REVOLUTIONIZE YOUR REGION
Today on the Money Monday post let's give some thought to the actual moral and ethical value of the things we put money in to.
The sad truth is that things which make big piles of money in our society tend to do so on the basis of being morally bankrupt - offering terrible customer service, for example, is the way that big tech companies like microsoft, google, amazon, square and facebook have cut corners to maximize profits. These companies turn profits at obscene rates but if you pick up a telephone you're not able to talk to anyone there about your email or your delivery issues or whatever the case may be.
If these companies were to pay people to speak on the phone it would be a win for the employment market, especially if these customer service jobs were centered in oppressed neighborhoods of cities like chicago, new york or los angeles. and of course it would make the lives of the users of these services much better.
these are just tiny examples, to say nothing of companies which pay slave wages overseas or launder money through fake 'philanthropies' which actually just receive tax breaks by piling revenue into biotech megacorporations.
the point being - does it matter? is there any reason to disinvest in shitty corporations, even if they offer opportunities to stack cash? if novartis, pfizer, bayer or johnson and johnson offer major returns on investment for someone who is looking to 'make their savings grow' .. is there any reason not to put your money in their hands?
this is the moral question of investing, and the answer is truly not so difficult.
FROM EACH ACCORDING TO THEIR MEANS
the simple answer in the matter of virtue and investment is that those with larger 'cushions' need to bear the burden for investing in more virtuous projects. If you're already a millionaire, and you're investing in morally bankrupt corporations to become ever more personally wealthy, then you should be ashamed. if you're poor, and you invest in greedy companies in order to be able to feed your children in a year or two from now, then you have no shame.
WHAT ARE VIRTUOUS INVESTMENTS?
for the wealthy readers among you, you may be wondering - what are the virtuous investments which can be made? are any corporations or projects actually good? this is our concern.
when we look at the operating paradigms and protocols of institutions within our modern 'capitalist' economy, it becomes clear that the only way to continually 'improve profit margins' is by greed. there is no way to build wealth which is based on a philosophy of generosity, or even on a philosophy of balance. so for those individuals who have money the only hope is to find projects which carry the ambition to actually change the culture.
WHAT DOES A INSTITUTION WHICH CHANGES THE CULTURE LOOK LIKE
culture changing institutions promote and insist on values of non-greed, values of healing, values of nurturing, values of ecological renewal, values of mass investment into individuals and institutions which contribute to the wellbeing of oppressed populations (native american reservations, slums in brazil and india and china, rural areas throughout africa, and so on). Individuals and organizations who are dedicated to these causes are not always easy to find, but they are certainly worth investing in, because they will put your money to good use!
DOES VIRTUE MATTER?
there is an important question, of whether it makes any difference at all, if your time or money is used to perpetrate mass oppression and suffering and environmental degradation. from a scientific standpoint, it would not be so difficult to do a study with the right kinds of parameters. it would be important to follow wealthy people, as they make choices about investments. Some people would choose to invest in morally bankrupt corporations, launder money through two-faced 'philanthropies' and so on. Other people would choose to invest in permaculture, holistic healing resources, ecological restauration and so on. Some people would choose to invest in some mix of both.
And then over the course of time we could see which people were happier, which people had happier children, which people had a better vibe (yes, science can now measure vibes).
Until such point where this kind of study is carried out we must use our own imagination to guess as to whether virtue makes a difference for the person and for those around them.
We know of course that virtuous investments would make a difference in the world - it would lead to people having access to better food, health care, water and so on. But whether it makes a difference for the person and for their own family is a different question.
My personal hunch is that virtue does in fact matter greatly - but it does not come without a cost. For example, in a corrupt group of friends, it could be difficult and exhausting to be the one who is not corrupt. it could be exhausting to see the ways in which other people are hurting the world, and not knowing what to say or do about it.
HOW WE DISCUSS VIRTUE
one of the biggest issues is how we discuss it. if we call things morally bankrupt, for example the top ten 'largest' pharmaceutical companies, then we might expose ourselves to some sort of attack. it would take great courage perhaps, great virtue, greatness in general to 'call the lie' on shitty institutions which are making lots of money for lots of people, while also leading to much mass sickness and other problems.
so this might not be the path for all people. some people might prefer to be 'low key' simply making good decisions for themselves but not willing to 'ruffle feathers' by 'calling the lie' on any of the major power players or institutions.
other people might see that their virtue is not only in making virtuous investments, but also in working to expose the lack of virtue within so many of our predominant institutions and operating paradigms.
We can approach the matter of grounding in many ways:
COMMUNITY and what sorts of energies and boundaries we get from others
AESTHETICS and our choices of media and news
EARTHING and remembering what being on earth is about
ROUTINES and 'jumping rope in that energy'
DIVINATION TOOLS and taking a break from conditioned ego-habitual decision processes
SELF-KNOWLEDGE GAINING and learning from others and from nature and from quiet intuitions
DIY ACTIVITIES and keeping mind and body together moving towards tangible accomplishments
RECORDKEEPING OF SELF and taking a break from focusing on problems and distractions
GOAL SETTING and unpacking the contents of our minds in sorted-out life direction
LIST MAKING and using the philosophy of 'reminders' to help us stay grounded amidst distraction
MEDITATION and emptying the mind of excessive turmoil
ENERGY WORK and using the mind to center and ground our energy
PHYSICAL EXERCISE and releasing tension in the musculature
BREATH WORK and improving the oxygenation of the body cells
MYTHOLOGIES and keeping things in perspective with fantastic tales
NEIGHBORLINESS and becoming less isolated in ones immediate four walls
SMUDGING and 'claiming' boundaries
PRAYER and letting things go with well wishes
BODYWORK and sensual experiences
MEDIA-MUTING and building up our comfort level within our own skin
NUTRITION and making the body tissues ....
