The New Group of World Servers Journal celebrates and shares
the stories of those who are working to change the collective dream and
build a new world in which our essential oneness is recognized -
and the common goal is the Common Good.

Train Ride by Eleanor Arbeit

Train Ride by Eleanor Arbeit (1915-2000)

"Eleanor Arbeit's paintings invite you to inhabit her dreams.
Her works are spiritual, breathtaking destinations, you will fall in love with."
Artists daughter Annette

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September/October 2013

Toward a Conscious Relationship with Money

This month our featured "world servers" help us to understand our complex and ancient relationship with money. Even before the world wide economic crisis, money played roles in our lives that few of us - if we really examined them - would choose to maintain. The journal this month is designed to help us become conscious choosers in how we use our precious lives and the money we "earn". Few subjects remain so unexamined and unexplored in our world today. How did we get to this place in consciousness with money? Is it a place that serves our highest good? Is it a place that serves the planet well? What can we do to change our collective and individual stories of money and bring balance to our lives and our planet?

The writers and speakers in this Journal issue have spent many years thinking deeply about money. We share a bit of their wisdom on the subject of money and our relationship to it, and include links to more.

It's time for a new dream, a dream we can build together. There is no one simple answer to the complexity of the broken economic systems on our planet today. They cannot be "fixed" with the same consciousness that built them. When we understand our relationship with money and its effects on every nearly every aspect of life on this planet, we can begin to build a system that works for all.

This month we have a number of short videos, and access to a full length movie called Money & Life. They feature many of the authors in this month's Journal. I hope you will take the time to watch the movie and let the folks who made it know what you think. If you like it, you can put your money to good service by supporting them.

Thank you Justine Ashbee, Kate Vikstrom and Eleanor Arbeit's daughter, Annette, for the beautifully diverse art that graces our Journal this month. What a lovely September blessing!

Barbara Allen

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“When you let go of trying to get more of what you
don't really need, it frees up oceans of energy
to make a difference with what you have.”

Lynne Twist - The Soul of Money

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A Nameless Entity by Justine Ashbee

A Nameless Entity by Justine Ashbee

"The presence of the sacred is like returning to a home that was always there and a truth that has always existed. It can happen when I observe an insect or a plant, hear a symphony of birdsongs or frog calls, feel mud between my toes, gaze upon an object beautifully made, apprehend the impossibly coordinated complexity of a cell or an ecosystem, witness a synchronicity or symbol in my life, watch happy children at play, or am touched by a work of genius. Extraordinary though these experiences are, they are in no sense separate from the rest of life. Indeed, their power comes from the glimpse they give of a realer world, a sacred world that underlies and interpenetrates our own."

Charles Eisenstein from Sacred Economics

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Money can buy anything, except meaning

--by Jurriaan Kamp with Jacob Needleman, syndicated from

The philosopher Jacob Needleman has written about ethics, religion and leadership, but he is perhaps best known for his book Money and the Meaning of Life. The book links our relationship with money to the ways in which we find out what matters most in our lives. When it comes to personal finance, Needleman argues, we come to a greater understanding of ourselves by understanding the true meaning of money.

When Money and the Meaning of Life came out in 1994, it was regarded as a warning: If we continue to treat money in such an unbalanced way, we’re doomed. What’s happened since then?

“If that book was a warning, the warning was not heeded. We’re much worse off now, obviously. Everything can collapse at any minute. And the illusions of money are becoming painfully clear. At the same time, there’s the paradox that it is a reality. You have to take money into account in the real world. So this is still the same question: How do we realize money is a brilliant piece of social technology without defining ourselves by it? Humans are two-natured beings. One is the spirit; the other is life in the real world. We need to live in both in order to correspond to both sides of our nature. Money penetrates every aspect of our worldly life. In order to deal with money and not to lose one’s soul, we still have to play the game.”

What’s at the core of our problematic relationship with money?

“To answer that, we have to include a study of ourselves, of our own relation to money. There is no one who is normal about money. Do you know anybody who isn’t a little strange with money, a little hypocritical, or at least a little conflicted? What we’ve done wrong with money has to do with an increasing error about our understanding of what it means to be a human being in our culture. At the same time, there are movements introducing spiritual ideas into culture, much more now than 20 years ago. At the center, it’s a loss of what brings meaning to our lives. That was the point of my book: Money can buy anything, except meaning. To put it in a nutshell, it comes from the balance of these two parts of ourselves.”

And a life without meaning is no life at all.

“That’s the most important thing in our life: meaning. You can have all kinds of pleasure, but without meaning you wind up with despair. What I’ve discovered since writing that book is that human beings were built to give. To put it in the most extreme form, we’re built to love and serve something greater than ourselves, whether it’s other people, something you call God, or whether it’s justice. Until we are finding our way to give, there will be no happiness or meaning. Temporarily, I can feel I’m succeeding and respected, but in the end, there has to be a kind of giving. That’s what we haven’t understood. Because giving has been put into some kind of tax deduction.”


This article is printed here with permission from Jacob Needleman and Jurriaan Kamp, co-founder, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Optimist Magazine (formerly Ode).

