Monday, November 11, 2013

Time, money and meaning

Our economic system incentivizes the exploitation of earth’s finite resources. Money doesn’t stand for anything and must continue to grow (consume more resources) in order for the economy to function.  ”Conventional economics is a form of brain damage.” ~David Suzuki - See more at:
"Our economic system incentivizes the exploitation of earth’s finite resources. Money doesn’t stand for anything and must continue to grow (consume more resources) in order for the economy to function. "

"Conventional economics is a form of brain damage."
David Suzuki

Here's a life enhancing question that I'd like to explore in today's post: What is more important to you: people, money, wisdom or time??

And here are my thoughts and some important and fascinating ideas/distinctions for you to explore and play with. Along with some more questions to help you dig deeper...

Question Everything

Ok, I believe to really analyze and question the importance of money and time and associated ideas, you need to first determine and examine what the terms or concepts of time and money mean (in society generally and to you personally).

For most people, a complex equivalence exists of:

time = money

and therefore, conversely:

money = time

This is because most people in our 'modern' society are forced (in order to earn meal tickets [$'s] and all the objects/experiences that meal tickets can buy) to exchange their time for money. Each hour you work equals a certain number of meal tickets (dollars). So they form an equation in the unconscious mind (a complex equivalence) that time is money and money buys time.

Very few people are in control of their own neurology, their own motivation (motivating) and their pain/pleasure circuits (circuiting). So they have learnt (been brainwashed and hypnotised into a consensus trance) that they can get more time and pleasure in their lives by using money. Of course, this does not operate as a 'true to facts' map of the world. It generates unsane behaviour (behaving), decisions (decidings) and experiencing. Yes it can provide a useful distinction and way of thinking to recognize that at times the 'time = money' metaphor(ing) summarizes society's rules and reinforcements. However it provides only one way out of very, very many ways of experiencing the world. Unless you have choice in this, it will control you rather than the life enhancing preference of you controlling your own life and the complex equivalents you choose to use. [Write now: Grab a piece of paper and a pen and start to list some of your own complex equivalents].

Time can also equal life, can equal experience, can equal opportunity, can equal a limiting and restricting metaphor. In some ways, we never ever experience time, we only experience distance and velocity. And you may remember that in physics velocity equals distance divided by time. Therefore, we experience objects traveling around us (and us traveling around and within spaces) at certain velocities and covering certain distances at these velocities and we label this experience of moving through space as 'time'. It takes certain durations (time) to travel and move through space. Time can be seen as a deep metaphor for our experience of space and movement.

So yes, you should make it an important learning and understanding that you want to be living and life'ing very differently to those people who are not in control of how they are doing themselves with regard to time(ing) and money(ing).

So what is money? And how do people orient themselves to it? Also, how do people orient themselves to time? How do you orient and code time?

It can bring hours and hours of learning, choice, power and fun in answering these question(ings). Take a moment and write up what you think money and time 'are' for you, how do you 'do' money-ing and time-ing in your life? How do you orient your life towards and away from these abstractions? How do you control them, or how do you let them control you? What are more empowering, wise and useful ways to experience and utilize 'time' and 'money'? And how do you relate to or link time and money with people in your life? What is your relationship to people in terms of time and money?

At a heart level what does money and time mean to you? At a gut level, how do you deeply experience money and time? What head stories are you running about money, about time? And how are you orienting towards it from an Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) perspective? Do these abstractions and tools (money/time) create Sympathetic dominance (stress)? Do they create Parasympathetic dominance (depression)? Or is the economic meme (self-replicating idea) of Capitalism data-mining your Autonomic Mode, bouncing you between stress and mild-depression, and 'causing' you to use food, fornicating (and the semantic equivalents of this) and shopping to do parasympathetic rebound in an attempt to regain homeostasis in your ANS from the stress of daily living, working and trying to get ahead in the money/time game of modern life?

I look forward to enjoying exploring these distinctions and strategies with you. In upcoming blog posts I'll share with you all about timelines, lifelines, valuelines and time orientation. We will talk about what money "really is" or more appropriately, how money is used and abused in our society and useful ways to think and work with money.

Finally, it is useful to explore what is meant by 'importance' - this connects with values and identity. How do you think this connection works? What makes something important to you? What is 'importance' all about, and how does it connect with time and money and other key societal abstractions?

Some interesting and life enhancing food for thought :-)  And the more distinctions and choices you have in how you perceive these tools for thinking and living, the more choice and control you have in how you create your ongoing 'reality-tunnel'. Wisdom comes from balanced and aligned choice. So make the choice to transcend the story of conventional economics and make your own meaning from time and money.

life enhancing smilings, Grant


  1. Fascinating post, Grant! Here is an example of how my husband connects "time and money:" When making a decision whether to buy something or not, he often will consider how long it took to earn that amount of money or how long it would take someone earning minimum wage to earn it. When one gets to a certain age, one sees how very precious time is!

    1. Hey Jean, thanks for your comment. Your husband's strategy is a very powerful and useful one. Most people don't think of the true 'costs' when they make a purchasing decision. The costs include the lost opportunity of purchasing something else, the after tax and living expenses cost of earning the money, the amount of time the cost represents to re-earn that disposable income. As a wise person once taught me, "Use money rather than spend it". And you are right, once you pass that 'midlife opportunity' point (I prefer opportunities to crises :-) then you realize how precious time and the experiences you can gain from it truly are.

  2. New research on how our brains relate to time and space backs up what I have written about time and space nicely:

    "Scientists reveal that physically moving forward actually trains the brain to perceive the world normally. The findings also show that, the order in which we see things could help the brain calibrate how we perceive time, as well as the objects around us."

  3. Great new study about time vs money and the links to happiness:

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