30 December 2012

Spiritual Economics Means Living a Life of Love 

Spiritual Economics promotes a gift-economy based on devotional service. A wonderful way to live a life of love. People everywhere are beginning to get the idea and practice it in small ways, even if not their entire lives, and we can too! Below is a story of 3 young girls who are getting the idea. And look please at what they are learning from the experience--the same benefits that we can all experience by giving of ourselves to others- - -

Out of all the after-school programs offered in their school, three energetic 11-13 year old girls chose to join this one. The “Random Acts of Kindness Class”, the first of its kind, was an innovative experiment, offering children the opportunity to use their creativity and artwork to inspire their school and community by doing random acts of kindness. A few weeks ago, I spent an unforgettable afternoon with these girls and their inspiring teacher, learning about their semester long adventure…

Why did you sign up for the Random Acts of Kindness Class?

“I wanted to learn different ways of spreading kindness. There are people sitting at home who might not have a great life. Some people need kindness just to make their day.” – age 11

“If you see someone upset, you just want to make them feel happy. When you do something nice, the only thing you expect in return is a good feeling in your heart.” – age 11

“I thought the class would be really interesting. I learned that kindness is a chain reaction.” -- age 13

The students organized a “Random Acts of Kindness Week”, offering different activities that emphasized the importance of kindness. One of those activities was the Kindness Chain Project. Inspired by the belief that kindness is a chain reaction, students asked their peers to help in making a paper chain with stories of kindness on each link to be displayed in the lobby in front of the entire school. Over the course of the week, 177 kids participated, offering numerous touching and deeply inspiring stories of kindness from their own lives:

”I let my sister squeeze my hand when she was in pain”

“I helped a special needs kid today”

Throughout the semester, these three enterprising girls took part in a variety of different projects spreading kindness around their school and in their community. On one occasion, they created decorative signs on door hangers stating “do something kind today” and anonymously left them on teachers’ classrooms throughout the school. On another occasion, they wrote poems and anonymously hid them in the park for people to find. The girls spent another afternoon picking up trash around the school. One girl stated, “Birds and squirrels live in the park, and the trash is ruining their environment, it can hurt them. We wanted to help.” The girls even made placemats for people in nursing homes, writing inspirational messages such as “peace + love = happiness” and “you are loved”.

The experience left me with a heart full of gratitude for teachers willing to step beyond the boundaries of tradition, and offer students an opportunity to ground their education on values of service and empathy.

And in the end, after almost two hours of excited chatter and laughter, I asked the girls one last question.

“So, does it make a difference how small or big the act of kindness is?”

No, it makes no difference. In the end, the acts of kindness are all the same size because they all make someone smile.

re-posted from HelpOthers.org

19 December 2012

The Linking Process of Spiritual Economics

In our book “Spiritual Economics” we explain that all living beings are spiritual beings whose nature is fundamentally different from that of the material energy.

The material energy is dead and without consciousness, whereas the spiritual energy is life and is consciousness.
The nature of the material energy is that it is temporary and is always changing. The spiritual energy eternal (never dies) and never changes.
The material energy is impersonal, while the spiritual energy is personal (has personality).
The material energy, having no consciousness, experiences no happiness, but the spiritual energy (in the pure state) constantly experiences total bliss without any experience of suffering.
In other words, the spiritual and material energies are diametrically opposite.

Yet we find that, here we are, spiritual beings living and trying to find happiness in a material world. But the happiness we seek, and sometimes get, is punctuated by distress, suffering and misery. Over and over again we are frustrated and baffled in our attempts to find the happiness that is our nature, becoming confused and bewildered about life as a result of our failure.
The problem is that we do not belong in the material realms. Once we realize this and begin to act according to our spiritual nature, the duality of happiness and distress vanishes, and we are reinstated in our proper spiritual condition of unmitigated happiness. That process is the process of Spiritual Economics—how a spiritual being lives according to his spiritual nature even while in the material world.
This process is explained throughout the works of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami, who has given the world the treasure of Vedic wisdom. For an example of his teachings that are just to this point I wish to quote from the Srimad-Bhagavatam (1.7.5-6) along with Srila Prabhupada’s commentary:

Due to this external energy, the living entity, although transcendental to the three modes of material nature, thinks of himself as a material product and thus undergoes the reactions of material miseries. The material miseries of the living entity are superfluous to him and can be directly mitigated by the linking process of devotional service. Because the mass of people do not know this the learned Vyasadeva compiled the Vedic literature, which instructs us in relation to the Supreme Truth.
“The root cause of suffering by the materialistic living beings is pointed out here along with remedial measures which are to be undertaken and also the ultimate perfection to be gained. All this is mentioned in these verses. The living being is by constitution transcendental to his material situation but is now imprisoned by the external energy, and therefore he misunderstands himself to be a material product. Due to this unnatural contact the pure spiritual entity unnecessarily suffers material miseries under the influence of the modes of material nature (gunas). This means that the present perverted way of thinking, feeling and willing, under material conditions, is not natural for him. But he also has his normal way of thinking, feeling and willing in his original, spiritual condition.
“It is also confirmed in the Bhagavad-gita that the actual knowledge of the conditioned soul is now covered by forgetful ignorance. The present conditional state is due to the influence of the external (material) energy, which means that the illusory energy, maya, takes the initiative while the Supreme Lord stays aloof. The Lord does not desire that a living being be put under illusion by external energy, but the Lord does not interfere with the task of the illusory energy because such performances of the illusory energy are also necessary for the spiritual evolution of the conditioned soul. An affectionate father does not like his children to be chastised, yet he sometimes puts his disobedient children under the custody of a severe man just to bring them to order. But the all-affectionate Almighty Father at the same time desires relief for the conditioned soul, relief from the clutches of the illusory energy. The king puts the disobedient citizens within the walls of the jail, but sometimes the king, desiring the prisoners’ relief, personally goes there and pleads for their reform, and on his doing so the prisoners are set free. Similarly, the Supreme Lord descends from His kingdom in the spiritual sky to the kingdom of illusory energy and personally gives relief in the form of the Bhagavad-gita, wherein He personally suggests that although the ways of illusory energy are very difficult to overcome one who surrenders unto Him is set free.
“This surrendering process is the remedial measure for getting relief from the bewildering ways of the illusory energy. The surrendering process is completed by the influence of association. The Lord has suggested, therefore, that by the influence of saintly persons who have actually realized the Supreme others can be engaged in His transcendental loving service. The conditioned soul gets a taste for hearing about the Lord, and by such hearing only he is gradually elevated to the platform of respect, devotion and attachment for the Lord. The whole thing is completed by the surrendering process. Herein also the same suggestion is made by the Lord in His incarnation of Vyasadeva. 