Jacob NeedlemanJacob Needleman is Professor of Philosophy at San Francisco State University, former Visiting Professor at Duxx Graduate School of Business Leadership in Monterrey, Mexico, and former Director of the Center for the study of New Religions at The Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. He is the author of The New Religions, a pioneering study of the new American spirituality, The Wisdom of Love, Money and the Meaning of Life, A Sense of the Cosmos, Lost Christianity, The Heart of Philosophy, The Way of the Physician, Time and the Soul, Sorcerers, a novel, The American Soul, Why Can't We Be Good? and The Essential Marcus Aurelius.

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Money and the Meaning of Life

by Jacob Needleman

Money and The Meaning of Life by Jacob Needleman If we understood the true role of money in our lives we would not think simply in terms of spending it or saving it. Money exerts a deep emotional influence on who we are and what we tell ourselves we can never have. Our long unwillingness to understand the emotional and spiritual effects of money on us is at the heart of why we have come to know the price of everything, and the value of nothing.

Money has everything to do with the pursuit of an idealistic life, while at the same time, it is at the root of our daily frustrations. On a social level, money has a profound impact on the price of progress. Jacob Needleman shows, in this book, how money slowly began to haunt us, from the invention of coins in Biblical times (when money was created to rescue the community good, not for self gain), through its hypnotic appeal in our money-obsessed era. The book combines myth and psychology, the poetry of the Sufis and the wisdom of King Solomon, along with Jacob Needleman's searching of his own soul and his culture to explain how money can become a unique means of self-knowledge."

"If great truth does not enter into our relation to money,
it cannot enter our lives."   --Jacob Needleman

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Upstate Autumn by Kate Vikstrom

"I would have to say there is one specific place I am always attempting to show you.
That is the place where water and sky seem to have no hard edges; where earth, water
and air intermingle. The mists that move within that space allow the painting to evoke
emotion and touch the mystical. This is a metaphor for all of life, in which there are
no clear boundaries between friend and stranger, spiritual and earthly, love and poetry."

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Money is something we choose to trade our life energy for.  

Our life energy is our allotment of time here on earth, the hours of precious life available to us. When we go to our jobs we are trading our life energy for money. You could even say that money equals our life energy. So, while money has no intrinsic reality, our life energy does — at least to us. It’s tangible, and it’s finite. It is precious because it is limited and irretrievable and because our choices about how we use it express the meaning and purpose of our time here on earth. Money is something you consider valuable enough to spend easily a quarter of your allotted time here on earth getting, spending, worrying about, fantasizing about or in some other way reacting to.

From Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin

New book January 2014 -- Blessing the Hands that Feed Us

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Lynn Twist and The Soul of Money

And here is an excerpt from her book

The Soul of Money:

Transforming Your Relationship with Money and Life

by Lynne Twist

"We all have life sentences embedded in our beliefs and our worldview. It is possible to rewrite them and consciously rescript our responses to include the inspiration we need to ground ourselves around money:

"Money is like water. It can be a conduit for commitment, a currency of love.

"Money moving in the direction of our highest commitments nourishes our world and ourselves.

"What you appreciate appreciates.

"When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.

"Collaboration creates prosperity.

"True abundance flows from enough; never from more.

"Money carries our intention. If we use it with integrity, then it carries integrity forward.

"Know the flow--take responsibility for the way your money moves in the world.

"Let your soul inform your money and your money express your soul.

"Access your assets — not only money but also your own character and capabilities, your relationships and other nonmoney resources.

"We each have the power to shift, change, and create the conversation that shapes our circumstances. The levers and dials of conversation are ours to use. When we listen, speak and respond from the context of sufficiency, we access a new freedom and power in our relationship with money and life."

Lynn Twist For more than 40 years, Lynne Twist has been a recognized global visionary committed to alleviating poverty and hunger and supporting social justice and environmental sustainability. From working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta to the refugee camps in Ethiopia and the threatened rainforests of the Amazon, Lynne’s on-the-ground work has brought her a deep understanding of the social tapestry of the world and the historical landscape of the times we are living in.
The Soul of Money Institute

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Seated Lady by Eleanor Arbeit

Seated Lady by Eleanor Arbeit

Thoughts on the book “The Soul of Money”

by Diane Scholten from "Taking it to the Streets" blog

...My pastor talked about this book at church two weeks ago and it reminded me that I had the book but had not read it – so I remedied that.  Wow, am I glad I did! Very thought-provoking.  The heart of the book is revealed in the chapter titles for chapters 3 and 4:

Scarcity: the Great Lie
Sufficiency: The Surprising Truth

“...greed and fear of scarcity are programmed; they do not exist in nature, not even in human nature.  They are built into the money system in which we swim.”  And “Adam Smith’s system of economics could more accurately be described as the allocation of scarce resources through the process of individual greed.” – those quotes are her take on a book by Bernard Lietaaer called “Of Human Wealth”.  She sums up the Scarcity myth as having 3 components:  1) there’s not enough; 2) More is better; and 3) “That’s just the way it is”

What if we DIDN’T believe any of these?  What would life look like then?

