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PETER JOSEPH and The Far-Seeing Emergent Zeitgeist, PART 2: What is this Earth of Ours?

By Bruce Lyons

Hollywood CA, (Hollywood Today)10/9/2012 —Our wondrous planet, some 12,756 km in diameter – moving with the Moon (3476 km in diameter) at a mean speed of about 29.78 km/s, ‘glued’ together by a shared center of mass-gravity some 1700 km below the Earth’s surface as they revolve around the Sun – is a magnetized, self-interacting ‘vitasphere’, continuously bathed by a charged sea of material – solar wind – that flows from the Sun some 150,000,000 km away. This energizing ‘wind’ supports an enormous heliosphere or bubble in the interstellar medium that surrounds the complete Solar System.

The Earth’s magnetic field, in turn, forms a long, protective, teardrop-shaped magnetosphere as it interacts with the solar wind, enabling the Earth to support a pressurized biosphere that is both exquisitely detailed and shockingly thin. In many respects, everything contained within our magneto-sphere is as alive as the creatures it has mothered and fathered as a result of 4.5 billion years of dynamic evolution. One extraordinary product of that evolution is man himself, with a special emphasis on the phenomenal capabilities of human intelligence.

But our recent fossil fuel-based, industrial, commercial and militarized society – the prototype for which heralds from the centralized strategies of the old Roman Empire – particularly from about 60 B.C to 330 A.D., when Christianity was assembled by the sword – has become increasingly insensitive to, and de-coupled from, the Earth as a living, eco-logical whole. The Zeitgeist Movement, galvanized by the penetrating constellation of observations of Peter Joseph, has developed an acute sensitivity to the consequences of this decoupling process at the same time that prominent leaders around the world – including political and corporate America – appear to exhibit a conscious scorn for our planet’s health, even as human afflictions increase in both scope and variety.

It is as if the leadership refuses to recognize any correlation whatsoever between the health of the planet as a whole and the health of the creatures who inhabit it: physical, mental and spiritual; children, women and men. The ‘economy’ + the ‘power of God’ have been placed above man’s self-evident responsibility to maintain and enhance our uniquely protected biosphere, thereby – ironically – self-righteously absolving ourselves of that responsibility, leaving us free to go on counting money all day long while applying our intelligence to the manufacture of nuclear bombs instead of making sure that our biosphere is the most enlightened sanctuary in this corner of our galaxy.

Moreover, this same leadership demands the right and privilege to be a role model for the rest of the world. With rapid urbanization, automobile transportation, air travel, interior lifestyles, intimidating advances in the military and the presence of so many medications and artificial medical procedures that have dramatically raised life-expectancy everywhere, we are becoming numb as a race to the growth and causes of these afflictions – physical, mental and social – and have ceased to believe that they could have been prevented in the first place had we adopted less brutality and scorn toward the shared life-support system we call Earth. Consequently we now – all over the planet – appear to be collectively blind to a trend that promises to be our nemesis: we are degrading the biosphere because our geo-economic system demands it in order to achieve adequate profit margins, profit margins that will pay back the debt generated out of thin air by the central banking system.

Who, exactly, was it that endowed the dollar with such apparently inalienable power and influence?

The Zeitgeist Movement seeks to reconnect humanity to the natural power from which our current system has become disconnected. In its far-seeing vision, money would disappear and would no longer act as an arbitrary interloper that comes between universal human potential and the vast power dispensed across eons of time by this fantastic sphere we call Earth.

The Earth’s biosphere is delicate. It has to be taken care of exactly the way we care for children, or a home, a national monument, a legendary cathedral, a public garden, a university campus, an art gallery, an air traffic control tower, a legislative building, an irreplaceable lake. It is our common ground. It is what matters, and it is no longer too big for us to manage. Warnings about the fragility of the biosphere are not terror tactics, as many insist. Go talk to your nearest neighbor, the one who is battling Diabetes II, high blood pressure and arteriosclerosis. Don’t wait; go ask them how they’re doing, today.

