From alienated producing to sacred sharing
- This page is part of an ERW course, Principles of economic restoration.
- By John Eagles, March 10, 2009
Today, the trading and the selling of products and services belong to the world of business and money, and most businesses and much of the money in the world are spiritually polluted and degraded. But there is possible a way of 'selling' and trading that is sacred.
Imagine that someone in a more natural society makes a new garden tool. He passes it on to some of his relatives and friends and they are extremely pleased with using this tool. When they harvest their products, they happily share some of these with the maker of the tools. The maker of the tools uses these gifts of the land to feed his family, and the best of it he offers to the Creator.
In our world we seldom practice trade in this form of barter, but money that is exchanged in such kind of natural relationships between people could have a similar meaning as the gifts shared in a more natural society. What are some elements in this process of trade that are forgotten by many present-day people?
One is the aspect of freedom. The tools maker offered his tools as gifts to his friends. He did not expect something in return for it. He was just pleased to share his creativity with the ones he loved.
A second aspect is that of creativity expressed in direct relationship to people around. In my example there is a direct connection between the maker of the tools with the workers of the land, with the products of the land, and possibly even with the Creator. There is no gap between the producer and the users of products. The producer knows what his products are used for and enjoys seeing his tools being used by his relatives and friends.
In modern society, many companies produce items but the workers never get to see the satisfaction or dissatisfaction of the users. There is often extreme alienation between producers and consumers. Producers usually don't realize or don't want to know what effects their products have on consumers and on the environment.
What is the value of producing things when this leads to alienation from other people and the earth on that we live? The benefit of mass production might be in the form of producing more and getting more money, but in practice this money mostly goes to those who control the production process. And they, because of living in a world that is separated from real life, don't know how to do well with that money.
Is the scale-problem really a problem? I would think so, because production on large scale means that there comes too much distance between producers on the one side and consumers and our environment on the other. It is very difficult to put your heart and sacred energy into a product of which you don't know who eventually is going to buy and use it. Love isn't given at random. Love is given to specific people whom you know and for whom you really care.