Well, check out the chapter lead-in for the Sufficiency chapter:

“When you let go of trying to get more of what you don’t really need, it frees up oceans of energy to make a difference with what you have.  When you make a difference with what you have, it expands.”

She talks about an indigenous South American tribe, the Achuar, for whom “wealth means being present to the fullness and richness of the moment and sharing that with one another.”  Or, as she says later in the same chapter:

“I suggest that if you are willing to let go, let go of the chase to acquire or accumulate always more and let go of that way of perceiving the world, then you can take all that energy and attention and invest it in what you have.  When you do that you will find unimagined treasures, and wealth of surprising and even stunning depth and diversity.”

Her three truths of sufficiency to counter the three lies of scarcity are:

1) Money is like water
2) What you appreciate appreciates
3) Collaboration creates prosperity

My brother taught me that first law when we were young wild hippies.  Our friend Kate got stuck in Denver (don’t ask!) and he sent her a plane ticket.  We were young and poor and I wondered how he had the money – well, he didn’t really – that was his rent money, but what he said stuck with me – “that’s how it works, you know – you have to give it away to get it, then it just flows to you.”  He was right.  I think I’ve written before on the power of tithing and/or generosity so let me just say here – it works.  And as Lynne Twist says “The happiest and most joyful people I know are those who express themselves through channeling their resources – money, when they have it – on to their highest commitments.  Theirs is a world where the experience of wealth is in sharing what they have, giving, allocating, and expressing themselves authentically with the money they put in flow.” 


Diane Scholten

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Charles Eisenstein Interview for Money & Life Film

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From the Reality Sandwich website

Sacred Economics: Introduction

By Charles Eisenstein

The following is from Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition,
 available from Evolver Editions/North Atlantic Books.


The purpose of this book is to make money and human economy as sacred as everything else in the universe.

Today we associate money with the profane, and for good reason. If anything is sacred in this world, it is surely not money. Money seems to be the enemy of our better instincts, as is clear every time the thought “I can’t afford to” blocks an impulse toward kindness or generosity. Money seems to be the enemy of beauty, as the disparaging term “a sellout” demonstrates. Money seems to be the enemy of every worthy social and political reform, as corporate power steers legislation toward the aggrandizement of its own profits. Money seems to be destroying the earth, as we pillage the oceans, the forests, the soil, and every species to feed a greed that knows no end.

From at least the time that Jesus threw the money changers from the temple, we have sensed that there is something unholy about money. When politicians seek money instead of the public good, we call them corrupt. Adjectives like “dirty” and “filthy” naturally describe money. Monks are supposed to have little to do with it: “You cannot serve God and Mammon.”

At the same time, no one can deny that money has a mysterious, magical quality as well, the power to alter human behavior and coordinate human activity. From ancient times thinkers have marveled at the ability of a mere mark to confer this power upon a disk of metal or slip of paper. Unfortunately, looking at the world around us, it is hard to avoid concluding that the magic of money is an evil magic.

Obviously, if we are to make money into something sacred, nothing less than a wholesale revolution in money will suffice, a transformation of its essential nature. It is not merely our attitudes about money that must change, as some self-help gurus would have us believe; rather, we will create new kinds of money that embody and reinforce changed attitudes. Sacred Economics describes this new money and the new economy that will coalesce around it. It also explores the metamorphosis in human identity that is both a cause and a result of the transformation of money. The changed attitudes of which I speak go all the way to the core of what it is to be human: they include our understanding of the purpose of life, humanity’s role on the planet, the relationship of the individual to the human and natural community; even what it is to be an individual, a self. After all, we experience money (and property) as an extension of our selves; hence the possessive pronoun “mine” to describe it, the same pronoun we use to identify our arms and heads. My money, my car, my hand, my liver. Consider as well the sense of violation we feel when we are robbed or “ripped off,” as if part of our very selves had been taken.


Charles EisensteinCharles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His on-line writings have generated a vast following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine’s “25 Intelligent Optimists” issue, David Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World) called Eisenstein “one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time.”

The book is being posted - one chapter at a time - on the Charles Eisenstein's website here.

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Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein -
A short film

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Excerpt from the book The Soul of Money by Lynn Twist:

“For me, and for many of us, our first waking thought of the day is "I didn't get enough sleep." The next one is "I don't have enough time." Whether true or not, that thought of not enough occurs to us automatically before we even think to question or examine it. We spend most of the hours and the days of our lives hearing, explaining, complaining, or worrying about what we don't have enough of... Before we even sit up in bed, before our feet touch the floor, we're already inadequate, already behind, already losing, already lacking something. And by the time we go to bed at night, our minds are racing with a litany of what we didn't get, or didn't get done, that day. We go to sleep burdened by those thoughts and wake up to that reverie of lack... This internal condition of scarcity, this mind-set of scarcity, lives at the very heart of our jealousies, our greed, our prejudice, and our arguments with life”

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Movie - MONEY & LIFE - a full length documentary

Editors Note: I recently watched the movie Money & Life online and then purchased a copy of the dvd so I could share it with family and friends.
Much to my surprise, I discovered that the movie features most of the authors of the articles you will find in this month's issue. I didn't know that when I chose to include it in the Journal.  Reading the Journal and then watching the movie creates an interestingly well rounded and complete sort of experience! I strongly encourage you to take the time to see it.