Then interrupt your busy day, stand there, and encourage them to really answer the question. Ask the real person, not a Government fact sheet. Now multiply the answer they give you by the millions who suffer daily with acute and chronic illnesses – illnesses that are, for the most part, entirely preventable. The current system that drives us simply does not allow us to interpret “what is” with clear minds. We have allowed what Peter calls “money-tarism” to dictate the final interpretation that determines what health is. We are not allowing health itself to determine what health is. And when we refer to health, we refer to individual lives as well as the collective ecosystem that supports those lives. It is the well-being of those individuals that make up the interactive bounty of the whole, terrestrial ecosystem that concerns the Zeitgeist Movement.

We have no one to answer to but ourselves. There are, after all, at least two kinds of debt: financial debt and intellectual debt. Geo-economics, geo-politics and geo-economic warfare have all divided us severely enough to impede critical agreement on many fundamental and global environmental issues. And so we attempt to push on with business-as-usual, believing that somehow ‘our exclusive Gods will sort it out’; or “the Central Banks will find a solution and fix our economy before it’s too late”; by printing more money; by lowering interest rates; by loaning more money; by bailing out banks, brokers, investment houses, automobile companies, or if necessary, by goading us all into the next war … ad infinitum. But – in our current system – we cannot check the malignant growth of debt without robust, even exotic and unlimited growth in the markets. And we cannot have unlimited growth in markets without recklessly devouring the Earth’s resources and over-populating the planet with people to fill those markets and consume its products.

Tell this to the sirens of Wall Street. Tell this to the architects of geo-economic warfare who are preoccupied with their own titanic profit margins; tell this to the Federal Advisory Council that anonymously haunts the dark shadows of the Federal Reserve Bank. ‘We the people’ persist in believing that the Federal Reserve Board of Governors is watching over us and wants what’s best for all of us. But this sort of childish wishful-thinking is no longer viable as contemporary mankind rips its way into the 21st Century. The Zeitgeist Movement is a dramatic alarm clock – of cosmic proportions – issuing a piercing frequency that at the same time is tempered by the clear tone of Peter’s carefully chosen words.

We cannot call the current system an economy. It’s an ‘International Casino’ controlled by the Central Bank, not an economy. The evolution of sentient creatures – to which we owe the gift of intelligence – has been dependent upon a core discernment between normal uncertainty and excessive risk. Our society now lives in the red – a zone of perpetually excessive risk that is begging for correction. We are operating a global casino because, fundamentally, it is a gamble between the promise of profit acquired through free-enterprise, on the one hand, and debt on the other. But what are we gambling against? The ‘house’ and its ‘legal’ paper tender and its arbitrary, heavily stacked rules? No, of course not. That would be delusional. That seductive piece of ‘fiat’ paper is worth nothing. It is manufactured by the Federal Reserve out of thin air. Call it ‘economic existentialism’ of the absurd variety: both amoral and fundamentally unpatriotic. It is like the excess packaging used to sell dates or nuts or rice.

We eat the nuts and throw out the packaging, most of which ends up in mountainous landfills as more debt – Environmental Debt. Paper money is just like that packaging. Are we gambling against gold? Maybe for a while we did, until the gold standard was finally eclipsed in 1971under the Nixon administration – but certainly not anymore. There isn’t enough gold around to keep pace with the proliferation of paper + product. Are we gambling against the value of oil? Yes, to be sure. But not for much longer: by 2020 we will be at the oil production peak, if author Jeremy Rifkin (The Empathic Civilization: The Race to Global Consciousness in a World in Crisis – 2010) is right. The economy is already anticipating that transition. We are all feeling it. In current advertising you see “clean” coal and natural gas “babysitting” the infant growth of solar and wind power. But who can ignore the fact that natural gas also walks hand-in-hand with the chemical and geological nightmare known as fracking?

