25 October 2017

SPIRITUALITY AND COMMUNISM - TOWARDS A NEW 'GIFT ECONOMY' - Wilberg on Wednesday

1.      How to know if you are ‘spiritually’ aware…

You know not only that ‘spirituality’ is just a word for heightened awareness but also that ‘self-awareness’ and world-awareness are not separate or separable.
You know that what some people call ‘pure awareness’ is both absolutely distinct but also absolutely inseparable from all that we are aware of – not just in ourselves but in the world.
You know therefore, that ‘pure awareness’ is useless unless it becomes what it most truly is – an unlimited source of world-awareness – of new and world-transforming forms of economic, cultural and political awareness, philosophical and scientific awareness, psychological and medical awareness, legal and linguistic awareness.
You know that you cannot come to truly ‘know yourself’ unless you come to also know the world as it truly is – which is not what schools, the corporate controlled media and professional experts of all sorts tell us.
You are aware that almost everything that is taught as ‘knowledge’ of the world is an untruth - a myth, fiction or blatant lie.
You know that meditation alone cannot pay your rent or mortgage, cannot house a single individual or feed a single starving child and cannot free you from a low-paid or unsatisfactory job you are forced to take.
You know that illness and mental health problems are ultimately the result of a fundamentally sick and insane world ruled by money.
You know that the most precious commodity is time, that real wealth is time wealth – and that meditation is essentially just having time – time to be aware and freedom to use your time in a way that is most creative and fulfilling.
You know that capitalism is based on ‘business’ – in other words on a constant ‘busy-ness’ in pursuit of money – a busyness, addiction to speed and restless thoughtlessness that prevents people from taking time to be more self-aware and world-aware in a restfully or meditatively thoughtful way. 
You know that almost no ‘spiritual’ teacher’ or ‘spiritual’ teaching in history has made us more aware and ‘enlightened’ about the dominant social, economic and class system in which it was fostered - or challenged that system and its ruling powers.
You know that Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism all ended up as ruling class institutions– amassing great money wealth from the people in this process, supporting wars and violence, and ignoring injustice and inequality in the world.

