|everything is edible (sort of ) cufflinks|
(I've also read it was invented as a way to pay taxes which feels true, too)
Whatever money's origin, what was actually created was a barrier to exchange (giving and receiving) where no barrier existed naturally.
(kind of like those other made up barriers like intelligence exams, international boundaries and child safety caps)
Everything in nature has its own natural rhythm - an innate trusting of life and surrender to its flow. The natural world grows and produces through giving and receiving just by being.
We have manipulated this natural flow of giving and receiving - of feast and famine, of tides moving in and out - with money (you might think "of course we invented money, we couldn't very well have avoided it" and I would agree we would have a very different world if we had avoided it).
Researchers have shown that money has 3 effects on our brains:
(this is totally fascinating so stay with me here)
1. When money is received - the hormone dopamine is released in our brains. When kept in balance dopamine is a healthy stimulus toward positive experiences, but dopamine is also the hormone that plays a large part in addiction, as in give me more and more and more. It always relies on something outside of ourselves as a trigger. Dopamine doesn’t change the pleasure involved with a behavior, just how much we want to do it - it's the total ego hormone.
2) When money is released - when we use it to pay for needed/wanted stuff and services, pain receptors in the brain are triggered (probably why we complain stuff costs us an arm and a leg because it feels like it actually does).
So, when we buy something we want we get that little hit of dopamine to counteract the pain response when we have to part with our money and when we pay for things like internet service or insurance we just get the pain.
3) When money is allowed to flow - given to others without expectations of getting anything in return, it causes the release of oxytocin in the brain. This hormone is the chemical released when a mother bonds with her baby, when couples hold hands, when friends hug each other and when people smile at strangers. Oxytocin is an actual physical manifestation of love.
This research makes total sense because in a world where only love is real - releasing the love hormone when money moves the way it is supposed to or I should say - releasing the love hormone when energy moves the way it would naturally move makes perfect sense.
(some people like to quote the Course in Miracles as saying there is only love and fear and this is not what the course says - the course says there is only love and its lack. Fear isn't the opposite of love, fear is the lack of love - just like darkness is the lack of light - fear itself doesn't exist anymore than darkness does)
This may not mean that we stand on the street corner and give our money away without any expectations of anything in return - although this would be pretty powerful stuff - but it does mean there are ways to work with the natural flow of giving and receiving, especially when the old rules don't work anymore, to create more abundance in our lives.
Part II - money does what we tell it to do (and how to make it listen better than your 3 year old)