We are Not A Loan

A debt jubilee…Did you know that there is an organization that is seeking donations to buy-up distressed  debts, including student loans and outstanding medical bills, and then wipe the slate clean by writing them off. It is called the Rolling Jubilee. Watch the video; it gave me goosebumps. Goosebumps of recognition. Goosebumps of excitement. Imagine a world free of debt.

David Rees, one of the organisers behind the project, writes on his blog: “This is a simple, powerful way to help folks in need – to free them from heavy debt loads so they can focus on being productive, happy and healthy.

“Now, after many consultations with attorneys, the IRS, and our moles in the debt-brokerage world, we are ready to take the Rolling Jubilee program live and nationwide, buying debt in communities that have been struggling during the recession.”

A video released to promote the project says: “We shouldn’t be forced into debt to cover basic needs like healthcare, housing and education. We need a jubilee, a clean slate. The math is on our side; a little bit of money goes a long way. If we can raise $50,000 we can buy a million dollars worth of debt and abolish it.

“We bailed-out the banks and in return they turned their backs on us. We don’t owe them anything, we owe each other everything. It’s time for a bail-out of the people, by the people.”

Many thanks to http://www.the2012scenario.com and Matthew Sparks of The Telegraph

May All Beings Be Happy

My friend, Ellen Besso is in Dharamsala right now, teaching English to Tibetans-in-exile. In her blog she writes of the tragedy of self-immolutation occurring in Tibet right now.

“It is now Thursday, October 25th, and 4 people have sacrificed themselves for the Tibetan cause since Saturday: 1 on Saturday, 1 Monday and 2 yesterday, Wednesday.”

I am so grateful to Tibetan Buddhism for the teachings I have received on Loving Kindness, a teaching that helps me touch suffering with compassion: May all beings be happy, May all beings be safe, May all beings be free.

Synchronistically, the same day I read Ellen’s blog, another friend sent me this link to the amazing sound of Jennifer Berezen and a clip on the making of her CD dedicated to Loving Kindess.

May you be happy, may you be safe, may you be free.

Charles Epstein – Money and the Divine Masculine

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Many thanks to the2012scenario.com and Vina for making me aware of this recent article by Charles Epstein, the author of Sacred Economics. Daily, I reflect on how it would feel to be free of money. What would I do? How would I direct my creative impulses? How would my energy flow? What would I let go of? Read on…

I recently attended a ceremony at the Tamera village in Portugal in which the officiant invoked “the healing of money.”

Immediately a vivid image popped into my head of a man, vast and muscular, bound to the earth with stakes and tethers, straining with every atom of his strength to free himself and rise up.

Finally, in a desperate, colossal effort, he bursts free and, standing tall, lets out a triumphant roar before striding purposefully off.

I knew immediately that the man represented the divine masculine and his bonds were made of money.

What is the purpose of men? In some primitive societies they were not of much use at all. In many places women were the center of life, collecting most of the food, looking after young children, and doing the small amount of work necessary to subsist. Subsistence was so easy in many places that, as the anthropologist Marshal Sahlins put it, “half the time the people seem not to know what to do with themselves.” 

Describing the Hadza, he notes one enthnographer’s estimate that adults spend two hours a day on subsistence, the women collecting plant foods “at a leisurely pace and without prolonged labour,” and the men devoting most of their time to gambling. True, the men made an important contribution to the food supply by hunting, but only a small minority of the Hadza did any hunting at all. The rest, it would seem, were completely superfluous as far as the material needs of the tribe are concerned.

In other societies, instead of gambling, the men would devote most of their time to secret societies, ritual activities, interactions with the spirit world, and so on. Theirs was the realm of the abstract; for the most part, the women and children could get along fine without them. Of course, that might change in times of warfare, but that too we might see as another men’s game that bears little benefit to the material welfare of the tribes involved.

read more http://www.realitysandwich.com/money_divine_masculine

An insider look at the Montreal Student Protests

I haven’t really known what to think about the student protests in Montreal.  Montreal is a city I loved to visit, when I lived in Ottawa, I felt like I was taking a weekend trip to Europe. But, living in Western Canada, understanding the mood and feeling on the streets of Montreal would be a stretch.  I had only heard of the tear gas and arrests, and the complaints about the noise on the streets. Until I came across this video and article  – the author and videographer show that joyful protest builds community, builds power, builds love and connection.