This means that the conditioned souls are being reclaimed by the Lord both ways, namely by the process of punishment by the external energy of the Lord, and by Himself as the spiritual master within and without. Within the heart of every living being the Lord Himself as the Supersoul (Paramatma) becomes the spiritual master, and from without He becomes the spiritual master in the shape of scriptures, saints and the spiritual preceptor.
“Srimad-Bhagavatam is the summum bonum remedy for humanity suffering in the clutches of the illusory energy maya. Srila Vyasadeva therefore first of all diagnosed the actual disease of the conditioned souls, i.e., their being illusioned by the external energy due to the spirit of  enjoying the Lord’s property. He also saw the perfect Supreme Being, from whom illusory energy is far removed, though He saw both the diseased conditioned souls and also the cause of the disease. And the remedial measures are suggested as the process of devotional service, or loving service to the Lord. Both the Supreme Personality of Godhead and the living beings are undoubtedly alike by their nature, but the Lord is the controller of the illusory energy, whereas the living entity is controlled by the illusory energy. Thus the Lord and the living beings are simultaneously one and different. Another point is distinct herein: that eternal relation between the Lord and the living being is transcendental, otherwise the Lord would not have taken the trouble to reclaim the conditioned souls from the clutches of maya. In the same way, the living entity is also required to revive his natural love and affection for the Lord, and that is the highest perfection of the living entity. Srimad-Bhagavatam treats the conditioned soul with the aim to that goal of life.”

22 November 2012

Getting to the Root of the Economic Problem

When we have problems we naturally ask why? Generally we want to understand what has caused the problem so that we can avoid such problems in the future and save ourselves from reaping the undesirable consequences yet again.* Since so many millions of people are affected by economic calamity there is a great collective why? being raised.

There is a panoply of answers of course, and the answers that people come up with generally depend on their station in life—whether they are the victims or the perpetrators—as well as their conception of life in general. The government and banking elite offer excuses and reasons that generally deflect any blame from themselves and their own malfeasance, all couched in the arcane rhetoric of banking and finance meant to mystify the common man. Through such subterfuge they convince some of the people who see no recourse other than accepting the resulting struggles as their lot in life, and carry on as best they can.

There are others who look in the direction opposite of the official finger that is being pointed—to those elite ‘leaders’ themselves. What are they up to by the policies they have enacted or permitted, and what is their end game? Blaming them tens-of-thousands are marching in the streets to voice their opposition to policies that are destroying their lives.

There are yet others with years of experience, or else a decent education in the history of monetary crimes, who understand that the goal of all economic machinations is to transfer wealth from the many to the few. Of course it is all disguised as an ‘economic calamity’ that ‘just happened’.

Beyond all of this there are yet more answers, answers stemming from other conceptions of life. On this website therefore, the reader will not be surprised that we find the reasons in the spiritual dimension. It is there that we must begin to understand our situation because beginning with that dimension everything else follows in a chain of cause and effect. If we take the effect to be the cause we are mislead, taking the symptom to be the problem. Any and all efforts applied to the symptoms will not, indeed cannot, bring permanent relief. The unresolved problem will simply reappear in other circumstances, and although we may perceive it to be a different problem entirely, it stems from the same, original unresolved cause. The bump in the carpet thing.
If we want to deal with the problem itself, we must trace it out to its root. We make progress by tracing from effect to cause, and understanding that cause as an effect, look for its cause, and so on, back, back, back until we may find the original cause. Dealing with that cause we can now solve all of the subsequent problems that stem from it.

So what is the root cause of our economic problems? The answer is hidden in the simple word ‘our.’ Understanding that word we have a clue.
Pollsters now tell us that a majority of people in the Western world now accept that they are spiritual beings having a material experience. Spiritual beings? If that is the case (and we accept that it is) then the first and most fundamental question to be asked is this: Why are spiritual beings living in a material world? Don’t we, as spiritual beings, belong in a spiritual world?

This is the question to be understood, and it can be properly understood from the sankhya philosophy presented in the Vedic literature where it is explained that all living (spiritual) beings is that of sat, cit, ananda—we are eternally existing (sat), full of knowledge (cit), and inherently blissful (ananda). It is our original nature to be not just happy, not just joyful, but blissful—for no reason at all—simply because that is who we are. There is nothing outside of ourselves that we need to be happy. It is there within us.
But we have forgotten that.

Coming to this material world, as is the prerogative of the spiritual being, we have assumed an identity based on the body that we wear. We have assumed ourselves to be products of the material energy, and based on our experiences of material pleasure we assume that we can be fulfilled by having material things and material experiences. Having forgotten that our bliss is within we seek to find it by having more, getting more, and being more in material terms. Thus we think of ourselves in terms of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ although these concepts have nothing at all to do with us. We fill our time with endeavors to enhance our sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ not understanding that none of these things that are outside of our actual selves can actually make us happy. If that were true then why are the already egregiously wealthy not happy? Why do they want what you have? Because after giving an initial sense of pleasure, things simply become a burden, increasing our illusion and dissatisfaction.

Yes, dissatisfaction. Why dissatisfaction? Because they lead us to thinking that by expanding what we have we can somehow find satisfaction. But although the desired satisfaction never materializes, the spiritual being chases after yet more, as an animal or man in a desert chases a mirage. While a person suffering in a desert finds water to be the most wonderful and desirable thing, a person who is not starved and dehydrated does not find water, in and of itself, particularly exceptional.

