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The brave new world without monetary measurement


“Is it a perfect philosophy believing in a moneyless society? Are there other ways to measure human well-being or happiness than GDP? Measure and facilitate the use of human well-being models on a systematic level is not easy as practice come before any theory, we can study history, well as various cultures without or less depended on material goods. Buddhism and indigenous religions might be a starting point. The outcome of a measurable index on human well-being is the basic set of fundamental variables what create conditions for happiness. These parameter or key eras are the condition for life, engagement, purpose, trust, optimism, and life satisfaction. Happiness is subjective and cultural dependent, variations on individual and socio-cultural levels, the first thing is to examine what is causing joy? We seek a mental state of well-being, the biology can be painful, and when we get hurt, we learn not to hurt others commonly by experience. Knowledge and wisdom to understand the difference between changeable and not changeable events, follow the natural flow without resistance towards processes in nature. Show compassion for other people sufferings even if you have not experienced the same. Never respect human-made laws that harm or make life difficult for others”.

This is the last post in the series “Do we have a story crisis? Finally, the solution, not the various causes of ignorance, denying people’s right to have a happy life. One reason is that capitalism demands an effective way of working, minimising cost in every single operation. We have adopted the same way of thinking in our society; in the past, we mostly lived together in larger family structure, maybe even with grandparents and cousins. Factor as being treated with respect and having friends and family one can count on in an emergency was a natural part of our “happiness package.” Today we must pay for the same services because of time=money, etc. We are not here to work, the capitalist has managed to make us believe so. We are here to develop Compassion, loving-kindness and spiritual growth. I have over the years in several posts argued for another way here are a few.”

Senator Robert Kennedy

Gross national product measures neither the health of our children, the quality of their education, nor the joy of their play. It measures neither the beauty of our poetry nor the strength of our marriages. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of the streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. GNP measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile” – Senator Robert Kennedy (1968)

Rankin’s is a history of the future describing it eminently in work The Great Turning. He foresaw a fundamental paradigm shift. He writes; “The emergence of a new suite of values is the foundation of the entire edifice of our planetary society. Consumerism, individualism, and domination of nature—the dominant values of yesteryear—have given way to a new triad: quality of life, human solidarity, and ecological sensibility. “That the enhancement of the ‘quality of life’ should be the basis for development is now so self-evident, it must be remembered that, over the aeons, the problem of scarcity and survival . . . Dominated existence. Then, the industrial cornucopia, while unleashing an orgy of consumption among the privileged and desperation among the excluded, opened the historical possibility for our post-scarcity planetary civilisation. People are as ambitious as ever. However, fulfilment, not wealth, has become the primary measure of success and source of well-being“.

The second value—human solidarity’—expresses a sense of connectedness with people who live in distant places and with the unborn that will live in a distant future. It is a manifestation of the capacity of reciprocity and empathy that lies deep in the human spirit and psyche” One of the most charismatic aspects of his writing is the common thread across many of the world’s great religious traditions. As a greedy and materialistic dogma, it is the basis for the democratic ideal and the great social struggles for respect, tolerance, rights and, equality. “With their highly evolved ‘ecological sensibility,’ people today are both mystified and horrified by the feckless indifference of earlier generations to the natural world. Where the right to dominate nature was once sacrosanct, people today hold a deep reverence for the natural world, finding in it endless wonder and enjoyment. Love of nature is complemented by a deep sense of humanity’s place in the web of life, and dependence on its bounty” (source Great Transition The Promise and Lure of the Times Ahead Paul Raskin, Tariq Banuri, Gilberto Gallopín, Pablo Gutman, Al Hammond, Robert Kates, Rob Swart. Published 2002 by Stockholm Environment Institute – Boston)

The contemporary worldview, on sustainability

Sustainability is a core part of the contemporary worldview, however, definition vague operating with terms such as weak or strong sustainability. Often neglect the critical global issue of equality prevent poverty, clean water issues, instead of the vagueness of United Nations rules able to take actions, they talk and create papers. “A second challenge to the authority of the United Nations concerning humanitarian intervention is its weak record of human rights enforcement“. Writes Lynette E. Sieger in the article United Nations: Peacekeeping and Peace Building (source Encyclopedia of Global Justice Deen K. Chatterjee (Ed.). Published 2011 by Springer Science and business). Finally, Rankin describes the paradigm shift; “The values shift of the cultural turning leads us to redefine wealth to measure it by the health of our families, communities, and natural environment.

