Blog

Wholeness of Economy

by Sarah Whiteley on September 8, 2011

Yesterday I received a question from someone on a Ning network, who had clearly read my profile page and blog entries….“ Sarah…How are you systematically shifting your own financial system…or is that a question too far…?”

To which I replied…”Fundamentally – thank you for asking…x”

“Sarah…fundamentally is a big call, where do you start or where did you start…?”

It got me thinking, that perhaps I needed to become conscious and harvest my learning journey to date.

* * *

I always knew that part of the journey of coming here to Axladitsa was fuelled by the desire to come into relationship with this question of systemically shifting – including my own financial system – and to re-pattern my life from a state of living fragmented to living wholeness.  For this I knew I needed to step over a threshold that would change everything from the roots up – as that is the nature of fundamental transformation.

I knew that how I was relating to money was misaligned with the energetic that was its origin – for me, to make visible the value of the subtle and tangible aspects of life.  To allow the nature of the relationship with a person, a service, a real thing to be consciously named and framed – and given real value that is societally understood and agreed – whatever the size and nature of this society.  The notion of “trading” emerged and expanded over time, with goods and services moving between family, village, town, region, country, Region – and eventually the entire globe.

The notion of ‘concentration currencies’ also emerged – the ‘precious’ entities that had recognised value became cornerstones within trade agreements and the ‘gold’ of the region became the new currencies, and in time, quite literally: Gold, the precious metal; Olive oil, the liquid ‘gold’; Petroleum (Greek: petra (rock) + Latin: oleum (oil)).  These became the power broker currencies, manufacturing the modern life.

Over time, the relationship within the boundaries of real exchange, the mutuality of one having a ‘something’ that could be traded, the reciprocity of gifting both ways was slowly distanced and gave rise to a concentrated form of relationship, that seemingly had the power of shift relationship and eventually started to create itself.  Money.

It became a prime symbol of wealth and a core mover that drove many towards an unknown, unreal destiny – sometimes cascading without a safety net, over the edge.  Wealth was less about how many camels, cows, jewels, goats, oil, trees one owned, but how much you could own, consume and buy with the cash accrued.  Neither did wealth mean how much love, beauty, knowledge, happiness one had, but what one could possess – in many cases bypassing the entire web of the social field.  The nature of our relationship to wealth became slowly dislocated from the roots of origin and growth took on a power of its own, no longer held with Integrity.  Like a traveller, who sets off on a journey, becoming distracted and confused along the way, eventually losing site of any defining landmarks – money dangerously lost its way, no longer able to navigate its way towards a meaningful destination.

And so here WE are as a Humanity and Economy, a ghost of her former self.

I speak this not from a place of blame, but from a place of experience.  I too have lived this journey – and I bow my head in shame.  I too became seduced by the power of this presence – drugged by the need for more, and disorientated by the emptiness I eventually felt.  Until, finally not knowing how to rebalance my reality, my relationships, my bank account, I decided to try and find my way again.

And so, I decided to journey – with as much consciousness as I could muster.  My desire was to breathe life back into the fullness of my relationship all of life – of which money / economy was an important factor was my focus.  Within this, I wanted to embrace the fullness of what ‘economy’ truly meant for me – from being frugal management of resources in a geographical region adopted in the 19th century to a life-given, healthy practice of tending our hearth and home – and amplify all the implicit energies of mutuality, reciprocity, exchange and cash, that made up the wholeness of economy.

~ Economy’s Claim ~

How was I reduced
To the perspective of money
When my original calling
Was “Keep order of Home”?

Mutuality, Reciprocity
Exchange And Cash
This wide bless-ed bounty
Inspired with Intent

Let the pendulum swing
From Scarcity to Abundance
Re-claiming the Magic
Roots to High purpose

Economy’s Debtors
Chalked up over Time
Claim “Come & re-pattern”
Re-member to the Hearth

But how to journey, especially when the landmarks were few and far between?  Simply start…start exploring….

Questions for me are always a good start.  What is the wholeness of economy?  What are the qualities of it?  What does it look like?  How does it move?

These questions became part of my inquiry – initially playing part-time with them for a while until taking the decision to journey consciously and deeper into foreign lands.  Literally.

Stepping into guardianing this 24 acre piece of land was the defining decision to be a student full time.  We only had one third of the amount needed to purchase and so became precariously balanced on the threshold between Trust and Complete Madness. Yet, I could not, not take this step forward towards Destiny!