This describes our situation: we are spiritually starved and looking for satisfaction in material things. But we can’t find it there. It doesn’t exist there. Material things cannot satisfy the spiritual person. However, although a minimum of material things are necessary to maintain the body, for one who is properly situated in their normal spiritual condition material things have no value beyond one’s immediate necessity. In the spiritually diseased condition of life we inflate the concepts of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ to such a degree that we create a great imbalance and disturbance in the world. Thus we have the elite top 2%, who are absolutely spiritually bewildered, taking as much wealth of the world as the poorest 50% in an effort to satisfy their spiritual hunger. And even that is not enough because it is the wrong diet.

The bankers, politicians and managers, the top 10% who serve the interests of the 2%, also suffer from the spiritual disease of ‘I’ and ‘mine.’ They also think that they have become the most important people, have become wealthy, have power and control. But from the spiritual perspective all of it is simply a childish game. An illusion. An illusion that ends when that spiritual being is forced out of their body at what is called death. This ‘I’ and ‘mine’ is an illusion that we create for our material experience, as if we had entered a movie theater for a lifetime. Then the film stops and the lights come on when death takes us. What we thought was ‘I’ is finished, it was all just a movie that we played in our minds, and what we thought was ‘mine’ is all left behind for others to use in their movies.

The 2% cannot conceivably use their riches, and the impoverished suffer extreme hardships. This is the result of a world that has become lost to spiritual reality. This is the root cause of our economic problems since all other problems follow as consequences, or effects of this original cause.
The economic problems can easily be solved—for those who have recovered from their spiritual disease. But those who refuse to be treated, who refuse to acknowledge their diseased spiritual condition, can destroy the entire world in the effort to fulfill their fantasies. There is nothing that they will not give to increase their control and sense of ‘I’ and ‘mine’ in an effort to get it all. The majority of the people of the world stand in their way of achieving this end and thus the people are now targeted—being stripped of what they thought was ‘theirs’ and taken by others who want to claim it as their own.

This is a struggle of madness and it can only be stopped when people are willing to wake up to spiritual reality. The purpose of Spiritual Economics is to make everyone aware and affect the cure.

*There are, of course, exceptions to this rule by many who have no interest in the problem whatsoever and who simply try to avoid the consequences of their actions. Such persons are understood to be very much influenced by tamo-guna, the quality of material ignorance that keeps the living spiritual soul, the jiva, in illusion.

01 October 2012

Free Energy and Good Health is Yours—As a Gift

Spiritual Economics promotes the concept of a gift economy for the benefit of everyone. Just a minute ago I was introduced to the work of one of the most amazing persons on the planet who says that he wants to gift to mankind free energy, free transportation, good health, cleaning up the environment, and much more. His name is M. T. Keshe, an Iranian inventor whose foundation and research work is in Belgium. His work is in the fields of magnetism and plasma physics. And you can hardly believe what he says that he can do with it. The amazing claims for his technology include: 
1. moving up 35-40 times the speed of sound with wing-less aircraft – going from Tehran to New York, for example, in just 10 minutes
2. wheel-less cars are possible
3. Any disease can be eradicated
4. Magnets can be bi polar or single polar. These Mono-polar elements create permanent oscillation i.e. free energy.
5. Creating water from the atmosphere in any location
6. Crossing the universe in only a matter of seconds with this energy
7. No person need go hungry or thirsty with this technology
8. Sourcefields of energy are everywhere in the universe and are reachable with this technology
9. They further want that this technology be available to everyone world wide.
If these claims are true Mr. Keshe’s technology is beyond science fiction. But there is even more startling news: Mr. Keshe intends to give this technology to the world. Like another out-of-this-world inventor of a century ealier, Nicolas Tesla, Mr. Keshe wants to free the people of the world from labor and ill-health by giving his technology as a gift.

Apparently feeling threatened by his work however, Canadian Authorities arrested Dr. Keshe and confiscated all his belongings. Dr. Keshe responded by publishing everything taken from him on the internet following his arrest. It's now too late to suppress it however as China, Iran, Russia, Belgium and Holland now have this technology.

Further, on 21 September 2012 the Keshe Foundation released its space technology, gravitational and magnetic systems to scientists around the world simultaneously for production and duplication.

In an open letter to the governments of the world they state:
From now on, we can make sure that no child or adult will die of thirst or hunger and that no nation will be attacked by another, because the potential military applications of the new technology are so horrendously destructive that we will have no choice but to accept that fighting over the resources of the planet is a thing of the past.

There has been nothing wrong with protecting national assets, but now as the leaders of small regions of the Earth it is your responsibility to see that its resources are available to be shared, and that with the help of our technology everyone’s basic needs for energy, water, food and health care are met.

The Keshe Foundation takes no account of color, nationality, religion or political affiliation, thus our call is going out to every government to appoint a team of scientists to come and see our technologies at first hand. Then they can decide whether or not to make use of them. If you ignore this invitation your nation will soon have no choice but to follow the lead of the nations who have decided to develop them.

We call on your nation to start the process of world cooperation as soon as possible because once these systems are in operation, the frontiers that separate one country from another will have no meaning.

We have set the scene for a change of course for humanity and in the coming months we will see it through. In the near future people will come to realize that we are here to serve each other and not to be served, as all resources will be available to everyone at the same time and in the same measure.

This is world-changing stuff. I thought the internet was going to be the main BIG thing in my life, but this stuff takes the cake! Let us all hope that Dr. Keshe’s technology is for real and that it will reach the people.

If you want to read a more in-depth introduction go here. Before doing that you may want to watch the Keshe Foundation video introduction below. And then check out their website for all the details. This can change everything!

01 August 2012

The Cat’s Out of the Bag

The people over at “Positive Money” are finally getting some attention. First, an article appeared in TheEconomist, then came an article in the Financial Times, followed by an article in the an article in The Independent, and another in the Guardian. All of these articles in the mainstream British press explained to some degree the manner in which money is created out of thin air by private banks (and thus they control the entire economy), a story that the Positive Money people have been trying to get out for some years. Perhaps much of the press is due to the fact that the people at Positive Money have been on the attack with books and videos explaining to the people in language they can understand that they are all being hoodwinked by the banks.

