I was doing a google image search for 'abundance' for an article I am writing. To my amazement, I came across this
picture . Apart from a photo of the Canadian tar sands, I can't think of a more terrible picture. Obviously there is no real landscape covered in coins as far as the eye can see. But the metaphor of the image is clear enough. Abundance is seen as the accumulation of money whether in paper notes, digital currencies, gold, or old-fashioned coins as seen here. All are utterly worthless in real terms. Their value is only in the meaning we give to them. A landscape covered in coins, as in the picture, is denuded of any living vegetation or creature and so is utterly worthless. This image was lifted from a site about Anthony Robbins  of 'Awaken the Giant Within' fame, beloved by start-up business schools and get-rich-quick mentors of the 90's and beyond. I  bought this book myself and found many of the personal development tools and techniques useful but not as a goal towards mega-riches-- this was never in my wish-list.
     The picture of the coins is an iconic image, representative of what is now seen to be a flawed paradigm which values money and economic growth above other human needs, as well as ecological perspectives. We are now reaping the unpleasant consequences of this in so many ways.
   I am also reading parts of Mark Boyle's The Moneyless Manifesto . Mark lived for 3 years in the UK without money and it was this experience which made him question deeply the assumptions we have been brought up with. His book has received excellent reviews from notable people.
Double-click this video for full-screen option
You can read his book, for free, here
Most of us stand somewhere between these two extremes - the compulsive  drive for ever more $$ or ££, on the one hand and the attempt to live without money altogether, on the other.
But these examples highlight the changing perspectives. The wake-up call came in 2008. Our money system is now recognised as deeply flawed structure which favours only the very rich. And unlimited economic growth, believed to be almost an inviolate law, is now seen by many, to be impossible, given the finite resources of the planet.
Things have to change and there are many people from all walks of life - from activists who know what they don't want or like but do not understand the complexities, to far-sighted economists, permaculturists, writers and business people who are conceiving and devising radical new alternatives. These alternatives need to stand the test of not only time, but the validity of their implementation before they become the new norm, the new paradigm.
 Still, we need to be looking at them, testing them out in our minds, our personal lives and perhaps in our communities.
I would recommend Charles Eisenstein's Sacred Economics.
(Start video then double-click for full screen
and his Gift Economy as a good starting point.
   Meanwhile, I am  continuing my search for pictures of 'abundance'.   Google images produced nothing.
Can you do better? Can you send me pictures of what you perceive as abundance? I see abundance everywhere now I have started looking.
 


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    Marianne Winfield

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