Peaceculture and Agriculture are two stepping stones for the advent of
another evolutionary step of humankind. As our guest from PROUT Dada
Vimalananda’s rendering sustains, the brute force was the
the initial stage in which man had to work physically to take care of
needs. The Industrial Revolution marked another stage where machinery
replaced the physical work, to allow the human being to be more occupied
with mental endeavors, and develop its mental capacities. The
intellectual stage gave rise to the development of cybernetics where
computers now perform mental activities reducing significantly the time
needed for those tasks therefore freeing the human beings for higher
pursuits than the purely mental, and opening the possibilities for
pursuits. It is said that this new evolutionary period is for the
contemplative stage, and with it comes the awakening of higher creative
powers of the soul.
As Robert Sardello puts it in the introduction of his book, “We
entering the age of soul consciousness” and that “the soul can
confined to being a substrate of human consciousness, a limitation
the outer world prey to the literalisms of science, technology, and
economics, which in spite of all their benefits to the world, if left on
their own, will not only eradicate individual soul life, but also bring
world destruction.” He explains that ”The need now emerging is
and broader than history, tradition, and culture, and that need is love.
do not mean that soul needs to be loved but that love is the very
The teachings in Yoga, state that the essence of God is Love, that means
spirit which is the essence of the soul is that Divine Spark emanated
God. Spirituality therefore is recognizing that both God and true love
one and the same. But before we are able to experience true love we must
through the process of learning by “preparations” as he calls the
forms of love that we experience in our human existence. As R. Sardello
When love first emerged in the human world, it did so in the
form of blood ties. This form of love is no longer effective, and in
if now enacted is harmful because it dims the fact of true individuality.
When romantic love originated, it brought about the possibility of
for a stranger as strongly and as completely as if the other person were
one’s own blood …. The approaching end of this millennium may signal
the end of love as we have known it in the past … the birth of fully consciousindividual love has already started. But this new birth will take a
long time and will not happen automatically ….The passing of one form
love to another did happen in the past, not without struggle, but inevitably. Romeo and Juliet, for example,
depicts the passing of
love from blood bonds to romantic love, something that could not be prevented.
For every advance in the domains of science, technology, and
economics, two steps are needed in soul work to keep from loosing sight
the soul. Science must be met by equal disciplines of careful research
observation of the inner side of things in order to complement knowing
through the mind with knowing through the heart. Technology must be met
every step by an equal interest in how soul can actually function in the
world, the challenge of practicing soul work in the world (Karma
Economics must be balanced by learning care of the soul so that meaning
not come to be equated with outer possessions.
Left to itself technology determines the meaning and essence
of the future. Left to itself science determines what counts as valid
consciousness-that which is quantifiable, measurable and can be seen.
to itself economics determines what happens in the world, and indeed defines
what makes the world. These powers of the world are so strong, and so
pervasive that very fundamental reflections of the soul such as
and culture can not balance them and will be lost …. Only the very
of soul as love, worked out in concrete and specific ways, can balance
One final paraphrase of this great exposition is:
Soul logic can be recognized by the fact that it synthesizes rather than
The breakdown of the institution of marriage can be seen as another
of the soul towards Universal Love, the preparation for cosmic love or
true love. Until it regains its strength and direction, the bonds then
to be established are not to be based anymore in external manifestations, but
rather in true expressions of the soul.
R. Sardello introduces us to the thinking of R. Steiner who is the
originator of the Three fold Society, succinctly described by Edward R.
Smith in the Document
I-88 The “Threefold Social Order” (36), that considers
the 3-Fold Being as:
The 3 Human Organisms
Economic system Body
Christopher Schaefer in his article “Nine Propositions in Search of
Threefold Social Order”, (37) expands the concept and makes reference
seven social laws that govern social life, such as the one formulated by
Steiner in 1898, The Basic Sociological Law, and in 1905 The Fundamental
Social law that says: “The well-being of a community of cooperatively
working human beings is the greater the less individuals demand the
of their work for themselves, or in other words, the more they make over
these proceeds to their co-workers and the more their needs are met not
their own work but from that of others.”
