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Silence, Healing and Giro-Credit
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From an Interview
Shamcher: I would advise everyone to sit – or stand or whatever – and simply get in touch with what emanates from the silence within them. This is the thing, drop the personality, the worries, everything and just be in touch with that silence within yourself. And there are many people who understand this.
Q: Would you say that this practice breaks up the descriptions we hold of ourselves in our everyday life, and lets us view ourselves once again as a center of possibilities instead of as an object…?
Shamcher: I so agree with that! To me now, if you ask who I am, I don’t really think that I am anything. But there is a center here that collects, or at least takes charge of a lot of beings – thoughts, feelings and beings. An example of this is how the human body is constantly being served by all of the devoted beings. It is not yourself, really, it is they who take care of you.
People will go to a doctor, and he will say, “Oh, you have a disease!” And they will think, Oh my goodness, I have a disease! What do I do now?” They shouldn’t care about all that. It is these beings that can restore and heal you, and your mind prevents them through fear, and through the thought projected by the doctors saying this and that.
In a moment of silence you would feel that you are not really ill.
In the zikar we say, “This is not my body, this is the temple of God.” And you needn’t even use the name “god” if that is offensive to you, the important thing to know is that it is a temple, and so it is sacred.
(It’s really strange when we get caught up in who we think we are, or who others think we are. Take my image for example. If I took these things seriously, I’d have to be a little ashamed. In the first place, because all the descriptions are wrong since I don’t really exist, in the second place because I can never live up to what I am supposed to do. Too much is expected of one, one can’t do all that, and so one is always a disappointment to somebody else. When this happens, it is time to think, well if I am all that important then at least I’m somebody, and then it doesn’t matter anymore.)
(From An Interview with Shamcher Bryn Beorse)
Should we talk about it at all? Or should we keep meditating upon the light? One Sufi, the same Sam Lewis, said, “In order to be a masterful Sufi, in order to become really a light, you have to go into the darkness and fight the darkness.” Its not enough to sit there and meditate upon the light and do all these things. Well, if you are concerned mainly with yourself and your progress, that’s all you can do. But if you understand the reality of the whole flowing universe, you are not satisfied with helping yourself, you must bring everybody with you. As it is said in the Buddhist scripture, before the Buddha can go up to heaven he had to have the whole humanity with him. Well this is Sufism essentially. It has been expressed as a difference between Sufism and yoga. That isn’t quite true anymore because the better yogis also have this view, you must have the whole humanity with you.
So a real yogi or a real Sufi isn’t the least bit interested in doing phenomenal things. He is interested in bringing humanity forward – by delving into dirty economics, war-mongering, energy, food supplies.
Rethinking the Nature of Money
As an economist, Shamcher proposed Giro-credit to the US Government during the Depression, but it was rejected. After WWII he was part of the economic restoration team for the Norwegian government, offering new approaches. He continued to advocate the giro-credit system throughout his life, and wrote this brief article in 1979.
Money can buy things or services, be placed in a savings account for storage, or for starting or continuing a business. When you borrow money the lender charges interest and gets it back through amortization.
Farmers in ancient Babylon could raise another type of loan: a right to buy what they needed, with no cash involved. There was no interest to pay, since nobody had lent them their cash. For “amortization” the farmer sold some of his produce for “giro-orders” or “transfer-orders” until the debt was paid. This credit system, used in addition to our cash loan system, helped create and draw into our economy beneficial and useful enterprises. The cash banking system favors long established businesses that can easily meet yearly payments. The continued life of any community requires new inventive enterprises, needing longer time for maturing. The services rendered by the Giro-office are paid for by a charge of 1 or ½% on each check, initially. When office expenses are met and reserve funds set aside, the rest is distributed among customers.
Identical or similar systems were used by Christian churches during the Middle Ages and by Moslem communities that do not allow time interest on loans. A recent example is Banque Bonnard, operating in Marseilles in France from 1849, with branches in Paris and Lyon. Presently this bank is called Comptoir Central De Credit. A professional study of this bank indicates that it did not take away business from other banks but drew into the economy new and beneficial enterprises. Finland’ s ambassador to France, Erik Ehrstrom, interested in this bank, brought the system to Scandinavia in 1936. The “Norsk Girokredit-foreninigen” established that same year, sponsored by the Oslo Merchant Association, grew by leaps and bounds — until the invading Nazis stopped it. They could not risk having their financial shenanigans publicized in “transferorders.”
In the USA Giro-credits are used in small communities today, among farmers to finance workshops or equipment, among businesses to lessen the tax burden, and one state is contemplating a state bank on the Giro principle.
A person who wants to take part in Giro-credit applies for a credit just as he does in a bank. The difference is that the Giro-bank is not lending its cash and it doesn’t need yearly time payments in the form of interest.
In small groups the “transfer-orders” tend to lack the acceptability that would make them smooth and convenient means of payment. If launched by large banks, so the “transfer-orders” or “Giro-orders” become national and international means of payments, our most pressing economic problems would be solved. We could build new, clean, energy machines without increasing inflation. And if a lender failed, the loss would be only like that suffered when a young worker dies; the nation would be deprived of his future contribution; but no loss or breakdown would be caused to the lender.
THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, THE CONSUMERS, THE GOVERNMENT NEED GIRO-CREDIT NOW.
Distribute or Destroy
Shamcher’s books all address economics in one way or another. His first publication was Norwegian, a global economic overview: Distribute or Destroy.
“This is the book that brought the young civil engineer, Brynjolf Bjorset, on to the world stage as a firebrand economic thinker who applied radical theories for the greater good.”
Combining the work of various “heretical” economists into one accessible volume, this book by Brynjolf Bjorset (aka Bryn Beorse) leads up to a tested Scandinavian economic experiment: Nordic Clearing, which was established during the Depression as a bridge to a new applied economy. Behind it was a radical overview dedicated to rethinking the nature of money, particularly in the climate after WWI. Nordic Clearing was a fully functioning Scandinavian giro-credit system. DETAILS
Link here to the website for the Shamcher Archives edition
About this newsletter
The Shamcher Bulletin features weekly selections from the Archives of Shamcher Bryn Beorse.
These emails to you will touch on all the areas from Shamcher’s vast explorations, from economics and energy to yoga and Sufism. They might be moving, or inspiring, or interesting. What they won’t be is commercial in any way. Always free.
I hope it will be like getting a letter from Shamcher, something just right in the moment.
The email is for you, so tell me what you’d like to read. Would you like to see more on his OTEC or other renewable energy work? Sufi teaching? Economics? Memories and stories? Or a little of everything? Just reply to this email and let me know.
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