Economic Crises and the New Way – 1

Thea’s response to questions from her group
on the current economic crisis
(followed by commentary)

PH: David Rieff published a blog titled “A Battle for the Soul of India” on The National Interest (http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/battle-the-soul-india-8993). As I read it, I found his summary of the debate between our two Indian economists, Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati, to be both fascinating and puzzling. Help me out on the terms…

REW: What it boils down to is a disagreement between the Conservative and Liberal schools of economics…  what you are seeing in India and all around the globe is precisely the catastrophe of the currency system….For me this goes back to what the Mother once wrote about the future financial system. It follows almost exactly what she said about Science and Spirituality and the ‘Third Thing’ beyond them both that alone could solve the problem. "The age of Capitalism and business is drawing to a close. But the age of Communism, too, will pass. For Communism as it is preached is not constructive, it is a weapon to combat plutocracy. But when the battle is over and the armies are disbanded for want of employment, then Communism, having no more utility, will be transformed into something else that will express a higher truth. We know this truth, and we are working for it so that it may reign upon earth."

You can see something of this situation being played out in the dialog between Sen and Bhagwati. As the article says: “… the fate of hundreds of millions of Indians depends to a significant extent on whether the Indian government signs on to the basic premises behind the economic and social policies Bhagwati has been recommending, or instead to the one Sen has championed.”

