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There is only one goal. That is to be whole again.

There is only one goal. That is to be whole again. How human beings live and work determines whether they remain whole or are split. ...

8/20/15

God is our supply. God gives us everything that we need.

Not what we want. What we need.

So supply has to do with needs not wants.

Sometimes we need suffering in our lives. Often we don't want it, but we may need it. Just as much as we need joy.

Supply is the unfailing flow of resources from God to meet our needs.

8/17/15

At a recent gathering of friends an erudite economist says:

"How can you begrudge self-interest? It is what is universal, what connects us all, each to each."

I reply:

What is truly universal, what truly connects us is God. I have traveled the world and I have yet to find even in the farthest reaches of the earth families, communities and societies that do not believe in God. They may call their God by different names but they all have the sense of something much bigger than themselves, far greater than their miserable self-interest, which is based only on fear and greed. So I say that God is what truly connects us and God is who is universally considered to be holy or hallowed, both words that mean 'whole'. What connects us, each to each is wholeness.

When asked by the distinguished Christian leader Dr. John R. Mott what had brought deepest satisfaction to his soul in difficulties, doubts and questionings, Gandhiji replied quietly, "A living faith in God."

God connects us all, everywhere in the world. To create wholeness in our lives we need to bring God back inside our homes. Back to our work. Back to our lives.

8/12/15

What do I imagine to be the perfect world? I can do no better than the words that my own teacher Kumarappa quotes from Anquetil du Perron in Public Finance and Our Poverty (1945):

"When I entered the country of the Marathas, I thought myself in the midst of simplicity and happiness of the golden age, where nature was as yet unchanged, and war and misery were unknown. The people were cheerful, vigorous and in high health, and unbounded hospitality was an universal virtue; every door was open and friends, neighbours and strangers were alike welcome to whatever they found."

This description is not a figment of du Perron's imagination. I know that for a fact for my wife and I visited this mythical-seeming land of the Marathas during my Fulbright in India. It is after all this time still the same. I must also inform you, dear reader, that this is my ancestral land.

That it is unchanged, untouched should not come as a surprise. After all Kumarappa, the father of Gandhian economics, called it the economy of permanence. 

8/5/15

Shukracharya in the 8th century CE argued for an economy based on morality. In fact morality is indispensable when it comes to the economy. For the economy is how people live and work, how they connect with each other (for no man or woman is able to create all that he or she needs by himself or herself), and how they grow.

Not how what they produce grows but how they grow. Whether they grow into fearful and greedy souls or whether they come to the realization that all life is one. The former has been the path taken by the modern economy, which is to say most of the world, while the latter is the clear path that Gandhiji lighted up for us with his wisdom and love.

These are simple matters but we have to care to listen.

Why do we accept greed and competition as the basis of economy? Is it not a wonder that we do so? Stop for a bit and think about it. Do we have any tradition anywhere in the world of sustained wisdom, something that has had lasting value and was passed on through many stages of the society that taught greed as a principle to be adopted in living and working?

No, all sustainable traditions have taught, as did Shukracharya, that morality was inseparable from economy. In modern times this idea found its clearest expression in John Ruskin's Unto This Last, the book that was to profoundly influence Gandhiji's life and make him, in the words of the great humanitarian economist E. F. Schumacher, the 'greatest economist of our age'.

Gandhiji taught us that

means = ends

so that the adoption of violent means would create a violent society, the adoption of greed as a means (as Adam Smith and most economists following him have argued for) will only lead to a very greedy society and the adoption of competition as the means will create a society of cut-throat competitors.

Survival depends on cooperation rather that competition. If we cooperate to create good work and good families we will have a society with people who are fulfilled by their work and loved by their families. The creation of a new economics is well within our reach. All we have to do is let go of fear and greed and accept wholeness as our guiding principle.

We should love our work and work our love. We should love our families and we should love our neighbors. We should work with others instead of against them. That is all that Gandhian economics asks of us. Would you join me in making this happen one person, one workplace, one family, one society at a time?

8/3/15

I would like to see a world that is more interconnected not less. So I am not arguing for a world where we make walls around us. That is not the true meaning of swadeshi at all.

True swadeshi sees everyone as one.

Since it makes sense to use our resources wisely we turn to our neighbors first both to share the fruit of our labor and to seek that which they may have produced.

We are truly one.

Let's be sensible about it. We are all one but let's turn to our neighbors first.

When we do that we end up creating a real society. That is all that Gandhiji wanted us to understand about economics.