He Says – The Elephant in the Room

Hi Folks:

If you’ve come here directly, without reading our linking ‘He Says, She Says‘ post, ‘the elephant in the room’ in this case is money. Our wise friend Samantha Standish started us on this path by posting the following on her blog: Getting Crystal Clear About Money, and she’s done a few followup posts since then.  They’re well worth reading.

Money… what is it exactly?  Why does it play such a big role in our lives?  Is money different than barter?  Is money, as some people hold, ‘the root of all evil’? Although to be accurate, what was written is that ‘love of money’ is the root of all evil.  In the same book you’ll find: “Thou shalt remember the Lord thy God, for it is He that giveth thee the power to get wealth.

Some would say money is paper.  If you go back into European history you’ll find that playing cards were once used as currency.  Some would say that money is metal.  On the island of Yap in the Pacific ocean, they once used stones as money.

In many societies today, money is mostly electrons.  We have ‘plastic money’, but these cards simply link to computers, and what the computers hold in their vast data banks are little bits of magnetic information: ones and zeros.  Not $1 or $0 either, but simple binary numbers. 10010011110010000110101001100110 for example. We move those numbers around in computer code, resequence them, and someone’s bank account increases or decreases.

There used to be a ‘gold standard’ for money, but that was done away with because there wasn’t enough gold physically in existence to represent all of the ‘money’ in existence.  Nowadays the value of something – a car, a dollar, a home,  a corporation, is only relative.  Everything has value only in relationship to something else.  The entire world monetary system is a house of cards with no foundation.  As I write this, 1 Canadian Dollar is equal to 0.707854 Euros, or 6.57173 China Yuan Renminb.  In a minute, an hour, a day, that will probably have changed.  If you found yourself in a remote village in South America or alone on the Russian steppes, 10 Canadian Dollars might be worth nothing at all.  In that sense the $10 would have no value, except maybe as tinder to start a fire.  It is paper after all.

There are a lot of societal beliefs about money as well.  “Money can’t buy you love” (although it can get you a good time).  There are some things one can’t get “for love nor money”.  My favourite: “You never get something for nothing.”  We’re encouraged to spend our money, save our money and invest our money.  We give it away, exchange it or hoard it, as our ideas dictate.

Now, others before me have written about this in much greater detail, and in their own way done a much better job of it.  As examples, you might be interested in Stuart Wilde’s “The Little Money Bible“, David Cameron Gikandi’s “A Happy Pocket Full of Money“, or Wallace Wattles’ 1910 classic “The Science of Getting Rich“.

From Stuart Wilde’s book:

“It’s hard to align with money if you think that it is evil and nasty. But once you come to an understanding that money is neutral, it’s easy to see that having money does not necessarily deprive somebody else. There’s no reason why you can’t be very rich and still be an extremely spiritual and wonderfully generous person—aligned to the God Force—with a huge heart, and compassion for everyone you meet.”

So, on with the show.  It’s time to get personal with money.  I’m going to start by relating a story that at first may seem completely unrelated, but in a way ties in directly with common beliefs about money.  Over a decade ago, long over a decade, actually, a friend and I drove from Ontario to South Dakota for a vacation and to visit with some elders.  If you draw a straight line between southern Ontario and the South Dakota/ Nebraska border you’ll see that one can either approach from the north: going through Minnesota, over and down, or from the south: coming up through Nebraska itself.  Taking the north route allowed us to go through South Dakota’s Badlands National Park; it also gave us the opportunity to visit Pipestone National Monument in southwestern Minnesota.  Although the current US government has made Pipestone into a ‘monument’, it’s been a sacred site to Native Peoples for millenia as it’s the only location where the Plains Peoples could collect catlinite – a stone used to make the bowls of sacred pipes.  Nowadays one can buy catlinite ashtrays, but I’m not going to go there.  I’m not going to elaborate much on my spiritual path on this page, but let’s just say that I was quite excited to visit Pipestone.  My friend and I left Des Moines, IA at about 11:00 p.m., and I drove straight through the night to Pipestone, arriving at the monument around 5:30 the next morning.  Driving through the night for 6 1/2 hours straight, even through a thunderstorm as spectacular as the one we had experienced was no great feat for me, but by the time we arrived I was pretty much wired for sound.  And no, there were no ‘substances’ in the vehicle, other than coffee, to help get me there.  My friend was scrunched up on the passenger seat in his sleeping bag when we arrived so I left him there and went out to the quarry area alone.  Perhaps it was a combination of physical exhaustion coupled with excitement at being there, but I found myself rushing around the site like a schoolboy looking for this red stone.  All the while there was this ‘voice’ banging on the (only semi-permeable) back of my skull, saying, “What the hell do you think you’re doing?  This is a sacred site!  Treat it with respect.”  The message finally sank in, and, suitably chastised, I continued at a much slower pace.  I mention this story here because it was the only time in my life I have experienced the equivalent of ‘gold rush fever’.