The happy planet index (HPI)

One index that measures human well-being or happiness is “The Happy Planet Index” (HPI), it uses objective and subjective data. The index measures well-being by multiplying a country’s life satisfaction score times its life expectancy. Besides, it divides this by the country’s ecological footprint. In other words, it measures how well a country converts the Earth’s finite resources into the well- being of its citizens. The longer the person of a nation find life happiness with less environmental impact, the higher the score The Happy Planet Index measures in most countries; The United States is near the bottom of the world list, below the nations of Western Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Costa Rica scores high. The small Buddhist monarchy Bhutan, by the way, has a very high HPI score—thirteenth in the world and second in Asia (source happy planet index).

Earth Charter an ethical vision for Earth

Another model Earth Charter is one of the most important, promising and sustained efforts to date, establishing a compelling moral imagination for the future except GNH of Bhutan, which is not a theory but is in use. As mention earlier words without action are meaningless. However, the Earth Charter is gaining broad support and endorsement around the world. The Earth Charter is an eloquent statement of the ethical principles needed to “bring forth a sustainable global society founded on respect for nature, universal human rights, economic justice, and a culture of peace.” Thousands of organisations representing tens of millions of members have endorsed the Earth Charter. Again, hardly any actions performed, sorry it makes no difference if the root problem is not understood correctly.

The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment. And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within“. Mahatma Gandhi

Take the vast amount of plastics floating in the oceans, environmental organisation cleans, however, is not their job to it. The responsibility for cleaning up the beaches for plastics is Big Oil, non-renewable crude Oil used to manufacture plastics, the oil corporation produces, marketing, sell, and make the most substantial profit of any other Industry. The oil corporation responsibility to clean the oceans and other sites for plastic waste. Not the environmental organisations should instead use their energy by direct actions, Big Oil gives a large amount of money in support to environmental organisations and alike (source The tyranny of oil the world is most powerful industry-and what we must do to stop it by Antonia Juhasz. Published 2008 by Harper Collins e-book).

They used these tools in combination with extensive greenwashing to pretend environmentally friendly, support of renewable energy sources, It is just another illusion. If environmental organisations used the same type of tools, how far are they willing to go? Big Oil uses a wide spectre from lobbying, tax fraud, corruption and War. Millions of people are dying from chronical diseases caused by exposure to toxic chemicals of plastic products (source Epigenetic Aspects of Chronic Diseases published 2011 by Springer Verlag London Limited). They are aware they sell products that cause cancer if exposed to hazardous chemicals over time. We have a story crisis and needs courage and bravery telling the right one. Henrik Ibsen, the play writer, said, “The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone” He meant those who had a different opinion and dared to speak out while the compact majority have not the courage the risk of becoming an outsider.

The Earth Charter Preamble following

From seeing humanity as something apart from nature, transcending and dominating it, to seeing ourselves as part of life, offspring of its evolutionary process, close kin to wild things, and wholly dependent on its vitality and the finite services it provides;

  • From seeing nature in strictly utilitarian terms, humanity’s resource to exploit as it sees fit for economic and other purposes, to see the natural world as having both intrinsic value independent of people and rights that create the duty of ecological stewardship;
  • From discounting the future, focusing severely in the near term, to empowering future generations economically, politically, and environmentally and recognising the obligation to yet unborn human and natural communities well into the future
  • From hyper-individualism, narcissism, and social isolation to powerful community bonds reaching from the local to the cosmopolitan and a profound appreciation of interdependence both within and among countries
  • From parochialism, sexism, prejudice, and ethnocentrism to tolerance, cultural diversity, and human rights;
  • From materialism, consumerism, getting, the primacy of possessions, and limitless hedonism to personal and family relationships, leisure play, experiencing nature, spirituality, giving, and living within limits; from gross economic, social, and political inequality to equity, social justice, and human solidarity.

Gross National Happiness Index

One of the most exciting ideas and not directly a theory is GNP actually practically implemented in one of the poorest, nevertheless spiritual and Buddhism country Bhutan. Their Gross National Happiness Index (GNH) is rooted deep into the traditional Dharma of Tibetan Buddhism, examining the mind through a deep understanding by practising (meditation, training the brain) than any other psychological study. Unfortunately, Western culture arrogance, extremely narrow sights, believes their way is the best and only way. Westerners create theories without practice is like lecturing a bird to fly. The profound ways meditation train the mind transforms negative tendencies. You can read hundreds of books, however, without any action taken useless. The deep connection between man and nature explained in many texts.