So what else are we gambling against? A nebulous constellation of commodities – which includes money itself – the vicissitudes of which together terrorize the stock markets like leaderless Valkyrie? The truth is that not one person in Washington D.C can actually define the dollar. And maybe that is exactly why we are so seduced by it. After all, who among us can actually define God? I’m the first to admit, in a Divine Comedy the role of the dollar would be the most hilarious part to play. I would respectfully ask John Malkovich to play the role and we would all die laughing at the inimitable marriage of the macabre and the ridiculous that John’s genius could capture. The problem is, the dollar did not have a divine origin no matter what we have been led to believe. For the millions right now who cannot meet their weekly food requirements, the stress of genuine hunger is not a laughing matter. This point might not hit home until it is your turn to actually go without food in a repetitive fashion. People who have achieved financial security at the expense of the health of the environment, the health of the work force, the integrity of the law, the global balance of power and well-being, the health of the economy and even their own personal health are in no position to castigate those who have exercised caution and conscience in order to maintain the means by which our planet can be both appreciated and shared, long term, with future generations – and having done so, now find themselves without means during a cycle of economic transition and hardship.

The Zeitgeist Movement champions, to the best of its ability. those people who have exercised ecological caution and educated conscience. It rejects the notion that such legions of people are losers according to the rules of a single game, when it knows other games may well replace it from evolutionary necessity. The here and now holds the future in its embrace. That future can be treated with empathic intelligence or reckless disregard. Such a choice always has us in its grip. It is part of the drive-shaft of the evolutionary engine itself – emergent and quite awe-inspiring. Incidentally, this is what Carl Sagan meant by the tern “science”, an inspiration that Peter Joseph took to heart and one good reason to ensure that PBS and other like-minded organizations continue to be funded.

In Peter Joseph’s “natural law-based economy” – what futurist, philosopher and cyber-engineer Jacques Fresco calls a ‘resource-based economy’ – poverty does not exist and so hunger does not exist. Such a system is driven by an empathy that encompasses the Earth as a living whole. The fear associated with the lack of money required for basic human needs does not exist and so the need to steal money does not exist. Criminal organizations that engage in illegal weapons trading, dangerous illicit drugs, human trafficking and money laundering – all critical players on the world stock markets and within the banking system itself – would be greatly reduced or eliminated altogether. The need to mass produce so many artificial products that damage the environment, human health, animal and marine health would also not exist.

Instead of counting money, we would be counting the balance of the Earth’s resources on a scientific basis. Resource accounting would replace financial accounting. Concrete, natural-law-based accounting would replace the abstract fiscal accounting by which the ‘International Casino’ is currently run. But we will not consider such a society until we are forced to – possibly in stages – hybrid stages, perhaps – analogous to what we see going on right now in the automobile industry. So, we might begin to see hybrid global food grids; hybrid global energy grids, etc. Maybe it will take 300 years, when scientific education has reached a new threshold of collective viability and world-wide understanding. If climate change continues to be a growing factor, maybe the change will occur much sooner, under duress, and scientific education will be accelerated in every classroom in the world until the emergent, global society has made the appropriate adjustments, and food and energy grids become permanent. At that point the economy can shift to new ground, where the biosphere has become a unified priority and human potential can attain new heights.

In the current system, once you see past the frenzy of gambling happening under the bright lights of the ‘international casino’, and you step back outside into the ‘real’ world – under a cold, starry sky – you discover that the fundamental question has still not been answered: if we’re not really gambling against that mad fiat dollar, what are we gambling against? The same thing we’ve been gambling against since we set up the first bank: the real ‘House’. We’ve been gambling against the Earth and its resources: mineral, vegetable, animal. But most importantly, all this time – from the earliest forms of usury to the present tense – we have been gambling against ourselves: human labor; trillions upon trillions of man-hours of yearning, dreaming, agonizing; empathizing; human passion and human creativity; worrying about wasting our lives; worrying about failure; worrying about not knowing love; worrying about not delivering our children on the right path. We remember the prodigious man-hours of Leonardo da Vinci, of Amadeus Mozart, of Albert Einstein, but how many man-hours are we forgetting: yours and mine and billions of others? And like all casinos, the ‘House’ keeps beating most of us. Just as critically, it is beating the biosphere – because we are letting it. The Zeitgeist Movement sees no reason to keep on gambling. The Earth is the true house and we can change our economy to manage that house with sophistication and the genius of natural law.

