Mother Earth has brought us an enormous diversity of life forms. Of all these forms of life, the human being is the greatest enigma. She prides herself of having created a modern, rationally thinking civilisation on Earth. Yet this civilisation is destructive to virtually all life forms of the planet, including the human being herself. Scientists at a recent biological extinction conference predicted that by the end of the century half of all the life forms Mother Earth has given birth to may be facing extinction. This is just one example of how our civilisation DESTROYS what Mother Earth is giving, sampled from the ocean of examples available on the Internet. Yet, as reflected in mainstream media and political discourse, the human being is still, to a large extent, choosing to close her eyes to the obvious fact of her own (systemically mediated) destructivity. Rational? No.
Looking within the global human community itself, we’re faced with the same patterns we see in nature. Diversity of life forms being turned into monocultures, is a pattern not only in nature but also in the social and cultural spheres of human life. This pattern can be studied everywhere from schools and universities, via the colonisation and exploitation of indigenous cultures, to the arenas of political and corporate life. Wherever we choose to look, we see complexly woven systems of life expressions (which have developed over millennia) having been, and continually being, violated – in the name of… progress. Progress of our civilisation, and it’s fundamental mantra: “the economy has to grow“.
It should come as no surprise then that RESTORATION is a word on many people’s lips these days. The need to restore what has been destroyed is of unfathomable proportions. The systematic monetization of our natural, cultural, social, and spiritual commons, fuelled as it has been, and still is, by the very nature of usury/interest-based money itself, is – in addition to whatever else it is – a systematic DESTRUCTION. It is a destruction of all the before-mentioned spheres of the commonwealth, or in other words, a destruction of the GIFT we have been given by Mother Earth; the gift of CREATION.
This is what we need to wake up to.
And let us please wake up to all the destruction caused, and all the restoration needed, without guilt. For perhaps did humanity not know any better than to do exactly what we have done. Perhaps did we first need to be children of our Mother Earth, taking ALL that we could; using Her in all ways we could, in order to be NOURISHED and grow in our awareness of who we ARE NOW: not only children, but also LOVERS of Earth.
This is a very beautiful perspective that certainly points to the core of the issue. We owe our gratitude to Charles Eisenstein for bringing it to our awareness. In his book Sacred Economics, he writes: “In humanity’s childhood, a money system that embodied and demanded growth, the taking of more and more from earth, was perhaps appropriate. It was an integral part of the Story of Ascent. Today it is rapidly becoming obsolete. It is incompatible with adult love, with cocreative partnership, and with the graduation into the estate of a Giver that comes with adulthood. That is the deep reason why no financial or economic reform can possibly work that does not include a new kind of money. The new money must embody a new story, one that treats nature not only as a mother, but as a lover too.”
The RESTORATION of the COMMONS (as exemplified here), is an essential part of the metamorhposis into the gift economy (including a new kind of money) that we, together with Charles Eisenstein, envision. Indeed, we see humanity’s turning to face the gigantic task of such a restoration as THE transitional step that will, on a large scale, be taking us into the new gift-centred consciousness from where gratitude, gift culture, and gift economy springs. Simply because it evokes joy and enthusiasm to be helping to restore the Earth! In other words: only by taking RESPONSIBILITY for all aspects of us being human, including our destructivity, can we open up to the GRATITUDE and true CREATIVITY that is our birthright…
Here is Charles Eisenstein, in Sacred Economics, talking about how accumulated MONEY can be used in the restoration (and protection of the remains) of the commons. We could say it is a description of Right Investment in our times of transition:
Whether it is the application of accumulated technology or accumulated money, we want to be sure that we are not using it in the old mode: as a tool to achieve more separation from nature or more financial wealth. That is why I suggest the concept of using money to destroy money. By this I mean to use money to restore and protect the natural, social, cultural, and spiritual commons from which it was originally created. This has the effect of hastening the collapse [of the old money-system] and mitigating its severity. Usury-money is subject to a grow-or-die imperative. Any item of social or natural capital that we make off-limits to commoditization hastens the demise of usury-money; it ‘starves the beast.’ The realm within which (monetized) goods and services can expand shrinks. Every forest we prevent from being turned into board feet, every piece of land we remove from development, every person we teach to heal herself and others, every indigenous culture we insulate from cultural imperialism is one less place for money to colonize. The efforts of liberals and reformers, though impotent to halt the onward progress of the Machine, have not been in vain. Pollution limits, for instance, have kept at least a portion of the skies from being converted into money. Labor standards have prevented at least a part of workers’ well-being from being converted into money. The antiwar movement makes the war business less profitable. Right-wing criticisms of pro-environment, pro-labor, antiwar policies are correct – they do hurt economic growth. If I go to an indigenous culture, convince its people that subsistence farming is degrading and primitive, and induce them instead to work in a factory and join the market economy, then GDP rises (and I’ve created an “investment opportunity”). If, on the other hand, I inspire people to abandon their high-paying jobs and “go back to the land,” then GDP falls. If I create a community where we no longer pay for child care but instead care for each others’ children cooperatively, then GDP falls. And if we succeed in protecting the Alaskan Wildlife Refuge from oil drilling, that’s tens of billions of dollars that will never materialize. That is why I say we are using money to destroy money. Sometimes, the master’s tools can dismantle the master’s house.