From the makers of the movie MONEY AND LIFE: "We offer Money & Life to the world in spirit of the Gift.  With the Creative Commons license we are effectively decriminalizing and inviting sharing of the film.  By streaming the film online at no cost and offering the digital download at no cost we are removing the financial barrier to access.  Because the most important thing is that the film enter the flow of peer-to-peer sharing and discourse.

Instead of setting a price and transacting before you’ve seen the film, we are turning the tables and allowing you to experience the film and gift back according to your values, your means, and the quality of how the film may have gifted you.  You decide. While in part a crowd-funded film, the expenses for making Money & Life were high and all donations will go towards the recuperation of production costs for Storm Cloud Media and also to supporting our capacity for continued outreach and distribution."

Trailer for the movie Money & Life

Synopsis of Money & Life

MONEY & LIFE is a passionate and inspirational essay-style documentary that asks a provocative question: can we see the economic crisis not as a disaster, but as a tremendous opportunity?  This cinematic odyssey connects the dots on our current economic pains and offers a new story of money based on an emerging paradigm of planetary well-being that understands all of life as profoundly interconnected.

To watch the full movie go here:

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Learning economics from nature

(From Money and Life Movie website)

A five minute segment from the footage outtakes with evolution biologist and futurist Elisabet Sahtouris.

Thom Hartmann on "We" Societies
(From Money and Life website)

Thom talks about learning from indigenous cultures that we are best adapted to long term survival in "we" societies!

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Beyond Debt: An Economy of Gratitude

Charles Eisenstein reviews David Graeber’s book,
"Debt: The First 5,000 Years"

by Charles Eisenstein in Yes! Magazine

Quote from the article:

"Immersed in a system that enslaves us to debt and forces us into competition merely to survive, we are unused to expressing our innate desire to give. But when normal breaks down, that desire bursts forth. Many people in the Occupy movement (in which Graeber was deeply involved) have told me that the most amazing thing about it was how people stepped forward, without being paid to or ordered to, to meet whatever needs called to them. A gift economy – even a gift politics – quickly emerged. Even if it devolved into infighting and paralysis, we caught a glimpse of something real. “I saw how human beings are supposed to live,” one Occupier told me. I have seen the same happen after natural disasters disrupt the flow of normalcy: neighbors who ordinarily have no occasion to speak to one another emerge from their houses and everyone helps each other out. The desire to give, to contribute to the general welfare, lies latent in all of us. Could we build an economic system consciously designed to encourage this impulse? "

Read the full article at the Yes! Magazine website

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And then there's the "commons" - all that we "own" together;
water, air, roads, libraries, hope, passion, democracy....

Quote from On The Commons Magazine

"It can be the air we breathe, or the water we drink. It can be the absence of something we hate, like noise. It can be Wikipedia. It can be an ocean beach.
The commons is a realm that lies outside conventional market economics, but that nonetheless creates wealth."

Read the full article at: On The Commons Magazine

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In A Monestary Garden by Kate Vikstrom

In a Monastery Garden by Kate Vikstrom

How to Create Wealth:
Monetary, Spiritual or Psychic

Jonathan Rowe's brilliant meditation on the shared,
non-commercialized realms of life

By Timothy Noah - Originally published in Washington Monthly

Quote from end of article:
"A glory of the Web and Wikipedia, like the glory of the commons in its older forms, is that it’s something we all possess that we don’t have to think about. One message of market fundamentalism is that we must never, ever take anything in life for granted. “When did that stop?” asks a sympathetic character in Bennett’s People. “Taking things for granted.” The 1980s, the archdeacon answers matter-of-factly. “Everything had a price. If it didn’t have a price it didn’t have a value.” Bennett has written that he, too, misses the pre-Thatcher feeling of taking good things for granted: “The state has never frightened me. Why should it? It gave me my education (and in those days it was a gift); it saved my father’s life as on occasion it has saved mine.” Replace the word “state” with “commons” and Rowe would nod in vigorous agreement. When we take too few of life’s riches for granted, we are all of us poorer, no matter how much cash we have in the bank."

Read the full article at On The Commons Magazine

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"We can just as easily have an economy that is based on
healing the future instead of stealing it.”

Paul Hawken

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Share Spray: A New Way To Do Everything

More at Video by the Center for a New American Dream

What happens when your Sharey Godmother pays you a surprise visit and hands you a can of Share Spray?

Share Spray is a short animation from the Center for a New American Dream and Janelle Orsi, co-author of The Sharing Solution. With creativity, charm, and a bit of fun, Share Spray explores how our lives and communities could transform if sharing became the new way to do EVERYTHING!

Start sharing now with these online resources:

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Quote from Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein

..."all over the world machines stand idle. Factories have ground to a halt; construction equipment sits derelict in the yard; parks and libraries are closing; and millions go homeless and hungry while housing units stand vacant and food rots in the warehouses. Yet all the human and material inputs to build the houses, distribute the food, and run the factories still exist. It is rather something immaterial, that animating spirit, which has fled. What has fled is money. "

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The High Price of Materialism

More at Video by the Center for a New American Dream

Psychologist Tim Kasser discusses how America's culture of consumerism undermines our well-being. When people buy into the ever-present marketing messages that "the good life" is "the goods life," they not only use up Earth's limited resources, but they are less happy and less inclined toward helping others. The animation both lays out the problems of excess materialism and points toward solutions that promise a healthier, more just, and more sustainable life.