A beautiful example of the implementation of this law can be seen in the
examples of which are all over the globe. We are very well acquainted
the ones in Pennsylvania, Camphill Soltane, and Kimberton Village with
we have had a business and friendly relationship for over six years.
The author commenting on this law says: “ this complex and awkwardly
law is concerned with motives, suggesting that when labor is a commodity
self-interest becomes the motive force of economic activity, suffering,
poverty, and want are the result.” He goes on to describe the
the Threefold Social Order interpreting them on his own words as
The health of a group, institution or society is the greater
the more it works with principles of freedom in cultural life, equality
the sphere of rights and responsibilities, and brotherhood and
the area of work or economic life.
Christof Lindenau puts it, as described in this article, as the meeting
of h uman needs within a group, institution or society of cooperatively
human beings being greater the more it is based on the practice of
brotherhood or sisterhood. He is referring to economic life - the principle
referring to the conscious division of tasks within an institution or
society based on competence, in which each person contributes his or her
talents to serving the needs of the whole, and to a wage system based on
need as opposed to power or influence.
C. Schaefer stresses the importance To note that there is an inherent tension within each
sphere: in economic life between service and efficiency; in rights life
between rights and responsibilities; and in cultural life between
freedom and a set of cultural norms or institutional goals. An inner
between the polarities is essential for health.”
The document also refers to experiments that are being done with these
principles and draws some startling conclusions. One example could be
illustrated by a report from the New York Times that talks about the
relationship between health and inequalities in income between two groups,
rich and poor with the result that the more the inequality the higher
rate of physical and mental illness in both groups. This can very well
support the principle in the PROUT system to establish a maximum
between the highest and the lowest salaries.
Terry Boardman in Third Millennium Third Way (38) give us some
historical references on the movement, its spiritual sources, the state at which
movement is at and the dilemma or threshold at which he sees it
This threshold seems to be the place where humanity stands now, it can
perceived in all the different movements that are concerned with the
direction in which humankind is moving. It seems to validate the
that all the different impulses are responding to an historical demand
pregnant with an evolutionary step, that since inevitable it demands the
right attitude and actions to see that it completes its term, with all
joy and pain of a new birth.
On another note, Michael Albert is interviewed by Kate Redmond on the
subject of Par Econ, The Participatory Economics
Project (42), Michael Albert and Robin Hahnel an economist who teaches at American University
are the authors of two books: Looking Forward, and Political Economy of
Participatory Economics. Based on similar concerns about the prevailing economic system, they offer a system that as the interviewer mentions
resembles the socialist, M. Albert points out the difference, basically
it does not mean state ownership, and that there is no room for an elite
control the system. An interesting approach is the substitution of the
“ free market” , how they produce the opposite of solidarity and empathy
market competition requires that everybody be greedy….”. It also
the disappearance of institutions that presently have strong influence
the economic system.
The People Centered Development (39) offers a message of hope and
to action, dealing with the collective crisis by cooperation of civil
society groups around the world to replace the corporate and capitalist
system with a planetary system of living economies.
It says: It means reorganizing the economic life to produce more of the
things that people need - like food, shelter, clothing, education, and
healthcare - and less of the costly things we do not - like military
hardware, pollution, traffic jams, and crime. Hope for the human future
rests, therefore not with institutions of power, but with the millions
individuals all around the world who are awakening as if from a deep
to the reality of our collective crisis.
David Korten, founder of the People Centered Development Forum
to BALLE, Business Alliance for Local Living Economics, with his keynote
address to the second BALLE annual conference. “Balle and the
the American Experiment” (40) shares a very optimistic and inspiring
observation by observing the parallelism between the uphill battle that the
founders of this nation faced when they issued the declaration that
the American Experiment and our present situation. He says:
Washington’s ragtag part-time army of volunteer farmers
stood against a much larger British force of disciplined professional
soldiers. British loyalists controlled most of the institutions of
government. And many colonists were royalists who remained loyal
English kings and the institutions of hereditary elite role …. Just as
democratic government seemed an audacious idea in 1776 in a world of
great empires ruled by kings who commanded powerful armies, so to the idea of
economic democracy seems audacious today in a world of corporate empires.