And, I knew that Not having Enough was a crucial companion in the inquiry – and somehow held the doorway to new insight.  The trusting relationship of the previous owners of the land – through family connections spanning both geography and time – met our own Belief and Hope with their own – and were inspired to accelerate our journey to Home and inspired about how we sensed this special place might become a place of learning and perhaps even beacon of hope in the future.  The act of signing over the legal ownership at this early stage and agreeing a payment plan was a sign of the previous owners’ absolute declaration of trust.

Yet, Not having Enough, who’s middle name was Scarcity had a power that could crush the life of these fragile seeds that Belief and Hope held – especially when the nature of need within Not having Enough was REAL.  The call for how to bring balance and release Tension’s grip was met with trusted relationships going deeper – those able to bridge Need and Not knowing – as the inquiry to understand what was truly present here, was still being understood.  Integrity and Discernment were crucial allies – holding the line of what was useful resourcing and healthy relationships of support and what were not.  Better to go without than receive that gifts that created undesirable side-affects with the dis-eased crew of Dependency, Misalignment and Fragmentation.  These kinds of gifts of those bearing them were thanked – and sometimes unceremoniously set packing – or simply fell away naturally.  In times of drought where the lack of rain has the power to crack the ground open, and the patient waiting for the monsoon ensures, so too are the lessons learned with Resilience as our teacher.

Other gift-bearers also showed up, granting their lessons to inform the future and re-pattern the whole: Subsistence, the teacher of making do with what you have; Resourcefulness – the seeker of giving and being gifted in life-giving ways; Fear of Lack – the constrainer and gatekeeper shadowing a most significant teacher, Abundance –the iridescent cornucopia of life.

Also the teachers of Diligence and Truthfulness were present as relationships were tended.  Disappointment and whispers from Judgment came often when Reality could not give what was promised – as a result, Letting another Down sank quietly into the depths with Despair.  Resilience and Determination rode the waves of Fear with the white-water-paddlers companions, allowing the fine navigation through the maze that Turbulance had set up, in part by Destiny and Life itself.

Also on the river were trusted Re-Sourcers, proficient white-water paddlers themselves who became the responsive support-crew, throwing Life-lines, bringing necessary support and sustenance to fed the newness, hold the space and gift in so ways through silent and present witnessing, and allowing the flow and the paddlers to continue, preventing the cataclysmic descent into a whirlpool that would swallow everything…

In time, the cycles of ebb and flow forged the new groove of insight and shifted the trajectory of what it truly meant to be alive.  Walking the edge was no longer a distant memory from outdoor education days, holding space as the young and the older navigated to the dizzy heights of a rock climb, neither when sensing the edge of wind and sail – or even crawling between the edges of rock-formation of lifetimes in a cave system – but the edge of existence and consciousness – of what it TRULY meant be alive. Not simulated, illusionary – but REAL.  The gift of Caring Enough – otherwise known as Unconditional Love was probably the most powerful teacher of all – for their presence called forth the bounty of what it meant to be living the wholeness of life – for doing whatever it takes to live generatively – to keep tending the hearth and Home day by day.  For these lessons and this experience, I am truly grateful.

* * *

This inquiry is still ongoing – but what I do know is that Relationship is keyInvitation is tooWillingness is also. And of course Love of Life.

To explore all these aspects mentioned here, within the breadth of currencies available to us is, in part, a necessary act of keeping them vibrant, alive, meaningful and connected – and perhaps these acts of exploration – acts of kindness – may eventually heal and restore of the roots of Economy back into its Integral self.  With this, it is to listen out for when there is time for mutuality, reciprocity and exchange present.  It is to listen out for when cash is needed.   It is to listen out for when to respond and when not to.  It is to listen out for when to be the receiver and when to be the gift.

The art is to keep these energies acting as one coherent whole – through the movement that keeps them alive and dynamic – whilst at the same time, being acutely aware of what needs amplification to maintain the balance of relationship within life and the living of it.  As I see it, this is the wholeness of economy – and is the practice I am cultivating real time.

Yet, the nature of the full compliment of energies within the wholeness of economy requires the interaction of others.  It simply cannot be done alone.

And so here WE are as a Humanity…perhaps ready to explore the wholeness of economy together.

So – PQ, as I said, in my answer to your question on the Ning, about how I am systematically shifting my own financial systemit was not a question too far…and with the gift more consciousness…I still reply…

“ Fundamentally – thank you for asking…x”