Charles Eisenstein is introducing the concept of a Sacred Economy, where money is not so intertwined with lack and scarcity and fear. It is very perplexing to me that there is so much money and resources in the world, yet so many people are poor, starving, struggling, worried. There is plenty for everyone; how do we distribute it fairly and efficiently? What really “generates” this wealth by a few, and is it really necessary to hoard and invest, or can it be shared freely and spread joyfully? Do basic necessities really still have to be “earned” in this day and age, or can they be a universal staple, so that rather than competing for jobs they don’t like, people could be working together on solving global and universal problems?
What is money, anyway? Eisenstein calls it “an abstraction, at most symbols on a piece of paper, but usually mere bits in a computer. It exists in a realm far removed from materiality. In that realm, it is exempt from nature’s most important laws, for it does not decay and return to the soil as all other things do, but is rather preserved, changeless, in its vaults and computer files, even growing with time thanks to interest. It bears the properties of eternal preservation and everlasting increase, both of which are profoundly unnatural. ”
Eisenstein states the original purpose of money was to connect human gifts with human needs, so that we might all live in greater abundance. “We intuitively recognize the exchange of gifts as a sacred occasion, which is why we instinctively make a ceremony out of gift-giving. Sacred money, then, will be a medium of gifting, a means to recreate the gift economy of a hunter-gatherer or village society on a planetary level. A sacred economy will be an economy of the Gift.”