Tuesday, March 31, 2009


No one has asked my opinion about the current recession...which is a crying shame actually, because I have a somewhat different perspective to most and one that might actually be more constructive than the all-too pervasive doom and gloom that most people get hooked into.

This whole notion we've operated on, that our economy has to continue growing and growing year by year is a total fallacy. In our capitalist-driven western society we're indoctrinated into the 'more, more, MORE' modus operandi and rarely question it....but let me tell you, life isn't like that! Life is about cycles - you only need to look to the natural world to see that. Everything in life operates in cycles of activity and rest, growth and decay, birth and death. The problem begins the moment we impose value judgements on these cycles: "this is good, but that is bad". We strive to manipulate circumstances to keep producing more of what we think is "good" (say, growth or activity) and do everything in our power to stave off what we deem to be "bad" (in this case, decay or decrease). But it's an artificial system and it doesn't reflect the natural order of life. And there's a word for it: cancer. The cancer cells keep multiplying and multiplying, growing and growing and ultimately prove potentially deadly to the organism. That's what happens when balance is loss and the same is as true for our society (and yes, economy!) as it is for our bodies.

We've lost balance. The very basis of our economy has been rooted in greed and unashamed self-interest at the cost of any concern for the whole. The evidence for this? The fact that millions of people on the planet don't even have clean drinking water, while most people in our society are simply concerned with getting more and more 'things', more money, bigger houses, better cars, fancier gadgets, more exotic holidays....we've become a cancer: a single cell completely out of balance, obsessed with multiplying, with creating more and more and more utterly regardless of the good of the whole.

You can only climb a mountain so far before you reach the top...and then the only way is back down. I actually see this recession as a good thing: hopefully balance will be restored. Hopefully the old systems and modes of being, which were corrupt, hideously self-serving and blatantly unjust will be uprooted and replaced with a system of greater integrity. Our rampant, flagrantly out-of-control materialism hasn't brought us happiness: in fact, a recent study documented that British children are the unhappiest in the world (a shocking statistic when you realise that this includes children in third world countries suffering dire poverty).

Soooo....what's the prognosis then? We need a new way of doing things. One that incorporates not just our own good, but the best interests of the whole. We can no longer turn a blind eye to the wretched suffering being endured by millions of our fellow men while continuing to pursue what has been the One True Religion of the past century: the worship and pursuit of materialism. It's time for a new way. How will this come about? I don't know. In the words of Lennon, 'I'm a dreamer....but I'm not the only one.' I have no doubt that change will happen if enough people start WAKING UP....

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