MARGIT`S STORY. Margit Lysgaard, 60, is an excellent social and health assistant. She was employed in en elders home, but was fired in 2011 (due to problems not due to her professional qualifications). She had time to think about her life. She got the idea of creating her own business: partly a private home-care company and a company offering coaching services for people. Margit is one of the enthusiasts, who want to make a difference and have the capabilities to do it.
She received unemployment benefits, but after a year, they stopped, even though she had not had a single customer. It is considered as self-employment when you have websites, even if you do not have earnings. The employment center (which pays unemployment benefits in Denmark) claimed she had not been available for jobs, and she had to close the websites.
Then the bills began to pile up, and soon Margit was given a notice from the houseowner due to lack of paid rent. Fortunately, she got a good and cheap housing in the last minute. She then had to start full-time work at an elders home. Before I elaborate what a basic income would have meant in Margit’s case, I will look into some spiritual reasons for introducing it.
MAN HAS A TIME BODY! According to spiritual science, man has a body of life – a non-physical body that is the seat of what makes the body alive. One could call this body a master plan or intelligence that has an overall view of our entire physical existence. The body of life also serves as a seat for remembrance, which is related to time. Thus, this part of human being is also a time-body!
Can you make the forces of this time body a subject to the purpose of buying and selling? The idealists who abolished slavery had the feeling of being pioneers, who dealt with an inhumane way of life. And just as it was considered barbaric to sell one’s body to the highest bidder, it might in the future be considered wrong to offer one`s labour on a market for buying and selling.
For what are we selling? It’s our time! The question is whether we are discovering that life and time are connected and actually identical to ourselves in a much deeper way than we have imagined so far.
THE IMPLICATE ORDER. Is our understanding of reality dependent on our understanding of the time dimension? This was the opinion of the American physicist David Bohm (1917-1992), one of the first advocates of modern quantum physics.
He created the expression “the implicate and the explicate order”, where the first consists in a parallel dimension that is co-ordinated with – or perhaps overriding – the three spatial dimensions. Thus, a holistic perception of the world is based not only on the three dimensions of space, but also includes time!
“The world we know from classical physics, with billiard balls and pointers and molecules that collide into each other … is just a surface world, a world of coarse, isolated and fragmented events. Bohm calls it the explicate order. ‘Behind’ is the implicate order, which is a more subtle and unified layer of reality. This law is the source and source of the concrete thing; From thence they are developed or unfolded and appear in the explicate order. “(from the article The Heretic Physicist by Ib Ravn).
Our materialist culture is characterized by the “explicate order”, where space is something we conquer and eventually end up competing about. Nations such as Spain and Britain have been the key nations in this development. It has led to an empirical study of the outer world, discovery journeys of the Earth surface , colonizations, as well as a worldwide economy that is destroying our natural base and an overheated production of stress and an exteriorized lifestyle that gives no room to our inner needs.
Apart from the benefits this lifestyle has granted us, it`s social forms are without internal cohesion and makes us each other’s opponents in a “social jungle” where everybody is closest to him- or herself.
CAN WE CONQUER TIME ? What if, in the future, we must go from being the conquerors of space to conquering the dimension of time? This paradigm shift can transform our civilization into a definite, spiritually influenced culture built on the right to humanity and a factor of contemplation that will make us realize that time and life are connected!
In previous human evolution, time had a far greater significance for the perception of reality. The perception of space has only recently become the dominant factor in our cognization of reality that it holds today. For instance, the central perspective, based on the three spatial dimensions ,was not discovered before the period preceding the Renaissance – and some aboriginal peoples have yet another prehistoric mythological perception of reality that incorporates the time element.
For example, the Australian Aboriginals speak of “dream time”. And according to the Danish author, Vagn Lundbye, the Native American Hopis do not have the same concepts of past, present and future as we have in our language. Instead, objects that are apparently physical, such as stones and plants, can be more or less “implemented with time”.
BACK TO MARGIT. With an unconditional basic income, she could have avoided having to be available for the employment market. She could have gone down on part-time work, in order to be able to have time to complete her company profiles and thus could have avoided unpaid bills and the risk of a social deroute that would ultimately lead to more public spending in the form of “passive care”.
Instead of suffering from guilt and debts, she could have used the surplus that unemployment had given her to make efforts for a better social care work in Denmark.
SPIRITUAL SOCIOLOGY Spirituality often seems not to have social consequences- or at least they may be difficult to find. But they may be on their way. The internationally renowned British biologist, Rupert Sheldrake, talks about overall structures – morphic fields – whose entirety is greater than the sum of their individual parts.
Let’s assume that such fields exist and have an impact on society. Then, the concept of human beings of being “selfmade” within the social context must be complemented by the fact that there are also superior structures in our common life and that these must be properly organized to enable society to function.
Perhaps parts of working life should be organized based on a holistic view of society? In that case, sociology – the science of the structure of society – will be more influenced in the future by understanding the spiritual cohesion that permeates all living!
Many people nowadays talk more or less consciously about the fact that the cohesion of civilization has disappeared in our time. But as the religious and social norms and values of earlier times disappear, we must create new norms and values based on a concrete insight into the laws of the spiritual world.
YOU ARE YOUR OWN TIME! Alongside an initial introduction of basic income, people must be taught to raise awareness of the resources involved in making themselves masters of their own time and managing it properly.
This will partly include a partial reduction of working time. Perhaps we should follow the musician Thomas Blachman’s idea of a work-free day in the week, devoted to contemplation, study and family reunion ?
The current job centers will gradually be replaced by real work agencies, where people looking for work will meet with people who need their efforts, thus creating real associations of work (se graphic).
Professions as coach and life counselor will play a crucial role in this change. The newly acquired time we can use to learn the art of becoming aware of ideas that are based on the wish to benefit us and our fellow human beings. In the future it will be such ideas that will create work and cover the specific needs people have. This is the kind of work we need!
Thus, we move from a society that attempts to create JOBS (paid work) for self-sufficiency, into a social form where we start motivating ourselves to create WORK – for other people!
Although some argue against basic income because they believe that it would make people socially lazy, it can actually have the opposite effect – that people recognize the truth in what Rudolf Steiner called the social constitution: that all work is basically work for others.
If, along with recieving basic income, people seek to become aware of how closely time is connected with their own nature and the nature of their fellow human beings, this new perception of work can cause a revolution in which individualism and urge for self-realization could come become congruent with responsibility for the community.
Thus the contradiction between liberalist initiative and socialist community would become obsolete. For the new conception of the world will tell us that everything is connected and that nobody can actually realize him-. or herself isolated from other people!
This article is a slightly edited version of an article that was first published in the journal Nyt Aspekt Nr. 3 – July-September 2017. See: http://nytaspekt.dk/ledere-og-indhold-2017/