What you write about economics is truly of great interest. This is an area that must be articulated. I have not done so yet – at least according to the ‘third thing’. Of course like every right-thinking person I realise that neither capitalism nor socialism can bring the answers we seek. But if there is a choice forced between the two I will always choose capitalism because whatever its faults it fosters what I believe to be the most important feature of the New Way: freedom.
    You may argue that this is a fictitious freedom and that it exists only to manipulate society – the consumerist society – so that more goods are purchased to fill greedy coffers, etc. This is a simplistic way of putting it because the ramifications are extensive, as we all know; but it will do for now. The only point I am making is that fictitious or not it does allow room for the voice of the people to be heard. In the midst of the collapse we see around us (and I use this word differently than you do perhaps) voices are heard. You have mentioned a few in your comments to X. Actually, the so-called collapse is simply the dissolution of both systems; this is what is taking place. One would have to be blind not to see what lies behind the economic crises we are living through.
    To reach that point of dissolution both socialism and capitalism had to be brought to their extremes. For example, communism was the extreme form of socialism and it ended in an almost total rejection of individual freedom, to the point of becoming a grotesque caricature of what it originally set out to do which was to free the oppressed classes from an oligarchy of the rich and the dynastic rule they had been subjected to for centuries. Brought to its extreme the only way it could survive was by completely stifling that freedom. When it was forced to collapse – in an apparent victory of capitalism – communism sought a more benign face in order to make itself acceptable to the spirit of the new times. Communism went to the people as pure socialism wedded to democracy. But that sealed its fate because it then became just another end of the pole of tension between the two forces: communism/socialism and capitalism. At the heart of the struggle lies, as ever, the collapse of the binary system. That is what underlies the problems on the economic front. Most people view the struggle as between these two systems; in effect, it is the binary creation that has to give way to the unitary. That has been the entire focus of my work since 1990 – centred almost entirely on the Yoga of the Horse, as you are aware.
    So, we have to be clear about what we are dealing with. You have nicely analysed the two poles in your discussion about Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati, two faces – but for me OF THE SAME COIN. That is the crux of the problem. Clearly what is necessary is indeed that ‘third thing’ – but can we agree on what that should be? Perhaps it is too early to do so. However, a word of caution is necessary: for the New Way to operate the key feature has to be a growth from within, as a flower opening up and gradually, organically occupying the inner spaces, and in this act it pushes out, slowly but definitively and surely, the old order. This means that in the just terms of the New Way THERE IS NEVER A COLLAPSE because there is NEVER A VOID. If such were the case, we could not speak of a NEW way, much less of a ‘third thing’. The cornerstone of my work (which was never explained by the Mother or Sri Aurobindo in full, except to indicate what we must strive for, that ‘third thing’) is that I consciously ‘filled the void’. This was done cosmically, as in a cosmological formula, but through the Individual. Hence it was of the Earth, for the Earth. I knew at that time, right when it was transpiring in my Yoga, that the work WAS DONE. It was just a question of time before that tiniest point would give forth in an increasing measure the tools required for the new order to become established. But it is indeed a NEW order. That means centrally that there will never more be any experience of total collapse because there is no Void as in earlier times before the Void was filled. It is impossible now. What has to happen is that conditions have to conspire to allow for the Third Thing to flower and fill those empty spaces left by the dissolution taking place. This has been the focus of the Yoga of the Horse, and by extension, the Cow as well. Both go hand in hand. But the warriors of the piece are the horses – out there on the battle field directly, not a question of sending their products to do the work while they remain nestled in the comforting womb of the Centre. And this too is in the just order of things. The Cow is undifferentiated Consciousness; the Horse steps in and creates those periods that form our Year (hence the vital importance of the correct calendar.) Then alone can we tackle the Falsehood. Throughout history this has been the heroic role of the Horse: to do battle upfront, face to face with the enemy. The Yoga of the Horse is no different.
    Back to economics. Capitalism has followed the same course as socialism over the past few decades. India is a case in point, caught in the confusion of the two systems and not able to come up with answers as yet. Of course she cannot because until now she too has been as if on a seesaw – or seeking to find accommodation on one or the other end of the binary pole. Clearly, India cannot engage in anything that resembles the old order; she cannot solve her crises on this basis. But, is there any hint that she knows how to get out of the binary trap in a NEW way? The first essential would be an opening to Sri Aurobindo’s work because that is where the answers are to be found. And the next is that she admits there is a third way beyond both binary poles. Capitalism has revealed itself incapable of solving the problems because carried to its extremes we have what we see around us: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer. India has now fallen back on the socialist answer: doles. Any right-thinking person knows that that cannot ever be the answer because it goes against the premises of the third way which is to foster growth FROM WITHIN. This applies cosmically, individually, and in society as a whole. Therefore the way has to be found to stimulate that inner development from the proverbial grass roots: doles, schemes for the poor, and all the rest of it, can only produce further debt in an economy that is already overburdened. More than that, it creates a weak and wimpish society – indeed, what India has known for decades because of the socialist formulas of former regimes. There is definitely a way to avoid these pitfalls – provided, however, that there is a will to find the solution, and especially the ability to think ‘out of the box’. This means to find solutions that honour the deepest dharma of nations, particularly India that has to lead the world.
    I find nothing wrong in your analyses of the two systems; it is just that I know you expect, as many do, a total collapse of the world economy, without realising that if this were to take place, it would mean that the Earth has forsaken her place in the harmonious scheme of things and that she could not provide the field where these issues can and will be resolved – IN A NEW WAY. The expectation of a mortal human race under the rule of Death is that complete destruction must take place before the new can manifest. This is what civilisations across the world have known throughout our recorded history. The reason why the Rig Veda cannot be understood by any Indian today is because its hymns were the product of a race of Immortal Ones. This is the only reason why its secrets remain closed behind steel doors – the doors protecting the Ignorance, keeping the human race subjugated to the rule of Death. When Death is the finality of course the only ‘solution’ we can fathom is destruction, obliteration of the Eye that Sees, oblivion, and all the rest of it down the line. This is the purpose of war. In a society ruled by Death and the Ignorance, of course war is legitimate. To believe otherwise is to live in a fool’s paradise. We have to accept our position and condition realistically; otherwise we are simply living in denial. Like programmes for addicts, the first thing is to admit you are an addict. Then you can begin to come out of your predicament.
    In this case we must see that the totality of conditions demands the war response. However, and this is the blessing, if we have a means to help us ‘see in understanding’ via the new cosmology, then we also know that our comfort zone of war is also part of the dissolution. It is just not the same anymore. It never gives a conclusive result. Since the 1960s this has been the case in every single war we have fought. We go on trying, relying on the old responses; but they will increasingly bring us to face the fact that in this too a NEW way is demanded. I am not advocating the weakness of comprise – rather, harmony based on strength. There is a huge difference. India is a case in point. Her present condition – leaving aside her economic woes – cannot introduce anything other than the weakness we observe everyday and the subjugation to the dictates of her enemies. Another case in point, to call those enemies ‘friends’ just because we believe that is the noble and religious way (as in forgive your enemies, or do unto others as you would have done unto yourself), is equally a falsehood. Strength comes from the inner resolve of that innermost truth. We must allow that to carry the day and stop fantasising about making friends of enemies. It will never happen, it is not meant to happen. However, I must qualify this statement: the answer will come shortly when ‘each thing is put in its rightful place’. Then there can never be any such categorisation of ‘we’ and ‘them’, enemies and friends. It is simply the lesson of Mahasaraswati: each thing in its place – and that is HARMONY. Thereafter integration occurs: each thing in its place.
    But let’s forget those of the moneyed class: they will never get it. All they know is to further the Binary System.
    We have a long, long way to go.

Thea [Patrizia Norelli-Bachelet]
Director, Aeon Centre of Cosmology
18 September 2013

HK: I would put it this way. The current financial system based on debt, is basically founded upon VOID, as debt is the absence of money, and they have given us promissory notes (greenbacks), just as [they] assure us of a heaven afterwards, after struggling here (to pay off the debts). Money is created out of NOTHING, backed only by the eleven aircraft carriers, and since there is NO CENTRE to fall back upon, this system is destined to implode.
    In a NEW WAY economics, I would say that money would be based on something solid and tangible like GOLD, or something valuable. And even this value would be backed up by people's contributions to society, and so ultimately the people would be the centre of the economy and not money. The SOUL would take its place as the CENTRE, and since it is always there (eternal, undying), the economy is constantly rejuvenating, taking new forms according to the needs of the situation (rather than dependent on mental ideas like capitalism, communism).