In the above quote, the emphasis in bold is mine. I made it in order to introduce Sanan David Reid. He is the president of “a small Non-Profit Service Organization based out of Pisaq, in the Sacred Valley of the Andes, 1/2 hour outside Cusco, Peru”. Rather than saying more about the AMAZING restorative work he is giving his life to in the indigenous mountain communities of the Andes, I will let him introduce himself. The following is a copy of a post he made on Facebook yesterday. It is long, but very well worth your time if you care about our Mother, and Lover, Earth.
There is a Hidden Doorway into the Secret Garden of our True Life. It exists at the connecting point of our heart, our energy, our dreams, and those around us. While most are distracted in some sweet flavor of the matrix, the Awakening Ones are quietly, steadily, building the New Earth. Greetings and Love to All in these most amazing times of healing, remembrance, creation, activation and service. It really is an epic time to be alive.
Here is a basic overview of what we are about to roll out:
* A museum of photos of Old Pisaq (our pueblo), to build appreciation and remember the True Heart of Pisaq.
* A collective, with participation from each of the 13 Indigenous Mountain Communities outside of Pisaq. One project coordinator will represent each community. We are inviting those who do not currently have a way to sell their artisan crafts and are not already part of another group.
* We will sell these woven items at a very respectable price (they often get pennies when selling to the stores) and on top of that we will be giving 100% of the price paid to the weavers, with no mark up for us at all.
* The store will also sell a full line of natural products, under our own soon-to-be brand name Ayni Natural. Both packaged and fresh products of all kinds.
* A line of Kombucha, Jun, Nut Milks, Natural Soda’s (I heard there is an original Inca Cola recipe from the Incas!) Trail Mix/Dried Fruit, Granola, Chocolates, Cookies, Pies, Cakes, Smoothies, Coconut Fried Native Potatoes with Mango Chutney, Chai, Yerba Mate’, Teas, Medicinals, Nut Butters, Coconut Butter, Sourkrout, Kimchi, and More.
7 Days a Week 9am-9pm on the Corner of the Mercado in Pisaq.
We are across from Spices Restaurant, big sign: Amistad Sagrada.
Opening Day expected Early April!
Weekly gatherings to share the vision, connect, answer questions, and possible invitations to service opportunities. Heart Circles, Kirtan and gatherings in our Maloka/Temple in Chiwonko.
We may serve a traditional meal cooked in spring water, Sal de Maras, Stainless Steal pans, no sugar and pure ingredients (to fund a free meal for the elders on Sundays!)
Opportunities to donate to specific projects with 100% of the money going directly to that project. A small massage/healing clinic, and more!
Tea, Kombucha, Superfood Smoothies and Drinks, and an array of natural yummy things, every day in our private lounge.
* Salt from Maras (Our Salt Project will offer this quality (equal to Himalayan Pink) salt and get people off the chemicalized refined salt everyone is using here.
* Our own (Dr. Bronners’s Inspired) Andean Castille Soap (to help the local people get off their toxic soaps).
* Good quality oils to get folks off the toxic veggie oils.
* A Quinoa Project to make it affordable to local people who eat white rice every day.
* A Natural Medicine Clinic
and so much more.
For those in the Communities and Pisaq that are part of our Cooperative, they will receive these basic items for each family, salt, oil, soap, quinoa, etc.
* We want to make a super healthy, nutrient dense bread to help replace the white, hydrogenated oil bread everyone is eating (at the same price.)
* We will create super healthy alternatives to all the crap sweets the kids are eating daily.
Note: in order to fund being able to have a sliding scale price, down to zero for those who can not afford it, this will be funded by those who can and will afford to pay full price, or more, in order for this to manifest. In other words, basic items will be given at cost or at their cost of their already existing mainstream item (ie: salt, soap etc. what they would already pay for it, but give them the ultra natural upgraded option) or free. There are a lot of very poor people here.