If we drag all our hard-won money off to the Casino, hoping to score a big advance on our debt, and we end up walking away empty-handed, we are going to be asking ourselves a few questions. And that is why Peter and others before him have kept up the same question: “What really matters?” – knowing that the time will come when the questions themselves will matter more than the imperfect answers that evolve from them. A great question has great staying power. It constitutes the moral sphere of science upon which the future of the planet depends. If the Federal Reserve Bank exists only to reap voluminous profits from the interest we pay on our debt to its paper money, then what are we left with? The members of the Federal Reserve Council are anonymous and unelected: what are we left with if they over-or-under inflate the currency, or decide to loan it to a foreign country, a foreign bank; a foreign nuclear power plant or secret weapons installation, chemical factory or take us into a war?

Peter’s vision is far-seeing in both directions: past and future. The system that men built has become a Frankenstein that now forces us to do its bidding – which includes destroying the biosphere. But, like some institutions that we have long invested much hope and trust in, Frankenstein is too big to care. Lest we forget, if we deplete the biosphere; if we ruin our water supply: well, even the rich and powerful are prone to thirst.

In Peter’s provocative third Zeitgeist film, Moving Forward, Stanford professor of neurological sciences Dr. Robert Sapolsky says: “It is virtually impossible to understand how biology works outside the context of the environment.” So, if we permanently harm our environment, we will be able to understand neither biology nor pathology.

By “environment”, we should by now be thinking “biosphere” at the very least, if not the Earth as a whole and its precise relationships with the Sun and our binary companion, the Moon. Neil Armstrong’s historic step onto the Moon on July 20, 1969 gave us a new way of seeing ourselves: we can view our Earth as a shared whole instead of simply a contentious collection of competing continents. From the Moon, the Earth looks whole, bound together by an awesome majesty. The oceans are connected. The atmosphere is united. The Hydrologic Cycle appears as a fluid phenomenon of dynamic beauty. This also implies that we are all united by our pollution because it gets circulated by shared ocean and atmospheric currents all around the planet. Through so-called “normal” commercial exchange, we circulate any pollutants built into every type of product from food, to shoes, to pharmaceuticals, to plastic bottles, to cell phones to hair products and industrial waste.

Moreover, Peter goes further and emphasizes that: “Biology cannot be understood through the genome by itself. The genome is not a deterministic machine. It is an emergent phenomenon.”

The genome does not exist in a vacuum, no matter how tiny its component parts may be; no matter how ‘close’ it may be to the ambiguous ‘vacuum substrate’ of quantum science. It exists within a highly complex and interactive environment of biological, social, organic and psychological factors: micro and macro. The genome is not a ‘thing’. It’s a dynamic, creative process. It can’t be known outside its total environment, which includes the Earth’s ‘spherical’ position in the Solar System, according to mysterious non-local connecting principles uncovered in quantum mechanical theory. Moreover, chemicals are molecular – as is the genome. So the world of chemicals reaches down to the genome, underscoring the intimate relationship between micro-biology, the environment, commercial economics and the now hundreds of pathogens that – like a universal “Joker” – play havoc with the genome’s intricate and dynamic equilibrium.

Given the difficulty of understanding biology, how much more difficult, then, is it to understand how the mind works, or personality, intelligence, aesthetic appreciation and creativity at the level of say, Da Vinci, or Werner Heisenberg, or Martin Luther King Jr., or the modern, emergent Zeitgeist itself in which, right now, literally millions yearn to add their tiny points of light to the perpetually morphing canvas that celebrates the shared genius of earthly life? The Zeitgeist cannot be understood outside the global environment from which it is being born. In many ways it is the on-going self-focusing spirit of everything, including time itself, quite as if it resembled the operation of a great, holographic ‘eye’, constantly processing information.

