Updated: Jul 24, 2020
There is so much beauty, and wonder in the universe, but it seems, we spend most of our lives, wondering, 'What is wrong with the world?'
Nothing and yet everything.
Nothing is wrong with Nature and Creation, its exquisite and unfathomable. So what we do not understand, we condemn.
Humankind, now that is a completely different matter, for here, everything seems to be wrong.
Which leads us to the question, 'What is the root cause of all that is wrong?'
The 'will to power', the desperate and insatiable desire to dominate all that we humans set our eyes on or even conceive, is the root cause of human suffering.
With time the methods and approach to acquiring power and dominating has changed and grown more sophisticated. However two fundamental approaches remain unchanged, wealth and force. Both are transient, and temporary, but that has never stopped the human animal from relying on them.
Unfortunately other great human qualities of friendship, compassion, wisdom and respect which are more useful and enduring traits of our human nature have all been subordinated to the pursuit of wealth and power. The two are synonymous, because in a material world all power originates with wealth.
Almost every human benefit and progress, tragedy and setback can be traced to Man's pursuit of money.
So called modern society, is designed to earn, steal or extort money at every occasion. Government, politics, society, justice, law and order machinery, education, religion, healthcare/illness-care, art, literature, music, every aspect of society is structured focussed primarily on obtaining more wealth and power.
Those who don't have wealth want it, those who have it want even more of it. This craving is insatiable.
Unfortunately incredible material, and scientific progress has resulted in an unhappier, unhealthier and unsustainable world. This has made us beautiful humans, ugly.
The single greatest factor for all this misery is not poverty but a ridiculous excess of wealth. This wealth in the hands of few individuals, organisations and countries compels them to put this wealth to earn more wealth by deploying it as loans to others.
To get the world hooked on borrowing, we are made to feel inadequate about ourselves and our situation. Our GDP has to zoom, we must have this and we must have that. As aspirations rise by leaps and bounds while our ability to pay for them are restricted, we are compelled to borrow.
Not only individuals and families fall in this debt trap, many organisations, and all countries fall in this debt trap, spending money they do not have to get things they want but do not need. Then borrowing more money to pay the interest. Modern slaves are not in chains they are in debt.
Baron Rothschild a member of the wealthiest family in the world is supposed to have remarked, at a dinner party, "I can't name the Seven Wonders of the World, but I can tell you that the Eighth Wonder is compound interest.”
'Compound Interest' is the accumulation of interest to the principal amount repeatedly on money borrowed. So by compounding the interest at a rate of 7% per year the amount invested doubles every 10 years. Or as in many developing countries where the interest rate of 18% per year the money returnable is doubled every 4 years.
The wealthy need to use their wealth to earn even more, and the way is lend it to earn more money by the compounding of interest on loans. It is because of the this the world of finance has come to dominate all aspects of human existence. This is why the people at the head of private banks, funds, and financial trading are paid obscene amounts by their employers.
This driving force that creeps and consumes humanity is compound interest. Debt is this cold and ruthless creature if not kept contained or limited slowly creeps and consumes the world.
From the lenders point of view, the beauty of lending money is that the lender can go about doing what they want while the meter of interest grows and compounds continuously, every second, night or day. In fact debt gnaws at the innards of its host the borrowers, eventually consuming all of humanity and the world.
When Napoleon had the concept of compound interest explained to him, he exclaimed: “I wonder, it has not swallowed the world.”
When 10% of the world wealthy have 80% of the wealth, it creates an imbalance and everything in modern society and economic policy is designed to not only conserve but enhance this.
Numerous revolutions, religions and ideologies have failed to change this situation of human self destruction.
This is because we try to use the same thinking, philosophy, institutions and social order to solve the problem which itself we have created.
Throughout history, great spiritual and philosophical masters have come, warning us humans of our foolish and excessive ways. But we are so smart hat we have even converted them and their messages into instruments of increasing our wealth and power. Now God is sold as religion. Love, friendship, compassion, and our intrinsic nature itself are all being traded and sold.
Driven to despair many of us drown ourselves in alcohol and drugs, violence and plunder, and those who cannot escape by these means indulge ourselves in a frenzy of entertainment, and acquisition of things and relationships. It seems we are doomed to remain unfulfilled and unhappy.
Some of the materially wealthy seek escape by unburdening ourselves, we donate all ur possessions, to institutes of religion education, government and social organisations. But our name must be there on the foundation stone and plaques. We trade cash for the wealth of a name in a memorial.
We try a number of ways to escape. To the hills, and wilderness, to the seas and the desert, to monasteries and to therapy. Nothing helps because at the core of our being our nature remains unchanged.
To live with dignity one needs wealth, and relationships, but how much?
I have discovered to my surprise, that when I stopped exploiting things and relationships, seeking neither power nor wealth, I have become liberated, grown happier and more peaceful.