Humans are energy, materialised by the ego perception and desire, and while, interconnected by streams of energy fields. Invisible yet visible, humans are a part of nature, not superior compared other lifeforms, despite the glorification of humans in most religions We are sharing the same DNA and a part of the universe, not separated but interconnected. We never need to feel alone. However, not dwelling with the background and long tradition of Buddhism philosophies, the GHP made for the modern world, nevertheless, since GHP neglect GDP and alternative money free societies not profitable for the capitalist. Criticising Bhutan for other issues than GHP.
The best example that proves it is possible to replace a monetary system in a better way is the country Bhutan, “Gross National Happiness” (GNH), not economic growth per se. It’s an official goal. His Majesty Jigme Singye Wangchuck is leading the development of a program called GNH (gross national happiness) based on nine domains within four basic principles: economic development, environmental preservation, cultural promotion, and good governance of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Buddha’s view and respect for all living beings, nature of mind, the prajna (wisdom) into the highest level of awareness that sees impermanence, selflessness, egolessness, and Shunyata (emptiness). The Dharma (Sanskrit meaning teaching or path, leading to enlightenment and finally permanent happiness) is the foundation behind GNH. The Dharma connects on a deeper level, the great wisdom and insight into the human mind are superior to any western psychology, philosophically, theoretically and does not practice (meditations).

Bhutan’s happiness index is already implemented, tested, proven that doing things in a new way gives positive results, despite the poorness from a materialistic viewpoint country joyfulness than most other nations, take fewer happy-pills nor need of going to a psychologist (discussed further). Bhutan is the only country taken this concept into the future as they already replaced Gross Nation Product with Gross National Happiness. The index contains 16 different parameters measuring the human well-being of the national population. What is essential is to find a way to live that puts less pressure on natural resources and at the same time maximises human well-being for the most significant number of people on Earth. In fact, GNP is without insulting the capitalist, a friendly and polite way, telling the whole story. Humans have no other solution, Earth surely will go on without us, as intelligent as we might seem we are in fact, committing suicide and simultaneously knowing it?

Western psychologist research on happiness found eight parameters that each contribute improved human wellness

  • Social wellness
  • Physical wellness
  • Occupational wellness
  • Environmental wellness
  • Emotional wellness
  • Financial wellness
  • Spiritual wellness
  • Intellectual wellness

How do these eight parameters correlate with the set of parameters in the GNH?

[st_row][st_column size=”6″]
Western psychology [/st_column]
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[st_row] GNH (Buddhism)[/st_column]
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[st_row]Social wellness[/st_column]
[st_column size=”6″]
[st_row]Community vitality[/st_column]
[st_column size=”6″]
[st_row]Physical wellness[/st_column]
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[st_row]Occupational wellness [/st_column]
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[st_row]Culture and Governance[/st_column]
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[st_row]Environmental wellness[/st_column]
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[st_row]Environmental diversity[/st_column]
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[st_row]Emotional wellness [/st_column]
[st_column size=”6″]
[st_row]Psychological well-being[/st_column]
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[st_row]Financial wellness[/st_column]
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[st_row]Living standards[/st_column]
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[st_row]Intellectual wellness[/st_column]
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[st_row] Education and culture[/st_column]
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[st_row]Time use[/st_column]

The important parameter of Time Use (GNH) is missing in the Western Research

First, we conceive the “I” and grasp onto it. Then we conceive the “mine” and cling to the material world. Like water trapped on a waterwheel, we spin in circles, powerless. I praise the compassion that embraces all beings“. Chandrakirti