We stand against overwhelming military and financial power armed only
with the moral power of an idea …. Ultimately, however, history teaches
that the moral power of ideas trumps the coercive power of the sword and the
power of money.
Reading this passage I could not help but draw another parallelism with
NEM group which may arrive to the conclusion and decision that the
capitalist system needs to be replaced. Even though we are not
alone in the
realization that the capitalist system in its present form does not work
the common good, there are less voices who proclaim total replacement of
system making the magnitude of the enterprise as daunting as what the
foun ing fathers faced.
On the other hand D. Korten leads to accept the realization that “ We
been a plutocracy since the founding of our nation.” More than
that he is
challenging to face the again seemingly insurmountable challenge of the
5,000 year old institution of Empire. He says our long term work is to
that Era to an end”, evidently the evolutionary step is being heralded
all who are working on finding economic alternatives. We can ask why we
not include those who are working for Social Justice or for Peace?
they are all interrelated and equally important, the main difference is
at this junction the economic power has taken so much control that it
become increasingly the source of all the other maladies that afflict
planet: environment, poverty, violence etc. The time has
come to propose a
different approach to that area of human activity.
As D. Korten says: We are facing an epic choice… “ between
ourselves as a global empire or a global Earth Community. It is a choice
between money or life as our defining value. It is a choice between the
force of military domination and ruthless competition between global
corporations, or cooperation and partnership among peoples and
D. Korten shares our perception of the present when he says: “All over
world people are waking up to the reality of the need for deep change
and embracing the challenge of what Theologian Thomas Berry calls the Great
Work… BALLE, WHICH IS BIRTHING THE NEW ECONOMY OF THE NEW ERA IS A
Then he makes a very good point. “Empire monopolizes the stories that
the basic questions. How do we create prosperity? How do we create
And how do we find meaning? With their stories they define and control
political debate to advance their imperial agenda. The elitist story
carry the day until we are able to counter it consistently and
with a coherent prosperity story.
The question we should ask ourselves is can we provide our part of the
story? Is this the challenge for NEM, to provide our part of the story?
An interesting observation is when he says: Many people buy the flawed
because they are desperate to bring spiritual meaning into their lives,
the story offered by the theocrats is pretty much the only story
Once more it is necessary to point out how our effort to make
key element in the formulation of the NEM addresses this evidently
fundamental aspect of the story.
In his concluding remarks, D. Korten points out that:
True prosperity, security and meaning are all found in the
life of vibrant interlinked communities that offer every person, without
exception, the opportunity to contribute their creative energy through
joyful, creative, engaged relationships with one another and the Earth
Creation’s search for ever unfolding possibilities. Life in community
essential to the realization of our humanity … For this is the moment
we are being called by the deep forces of creation to awaken to a new
consciousness of our human possibilities to one another and to the
As mentioned in our opening sentence Agriculture is one of the two
stones in our evolutionary process. D. Korten in a luncheon presentation
the Annual Conference of the Community Food Security Coalition held in
Seattle, October 7,2002 spoke about The New
American Agriculture (41).
it he praises their work for demonstrating that we do have choices:
Between dead food and living food
Between dead agriculture and living agriculture
Between a suicide economy and a planetary system of living economies
Between American Empire and earth democracy
Your work is at the forefront of the global effort to
displace a corporate dominated global suicide economy that destroys life
tomake money for the already wealthy with a planetary system of
life-servingeconomies devoted to meeting the basic needs of people, strengthening
community and healing the earth. The intention is to liberate economic
… BALLE chapters find that rebuilding local food economies is the
starting point of their work.
D. Korten explains:
What was called the anti-globalization movement is now
called the global civil society, in India it is called Earth democracy,
values of this movement are spelled in the Earth Charter. Its preamble
with this prophetic words.”‘ We stand at a critical moment in
history a time when humanity must choose its future.’
