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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in voluntary poverty
Pagan savings challenge, week thirty-three:  the double-edged sword

One of the reasons so may thoughtful people -- including quite a few Pagans -- are reticent to use money money is because it's such an effective tool of war.  Money can be used to house, equip, and pay military personnel; it's also the primary weapon of economic sanctions and in trade wars.  Could there be war without money?  Of course.  A more hopeful question to ask is, "Can there be money without war?"

What makes money so powerful and so dangerous is the fact that it can be wielded by anyone, for any purpose.  Indeed, the world we live in was largely shaped by our collective-yet-undirected use of money.  When we spend to fill a desire, but not with a spiritual intent, the results we seek are often tied to consequences long after the fact.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Eschewing money

Money is a power that we have given disproportionate influence in our lives.  One of the ways that some people -- Pagans and others -- try to deal with that is through voluntary poverty, avoiding the stuff entirely, or as much as possible.  It's a choice that is controversial and poorly understood, and its impact isn't entirely clear.  As part of my money ministry, I'm trying to wrap my head around the many ways we can relate to it, including its rejection.

One thing that has become apparent to me is that there are limits on how much one can change through voluntary poverty or other money-avoidance schemes, such as simplicity and joining an intentional community which doesn't use it internally.  That limit is explained nicely by Lynne Twist in her book, The Soul of Money.  In the first chapter, Twist tells the tale of Chumpi Washikiat, a member of the Achuar people of the Amazon, who has been designated by his community to go out into the world and learn about money.  He moved into the author's home in the United States to do so.  Twist writes,

"His education about money was more on the level of inhaling.  Everywhere he went, the language and meaning of money filled the air, from billboards, advertisements, and commercials, to price cards on muffins at the local bakery.  In conversations with other students he learned about their hopes, dreams, and prospects for life after graduation, or as they put it, 'life in the real world' -- the money world.  He began to see how it is in America:  that virtually everything in our lives and every choice we make -- the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the houses we live in, the schools we attend, the word we do, the futures we dream, whether we marry or not, or have children or not, even matters of love -- everything is influenced by this thing called money."

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Addendum: my source would like to clarify that e considers eirself to be one of the poor people, not apart from them. "Also, the
  • guy fawkes
    guy fawkes says #
    What strikes me about this whole discussion is that people never stop to question what money is in the first place. For instance t
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    I don't think money is a mass delusion at all. I do, however, think that it's one of many ideas that we have intellectualized so
  • guy fawkes
    guy fawkes says #
    To save some time, here's a good primer on how money comes into existence in almost all of the countries in the world today. If yo
  • guy fawkes
    guy fawkes says #
    That my friends, is the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Now, will it be the red pill, or the blue?

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Pagans and voluntary poverty

A few weeks ago I wrote a post inspired by a conversation I had with an indebted Pagan, and one idea that came out of it -- that of a Pagan credit union -- really caught fire.  The level of interest made writing a follow-up post on your reactions to the idea of a Pagan credit union the next logical step.

Comments are a double-edged sword in the blogosphere, but I've learned a lot from the ones I have received here.  In pointing out what he or she thinks is the fatal flaw in any plan for Pagan financial infrastructure, Kveldrefr got me thinking about one of the underlying beliefs about Pagans, that they want to be poor:

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Mariah
    Mariah says #
    I am both poor & privileged- I work retail, but I have a bachelor's, and the social connections & cultural knowledge/capital of a
  • Dver
    Dver says #
    I wouldn't describe myself as voluntarily poor, but I fall somewhere between that and the usual materialistic approach in this cul
  • Aleah Sato
    Aleah Sato says #
    Wow, so much to say in response. This is a very succinct post on such a complex issue and I support Alley's response, with some di
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    It's hard to say whether i'm voluntarily poor; I give my energy to a job that satisfies me emotionally and spiritually, but not ve

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