We have been hinting about the ability of different types of money to affect human behavior in different ways. That’s crazy, right? How could that possibly work?
Let’s see what a couple of rather strange psychiatrists said about the subject. One of them you might have heard of–Carl Jung. A strange bird indeed. And the other, a psychiatrist who also had a PhD in Human Consciousness, probably stranger still. But we just might learn something from them which can change our lives, and change our world for the better.
III – How could a money system change human behavior?
Adam Smith assumed in his classic 1776 book The Wealth of Nations that all types of money are value neutral—it didn’t matter what kind of money you used, because they were all the same. And since he only knew about one type of money, he assumed they were all the same, and they were. But Lietaer says that on the contrary, there are inherent characteristics of each type of money, and these effect and shape the society in which they are used.
And the society is shaped by the influence of different money types on human behavior.
Lietaer uses the Jungian psychology concept of archetypes to explain how money affects the human psyche and human behavior, and through that, affects cultural characteristics.
An archetype is a recurrent image that patterns human emotions and behavior, and which can be observed across time and cultures.
“That which we do not bring to consciousness appears in our lives as fate.” CG Jung
So, an archetype is an unconscious structure of the human psyche, which occurs across all cultures. And which affects human behavior, in similar ways across all of those cultures.
Some archetypes with which you will be familiar are the King, the Queen, the Hero, the Maiden, the Damsel in distress, the Mother, the Lover,and so on. Perhaps you have noticed, or even enjoyed, stepping into one of these roles. The Knight enjoys rescuing the Damsel. The Damsel enjoys being rescued. The Mother is both nurturing and fierce, when need be. These are patterns which are recognized across all cultures, because they resonate with patterns built into our psyche.
The archetypes which are activated by money are primarily:
- The King (or Queen, or Sovereign). This archetype represents one’s ability to choose for oneself, to
have Will, to rule over oneself and one’s home and property. It also integrates the different archetypes in to one integrated WHOLE or SELF.
Think about those times when you had no money, and felt dis-empowered. And then contrast that with the power you felt when your paycheck came in, and you suddenly had power to make all sorts of decisions which you had not been able to make. In our current money system, the King represents the power of the state to turn a worthless piece of paper into money by declaring it to be so.
- The Warrior. This is a male or Yang archetype which resonates with
protecting and defending. In our current money system, the Warrior represents the need for our intrinsically worthless currency to be protected. It is the Secret Service in the United States, and the US Army which protects our currency from countries who choose to trade in some other currency, like Iran, Iraq, Libya, etc.
- The Magician is another male archetype. It
represents the science, knowledge, and magic used to manage an artificial system such as the Federal Reserve. This is why the head of the FED is often called “The Wizard”, and the Federal Reserve itself, “The Temple”.
- The Lover is a feminine archetype which is involved in relationships with others. The Lover activates
beauty and creativity, and connectedness to other people and to everything else. This archetype is inactivated in the current world currency system, and it is by activating this archetype that a currency can build community, relationships, and bring beauty into life.
- The Great Mother/Provider is the other female or Yin
archetype. This archetype is deeply repressed in Western society, and is not activated by the current money system. The repression of the Divine Feminine is the cause of scarcity in a world full of abundance. Activation of the Great Mother archetype by using complementary currencies has brought abundance into the few historical cultures which used them.
When an archetype is repressed (not allowed to express itself) in the psyche, it causes a phenomenon which Jung called The Shadow. The shadow causes us to unconsciously express that which is hidden within us.
The function of the shadow is to bring repressed issues into consciousness by expressing them through our behavior.
The more we repress something, the more violently it expresses itself in our behavior.
Examples of this might be a sexually repressed priest or nun whose frustrated sexuality bursts forth in uncontrollable sexual or physical abuse of children. It is the repression which caused the uncontrollable expression of the shadow.
Any society’s money system – including our own – is precisely such a way of “translating into visible reality the world within us”, i.e. of projecting on and enforcing in the physical world mostly unconscious archetypal forces.
Common shadows which result from the suppression of balanced femininity in our culture are a fascination with sex and death. These can be appreciated by considering the more and more common theme of sexy vampires and titillating horror films.
Fear splits an archetypal energy into two polar energies
When the archetypes are activated and their expression is balanced, the shadow is inactive. But if there is repression of the archetype, the shadow tends to express itself. Each archetype has two primary ways in which the shadow is expressed—a Yang expression of overabundance of the characteristics of that archetype, and a Yin expression of the deficit of their expression. The more the individual is out of balance to the male side, the more the yang shadow of excess is expressed. The Yang expression of the Sovereign would be a tyrant. The yang shadow of the Warrior is the Sadist.
Imbalance of the individual psyche towards the Yin side, or feminine side, or introverted side, or deficit, causes expression of the Yin shadow. The Yin shadow of the Sovereign is the Weakling. The Yin shadow of the Warrior is the masochist, who enjoys being punished, or the Victim, who believes she deserves it.
