(Week 10 - Saturday, Oct. 4)
This is the last of the first sixty columns before I, and those readers that have accompanied me on this journey, take a two-week hiatus. I plan to resume the series on October 20. It is time, not only for a chance to catch our breath, but also for inner reflection on what has been said.
The writing has had its satisfactions, but it is a poor substitute for meeting in person. If it were possible I would have each of you in front of me for a face-to-face conversation. That goal is not attainable realistically, but it can be realized in part through voice-to-voice conversation over the phone. Accordingly, I am herein listing my phone number: 218-828-1366 (many of those on my distribution list have it already). I invite critiques, questions and commentaries. I also welcome the many written responses I have been receiving, but often I can see in them subtle, but important, issues of understanding that can only be addressed in voice-to-voice conversation.
The tenor of these articles might, if one is not fully attentive, seem to be a broadside against bankers and banking. Let me be clear; the enemy is not bankers or banking. Rather, it a powerfully perverse principle that has gotten a hold on the human heart and mind. To be sure, bankers have often played their unfortunate part, and the institution of banking has to a great extent been the agent for the devil's work, but they are by no means unique in that status. In this modern age we are virtually all economic players, and have in our own particular niches contributed to the difficult circumstances that are unfolding in our financial life at present. I had intended to speak to greater depth upon this subject, but that idea was overtaken by events in the financial world that had to be addressed.
I have worked at this monetary "obsession" for going-on three decades, and have encountered a receptiveness, and even hunger, that has grown over the years for the conversation about money. There is a palpable impulse for change emerging in the people I meet. Many times the discussion is animated and the demeanor eager. Often, there is a reluctance to let the epiphany of the encounter come to an end. The next time we meet the personal warmth and enthusiasm is still there, but that special moment of recognition of the fatally flawed nature of the present monetary system, and the way out, has not taken root.
I have seen the flame of awakening on the subject of money kindled many times, but it has been, for the most part, a kindling of green wood. It will burn as long as the flame of my or other's speaking in person to the matter is held to it, and perhaps a while after, but the awareness needed for it to sustain itself is not yet arrived, and so it goes out. Still, something remains. A glowing ember from the moment of recognition when the hearer could peer through the veil of the present malaise and see that there is indeed an answer remains deep in the hearer's memory, but is not sufficient to re-kindle the flame on its own.
The time approaches in the progression of human evolution where a living consciousness about money can, and indeed must, be sustained on its own. It has been the conscious purpose of this series of treatises to expedite that transformation. The idea has been to break down a subject that is bewilderingly vast, complex and immersive into daily digestible bites that can be taken in as an antidote to what is, in my view, misguided, misleading and depressing media fare. My hope is that whatever merit is contained in these tomes will serve as lessons that will, over time, season the inner timber of mindfulness on the subject of money.
The success or failure of this initiative will be measured by how much it encourages and inspires people to take up spontaneously the seeking of truth about money in the context of their own life experiences, and their own original thoughts. Only then can the flame of understanding be said to have been lit. From there it can be shared with others until it kindles a mighty conflagration of realization that no force on earth can hold back.
At least that is my idea. If it is my delusion, let it be so, but I can't spend the day worrying about what others think. There is too much to do. The headlines, of late, have sewn a seed of urgency in many I have met or who have contacted me. Humankind has come a long way without coming to a deep realization of "what is money", the sophisticated world-encompassing financial structures we have built up notwithstanding. But the question can no longer be put by. It demands an answer, or fearful forces out of our control will impose one on us.
In my perception, all the signs of the times converge in a worldly sense upon the same reckoning, and that is what to do about money. If we would see it, the very occurrence of the present world financial chaos is a priceless opportunity. Whether we seize upon it for good or ill will make all the difference. I suggest that this is something to contemplate until we resume.
Thank you all for your interest.
Respectfully and lovingly submitted, Richard Kotlarz
The complete set of columns from this series is posted at the following websites: