Featured Post

I = S - M

The modern way of thinking about economics has been I = M - S Where I is the I as in me, M is what is 'mine' and S is what ...

7/11/14

Here is an announcement for a new "unConference":

No sponsors, Zero budget, community-based, participant-driven.

Please check it out and if possible participate!

Back To The Land unConference: Pune, India 19-20 July 2014

Open to children and elders and everyone is encouraged to bunk sessions to interact with new friends. 
Swadeshi does not imply nationalism.

Swadeshi does not imply free trade.


Both free trade and nationalism are mired in dualism. They are opposites and hence are each other. One exists only in reference to the other. Both have caused immeasurable grief to the world.

Swadeshi means that we bring our consciousness to the small. Instead of self-identification with an entity that is large like our country or the world (nationalism and free trade respectively), we pay attention to what we can actually experience. And that is relationship.

Since we can experience only through relationship and not through concepts we must ask at what level are we really capable of experiencing relationships. When I say we I mean all of us ordinary people like you and me. I am not talking about some mystic yogi or guru but just simply the everyday person living his or her everyday life. Us.

We can only experience relationship with people around us. Our families and our neighbors. That we must engage with them primarily is a self evident truth. Who else are we going to engage with? Some teacher, some leader thousands of miles away or someone long passed whom we have made into a god? That is not engagement, that is worship. That is not relationship, it is farce. The only meaningful relationships we can have are with our immediate neighbors, the land we live on and all that grows and lives on it.

This is swadeshi. To have a relationship with our neighbors. Economics is simply a subset of that web of intricate relationships spun in the garden of truth.

So let us stop blaming others. In fact let us forget about the concept of other. It does not exist in the swadeshi spirit. There is only togetherness.

Swadeshi is a small togetherness.

7/9/14

Do you remember what Krishna tells us in the Bhagwad Gita? When was the last time you read Krishna's words? How wonderful to be able to call the supreme being by his name. Krishna, the wise. Krishna, the playful. 

Krishna tells us simply to do our work. He does not tell us to do productive work, to do work that enables us to make the most money, gain the most prestige, make a fortune so that we can then force our children into molds that they do not wish to enter into. Krishna tells us above all to be fearless and do our work. To do the work that is rightfully ours. Furthermore you will recall that Krishna asks us to let go of any intention behind the work, to have no fruits of the work in mind. We simply engage in work that is right for us. 

Now let us examine our lives. How do we live and work? Aren't these the same thing? Is it possible to live whole lives without work that is whole? Of course not! So why are we working long, miserable hours at work that is meaningless, that reduces us rather than enhances us at the end of the day? Is it not for a misconception, a lack of understanding?

The problem is that when and as we work we have the end in mind. I must work long, I must work tirelessly, even though the work I do is just busy work, moving papers around or programming computers to enable people half way around the world to buy more useless things that they don't need and that they will throw away in the garbage in a year. Work like that, typical work, is not work that is right for us. It is not worthy of thinking and feeling human beings. It does not utilize each of our special talents, our innate and individual genius. 

To begin the process of creating whole lives on our planet we need to return to right work. Let us embrace work that is meaningful to us, that expresses our personality, that allows of kindness and charity, that makes us more integrated into our societies. Much of modern work does not meet these basic requirements. So we need a revolution in our work. How we conceive of work needs to change. I am convinced that together we can do this, make this sea change happen, in our lifetimes.

7/7/14

Have you ever noticed how many emotions animals are capable of experiencing? If you live around animals you notice that they have a sophisticated range of emotions. Now how much more sophisticated and nuanced would human emotions be?

I would say that the number and qualities of human emotions are infinite. Modern economics does us a great dis-service by basing a whole science on just two rather crude emotions: fear and greed.

We are supposed to work hard, work long hours away from our loved ones, our children, our families because if we didn't what would happen to the very people we love? Would they not perish? If our children do not get into the best schools would that not be a disaster?

Much of modern life, based as it is on modern economics, is based on fear. In reality it would be much more healing for your children to see you, spend time with you in your wholeness, in your work and play, rather than for you to be absent so that you may provide for them. You do provide for their physical needs but since you are split, they are unfortunately split as well. Modern suffering is a particularly self-inflicted phenomena that comes from a belief in fear.

And then we always want to get ahead. A little more money, a bigger house, a promotion. Why? So that we may provide for our needs, our family. But was your family starving before? You may be emotionally starving your self and your loved ones even while playing the game of ever increasing accumulation and material earnings. This comes from an acceptance of greed in our lives and even seeing greed as a necessity.

We can go far beyond the two crude emotions of fear and greed. What about kindness and wonderment? Contentedness and wholeness?

We don't need to change things out there. We need to change ourselves. That is all that is needed.