On 11th November this year, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I had been meditating on monastries for an hour, the hour around 11 o’ clock that is normally dedicated to death worship.
I have always been drawn to the idea of monasteries. It’s the simplicity of the lifestyle, the peace and tranquility, the spirituality, the lack of materialism, the self sufficiency, growing your own veg, that sort of thing.
Then a while back I realised that monasteries are not as self sufficient as they seem! There is one very big resource supplied to them for free. One very big thing that makes them very very dependent on the outside world. It’s a constant supply of adult men, trainee monks.
A lot of love, care and energy goes into raising a child. The monasteries are getting a lot for free, and don’t seem to be acknowledging it. This mirrors our money orientated society. Someone once said that if people genuinely had an amount of money that matched their contribution to the world, then African women would be the richest on the planet! I would suspect that the Queen would be the poorest.
Many argue that we need money in order to measure and account for everyone’s contribution. That this is what the true purpose of money really is. I would say that it’s never been the true purpose, money is divisive and controlling. And as soon as money is introduced into a system, it starts to distort genuine human values. How can you put a price on love and devotion? How can it be measured and compared? Love and devotion are of little value in a society that measures everything by money.
In a society measured by money, mothers have some unpleasant choices to make. A mother can leave her children in order to trade herself for essential money to survive, or to retain financial independence. Or a mother can marry a rich husband (money for marital duties) to allow her to stay with her children. Or a mother can seek state financial support for children (cash for kids), which comes hand in hand with state control. All of these are happening now. Whichever one you choose comes with its own stresses. To avoid all of the above, a woman can choose not to have children, in which case she will fit the monetary system much better.
The love and devotion of true mothering is a true gift. If money is given in exchange, it negates the gift and it becomes an exchange instead. The motivation eventually becomes controlled by the monetary reward. We cannot downgrade mothering to the money system. The only way to balance the inequality faced by mothers is to upgrade everything else to the Gift Economy.
So now back to the monasteries. If the monasteries were to pay mothers for the supply of new monks, that would be a situation where we are selling human beings. The monetary system always boils down to buying and selling humans. Though it’s set up to appear otherwise. What sort of mothering would be carried out if the incentive was a huge big sum of money at the end? What sort of corporations would spring up to mass produce trainee monks?
When I meditated on 11/11, I was thinking about the monasteries of Tibet being destroyed by the Chinese government, and how monasteries are situated on or near Earth Energy nodes. And how the monks are dedicated to chanting and prayer several times a day. Then I became quite moved to realise that the monks are literally holding the planet and humanity together. Chanting and meditating at the right places at the right times heals the energy lines, the spirit of the planet. And this is the same spirit that is within us human beings.
No wonder the Chinese government is intent on destroying them.
So now I see that the self-sufficiency of the monasteries is in balance. They are receiving gifts from outside in the form of new monks. They are giving out their own gift to the world in the form of their focus of love and devotion to the spirit. The love of the mother to the son is continued from the son out to the spirit, and then back from the spirit to humanity. And this is why monks have been so revered in Tibet, one of the most ancient civilisations on our planet.
(See also earlier posts: Death Worship, The Power of 11/11, The Queen’s Debt, The Gift Economy, The Money Less Society, Earth Energy Lines)