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Waves Within Gathering by Justine Ashbee

Waves Within Gathering by Justine Ashbee

"There is a word that provides the basis for transforming your relationship with money. It’s a word we use every day, yet we are practically incapable of recognizing it when its staring us in the face.

The word is ‘enough’. Enough for our survival. Enough comforts. And even enough little ‘luxuries.’ We have everything we need; there’s nothing extra to weigh us down. It’s appreciating and fully enjoying what money brings into your life and yet never purchasing anything that isn’t needed or wanted.

So what’s all that stuff beyond enough? It’s whatever you have that doesn’t serve you, yet takes up space in your world. Clutter! To let go of clutter, then, is not deprivation, it’s lightening up and opening up space for something new to happen. Enough is a wide and stable plateau. It is a place of alertness, creativity and freedom. From this place, being suffocated under a mountain of clutter that must be stored, cleaned, moved, gotten rid of and paid for on time.

Vicki Robin - Author of Blessing the Hands that Feed Us (Viking 2014) - January 2014. Co-author of Your Money or Your Life.

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Creator of "The Story of Stuff" Shows
What's At Stake with Commons Assets

by Jay Walljasper from On The Commons

Annie Leonard is one of the most articulate, effective champions of the commons today. Her webfilm The Story of Stuff has been seen more than 15 million times by viewers.

Here Leonard answers a few questions from On The Commons about the importance of the commons in her life, work and the world.   —Jay Walljasper

What are a few of the most beloved commons in your life and community?

Annie LeonardI asked this question to our Story of Stuff team over lunch recently and the conversation lit up as we each called out commons we cherish most. We identified cultural commons that add such richness to our lives (music, recipes, the amazing murals in San Francisco), physical commons that we use daily (the library, bike lanes and dog parks ranked high); social commons that make the broader society better for all (teachers, health care providers, the woman who helps pedestrians cross the street at a particularly busy intersection near our office). We also thought of another category, which I’ll call aspirational commons: hope, passion, commitment, the future. These belong to all of us, and it is up to all of us to protect and nourish them—because a society without hope and passion, and without a possibility-rich future, is a dreary society indeed. And, of course, our democracy: it belongs to all of us and only works when we all engage.

For us at The Story of Stuff Project, the commons is also an orientation; it is about how we do things, how we work together as much as the assets that we all share. It is the act of figuring out solutions together and ensuring diverse voices are engaged in planning processes. It is a commitment to collective action, collective wellbeing and having each other’s backs. It is the realization that no one is as smart as everyone. It’s the realization that we all do better when we all do better.

How did you first learn about the commons?

I first learned about the commons as a kid using parks and libraries. I didn’t assign the label “commons” to them, but I understood early on that some things belong to all of us and these shared assets enhance our lives and rely on our care. I also learned that investments in the commons pay back manyfold: if we organize a litter clean up, we get a super fun park to play in.

Like many other college students, my first introduction to the word “commons” was sadly in conjunction with the word “sheep” and “tragedy.” That lousy resource management class tainted the word for me for years, until I heard Ralph Nader address a group of college students. He asked them to yell out a list of everything they own. This being the pre-i-gadget 1980’s, the list included “Sony Walkman…boombox… books…bicycle…clothes…bank account.” When the lists started to peter out, Ralph asked about National Parks and public air waves. A light went off in each of our heads, and a whole new list was shouted out: rivers, libraries, the Smithsonian, monuments. That’s when I realized that the commons isn’t an overgrazed pasture; it really is all that we share.

How does the commons influence your work?

The commons is a key piece of building a sustainable, healthy and fair society. At the Story of Stuff Project, we’re concerned about the hyper-individualization and consumer-mania that has taken over our society. It’s a problem because we’re consuming more resources than the planet can produce each year and creating more waste than it can assimilate. The Global Footprint Network says we’re using 1.5 planets worth of resources a year. Basic physics dictates that we simply can’t keep consuming at this rate. In addition to depleting the very planet on which life depends, our consumer culture isn’t making us happy. We’re working longer hours than in just about any other industrialized country, we’re constantly stressed, tired and burdened by debt. It’s no coincidence that rates of social isolation, loneliness and depression are also on the rise. A thriving commons helps on all these fronts.

Shared things means we use less resources overall; that we can slow down the frenzied work-watch-spend treadmill; and that we’re investing in community rather than clutter and consumer debt. For example, my town has a Tool Lending Library as part of the public library system. Rather than every household needing to own a power drill and jackhammer, we can just borrow them for the few times a year we need them. This could be extended to include all sorts of things. Shared public resources means less resources consumed overall, less waste generated, less money spent and more time chatting with our neighbors – building community.

How does the commons affect your life?