Thea: … It is along these lines that the new order must arise. Really, there is no such bracketing together by separating items like economy, military, education, etc.. It is truly all one, once the base is established. It would all find its rightful place within the system that provides for all the needs in the correct proportion.
   The key here is not to build on a void but rather Fullness. This issue is how to translate that to the whole of society as in a new order? I don't see that gold could be that 'solid' something we need on its own. The idea of the basis being the PEOPLE is the right course, just as it is at Skambha (perhaps the only true 'communism' in existence). But all this implies a society living in the soul - of course this is what the Mother had envisioned for the city-consciousness. Truly, all we have to do is to use the keys she left and we have the answers: The chamber/temple as representative of that soul, of that 'centre that fills the void', the city stabilised on that Point, drawing all sustenance AND REPLENISHMENT from that centre which is the connection 'to the other side', as in the new scientific paradigm I formulated.
    It is all so simple, yet none of our so-called leaders can come up with something true, real - and bountiful. Poverty, penury IS NOT THE NEW WAY. That is clear. Poverty is an aberration. It exists in India largely because of corruption, which is the way of Death. It indicates ego interests as central: the me, myself and I syndrome, the perversion of the Third Principle: the individual out for himself alone, his family, his clan, with all his insecurities and fears. But once the 'hole' is 'plugged' all of this comes into being so naturally. This is why the zillion new alternative energy sources that bright people are discovering almost on a daily basis cannot actually fructify. We blame the failing on those dratted oil companies and their vested interests. Yes, but why do THEY exist? In the New Way they simply could not. That is the key: they could not because those twists and knots are transformed to display their truthful core, their truthful and uncontaminated essence. In a word, the energy they hoard away - as in the Rig Vedic myth - is released. That is the key: to get those knots undone and the energy they hoard for ego interests released.
    Actually, Skambha runs along these lines. But we stand quite alone.

The Mother on money
[The] Mother's Agenda
Vol. 1, 4.10.1958

       Money belongs to the one who spends it; that is an absolute law. You may pile up money, but it doesn't belong to you until you spend it. Then you have the merit, the glory, the joy, the pleasure of spending it!
    Money is meant to circulate. What should remain constant is the progressive movement of an increase in the earth's production and ever-expanding progressive movement to increase the earth's production and improve existence on earth. It is the material improvement of terrestrial life and the growth of the earth's production that must go on expanding, enlarging, and not this silly paper or this inert metal that is amassed and lifeless.
    Money is not meant to generate money; money should generate an increase in production, an improvement in the conditions of life and a progress in human consciousness. This is its true use. What I call an improvement in consciousness, a progress in consciousness, is everything that education in all its forms can provide not as it's generally understood, but as we understand it here: education in art, education in ... from the education of the body, from the most material progress, to the spiritual education and progress through yoga; the whole spectrum, everything that leads humanity towards its future realisation. Money should serve to augment that and to augment the material base for the earth's progress, the best use of what the earth can give its intelligent utilisation, not the utilisation that wastes and loses energy. The use that allows energies to be replenished.
    In the universe there is an inexhaustible source of energy that asks only to be replenished; if you know how to go about it, it is replenished. Instead of draining life and the energies of our earth and making of it something parched and inert, we must know the practical exercise for replenishing the energy constantly. And these are not just words; I know how it's to be done, and science is in the process of thoroughly finding out ˗ it has found out most admirably. But instead of using it to satisfy human passions, instead of using what science has found so that men may destroy each other more effectively than they are presently doing, it must be used to enrich the earth: to enrich the earth, to make the earth richer and richer, more active, generous, productive and to make all life grow towards its maximum efficiency. This is the true use of money. And if it's not used like that, it's a vice ˗ a short circuit and a vice.
       But how many people know how to use it in this way? Very few, which is why they have to be taught. What I call teach is to show, to give the example. We want to be the example of true living in the world. It's a challenge I am placing before the whole financial world: I am telling them that they are in the process of withering and ruining the earth with their idiotic system; and with even less than they are now spending for useless things merely for inflating something that has no inherent life, that should be only an instrument at the service of life, that has no reality in itself, that is only a means and not an end (they make an end of something that is only a means) well then, instead of making it an end, they should make it the means. With what they have at their disposal they could ... oh, transform the earth so quickly! Transform it, put it into contact, truly into contact, with the supramental forces that would make life bountiful and, indeed, constantly renewed instead of becoming withered, stagnant, shrivelled up: a future moon. A dead moon.
All this time
The Sun never says to the Earth,

"You owe me."