If we dismember the environment, the Zeitgeist will be dismembered. What is struggling for birth will miscarry. And this explains why Peter Joseph, as well as clear-seeing men like Jacques Fresco – with his “Venus Project” – are concerned about it. Though separated by two generations, both men are expressions of the new, emergent science that managed to survive the geo-political cataclysms of the 20th Century and the early years of the 21st , a science that is driven, as Carl Sagan would say, by the healthy – if testy – relationship between scepticism and wonder. It has set in motion in both men a rare combination of analytical reason and analytical imagination which by its very nature has a tendency to “put away childish things” – such as parochial patriotism and the compulsive consumption of things human beings do not actually need. The statistics by which many of us are scrambling to interpret the current ‘state of the planet’ are dramatic to say the least. And when key leaders in business and politics in the United States, for example, dismiss these statistics as a joke, then “the road can become difficult”. Peter warns.

“And those who feel a deep empathy for the planet as a whole can start to lose confidence in themselves. But you have to remain steadfast and maintain the adventure of learning – continuous, gentle steps nurture consciousness. That’s education,” he adds without hesitation.

When you add the aesthetic component to Peter’s work, you have a movement with staying power that beats time with an extremely complex metamorphic clock.

Early on in our conversation, I asked Peter if “artivism” and the now annual Zeitgeist Media Festival, that features artists like Lili Haydn and Sussan Deyhim, helped sustain his will when prevailing against the ‘Resistance of Convention’ that one meets on a daily basis when dedicated to the clock of change.

“Did you know,” Peter asked with an expression of warm curiosity, “that the Zeitgeist Movement actually got started spontaneously when I set up a performance piece in Lower Manhattan? I envisioned a sort of vaudevillian style and I projected material on screens. And in front of the screens I performed music.”

He explained that he had been a percussionist since he was 8, becoming the youngest student to be admitted to the music program in the university in his native North Carolina. He later attended the New School for Social Research in New York City.

“I call that performance piece my ‘catharsis’”, he added matter-of-factly. “I call it the aesthetic part of my personality and the truth is it was always there – right from the beginning. So it sustained me before I started to really develop the intellectual side, the analysis, the history and all that. But the
“movement” just seemed to arise from the performance stuff. I opened the first Zeitgeist Media Festival with it. It’s called “Zeitgeist: Requiem for One””.

I strongly urge the reader to check out Peter’s “Zeitgeist: Requiem for One”. It is truly cathartic and feels like an alternation between the forces of destruction and the creative powers that spring from truths that surpass the relentless effects of decay – a decay that often threatens to consume human good will everywhere. The word ‘catharsis’ derives from old Greek, depicting three parts or phases of a single process: purgation, purification and clarification. This exactly describes what Peter has accomplished with his work – all of it. He purges what is old, decaying and corrupt; what is in need of elimination – quite as if he must descend into purgatory to do so – and builds this process into his performance pieces. They roar and alternate with the transforming power of rhythm. He then purifies his mind and soul, not only with rhythmic and even trance-like music – percussion in particular – but also by applying the scientific method to his observations of history, life, human behavior, technology, economics and so forth. He practices syllogistic reason, analytical reason and inductive reason – as a matter of course – and also demonstrates superb analytical imagination, which is why he thinks so well on his feet. His mind is a revelation of the very emergent phenomenon that he himself is dedicated to. Once purified, it is then possible to see clearly according to the self-evident laws of nature imposed upon us by a cosmos, a whole universe. Understanding is then experienced as a dynamic relation between inner and outer and various other paired opposites. Understanding is experienced as a transformative event, not as a static exercise. The natural radiance and beauty of cosmic nature then appears to satisfy all dimensions of a human being. The completeness of this beauty – this radiance and the joy that accompanies understanding – has allowed Peter to both face and answer the big question: “What really matters?” As if struck by a shocking thunderstorm, suddenly, the systemic neurosis of our current system, regulated as it is by an archaic Authoritarian Hierarchy that concentrates power, wealth, knowledge, ownership and influence into far too few hands, can only appear crippling, deceptive, repressive and oppressive. It is the collision between this Authoritarianism and the in-born, universal need for the human spirit to liberate itself from the multitude of chains that seek to hold it back, that one feels reverberating, like the big-bang itself, in the very catharsis from which the Zeitgeist Movement was born.