Also: Community members who are part of our cooperative will also do service within the cooperative. There is more on this part of the vision to come, a self sustaining system to empower the communities on all levels.
* A project to take care of the elders, especially the abandoned elders: The Abuelito Project
* A project to take care of the feet of those from the communities. They wear sandals and their feet can get trashed: The Happy Feet Project.
Note: their sandals are made of car tires. That gets absorbed into their feet and can’t be good for them. They used to have really amazing natural sandals. We’ll find out what they were and replicate them!
In the future we want to create our own natural sandal company, employing local people, to create a new line of solid, natural, inexpensive yet comfortable sandals, to bring back respect to the feet of the indigenous people (then make a line for the first world countries to be sold via a website etc. and fund our ability to give it to the local people at cost, or at the same cost they are paying for their tire sandals now, or free. )
* Heart Circles for all age groups, men and woman, with various themes of healthy living, healthy child rearing, healthy communication, letting go of alcohol, bringing health, self esteem, cultural appreciation, transparent healing tools and technologies, and a letting go of false narratives and ideals instilled by the television programming, along with letting go of all the crappy artificial “food” items they have just recently accepted.
The larger vision includes launching projects in each of the 13 local communities (initially) to uplift them in all aspects of life, and to create a base on a piece of land, in each community, for cultural, health, and project focused events and meeting place.
(Note: our 4.5 years working in Pampallacta, and our previous 1.3 years working in Sacaca, both Mountain Communities, gave us the experience and understanding how to proceed).
As we roll out these projects in the Mountain Communities, we will gather the youth of that community to learn from the maestros/master teachers in each of the project aspects (natural building, permaculture, water systems, solar, natural medicine, children, teaching, plants etc. so that in the future they can in turn go out, as trained young apprentices, to further share this vision with even more poor and rural communities (there are hundreds here in the Sacred Valley that no one even hardly knows about), and implement the exact same project (always adjusted to the needs of each unique community).
This creates a beyond sustainable, truly geometrically expanding impact that could, in time, effect the lives of tens of thousands of currently forgotten Indigenous Communities here in Peru.
In the near future we will be presenting our ideas to the actual Government of Peru for possible support and collaboration.
This is just the beginning, the basic outline, to share with you a little something before we begin to roll all this out.
The longer term vision includes opening a primary and secondary school unlike any other in the area, along with a practical university to train local people in marketable skill sets (that we would market) so they do not have to leave their communities to go to some university and learn English in another country, just to chase the dollar.
The point is that they have all they need, but will lose it if the end up chasing the illusion. Thus a focus on uplifting health, self esteem, community, and opportunity within their villages. The tide is turning the other way, so we are an intervention of love.
Those of us from North America have the wound of what happened to the Native People there. We bring that wound as a gift, so we do not need to repeat the past again.
We intend to stem the tide of the youth leaving their communities to chase what we know is an empty dream of materialism and forgetfulness of all the goodness and beauty they already have.
It is just some innovative thinking and infrastructure that is needed to create a whole new level of thriving for these most beautiful people, who have and continue to make the Sacred Valley Sacred.
If this tide of youth continues as it is now, the communities will not be able to maintain as they have.
We intend to be a positive interface with the modern world. Neither do we idealize them in some kind of ancient indigenous past, neither do we want to see them lose all the precious beauty they already have, that which those from the first world are just realizing the importance of.
Creating a conscious, transparent point of connectivity.
Empowering them in the levels of profound health upgrades, self esteem, cultural appreciation, opportunity, deepening community, super positive examples, and an understanding born of both a first world life, along with approaching 8 solid years of living here.
It is this foundation, this invisible infrastructure, built from the bricks of my life here, day after day, without break for all this time, that this dream is resting upon.
It is not my dream only, it is also the children’s dream, being made real. It is the elder’s dream, maybe even the ancestors dream. It is a true spiritual co-collaboration.
My relationship with my pueblo Pisaq, and many thousands of people here, is the island of solidity, the unique factor among any other group, non-profit org. in the entire area.
To have a dream, a vision, a great idea, without this foundation that takes years and much dedication to create, is like just doing a well meaning project.
It is an iceberg that is simply floating on the ocean.
We have a massive, hidden (but known to the locals of which I am now) island beneath our manifest, external work here.
A Rock Solid Foundation to support what is to come.
A tree to give shade to many.
An integrated vision that has become integrated into my very life.
