From Fiat Lux to Fiat Money – Beginning to see the light at the end of our tunnel vision
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light (FIAT LUX): and there was light.
And God saw the light, and it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. – Genesis 1: 1-4 (KJV)
There are two types of money, representative money and fiat money. According to Investopedia, fiat money is defined as:
“Currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but is not backed by a physical commodity. The value of fiat money is derived from the relationship between supply and demand rather than the value of the material that the money is made of. Historically, most currencies were based on physical commodities such as gold or silver, but fiat money is based solely on faith. Fiat is the Latin word for “it shall be”.”
Isn’t that interesting, that the word faith was used in a definition of money, in a discipline where one appeals to numbers and empirical evidence in guiding policy decisions? According to the Oxford Dictionary, faith is defined as:
1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something, or
2. Strong belief in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual conviction rather than proof.
As have been revealed in previous posts, we are beginning to appreciate that in our modern money economy, 97% of money is created “out of nothing” by the commercial banks when they make loans to customers. For me, this begs the mother of all questions!! Can my understanding and appreciation of the workings of the spiritual world inform my faith that a better and more humane economic model can be found, and that like fiat lux and fiat money, better rules can be imagined and discovered and decreed, also in the spirit of fiat too?
As individuals, we are free children of God from one point of view, and free agents of the marketplace from another point of view. Can both monocular points of view be combined to create a binocular vision that has more depth and less constricted so that the deficiencies and blind spots in one or the other can be discovered? There were several blind spots I have discovered lately by using this approach, the major one being the physical bases for Divine Grace: – the life-supporting networks that fashion our cells and organs from within, our life-supporting networks that organise our communities and societies that surround us, and our life-supporting networks of air, water, earth and fire (photosynthesis/respiration) of the lithosphere and biosphere that provides all that we need to survive and thrive on Mother Earth. These are the manifestations of God’s Unconditional Love for us, and when we love with all of our heart, soul, mind and spirit, we are called to be responsible stewards of all of God’s creation, inclusive of ourselves, our communities and our environment (Please see my earlier posts on: On Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Grace and A Tale of Two Covenants for more details).
This interpretation of Divine Grace, which testifies to a higher Consciousness and Life force in the universe that predates even the birth of our planet, should inform all of our policies, which truth be told, are fiat in nature. This gives new meaning to the biblical verse on the last day of Creation when it was written in Genesis 1:26 (KJV), “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over….” If God for me is both simultaneously Transcendent and Immanent, as “He/They” are in all things from the cells of my body to the lithosphere and biosphere of the planet to the gravitational fields of the solar system and the galaxies, then this gives new meaning to the term dominion, just like I have dominion over my hands and legs, and the nose on my face.
What I honestly believe is that our economic and political theories’ blindspots are precisely when by fiat, we create laws and the rules that undermine the integrity of the entire planetary system and subsystems and this is equivalent to us amputating our hands and legs, or cutting of our nose to spite our face. Instead of “worshipping” the True God and fashioning a world in our true image, we created a false image of ourselves and human nature, and worshiped a false god in its stead. All of the misery that we see around us are not of God’s making and should never be interpreted as divine punishment. Correctly, all of the hardships and sufferings with poverty, inequality, diseases and wars are all human consequences of our losing focus of what the true nature of man is, and our losing focus of what our true responsibilities as stewards are. In short, we ended up worshipping the golden calf of the fruits of fiat money, which was “created out of nothing”, and robbed us of true meaning in our lives and our communities. That nothingness of it all is something that should give us reason to pause and ponder.
It is time now to put our best minds and hearts together as we rediscover the set of rules that would allow fiat lux and fiat money to work with one accord with each other, to rediscover the true meaning of this gift of Love and Life, so that we can beging to repair our lives, our communities, and most important of all our planet – Mother Earth. We should now no longer wage war on each other and the planet, but now wage war on ignorance, misunderstanding and misrepresentation, and as like prodigal children, return to the bounty and blessings of an economy based on sound and humane ecological principles. This will be the subject of posts that will soon follow.
Now that we are beginning to see the light at the end of the “dark” tunnel, I am hopeful, that with the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s Grace, although we may not get there ourselves, our children and theirs will be able to co-create that promised polity and economy, in faith, hope and love, in the service of all of creation.