Besides, GNH adds the essential element slowness in the final pointy Time Use (sleep and walk hours). A crucial issue since the high-speed western society creates chronical diseases such as depression, stress, mental disorder, addictions, and other social problems increase focus on materialism instead of spiritual values such as wanting more time with your family and children. Doing things slower makes a significant difference. A slow lifestyle is healthier than fast, epigenetic research, more stressful lifestyle increase chronical diseases, Darwin’s theory of evolution will become the most influential link connecting science and religion through epigenetics, Buddha philosophical ideas a fundamental base for the best of humanity, methodical and diagnostic way found out how to improve life quality, happiness and well-being. Einstein once said (he did not believe in a personal God), however, “if it should be a universal religion he hoped it would be in the spirit of Buddhism”, furthermore, concluded that Buddha was the closest to understand The Relativity Theory. Buddha said, “if science can prove I am wrong in any of my thoughts, I bow“. We should be blissful, the greatest men ever to walk on Earth humanity was the only important issue. “Only a life lived for others are worth living” was not only a quote but also a philosophy Einstein lived by. Gandhi used his philosophy of non-violence against the British Empire and won, not for himself, but so others could experience freedom (source A Companion to Buddhist Philosophy Edited by Steven M. Emmanuel published2013 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)

Fast is dangerous vs slow is safe
Epigenetics research gives empirical evidence that environmental factors cause human chronical diseases, the significant increase of speed inhumane society is a contradiction itself. Simply the opposite direction emphasised by most world religions for thousands of years, slow is better, fast is dangerous. Buddhism religion emphasises the importance of practice by various forms of meditation, the two primary ways, first and most important is the meditation Shamata (Sanskrit means calm the mind). When the mind is stable, the second form of meditation Vipassana performed. A meditation practice that develops insight into the nature of reality, an example, if you have a greedy character meditation should focus on the antidote generosity, if hateful, the reflection should focus on loving-kindness and so on. Sometimes we need distance to withdraw from daily routines to find yourself (source Epigenetic Aspects of Chronic Diseases published 2011 by Springer Verlag London Limited)

Unique manufacturing technology invented with the finance of the capitalist to speed up production, the cost-cutting troublesome, since technology does not solve problems without side effects, it is instead increasingly creating new problems. Reminding of Marx’s famous “account of the temporality of modern capitalism, introduction the simple equation of time and money in the market is responsible for the speedup of production, and hence of circulation and consumption” ( source Capital A Critique of Political Economy Volume I Book One: The Process of Production of Capital. First published: in German in 1867). The book High-Speed Society bring similar antagonism, described deeply and scientifically; “globalising capitalism’s obsession with fast prows and quick turnover times conflicts with the necessities of long-term system reproduction, including its own natural and ecological presuppositions; fast capitalism meshes poorly with the fundamental rhythms of human existence, thereby engendering intense stress and unease in everyday life” (source High-Speed Society social acceleration, power, and modernity edited by Hartmut Rosa and William E. Scheuerman published 2009 by The Pennsylvania State University Press).

Domains Of Gross National Happiness (GNH). Graphics Kenneth Buddha Jeans

Gross Nation Happiness Bhutan GNH environment policies enabled through four key areas these are:

  1. Sustainable and equitable socio-economic development
  2. Conservation of environment
  3. Preservation and promotion of culture
  4. Promotion of good governance

Domains of Gross National Happiness (GNH)

  • Psychological well-being
    • Emotional balance
    • Spirituality
    • General psychological stress
  • Health
    • Health status
    • Health knowledge
    • Barrier to Health
  • Community vitality
    • Family vitality
    • Safety
    • Reciprocity trust
    • Social support
    • socialisation
    • Kindship density
  • Living standards
    • Income
    • Housing
    • Food security
    • hardship
  • Governance
    • Government performance
    • Freedom
    • Institutional trust
  • Environmental diversity
    • Ecological degradation
    • Ecological knowledge
    • afforestation
  • Culture
    • Dialect use
    • Traditional sport
    • Community festival
    • Artisan skill
    • Value transmission
    • Basic precept
  • Education
    • Education attainment
    • Dzongkha language
    • Folk & historical literacy
  • Time use
    • Sleeping hours
    • Walking hours


“Gautama felt as though a prison which had confined him for thousands of lifetimes had broken open. Ignorance had been the jailkeeper. Because of ignorance, his mind had been obscured, just like the moon and stars hidden by the storm clouds. Clouded by endless waves of deluded thoughts, the mind had falsely divided reality into subject and object, self and others, existence and nonexistence, birth and death, and from these discriminations arose wrong views—the prisons of feelings, craving, grasping, and becoming. The suffering of birth, old age, sickness, and death only made the prison walls thicker. The only thing to do was to seize the jailkeeper and see his true face. The jailkeeper was ignorance. Once the jailkeeper was gone, the jail would disappear and never be rebuilt again.Thich Nhat Hanh on Buddha’s enlightenment

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Sources and useful Information

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