It could well have said we are standing at the threshold of another
evolutionary step of the planet earth.
Then in a very compelling argument he says:
Individuals and societies differ as to which one of the
compelling tendencies- domination or partnership- is more prominent in
lives, but both tendencies reside in each of us. So we ask: where liestruth? Is the world inherently hostile and dangerous or inherently
and compassionate? The answer is it depends on us - on we the people of
planet earth - because we have the knowledge, technology, and
capacity to create the world we choose. We need only the vision to see
the possibility of a caring and compassionate world and to choose to live it
NEM can provide the economic vision, with the confidence of the great
potential that our group has in itself and its capacity to tap into
extraordinary resources in this field.
He also gives a warning:The further along we are with getting the foundations of a
new world order of Earth democracy in place before the final fall of
the less tragic the consequences will be.”
Rebuilding local food economies is an essential piece of
this work … Economically as noted earlier, our goal is to replace the
corporate dominated global suicide economy with a planetary system of
life-serving local living communities.
We the Peoples of the Earth Community must organize
ourselves to provide the leadership, which is what you are doing here as
others are doing around the world.
Our economic institutions have become the primary
instruments of our subordination to values and priorities not our own.
falls to our generation to carry forward the project of democracy by
democratizing the economy to achieve an equitable distribution of
power and to establish accountability to the needs of life.
The goal of political democracy was not to create a more
accountable monarchy; it was to replace the institutions of monarchy
new institutions appropriate to democratic societies. We need a similar
approach to economic democracy. The appropriate goal is not to reform
institutions of corporate rule. It is to replace them, through an
processes of succession and replacement, with systems of economic
relationship that distribute power by localizing ownership and control.
I would go on to say the goal of NEM should not be to reform the
system but to replace it, amongst other reasons, a very important
parallelism can be established between Education and Economy in the
Our friend professor Clopper Almon explained in his presentation to our
group that one of the more developed areas of action of the
Antroposophic Community is the area of education, with Waldorf Schools established all
around the globe. The reason for the emphasis in education was
existing system was limited to the development of skills and income
generation. Therefore it is a castrating system that bypasses the
possibilities and needs of the soul for development, with the additional
negative effect of lop-sided development of the brain, with its
effect of curtailing the God given possibilities of human beings to
themselves to take the responsibility of facing the challenges of the
impending evolutionary step that is rooted in spiritual values. R.
therefore at the request from the workers of the Waldorf cigarette
in Germany gave a series of lectures. As a result of them the management
commissioned him to develop a system of education based on the
given in those lectures. That is how it came to be known as the Waldorf
system of education that is radically different from the conventional
More clearly the essence of the conventional system is that it does not
provide the necessary elements for the harmonious development of the
human being but on the contrary it prepares it to function in ways that are
in opposition to the soul natural tendencies, i.e. that is it prepares
individual to be self-serving and for rivalry as the main thrust.
The parallelism we find is that the present capitalist system, also has
its fundamental tenets totally opposing principles to the souls natural
tendencies (as we have pointed repeatedly in previous notes), it seems
follow therefore that the same kind of action is called for; that is to
replace the capitalist system by one that similarly responds to the
The need for a comprehensive system that provides the economic vision
establishing basic principles and shared values, with enough room to
different forms of expression in terms of various models of economic
endeavor, such as the ones we have seen so far: PROUT,
ANTROPOSOPHY, BALLE, etc.
Let’s look at some others:
Coop America is but one example of people implementing there ideas in a
collective way, within the new notion of sustainability, and social and
economic justice. Everyday, thanks to the accessibility of the Internet,
more and more examples can be found. Efforts are at different levels but
follow a general trend, granted they still do not come close to the
influence that the international corporations have, but there are
and numbers are growing, that they are already exerting on increasing
of influence in the world arena, as D. Korten has reported.
