I am going to tell you a Feng Shui story about the true cause of the current financial crisis. It happened about ten thousand years ago, a Feng Shui adjustment gone haywire. It is a story about food and for most people it is a difficult story to digest. It is the story of the point in time that the Tai Chi of our culture began. That fractal has produced a dynamic, or perhaps voracious is a better word, complex evolving system that is now pushing at its boundaries and may be in its death throes.
I first learned this story from the books of Dan Quinn,: Ishmael, The Story of Blue and My Ishmael. They are not particularly well written but the ideas and truths presented are magnificent and well documented. Somewhere deep in your unconscious you will recognize it as truth and you may not notice that your conscious mind does not want to go there. This is a deeply denied truth of the dreamtime we call humanity.
Some time back in the mists of time, around ten thousand years ago, somewhere in what we now call the middle east, a strange name considering that half the world lives to the east of it and half to the west, a few humans made a major shift in consciousness. Up to that time all humans lived in nature along with their brother an sister animal colleagues, a little smarter intellectually, maybe a little more self aware, but no wiser.
Humans could hunt and gather their food in two to three hours a day and had the rest for maintenance and creative play. They ate over a hundred different varieties of food and were very healthy. They stayed healthy by staying tuned into the cycles of nature and understood nature as a benefactor. They controlled their population size to fit the ability of the land to support them.
Hunter/gathers had gardens. If you have read the One Straw Revolution by Fukuoka, you will understand the nature of their gardens. They understood the environments various plants needed and just put seeds in those environments to maximize their harvest but they did not plow the earth.
Hunter/gather cultures were mostly egalitarian. They did not have wars. They had raids and skirmishes. They could not feed an army, support a bureaucracy, or a very disparate class structure. Were they perfect? No, but they do seem to have been healthier and happier than we are in our current story and they survived for tens of thousands of years.
One fateful day someone realized that, instead of just poking seeds into the ground, they could plow a straight furrow, plant lots of seeds in it and get more food. Tilling the soil brings more oxygen into the soil and plants so more can grow at the cost of using up the earth faster than it can replenish itself.
Over centuries of experimentation people discovered that not only could they increase their food supply and therefore population, they could mono crop high energy foods. There were lots of failed experiments and we have desserts to show for it. Over the centuries we learned to farm better and some civilizations learned to reach an equilibrium between taking and giving.
What's wrong with this story? Plowing and mono crop farming has brought us this great civilization full of happy consumers. I know that sounds sarcastic, but lets just look at ourselves as if we were scientists from another planet. That is hard to do because culture is invisible. By culture, I mean the culture of the perhaps 1% more natural humans versus the 99% agriculturalists. I did not really understand culture until I lived in India for two years and tried to be Indian.
Lets look at the results of agriculture, remembering that the basic difference between the hunter/gatherers and agriculturists is that the former take what is naturally given and the latter push the system to take more than is naturally given.
Agriculture leads to more food production by fewer people which leads to both more population and a class of people who can do other tasks than food gathering. Eventually it leads to strong hierarchy and class distinction, land ownership, property rights, armies, and haves and have nots. On the other hand it frees many people to be much more creative with their lives.
Agricultural societies have to either continually find new land or increase production from current land to feed their growing population. They usually consider themselves to be human and hunter/gatherers to be less than human. Hence such things a $50 bounty for each murdered native american here in California in the nineteenth century and the oppressive slavery of Africans.
This is not about guilty or innocent, so don't stop reading because it sounds depressing. Guilt is one of the ways culture has devised to exert control. As humans we are not well designed for self awareness and pretty much act out our built in conditioned patterns while assuming we are choosing. If we are not choosing how can we be guilty? I will write about this in another article.
What does all this have to do with the financial crises? Lets look at the memes and emotional conditioning that arose with the advent of agriculture. The deepest meme is I am God/I am not God. Hunter/gatherers embraced nature as god/godess provider. Agriculturalists took over the job and position of God/Godess by controlling and providing food. So at its very core, agricultural culture is full of hubris, arrogance and superiority. On the other hand, taking over from God/godess created a feeling of separation from Source and opened the possibility for guilt. This is the apple Eve ate. Innocence is lost. Agriculturist have to work hard for their food and playtime is limited.
Hard work, property ownership, political power, and the expansion of property and power become praised and desired attributes and achievements. The act of taking over from God/Godess and producing more than God/Godess provided becomes a meme, the strange attractor for the fractal equation that underlies our culture. Expansion and growth become driving forces.
Oh, I forgot to mention greed. Greed is a natural outcome of this meme. Our nervous systems are designed to respond quickly and strongly to a stimulus and for the response to diminish over time even if the stimulus is still applied. Its a different level of the frog in the boiling water story. Its why the Republicrats keep repeating lies until we believe them. There is no absolute center. What was conservative one day become liberals in perception some time later.
Greed is a normal outcome of the agriculturist meme. Greed has become so normal we no longer recognize it.
Now I am going to skip a lot of steps in the process and a leave a lot of possible avenues to explore later, especially our belief that nature is our enemy. The experience that one can not only control abundance but push it beyond its source limits has evolved over millennia to the creation of our fractal banking system, the creation of money out of thin air, a fiat money system.
Our money is based on debt not commodities. Each dollar created is a debt to a private banker who can create as much debt as they want. It is not connected to actual growth in the economy. Financial assets do not represent real assets. Paper exchanging for paper is now 20 times greater than exchanges of paper for real assets. There is no longer enough real wealth to guarantee the exploding debt. We can not pull more money out of the system no matter how much hot air (oxygen) we inject. There was a great article in the NYT by Andrew Revkin interviewing Professor Herman Daly who explains it much better than I can. Here is a link.
Reading Professor Daly's comments made me think of Dan Quinn's work and led to this article. Feng Shui is the study and adjustment of our relationship to our environment based on both the physical effects and the symbolic emotional representations. Wounding the earth millennia ago was a Feng Shui adjustment that lead to the whole world in turmoil today.
Is it good or bad? We don't know. Perhaps enough of us will apply our minds spiritually to evolve to the level of controlling the underlying energy of the universe directly. I have met people who can do that. Then the current problem will loose its meaning. The above story occurred because all creatures are motivated to move away from pain towards happiness. The Buddha taught that there is a joy that is free from sorrow, an equanimity free from attachment and aversion. The first step on that road is to treat all creatures with kindness.leave Feng Shui Cause and go to Home page