Same dance, different dancefloors – money, pandemic and the flow of ife

Same dance, different dancefloors – money, pandemic and the flow of ife
23rd May 2020 Tim Malnick
In Centre Edge

Who’d be a politician, or a policymaker right now? Such tough choices.

Do we keep people locked in and risk the economy, or open up from lockdown and risk another spike?

So many questions. Juggling and grappling and wrestling with the data. We are led (so we’re told) by science, by data. With data we believe we have something to rely on; something in this uncertain, shifting, dream like time, that’s somehow dependable. A reference point. A compass.

Listen more closely. Listen to the rhythm not just the words.

Amidst the noise, and the pontification and pronouncement. Beneath the surface. Listen. There is a drum beat, there is a dance. Maybe just a faint whisper, or vibration; almost unrecognisable as a dance. But listen. Still.

Money … Life … Money … Life … Money … Life.

Money and Life. These two ancient adversaries.

But must they be foes? Perhaps they are eager, shy, aspiring dance partners staring across the dancefloor longingly at each other. Perhaps what we imagine as hostility or antagonism, is just awkward confusion and a deep wish to connect.


Should we have spent millions stockpiling protective equipment we may never have needed? It might have turned out useful, but it could have been a waste. Should we get the economy moving again? Get the teachers back in school, so the parents can work? How much is a life worth – and whose life? How does life suffer when we cannot work?

So many questions. Always the same question.

Money … Life … Money … Life.


A dance or a battle?

Is this a dance or a battle?

How is it for you?

Today in the UK, after (wonderfully vague) government advice, folk are returning to work. They need to. Many are running out of money. And because we still play the game that keeps the money system going, running out of money generally means running out of all sorts of things – food, shelter, self-respect, hope. So people return to work and cram themselves into crowded buses and trains. They risk their health, their life even, because they need money.

Money … Life … Money … Life.

It’s the same dance at the level of a daily choice.  A choice one way or the other, for millions, today, right now. At the breakfast table. Money, Life. Do I go in, and risk my health? Do I stay away and risk what will happen without money?

Now let’s widen the lens, expand the dancefloor. Let’s go up into space and look down as the astronauts did decades ago. Looking down we see Life. A beautiful, whole, wonderful, living, planet. Blue, white, green – the colours of life, of flow, of a miraculous, vastly intelligent interpenetration of myriad forces, seen and unseen.

Let’s consider this planetary dance. How much will it cost to avoid catastrophic climate change? Can we afford it? Can we afford not to? What % of global GDP per annum will keep the planet habitable so we can all continue to … to do what exactly? Survive? Live? Grow? Grow what exactly? Let’s not ask that right now. It is not a question that need concern us looking down on a sacred, living miracle from the blackness of space.

But can we notice the dance?

Money … Life … Money … Life.


The danger of the unconscious pursuit of money

The unconscious pursuit of money for its own ends, jeopardises life. Right here, right now, in the midst of the 6th great extinction – the only one in our planet’s history created by one of its own species. An unconscious compulsion for money – and everything that in our dreamlike state – we believe it represents, destroys life. And individually, culturally and globally, none of us quite knows how to stop. Even as forests burn and the wild animals bid a sad farewell, we are still not quite sure how to bow deeply to life. We remain uncertain how to behave as if it is life that is truly primary, life that is sacred. The false god that is money, has – as they say now days – stickability.

An ancient dance. Or battle?

And, lest we forget. Money is not bad. Money is just a thing, an idea, a phantasm that we humans, the homo sapiens, in our wisdom, created to make certain things work better. No, money is not bad. But unconsciousness can become very dangerous. And money is a tremendous recipient and willing participant in our habitual unconsciousness.

This ancient dance between money and life. When conscious it could be beautiful: creative, transcendent or simply tremendous fun. Unconscious – and for most of us, most of the time, this is what it is, it is like having 2 left feet. The dance of our life becomes awkward, clumsy. Not at all the elegance we imagined in our mind’s eyes.

And now, right now. What are you doing? What am I doing, right now, right here. In this moment. And the next. And the next.

Can you hear it?
Can you feel it?

Listen for the drumming. Sense the dance. It is in you – it is in all of us. It is in our bodies, in our cells.

Money … Life … Money … Life.

What is behind this fixation on money – and everything it has come to represent in our own life? Is it safety? Security? Legitimacy? Existence? These things no doubt lie behind it, and many, many more things besides.


Life is always primary

And yet, despite this powerful fantasy, the flow of life continues – always. The flow of life cannot be stopped.

Life itself. Planetary. Cultural. Personal. Cellular. Totally mysterious. And yet when we pause, when we feel our bodies and raise our heads, there it is – always. When we consider who, what and where gives us greatest fulfilment and contentment – then whatever the outer form, there it is – the flow of life, the pulse of life.

Maybe just a faint whisper, or vibration; almost unrecognisable. But listen. Still.

This pandemic has highlighted yet another manifestation of this ancient dance. But in some way nothing new is happening.

Always, whatever is apparently happening ‘out there’, our job is to remember whatever for us is sacred. Whatever for us is worthy of being placed at the centre of things. And then to trust and honour it and love it, so that it, in turn, can take care of us.

Wishing you all good health and wholeness right now.

May your life force never be in lockdown.

May your life manifest itself fully, now and always for the benefit of others.