Recognizing and nurturing the commons makes my life sweeter, easier, richer, lighter, happier. I end up with less stuff and more friends.


Jay WalljasperJay Walljasper  is Senior Fellow and Editor of (Minneapolis, MN) Jay Walljasper is a writer and speaker who chronicles stories around the world that point us in the direction of a more equitable, sustainable and brighter future.

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The Story of Change by Annie Leonard

Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world.

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Dream of Home by Eleanor Arbeit

Dream of Home by Eleanor Arbeit


by Lynne Twist

“Many social justice or social activist movements have been rooted in a position. A position is usually against something. Any position will call up its opposition. If I say up, it generates down. If I say right, it really creates left. If I say good, it creates bad. So a position creates its opposition. A stand is something quite distinct from that.

There are synonyms for “stand” such as “declaration” or “commitment,” but let me talk for just a few moments about the power of a stand. A stand comes from the heart, from the soul. A stand is always life affirming. A stand is always trustworthy. A stand is natural to who you are. When we use the phrase “take a stand” I’m really inviting you to un-cover, or “unconceal,” or recognize, or affirm, or claim the stand that you already are.

Stand-takers are the people who actually change the course of history and are the source of causing an idea’s time to come. Mahatma Gandhi was a stand-taker. He took a stand so powerful that it mobilized millions of people in a way that the completely unpredictable outcome of the British walking out of India did happen. And India became an independent nation. The stand that he took… or the stand that Martin Luther King, Jr. took or the stand that Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony took for women’s rights—those stands changed our lives today. The changes that have taken place in history as a result of the stand-takers are permanent changes, not temporary changes. The women in this room vote because those women took so powerful a stand that it moved the world.

And so the opportunity here is for us to claim the stand that we already are, not take a position against the macro economic system, or a position against this administration, although some of you may have those feelings. What’s way more powerful than that is taking a stand, which includes all positions, which allows all positions to be heard and reconsidered, and to begin to dissolve.

When you take a stand, it actually does shift the whole universe and unexpected, unpredictable things happen.”

Lynne Twist

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Running Wild by Kate Vikstrom

What one piece of advice would you give people about money? “Learn to be quiet: learn to be still. Live your life just as you’ve been living it, for a while. Don’t change anything, except little things: study, question. This is the kind of answer Gandhi would give: What do you wish to serve? How can your money serve something that is not just good for your ego or comfort but for others? Reflect, find some friends and start talking about the question: What should we do? What is right? And then, act.”

Joseph Needleman from Odewire article

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An excerpt from Money As Service by JS Bakula
Courtesy of When The Soul Awakens website

Choose to Live Simply

Choosing to live simply kills greed. Energy previously used in decorating body, home and ego is freed for use in higher and better ways. Concentration on self gives way to concentration on others and on planet. After filling our basic needs for food, clothing and shelter we can move on. Many live their lives never leaving this basic triangle of needs. They simply refine their needs into wants by focusing on gourmet food, designer clothes and bigger houses. This is a shallow value system at a time when humanity is awakening to greater purpose, to perception of how our values are affecting the earth, and how our behaviors are affecting climate. Instead of basing our self-worth on how exclusive we are, we can judge ourselves and others by how inclusive we are. Choosing to live simply means we can live on less. It also means we have more freedom to focus on more important things than superficial appearances or status symbols.

The time saved in not having to take care of all the possessions accumulated may be given to more important things. We can see nature, the planet and our fellow humans as more beautiful than our things. We can value whatever lives more than we do decorations. By living simply we can choose to value principle over prestige, the power of the inclusionary principle over the exclusionary principle, the power of the whole over the power of small wealthy self-congratulatory groups. Many new groups are dedicated to serving the world; they gather around ideas and ideals worth living their lives for. In short, living simply can give us more time, more freedom, more money, a more meaningful life, and a chance to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.

Read the full article on the When the Soul Awakens website

Joann S. Bakula Ph.D Joann S. Bakula, Ph.D. is a transpersonal, integral psychologist, writer, and lecturer who writes a monthly on-line meditation commentary at www. worldservicegroup. Her publications include Esoteric Psychology: A Model for the Development of Human Consciousness, and many articles on myth, meditation, higher states and stages, the bardos, and applying ancient wisdom to planetary living. She is the Review Editor of the Esoteric Quarterly, has taught at various universities for 25 years, and is currently an on-line faculty member of Akamai University.

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We end this issue with a poem written by one of the pioneers of living simply;
Joe Dominguez, co-author of Your Money or Your Life
February 2, 1938 – January 11, 1997

The Secret of Life

By Joe Dominguez

The secret of life is simply you…

your magnificence, your divinity.

Love is the medium through which

the divinity manifests.

The medium is the message.

Love is the message.

When you love, you are carrying the message…

You are manifesting your magnificence,

your divinity.

When you feel love, you feel good.

When you feel good, you feel love.

When you feel good, you feel god.

When you feel god, you feel good.

Love is your creation.

Your natural state is

the ecstatic experience of Love.

It is simply the conscious experience

of our aliveness, made manifest…shared.

Love does not “happen” to us.

We happen it.

We happen it by removing that which blocks it.

Living a life is simply the process of removing

those barriers to experiencing Love.

