Esotericists describe money as ‘concretised energy’. It is energy vibrating very slowly and is neither good nor evil.
Practitioners of white magic will recognise the theme: It is our relationship with money that defines our values and our actions in relation to money that define ourselves.
Confronting our financial insecurities
Money exhorts reactions. It can be a force for good, a flow of liquid golden light that can facilitate and heal, but it is often the concretised energy that defines the attachments and illusions we accept as real. Claire Rayner, who grew up in poverty, once said that it is more frightening than being hungry, cold and having no stable home. There is something obscene about real poverty.
Sometimes, however, we are irrationally fearful of being poor and this fear mistakenly drives our materialism. Dare to Care is about confronting our own irrational insecurities about not having enough money and reframing our work with what can be a difficult energy. We can transform money into a golden liquid energy that can flow where it is needed in the world. It doesn’t have to be trapped in form like concrete.
In her Foreword Hazel Henderson, a social and economic pioneer for four decades, starts this book off with a bang. She describes how she has avoided the vain trap of forming a grand institute with big offices and worked over her garage all these years, becoming ‘… a strand of cultural DNA, a living, stable molecule of information that does not grow, but replicates itself.’ She sees economics as ‘truly a dysfunctional strand of cultural DNA, replicating misinformation in our body politic, which needed teasing out and correcting…’ This she has done, exposing the myth of perpetual economic growth in a world of finite resources, introducing systems thinking and concepts like social responsibility and the ‘love economy’ to the financial realms.
She describes a cake of four layers. The two top layers are of total productivity, the private and public sectors, and they rest on two lower layers ignored by economists: the ‘Love Economy’ of unpaid work, and Nature’s Productivity (topography, climate, agriculture and the basic productivity of ecosystems).
A care-based economy
Louis Bohtlingk takes these ideas and develops a framework to help us work together to resolve our global financial and economic crisis. This isn’t a book about manifesting personal abundance (i.e. visualizing more cash in your life) but a resource manual. It sets out to: Help people work in vocations they love; provide the basic human rights of a home, food, education and healthcare for everyone in the world, not just for the privileged few; to embrace the concept of a global financial commons, a place where we establish a conscience about the effect of financial transactions on the well-being of people, our communities and the Earth and are held accountable for those actions (even through regulation); to establish the right set up of our monetary system, whether we decide to use the currencies we have or create new ones (complementary systems). This explores the debt-based system we have with its compound interest and its (dis)functionality.
The critical aim of the book is to question our sense of financial insecurity – our money first, care second values. The majority of us are millionaires in the eyes of the developing world so why are we so obsessed with money? Our money crisis is a crisis of consciousness. We are called to use money in service of the well-being of people and the Earth, to ‘dare to care’ first, worry about our personal wealth second. By doing so we will transform our fear based financial systems, attract the energies of the ‘love economy’ and preserve nature’s abundance.
It is no accident that Cygnus has published a special book club edition of this book for you all. For over two decades Ann and Geoff Napier have bravely challenged the economic status quo with their work, promoting gentle, empowering and spiritually expanding ways of living. Financial gain has always been a very low priority.
Serving the greater good
I know from my own work that the message of this book is true. If we serve the greater good, money is transformed from concrete to liquid gold so that it can flow where it is so desperately needed. Now is the time for us to reframe our attitudes to money and material gain to relieve the terrible suffering of the people in our ‘two thirds’ world and to enable us to live within our ecological limits. We have to change the dominant cultural narrative that unending economic growth is possible and that our society’s wellbeing is based primarily on material wealth. After we have catered for our basic needs, these beliefs are simply not true. Change the narrative and we can redesign our financial systems to serve the world, not plunder it.
Maddy Harland is the co-founder and editor of Permaculture Magazine – inspiration for sustainable living – exploring practical and inspirational solutions for a better world. www.permaculture.co.uk
DARE TO CARE
The message of this book could not be more appropriate or timely. Louis Bohtlingk offers an inspiringly simple yet far-reaching idea for transforming our economy and the world of finance so that it supports, rather than undermines, our human needs and those of our planet. He suggests that, by changing the way we think and feel about money, transforming our approach from a money-first to a care-first attitude, we can all help to create a better world in which greed and fear no longer dominate our financial decisions, and caring and compassion become our primary guides when making money-related choices. Bohtlingk shares his vision for a love-based economy and a care-first world, using examples of businesses, organizations, communities, and individuals who have made this approach work for them and those they serve. Through Dare to Care you will come to view finance and economics from a new perspective, one which urges you to reorganize your approach to money and so become empowered to act and achieve a care-first worldview.
228pp, 152mm x 229mm, softback, 2012, RRP £12.49
Code: 220402 Cygnus Prices: 1 copy £6.99
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