On Jun 4, 2011 PK wrote:|
I feel the key word is "flow" more than money. Money by itself does not do anything -- except when it is exchanged for something that we value or others value. In other words, value of money is experienced only when there is flow of money.
Lack of money, as many of us know, drives people to get it. But once you have sufficient amount - that amount varies from person to person -- it does not motivate us or drive us. Money demotivates us more than motivates us -- do you agree?
Interestingly, in Indian mythology, Lakshmi is the Goddess of wealth and prosperity. She is considered to be "chanchala lakshmi' -- which means she is fickle and flows quickly from one person to another. In addition, money is only one form of wealth. Land, resources, health, relationships, power are all considered to be elements of wealth. Prosperity -- does money and wealth allow us to prosper? If not, it is not desirable, according to Hindu mythology.
I agree with Korten -- when money operates as our servant, we feel prosperous and when it is our master, then we feel grief, greed, anger and lust.
Does knowing this help? Probably not. But acting on it and finding ways to make money flow -- give because you don't have any control on what you receive -- will certainly help. Any takers?
On Jun 5, 2011 Conrad wrote:|
Thank you Somik for the opportunity to respond. My first impression is that when each of us is our own master, living with and among other masters, we will create a democratically accountable money system that operates as our servant and not our master. The Buddha, Gandhi, Jesus, and others such as Francis of Assisi have shown us a way. Francis of Assisi said, it is better to console rather than be consoled; to love rather than be loved; for it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born. When each moment we realize, with William Penn, that "we are passing by this way but once, and any good, therefore, that we may do, or any kindness that we may show, to any human being, let us do it now. Let us not defer nor neglect it for we shall not pass this way again." Occasionally getting ripped off by some person or organization may not be bad since our intention is to take the risk of helping someone who is in need.
Martin Seligman's new book, "Flourish," shows us how to flow and flourish with much or little money. Warm and kind regards to all.
On Jun 5, 2011 Ricky wrote:|
An interesting concept related to this question of money can be offered in three Sanskrit (the ancient language of yoga) words: avidya, abhinivesa, and aparigraha. Avidya-not knowing, abhinivesa-fear of death, and aparigraha-non grasping. Avidya, not knowing, or ‘ignorance’ of who we really are tends to cause suffering and grasping onto everything, constricting our thinking, our movements, our emotions, our freedom. It is in this state we experience abhinivesa-fear of death. We cling tightly to desire and identity, and the amount of money we can get or use or flaunt, or hoard. We are never quite sure there is enough. We are afraid. Many of us in western culture have it great; can find the next meal, can care for our loved ones in some way when illness strikes, have a roof over our heads. However, the need for money and all the ‘luxury’ it can buy also separates us, isolates us, forces us to lock our doors, work at a job that is unfulfilling because it pays well, turn the other way when we see someone in need. Fear. Always fear. Not the way I would like to live. When we are deeply connected to our spiritual self, we know how magnificent we really are and how we came to be here and what our purpose is, the sharing of our gifts. When we are liberated from clinging to what happens next and begin to move through this life one mindful inhale after the other, we get to apply and live aparigraha-non grasping, non possessiveness. We let go of abhinivesa, our fear of death, little by little. We let go of our fear of not having enough. We let go of identity of status, and focus on relationships with others, our environment, and those beings we share this space with. This is what my relationship to money has become. I see possibilities at every turn on how to share it. I love the quote by St. Augustine; “Determine what God has given you, and take from it what you need; the remainder is needed by others.”
On Jun 7, 2011 Anjali wrote:|
I had a very inspiring encounter yesterday with a young engineer who works at ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization), who shared something that ties into this reflection. He had taken off from work to learn how to spin khadi at the Gandhi Ashram. When I asked him why, he explained that one day it occurred to him that he works long hours to earn money, which he then trades in to ensure his survival. His responsibities for sustaining himself ended with transactions and money management, but he was in no way an active part of feeding, housing or clothing himself. This realization has inspired him to walk to work and to start spinning so he can attempt to make his own clothing. His reasoning was lucid and simple.
There is such humility and wisdom in meeting our needs with our own hands, and this process in itself diminishes the power of money, simply making it a tool of barter that enables us to live, do and be.
On Jun 13, 2011 Ganoba wrote:|
We have a very special relationship with our environment. The sooner we realize it, the better it is for all of us.
Life as we know it came into being because of the environment. Having given birth to it, it has nurtured and supported it and provided the play ground for its evolution. It continues to do so in spite of the ravages caused to it by the modern man.
The environment in our living experience appears in five principle forms, namely the earth, water, air, space and energy. These five individually and in conjunction with the others takes on millions of forms. For example, earth appears as dust, sand, boulders, hills and mountains; water appears as vapour, moisture, rain, streams, brooks, rivers, ponds, lakes, oceans, snow, glaciers etc.; energy appears as heat, light, sound, electricity, magnetism and so forth. Air is a subtle element and hence we can only experience it in its various forms and moods. Space is very subtle and so we sense it when it is missing or crowded out. Together they create this wonderful universe.
Similarly life has taken on zillions of forms; the amphibians, the reptiles, the worms, the bacteria, the birds and beasts, the trees, the creepers, the bushes the algae and so forth.
Because of our reductionist ways of thinking and perception, we do not see that our environment is an integrated whole. We also do not see the oneness of life. We have cut it up into meaningless and lifeless shreds. We have also missed the wonderful relationship between life and the environment. Many people, particularly the primitive ones, see the environment as the mother, playmate, lover or companion. They respect and love it, at times even worship it.
Modern man sees it as a wild beast to be tamed, domesticated, mastered and then enslaved.
The environment, taken as a whole, is our primary resource for living, play and evolution. When we break it up it loses life and meaning. That is what has happened with money. It is not part of the natural environment. It is a creation of man. Progressively it has become more virtual and artificial. Money does not fulfill any of our needs, either of sustenance or evolution. But we have come to believe this myth. We are living with many other myths. One most pernicious one is the existence of the individual independent of the environment.
Let us identify all these modern day myths and drop them. Then we can live truly as human beings playing our rightful role in the natural scheme of things.
On Aug 29, 2011 A.S.Antonisamy wrote:|
It is rare to find people like David Korten to focus the attention to the root cause of all evils. We need also concrete proposals to eradicate the evil. There is a concrete model of FAMCO(Family development cooperative thrift and credit society.) for Self Help Groups with a potential of mobilising money to serve the people instead of dominating people.
In order to create a democratically accountable money system that operates as our servant, not our master promote cooperative system of money transaction with necessary education and training through practise.
The education system itself promotes more competitive education and prepares people for making individual profits by running competitive companies.
If the education system gives priority to cooperative education and promote cooperative institutions money can become a servant instead of master or even a monster.
The year 2012 is declared as the international year of cooperatives.This is the right time for all the educational institutions and NGOs to promote democratically owned and managed cooperative thrift and credit societies .