It seems that a few people still are just beginning to find this out, and apparently there are many more who simply don’t have time to think about such things, despite the tremendous impact it has on their lives. But the crooks in the news make the whole thing too hard to ignore. In case you missed it there is more economics of ignorance (tamo-guna) in the news recently:

We had J.P. Morgan losing $5.8 BILLION on a single trade, the came the LIBOR scandal where it was explained how the banks’ cheating was being paid for by everybody (reported in an earlier post). In relation to that Barclays Bank dismissed its Chief Crook, Bob Diamond after Barclays gave up a $453 million settlement over manipulation of the LIBOR rate. Diamond didn’t voluntarily walk the plank, despite his so-called resignation. He was forced out at the insistence of Sir Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England.

Next the UK Treasury thinking of “the possibility of introducing criminal sanctions for serious misconduct in the management of a bank” (wow, that only took about eight years), this over the shenanigans in retail banking services at the Royal Bank of Scotland affecting hundreds of thousands of its customers.

And finally, HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation), the biggest British bank, confessed to US authorities that it has been laundering the profits of the Mexican drug cartels and funding for terrorist activities in other countries. For this “creative banking” HSBC may be fined more than $1 billion!  

So residents of the UK are beginning to ask the obvious question: what’s up with the banksters?

And the good people over at Positive Money are providing plenty of answers. Josh Ryan-Collins, and his associates have written “Where Does Money Come From? A guide to the UK monetary and banking system.” Great book explaining to ordinary people in language they can understand, contrary to what is taught to students of economics, which Professor David Miles of the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England admits “is very misleading.” (are our future bankers being deliberately mislead?....and could that be why the entire system continues to screw the small fellow?...hmm, just a thought…) James Robertson, another UK alternative thinker, also gives some straightforward answers to the question of the creation of money with his book “Future Money.” So the UK residents are getting a reality-check it seems.

Not only do the Positive Money people have a book, but they’ve produced a great video— “97% Owned”, that explains the process of private money creation for those who can no longer sit still to read a book. All of this exposure of the man behind the curtain is getting people riled up, and rightfully so! They are beginning to ask uncomfortable questions, such as: Why on earth do we allow our political leaders to continue giving commercial banks the huge privilege of creating the public money supply as profit-making debt at our expense?

Why indeed???

So, now that the cat is out of the bag, and everyone is beginning to realize that the bankers control every step of their lives and fortunes, what shall we expect? Monetary reform? Honest money?

If you haven’t guessed it I gave the hint in my last post. Psst: tamo-guna. In an atmosphere pervaded by illusion and ignorance are we to expect reality and honesty?

Are you kidding? Can you imagine for one second that the owners of, not only the public banks, but the private banks that own the central banks of the world, are going to just say “aw, shucks” and let go of their income and the tremendous control that they have over the entire world? Keep dreaming, buddy. Not on your life.

Here’s what I expect: when the news finally goes mainstream and everyone realizes they’ve been screwed for the past 500 years, they (the banksters) will pull the plug on the whole game. It’ll come crashing down overnight like a house of cards, and there will be mayhem galore. It’s hard to talk economic reform when you can’t even eat. And while the masses are looting in order to survive the Masters of Fate will present their one-world government and global economy as the sure fix for all the problems. “Yea, that’s it…that was the problem – too many independent governments with too many different currencies. If we have just one government and one currency all of our problems will be solved! Hooray! Eureka! We are saved!” If the people are in enough pain they will accept any solution that will offer them a job, a place to live, and something to eat. Sorry to be so pessimistic. You might have heard me say in the past that there is No Solution Without a Spiritual Revolution. That’s my opinion and I’ll stick by it.

For those who haven’t yet gotten their economic education at my website, here is the “97% Owned” video, just about an hour long. And for those who want more details there is the director’s cut weighing in at just over 2 hours.

To be part of the solution, and not the problem, please chant: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare 

16 July 2012

Tamasic Economics

Tamasic as in darkness and evil. Tamasic economics is the sign of the times and for now at least, indicates the trend of the present and the future. A sign that should give you plenty of concern.

In our book “Spiritual Economics” we explain the various economic behaviors as a function of human consciousness. In turn the various shades of human consciousness are determined by people’s association with the various gunas or modes of nature as Srila Prabhupada translates it, or consciousness determinants, as I have come to refer to them. In our book we used the expression “economics of ignorance” but I now prefer to use the original Sanskrit words because we tend to interpret the word “ignorance” according to its normal usage. Tamas indicates something quite different.

Tamas means darkness and all of the negative things associated with it: evil, cheating, illusion, violence, turmoil, suffering, exploitation, extortion, death, destruction and so on. These words very accurately describe not only the economic methods of our time, but the global atmosphere as well, one fostering the other.

Tamasic economics is making headlines lately in a number of rather significant ways, perhaps you have read about them. The most recent is the admission by Investment Bank J. P. Morgan that they have lost $5.8 BILLION. The company initially reported that the risky trade lost “only” $2billion but announced Friday July 13th, that the total was $5.8billion. On a single trade!

This is not banking “business” but out and out hi-stakes gambling. And what we may surmise from this admitted loss is that such enormous stakes and rolls-of-the-dice are the daily fare. Such is the willingness to take gargantuan risks that the trader behind the loss has earned the reputation as “the London Whale.” Of course many of these bets make money, lots of money, and that is why these traders gets multi-tens-of-millions in bonuses at the end of the year. They also lose huge sums. A 28-year-old trader destroyed the hundred year old Barclays bank by losing a billion plus British pounds betting that the Japanese stock exchange would not move out of its normal trading range in a given date range. Oops! The Kobe earthquake messed up that rosy assumption.

