How human beings live and work determines whether they remain whole or are split.
Modern man is split. That is obvious to anyone who inquires into the human condition. In spite of tremendous increase in measured wealth, in the so-called standard of living, humans are more miserable than ever.
So the question emerges, why are humans split?
Human beings are split because of their economics. How they live and work is generally profoundly disconnected to the natural order of things. In place of harmony and balance, most people, especially in the West, but increasingly in the East as well, live lives of meaningless, disconnected work and neglected family and community lives. There can not be a rich web of interconnections when the core is rotten. And that rotten core is the system of modern economics.
In an act of absolute violence modern economics split the means from the ends. This way of looking at life involved using whatever means possible, guided only by self-interest, to maximize tradable output. Instead of seeing people as inherently good, as responsible caring members of families and societies, modern economics emphasized the individual, that too one that only seeks maximum satisfaction. This way of splitting means from ends led to the justification of the use of horrific methods never before used or even imagined by mankind. Nuclear power, dependence on fossil fuels, global and constant war are all considered to be appropriate means.
This has gone on for so long that the sickness of split humans has spread worldwide and violence and war, greed and exploitation have become the norm. In the name of peace we wage war, in the name of feeding people we poison the earth, in the name of the future we destroy the present. Everywhere we create a race of obedient workers working meaningless jobs, blindly following their politicians and leaders, ignoring their children, families and community in their restless (and pointless) attempts to get ahead.
Modern economics can be summarized in the following schematic:
Everywhere people are engaged in means that seek only to maximize production. Then there is an arbitrary and usually unjust distribution of that production. How else can we explain CEOs making billions while ordinary workers make less and less? The tax system is generally regressive in effect so that the poor are getting more and more destitute even as the rich get richer. Where I live the number of homeless people has easily multiplied by four times in the last few years while the simplest single-family house sells for well over a million dollars.
Consumption is the 'opiate of the masses.' By flooding the markets with cheap, shoddy goods and entertainment services, modern economics ensures that people stay too busy consuming to really question their lives.
This consumption is supposedly the ends of the whole corrupt, repressive, exploitative and splitting system of modern economics.
But there is an alternative--Gandhiji gave that to us a hundred years ago! Gandhiji said that means and ends are convertible terms, that there is no difference between means and ends. In other words
means = ends
and what follows from this equation is the total collapse of modern economics. For the system of
can only exist as long as means and ends are violently and forcibly separated.
Once we are enlightened with the deep understanding that means are the ends and ends the means, we will never again use violence (means) to achieve peace (ends), never again work meaningless jobs (means) to support our families (ends), never again follow individual self-interest or greed (means) to achieve a meaningful and happy life (ends).
Instead we will understand that only nonviolent means will lead to nonviolent ends, only meaningful work will create meaning in our lives, families and communities, only doing things for the good of all or One-interest rather than self-interest will lead to wholeness.
Friends, I am as scarred as you are by the violence of modern economics. I have been guilty of being seduced by modern economics for much of my life. I have paid the price for that with a broken family, lost friendships, and the malaise of meaninglessness. I have been there and continue to struggle with many of these issues each day. I am not a saint, just a very ordinary human being who lost his way in modern economics and was saved by Gandhiji.
Will you join me today in building a whole life for your self? Even if there are just two or four of us in the whole world we can make a difference. The point is to start, today.