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Sustainable Abundance


June 17, 1999

            Money is not a thing. It is a symbol. Also it is an institution or organisation. It is created out of trust in human relationship. Money enables the society to preserve the excess energy of the past to be used in the future. It enables one man's unusable excess energy usable to another. In preserving the past for the future, money overcomes the transient nature of Time. Philosophically we can say money is an instrument for Time to pass into Timelessness with respect to human energy, effort and perishable material. Sri Aurobindo says money is one of the three things attractive to human ego. We see the truth of it. One component of the ego is time, the others being mind, surface, finite nature. If that is so, when reversed, it can equally be an instrument to dissolve the ego.

            Since its creation money has added so many dimensions to it that one who was present at its birth may not recognize our money as his own. The expansion money has undergone since it was originally conceived has made it 10 times or 100 times more effective.

            Money can now take new birth into the future.

            That will enable it to expand 10 or 100 times from its present position. Money is a symbol, not a thing. A symbol, being the creation of the mind, inherently has no limits to expansion. As it is preserving the excess of past social energy, now it can utilise the future social energy, not necessarily the excess, but the whole.* The proposition is logically sound. Only that it needs to be practised. I would think, it needs no explanation, as it is self-evident.

            Madras government has attracted 1,51,000 crores of foreign investment. What comes into Madras? Purchasing power of that value comes in to put up a factory, buy machinery, pay salaries and wages. But WHAT has come in, through which door, port or airport? WHAT in real terms has COME in? In real terms nothing has come in. Tamilnadu government, which is unable to start factories, is now able to start factories. This is true of all money whether it is foreign or local, capital or wages. It is a confidence worth 1,51,000 crores. Suppose Tamilnadu receives this money and instead of spending it, deposits it into its own treasury, and issues a representative of it in the shape of currencies or cards the government will have the same capacity to create factories worth 1,51,000.

            Logically, it is evident that Tamilnadu government can itself create

            1,51,000 crores of rupees or for that matter any amount of money

            that can be sustained by future production..

As the past excess production sustains today's money, future production can also sustain money. Hire purchase and all credits already do so. The present volume of money the world uses is many many times the money society originally created. This multiplication in volume was possible by the newer and newer social institutions created during the past centuries.

            I am fond of repeating the axiom that every new social institution

            gradually enlivens every existing institution till the possible further

            complexity is exhausted.

This phenomenon is there everywhere, but is more evident in money. But till now the role of money is largely confined to the past. Its intrusion into the future is not yet phenomenal. The theoretical position is easily explained, but its practice is not as easily conceived.

            World, if it chooses, can create as much money as its future production can sustain when it develops the appropriate institutional mechanism. The infinite riches of Life Mother speaks of, is no mere symbol but a spiritual reality, though it can be explained as such a symbol. Vedanta laid down that creative ability of MAN in this direction was limited to the vitality of humanity - (the vital plane) - poetic creation and hallucination - but cannot be extended to the gross plane. Money is still in the vital plane. So, we have the sanction of Vedanta for its abundant creation!

             In the light of what man has achieved so far, this proposition seems to be a repetition of what he has already achieved in other fields. Language, transport, communication, education, spread of ideas have already witnessed this phenomenon richly.

            Money is a vital organisation, we said. What is done by money can as well be done by GOODWILL except that it does not lend itself to quantifying as money does. Goodwill is a psychological institution to create which one has to move from the vital 2 more levels. By psychological here, I mean, spiritual as it is WILL, not merely passive goodness.

            The greater curse of our currency is, it is speculative. This capacity does not primarily belong to currency but to our ego. Currency allows itself as an instrument of speculation. That trait of it cannot be eliminated as long as ego is there. But the tendency to speculate can be less, as any civilizing influence is less egoistic.

            Once money can thus draw upon the future energy of the society, it will open the doors for other aspects such as success, happiness etc to follow suit.

             When the theory is convincing, it is enough to move to practice. It took 1800 years for the steam engine to come to use. The distance between the theory and practice is indeterminable. It can be anything from a few years to few centuries. Martin Luther's individualism, his successful revolt against the clergy was centuries ago. Today, though individuality is on a better footing, we see at all levels the tendency to be gregarious, to honour the social superstition. The best brains in the world are not free from that vibration. What then is the future of abundant money?