The horrific story behind this latest Morgan scam is that we should now realize that “we the people” are covering the gamblers debts. They can’t lose. These “too-big-to-fail” banks are going to governments with their hand out like impoverished beggars, and the governments dutifully give them hundreds of billions of dollars to keep them afloat, so that they can continue to engage in this high-risk behavior! Billions of dollars are doled out to the banks without requiring that they stop gambling! That is insanity! Indeed, the government (Clinton administration) abetted this behavior by allowing the repeal of the Glass-Steagle act that was created to prevent this after the stock crash in the 1930s. Is J. P. Morgan going to go to the government again sometime begging for relief? Of course they will when and if they need to because tamo-guna knows no shame. And the people are the ones that pay. Such is tamasic economics.

You should know that all banks are gambling casinos that use their depositor’s money as their gambling capital. Of course they use the word “derivatives” to obfuscate their behavior. If they used the word “bets” instead that might rightfully shake people’s confidence in the system. The whole affair is made to be mysterious and confusing. More tamo-guna. To realize the scale of this madness please understand that the notional total value of all outstanding derivatives is some $600+ TRILLION, which is 10 TIMES the total GDP of the entire world. If you haven’t already got it, please understand that there are now two economies: the financial economy in which all of this gambling goes on, and the “real” economy that produces good and services that people use. But when money is easily made by gambling, er, trading, who now needs a real economy? Except to eat of course. You too can learn how to gamble in stocks, currencies, and the rest of it. Millions of people do daily, trying their best to get something for nothing. Don’t be surprised then when the entire affair crashes. That day is coming. We advise you invest your money in land and cows, things that can house and feed you when this cheating economy finally dies.


The next scandal of tamasic economics is the LIBOR fiasco. LIBOR is the interest rate that banks use to loan to each other, and it has been revealed that this significant number has been fudged by the collusion of many banks. Can you say “conspiracy?” That’s what it is—at least 16 banks conspiring together to benefit themselves and cheat the world, and this is no theory. Here’s how Paul Craig Roberts explains the cheating on his website:

“Banks are not the only beneficiaries of lower Libor rates. Debtors (and investors) whose floating or variable rate loans are pegged in some way to Libor also benefit. One could argue that by fixing the rate low, the banks were cheating themselves out of interest income, because the effect of the low Libor rate is to lower the interest rate on customer loans, such as variable rate mortgages that banks possess in their portfolios. But the banks did not fix the Libor rate with their customers in mind. Instead, the fixed Libor rate enabled them to improve their balance sheets, as well as help to perpetuate the regime of low interest rates. The last thing the banks want is a rise in interest rates that would drive down the values of their holdings and reveal large losses masked by rigged interest rates.

“Indicative of greater deceit and a larger scandal than simply borrowing from one another at lower rates, banks gained far more from the rise in the prices, or higher evaluations of floating rate financial instruments (such as CDOs), that resulted from lower Libor rates. As prices of debt instruments all tend to move in the same direction, and in the opposite direction from interest rates (low interest rates mean high bond prices, and vice versa), the effect of lower Libor rates is to prop up the prices of bonds, asset-backed financial instruments, and other “securities.” The end result is that the banks’ balance sheets look healthier than they really are.

“On the losing side of the scandal are purchasers of interest rate swaps, savers who receive less interest on their accounts, and ultimately all bond holders when the bond bubble pops and prices collapse.”

Many people are not much disturbed by the LIBOR scandal because they don’t fully understand the implications of it. But here’s a short video that will help to put things in perspective:

And finally, all of this gambling, cheating, stealing, collusion, and deception is going on because in a recent survey traders admit that they have a cheating mentality (tell us something we don’t know). In a survey of 500 senior executives in the United States and the UK, 26 percent of respondents said they had observed or had firsthand knowledge of wrongdoing in the workplace, while 24 percent said they believed financial services professionals may need to engage in unethical or illegal conduct to be successful. Sixteen percent said they would commit insider trading if they could get away with it, and 30 percent said their compensation plans created pressure to compromise ethical standards or violate the law. 

What can the world expect when the money system, which is very foundation of modern society, is based on cheating? Of course all of the above pales in comparison to the cheating of the debt money system itself in which trillions of dollars are siphoned out of the economy by the owners of the central banks! The fact is that the entire financial system is cheating and exploitation from beginning to end. We can safely predict where all of this is leading: to poverty, destruction, despair and suffering—which is the result of tamo-guna. How can we expect anything else?

You want a different world? You want an honest money system? The ONLY way that will be had is by reducing the tamo-guna and increasing the sattva-guna. It is sattva—goodness—that people want, but they don't know where to get it. They do not understand the cause and effect of karma. They behave in tamas and expect sattva. That is impossible. The best and easiest way to increase the sattva in this world is by taking up the yuga-dharma, the chanting of the maha-mantra: Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare. That is not the statement of a religious fanatic, but a statement based on a sound understanding of how this world actually works. Learn about the gunas—the consciousness determinants from my book. The sooner that the world is educated in this reality, the sooner we might return to sanity. The entire world could live in absolute abundance, except for the fact that there is far too much tamas and not enough sattva.

05 July 2012

Economic Reality in Plain Words

Recently I checked out the radio interviews on the show "Guns and Butter", broadcast on radio station KPFA in Berkeley. "Guns & Butter" investigates the relationships among capitalism, militarism and politics. Maintaining a radical perspective in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, "Guns & Butter: The Economics of Politics" reports on who wins and who loses when the economic resources of civil society are diverted toward global corporatization, war, and the furtherance of a national security state. 

There are several recent programs in which very qualified economics professors explain in very ordinary language what is going on in the world, how the economic powers are basically stealing the resources of the entire earth in ways that no armies of the past could possibly do, how those economic powers are in competition with each other to see who will get the biggest share. 

One of these interviews is with economics Professor Michel Chossudovsky, whom I quote extensively in my Spiritual Economics book. This show is "At the Crossroads of the Most Serious Economic Crisis in World History". 
Described on the KPFA website thus: History of the financial crisis from the early 1980s to the present; economic dimensions of the global crisis; naked short selling; market manipulation; speculative activity; derivatives; solutions to the crisis the cause of further collapse; privatization; government policies; bankruptcies; debt and social breakdown; grassroots organizing; Occupy Wall Street; Ad Busters; CANVAS-OTPOR; Anonymous. 