From Wallace Wattles’ book:

“WHATEVER MAY BE SAID IN PRAISE OF POVERTY, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich. No one can rise to his greatest possible height in talent or soul development unless he has plenty of money, for to unfold the soul and to de-velop talent he must have many things to use, and he cannot have these things unless he has money to buy them with.

A person develops in mind, soul, and body by making use of things, and society is so organized that man must have money in order to become the possessor of things. Therefore, the basis of all advancement must be the science of getting rich.

The object of all life is development, and everything that lives has an inalienable right to all the development it is capable of attaining.

A person’s right to life means his right to have the free and unrestricted use of all the things which may be necessary to his fullest mental, spiritual, and physical unfoldment; or, in other words, his right to be rich.”

If you’ve read any of my ‘Mike’s Writings‘ posts, you’ll know that money is one of the things I’ve written about over the years.   Actually, I’ve written about ‘wealth’, ‘abundance’ and ‘prosperity’, because I see them all as being similar but different.

I’m going to relate something I first wrote several years ago because I recently had an opportunity to look at it again from a different perspective.  This came originally from a vision I had, and in this vision I found myself in a city, standing in front of a playground that was built between two buildings.  There were a number of ‘children’ in the playground, and they were all playing together and having fun… all of them except one.   The one was sitting alone at the back corner of the playground. The ‘children’ in this playground were all attributes of me – wisdom, health, spontaneity, joy, playfulness, synchronicity, etc.  The one that was sitting alone was money.  In seeing this I realized that in my beliefs about money I had separated money from everything else in my life.  I also saw that this needn’t be so.  Money wasn’t overly shy but it was feeling isolated, so I went into the playground, called all of the other children together in a circle, and introduced them to money.  I explained that money wanted to be a part of their games as well, and, as children are wont to do, they all agreed heartily.  Just before I left I saw that they had invented a new game to play – they were all playing at turning into each other – wisdom became happiness, abundance became spirituality, money turned into joy, and spontaneity and synchronicity (the twins), tried being each other.

I left that vision then, feeling that I had done my job, and returned to myself.  I’ve thought about that experience from time to time over the years, but never given it too much consideration…  Not until this week at least.  After reading Samantha’s blog post and some other synchronous events that came into play, I sat down to do some more writing myself.  In her book ‘Eat Pray Love‘ Elizabeth Gilbert mentions a notebook in which she talks to her Source self, and I have a notebook like that as well.  In my writings that day I was taken back to that vision and told that in one way I had completely missed the point.  The ‘children’ in my vision, the attributes of myself were all together, and that was great.  But what was even more important was that they were all playing together.  Never underestimate the power of joy.  As adults, and I’ll speak strictly for myself here, thinking about money gets me thinking about work, about providing, about credits and deficits, about bills, debts and more, and it’s all so serious.  This is serious stuff we’re talking about here!  We need to get serious about money!! Or maybe we don’t.  Maybe being serious about it drains the joy out of it.  And let me ask you – would you want to play in a playground drained of joy?  Me neither.

I still remember when I first got back into reading Seth’s books some years ago, and especially Seth’s idea of ‘You make your own reality‘.  Those five words have taken me farther down the rabbit hole than I could have imagined at the time.  Almost from the beginning I decided that if, as John Regan suggests, “you can be, do and have anything you want!” then I wanted two things:  Ixnay on the wishing for more wishes, as the saying goes, so I had two divergent streams of thought.  I wanted wealth, because, who wouldn’t, and I wanted spiritual development.  Of the two I thought spiritual development would be more important, but if I could have anything, I wanted both.  My thought to mySelf at the time was along the lines of ‘You provide the money, and I’ll take it from there.’  Truth be told, at that time I couldn’t even accept the idea that it was okay for me to actually ‘have’ money.  I could have it only to use it, and only to use it for other people.  I had some wonderful dreams about how I could use this money to help other people, and once the Universe had provided the funding, I could put those dreams into motion.  The other request, spiritual development, was betweeen ‘me’ and ‘ME’ so to speak, so there were no further requirements to that.  I could get started right away.  And I did.

