After Darkness

by Charles Pinwill

It is entirely possible, human presuppositions notwithstanding, that vast expanses of truth- knowledge may never occur to a single human mind and remain forever in a dominion of unvisited darkness. Pride in our intellectual prowess resists denial of the ultimate omnipotence of our knowledge, for knowing what we don’t know is forever an arena too far. Approach it as we may, there is always an indistinguishable and indiscernible something beyond.

What comes after darkness, is only a light upon our former ignorance. For this reason, knowledge can only ever teach us humility; the ultimate enlightenment about the human condition and our only guide into the future.

While to the prideful this is a philosophy of despair, to the devotees of truth it brings an exhilarating humility in the contemplation of the fullness of the grandeur of the full glory of reality. In knowing that reality transcends human thinking we become its apprentices and begin to learn. We don’t learn everything, but we do learn more.

There are plenty of examples. By the fifteenth century the Chinese had long concluded that they knew everything and had stopped their former considerable efforts to explore the rest of the world. When the Portuguese came in their wooden ships, commandeered their seas and their foreign trade, they saw it as humiliating. Once enabling humility was commanded, they could again grow and learn, accept their shortcomings, and thus re-establish nationhood.

Preconceptions about the flatness of earth, the sun’s daily circumnavigation of the earth, and scurvy being the result of vapours, amongst countless other misconceptions once abounded.

Misconceptions, though notable and numerous, are only part of it. Non-conceptions are equally extraordinary. In all the writings of the ancients, from Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, Greece and Rome there is no discoverable text suggesting that the chattel slavery of human being was not OK. The first mild suggestion that slavery might be put aside from human relationships came from St. Paul around 60 AD. (The Epistle of Philemon)

St. Paul had been influenced by his Lord who never made a statement against slavery. He didn’t have to. His idea that all had value in the sight of God and had innate value to a God who loved them, left the obvious to unfold in time. In only 1800 years black slavery in America, and a little later white slavery of Europeans in North Africa, was ended.

Yes, it is certainly humiliating that an idea that slavery was not the way of just relationships took 7,000 years from first civilisation to occur to anyone, and a further 1800 years to become established policy, must bring a measure of hesitancy to our intellectual pride.

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Since such is possible, our confidence that we now know it all is somewhat tenuous is it not? Could it not be that a like darkness in other areas of human social arrangements may persist even now? 

I am not here going to attempt a large exposition of one of the large darkness’s of modern society of which I have been privileged to acquire some knowledge. It involves the coming of an alternate slave-master, the hegemony of the debt mastery over society.

Counterfeiters don’t really exist anymore. No nations’ annual budgets itemise revenue from any money creation, yet all created out of nothing in cyberspace, it certainly now is. Money creation is now the business of Central Banks in association with private banks. Although the need for it results from the whole efforts of the community, its ownership is not shared.

Our only access to money is by borrowing it from these creators (they never give it away) and they only ever rent it to society with a rental charge which is called “interest”. Therefore, if we own a little money, it has all come from some borrower and he must return it. We pay for it, if borrowed by industry in increased prices, and if by government in taxes. If we borrow it as consumers, we must pay by reducing later consumption.

When our incomes from producing are insufficient to buy the resulting consumer goods, more debt is added to the already high world indebtedness which has now burgeoned to beyond $200 trillion globally.

The credit creation mechanism which properly began in the West after the establishment in 1694 of the Bank of England, grew until it displaced chattel slavery as no longer being necessary to the wholesale control of persons economically. A means of creating and sharing our “money votes” in a way similar to which we create and distribute our “ballot paper votes” is explored in other of my essays.

This essay is to explore a world after which this form of population control has also been conquered.

In this new world about 20% of our incomes would come from the needed money supply increases being shared equally. The earliest measurement of this profit of society to be shared can be found at   It shows that this would have brought payments to each American in 2014 of $7,500, or $30,000 per family of four. A more recent National Account for Australia in 2020 shows it approximately bringing over $6,000 to each Australian or $24,000 per family.