IF ANYONE HAS SUGGESTIONS OF MISSING SOLUTIONS TO "GROUNDING" PLEASE LEAVE IN COMMENTS AND I WILL UPDATE! ALSO, OVER TIME ALL CAPITALIZED WORDS WILL BE CLICKABLE TO AN ENCYCLOPEDIA ENTRY ON THAT TOPIC.
In any given case scenario we will need to discern and use our intuition which sorts of exercises to get people going on, when 'grounding' is part of the issue.
It is important to always bear in mind as well that some strategies are more 'long term' and others are more likely to give rapid benefits to people. For example nutritional changes can be highly destabilizing and 'ungrounding' as the body adjusts to new inputs and chemical routines. But in the long run the overall effect will be 'grounding' as the person becomes literally happier within their skin.
There can be risks, however, of ungrounding people if we are not careful in how we propose changes of diet and how we present wellness information in general. This operates in multiple directions.
example of dietary ideologies
For example, if someone has become heavily invested in the 'plant based' lifestyle and embedded in the 'plant-based community' or even working within that community, it could be 'ungrounding' for them in the short run to learn that they need to reintroduce animal products for the sake of their health. But in the long run, it will be more grounding for them to understand that there are times when animal products are definitely indicated for wellness improvement - if they continue to invest in dogmatic ideologies then they will inevitably become isolated socially over time.
On the other hand, if someone is a factory pig farmer and they need to be told that factory farmed animal products are highly detrimental to the health of the consumer (as well as the animals of course), then this information could be 'ungrounding.' But again, in the long run it will be better to get the truth out there.
So in every case it is a matter of intuitively guiding people and protecting them for half baked ideas and temptations while at the same time allowing them sufficient breathing room and autonomy. Not an easy balance but neither is life on earth!
example of posture and seats
another case of complexity occurs when we consider the matter of posture. now we know that prolonged seating in lazy boy type seats and car seats and other situations where the thighs wind up 'perched' at an upwards angle forward from the above the level of the ischial tuberosities (lower pelvis). In other words, people sitting with their legs crossed on a chair (often women have been socialized into this pattern) or people slouching in a lazy-boy (often men are convinced that this is 'comfortable' for them).
So these people may have long term habits built up of how they sit. Now we as individuals who understand human wellness will realize all of the ways in which patterns of seating such as these can be severely deleterious over time by pinching vertebral discs, embedding chronic tension in the deep back muscles and shoulder girdle and pelvic girdle, which in turn constricts the breathing and the digestion and organ functioning, not to mention knee and hip problems setting in over time. YIKES!
But if someone's house is filled with nothing but sofas and lazyboys, we would need to make a measured decision of when to 'drop the hammer' on them that they need to not sit in recliners and sofas any more if at all possible for the sake of their health.
On the one hand, certainly having healthy organs and a healthy back and no headaches or insane shoulder tension is all positive and grounding .. so it's not good to just ignore the fact that people are damaging themselves so severely just by virtue of the kinds of seats they sit in and how they sit in them.
It sucks to realize that you've spent 4000 or whatever on a sofa that is making you unhealthy, but it sucks even worse to not realize its making you unhealthy and just keep sitting in it!
example of meditation
meditation is another example of a practice that is generally said to have a 'grounding' effect as far as I have been able to perceive. but actually it can be quite destabilizing to enter the silence and develop increasingly strong intuitions about the truth of our life circumstances. This is because most everyone alive nowadays is dealing with a deep sub foundation of alienation. So it is important to remember to remind people that meditation is intended to be grounding over time, but it can be destabilizing in the short run.
One of the circumstances that i refer to is our internal reality - especially if we have been consuming weird chemical crap, whether as food additives and preservatives, or as agricultural treatments in the form of herbicides and pesticides, or in the form of long term or harsh pharmaceutical treatments .. whatever the case may be, many of us nowadays have somewhat 'toxic bodies.' This is part of the reason they need healing!
But its important to be aware of this and give people the sense that as they start to peel away the layers of denial and avoidance and then become conscious of how miserable they actually are .. its important to make them know that you're going to be there for them. This is of course a huge issue with capitalism, which encourages us to only be there for people who pay us! In a perfect world, the healers life should consist of a cypher of 40 people or so, not taken on all at once for goodness sake, so that they are at different stages in their journey. This is more or less what it would be like in a village maybe .. one healer for every forty folks.
Example of assurance of support
As we began to see in the previous paragraph, feeling and being supported are both great ways of becoming grounded. So we need to let people know that we're there for them (help them feel supported) AND we need to ACTUALLY be there for them (ensure that they in fact are supported). Again this is a major issue with capitalism insofar as it encourages people with advanced skills to NOT be there for people unless people have tons of money to pay them! So in effect, only greedy people get healing! What a travesty!
But we need to remember that being there for people over time is actually quite difficult. It's why we as wellness support providers need to be EXTREMELY grounded. Unless we are only offering 'heroic' 'one time services,' we need to ensure that we have the ability and energy to be there for people over time and that people can rely on us. So grounding is important to understand not only for the sake of those we wanna help, but also for our own sake as professionals and as human beings.
SOME GROUNDING EXERCISES (many borrowed respectfully from (www.livingwell.org.au) go check them out, and set a bookmark, great resource)