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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 ...

11/25/16

Modern economics puts self-interest at the heart of life--we are all supposedly guided by the law of self-interest above all else.

Gandhiji revolutionized economics by putting love at the heart of life, where it rightly belongs. Gandhiji said,

"It is my firm belief that it is love that sustains the earth. There only is life where there is love. Life without love is death."

If we find that we live in a society where love has been displaced by self-interest, we can do something about it.

We can love more. With more love we will find life once again invigorated and self-interest will fade away.
A note on methodology

We proceed in the manner of Gandhiji, experimenting with bold ideas, always willing to change them as they evolve with our experiences, applying the tests of truth and nonviolence at all times. Gandhiji said,

"There is no such thing as 'Gandhism', and I do not want to leave any sect after me. I have simply tried in my own way to apply the eternal truth to our daily life and problems."

Clearly, Gandhiji did not want us to blindly go about repeating what he said but rather to actively create new understanding with our own experiments and gain our own inferences from these experiments. So this blog is not an attempt to recount all that Gandhiji said about economics--that would be creating a sect, which is what Gandhiji clearly did not want. This blog is an attempt to share my expanding understanding of Gandhian economics as I live and grow and experiment over time. 

Therefore, the first principle of my methodology is personal experimentation under Gandhiji's influence

Furthermore, Gandhiji was interested in the creation of wholeness in life. Any study, any experimenting must be done in the spirit of wholeness. Gandhiji said,

"The whole gamut of man's activities today constitutes an indivisible whole. You cannot divide social, economic, political, and purely religious work into water-tight compartments."

So my study of Gandhian economics is a study in wholeness. I have found through my own experiments with life that the main problem with modern life based on modern economics is that we have been split. That basic split in our psyche can be made whole by living whole lives that are based on interconnections with others, meaningful work that allows us to be whole, a simple lifestyle that aims at self-realization rather than accumulation. 

Therefore, the second principle of my methodology is wholeness in living and enquiry



*Both quotes above are of Gandhiji. They may be found in Tendulkar's 'Mahatma' vol IV pages 66-67 and 212.

11/21/16

When times are hard our yoga practice becomes our sail-boat that helps us cross the stormy sea. Our yoga practice is not only the daily practice of physical postures known as yogasana or simply asana but also the daily practice of living our lives. 

When times are hard we feel fragmented. It is a great challenge to stay focused, to move forward with our lives. Such times demand that we make conscious use of our most precious resource, namely time. The ancients have given us three modes of being that, to continue our metaphor, allow us to cross uncharted waters in our sail-boat. Any one of these can take us safely across when combined with our asana practice. 

The first mode is known as bhakti yoga. This is the devotional mode. One dedicates every waking and sleeping moment to a cause, a deity, a principle, anything that one believes in whole heartedly. Bhakti yoga is very effective when you have something that you can single-mindedly focus on. That then becomes your meditation, night and day.

The second mode is known as gyan yoga. This is the mode of the intellect. One immerses oneself in the discovery of new knowledge, gaining a deeper and deeper understanding and perspective upon our subject of study. Gyan yoga is not simply book-knowledge. You study for your self the practical implications of that knowledge and act upon your understanding.

The third mode is known as karma yoga. This is the mode of work-for-the-sake-of-the-work-itself. The Bhagavad Gita defines this mode as follows: You have the right to your work but not to the fruits of your work. You simply immerse your self in your work with no thought of the results but simply connecting to the act of working as your meditation practice. The beauty of karma yoga is that anyone can do it in absolutely any kind of work that one is engaged in. You could be hand-washing dishes, working in a library, painting a house, directing a movie--all that matters is that you do your work with no ego-attachment to the results of the work. 

Which mode we pick depends on our personality and personal preferences. Joining any one these modes with our asana practice allows our sail-boat to stay afloat and cross the stormy seas. After all the word yoga means to join: we must join the practice of living and the practice of doing to create wholeness in our lives.

11/20/16

Economics needs to be redefined. We can easily demonstrate that the traditional definition of economics as the study of meeting unlimited wants by limited means is incorrect.

An important principle given to us by Gandhiji is

means = ends

After all, only truthful means can lead to truthful ends and only nonviolent means can result in nonviolent ends.

From the definition above we focus on the term "limited means." We must agree that

limited means = limited ends

If our means are limited our ends must by necessity also be limited. Furthermore if our ends are limited our wants can not be unlimited: After all a want is a desire for an end!

We can thus redefine economics as the study of meeting whole but limited wants by whole but limited means with the goal of creating whole and unlimited people.