Sovereign Archetype Shadow Polarities
The archetype embodying the Higher Self is the Sovereign; represented by the King for men, or the Queen for women. If, for whatever reason, someone is repressing his or her Higher Self – i.e. the Sovereign within – he or she will tend to behave either as a Tyrant or as a Weakling, the two shadows of the Sovereign.
The Tyrant possesses an excess of a healthy Sovereign’s emotional and behavioral attributes, while the Weakling has a deficit of the same characteristics. There is always a direct relationship of fear between the two shadows of an Archetype. Indeed a Tyrant is primarily afraid of appearing weak, and a Weakling is afraid of appearing tyrannical
- The Lover archetype, being highly repressed in our society and by our money system, expresses in two very common Shadows. The Yang shadow of the Lover archetype is the Addict. Addiction is one of the most common societal problems today. And the Yin shadow is impotence, expressed as sexual impotence in men as well as depression and isolation in both sexes.
- The Magician has two shadows, which express as the two expressions of Apollo and Bacchus/Dionysus. Apollo represents the Yang deviation into hyper-rationality and rigid control. Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology, and represents the Yin deviation into indiscriminate behavior and loss of control.
- The Great Mother, being severely repressed in our culture, expresses its shadow as Greed, the Yang deviation, and Fear of Scarcity, the Yin deviation. Certainly it is apparent that Greed and Fear of Scarcity are major factors in our economy and financial behavior today!
Major Yin and Yang Shadows of the Basic Archetypes
|Archetype||Yang Excess (Excess)||Yin Excess (Deficit)|
|Magician||Apollo (Hyper-rational||Dionysus (Indiscriminate)|
|Great Mother||Greed||Fear of Scarcity|
All our money today is Yang Money
Lietaer calls one type of money the Yang type, because it activates the male or yang attributes in humans. The other is the Yin type, which activates feminine or softer behaviors. All of the national money systems in today’s economy, and most of the national and international currencies throughout history, were Yang types, and caused male/excess characteristics in world cultures. A few historical currencies, as well as today’s complementary currencies, are Yin types.
Yang vs Yin Money
|Characteristic||Yang Money||Yin Money|
|Scarcity||Precious and scarce||Abundant|
|Materials||Scarce Metals||More ordinary materials|
|Status||Monopoly of currency—only one allowed||Complementary Currency, Usually coexisting with Hard Money|
|Interest||Earns Interest||Negative Interest (Demurrage)|
|Ownership||Concentrates Wealth in hands of Elite||Circulates among all society|
|Migration||Tends to leave the community, extracting wealth||Stays in the community and recirculates|
|Use in Trade||Long Distance Trade—Trade outside of the local community||Community Trade–Benefits Relationships|
|Type of Capital||Financial Capital||Social Capital|
|Store of value||Store of Value||Tends to lose value over time|
|Means of Exchange||Yes||Yes|
|Durability||High||Low—Frequently recollected and reissued|
|Thinking Stimulated||Short Term||Long Term|
|Archetypes Activated||Sovereign, Warrior, Magician||Lover, Great Mother|
Extracting the “negative” aspects of yang money gives us a list of some of the desirable attributes we are looking for in creating a money system for GGTrust.
- A store of Value—intrinsically valuable or backed by actual value, assets
- Fungible—each one is the same value; can be exchanged 1:1
- Accumulates in the hands of a few
- Encourages saving (hording)
- Interest Bearing
- Encourages Short Term Goals
- Good for long distance trade
- Tends to leave the community
- Dissolves community
- Fosters competition
Our system would remove the negative characteristics of yang currencies, and leave the positive.
- Activates the Great Mother archetype
- Abundant—even as abundant as human labor
- Made of ordinary materials
- Fosters Relationships and builds community — Social Capital
- Fosters cooperation
- Tends to lose value over time – Demurrage or loss—which promotes circulation
- Encourages Long Term Goals
- Used with a Yang currency
- Stays within the community and recirculates
- Encourages circulation instead of saving
When you add the favorable aspects of Yang money to those of Yin money, and you throw in some nifty things from cryptocurrencies and Trade Reference Currencies, as well as some of our own ideas, you can come up with a chart like this:
How this works
Today’s national currencies are associated with certain characteristics and effects in human cultures. These effects occur because of the activation of certain characteristics of the archetypes of money. For example, both gold and US Federal Reserve Notes (FRNs) have the tendency to activate the Sovereign archetype, in that they tends to be issued as currency by the authority of the Treasury of the nation. If FRNs were not issued by authority of the US Treasury, no one would use them!
Both Gold and FRNs activate the Warrior archetype to protect them, and to preserve the right of the Sovereign to issue them.
The Magician archetype is activated to create the most complex anti-counterfeiting measures and intricate minting techniques, and to create a system wherein FRN value can be created out of nothing, simply by entering numbers into a field on a computer database. How the ancient kings would have loved to have that technique and power!!!
Gold and FRNs do not tend to activate the female archetypes. The repression of female archetypes causes expression of female archetype shadows. Which shadow depends on the individual as well as the society.
