Normally when I think of currency I think of money. But currency is so much deeper than just coins, paper, bank accounts, or stocks and bonds. It’s energy. By definition “currency is something that is used as an exchange.” Historically, it wasn’t the paper that was important it was the bartering of something for equal value, i.e., an exchange of energy. It’s also defined as “the quality of being generally accepted.” In other words, someone has to feel that the value of the exchange matches what is being given or received. Equality. Money is the leveling ground of equality.
Wow! That’s a loaded comment.
It reminds me of the time when I lived in Mission Viejo, an enclave in Southern California, in the 1990’s. People used to say that no one cares what color you are, as long as it’s green. In a way to me, it was a compliment that we had come so far as to break the color line. No one cared if my mother was white and my father was black. No one cared if my sister’s friend’s mom was Korean. And certainly no one cared that my neighbors were Latin Americans. But now that I think back on it the currency was wasn’t equal. It was biased towards money. People did care what car you drove, people did care what your parents did for a living, and people certainly did care in what zip code your home was located.
The energy exchange was not equal. Are you telling me that George and Anna - our house cleaners, my nanny, and our landscapers had less currency than us? It would seem so. In hindsight although I would be the first to say I cared for them, I actually knew nothing about them. Once they left my home, I forgot about their existence…sounds a bit like the mindset of the Deep South -except I'm wasn't considered a racist. No, I was just a class discriminator. Sounds nicer...but it's the same, it may even be a bit more insidious. Because it's veiled behind concern, attitude, and care.
When I worked in the nonprofit sector, one of the employees of one of my clients, and eco-social justice organization in Oakland, placed an article about his thoughts of giving and philanthropy and titled it philanthro-pimps, instead of philanthropists. I was pissed beyond belief. How dare this recipient of the generosity of my donor spit in her face with an article that overtly called her a pimp and his organization a whore. In evaluating the article, especially the pithy title for its true nature, I could see threads of truth. What is the role of philanthropy? Is it so people with privilege can feel good when they give just like I did when I gave away bags of clothes to my daughter's nanny. Or is it so the representation of generosity and gratitude can flow-which is also how I felt when I gave the clothes away even though I could have sold them or given them away. What about the recipient? How does it become an equal exchange of energy, this currency thing.
This currency was, and I would argue still is, biased not towards energy but towards the actually money – the green baby! And it is biased towards power of the giver not of the receiver. And if it's equal shouldn't both parties be giving and receiving? That's it! That's the key...the exchange must be equitable for both the giver and the receiver.
Money wasn’t and still isn’t the leveling ground. It’s the divider and segregator as is education, mannerisms, dress, habits, vacation destinations, and furniture phrases (like does one say sofa or couch, fainting couch or chaise lounge?) even how the exchange is made has an entire story of class structure and hierarchy wrapped around it. For example, is one paying with cash, a normal credit card, an Amex, platinum or the coveted black card? Think it’s irrelevant? Try paying with cash for an airline ticket or try whipping out the black card at dinner with friends or at the luxury boutique, the difference in the auric atmosphere is palpable. I know. I’ve been on both sides of the coin. And there is a whiff of class discrimination and elitism associated with each form of currency.
But even as currency has stigma or honor, currency moves. It may change hands and have a certain air while exchanging hands, it moves. It has to. The true value is not in the method of exchange but in the exchange itself.
And wrapped into the exchange is desire. Desire for what the currency will buy, what it will replace, and when scratching deeper it represents what we really need in our soul and how much we have aligned our inner selves with our outer selves. If we aren’t aligned or conscious, we covet the material, if we have…we realize it’s just bullshit. Desire pinpoints what we really value, surface or depth.
What is our desire currency? I had started that big picture search by taking a look at my own personal desire currency. desire pinpoints what I value.
I was listening to Sadhguru (you know…the one who is the mystic described in the dialogue in the book, Midnights with The Mystic) the other day and he was talking about desire. Here are some interesting notions:
· The basis of all misery is unfulfilled desire. X is not happening the way you want it to happen.
· To move from point A to point B is desire. And so if no desire then no movement.
· The energy of life is the energy of desire…and so reducing the size of desire does not reduce misery. Changing the object of desire does not change the misery.
And so if there is no movement then there is no life. All movement is a desire towards something or away from something…again underscoring where we place value. The premise behind the energetic movement of currency itself is the quest of the currency. Is it our job, drugs, family, alcohol, pills, sex, fun, meditation, spirituality, food, love? No, that’s where we search. The premise is the value we place on the energy and why we place emphasis on one particular currency or another. So what’s our currency?
The key is in the desire prompting the search. This is why I think the whole notion that detaching from any attachment or that detachment is an indicator of enlightenment is complete and utter bullshit. We have to engage, experience, and move the energy. The energy can’t be destroyed or created. It can only move and that’s what makes us alive.
I am attached to life or I would die. But I try to do it as an observer of myself from the vantage point of integrating my higher and future self. I try to live without the fear of dying knowing that the currency of life is death.
“Don't forget love;
it will bring all the madness you need
to unfurl yourself across
the universe.” -- Mirabai Devi