A Romantic Gesture by Justine Ashbee

A Romantic Gesture by Justine Ashbee
"I’m utilizing stark, amorphous lines to trace the movement and human experience
of the non-linear and imaginational realms. Through this intuitive visual language,
a negotiation of the visceral and everyday human experiences of
 beauty and pleasure, and feeling are given voice."  Justine Ashbee

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The following is a list of the rest of the "world servers" included
in the Money & Life movie, from their website:

Rebecca Adamson, a Cherokee, has worked directly with grassroots tribal communities, and nationally as an advocate of local tribal issues since 1970. She started First Nations Development Institute in 1980 and First Peoples Worldwide in 1997. She works globally with grassroots tribal communities, sits on the boards of the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Calvert Social Investment Fund, and is an advisor to the United Nations on rural development.

Orland Bishop is the founder and director of ShadeTree Multicultural Foundation in Los Angeles, where he has pioneered approaches to urban truces and mentoring at-risk youth. His work in healing and human development is framed by an extensive study of medicine, naturopathy, psychology and indigenous cosmologies of South and West Africa. Orland is currently focusing on understanding the deeper meaning money for designing new economic platforms that support healthy community life. He is a member of the Spirit of Money Collaborative.

John Bloom is Director of Organizational Culture at RSF Social Finance. As part of his work he has been developing the Transforming Money Collaborative, as well as other educational programs that address the intersection of money and spirit in personal and social transformation. His most recent book is The Genius of Money – Essays and Interviews Reimagining the Financial World.

Ellen Brown developed her research skills as an attorney practicing civil litigation in Los Angeles. In her most recent book, Web of Debt, she has taken those skills and created an amazing analysis of the Federal Reserve and the historical unfolding of the current money system. She writes regular articles for the Huffington Post.

Dr. Edgar S. Cahn is the creator of Time Dollars and the founder of TimeBanks USA, as well as the co-founder of the National Legal Services Program and the Antioch School of Law (now the David A. Clarke School of Law). He is the author of “No More Throw Away People: The Co-Production Imperative,” and “Time Dollars.” As the president and founder of the Time Dollar USA, Cahn’s experience with Time Dollars led him in 1995 to develop a radical new framework for social welfare and social justice that turns recipients of service into co-producers of change.

Graciela Chichilnisky is the author of the carbon market of the UN Kyoto Protocol that became international law in 2005. Dr. Chichilnisky is a Professor of Economics and Mathematical Statistics at Columbia University. Dr. Chichilnisky is a Professor of Economics and Mathematical Statistics at Columbia University. Her most recent books are Saving Kyoto, published in fall 2009, and The Economics of Climate Change.

Riane Eisler is a social scientist, attorney, and author whose work on cultural transformation has inspired both scholars and social activists. She has been a leader in the movement for peace, sustainability, and economic equity, and her pioneering work in human rights has expanded the focus of international organizations to include the rights of women and children.  Her most recent book is The Real Wealth of Nations.

Rev. Mark Francisco Bozzutti-Jones is a priest for pastoral care and nurture as Trinity Wall Street, the Episcopal parish located in Lower Manhattan at the head of Wall St. Trinity Church has been actively engaged in a deep dialogue about creating an ethical economy, “a whole new vision of economic life.”

John Fullerton leads all activities of the Capital Institute. Since the formal launch of Capital Institute in 2010, John has established himself as a thought leader in the “new economy” space, on financial reform, and as a leading practitioner of “impact investing.”  He writes a weekly blog, “The Future of Finance,” at Capital Institute, and speaks regularly on the intersection of sustainability, social justice, and finance.  John is also the principal of Level 3 Capital Advisors, LLC, an investment firm focused on high impact sustainable private investments.

Robin Gottfried is a Professor of Economics at the University of the South. Professor Gottfried is interested in the interrelationships between humans and their natural environment: How and why do people change their environment, what ecological impact does this change have, and how does this impact, in turn, affect other people.   His book is called Economics, Ecology, and the Roots of Western Faith: Perspectives from the Garden.

Thomas Greco is a community and monetary economist, educator, writer, and consultant. He is a former tenured college teacher who has spent more than 30 years studying and writing about ways to achieve greater harmony, equity, and sustainability through business and economics. His most recent book is The End of Money and the Future of Civilization.  He also keeps an active blog on money and the economy.

William Greider, a national reporter of 40 years, is currently the national correspondent for The Nation, the country’s oldest and largest political weekly. His career has spanned newspapers small and large, magazines, public television and books. He writes about capitalism and about democracy and explains how these two value systems are in collision. Author of many books, he wrote The Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country.

Hazel Henderson is the founder of Ethical Markets Media and the creator and co-executive Producer of its TV series. She is a world renowned futurist, evolutionary economist, a worldwide syndicated columnist, consultant on sustainable development, and author of The Axiom and Nautilus award-winning book Ethical Markets: Growing the Green Economy (2006) and eight other books.

Jean Houston is a scholar, philosopher and researcher in human capacities, is one of the foremost visionary thinkers and doers of our time, one of the principal founders of the Human Potential Movement. A powerful and dynamic speaker, she holds conferences and seminars with social leaders, educational institutions and business organizations worldwide.

