fuller, one of my life long beloved teachers.
As I am now approaching my 51st birthday, I have, as the richness of age gives you, the opportunity to look back at life and see the threads, that no matter what, have remained consistent, through every up and down and in and out of my life.
Those threads have been..
*A forensic quest for truth
*As part of this quest for truth, a deep desire to understand the very systems that form the foundations of our current life, and in particular, our economic/value exchange system.
As I have written before, life doesn’t turn out how you expect it. I neither expected to be a mother, and a single one at that, or to have spent the majority of my life single. I also never expected that I would have a personal struggle with finances and money.
But such is as it is. I have half written another article, “If I were God” where I posit that to reach this place in my life right now, where my commitment is to bringing light to the current system in a way that emancipates people worldwide, I needed to go through every single one of the days of my life, exactly as they have been, to this very point. All the fear, the pain, the confusion, the struggle, the effort. All of it.
Indeed, the perfection of the path is as exquisite as it has been painful.
For many years these seeds were growing in me. Then in 2006, during one week in October while traveling in the USA, I had the good fortune (or was it more auspicious than that?) to meet Bernard Lietaer and to hear a talk given by David Martin. Bernard, a world renowned economist, and an expert in complimentary currencies, demonstrated the power of a currency to change the world from short term to long term thinking in a heart beat. David Martin, with precision and an almost detached clarity, walked through the exact events that lead to what we now know as the Global Financial Crisis.
From that one week I was seized with a deep truth. I knew nothing about the very system that underpins everything we do. I was deeply unconscious. And as someone who is committed to consciousness and forensic truth, this was no longer viable. So my quest went from vague to 80% committed. The reading began. Economics books. Articles. From mind numbingly boring to deeply riveting.
Two years ago, August 28th, I met David Martin on a skype call, specifically to propose to him that we co-create a financial literacy workshop. In his wisdom, David challenged me to consider the field effects of creating such a workshop. We also started working together as partners in The Constellation. Earlier this year my commitment shifted to 100% and I commenced a deep dialogue with two of David’s staff about the deep energetics of this workshop. This was a critical component. When you are working with such emotional material, material that people are so heavily invested in, the level of clarity around your purpose is crucial. I had to clear away any residue of my own dogma, my own stuckness, my own agenda.
In early July, with a few weeks notice, we decided to put a stake in the sand and invite family and friends to the very early first draft of this workshop.
While we did cover distinctions around money, debt, credit, public and private equity, the federal reserve banking system, bonds, insurance, productivity, utility, etc, what we really engaged with was the core animating impulse behind all of these. I have know intuitively for most of my life that our system is perverse. That at its core it is a corruption, specifically designed to enslave and dehumanize value for all but the minority.
I have also spent years berating myself on my ‘lack’ of intelligence to ‘work’ the system. In truth, there has been many times when I had opportunities to do just that. To turn left and take the money, when my gut and my own truth said no. I am beginning to see that my ‘lack’ of intelligence was indeed the opposite.
When we started on day one of the workshop with an honouring of all the people who have suffered through enslavement, poverty, death and loss of dignity as a direct manifestation of our current system, I felt their pain. Not as some isolated observer, but as my own pain. I know the feeling of being marginalised. I know the feeling of being made to feel less than. I know what being devalued means. I am that person.
And, the truth of all truths, I am currently enslaved. I am a slave. I have debt.
This statement takes a moment to digest. Most of us are enslaved. Many of us have been dehumanized over and over. And while we might live in extreme wealth compared to many people in the world, our wealth enslaves us. It is designed to do this.
From anchoring in deep truths, those kind of truths that turn a healthy set of brains into scrambled eggs, we did move into an inspired place as a launching pad to move back into full engagement with the world. We explored integral accounting, abundance, and the power of community. How, without changing the existing system, people can re-purpose the current structure to invite a different engagement. Now. Today.
I observed three of the most magnificent women commit their heart, soul, mind and body to this work. I sat in the experience of feeling an unbreakable vow from others. Such a rare phenomenon. Rare, rare, rare. I had people step up to support me totally. Wow. (Breathe Christine. Receiving support has not been easy for me.)
It was an incredible three days. It is only the beginning. During last night, it became clear to me that my immediate next step is to write articles about the key pieces. Money, debt, etc..to this endeavor I will be commencing immediately. Simultaneously, we have a team of magnificent people committed to bringing this work to the world. I know that there are people who are hungering for it.
(A special and deep bow to every single person on this journey through my entire life. Particularly, David Martin, and the people in the room in Berkeley. And to Dori, Nirvana and Elizabeth, for demonstrating such generosity, grace and commitment.)
Beautiful Business for all human thriving
Relevant. Provocative. At the frontier of human enterprise for a better world. Join us.