Wednesday, November 28, 2012

An Open Letter to Those Who Promote Private Ownership

I'm often confronted by those who feel affronted by comments I sometimes make about private property ownership, and how ultimately it enslaves us. We've been conditioned to equate ownership with freedom, as in the more we own, the more freedom we gain. Capitalism, of course, is founded on the principle of private property ownership, and we're taught that capitalism is the freest system ever designed. To that I say, rubbish. Life itself is the freest system ever designed! Capitalism is just another way to attempt to control life, so that some can claim disproportionally greater power than others. Here's my explanation, for what it's worth:

I  define capitalism as the aggregation of money (ie: capital) to fund and direct investment, thus empowering those who have money to decide what gets created, and what does not. Capitalism relies upon private property ownership, because it focuses on individual investors earning profits off whatever they have purchased with their money. Without private ownership and the impulse to benefit personally from that ownership, there would be no need for individual investors.

I don't perceive capitalism as a free system - though it's billed as that - because ultimately those who amass the most capital gain greater control over the economic system and use their power to disenfranchise, or take advantage of, those who have little or no capital. If I have no capital, I have no say in the creation/distribution process. And the more money I have, the more say I have. Dollars vote in our markets; not people. Because of that, people will always be unequal in our system, although we supposedly have equal rights and - conceptually, at least - are equally divine in nature.

As for those who claim socialism requires violence and centralized control in ways that suppress human freedom, they may want to consider the many Northern European nations that are doing very well as socialist democracies...particularly Finland and Iceland, Denmark, Sweden and so forth. These countries are are proving that collectives with common goals can focus on serving the highest good for the individual without subsuming individual freedoms, by removing the worst stressors of capitalism and by encouraging self-actualization. What we believe then, does not always adhere to reality! We can shout all we want about the conceptual evils of socialism and stamp our feet angrily about how what horrid a system it is; meanwhile, those who are living happily and choicefully within social democracies laugh at our silly posturing and continue on with their lives.

Personally, I am not capitalist, socialist, communist, fascist or any other mechanical form of man-made conceptual "ism" that now exists. The only "ism" I embrace is "organism." As an organism, I defer to nature's blueprint to inform me how to relate to and engage with the whole of reality...including all other living organisms.

As a result of having consulted nature's blueprint, I'm no longer a fan of private ownership of anything, or of the private sale of what we're each put here to bring forth from our creative abundance and in self-fulfillment. Everywhere I look in nature, I see helpless and newborn things taking freely whatever they need from the larger environment until they're mature enough to produce what they are born to bring forth; then they gift their fruits back into the world without holding back or controlling their fruits in any way. They surrender whatever they create to all manner of diverse beings who may be able to use them. For most creatures, the act of creating what they are here to create is life fulfillment enough. The net result is natural abundance, because nothing is holding anything back out of greed, or fear or the desire for greater power.

I believe it's a conceit to imagine we humans "own" any part of what we are IN, as we are IN a unified living field upon which we all depend for our survival. To claim we own any part of that fully integrated field is like your toe suddenly claiming it owns your foot. What if your other toes were one day denied access to the crucial resources they needed from your bloodstream, because one toe claimed sovereignty over all that passed through your foot? What if that one toe forced your other toes to do only its bidding in exchange for having their needs met, instead of allowing them to do the work of the larger body that they were designed, created and born to do? 

Nature abhors ownership. Nature is all about the highest possible manifestation and most efficient delivery and use of the greatest gifts each of its differentiated aspects can produce. It inspires a FREE exchange of those gifts across the entire system, so that nothing gets wasted and all life forms are satisfied to the best of the system's capacity to serve them. In nature, every differentiated (specialized) individual serves the larger system that contains it by coming into its own and BEING what it was ever meant to be. In return, the system offers every individual a unified reality far better and more beautiful than what any individual could have provided for itself on its own.

We live in a world of systems within systems within systems. The tragedy of human thinking is that we've been socially conditioned to perceive ourselves as utterly separated - thus disconnected - from all else. What sorrow and loneliness that generates within the human spirit!