As much as many would like everything to return to “normal” since the moral and financial crash of 2007-09, the truth is we have come to a crossroads where turning back is not an option. What is very difficult for all of us to grasp is that we have pushed the envelope on the environment. The bubble burst in 2008 but we want to reduce it strictly to economic terms.

But the biosphere is more than just economics. Economics are going to have to make an adjustment to the biosphere.

As numb and as distracted as many people might be during this “dark night of the economy”, references to “equality”, Soul-force”, “discipline” and “dignity” may soon mean even more than they did in August, 1963. It’s a good thing that Martin Luther King’s words are chiseled in stone in Washington. They are going to be needed down the road. “Everything will depend on how severe the bio-social pressure becomes”, Peter reiterated softly at one point. Any institution that attempts to keep humanity decoupled from the precious biosphere that has sustained our transformations for millions of years will be forced to give way. Better, then, to see that burst bubble of pampered greed in 2008 as a much needed fresh start and let the decay of an unprecedented social indulgence pass away forever. What is at stake are the rights, the freedom, the well-being of all living creatures everywhere within Earth’s thin placenta, where the sanctity of life is a cosmic legacy bequeathed to everyone, even as the human population approaches dangerous proportions. How can we reach Doctor King’s “promised land” as more and more ambitious people compete for finite resources within an economic system that demonstrates incurable flaws in its structure without a nearly inconceivable change of values and a very rapid upgrade of our education system? How can we march on through a mountain of debt so high we can’t even see what’s on the other side? And I repeat: the debt is not merely financial. We have a collective, moral and intellectual debt that is being called in, right now, by “The Bank of Understanding”. As it is, at this moment we can’t even pay the interest on it – we allowed our education to slip too far while allowing our collective addictions to become too excessive. This is the soul-bank, the science bank and the bank of the intellect that invests in how we think and the quality of our actions in the world and, yes, how we treat each other as conditions worsen. Peter seems to be more interested in the quality of cognition than in the mere proliferation of non-essential mental behavior that distracts us from what really matters.

We are in the midst of an education gap. As our wounded economy now spreads from Greece and Italy to countries like Germany, Japan and – unthinkable just a year ago – China as well, even if the whole planet declared bankruptcy tomorrow and all the debt was ‘washed away’, we would still be exposed to each other for having allowed a fraudulent system to rape the Earth, justify undeclared wars, and enslave billions and billions of valuable man-hours across several centuries of human history and all in the name of what – “human nature”? What is “human nature”? According to a Gallup Poll taken across the last 30 years, as many as 46% of Americans believe that God made man in his own image somewhere between 4,000 and 10,000 years ago – even as science has learned that man has evolved to his present state of form and function as a result of millions of years of evolution – a great deal of which still remains a wonderful and mysterious puzzle. Our views of human nature diverge widely and enormously impact the way we live our daily lives. Peter takes a highly flexible and interactive view of the nature of humans. He sees us as creative, dynamic, interactive, in search of dynamic equilibrium and extraordinarily, even ingeniously flexible. When a system can be proven to be corrupt and crippling he believes that human reason has the in-born capability to change that system to one that works and that does not oppose fundamental laws of nature.