2.      How to know how World-aware you are…

You are aware that all land, water, forests and natural resources in this world are - and must become again - the common or communal property and heritage of humanity as a whole - and not the private property of bankers and corporations.
You are aware that as long as the means of production – whether natural resources, land, technologies, buildings and factories – are the private property of landlords and corporations, the rest of us are slaves forced to work for them.
You are aware that ‘communism’, as Marx himself defined it, is NOT an authoritarian state-run bureaucracy but a society with no need of either a state or money.
You are aware that ‘communism’, as Marx himself defined it, is also not a form of bureaucratic collectivism which limits individual freedoms but one in which “the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all” (Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto).
You are aware that in the capitalist system, people have no choice but ‘work to live’ - just to ‘survive’  - instead of living to do work of a sort they find most fulfilling. 
You are aware that capitalism is therefore essentially the prostitution of the individual’s time to an employer who tells them what to do.
You are aware that no one should be forced - just to earn money - to do work they do not enjoy or does not fulfil their individual interests, potentials and talents.
You are aware that ‘work’ should mean freely cultivating and fulfilling our natural individual potentials, interests, talent and capacities – not having to ‘get a job’ or ‘career’ to make money.
You are aware that the basic principle of capitalist societies is not ‘individual freedom’, but the opposite. That is because ‘work’ in the capitalist system is, in most cases, the single biggest obstacle to the free self-fulfilment of the individual’s creative potentials.
You are aware that if everyone freely shared their knowledge, talents or the products of their work with other people, their communities and  society as a whole, there would be no need for money – because each individual could  then also freely receive what they needed from others.
You are aware that in a money-less communist society there would be no need to ‘make money’ through either wage-slavery, self-employment, competition for jobs or markets - or crime. 
You are aware that there is absolutely no reason why one form of work should be given more value than another: why a totally egotistic Wall Street trader or banker, for example, should earn a thousand times more than a low-paid nurse or teacher caring for or working for the good of others.
You are aware that all governments and ruling political parties – even if ‘democratically elected’ are controlled by the will of a global ruling elite of private bankers who worship only one god – money.
Note: this is not a ‘theory’ but a fact proven by studies of the global economy. These showed that that the 37 million companies responsible for most global revenue is controlled by just 147 companies - themselves controlled by the top 50 global banks – and the banks at the top of this 50!
You are aware that this elite is the expression of a global system of monetary capitalism whose only function is the creation of money from money alone - and its concentration in the hands of a few.
You are aware that the global banking elite is willing to sacrifice the lives of billions of human beings - and all other life-species on the planet – to its god of money.
You are aware of how it does so: through profiting from war, privatising and plundering the earth’s natural resources, polluting our air, soil and water and profiting from the creation of poverty.
You are aware that, as a result, half the world's wildlife population has been eliminated in the last 40 years.
You are aware that our global monoculture of money has also led to the loss of linguistic, cultural diversity - with 100's of languages, culture - and their spiritual traditions - vanishing from the Earth each year.
You are aware that in our global capitalist system a third of all food ends up as waste, while billions do not have enough to eat.
You are aware that speculation and gambling on food prices by investment banks such as Goldman Sachs and Barclays has forced 115 million people into poverty, hunger and starvation since 2008. 
You are aware that governments say they are in too much debt to the banks to have enough money to fund public spending or protect the poor and sick - but that at the same time they freely handout trillions in taxpayer money to bailout those banks (‘Welfare for the banks. Austerity for the people.’)
You are aware that though private bankers create money from nothing, money itself creates nothing.
You are aware that although we can buy things with money it is not money but human beings who create those things and give them their value.
You are aware that the entire mainstream media is owned, controlled and manipulated by this global financial and banking elite. 
You are aware that nations, regions or communities are not dependent either on taxation or on borrowing money from the international banks and money markets – and that the myth that they are is a Big Lie constantly spread by the corporate media. 
You are aware that money, as mere ‘exchange value’, replaces or degrades all genuine natural moral, cultural and spiritual values.
You are aware that banking is global criminal fraud and that the global banking elite is the biggest criminal syndicate in the world.
You are aware of the nature of this fraud – which is that the money banks ‘lend’ to didn’t exist before they lent it – but instead is created from nothing just by tapping numbers into a customer’s electronic  deposit account.
You are aware that every loan agreement is therefore a fraudulent contract under common law – asking the borrower to give their own hard-earned money ‘back’ to banks which didn’t have it and who required no productive work at all to create it.
You are aware that throughout history people and whole nations have been made into slaves by private money-lending – by ‘usury’. 
You are aware also that all through history many great leaders – from Julius Caesar to JFK - rebelled against the money-lenders by freely creating and issuing their own debt- and interest-free money.
You are aware that political and electoral ‘democracy’ is a fiction as long as governments are there only to serve the interests of bankers and big corporations - and that politicians depend on their money to get elected.
You are aware that political democracy is meaningless without economic democracy – democracy within the corporations and institutions that most people spend their lives working in and for.
You are aware that you are ‘born free’ – that no corporation, government or state has some sort of God-given right to tell you what to do, demand taxes from you - or follow any of its statutory ‘laws’.
You are aware that what is ‘legal’ is not what is ‘lawful’. Laws are decided by people. Legal statutes are created by corporate controlled states and governments.
You are aware that most nations are themselves registered corporations, that these corporations are fictional legal or judicial ‘persons’.
You are aware that under the capitalist judicial system, flesh-and-blood human beings do not exist except as fictional legal or judicial ‘persons’.
You are aware that this is why, on all ‘official’ letters you receive, your name is printed in CAPITAL LETTERS as they are on gravestones and as, since Greek times, were the names of SLAVES.
You are aware that this is to indicate that it is not you but a fictional judicial person that is being addressed.
 You are aware that as a legal person you are yourself the private property and financial collateral of fictional corporate persons such as ‘The Crown’ - or whatever corporation is registered under the title of your nation. 
You are aware that there is only one basic principle of common human LAW as opposed to capitalist law – to do no harm to others and that, left to themselves, human beings would naturally follow this law.
You are aware that the most precious commodity or ‘ware’ of all individuals is not money but time, but that if individuals are forced to sell their time in order to buy what they need, then they are slaves forced to worship or fetishise another commodity - money. 
You are ‘a-w-a-r-e’ (English) that, in contrast to the sensory qualities and ‘use value’ (Marx) of all commodities (English: ‘w-a-r-e-s’) money is rooted only in an abstract quantity of some totally invisible and immaterial – their ‘exchange-value’ (Marx).
You are aware that the invisible, imperceptible and immaterial nature of money as exchange-value makes it the corrupted worldly counterpart or mirror image of ‘spirit’ – understood as pure 'a-w-a-r-e-n-e-s-s'.
You are aware, in other words, that the god of money is the antithesis of 'spirit' and 'spirituality'.

