I’ve been thinking a lot about the idea of currency in the exchange of values. If we think in strict economic terms, all we see is money and goods. But if you broaden the idea of value-pursuit to all human values, we can think of a currency as being something I have that I can use to get something I want.
Consider: Marriages fail because he is trading the promise of love and devotion (one currency) in pursuit of lots of really hot sex (another currency). In her turn, she promises hot sex in trade for lots of love and devotion. Both parties almost immediately start issuing scrip — counterfeit currency — all the while bitching about the bogus bills they’re getting in exchange.
The turmoil grows from there, but those are the root resentments from which the rest of the gnarled tree grows. They both feel cheated — and they’re both right. They’re also both counterfeiters — which neither will admit. Instead, each partner will disavow any responsibility for the steady destruction of what started as a grand passion for each of them.
Here’s some really good news: As soon as each one of them acknowledges and accepts the other partner’s values, they can each start trading in true coin. The counterfeiting is only possible because neither one of them dares to name the two currencies being traded. As soon as each partner’s needs are out in the open, on the table, it will be very easy for couples who really do want to love each other to get back to the searing, soaring sweat-soaked devotion they knew when first they loved each other.
For my own part, I have come to realize that I am trading in a currency — Splendor — that virtually no one else values. I need to figure out how to get people to understand that they have been pursuing essentially worthless values their whole lives, rejecting the only currency that actually matters in the uniquely human life — the fully human life.
Stay tuned. I’m all the way here, already, I’m just working out how to get the job done. Meanwhile, this post is a quick introduction to the idea of currency. I’ll be coming back to this — repeatedly — in due course.