The Emergence of a Real Philosophy of Economics.

Updated: Nov 19

The age of consciousness: transforming media so that media can transform the world (Barnet Bain’s new movie venture: Milton’s Secret) — How do we develop a more poetic relationship to the world (first philosophy of economics)?


Author: Maryline Passini, futurist. Translation: db.



“The world must be romanticized. Only in that way will one rediscover its original senses. Romanticization is nothing less than a qualitative raising of the power of a thing . . . I romanticize something when I give the commonplace a higher meaning, the known the dignity of the unknown, and the finite the appearance of the infinite.” Novalis, one of the fathers of romanticism.


“Over the years, no matter where I went, I’d always hear the same question: “Why aren’t there more movies for people like us, people who are interested in mindfulness, healing, green issues, and personal development? We like entertainment, too.” Barnett Bain, producer and director, Milton’s Secret, crowd funding kick started on September 24, 2013.


Summary


When Novalis invites us to “raise the power of a thing”, he in fact invites us to “inhabit the world as poets”, as the poet Friedrich Hölderlin so eloquently describes it.


This poetic invitation sets the ground for the emergence of a real philosophy of economics. While the way in which the economy is currently working is clearly not working, the idea is not to change everything, but rather to steer and direct acts of commerce or production towards higher levels of quality and meaning. There are positive lessons to be learnt from initiatives such as Barnet Bain’s movie Milton’s Secret or John Mackey’s highly successful company Whole Foods Markets. Some of the lessons to take home are: ideas and emotions can’t be treated separately; we are one with nature and the universe; wealth and wisdom can coexist; humanity’s heritage goes far beyond material goods.


So where do we go from there? The current reality is that we have created two distinct worlds: a world of cultural, intellectual and spiritual activities on one hand, and a world for commerce, production and technology on the other hand. The time may have finally come for us to realize that the material and the spiritual worlds are completely interconnected, and that the split we have created is completely artificial. Rather than to plough through life blindly, a better way forward is to carefully choose and integrate all the positive elements of morals, religion, and liberalism, together with future positive systems yet to be invented.


We cannot afford to repeat the mistakes of yesterday (abuse, excess, shortsightedness) and fundamentalism must be avoided at all cost: green fundamentalism, technophobia fundamentalism, negative growth advocacy, and the already emerging conscious capitalism sectarianism.



How about transforming media so that media can help transform society?


Author, creativity expert and movie director and producer Barnet Bain (What Dreams May Come, Oscar for special effects, 1999) is now turning into a media and film activist who wants to elevate the level of human consciousness. Together with spiritual authors Eckhart Tolle and Robert Friedman, Barnet is launching a crowd funding campaign to finance a movie project of a “nouveau genre” know as “spiritual cinema”: Milton’s Secret. With a new style of motion picture and a new approach to financing, Barnet is one of the leaders of transforming media so that media can help transform the world.


About Milton’s Secret:


With Milton’s Secret, the audience will be shown how life could be lived at a higher level of consciousness. The time seems to be right for such teachings, as humanity is in the midst of a re-evolution, in search of meaning, thirsty for a new form of secular spirituality, and looking for an uplifting and positive future. Barnet’s project is both bold and brave: to transform Hollywood — an industry that has succeeded through the production of icons and artificially induced emotions — into an industry that could flourish through the production of enlightening pictures and images that would invite human consciousness to rise and human sentiments to blossom.


In the wake of the first visual and emotionally intelligent generation, Milton’s Project is a prefect example of how media can heavily weigh into the shaping of a brighter future, for aesthetics is becoming the vehicle of choice to disseminate ethics. From now on, acts of good and acts of righteousness will become acts of beauty.



Is there light at the end of the tunnel? The idea of a more virtuous economy is finally being brought to light…


Consciousness is in the air… All around the planet, consciousness seems to be the new buzzword! When I first wrote about the “age of consciousness” fifteen years ago, I felt I was being looked at as an alien… But as humanity is moving forward, people are finally awakening. This was inevitable.


With the publication of their bestseller book Conscious Capitalism earlier in 2013, American co-authors John Mackey and Raj Sisodia coined the now popular term Conscious Capitalism. The tenets of Conscious Capitalism are being evangelized through an association with chapters throughout the USA but also in Brazil, Australia, the UK and South Africa. Critics will have a hard case to make against Conscious Capitalism, for John Mackey has managed to build up a 9 billion dollar business empire (Whole Foods Market) based on the pillars of Conscious Capitalism.