"Money degrades all the gods of man – and turns them into commodities. Money is the universal self-established value of all things. It has, therefore, robbed the whole world – both the world of men and nature – of its specific value. Money is the estranged essence of man’s work and man’s existence, and this alien essence dominates him, and he worships it." 

Karl Marx

You are aware that you cannot eat or live in ‘exchange value’ or money alone – you need real tangible use values such as food and houses.
You are aware that, as use-values, these wares  do not have to be bought or sold with money, or even bartered – but simply shared freely by the human beings who create them with the human beings who need them.   
You are aware, for all these reasons, that the only forms of ‘spiritual community’ through which we can become fully aware of and fulfil our ‘selves’ are those that at the same time enrich our awareness of the world and lead to world transformation – to true communism as Marx defined it.

3.      From Spiritual Communities to Spiritual Communism

Spiritual ‘communities’ can begin to transform themselves into living examples of communism in practice – ‘spiritual communism’. 

As Michael Tellinger suggests in his book ‘UBUNTU’, the first step in communising any community is that each member shall be asked to donate at least three hours of time each week to doing free work for the community as a whole or other members of it.

This will be work based on and fulfilling the individual abilities, knowledge, skills and talents of community members - whether as farmers or food producers, bricklayers or engineers, accountants or IT specialists, therapists or specialist teachers.

In return each member of the community will be entitled to freely benefit from or receive from the community as a whole (for example, in the form of housing construction or improvement) and/or the specific abilities and skills of other members.

If a community has only 100 people, this means that 300 hours of work can go every week into turning a spiritual community into a money-less communist economic community that meets both the spiritual, economic and personal needs of all its members.

Only those who cannot or do not want to contribute this minimum three hours of time can be asked to donate money instead – so that the community can for example, purchase land, building materials, printing equipment etc.

Even if the three or more hours of free work contributed by individuals, although suited to their abilities, is not their most ideal form of work, freely offering those three hours of work will mean that during the rest of the time they have, they will - when communism is fully realised - be free to pursue that ideal form of work – and also to freely contribute its fruits to the community.

Other transitional stages to a ‘money-free’ communism include new community, local and regional paper currencies distributed in the form of ‘free money’ or ‘gift money’ – the only condition being that those who receive this free money agree to accept as payment for their own goods or services  as much of the free money as they themselves ask for - and that this money cannot be exchanged for existing currencies. 

Communist spiritual communities of this sort should be led, as Michael Tellinger also suggests, by ‘Councils of Elders’. As he points out, it does not matter whether these ‘elders’ be old or young. What is important is that each community elder is gifted with important abilities and important dimensions of knowledge and awareness - whether exoteric or esoteric knowledge, self-awareness or world-awareness. 

The Council of Elders will register the abilities of its members, show them what way or by whom they are needed, and - in consultation with all members - make plans for the future of the community as a whole and its expansion.

The de facto leader or ‘First Elder’ of the Council is he or she who -  through uniting self-awareness with world-awareness – first educates their community in world awareness and then initiates or starts it on a practical path toward spiritual communism.

The ‘First Elder’ will not be a dictator but ‘first among equals’. Such a ‘first elder’ will also be a ‘true teacher’ or ‘teacher of truth’ or satguru – a master of consciousness in the form of both self-awareness and world-awareness - not a master over others or over money.

A satguru is someone one who is constantly open to new dimensions of learning and of truth itself –  not someone who believes that they ‘know it all’ or who thinks they ‘possess’ some final end-state of ‘enlightenment’ which grants them power or authority over others.   

Any community member will be able to consult with any of the Elders and with their Council in person – whether to offer specific types of work and abilities, request any form of assistance they need, make suggestions, raise questions or disputes for discussion, question the decisions of the Council  – object to current Elders, suggest new Elders - or ask to become an Elder themselves.

In doing all these things and following principles such as these, a spiritual community – or any group or community of individuals - can in time become a model of spiritual communism for other groups and communities – as well as a magnet for individuals who wish to become community members or start their own communities.

