Economy: Week 2 Summary

Economy: Week 2

Summary: Sunday, July 1-Friday, July 6, 2018

St. Augustine said, “If you comprehend it, it is not God.” And yet, very often we want a God who reflects and even confirms our culture, our biases, our economic, political, and security systems. (Sunday)

Money is an invention . . . a fabrication. . . . We have made money more important than we are, given it more meaning than human life. —Lynne Twist (Monday)

To be a contemplative means to look at reality with much wider eyes than mere usability, functionality, or self-interest; it is to experience inherent enjoyment for a thing in itself as itself. An act of love is its own reward and needs nothing in return. (Tuesday)

Imagine what the world would be like if we treated others with inherent and equal dignity and respect, seeing the divine DNA in ourselves and everyone else too—regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, appearance, or social class. (Wednesday)

God as Trinity reveals an economy of grace—overflowing love. The Gospel stories of “multiplication” clearly show a world view of abundance. (Thursday)

It is a fundamental law of nature, that there is enough and it is finite. Its finiteness is no threat; it creates a more accurate relationship that commands respect, reverence, and managing those resources with the knowledge that they are precious and in ways that do the most good for the most people. —Lynne Twist (Friday)

 

Practice: In the One Flow

What if we chose to follow Jesus, St. Francis, Gandhi, Dorothy Day, and many others in a lifestyle of simplicity and caring for those in need? Charles Eisenstein imagines what this could look like:

I foresee . . . the restoration of humanity to a sacred estate. . . . I foresee the fulfillment, and not the abdication, of the gifts of hand and mind that make us human. . . . We are given not only the world, but the breath of life and our capacity to create—for we are made “in the image” of the Creator itself. . . .

In nature, headlong growth and all-out competition are features of immature ecosystems, followed by complex interdependency, symbiosis, cooperation, and the cycling of resources. The next stage of human economy will parallel what we are beginning to understand about nature. It will call forth the gifts of each of us; it will emphasize cooperation over competition; it will encourage circulation over hoarding; and it will be cyclical, not linear. [1]

It seems to me that contemplation makes it almost inevitable that your politics is going to change, the way you spend your time is going to be called into question, and any smug or inferior social and economic perspective will be slowly taken away from you. When anyone meditates consistently, the things that we think of as our necessary ego boundaries—giving us a sense of our independence, autonomy, and private self-importance—fall away, little by little, as unnecessary and even unhelpful. This imperial “I,” the self that most people think of as the only self, is not substantial or lasting at all. It is largely a creation of our own minds. Through contemplation, protecting this relative identity, this persona, eventually becomes of less and less concern. “Why would I bother with that?” the True Self asks.

If your prayer goes deep, invading your unconscious, your whole view of the world will change from fear to connection, because you don’t live inside your fragile and encapsulated self anymore. In meditation, you are moving from ego consciousness to soul awareness, from being driven to being drawn. Of course, you can only do this if Someone Else is holding onto you in the gradual dying of the False Self, taking away your fear, doing the knowing, satisfying your desire for a Great Lover. If you can allow that Someone Else to have their way with you in contemplation, you will go back to your life of action with new vitality, but it will now be smooth, a much more natural Flow. It will be “no longer you” who acts or contemplates, but the Life of One who lives in you (see Galatians 2:20), now acting for you (Father) and with you (Holy Spirit) and as you (Christ)!

References:
[1] Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition (Evolver Editions: 2011), 14, 17.

Adapted from Richard Rohr, A Spring Within Us: A Book of Daily Meditations (Center for Action and Contemplation Publishing: 2016), 291.

For Further Study:
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift & Society in the Age of Transition (Evolver Editions: 2011)

Richard Rohr, The Art of Letting Go: Living the Wisdom of St. Francis (Sounds True: 2010), CD

Richard Rohr, Eager to Love: The Alternative Way of Francis of Assisi (Franciscan Media: 2014)

Lynne Twist with Teresa Barker, The Soul of Money: Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life (W. W. Norton & Company: 2017, ©2003)

The Souls of Poor Folk: Auditing America 50 Years After the Poor People’s Campaign Challenged Racism, Poverty, the War Economy/Militarism and Our National Morality, https://www.poorpeoplescampaign.org/audit/

Inspiration for this week’s banner image:
It is a fundamental law of nature, that there is enough and it is finite. Its finiteness is no threat; it creates a more accurate relationship that commands respect, reverence, and managing those resources with the knowledge that they are precious and in ways that do the most good for the most people. —Lynne Twist

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