This article is about the power of stories, and especially about the power of a story we are telling ourselves and each other every day. The story about money. A story that has to change.
In Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. The normans would tell each other stories, starting at childhood, about Thor. They feared his destructive power of fire and worshiped his lightning because it would scare away the trolls. And it became a very powerful myth.
The ‘Thor story’ was created because back when the Normans didn’t have the knowledge of the natural phenomenon called thunderstorm that we have now. They simply couldn’t explain what was happening and decided to tell each other this story to sooth their discomfort of not knowing / not understanding. When one looks back at the Normans from those days I bet they feel a little bit of pity for those poor Normans, assigning names and god like appearances to, for us, such obvious creations of nature. However, we are not that different from the normans. We are doing the same thing right now, only this time not with stories about thunder but with stories about money. And we are truly underestimating the power and consequences of this story.
The money story
I believe that, in a couple of hundred years from now, humanity will also look back at us with the same kind of pity because of the stories about money we are telling each other. They will look back and see an entire planet struggling to explain and share a story that started out as a simple ‘trading shells to facilitate business’ into a horribly complex one, up until the point where the story started to live a life of its own and do a lot of real damage. And it is because of al the similarities between the way we tell stories about money and the way the normans told stories about Thor that I started writing this blog and hope that more people will see money for what it truly is: a story, nothing else. Interested? Read on!
When you think about it, Thor and Money have a lot in common: we assign powers to them far greater than our own (it controls us a lot more then we control it), we worship them more than anything (we are killing everything for it right now), we start telling each other stories about them from a very early age (get a good school and a good job so you can make a lot of money and a safe future) and above all we just can’t seem to think outside of the monetary system when looking for ways to structure our lives on this planet in a more meaningful and non destructive way.
We have created a story that is so old and so deeply rooted into our society, and therefor so powerful, that we have forgotten the simple fact that it is actually nothing more than a story. And although there have been various signs that the story we have been telling ourselves is a bad one (think of poverty, debt, corporate slavery, destruction of the planet, endless warfare and so on) we just can’t seem to grasp the fact that it does not really exist. We are treating the economy as if it were a living thing. It is time to take this money story into the 21st century!
Just like the Normans learned that Thor wasn’t a big rolling god in the sky, we have to learn that money is something completely different than what were told. And this is hard. Just like the Normans had to let go of a deeply rooted belief system, we have to start letting go of the story of money. We have to realise that money is not real and that the time of money is ending. The ‘facts’ on which it is based are no longer valid and the turning point is approaching. We need a new story about money. And we need to start telling and exploring that story now! As long as the old story is told and passed on, people, animals and the planet keep suffering and dying needlessly. We need stories in which money plays a different role. Where we no longer grant it the imaginary power that we grant it today. Stories where money itself might not even exist. It could as well be, just like lightening, a phenomenon that we thought we had figured out but that turned into something else along the way.
I strongly believe that one day we will be looking back at the ‘money era’ with a soft smile on our face and this automatically means that we will reinvent the money story. How will we do this? By simply starting to make other people become aware of the fact that it is just a story and we decide how we spend it and when it ends. By telling you this story I hope I have gained another person that stops spreading the old money myth and starts thinks about a new and better version. And that’s step one.