Don't worry, you don't need to know all this economic jargon to understand his urgent message. He makes it all quite simple, and shocking. When we realize the truth of what is going on in this world we can only be shocked and very concerned. Also for more of the real story of what's going on in the world, check out Professor Chossudovsky's great website: www.globalresearch.ca 

The next program that I wish to call your attention to is highlights from the Modern Money Theory Summit held in Rimini, Italy. Italy was chosen as the venue for this conference due of course to the fact that the people of Italy, like Greeks, Spaniards, Irish, Portuguese, and soon the Americans, are being held hostage to pay the so-called debts of the politicians and bankers. Actually the "debts" have been engineered to create the rape of the people and resources of these countries. 

The show is "There IS An Alternative To European Austerity". There economic Professors Stephanie Kelton and Michael Hudson from Univ. of Missouri, explain the reasons why austerity measures are being imposed and that they are totally unnecessary. IF the governments of the world would take back their prerogative of issuing currency that they have abdicated to private bankers ALL of these problems can be dealt with without any austerity at all. In fact there can be full employment and a great economy, if it were wanted. But that is not the plan.

This program is also shocking to those who accept the main stream media's explanation of the problems, because the truth that is being laid out is both simple to understand and simple to implement -- if only the governments would. The fact that they do not underscores the fact that the agents of government no longer act for the good of the people, but have become the lackeys of those who desire nothing less than to own the entire world. 

The Srimad Bhagavatam tells the story of one such fool from long ago in history, by the name of Hiranya-kasipu. Hiranya translates as "gold" and kasipu as "bed", so we can understand by his name what his end goals were.

Hiraṇyakaśipu wanted to become immortal and own everything. He wanted not to be conquered by anyone, not to be attacked by old age and disease, and not to be harassed by any opponent. Thus he wanted to become the absolute ruler of the entire universe. As a result of his austerities he was granted many benedictions by Brahma, the lord of the universe. Hiranyakasipu then used those benedictions to enslave everyone and exploit them, the same thing that the modern Hiranyakasipus are doing. 

Hiranyakasipu did own everything some time, but, as with everything in this material world, that came to an end with his death. The entire episode is told in the seventh canto of the Srimad Bhagavatam, and it can be read online here.

Hiranyakasipu was vanquished by Lord Nrisimhadeva, an amazing half-man half-lion incarnation of the Supreme Lord. Similarly the modern Hiranyakasipus are so powerful that they think their control complete. there is no material means to vanquish them. But, the Supreme Lord, as the maintainer of this world, is still up to the task and He will certainly rectify the situation of this world if He is asked to do so. The method used to invoke the presence of the Supreme Lord in this age is the chanting of His holy names. He is completely present in His name, and as such if enough people will call on Him the present, seemingly hopeless circumstances can be rectified. As we have stated before, there is NO SOLUTION WITHOUT A SPIRITUAL REVOLUTION! 

Therefore, do your part to save the world by incessantly chanting these holy names of the Lord: 

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, 
Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, 
Hare Rama, Hare Rama, 
Rama Rama, Hare Hare

(A transcript of the interview with Stephanie Kelton and Michael Hudson is available here).

27 June 2012

A Step in the Right Direction

Today I accidentally re-discovered the Slow Money movement. Perhaps you have heard of the slow food movement that originated (I believe) in Italy as a sort of reaction/protest to the fast-food way of eating. Of course Italy is perhaps the setting and background where graceful dining and leisurely gourmet meals would be valued. In any case it may be that slow food spawned the idea of slow money. I don't know; I'm just speculating here. 

Regardless, the slow money movement is the idea that perhaps money doesn't have to return as much as possible in as short a time as possible. The idea that perhaps a reasonable return on money invested in local business, and particularly farms and wholesome, healthy food production, is a great idea, and one that can do much to give us both good food, and local social security. People helping each other for the reason that it ought to be done, and even more important than the idea of producing a great profit. Nice!

What do we see in this formula that is absent from Wall Street? Sattva-guna - the influence of the material quality of goodness, with the result that people and the world are uplifted. And what is missing in this approach that is present in Wall Street? Tamo-guna - the destructive influence of the material quality of ignorance. This is what we might call the green shoots of the rising of consciousness. Just as in spring we first see the shoots of daffodils and realize that winter is now behind us, such green shoots of higher consciousness are an indication that the pervasive and oppressive modes of passion and ignorance are lifting. Sort of a spring of consciousness!

Slow money promotes the idea that money should work for people instead of people working for money.
Add ca
"Slow Money could not be more relevant to our economic 
situation. We need true, grounded, fundamentally different 
approaches to investing in our agriculture and in our 
  Clifford C. David, Jr, president, Heritage Conservancy

The Slow Money Principles

In order to enhance food security, food safety and food access; improve nutrition and health; promote cultural, ecological and economic diversity; and accelerate the transition from an economy based on extraction and consumption to an economy based on preservation and restoration, we do hereby affirm the following Slow Money Principles:
I. We must bring money back down to earth.

II. There is such a thing as money that is too fast, companies that are too big, finance that is too complex. Therefore, we must slow our money down -- not all of it, of course, but enough to matter.

III. The 20th Century was the era of Buy Low/Sell High and Wealth Now/Philanthropy Later—what one venture capitalist called “the largest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” The 21st Century will be the era of nurture capital, built around principles of carrying capacity, care of the commons, sense of place and non-violence.

IV. We must learn to invest as if food, farms and fertility mattered. We must connect investors to the places where they live, creating vital relationships and new sources of capital for small food enterprises.

V. Let us celebrate the new generation of entrepreneurs, consumers and investors who are showing the way from Making A Killing to Making a Living.