In the UK, Virgin founder and CEO Richard Branson and former Puma CEO Jochen Zeitz teamed up to launch Plan B as a better way forward than Plan A (for profit only). The B Team was launched last June as a not-for profit organization whose goal is to gear corporations towards the People Planet Profit approach.

In France, Jacques Attali made recommendations to French President François Hollande and handed over a “Report on a Positive Economy” published on September 21st, 2013. Jacques Attali speaks of a more “patient” capitalism. The emergence of a more conscious capitalism was discussed in the French newspaper Le Monde on September 28: “Le capitalisme s’achète une conscience”:


Buddhist monk Mathieu Ricard speaks of a more altruistic economy and is a strong advocate of measuring a country’s “Gross National Level of Happiness”. Japan and Costa Rica are already measuring their “Gross National Levels of Happiness”.



How do we develop a more poetic relationship to the world? Has the time finally come for a first philosophy of economics to emerge?


When Novalis invites us to “raise the power of a thing”, he in fact invites us to “inhabit the world as poets”, as the poet Friedrich Hölderlin so eloquently describes it.


This poetic invitation sets the ground for the emergence of a real philosophy of economics. While the way in which the economy is currently working is clearly not working, the idea is not to change everything, but rather to steer and direct acts of commerce or production towards higher levels of quality and meaning. There are positive lessons to be learnt from Barnet Bain’s or Milton’s initiatives. Some of the lessons to take home are: ideas and emotions can’t be treated separately; we are one with nature and the universe; wealth and wisdom can coexist; humanity’s heritage goes far beyond material goods.


Rather than making a distinction between a world of cultural, intellectual and spiritual activities on one hand, and a world for commerce, production and the technological on the other hand, we may finally come to realize and accept that the material and the spiritual worlds are completely interconnected, and that the split we have created is artificial.


Julian Green clearly understood that: “the greatest sins of all is to deny the existence of what is invisible”.


Allowing for the existence of what is invisible requires that we think in a way that links and connects elements of distinct nature rather than in a way that breaks apart and simplifies. What matters then is that all forms of intelligence and knowledge — be it scientific, spiritual, philosophical, artistic, entrepreneurial… — be brought together, for all forms of intelligence and knowledge participate in the evolution of humanity.


Then, when it comes to the question of the economy, carefully choosing and integrating all the positive elements of morals, religion, and liberalism, together with future positive systems yet to be invented, seems to be a much more promising way forward than to stay stuck in our old patterns. What matters most is that the economy can transform itself so that proper action can be taken to tackle contemporary and future issues and challenges, while avoiding at all cost the pitfalls of excess and fundamentalism (a first wave of sectarianism seems to be already emerging out of conscious capitalism).


This is why, in my opinion, it is by holding a poetic stance that we will allow for the transformation of economics and the emergence of a first philosophy of economics to be born.


If fact, this is one of the underlying messages behind Barnet Bain’s Milton’s Secret: as the media industry becomes the producer of visual and uplifting mega poems, it gives itself the gift of self-understanding and self-healing.


“When poetry speaks of the infinite beauty of nature or the ever renewed mystery of the simplest acts of our daily lives, it warns us not to close our eyes to the signs and to the beauty of simple things, for we would in fact being closing our eyes to our possibility for being, living and becoming”. Jean-Claude Renard.


Developing a more poetic relationship to the world seems to be the most promising way forward for individuals, the economy and society. Following an “altruistic, open and positive” path is the best way to keep excessive behaviors and fundamentalism at bay and will lead to a much welcome and sustainable growth where the worlds of biology and technology are, in my opinion, bound to merge. Let us remember that, according to Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, the human race is only at the early stages of its evolution. Leaving ego and pride behind, all cultures will rally with hope and optimism on this new way forward.


Maryline Passini, translated by db.



_________


From WHY? to SO WHAT?

Welcome to the 4th circle.


With the climate crisis, the rise of inequalities, the crumbling of our democracies or world economies coming to a standstill because of a global pandemic,

purpose and inspiration matter more than ever.


As Simon Sinek framed it quite well, and with a sense of urgency, we need to put the question of WHY at the centre of the “Golden Circle”, before WHAT and HOW.


Yet strange forces seem to be getting in the way, always.


For deep and significant change to happen, how about starting to mend the fences and restore the much-eroded trust in our organizations, within our communities and in ourselves.


For this, we the trick and the - sometimes hard - work is to move beyond WHY, look at the periphery, and find in our hearts the strength to ask ourselves a forgotten and challenging question: SO WHAT?


The time has come to move from the 1st to the 4th circle.


It’s all in The Book Of SO WHAT.

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© Dominique Bel, 2020. All Rights Reserved in all Countries.