This island of connectivity, love and relationships couldn’t easily be replicated at this point, as the pueblo has changed so much in these years.
So now, finally, the peak, the fruits are now manifesting externally, in a solid, professional, totally unique, fresh and compelling way.
It is this that I will be sharing with you as the days and weeks roll on.
Thanks for reading,
I really appreciate it a lot.
From a beautiful day in the Sacred Valley of the Incas,
where the descendants of those who lived in Machu Picchu
are playing outside my door.
Note: We got a loan some months back in order to build out this new location, and take care of many other levels of expenses. It has taken months of construction work to get the location to where it is right now. We have all the furniture, machines, kitchen, lounge, store, office, electric, water, contracts, all done. We are debt free. We have started collecting things for the natural medicine clinic as well.
Those funds have now been completely used up, and we are going to need to do another Go Fund Me very soon, in order to launch the product lines and the natural medicine clinic, as well as some other levels that will propel us to the point of financial sustainability.
If you would like to support this work financially or otherwise please do message me.
We are also looking to bring on board team members for long term (year or more) participation in rolling this out. Needs include media, trained natural (or integrated) medicine doctor, woman’s health expert/doula, someone trained in Waldorf, and others. If you have interest in this please message me. Gracias.
Now, say, if this is not work worthy of being funded along the lines of Right Investment as described by Charles Eisenstein in the quote earlier in this post, then what is?
We say: If you have MONEY, and you are looking for a way of investing it RIGHTLY, then go fund Sanan!
After reading his post of yesterday, I spontaneously invited Sanan to write for the GOD blog, voicing his call for funding here too. So far, he has responded only by signalling that he likes the idea, and only the future will tell if we will have the honor of reading his posts in this blog. [UPDATE 9 March: See the conversation with Sanan in the comments to this post!] In any case, today, when pondering which woman could be a suitable person to highlight here in the GOD blog on the International Women’s Day, Sanan came to mind. Not becasue he is a woman (which he is not), but because I am not personally in touch with anyone working more devotedly for the preservation and restoration of the commons than Sanan. And in and by that work, he perfectly illustrates what our Mother and Lover Earth most needs from us today. Thank you Sanan.
To sum up, I would like to contrast Sanan’s work with other work being done in the name of RESTORATION. This other work operates within a fundamentally different mindset: the obsolete mindset of the civilisation that has DESTROYED what now needs to be restored; the mindset of the obsolete, but yet to this day operating, usury/interest-based money-system; the mindset of the time humanity was yet but an all-demanding CHILD of Earth. Within this mindset, of what Charles Eisenstein calls The Ascent of Humanity, the mantra of “the economy has to grow” still rules supreme. And so it is that a book called The Restoration Economy can be subtitled “The Greatest New Growth Frontier”, and be described as follows:
“This is the book that started it all: the first time all of the industries and disciplines that are restoring our natural & built environments were revealed as a single global trend. The Restoration Economy is the original book on regenerative growth: the first to document the ‘hidden’, multi-trillion-dollar economic sector that is revitalizing our communities, our nations, and our natural resources. Regenerative growth is also called ‘restorative development’: in it lies the future of our civilization, and our planet.”
Now, let us, once and for all, do away with this obsolete mindset: the mindset of the Age of Separation that has seen humanity work very hard on destroying its own nature and foundation. Let’s do it by simply returning to the obvious fact that the old story is false: a finite planet canNOT accomodate infinite growth. In Sacred Economics, Charles Eisenstein elaborates on this obvious fact (my emphasis in bold):
Traditional investment, which is perfectly defensible in the context of Ascent, seeks to contribute to the growth of the money realm and gain a part of that contribution as a reward. The venture capitalist identifies high-growth opportunities and provides the money to bring them to fruition. In a steady-state or degrowth economy, this model is no longer appropriate, just as it feels no longer appropriate for more and more people in the investing class – hence the turn toward a different investment goal: the restoration, and not the more efficient exploitation, of the natural and social commons. Let me restate: there is no money to be made for the investors in such restoration. Any “socially conscious investment” scheme that promises a normal rate of return harbors a lie, whether consciously or not.
There, in a nutshell, lies the fundamental difference between the ‘socially conscious investment’ the book The Restoration Economy advocates and the funding Sanan David Reid is asking for. Despite its name, The Restoration Economy is all about more efficient exploitation of the commons, whereas Sanan’s work is all about the true restoration our Mother, and Lover, Earth so sorely needs.
We say: If you have MONEY, and you are looking for a way of investing it RIGHTLY, then go fund Sanan!
Maya and Shanto