Note: for many more important and innovative practical suggestions, do read Michael Tellinger’s book UBUNTU  - an excellent and inspiring work which I disagree with in only a few ways, in particular his claim that he is NOT talking about a road to COMMUNISM. 

4.      Spiritual  Communism as a ‘Gift  Economy’ based on Awareness

“In a free society…no one shall work for money but for personal satisfaction and pride in their community – money will be removed from the system. The expression ‘work’ will rapidly fall away in the new society, and will be replaced with Labour of Love, since all people will follow their passion or God-given talents to enrich their own lives and the lives of others with their contribution to the community.”

Michael Tellinger, UBUNTU

The communist economy of the future will be a ‘gift economy’ – based neither on private ownership of natural resources and the means of production nor on selling or ‘exchanging’ its  products with money.

Instead the communist economy of the future will be based on all of us freely giving to  ‘g-i-f-t-i-ng’ the community with the unique abilities, talents or ‘g-i-f-t-s’ (English) that go into our creative labour and its products - freely receiving in return whatever we need from the community and the g-i-f-ts of its members. 

Spiritual Communism, as a ‘gift economy’ in all these senses, will put an end to TINA – the lie that There Is No Alternative to ‘globalisation’ in the form of private financial and corporate ownership of the planet or ‘globe. For as Marx already understood:

“From the standpoint of a higher economic form of society, private ownership of the globe by individuals will seem quite as absurd as private ownership of one man by another. Even a whole society, a nation or even all simultaneously existing societies taken together are not owners of the globe.”

Our role as human beings then, is not to be private owners but joint ‘wardens’ of the globe – of the earth and its people.  It is no accident of language then that the English and German word ‘W-A-R-E’ (ware) in which the English words ‘A-W-A-R-E’ (aware) ‘A-W-A-R-E-N-E-S-S’ and 'W-A-R-D-E-N' ('guardian') are rooted, mean not only a thing but also an action - to defend or guard in consciousness, and that to 'B-E  A-W-A-R-E' is also to 'BE-WARE' – to be attentively ‘on guard’.  The English word ‘A-W-A-R-E-N-E-S-S’ therefore in itself means to attend to things in the world and not just ourselves. Similarly, the true German word for the English phrase ‘B-E    A-W-A-R-E'  is not 'Bewusstsein' but  ‘Ge-WAHR-SEIN’. This word hints at both ‘truth’ (‘WAHRheit’) and the ability to defend and guard (‘GeWAEHRen’) all things on this globe that are freely given as gifts to us all. (Word family: give, gifted, to be gifted, gift economy).

5.      In the meantime - contributing surplus time

Together we can create this new state- and money-less, ‘gift economy’ in which not even barter or trade - based  on arbitrary or speculative ‘exchange values’ - will be necessary to freely provide for the needs and fulfil the creative potentials of each and all.  Presently, of course, people still have to make money from their work or jobs, products still have to be bought, sold, businesses and nations still have to trade on the basis of exchange values and money.  And yet there already many individuals on this planet who freely give much more of more of their time - purely for the interests of their community, nation, society and the world as a whole - than they receive as money.  Such individuals, through their free contribution of ‘surplus’, unpaid labour time, are a model of ‘spiritual communism’ – for what they do is the ethical and economic opposite to the forced exploitation of labour time and ‘surplus value’ through ‘wage-slavery’ that defines capitalism – but that exists only to profit  corporate employers and their financiers rather than humanity and our planet as a whole.  It only remains for the ethical model offered by such individuals to be recognised as part of economic model for whole communities - in this way also distributing the free contribution of unpaid creative labour among all its members, rather than leaving it as a burden that is placed upon a few. 

6.      Before or after Apocalypse?

Whether a new communist gift economy can prevent a total global ecological and/or economic catastrophe – or simply offer ways for human being to ‘pick up the pieces’ afterwards and make a new start by coming together as communities in new ways – this remains to be seen. All we need remind ourselves is that ‘apocalypse’ also means ‘revelation’, and that humanity has been in this situation before - before the Great Flood, echoed in the Biblical story of Noah, that overwhelmed the first human civilisation and cities in Sumeria – and also after it, when the gods once gave to or ‘g-i-f-t-e-d’ humanity with new knowledge and skills, and new forms of economic and social organisation.