Money Heart and Mind

‘A book which stabs the reader with moments of near-surgical insight . . . . written in lucid, entertaining prose.’ – New Internationalist

‘Money Heart and Mind is extraordinary. It is like poetry – when insights are gleaned and you mentally shout “Yes, that’s it!” It has given my own heady paradoxes about money a new and exciting viewpoint.’ – Anita Roddick, founder of The Body Shop.

‘This wonderful book brings it all back to culture, common sense and the human heart: why we spend so much of our priceless time obsessing about money while other forms of wealth elude our grasp’ – Hazel Henderson, author of Paradigms in Progress and Building a Win-Win World

From the Introduction

Money, Heart and Mind is for anyone who needs a better under¬standing of money.

The problem is not money itself, though it may seem that way. The problem is the limited way that we think and feel about it. There are no clear new strategies or alternatives because we are all caught in the same framework of ideas. Full-time parent or entrepreneur; capitalist, socialist or ecologist, dictator or democrat; rich or poor: we are all using the same set of ideas, the same theories, the same myths and assumptions. Whatever our politics, our background or our role, how can we consider creative alternatives if we are all trapped in the same way of thinking – a way of thinking which has not and is not delivering real solutions?

The whole purpose of this book is to stimulate a new framework for thinking and feeling about money. This framework is not limited to one particular approach. It contains different levels of analysis and is open-structured. It is a transparent scaffolding constructed of the major elements that make up our money world: the anthropology, the psychology, the history, the politics and the metaphysics. In one jargon of our times, this is a post-modern approach. In another jargon, it is a holistic approach. In yet another jargon, it is to do with emergence and complexity.

This approach understands that money is not simply the creature of economic and commercial ideas and interests, but is also a creature of individual and mass human emotions, thoughts and actions. Money is intertwined with our material environment, but it is also far more dynamic as an organic actor in our psyches and cultures. The ecology of money is multidimensional. The environment that money influences is obviously physical, but more crucially it is the environment of our psychologies and cultures.

Because money is so much a psychological thing, we cannot avoid looking at our feelings, our emotional financial lives. We need insights into the primal and subtle emotions that hook into, manipulate and manifest through our behaviour with money. This is relevant to us, individually and collectively.

This book, then, has to give attention equally to the different dimensions of money. Excluding one dimension will remove a crucial piece of the overall jigsaw. A limited understanding cannot provide a secure basis for problem-solving. The flow of Money, Heart and Mind, therefore, is first to describe and penetrate the various dynamics which create our money world. Then it moves into the realm of possible solutions.

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