The shadow of greed develops in some individuals who are generally more active (more Yang energy). Those who are more repressed tend to fall into fear of scarcity as a primary motivating emotion in their lives. Greed and fear of scarcity are the two polar shadows of the Great Mother. Fear of scarcity causes short term thinking, so that governments, corporations and individuals think of short term gains instead of long term benefits.
Scarcity of gold or FRNs causes competition instead of cooperation, hording instead of sharing, individuality instead of community. Competition instead of cooperation can be seen as the opposite of the Lover archetype, which, when it is activated, expresses in cooperation, love, community, unity, and beauty. Focus on Fear of Scarcity puts much more emphasis on survival and utilitarian projects, rather than beauty in the environment. Another characteristic of the Lover has thus been negated. And we haven’t even gotten into the shadow characteristics of addiction and impotence/depression.
There are, of course, many more characteristics of gold or FRNs which we could examine, but this should give you a basic idea of how certain characteristics of money resonates with the human psyche, causing expression or repression of archetypal characteristics in the individual and the society.
If we want to change society, we need to look at what is activating the characteristics of society that we want to change. Then, we need to change things at the causal level so that there will be a change in the expression at the level of human behavior or societal characteristics.
Wayne Dyer, author of Your Erroneous Zones and many other books, told this Trustee in about 1991 that the book Power vs Force by David Hawkins, MD was the most important book in the last 10 years. This book was the result of the study of consciousness in a doctoral program by Dr. Hawkins, who was then already a psychiatrist. Dr. Hawkins was one of those people like the Buddha or Eckhart Tolle who suddenly have an experience which leaves themtotally enlightened as to the nature of reality, but totally useless to society.
It took many months for Dr. Hawkins to reintegrate into this world, and then he became incredibly successful at healing people merely by them being in his presence. But now that he understood how the universe worked, even performing miracles bored him.
Dr. Hawkins said that causation as generally understood was a fallacy. There was really no A => B => C type of causes and results. Instead, he described a causal plane which exists perpendicular to our reality, and which contains the causes of events in our lives. Hawkins used the language of chaos theory when he described events in our reality as being the result of “strange attractors” in the causal plane which pulled events and situations together in a manner not apparent to us in this life.
As an example, Hawkins talked about the problems of slums. There are many different causes which have been proposed for slums–we might recognize these probable causes: Poverty, lack of education, poor job opportunities, unemployment, racial discrimination, poor family structure, lack of male role models, poor nutrition, poor parenting skills, poor housing, poor plumbing, poor policing, and poor government interactions. And there have been many programs and experiments to get rid of those causes. Unfortunately, getting rid of the causes has not gotten rid of the slums. New housing quickly becomes damaged. Adding money to the situation fails to help. Community programs have little effect. Why is this?
Hawkins said that there exists in the causal plane (“perpendicular to this reality”, remember) an idea (an “attractor”) which he called “slumness”. Slumness has attracted all the characteristics of slums which we just listed. These are different ideas or concepts or situations which have been attracted to the slumness attractor.
These characteristics which we think of as causes are really just characteristics which have been attracted by the idea of slumness. They are not causes. So, getting rid of one or five or eight characteristics does not make all the other characteristics go away! Slumness continues, and continues to attract the people and situations to it which are attracted by that vibration of life. To get rid of slums, we must rise above the very concept of slums. We must begin to vibrate at a higher level, which is no longer compatible with the concept of slums.
Can you see that archetypes may be exactly the same kind of “attractors” which exist in the causal plane, gathering certain characteristics which are then expressed in this life, in this plane?
Changing the System
So it is with the monetary system and its effect on humans and societies. If archetypes are the attractors of the characteristics they express in our lives, then perhaps we can see how they might influence our lives and our society.
If the archetypal human is a human with all five of these archetypes in balance, as Jung indicated, then being out of balance affects one or more of the archetypes. And having balance in all of these archetypes brings balance into our lives and our society.
If the world is not as we prefer, then something must be out of balance in society. Whatever that imbalance is, it also must affect the individual. Too much or too little of an archetype, fear which pulls the shadows out of the archetype into our lives and our society, these are the ways in which archetypes get out of balance.
To change the world, we need to change those things which are out of balance. That which is out of balance in the causal plane suppresses the expression of balance in our human life and society. And that which is repressed resonates as the shadows in this plane.
Bringing each archetype into balance in our spiritual/emotional lives is necessary for each of us to live a balanced, harmonious life in a peaceful, harmonious society. And balancing the 5 archetypes through which money affects the world can be done by balancing any hyperactivity of the active male (Yang) archetypes, raising our vibrations to get rid of fear, which expresses the shadow, and activating the feminine/Yin archetypes.
Activating Yin archetypes can be done by adding complementary currencies with the Yin characteristics we described in Part II.
We will look below at some historical yin money societies and how the yin and yang balance of their money systems affected their societies.
For further development of these principles, view The Soul of Money.
More about the Archetypes of Money