Aaron Kipnis is core faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute.  Dr. Kipnis is clinical psychologist and author of several books, including Angry Young Men: How Parents, Teachers, and Counselors Can Help “Bad Boys” Become Good Men.  Dr. Kipnis teaches classes on the psychological influence of money on our lives and sense of who we are.

David Korten is an author, lecturer and most of all a deeply engaged citizen.  His biography is long but in short he works to call us all into the possibility of creating a conscious economy.  His most recent book Agenda for a New Economy: From Phantom Wealth to Real Wealth is a response to the financial crisis of 2008.  Read his Yes! Magazine blog.

Rabbi Steven Leder is the senior rabbi at Wilshire Boulevard Temple in Los Angeles, CA in addition to teaching homiletics at HUC-JIR  teaching homiletics at HUC-JIR.  He has published essays in Reform Judaism and the Los Angeles Times and is the author of More Money Than God: Living a Rich Life Without Losing Your Soul.

Bernard Lietaer has been active in the domain of money systems for a period of 25 years in an unusual variety of functions. While at the Central Bank in Belgium he co-designed and implemented the convergence mechanism (ECU) to the single European currency system.  He is the author of The Future of Money and New Money for a New World.

John Perkins was Chief Economist at a major international consulting firm, advisor to the World Bank, United Nations, IMF, U.S. Treasury Department, Fortune 500 corporations, and countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. His books on economics and geo-politics have sold more than 1 million copies. John’s Confessions of an Economic Hit Man is a startling exposé of international corruption. Hoodwinked is a blueprint for a new form of global economics. John is a founder and board member of Dream Change and The Pachamama Alliance, nonprofit organizations devoted to establishing a world our children will want to inherit.

James Quilligan, international economist, is an analyst and administrator in the field of international development since 1975, Quilligan served as policy advisor and writer for many international politicians & leaders, such as Pierre Trudeau, François Mitterrand, Edward Heath, Julius Nyerere, Lopez Portillo Olaf Palme, & others.

Elizabet Sahtouris is an evolution biologist, futurist, author and consultant.  In her unique approach, called “Living Systems Design,” she applies the principles of biology and evolution to organizational development so that organizations may become more functional, healthy “living systems,” with increased resilience, stability, and cooperation.  She wrote Earth Dance: Living Systems in Evolution.

Vandana Shiva is a physicist, ecologist, and activist, she won the Right Livelihood Award in 1993. She directs the Research Foundation for Science, Technology, and Natural Resource Policy in New Delhi, India, and is an Associate Editor of The Ecologist magazine. Before becoming an activist, Shiva was one of India’s leading physicists.

Her work highlights the fundamental connection between human rights and the environment. She founded Navdanya, a organizational network of seed keepers and organic producers spread across 16 states in India.  She is the author of many books, including Earth Democracy.

Judy Wicks is the founder and former owner of the White Dog Cafe in Philadelphia, PA.  She is also co-founder of BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

Stuart Valentine is President of CenterPoint Investment Management (CPIM) an active member of the Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) movement. Since 2000, CPIM (formerly Iowa Progressive Asset Management) has actively been involved in deal structuring and placement for Green Private Equity investments along with investment management services in the public equity markets. He also is an expert in forward markets via his 20-year experience in the Commodity Futures and Options markets as co-founder of Crown Futures Corp.

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And lastly, I include a short list of ACTIONS to consider taking -
also courtesy of the Money & Life website:


The Move Your Money project is a nonprofit campaign that encourages individuals and institutions to divest from the nation's largest Wall Street banks and move to local financial institutions. Little has changed to prevent another financial crisis or to end 'Too Big To Fail,' and with Congress unwilling to act, we are encouraging individuals to take power into their own hands by voting with their dollars and no longer contributing to a financial system that has led our country astray.


Consider starting a discussion group and using a tool like Discover Your Wealth to uncover, assess and reveal your true wealth. The Discover Your Wealth assessment includes not only financial wealth, but also inner, creative, relational, and environmental value, with guidelines to share this experience with others.

Or consider transforming your relationship with money through the Financial Integrity Program. This program helps you transform your relationship with money-whether your goal is to get out of debt, become financially independent or align your financial decisions with your personal values.


If you are a position of investment consider fully aligning your investment strategies with your values.  Explore the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment and Green America's Guide to Socially Responsible Investing.

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Mission Statement:
Our intention is to inspire the conscious co-creation of a loving and sustainable relationship with the planet and with one another, in a world that works for us all.

Who we are:
Barbara Allen - Editor. Barbara lives and gardens near the Rogue River in southern Oregon.
Tom Carney - Publisher. Tom lives and writes in southern CA and in Portland, OR. He is the author of "The New Consciousness" and of a monthly journal of esoteric commentary called Thoughtline.

What is NGWS?
NGWS stands for New Group of World Servers. The Journal and website are a service project of Arcana Workshops, a non-profit meditation training group in the Los Angeles area. 

How to contact us
Send questions, stories, ideas or comments to:
Barbara at

Logo art courtesy of
Bryon Allen/