We have reached a place where the displacement of authority to a higher power will not bail us out of our complex debt. We have let it go long enough that to adopt preventive measures now will require a revolution in hierarchical religions, in education, in lifestyle, in political organization and in the way we run our economy. There is no higher authority except that which has seized the title by the use of force. Look at what happens when we tune into a presidential debate: we work hard to follow the arguments, the promises, the rhetoric, the myopic finger-pointing; the half-truths and subtle deceptions that insists that it is ‘we the people’ who do not want to know the truth. But after only a few minutes we realize we have been dragged into fog and deep waves with no rudders on our boats. We soon do not have any idea which candidate is actually speaking factually or even if it is possible for them to be factual since the debt problem, the health problem, the banking problem, the problems of geo-economic foreign policies are simply too murky and so un-moored that even the candidates for the highest office in the land (including Commander-in-Chief) do not actually understand the systemic situation that they seek to lead. And if they really understand the problem, you can bet they must learn to deviously take us round and round and round what all of us already know in our hearts but must not admit out loud – otherwise we are faced with the task of re-tooling the whole operation. The day has to come when a candidate for the Presidency is allowed to place candid factuality higher up on the totem pole of his relationship with the public. As it is right now, it is just a free-for-all. If you are innately an honest man, the Presidency is probably the most impossible job the country offers. Of all nations on Earth, I would say that the Presidency of the United States ranks near the very top in terms of pure difficulty. If we want to help the president we ourselves are going to have to raise the bar on individual courage and enlightenment, on a daily basis; not an easy task. It’s nice that the Sun keeps faithfully coming up every morning, anyway, is it not? It doesn’t just give us a second chance. It keeps giving us thousands of chances, morning after morning.

But there will be no change in the system until we are collectively forced to see the Earth’s biospheric resources as the true capital of our economy instead of the inflated tender we call money. Peter, along with Jacques Fresco – seeing beyond the great divide that has been particularly wide since 2007-2009 – both go so far as to proclaim the need to get rid of money and private property and share the Earth’s resources with the highest possible efficiency and accountability. The exchange for this new accountability? A more enlightened state of health and, perhaps, our very existence. Whole new doors of perception and activity might just suddenly open. The law of conservation of energy is a great law. But it has to be given more of a chance to show its gifts. Fighting and competing with each other while chasing that wind-blown paper we call money is a poor way to conserve energy.

Peter is firmly convinced that technology can help stabilize this new economy as we learn how to account for all the resources that struggle to flourish in our biosphere. “But the capacity for technology to reach its highest potential to help mankind out of this growing predicament has been impeded by the economic system itself, blinded by the narrow parameters of self-interest, by geo-economic warfare and weak education that does not emphasize the value of science as a creative and even spiritual way of thinking”, Peter states, again with matter-of-fact simplicity. Money-driven economics is keeping us from what really matters because of the battle between debt and profit.

Many of us appear to spend our whole lives chasing ‘what really matters’, not unlike the way millions chase the American Dream as if it were a ‘thing’ being dangled in front of us that we never catch and never actually hold in our hands. We become displaced from our own spirits; decoupled from our own dreams and often feel alienated even from the very planet responsible for our genesis. When the gap between haves and have-nots is too wide it seems that every eye you encounter is looking at your wallet; your bank account; the car you drive; the house you live in or the fact that you have no house at all. Neurosis becomes normal. What eyes see you? Who recognizes what you really are? Who is there with whom you can share your most persistent desires?

Peter is the first person in years to come along and remind me that neurosis is not romantic. That illness is not fun. That slavery is not a joke – that slavery in all its forms may well be the least funny phenomenon on our planet. I suspect that even Charlie Chaplin or Woody Allen would grimace at the thought. Speaking with Peter, I almost felt that I had fallen asleep in my own distempered neurosis and was slowly losing hope without knowing it. His drums and his steady voice turned on a light that I had forgotten was there. The economy matters and fairness is a global problem. Intelligence is critical and health is the greatest gift of all.

It’s time to glance at a little history – a few thoughts about our banking system. If you feel inclined, please tune in to the next instalment – Part III of my conversation with Peter Joseph – the ramifications of which will not stop growing.

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