VI. Paul Newman said, "I just happen to think that in life we need to be a little like the farmer who puts back into the soil what he takes out." Recognizing the wisdom of these words, let us begin rebuilding our economy from the ground up, asking:
  • What would the world be like if we invested 50% of our assets within 50 miles of where we live?
  • What if there were a new generation of companies that gave away 50% of their profits?
  • What if there were 50% more organic matter in our soil 50 years from now?
Woody Tasch can be considered the founder of slow money. He is the author of the book Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money - Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Really Mattered, a title that borrows from E. F. Schumacher's essential Small is Beautiful - Economics as if People Mattered. In this short video he explains some more of the particulars of slow money, and there are a number of other videos explaining the whys and wherefores on YouTube, and of course have a look at the slow money website.


I ask why not free ourselves from the restrictions of money altogether? Why do we want to work within the confines of a system that is inherently flawed? Perhaps is too big a step for most people to take at once, so slow money is a step in the right direction. The time of Spiritual Economics may not be here just yet, but as concepts such as slow money develop they pave the way for the freedom of Spiritual Economics.

25 June 2012

Corporations Are Persons - NOT!

The Economics of Atheism Would Have Us Believe That 

Corporations Are Real, Necessary and Beneficial

(The following is an excerpt from my book "Lessons in Spiritual Economics") 

The corporation has been a tool for the profit of some by the efforts of others since its inception and remains so to this day. Special privileges were granted by the King of England to form the East India Company and the Hudson Bay Company so that the shareholders, primarily the King, could enjoy the profits generated by these ventures. Corporations continue to enjoy privileges not available to an individual person for the same reasons. Chief among these privileges are favorable tax structures, or no taxes at all; the anonymity provided to both the owners, and managers who act not in their own name, but in the name of the corporation; and separation of the owners and workers by means of a management structure, preventing the workers from taking action directly and personally against the owners in cases of disagreements over working conditions, pay scales, and so on. Corporations are an extension of the social engineering that began in the 15th century in the transition toward the economics of ignorance.

Corporations are an illusion of modern society because they have no existence in fact. They are a fiction agreed to by those who hold power; the rest of us merrily go along with the established order as we do with the other fictions, accepting them as a given fact of life. But they are not a fact of life. We think of them as reality because we have been acculturated to do this from the time we were children, and they simply become a part of things that “are”. Some “out-of-the-box” thinkers such as futurist Buckminster Fuller have understood the game for what it is. In The Grunch of Giants he explains: “Corporations are neither physical nor metaphysical phenomena. They are socioeconomic ploys—legally enacted game-playing—agreed upon only between overwhelmingly powerful socioeconomic individuals and by them imposed upon human society and all of its unwitting members.”

Given the nature and purpose of the corporation it is one of the pillars of the economics of atheism. If the idea of atheism is to forget God, to allow us to think of ourselves as God, that is, to be a law unto ourselves, then the creation of corporations can be seen as an effort of people to act as if they were God. They think: God creates and destroys. So can we. God grants life and brings death. So can we. God creates eternal beings with qualities that transcend normal reality, and so can we? In the creation of corporations we do. The creation of a corporation can even be seen as a material attempt to create a spiritual being. Compare them: the spirit soul is a non-material, eternal entity, and the corporation is a non-material, eternal entity (they have no expiration). The soul should live in a state of bliss with no effort expended to achieve that state, while the corporation delivers unearned profits with no effort expended by the owner so that he can have material bliss (as in Robert Nelson’s idea of heaven). If the atma is eternal and transcendental to all material considerations, the corporation is also a supernal entity beyond many laws that apply to most ordinary people. Corporations can also be seen as an effort to become the Supersoul by being in many places at once and having many people act in “their interest” simultaneously.  Just as God creates and gives us a body, the word corporation implies a body, since it is derived from the Latin corpus, which means body, or corporātus, to make into a body.

Artificial Persons Rise Above Real Persons

Early in the history of corporations in the United States (nineteenth century and earlier) corporations were highly regulated and it was not uncommon for corporate charters to be revoked when they adversely impacted the common welfare. It was illegal for corporations to participate in the political process—corporations couldn’t vote, and neither were they allowed to try to influence votes. It was illegal for corporations to lie about their products, and their books and processes were required to be open to government inspectors. Both the States and the Federal Government were able to investigate if workers were harmed or hazardous conditions created.

The tycoons of business found these conditions too confining. They wanted to be free to act as they pleased, and sought the ways and means of doing so. The answer came with the victory of the north over the south at the end of the civil war. Then in 1868 the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was enacted to provide full constitutional protection of law to the now-emancipated former slaves. By this and the Thirteenth Amendment all human beings were to be recognized as real persons, independent citizens, and not the property or chattel of another person.

At that time the railroads were the greatest corporations and they sought to take advantage of these amendments and repeatedly sued various states, counties, and towns in which they argued that corporations were artificially created persons and entitled to the same privileges and protection of law that natural persons enjoyed. For example, they claimed that they were being treated as different “classes of persons” because different railroad properties were being taxed in different ways in different places, and that this constituted illegal discrimination under the Fourteenth Amendment. Need we point out that this argument has no basis in fact? What exactly is an “artificial person?” Has anybody ever seen one? There is no such thing in reality and the effort to impose this idea on us is nothing more than an effort to hoodwink us into accepting illusion as reality. To their credit they have been very successful.

They continued their legal assault for some twenty years reaching a zenith in 1877 when four cases were brought to the Supreme Court attempting to achieve corporate personhood. In each of these cases, the Court ruled that the railroad’s arguments pertained to interstate commerce which was not applicable to the Fourteenth Amendment; therefore the courts would not rule that corporations were persons.

But in 1886, with a sleight of hand so characteristic of Kali, that victory was achieved in another tax issue: the Santa Clara County versus The Union Pacific Railroad. The victory came not by the decision of the judges, but simply by the notation of a court clerk J. C. Bancroft Davis, who happened to be the former president of a small railroad. Davis wrote into his headnote, which is a commentary that clerks write about each case, that the Chief Justice had said that all the Justices agreed that corporations are persons. He wrote this although he knew that the justices had not ruled on that specific issue in the case.10 This headnote had no legal standing but was accepted as such by later judges under the color of law.

