CREATING AN ECONOMY OF THE SPIRIT
June 6, 2011 § 2 Comments
This is Part 2 of a column, the first part of which can be read here.
It takes time to condition the human being; ideas, experiences, the internalization of messages received subliminally and overtly go in piece by piece. Because of that, changing who we are and how we exist as a society often occurs in the same fashion; it will most probably happen incrementally, with small actions that may not seem to be worthwhile. But due to the intimate, tightly locked joining of government and corporations with unlimited resources, these small-scale acts of transformation are vital. We can no longer wait for our political branches to save us; recent examples such as the failure at the climate conference in Copenhagen in addition to a US Supreme Court determined to gut any checks on corporate financing of our elections should attest to the fact that the acquisition of wealth has superseded any other objective.
So how might this new society, based on the acquisition of spiritual fulfillment, inner and outer peace and life in harmony with the natural world begin to look?
The Proliferation of Collectives
With the dissolution of a government which acts for the common good, we must look to return to what is functional: smaller communities, governing themselves. Communities would organize, initially purchasing plots of land in order to create their own food source. This would be the first step toward making the creation of food a non-profit entity, and provide meaningful work: working with others to create a food source for one’s own community is spiritually enriching and can be one way of circumventing the need for an exchange of money- those whose job was solely to create and manage the food supply would receive a substantial ‘income’ in the form of other goods and services from the rest of the community.
An Education System that Creates Human Beings, not Consumers
We are hurled into an education system which is increasingly for-profit or at the whim of politicians who are for-profit, churning out humans who have been exceedingly well taught how to consume, compete and ‘get ahead’ at the expense of nearly everything else. One only has to look at the prioritization of sports in our school system over the arts- we have decided that it is preferable for kids to attempt to outdo each other instead of exploring who they are and connecting with each other on a human level, citing the value of ‘teamwork’ in sports. I would suggest that if the only ‘teamwork’ learned by children is that which is directed toward victory over another group of individuals, then it is not the kind of teamwork we need if we want to live in a peaceful, sustainable society.
Instead, we need to educate our children in how to live with eachother, in finding out who we are as human beings and how best we can spiritually enrich our community and ourselves. That means focusing with intent on the individual abilities of children and instilling in them the desire to be of service in what they do. It is amazing what precious little space is given to these areas of education and, as a result, we pump out human beings who have been taught to be individualist, to adhere blindly to authority and empty tradition without any deep sense of who they are and what they wish to offer the world. An economy which values collaboration directed toward the common good needs an education system which nourishes that ideal.
The Rise of Vegetarianism
If we are to live in smaller communities, creating our own food source, we must end our mass-consumption of animal products. We might still consume small quantities of meat, but as we are discovering, a diet high in meat consumption is not only unhealthy and environmentally destructive but also spiritually detrimental; when we dishonour life and our ecosystem in the rush to attain wealth, we degrade ourselves. A new Spiritual Economy would reverse that trend, turning away from meat consumption in favour of a diet and lifestyle which nourishes our bodies and the world around us.
Entertainment & Enrichment, Not Distraction
While these words lie at the mercy of a given person’s definition of them, it is inarguable that what corporations might call ‘entertainment’ has instead become mass numbing and distraction.
Mountains of wealth are created through the global distraction industry. One of the features of a new society would be the forms of entertainment we support and this could be another way for our citizens to provide a service, compensating others without the exchange of money and receiving compensation in return. For most of our existence we have sung, danced, written, acted, painted, told stories. Our need for storytelling is obvious- what if the stories we told were emotionally, psychically and spiritually fulfilling, as opposed to being filled with violence, degradation and the glittering of shiny objects deliberately placed to seduce us into ever greater consumption?
These are just a few ideas- in the interests of brevity, I will present more ideas at a later time, but I will leave you with the primary action that must be practiced every day, by all those who seek change:
We can resist in thousands of small ways. Every day we go out into a world of giant corporations attempting to prize our money from our wallets. We participate in conversations, exchanges of ideas. We vote. We teach. We eat. All of these activities are opportunities for detachment, resistance, non-cooperation. Maybe the first step is to resist the conditioned voice within. Whatever the process may be for you, it can begin now.