Stephen Eades – If there be choirs of angels, let them sing – Mar 15

The imminent departure to the place beyond of a friend who, like I, could not comprehend a society that destroys the natural world leads me to reflect on what he and I have learnt during our journey together.

Maybe, somewhere in the experience of that journey, there is a lesson for us all.

Born and raised in Yorkshire, he was a self-made man working in catering, learning his trade in the towns of west Lancashire. His life-long quests were to understand money — where it comes from, how it is made — and why we show so little respect and care for the natural world which sustains us.

His conclusion, which I share, are that the two are inextricably linked.

Money has no natural existence. It is a fiction of our making and if we as a species were to disappear tomorrow, so would money. It has no natural place in the world.

Yet, it shapes the natural world profoundly. Or rather, in our hands it does.

It is the blood that circulates and oxygenates all economic systems. It inspires our desires, it meets our needs. The evidence is also that love of it corrupts the soul. Certainly, it is a force of our making which has profoundly changed the natural world.

Even when our world has descended into the depths of total war, the business man still reigns supreme. Without money and the wiles of such purveyors, the war-mongers are unable to wage their apocalyptic mission.

Thus it would seem that money exists without discrimination, in both the bodies of good and evil. On the one hand, it can facilitate prosperity for all. On the other hand, it can purchase the means of complete annihilation.

So, is money simply a neutral force ? Is it simply a tool whose integrity rests entirely in the hands and purposes of the person who wields it ?

Alas, the answer is not so simple. Money is the product of our imagination. Therefore what it is, what it does and what it can be depends on us.

Yet, it is also more than that. It is powerful. It can make and shatter dreams. It is a force, like adrenalin.

It exists in an intimate relationship with power. Those who have money, have power. And those who have power, can have money.

Therefore what money is, and does, depends on the nature and the purpose of power.

This can mean the power to exploit, twist and subordinate the natural world to make it yield its essence explicitly for our personal use.

Yet, it can also mean the power to sustain us in a way that accords with the spirit of the natural world. To nurture and expand the possibilities of both our spirit and that of that the natural world so that, via a conjugal relationship, we both become greater beings.

I believe that is the mission that my friend, through his relationship with money, sought to discover, develop and express throughout his life.

A world where he and money can exist in harmony with the natural world. And, through his life’s example, reveal the same truth to us all.

Therefore as he leaves us if there be choirs of angels, let them sing.

To the memory of Geoffrey Young

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