An Open Letter to the Mainstream English Media:

By @TranslateErable |  May 25 2012 | Originally posted on Translating the printemps érable

Thank you; you are a little late to the party, and you are still missing the mark a lot of the time, but in the past few days, you have published some not entirely terrible articles and op-eds about what’s happening in Quebec right now. Welcome to our movement.

Some of you have even started mentioning that when people are rounded up and arrested each night, they aren’t all criminals or rioters. Some of you have admitted that perhaps limiting our freedom of speech and assembly is going a little bit too far. Some of you are no longer publishing lies about the popular support that you seemed to think our government had. Not all of you, mind you, but some of you are waking up.

That said, here is what I have not seen you publish yet: stories about joy; about togetherness; about collaboration; about solidarity. You write about our anger, and yes, we are angry. We are angry at our government, at our police and at you. But none of you are succeeding in conveying what it feels like when you walk down the streets of Montreal right now, which is, for me at least, an overwhelming sense of joy and togetherness.

It’s all right here

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I woke up this morning feeling frustrated and discombobulated after a string of interwoven dreams. Dreams that involved the main unresolved issues in my life, the knots that are reluctant to unravel. At the end of the dream, the main dream character, a woman, looked at me and said, “It is all right here, it is all right here.”

And, it is all right here. In both meaning of the phrase. I watch the ferns unravel, in their own time, in their own way. Their beauty and grace is stunning. It is all right here. All I need is right here. Fear is here, frustration is here, impatience is here and love is here. Right here, right now. Along with her sisters grace and hope and beauty. It is truly all right here.

 

The New Economy Movement

Since, I’ve started to feel into the meaning of money and dreaming of different way of relating to money, I’ve been led to some very informative and inspiring articles. Here’s one I found today on The 2012 Scenario.

Activists, theorists, organizations and ordinary citizens are rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up

by Gar Alperovitz, Alternet, May 22, 2012

Just beneath the surface of traditional media attention, something vital has been gathering force and is about to explode into public consciousness. The “New Economy Movement” is a far-ranging coming together of organizations, projects, activists, theorists and ordinary citizens committed to rebuilding the American political-economic system from the ground up.

The broad goal is democratized ownership of the economy for the “99 percent” in an ecologically sustainable and participatory community-building fashion. The name of the game is practical work in the here and now—and a hands-on process that is also informed by big picture theory and in-depth knowledge.

Read more: http://www.commondreams.org/view/2012/05/22-2

Interest Free Debt? Why not.

I’ve been exploring my beliefs about money, abundance and scarcity. Money, and the lack of it, triggers a great deal of anxiety in me. I’ve got good idea of the core beliefs I have about money…I can either have my health, friendships, community, or I can have work and have money, there is only so much to go around, money can separate me from other people, etc.

Now, I’ve started exploring the cultural and collective institutions that have contributed to my experience and beliefs. And one of them is how the government spends money, takes on debt, etc. The main messages I am getting from our governments are that there is only so much to go around, that cuts are needed to ensure future prosperity. Yet, I am bothered by that.My reality is that there is plenty to go around, we can live in a both/and world.  So, I started poking around and found this video. It is  the most succinct description of the collusion between banks and governments to keep us in a scarcity mind set. Twelve-year-old Victoria Grant (Cambridge, Ontario), gave this lecture at a recent Public Banking Institute conference in Philadelphia.

I have learnt that prior to 1974, all three levels of government could borrow money from the Bank of Canada at zero interest. The government could use the  interest free loans  “human capital” expenditures (education health, other social services) and / or infrastructure expenditures.  (For more details http://actionparty.ca/news/monetary-reform/canada-debt-free-is-it-possible-/)

Interest charges on Canada’s public debt – money borrowed by the federal government over the years and not yet repaid – cost $30.9 billion. That’s about 11 cents of every tax dollar spent. (Source Department of Finance Canada 2011). More of our federal income is spent on the debt than on health transfers to the province. How crazy is that?

A huge change can be make to the Canadian financial landscape without a wholesale change of legislation and regulation. How cool is that?