Evidence is also strong that there is a growing number of individuals
organizations that are concerned about the implication that the present
economic system has as one of the main causes of the deteriorating
not only of the environment but society as a whole, meaning behavioral,
interpersonal, and international relationships. These individuals are
only trying to find alternatives but taking action and implementing them
we have seen.
Co-op America is dedicated to creating a just and
sustainable society, by harnessing economic power for positive change.
unique approach involves working with both the consumer (demand) and
business (supply) sides of the economy simultaneously.
Co-op America’s programs are designed to:
1) Educate people about how to use their spending and
investing powers to bring the values of social justice end environmental
sustainability into the economy.
2) Help socially and environmentally responsible business emerge and
3) Pressure irresponsible companies to adopt socially
end environmentally responsible practices.
The members and supporters of Co-op America represent the
largest association of responsible businesses and consumers in the
They are creating the values, businesses and networks that are the
building blocks of a sustainable future.
Amongst the many important recent achievements of CO-op America we can
1) Holding two successful green festivals, mobilizing 30,000 green consumers and business
owners to work towards a greener economy. This year 2004 they will have one also in
2) Channeling $250 million into community investments
such as affordable housing, day care, and new green businesses in
communities around the world.
Alisa Gravitz, Executive Director says:
You hold the trump card against corporate abuse of workers,
community, and our environment. And it is time to play that card
powerfully and skillfully. As you know, we live at a time when
actions are at the heart of a growing list of social and environmental
from climate change to child and sweatshop labor to toxic chemical
accumulation in our food, air, and water. Years of corporate
contributions in Washington have given rise to a political philosophy
worships deregulation and the so-called ‘free’ market. It professes
what is good for the corporate sector is good for America, and that the
government needs to be out of the business of solving social and
environmental problems. Multinational corporations have also
increasingly strategic about evading national laws so even a legislative
push toward protecting people and the planet is unlikely to be
ensure corporate responsibility. This means that at the end of the
you, and I, in our economic roles as consumers and investors, hold the
crucial (and perhaps only) power card to stop corporate abuse and demand
business practices based on social justice and environmental
What is the card? Our economic power. It is what we choose-and
buy and invest in. It’s letting companies know why we have made those
choices. Think of it as casting your economic vote along with your
Of course economics and politics work together. To move
forward into a better future, it is absolutely essential for each one of
to be actively engaged.
Co-op America Quarterly No. 62/Spring 2004
Now an example of educational efforts, similarly directed to the
the peaceculture, another way of responding to the evolutionary demand.
can see the interrelatedness in different areas of human activity.
Aparigraha, or whatever we call the effort in the economic area should
part of it.
THE PEACE BOOK:
The Peace Book offers a sound recommendation of how to go about
change, it has evidently learned from history that from the top down or
the bottom up isolated do not work. A message seems to be coming clearer
clearer, that double action is necessary, the grassroots movement is
momentum as we can see from the World Social Forum, the recent “
World Is Possible Conference” and organizations like Organic Consumers
Association (OCA) with 500,000 members representing 10,000,000
Political organizations like Move-On, Not In Our Name, etc. and
upsets like the ones that have taken place in India and Spain are clear
indicators that there is a rising in consciousness taking place.
The Peace Book says:
The path of separation uses our differences to support the
belief that some are better than, more worthy than, more entitled than,
others. The outcome of such thinking is dominance; the vehicle is force;
the result is destruction. This view diminishes life, and condemns us to
recurring cycles of violence, oppression, and struggle.
The path of unity uses our differences to support the belief
that we are an interdependent whole, one family of life in this precious
planet, able to thrive and survive only when we work together for the
and dignity of all. The outcome of such thinking is a partnership; the
vehicle is respect; and the result is peace. This view sustains
life in all
its rich diversity, and offers us endless cycles of creativity, freedom
WORK FROM THE BOTTOM UP AND THE TOP DOWN
Social change, to be lasting, must occur through the whole fabric of society. The motivation for
change comes from two directions: either there is a compelling vision of where we want to go
or there is
much hurt that we want it to stop -or both. Since the ones on “top”
society rarely feel the pain, in a sincere way, of those without power,
motivation will usually come from the grassroots, or bottom up.