What happens
With a love like that,
It lights the whole sky.

- Hafiz

LT: This has long been of my favourite poems ... a short and powerful reminder that exchanges of energy (in whatever form), are quite different from a Solar perspective than from the egoic perspective. When people’s baseline experience becomes abundance and perfection will there even be an economy? It just seems that money (in whatever form) represents wealth or value ... so what happens when people simply experience wealth or value directly. I just think of animals, and how they function perfectly well without an economy. There’s a different hierarchy in place, in terms of the food chain ... but there are no representations or symbols of wealth to be exchanged. Things just are what they are, and the play unfolds accordingly to the specific traits and capacities of each life form. Nothing gets compensated for being what it is or for contributing what it contributes to the Ecosystem.            
       Then comes Man who doesn’t really know what is what on planet Earth (or who is who), and out of our many needs, limited knowledge, limited capacities and pervasive sense of scarcity and insecurity we spontaneously create our economy which is ever more out of tune with the Earth's actual ecosystem and the human soul. And so we have our increasingly painful and unsustainable egonomy/egosystem at odds with the natural order ... the natural law/divine law.
       I just looked up the etymology of the word economy. Eco is traced back to 'house' and nomy to 'law' ... 'the law of the house'. Then I thought of the similarity between eco, and eka which is the Sanskrit word meaning One. Thankfully the Law of the One is designed to replace the insane 'law of the house' or law of the ego in due course of time. Now it occurs that the root word for horse, equi (from the Greek word iqo), is also tied into this interesting word play.
       Awhile back I did an etymological search on the word 'ego' [from the Greek word eko] ... imagining it had something to do with the Sanskrit word go meaning light or body of light as in cow, earth, mother, sun. In the Sanskrit dictionary, I found the word ago, the only definition of which was given was 'not cow'! Well our economy is certainly not the 'cow of plenty' (Kamadhenu) however much we wish it would be.

'Kamadhenu is a divine bovine-goddess described in Hindu mythology as the mother of all cows. She is a miraculous "cow of plenty" who provides her owner whatever he desires and is often portrayed as the mother of other cattle as well as the eleven Rudras. In iconography, she is generally depicted as a white cow with a female head and breasts or as a white cow containing various deities within her body. All cows are venerated in Hinduism as the earthly embodiment of the Kamadhenu. As such, Kamadhenu is not worshipped independently as a goddess, and temples are not dedicated to her honor alone; rather, she is honored by the veneration of cows in general throughout the observant Hindu population.
       'Hindu scriptures provide diverse accounts of the birth of Kamadhenu. While some narrate that she emerged from the churning of the cosmic ocean ... and that kings who tried to steal her from the sage ultimately faced dire consequences for their actions. Kamadhenu plays the important role of providing milk and milk products to be used in her sage-master's oblations; she is also capable of producing fierce warriors to protect him. In addition to dwelling in the sage's hermitage, she is also described as dwelling in Goloka - the realm of the cows - and Patala, the netherworld.'
Here is a passage from Sri Aurobindo's Hymns to the Mystic Fire that speak to the Vedic conception of treasure, wealth and the robbers and coverers of the Light that IS.

"Thought," says the Rishi, "has nourished for us human things in the Immortals, in the Great Heavens; it is the milch-cow which milks of itself the wealth of many forms" ˗ the many kinds of wealth, cows, horses and the rest for which the sacrificer prays; evidently this is no material wealth, it is something which Thought, the Thought embodied in the Mantra, can give and it is the result of the same Thought that nourishes our human things in the Immortals, in the Great Heavens. A process of divinisation, and of a bringing down of great and luminous riches, treasures won from the Gods by the inner work of sacrifice, is hinted at in terms necessarily covert but still for one who knows how to read these secret words, ninya vacamsi, sufficiently expressive, kavaye nivacana. Again, Night and Dawn the eternal sisters are like "joyful weaving women weaving the weft of our perfected works into the form of a sacrifice". Again, words with a mystic form and meaning, but there could hardly be a more positive statement of the psychological character of the Sacrifice, the real meaning of the Cow, of the riches sought for, the plenitudes of the Great Treasure.
The question of the Symbol and what it Symbolizes seems to me to be somehow central to the whole issue of wealth and whether or not one can experience value and security within reality as it is presented and lived. It seems that our conception of wealth - what it IS, what the symbols we use for it, what creates it - will undergo a serious uplifting as the symbol and the thing it symbolizes begins to align more clearly in our consciousness ... so that the Treasures generated by the harmonies of Space and Time (by Being and Becoming) are more accessible and available as compelling food and energy for the upward journey of individuals and the collective.