I had a conversation with my dear friend Jim this morning about money and commerce. Jim pointed out that, “money is an abstraction, and this abstraction allows for a lot of negative things being “normalized” as OK, even admired”. He used the example, “if one guy in town hoards all the food and doesn’t share, he’s evil, but if he has all the money and doesn’t share, he’s an example of the American Entrepreneur spirit.”
He also reminded me that money doesn’t have any inherent morality one way or the other. Jim equated money with intention. His wife has started a raw organic chocolate business called Rite Chocolate. “LM’s chocolate – this is a great thing: healthy, delicious, bliss-inducing, etc. So by selling a lot of it, it simply means that more positive energy is circulating in the world. In this case, commerce is a means to get one’s energy out into the world: and if this energy is rooted in the desire to do good, then commerce is, in this case, also a good thing.”
He put it succinctly, “it’s really just an extension of the person’s intent”.
Lot’s of wisdom in those words. This got me thinking about how I view commerce/trade. Commerce/Trade is divine in my mind. It is a consciousness that moves through the human collective – a force of nature to be reckoned with. And we have mixed that power with the abstraction of money to our own detriment.
Trying to live in a global world with global trade, requires the abstraction of money though. It is necessary because we live in a world that is too big for us to have direct personal relationship with the people we trade with. We can’t barter carrots for a supply of microchips. The abstraction that is money isn’t inherently a negative thing, it is just filled with the potentiality for a fucked up mess.
So as Jim stated, “it’s really just an extension of the person’s intent”
And the intent of most everyone is to pull energy out of the system and hoard it; to use it for the ego; to have more than others. If it was the intent of people to build better relationships, to eliminate economic and ideological slavery, to free ourselves and our time, then it would be a better world. But people today, just as they have done with the gods of War, have submitted to its power. They haven’t established sacred relationship with this deity, standing rooted in equality, negotiating the relationship step by step. And the truth of the matter is, I haven’t either.
Time to ring some changes. It starts with me and it starts with you. Anyone else staring in the mirror, examining your intent when it comes to money and commerce? Anyone else renegotiating your relationship to the gods of trade?