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Money as symbol

Wayne Angell [1] (Oversavings in Japan) puts the problem in a nutshell as if he has horse sense. I am sure there must be a sprinkling of people with common sense even among the economists. Wayne is one. This article is not an occasion for him to speak out his common sense. So, he stops short of practical solutions and right diagnosis. The fact that this phenomenon has already occurred in the world is clear demonstration that it is the physical folly that repeats. Surely, if the occasion permits, any other country will repeat it.  Even the US and Japan are capable of repeating it. There is no arguing with physical understanding that repeats in utter defiance of earlier experience.  Let us not try it. The world, especially when it wants to march ahead, is not going to try to convince such understanding. It will brush it aside and go ahead.  If Asia and Japan insist on going through the 1929 US experience, the world is not without clear thinkers. It is worthwhile gathering them and serving as a spearhead to their thought. Maybe we have to give a shape to their thought. Such thought must pronounce on deflation, inflation, deficit budget, recession and  unemployment. A book on money must serve that purpose. It must clearly bring out certain facts and give life to those facts till they become inspiring ideas.

  • Money is not a thing. It is a symbol.
  • A symbol has value only when it is recognized.
  • As money is non-material and is in the subtle plane, its power is great.
  • Money is the mechanism for man to use his excess energy.
  • As excess is thrown away, excess energy is useless for the future.
  • Man is selfish and will not give his excess fruits to another.
  • Even if he gives, the excess benefits the other not himself. Money helps him to benefit.
  • Money is like fiction. Products are like life experience. But fiction has a greater power over human minds to shape their values, than history because fiction is in the subtle plane. Only in the subtle plane immortal characters are created.
  • Power comes to money in greater measure than real products.
  • This power is real Only as long as the population recognizes it.
  • An unreal use of any power is the order of civilisation at all times. It creates illusions and illusions do serve their term in life.
  • Only compelling circumstances can break illusions.
  • Enlightened thought can lead or help but by itself without an accompanying compelling need, it will be futile.
  • To make illusion a great reality is the way of all human life and thought. Money is no exception.
  • University degree, marriage, family, joint family, tradition, values, social security, religion and every walk of life are of this hue.
  • All these do have a positive role for a period. Beyond that period it is a fetter. These two sides are there in every symbol.
  • Our life grows to be governed more and more by that symbol.
  • Law is one such powerful symbol.
  • Justice departs company from law when law grows otiose.
  • The right side of money has a great developmental power even as the wrong side has a power of destruction.


  • Once this understanding emerges clearly and a solution based on it is framed, then it will be possible to put that solution not in the theoretical fashion, but as a practical utility.
  • Should that happen, at least one well meaning man from the ruling class must see the truth as FDR did in 1929.
  • We cannot do it by explanation, but can achieve it by inspiration.
  • That conservative tendency is so great that Asian tigers that struck out a new path anxiously fell into the old trap.
  • Thought does not have the power to break that spell but emotion and its inspiration have.
  • Suppose someone with a crystal clear head understands this point of view, he would ask for a solution in old terms.
  • The one hope is that when the theory gains a universal acceptance its authority may come to our rescue.
  • All these companies admit of organisation, computerisation, and so on, in a great measure as they are in the very first step.
  • Modern methods of market study, consciously relating to the developing market and doing the work as the customer would appreciate are all there only in the measure circumstances demand. Organisations at this level admit of a hundred fold expansion.

Positive money

All instruments are neutral. It is man who can make the instrument positive or negative. But there are a few instruments like sweetness, softness, affection that rarely become negative.

The character of the Supermind is that it enriches the instrument. Earlier, I said Law can never be negative as Power is prone to be. Power is exercised by a person and his ego. Law is public conscience codified. In the measure law is impersonal, it tends to be positive. Truthfulness can never be a negative instrument.

I am only thinking of money becoming positive in a material or mechanical sense. Today money can destroy men and can be used for purposes of destruction. If money is available in abundance, its role as a builder of nations and individuals seen in full, the lure of personal progress will be so great as to change the character of money into a positive one. Money available in great quantities will wipe out money lending. My statement is analogous to  'When employment is available in plenty, man ceases to be a thief and becomes positive.'  We talk of atomic energy becoming constructive, poison becoming a saver of life. Today the negative functions of money issue out of scarcity, monetary policy and a well-rooted belief that money makes the man. When scarcity is replaced by abundance, monetary policy becomes useless and man already sees that he, the man, makes money. By and large money becomes positive. This is the smaller part of its positive nature.

