My entire adult life has been oriented around the conviction that to truly know oneself is to know the entire universe. Recently, I have become convinced that the reverse is also true: to the extent we understand the universe we inhabit, and, in particular, the societal forces that profoundly impact us on a daily basis, we come to truly know ourselves. It’s a dialectical relationship. Consequently, I’m about to do something I haven’t done before in the context of my blog writing. I’m about to share my perspective on our global monetary system, the embryonic sea in which we swim throughout the course of our lives.
About a month ago, I was doing research on the big Venus transit that will be happening on June 5 and 6, 2012. In the midst of that process, I stumbled upon a website dedicated to an enterprise called The Venus Project. After quickly scrolling through the site, I concluded The Venus Project actually had nothing to do with the planet Venus or the upcoming Venus transit, so I moved on (but with a nagging feeling that The Venus Project was something I would be revisiting in the future).
I have a basic rule that three synchronicities on the same subject in a short period of time constitute a clear message from the universe, namely: THIS IS IMPORTANT! PAY ATTENTION! What happened next falls into that category. A couple of weeks ago, the link to a video entitled Integral Zeitgeist landed in my inbox. I was intrigued, so I watched it. The video offered an enthusiastic endorsement of the documentary Zeitgeist Moving Forward, so I watched that, too. “Coincidentally,” it featured the deeply thought-provoking and radical (as in, getting to the root of the problem) views of the founder of The Venus Project, the futurist, Jacques Fresco. A few days later, Fresco was featured in a TEDx video recommended by a friend. Realizing that The Venus Project had just achieved “three synchronicities and your in” status, I sat up and took extra special notice. Since then, I have immersed myself in Fresco’s vision for a truly humane world.
In a nutshell, Fresco advocates the phasing out of our current money-based economy, altogether, in favor of a “resource-based economy” on a global scale. He argues that the elimination of money is necessary for all kinds of reasons I found very persuasive, including the fact that the use of money, in and of itself, results in social stratification, elitism and inequality, based primarily on economic disparity. Intuitively, I know this to be true.
A couple of night’s ago, I found myself having an email conversation with a friend of mine who has committed his entire life to community organizing and activism, starting in the late 50s at UC, Berkeley, where he was one of the founders of SLATE. During the course of our conversation, I was surprised by the depth of feeling that came pouring out of me with respect to our current monetary system. Among other things, I paraphrased my favorite line from Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, following that up with a question and an observation:
What if “a new world, conceived in liberty and justice, and dedicated to the proposition that all people are created equal” can only truly be created when we understand that liberty, justice and equality are basic human rights, given freely to everyone by virtue of the fact that we exist and nothing more, rather than the privilege of those who can afford to pay for them?
Maybe I’m naïve, but it seems to me that if everyone were truly afforded liberty, justice and equality by virtue of the simple fact that they exist, there would be no need for money. So, if we’re still messing around with money, then that means we don’t really believe in these values. We still think on some level that if you don’t go out and earn your keep, you deserve to be destitute and homeless, and even die on the streets like a dog.
I do some of my best blog writing in the middle of the night when I can’t sleep. Last night is a case in point. True confession: I thumb-typed the outline for this blog on the notebook in my iPhone in the wee hours, after my cat, Diego, woke me up by sitting on my head and, simultaneously, purring like a motor boat. After gently but firmly showing Diego to the door, I tried to meditate, but was, instead, serenaded by this stirring sentence from The Declaration of Independence on a replay loop in my mind:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
The word “unalienable” flashed insistently in neon lights every time it went whizzing by on the replay loop in my mind, and each time it did, it tugged at my heartstrings. Here’s the official definition: “cannot be annulled, voided or undone.” CANNOT BE ANNULLED, VOIDED OR UNDONE. I had a major epiphany this morning when I read these words. They underscored my growing conviction that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are intrinsically at odds with any and all monetary systems, even those that seems relatively benign. This is because if something is truly unalienable, it must be given unconditionally.
It’s 2012, the year about which so much has been prophesied. Maybe we’ve all signed up to be here NOW, at this amazing time in our evolutionary history, when anything is possible. I believe we have. If I’m correct, there’s no time like the present to reboot our entire global system, from the ground up. Time for Earth 2.0. Time to rise up and embrace the true spirit and promise of the Gettysburg Address and The Declaration of Independence. Last year at this time we experienced the Arab Spring. This year, how about a 99% Spring, when we turn this Earth ship around and reorient ourselves toward a truly humane and sustainable future. Nothing less than this is acceptable, for the human species, for all beings, for our beloved planet.
Coming full circle, I began this blog saying that when I stumbled upon The Venus Project website, I concluded it had nothing to do with the planet Venus and the upcoming Venus transit in early June. I suspect now that I was wrong about that. Ostensibly, The Venus Project was named for the fact that it was founded in the rural town of Venus, Florida. I suspect there was a much deeper, karmic reason for the name, one that was not at all accidental or coincidental, but was, in fact, prophetic. Is it possible that the vision of the future expressed through The Venus Project, a future in which everyone is truly and unconditionally afforded Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, is all part of the greater plan in which the planet Venus is playing a very significant role in some mysterious way, as prophesied by the Mayans and others? I believe it is.
(If you would like to learn more about The Venus Project and the future envisioned by Jacques Fresco, please see: www.thevenusproject.com)