But corporations are not ordinary persons. They don’t die, they possess the non-human ability to be in many places at the same time, they increasingly have the ability to avoid liability, given their economic clout they can define the laws under which they live, they don’t pay taxes as ordinary people do, and they have shown themselves to have little sense of moral responsibility, with many being recidivist criminals.

Let me back that up with several examples. As far as influencing the laws that pertain to them, over the past 30 years the automobile industry has endeavored to block legislation that would impose criminal penalties on pre-meditated and willful violations of the federal auto safety laws. The result is that only civil fines are imposed and few, if any, executives, making decisions that affect the lives of people are indicted and convicted for their morally irresponsible actions.  ... Get the book here.

23 June 2012

Free is the Word!

Today while in Warsaw I was speaking about the activities of Food Not Bombs, a world-wide group of activists who make it their joy to feed people with food that would otherwise be thrown away. I recalled an incident in which the police in San Francisco prohibited the giving of the food away because it had been cooked and was not at the required temperature and therefore might cause food poisoning. They confiscated the food and threw it in a nearby dumpster. Having done their good deed they drove off. The hungry then immediately dove into the dumpsters to retrieve it and have their meal. Of course the police did not return to prevent that!

Having told that take one of the group then told me about a whole movement of people who are taking food dumpster-diving to another whole levelFreeganism. It seems that some people are making a lifestyle to rescue useable food from the garbage bins of grocers and other food sellers who often simply toss food that will not be useable the next day. 

Immediately I was intrigued to know more and getting back home googled it and was amazed to find out how and why people want to reduce the waste of modern society. Surprisingly, for some at least, it is not out of economic necessity, but out of moral outrage of a wasteful society. Honestly, I am so happy to hear of such people that have the moral courage to do such things.

From their website: "Freegans are people who employ alternative strategies for living based on limited participation in the conventional economy and minimal consumption of resources. Freegans embrace community, generosity, social concern, freedom, cooperation, and sharing in opposition to a society based on materialism, moral apathy, competition, conformity, and greed.

"After years of trying to boycott products from unethical corporations responsible for human rights violations, environmental destruction, and animal abuse, many of us found that no matter what we bought we ended up supporting something deplorable. We came to realize that the problem isn’t just a few bad corporations but the entire system itself.

"Freeganism is a total boycott of an economic system where the profit motive has eclipsed ethical considerations and where massively complex systems of productions ensure that all the products we buy will have detrimental impacts most of which we may never even consider. Thus, instead of avoiding the purchase of products from one bad company only to support another, we avoid buying anything to the greatest degree we are able."

Wow! Hat's Off!
It reminded me of when I was in charge of buying produce for the Hare Krishna temple many, many years ago. At the farmers market they throw out literally tons of food that is not salable for one reason or another. I would also get crates of tomatoes from the dumpsters, fruit, bananas, potatoes, you name it. Bad spots made it un-sellable, but cut that chunk off and the rest was perfectly fine.

Initially it takes some courage to get over the cultural conditioning of taking food out of the garbage bin, but apparently one quickly finds that much of it is not contaminated and is quite edible. In promoting the gift economy I never dreamed that such things would go on on such scale. 

Wouldn't it be nicer if it was indeed a gift, that these stores would just set it aside and offer it for free to whoever? As we were discussing this, one of the group told a tale of just such a good-hearted person in Warsaw. He had a bakery and at the end of the day whatever was unsold he would give away. Guess what? It seems the taxman found out about it and wanted his pound of flesh on the value of the give-aways, and in pursuit of his cut drove the benevolent giver crazy to the point where he quit his business. Let's hear it for Kali-yuga...Phhht!

Here is one short spot found on YouTube, but there is LOTS more to look at online. 

Continuing from the Freeganism website: "How much of our lives do we sacrifice to pay bills and buy more stuff? For most of us, work means sacrificing our freedom to take orders from someone else, stress, boredom, monotony, and in many cases risks to our physical and psychological well-being.
"Once we realize that it’s not a few bad products or a few egregious companies responsible for the social and ecological abuses in our world but rather the entire system we are working in, we begin to realize that, as workers, we are cogs in a machine of violence, death, exploitation, and destruction. Is the retail clerk who rings up a cut of veal any less responsible for the cruelty of factory farming than the farm worker? What about the ad designer who finds ways to make the product palatable? How about the accountant who does the grocery books and allows it to stay in business? Or the worker in the factory that manufacturers refrigerator cases? And, of course, the high level managers of the corporations bear the greatest responsibility of all for they make the decisions which causes the destruction and waste. You don’t have to own stock in a corporation or own a factory or chemical plant to be held to blame.
"By accounting for the basic necessities of food, clothing, housing, furniture, and transportation without spending a dime, freegans are able to greatly reduce or altogether eliminate the need to constantly be employed. We can instead devote our time to caring for our families, volunteering in our communities, and joining activist groups to fight the practices of the corporations who would otherwise be bossing us around at work. For some, total unemployment isn’t an option it’s far harder to find free dental surgery than a free bookcase on the curb but by limiting our financial needs, even those of us who need to work can place conscious limits on how much we work, take control of our lives, and escape the constant pressure to make ends meet. But even if we must work, we need not cede total control to the bosses. The freegan spirit of cooperative empowerment can be extended into the workplace as part of worker-led unions like the Industrial Workers of the World."

Ok, here is where I draw my limit. Why extend this idea into  the workplace that perpetuates wage and consumer slavery? Why not redesign the workplace altogether, as in Spiritual Economics and the gift economy? Why continue to play the game of money when it is rigged so that the 85% lose and the 15% win? The money game is not made in your favor! Take Freeganism to the MAX with the total gift economy! Not just food, but land, house, clothing, food, entertainment, etc., etc. — ALL of it. All that you have to do is 1) work that you enjoy, and 2) give the gift of your labor to others. By doing this we can free ourselves of the control game of money and the money masters. 

FREE is the WORD!