The financial stress levels in society will be immeasurably lessened. We will no longer be wholly dependent upon being employed, or upon taxation and social security giving us the employment revenue of others. We will not be driven towards debt, and then stressed by the need to find its repayment. A more relaxed society in which we have more time for each other will be a most joyful result.

With debt atrophying it will bring a somewhat different world. It has often been observed in the animal kingdom, that scarcity is the preconditioning causation of greed. When food is plentiful there are no violent contests for it. Men are so motivated. Plenty to the point of sufficiency is an essential harbinger to peace on earth, and goodwill towards men.

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A cultural flowering of music, harmonious communities, literature, sport and the contemplation of all forms of beauty and fellowship, are easily envisaged in this world. We need to make a little time now to imagine how it can be. I will not prompt these imagining further just now; it is best performed as a do-it-yourself activity.

Curiously, when asked “Who are you?” most will say “I’m a butcher…..baker…..farmer…..candlestick maker”. We think of ourselves, apparently, as something like minions in a termite nest; I’m a worker, I’m a drone, I’m a soldier. I once witnessed a fellow being asked who he was and he responded, “I am a male Caucasian heterosexual homo sapiens who loves wine, women and song.” A bystander then said “Well that puts you into a minority, doesn’t it” and thereupon the whole party fell into laughter. How strange that someone would think other of himself, than as an economic functionary?

It is much more useful, accurate and true to categorise people in terms of what they love, surely? He’s a family man, a football fan, a Church goer or some breed of political animal perhaps. While all slaves love their chains, as ours fall away with harvested energy and applied technology displacing us, we will begin to think of ourselves rather more as humans, and rather less as functionaries. Who shall we then say that we are?

It is altogether possible that in a world of regularly paid national dividends, we may enjoy enough leisure to discover what this is. So, if you are actively doing something, how do you know whether it is work or leisure? There is only one sure test. Did someone else tell you to do it and offer reward, or did you decide to do it for yourself? In the former case it is work and, in the latter, leisure. The contention that leisure is laziness, indolence and unproductive is the product of those who fear that we will increasingly govern our own actions, but this will dissipate with increasing National Dividends regularly paid to all.

One of the plagues which will cease to torment us is advertising. Because all businesses must now compete for your scarce purchasing power to survive, this advertising plague may be likened to one of flies on a hot day. You have only to open your eyes to have them flying into them from every direction. Billboards, signage, and invasive television and YouTube assaults are everywhere we look. Advertisements assault our mouths and our noses at every opportunity for a culinary presentation. They assail our ears with every noise which can be made to exist to stop us thinking our own thoughts, and contemplate their dreary and dreadful merchandise. 

We don’t mind people telling us what they have to offer in a civil and low-key manner, but to be constantly attacked with every means of prompting consumerism by appealing to us to increase our social standing, prestige, attractiveness to the opposite sex, or ability to attract attention is beyond what we might be expected to endure. Urging consumerism invades and inhibits our most precious asset, the time and peace in which to think our own thoughts without interminable promptings.

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Those who have been increasingly freed from financial stress and the clutter of distracting us into a false sense that happiness emanates from consumerism, will be better equipped to discover a powerful key towards contented happiness. What is that?

Building your “toolbox” to enhance your ability to enjoy a self-examined life is a key here. We live our lives and find our happiness within. The world and all within it, are just the background of life, not its substance. The water of life comes from an inner spring, not an external flood.

A post “credit-slavery” world’s benefits will be found within the personal centre of each of us. We are going to have to win what of this we can, to enable us to give birth to a culture beyond debt slavery. This in the work of the 21st Century. It has begun. You have just been recruited. Relax, be tolerant with yourself and don’t expect miracles until your toolbox of the means of understanding it has been more fully furnished.

Your long journey has already begun if you have taken a first step.