What’s the relationship between money and love?

I think it’s a good question, and I don’t think there’s a single unequivocal answer. Also, looking over what I’ve written here, it may depend on which dimension you “occupy.”

Here are a few initial thoughts.

It’s easy to confuse or fuse “money” with “love.” Especially did this used to be so between men and women when men “had all the power” (i.e., all the money, in terms of being the ones who “went to work” to “earn” the money).

Now that most women have jobs, and some of them “make more money” than their partners, there’s still a 3D power-struggle.

In the 3D world that “believes” that money is real, then yes, in this illusion it is real, and anytime somebody “gets together” with another and one of them “has or gets more money” than the other, the issue arises! “Is he/she with me for me or my money?” “Do I really love him/her or do I want to feel secure” (in 3D world, security is equated with money)? “Do I have any, or as much, value if I’m not making any money?”

Men seem especially vulnerable to this one; maybe because the feeling is so new to them; women had this as a subliminal, nagging question for especially the generation after World War II when they were shunted into identical houses in suburbs with new, shiny appliances, very little real “work” to accomplish, and very little meaning otherwise! Except for the kids. And they were gone, in school, after a few years. And heaven forbid that “the wives” would want to go out to “work”! That would make their husbands feel emasculated. So . . . some things have gotten better, eh?

It was the generation after that, my generation, that rebelled. Terrified that we’d “end up” like our mothers, we started talking to each other about “the problem that had no name,” and the second wave of feminism was born.

Also, in the 3D world, both “Madison Avenue” and “Wall Street” equate money with love. Or they substitute money for love. Or they insinuate that that if you have enough money, you’ll get love, or be lovable or be of value.

In the 3D world, it’s easier to ask someone if they have orgasms than to ask them how much money they have or make!

Again, in the 3D world, it’s easy to feel “ripped off,” and “envious” or “bitter”; and it’s easy to feel like you’re afraid to do something because someone else might feel “ripped off,” and difficult not to want to either hide, hide from, or show off “your money.”

In the 3D world, it’s easy to “hate” money, and those who “have” it.

And, in the 3D world, if you “have a lot more money” than those around you, it’s very easy to feel either constantly guilty and trying to overcompensate, or constantly trying to wall off your feelings, or justify your worth compared to others, etc.

The gifting economy, which I’m experimenting with, moves us from 3D to 5D. That’s why it feels so strange and wonderful. In our gift circle, energy is in continuous flow, moving from unused gifts to unmet needs, connecting us to one another with nobody counting.

Yet in our gift circle, sometimes I receive what I need from someone who has much less money than I do, gratis, of course. I hesitate to state my needs to them, because I don’t want to feel guilty by not giving them money in exchange. I have still to work this “problem” — which exists at the interface between the exchange economy and the gifting economy — through my emotional system. Especially do I feel this way if that person does that service usually as part of their regular exchange for money. If it’s their job as a consultant, or lawn care worker, etc. If the time and talent and energy they give to me could be used instead to to “make money” to buy food, pay rent, etc.

Survival money, in the 3D world, where it is the essential medium of exchange for some goods and services, occupies a different category than luxury money.

As one moves into the 5th dimension, then “money” and any other concept, abstract or concretized into “matter” is viewed as “energy,” neutral, used to lubricate gears in the 3D world.

You may realize that I have played all of these parts in the 3D world at different times in my life.

Here’s some further reflections on the subject, by Ran Prieur and his friend Anne:

www.ranprieur.com

May 9. (permalink) Anne has some important thoughts on dropping out:

Recently I had an odd experience staying with some friends in a nearby suburb. These are folks I love dearly, they eat similar stuff to what I eat, read similar stuff, get similar cultural references… but unlike me, they never went through an outsider subculture, and in their world, everything is available by commercial transaction. You get food from a store; you get fit by joining a gym; you get smart by going to school. Its hard for me to remember that people live like this, but they do.

The fact is, commercial relationships are corrosive. Do you really expect comfort and a sense of being cared about from spilling your guts to the twenty-five year old bartender at Chili’s? So after a while, people become obsessed by two delusions. First, that if the good life is out there, it must be something you buy, and it must cost a lot because you can’t afford it right now. And second, that all these people you only interact with in ritualized commercial ways are something you can’t wait to leave behind.

What I notice most about the Thoreaus or the Suelos is how assiduously they maintain non-commercial social connections, and what I notice about the internet discussions where people plan to buy their way off the treadmill, is how much they look forward to spending a butt-ton of money and never having to talk to anyone again.

This reminds me of something I read years ago in a zine. The author was traveling around dressed in anarchist punk clothing, and someone asked her why she was dressed that way. She said, if I dress like this, I can go up to other people who are dressed like this, and they’re likely to help me out with food and a place to stay. But if I’m dressed conventionally, and talk to other people dressed conventionally, there’s almost no chance they’ll help me out.

As I think more about commercial vs non-commercial relationships, suddenly I understand why I haven’t done anything to monetize this blog. It’s not that I think money is evil and I want to stay pure. In this society, both the commercial and the social are necessary. Some things are much easier to get with money, and other things are much easier to get through friends. But when the commercial and social get blurred together, it makes people confused and insane. If I demand payment, are you my friends or my customers? If I sell ads, then every time I make a post, part of me will be asking how it will effect my income.

My philosophy is, with any particular decision, make up your mind if you’re going for money or love, and go all out. If there ends up being some of both, that’s great, as long as one or the other is one hundred percent. One example of half-assed blurring of money and love is socially conscious investing. You want to believe you’re making money doing good, but there’s a risk you’ll end up losing money serving the lesser of two evils. A reader thought I was trolling yesterday when I mentioned investing in Monsanto. That was an extreme example, and I have no idea if Monsanto is actually a good investment. But the point is, when you go into the money universe, jump in with both feet and make damn sure you’re making good money. Then if you want to save the world, do it in your own neighborhood, among your own friends, with your own hands.

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