In my own thoughts about money I’ve wondered what it is about money that makes people want it in the first place.  Is money what people really want in the first place?  In some cases yes, perhaps, but in others, probably the majority, I think not.  People want freedom, and it’s believed that money brings freedom.  Or people want a sense of security, and feel that money can give that to them.  Sometimes people want ‘things’ or adventure, or entertainment, and believe money is necessary to bring these things into being.  In other cases what people want is food, or peace, or clean drinking water, a place to sleep, a schoolbook, clean clothes or a disease-free place to use the bathroom.  Money is seen as providing those as well.  I’m not arguing against any of that, but what I am getting at is that people largely want money as a tool, a means to an end.  Money = exchange.  This for that, whatever ‘this’ and ‘that’ are.

So, what if money didn’t exist?  I’m not talking about replacing money with barter, which is simply another form of exchange, although barter can certainly have a place. In one community I remember hearing about, they’d invented what they called the ‘green money system’.  Every person in this community had an account, and if one person provided a good or service for another, the provider’s account was credited and the receiver’s account was debited.  An auto mechanic for example might choose to provide the parts in cash and the labour in ‘green’.  Similar structures exist in groups ranging from cooperatives to babysitting clubs.

No, what I’m talking about is our world, more or less as it exists in this moment, except money doesn’t exist.  No one ‘buys’ anything, so there’s nothing to ‘sell’.  There’s no ‘exchange’; there’s simply gifting.  If you want a new television set for example, you hop in your car, drive to the store, pick one up and take it home.  Now you didn’t have to buy the car either, and you don’t have to pay to put gas in it.  The clerk at the store is there to provide information, not to sell things.  There are no banks, no currencies, no credit cards, no such thing as debt.  No salaries, but no bills.  Everything gets done by people who are happy or at least willing to do a certain task.  At the same time, everyone has to take greater responsibility for their own lives, and for the products and byproducts of their lives.  There’s no corruption, because people can’t be ‘bought’.  Such a concept would be beyond comprehension.  Farmers provide food because that’s what farmers do.  Clothing makers provide clothing for the farmers and for everyone else, because that’s what clothing makers do, and so on.  If you’re not well, the doctor treats you because that’s what doctors do.  It’s not that everyone gets paid the same.  Nobody gets paid.  Nobody needs to be.  Nobody would understand it.  There’s no ‘unemployment’.  There’s no insurance, and no liability.  There’s responsibility, but that’s intrinsic.  Utopia?  A fool’s dream?  A way forward? Perhaps all of the above.

Well, I could continue on and on about money, as I have in my writings, but if I go too much further here I’m going to have to break it into chapters.  I’ve seen wealth as being like a lake, with both inflow and outflow streams, money coming in and money going out for various purposes.  I’ve imagined what it would be like to be wealthy, and I’ve had moments of clarity where I’ve recognized that I already am.  As with myself, I think many people separate money from the other aspects of their lives, keep it separate, and alternately view it as sacred or profane – sometimes both at once.  A ‘necessary evil’.  True wealth to me involves money, but as with my children in the playground, it’s only one attribute of who I am.  Money becomes health, knowledge becomes excitement and so on, one turning into another, then another.  All different facets of the One.

Shortly after reading Samantha’s wonderful post on money I received a tweet from @kellykimSF that said, “Money comes from Source, not from other people–your clients, your boss, your spouse.”  A wonderful idea, and it got me thinking again about love and money.  What is money?  Today it’s electrons.  More than that, it’s a symbol, an idea.  It’s energy.  What is love?  Love is a feeling for some; for others love is the pure positive force that creates the entire structure of the universe.  It’s not that ‘God’ has love, ‘God’ IS love.  Love is energy.  Hmmm…  Money is energy and love is energy…  Love=money.  Now there’s an idea I can get behind.

Love,
Mike.

P.S.  Today I’m going to leave the last word to Abraham:

“Resistance is about believing that you are vulnerable or susceptible to something not wanted and holding a stance of protection, which only holds you in a place of not letting in the Well-being that would be there otherwise. There is nothing big enough to protect you from unwanted things — and there are no unwanted things big enough to get into your experience” ~ Abraham-Hicks

Follow this link to read Marcia’s View.