THE SPIRITUAL ECONOMY by Mal Garvin
Insights for those involved in the spiritual economy.
The shaky nature of economies world wide has the money men sharpening their knives to pare back spending. This brings into sharp contrast two paradigms that have been arguing for decades.
One asserts that society is responsible to care for its own, particularly the vulnerable. Another paradigm has emerged that says, “No; too often we have thought about rights but have lost sight of responsibilities. It is the individual’s responsibility to contribute to society; to stand on their own two feet and to build the wealth rather than just take from it.”
Of course if we probe the first view we find the under-pinning philosophy is that of socialism: That society is ultimately responsible for all of its members. Look below the surface of the rhetoric of the other paradigm and you will find capitalism: The driving force is the responsibility of the individual.
We are now in the unique position where the world has tried both. Socialism failed because in its attempt to actualise the adage “From every man as he is able to every person who has need” it failed to ask the question, who is going to determine who is able and who has need? The outcome is a loss of a sense of individuality and of individual responsibilty. Malcolm Muggeridge journalist and social commentator, based in Moscow in 1936 wrote, “To each according to his need has long ago been replaced by the more usual and respectable slogan to each what he can grab.”
On the other hand the capitalism mode is based on assumptions of free trade; those who have the capital have the power and are able to play the game so they win and others lose.
Today we are seeing the disparities, with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. Great multi-nationals buy up any who threaten their existence by challenging them to modify their operations. Rather than facilitate development they continue to grow like dinosaurs and then fall over with all the impact of the giants they are. They become increasingly dysfunctional.
But maybe there a new and different approach is possible?
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TRAINING OUR CHILDREN TO BE SPIRITUAL ENTREPRENEURS
“Spiritual thought transcends matter. The power of what is in you permeates the world around you.” Barbara Streisand
The indicators are that from a very early age we train our children to be either employees or employers. They will become entrepreneurs who create the future or consumers who mindlessly consume what the big boys decide is good for them.
Let me ask you this question, “Do you trust your own capacity to understand?”
Small children in a safe environment start out by enjoying their encounter with the world, and the creative naming of it, thereby understanding it. It is the insecurities of those around them that create a controlling environment that gradually undermines their imagination and sense of potency. A case could be put that we create or destroy entrepreneurs in the first 5 years. In the words of Carl Jung, “ Nothing has a greater psychological effect on a child than the unlived life of its parents.” We tell our children, “Don’t take that risk! Don’t go round the neighbor hood selling that, you’ll embarrass me.” “Don’t put that concert on; it’s not good enough!” “It’s a funny looking puppet. Nobody will want to come and see a puppet show.”
On the other hand if children have entrepreneurial parents who are enthusiastic about the future, they will create the climate in which the human spirit within the child is also free to have a faith imagination illuminated by hope about the future. These children will have an openness to possibility that the Divine Being can communicate with. They will find answers to the large questions of the future and rise to it as to a kind of exciting sport, rather than something to fear. They are the children who will shape the future. It has been well said, those who don’t know where they are going work for those who do know where they are going. People without goals work for people who have goals.
All of us, even before birth are given a unique imprint on our spirits, an assignment which is our particular life’s work or contribution. If we are secure enough to sense it, celebrate it, love it and give ourselves permission to own it as a part of us so we know what we’re meant for, we get our meaning from it. That meaning is enhanced, not by how much money we get for doing it, but by the fact that we know are making a contribution that enriches the lives of others. It answers our questions and completes the deficits.
The spiritual entrepreneur not only anticipates the future by seeing a need and a way to satisfy it, but is also able to see individuals and their potential contribution to meet this need. In doing so, more often than not, they unwittingly, start a movement; not because they have a grand dream that controls others to be bit part players in their drama, but because they have the capacity to anticipate the future and see the current gift of individuals. They are then able to mentor them so that people’s unique contribution builds and grows.
The spiritual entrepreneur is able to understand the social architecture that will permit these people to come together and make their various contributions in ways in which everybody discharges their essential reason for being. The reward is not in the amount of money earned, but in the way that together, they give and receive to enable everyone to make their contribution to the shared goal. The human spirit is nourished by the satisfying of the twin needs of creating, and of belonging to a group that is making a difference.
The values to do with justice mercy and compassion build a culture of trust honesty, love, and creativity. To the degree these are present they permeate the culture. To the degree people take on the goal and work with it, they grow in the authentic expressions of human spirituality, which are autonomy and responsibility. In doing so they enjoy the experience of becoming more fully themselves.