Cells belong to a body not so they can self-aggrandize, control or grab additional power, but because by working together as a body they create something that is far greater than the simple sum of cells would indicate. Each cell gains real and lasting benefits by surrendering its independence, without surrendering any of its uniqueness. Specialization enables evolutionary advancement, but we can't specialize unless we allow ourselves to depend upon others who specialize in different areas to serve us, as we in turn serve them. The tradeoff for embracing the freedom to become utterly unique and discretely specialized so we can activate our life passions is that, by doing so, we must then shoulder responsibility for those who are surrendering their ability to do other things, so they in turn can pursue their unique passions, which they then agree to do on OUR behalf.

Imagine if your blood cell charged your liver cell to deliver it food, and your liver cell countered by charging the blood cell an even higher tribute to remove the blood cell's toxins. How long do you imagine your body could survive with such a for-profit "free enterprise" system? The bickering, positioning, deprivation and inevitable piling up of excess resources would quickly cause your body to break down. Such a system leads inexorably to manufactured lack, not to free-flowing abundance. It CREATES poverty; it doesn't alleviate it.

Long ago, when we humans first began to charge each other for our discrete services and attempted to label some services more valuable or worthy than others, we disrupted the natural flow of abundance and energy within our human social system. Why is a plumber worth less than an office manager? Does a brain cell deserve higher status than a heart cell, and should it demand a greater reward in exchange for its work?

Ownership, and the withholding of one's gifts until one is rewarded for their delivery, may work as tricks of the human the mind to hold each other captive for a time, but our larger reality proves our belief in ownership incorrect every time it changes without our permission - through hurricanes, flood, earthquakes, fire, drought, pestilence or any other such shift it chooses to make to "our" turf, without our permission. Ownership implies domination and control, but reality is inherently a free will system. It doesn't care a whit what we humans imagine we control. Reality will act of its own free will despite our best efforts to insist we're in control of certain pieces. It is, by the way, our longstanding refusal to surrender to this universal truth that is the greatest single source of human suffering.

In essence, since we can't truly control the things we claim to own, ownership is really just a clever means we use to brainwash each other. We use the belief in ownership to control other humans, by convincing them they're not allowed to utilize some aspect of the fully integrated, living system we all share. In that way we domesticate each other, creating docile, obedient slaves to what is, at heart, merely a belief system and not the truth of life.

Our conceit can last a long time, and some of us may stumble through our entire lives without being disabused of the notion that we "own" some piece of this larger system in which we're embedded. Or you might (as I have) find yourself suddenly helpless and broken, caught in a situation where the naked truth of your own lack of control smacks you in the face in a way you can no longer deny...which in turn becomes a blessed invitation to surrender your grand illusions of control OVER your own life to the overarching power that IS life itself. Surrender, and it becomes possible to shift your focus away from claiming ownership (driven by an urge for self-preservation within a dangerous, uncaring system) toward the manifestation of whatever is urgently wanting to birth itself into this world through you (full and free participation in the loving system that created, contains and supports you.)

THAT is true freedom; surrendering your fears in order to activate your birthright, so you can fulfill your life's destiny.

Here's a test: If you truly own anything in this life, you should be able to take it with you when you depart this Earth. That you can't even take with you the body you claim as your own is a clue as to the true nature of our residency in this world. Every atom, molecule, cell, being and system that comprises this world belongs to ITSELF - ALL is inherently free.

Too many humans, alas, remain slaves to their conditioned beliefs about the world, and about their "rightful" place in it. For that false assumption, we pay dearly.

1 comment:

  1. Capitalism certainly does create poverty! Great post. I love the organismic metaphor, the blood cells "charging" to deliver oxygen, etc. Really what one might say is being touted here is tribal living in an agrarian society. Have you see these documentaries? I have them posted at the bottom of this blog entry of mine:
    They are: The Call of Life; Facing the Mass Extinction and The Mayan Word 2012.
    I am also very interested in the state of mind, the psychology created by a culture that only values the material versus a more biologically friendly society.