             It is an axiom with Sri Aurobindo that each great truth or fact co-exists with its very opposite. If the possibility of centuries of wait is there for one phenomenon to become a reality, we also know the possibility of ready acceptance of another phenomenon exists side by side.

            The CHOICE is given to man.

Rather, the very fact of long delay not only emphasises the inevitability of the delay, but it also shows the very opposite is there, at least in theory. Gorbachev's demolition of the USSR's state tyranny could have taken 50 years, but he did it in about 5 years. Mahesh Yogi spread all over in a short time. The Asian Tigers could demonstrate their success in 2 or 3 decades, a feat for an Asian country. The presence of fast moving technology and the greater role played by the mind in the shape of ideas and information is one important reason for this rapid spread of these movements.

            What can make it a quicker success? When the conditions in all 4 planes are fulfilled to perfection, the success of abundant money is assured. Physical formulation, the vitally harmonious energy, mentally clear ideas to perfection and the spiritual patience in execution will see it through.

            It is common experience that a big company or a wealthy man can execute a 100 crore project with less financial outlay, sometimes even half as he can draw upon his own present non-monetary commercial standing. Suppose one aims at floating a company and take it to a 1000 crores of sales, let us say, he needs a capital of 300 crores. This 300 crores go into the execution of the project, earns profit and in a period earns its capital back. In manufacturing it may be 20-30 years, in trade it may even be 2-3 years in ideal conditions. Whatever the period, the capital is required for a period. When the community lends its support to that project for that period, the project can come into existence without capital. It is an imaginary situation when the community ‘lends' that capital to the project.

            If the project pays its wages and suppliers in cards of the value equal to the due, and the cards go round in the community for a period mentioned above, the community supports the project to come into existence not by lending cash, but by lending its trust.

            The project brings a 300-crore funds and without spending it as usual, holds it in deposit and issues redeemable cards at anytime, the deposit serves an idle purpose of imparting confidence. What in the beginning can be done with 300 crores can be done later by less and less funds and finally can be done by a token.

            The work of translating an IDEA into a fact in the real field of life is not only creative but is shot through and through with millions of details and procedures sometimes one of which can hold up all the operations. India had a democratic base in society for over 1000 years. The British gave the parliamentary form of government for 150 years. Still, when the power was transferred the very first thing that happened in the 4th month was a complete breakdown of the administration when 10 million refugees arrived. It is the Viceroy who had come to their rescue. For 50 years, the transfer of power in terms of administration remains incomplete. In USA, anyone who had been inside the government knows how, for the past 200 years they have evolved an administration. After all, an outsider may say, that it was an imitation! It is not easy to imitate. It requires an originality to emulate.

            What we contemplate is ORIGINAL creation of a new social institution that is the very opposite of the present belief of the people. Many will see the devil behind it. Apart from the opposition and skepticism, the very creation of a new organisation when from all sides one is supported, is a meticulous onerous work that involves nuances of hundreds of types.

            The very prospect of creating real money in vast quantities must be an inviting challenge.

            Deficit financing does it partly. The logical steps of the new creation are

1) Do it with full deposits.

2) Gradually reduce the deposits backing it with bank guarantee for the amount reduced.

3) Do it only with guarantees with nil deposits.

4) Replace the bank guarantee by an institutional guarantee.

5) Let the SOUNDNESS of the project supplant the guarantees.

6) Make it a standard to create excess money.

As the society offers pension, insurance, family pension, guaranteed employment, health-care etc, it is obvious that the above scheme can be advancing on their strength. Society's capacity to create an abundance is in proportion to the significance it gives the individual is incidentally seen here.

             Its logical culmination is the waning influence of money as we now know and the institution of money going to the background and remaining there as an important relic even as production of food that once was a major occupation, has now become.

 * Note : In the past and present man uses the best part of his energy for existence. Only the excess can be captured for the use of others. Money does it. Society, because of the laws and tradition that go to make man's life SECURE, knows and sanctions the productive capacity of the individual. Obviously part of that energy is needed for his survival then, until that future moment arrives, that future energy can be used in FULL for man to build his present comforts         


story | by Dr. Radut