  • Sound and language when elevated to music and literature, become so positive that they bear no resemblance to their origin.
  • Education of the three R's at its present height has created thinkers, produced near geniuses and  become an instrument of civilisation.
  • Marriage is now a medium for childbirth, largely negative in the psychological sense. Man's knowledge of the woman, the value and scope of the human relationship, the resourcefulness of the physical body for work and enjoyment are minimal today. It is like the military technology of three hundred years ago. If man knows himself with a psychological insight, knows the extent to which the woman complements him, studies the various delights of human intercourse between two or more people and then he decides to focus it in his marriage, the marriage becomes a wonderful, positive instrument inconceivable now.
  • Money being an important centre of life, an organised world community that eliminates terrorism, exploitation, local feuds, violence of several descriptions, mafia, and such other villainies, can unleash abundant supply of money on its population. Then it can play only positive roles. My main argument mentioned earlier is that the lure of personal growth through enjoyment made possible by money will outstrip the negative roles it can play.
  • For that, money must have only use value, not storing value.
  • A self-evaluation would be very interesting.
  • Why do you not try to make two experiments on yourself: 

   1) Your becoming a positive instrument of money.

   2) Money becoming positive in your life.

  • Sri Aurobindo's Force admitted into one's life knows no middle term between the one that the man is, and the Infinity His Force is.

The central theme here is that every event is full of infinite potential. Money is used to illustrate the theme.

Going a little further, man is a creator, he is a creator par excellence. He can create anything. The social world we are in, is his creation only.

Still further, we find that man is the creator of the universe of which he is the brightest spot. But it not done by his main instrument we know of - the mind. It is done by Supermind from which mind is a derivative. He is yet to discover it. As of now, there is not even a physical or a subtle centre for the Supermind in him.

Finally Man is not only the creator of the universe he is a part of, but exceeds it. He is the Transcendent who appears as Man to his sense perception. Man is God and universe. That is the self-finding by self-exceeding.

Constructing a parallel between Society and the Absolute, the arguments will gain clarity.

Social expression

Spiritual status

Unorganized Mankind


Organized Society


Government (Parliament)


Government (Executive)


Government (employees as consumers too)


The Government as the masses



The common conception of the government identifies it with the administration, but administration is only the uncreative part of the government that executes. The real determining and decisive power of the government lies in the houses of Parliament. The vast population of government employees are also members of the population who not only administer but feel the pinch of the government decisions as consumers and citizens. The masses at the bottom are in theory, like the tax payers who are unconscious administrative parts of the government. This parallel helps the mind to acquire clarity. Of the dozens of instruments society uses to administer itself, Money is one, but the most powerful.

- Society is self-creative and creates any type of government it chooses. The present type of government is not final or the only one. Just now this is the choice of Society.

- Society is infinitely creative, creative of government administration, its institutions and its strategies but society is also self-creative in the sense it can take any shape it chooses.

- All its creations, institutions and infrastructures are equally creative.

- Money is that creative. It has all the creative characteristics of Society. Further, it has all the potentials of God the Transcendent in its creativity.

Self-creative social institutions:

The infinity behind and its capacity for self-creation are better perceived when we know it is already involved. I drew a parallel of society to creation. The spirit is involved in Matter and therefore Matter is Satchidananda. On a parallel what is involved in money (or any institution or technology)? It is understandable if we say these institutions are evolutionary and would lead to a higher goal. Can we think of involution? What lies behind that concept?

Man's subconscious experience in survival has given him all that capacity to survive subconsciously. The body functions so. When a man begins to walk his heart readily pumps more blood, lungs activate themselves, hands and legs begin to locomote, blood runs faster, the balancing bones in the ear function, the eyes are set ahead and what other part of the body does not rise to that occasion? For this, the body has developed sight, reflex action, sensation, hearing, thinking and so on. These are somewhat parallel to social functioning. All these functions are involved in man's inertia which surfaces when he activates himself.

Money is an institution in which the existence of society is involved as undeveloped consciousness. By movement, what is involved evolves. Can it be anything less than infinite potentials?

[1] WSJ article on Japanese financial crisis

story | by Dr. Radut