The bottom up approach to social justice is strong; it is
democracy at its best. It involves people in shaping up their destiny;
empowers people to work together for common cause; it informs and
people in acts of shared meaning; it builds community; it airs the underside
of public life, bringing into the light that which needs to be changed.
also can be very effective.
Change from the bottom up is even more effective when met by
change from the top down. For true transformation, this meeting point is
necessary. While the momentum for social change will usually come from
grassroots, still, in every powerful institution there are individuals who
do have a vision for a better way and who do feel the hurt of the
they become more visible and credible much is possible.
* Find your grassroots allies for community action.
Help articulate a compelling vision for a better future, and express the
pain of the current situation in ways that can be truly heard and
* Seek out those in the top levels of political,
economic and social institutions who share that vision. Make common
with them. Help them to help you by avoiding blame, finger pointing, and
casting of those at the top as enemy. Consider how you can work
* Explore the meeting point of the top down and bottom
up approaches. Who is in the middle? What institutions can influence
the people and those who hold the power? How can you best work with and
* Realize that there is great power-and powerlessness-in each
position of the system: top, bottom, and middle. Seek to change
of “power over” to ones of “power with” so that everyone can
share in the
benefits of change.
TAKE AN INTEREST IN WORLD AFFAIRS
Modern communication technology has brought the world into our living
can see what’s happening on every continent. Some people
turn off to this flow of information. It may seem like too much
too complicated a picture of situations we don’t understand in places
feel foreign to us. We can turn away, or we can turn toward what’s
around the world. When we turn toward it, we discover that what may
as an endless progression of war, famine, corruption, and political
is actually an exciting story of humanity addressing its challenges as
it can. Each of us is an actor, director, script-writer, and
this rich and inspiring drama.
Louise Diamond is the
author of this book.
As we have seen from the material collected there are also quite a
number of proposals to change the existing economic system. A valuable
contribution to all this efforts could be a proposal, as comprehensive and inclusive as
possible that contain and reflect the more substantial issues
integrating them in a coherent way. Ideally, since there seems to be consensus in
our group that it would be necessary for this proposal to have spirituality
as its core premise, it would be very important to include this as part of
the definition of the basic concepts. Religions still have a wide
influence even if it is mainly at a theoretical level, but they can
the scriptural references that will support the basic principles making
recognizable for the corresponding congregation and therefore
them to support it.
The idea of this present paper is to share with you an expanded view of
possibilities of our endeavor and as a way of exploring possible courses
action. Some of you have asked: if we end with some kind of proposal
NEM what will we do with it? Where do we go from there? The first answer
the group will have to decide. The second is my vision for the following
steps. Expose the proposal as widely and deeply as possible,
available by presentations to universities, schools of economics,
organizations that are working in the same field or related ones,
forums, etc. This of course will follow the previous steps of testing
merit by inviting panels of recognized economists to share their opinion
It seems very important to involve at some stage as many participants as
possible so that we can all become aware of our interrelatedness and
to the potential that this interrelatedness offers to us. Everybody has
something to offer. We all came to this physical plane with a
this will become more evident as we allow every single human being to
participate in all the spheres to which they feel attracted. It is a
demanding alternative but it is what will show the stature of the soul
who is capable of such compassion and understanding.
It must be clear that this paper reflects solely the opinion of the one
signs it, not the consensus of the group if and when that happens, it
be clearly stated.
I thank you all for your understanding.
Victor (Vyasa) Landa
July 4, 2004
(36) “Document I-88” The “Threefold Social Order” by Edward R.
(37) “Nine Propositions in Search of the Threefold Social Order” by
(38) “Third Millennium Third Way” by Terry M. Boardman
(39) “The People Centered Development” by David Korten
(40) “Balle and the Renewal of the American Experiment” by David
(41) “The New American Agriculture” by David Korten
(42) “The Participatory Economics Project” by Michael Albert