Bitcoin: An Invitation To Higher Consciousness
The world has gone crazy, but you don't have to
I became interested in Bitcoin during my time studying Social Work in college as well as working in the behavioral health field. Things really clicked for me when I read the Bitcoin Standard and learned about time preference. I could clearly see the impacts of inflation and horrible monetary policy on people’s behavior. Inflation creates an attitude of short term thinking and pleasure seeking that leads to consumerism.
On the other side, I saw the real potential for a money like Bitcoin to truly revolutionize the way that individuals saw themselves and interacted with each other. The more I learned about Bitcoin and began to use it, the more I saw an internal shift and awakening happen in myself. Money that is not arbitrarily inflated and has stable monetary policy creates a longer term vision of the future and encourages individuals to set and meet long term goals.
Bitcoin obviously does not fix all the world’s problems but I truly believe that technologies that promote self ownership, but also economic stability have the potential to radically shift people’s lives for the better. People begin to heal when they are valued, seen, and safe. Fiat money on the other hand demoralizes individuals and continues to propagate the problem.
Understanding Our Sick Society
Our society has a major issue and it is not one that is publicly discussed. The issue is childhood trauma, but also trauma in general. When you break open the stats of how many people have been violated, it really changes the way one views their peers and themselves. The following is a definition taken from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to describe childhood trauma.
“Child trauma occurs more than you think. More than two thirds of children reported at least 1 traumatic event by age 16. Potentially traumatic events include:
Psychological, physical, or sexual abuse
Community or school violence
Witnessing or experiencing domestic violence
National disasters or terrorism
Commercial sexual exploitation
Sudden or violent loss of a loved one
Refugee or war experiences
Military family-related stressors (e.g., deployment, parental loss or injury)
Physical or sexual assault
Serious accidents or life-threatening illness”
Trauma is an event that happens in someone’s life that is so stressful that it causes serious long term damage to the individual. Childhood trauma is incredibly terrible because it happens when an individual is still forming their beliefs on the world and learning to relate to others. There is a direct correlation between trauma and lower life expectancy. Individuals who experience a traumatic event, let alone multiple, are much more likely to struggle with mental health issues, substance abuse issues, end up in prison, and even have major health issues such as obesity, auto immune diseases, or heart disease.
When an individual struggles to make sense of the painful experience, they often get stuck in a cycle called disassociation in which the individual detaches from reality. This is where behaviors such as sex addiction, self harm, substance abuse, abnormal eating, etc come into play. These behaviors separate individuals from the things that can help them heal and process the experience which is relationship with others.
Despite trauma being a horrifically common occurrence, it’s treatment is misunderstood. The DSM which is the Bible for individuals treating psychological issues does not address childhood trauma even though there has been 5 revisions. Funding for treatment and research is so under prioritized, it seems intentional.
This is a problem that will continue to worsen unless it is addressed. Hurting people hurt people. The more that society continues to destabilize due to monetary debasement, the more trauma will continue to worsen. Bitcoin truly has the ability to make a massive difference in a time of pain and chaos.
How Does Magic Internet Money Intersect With Healing Trauma?
To begin to understand Bitcoin, you first have to understand the basic functions of money. Money is as important or maybe more important than language. It is the language of communicating value, and without it no meaningful economic activity can happen. When money breaks down it creates havoc on an economy, and therefore a society. We are watching it happen in real time.
When the money breaks, basic needs like housing, water, food, etc become harder to attain. Homelessness is an epidemic right now and it is directly tied to the inflation in the cost of housing. Printing money makes it harder for families to feed their kids and for people to achieve general stability.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a very helpful way to understand the importance of good money.
Physiological: Air, water, food, shelter, sleep, clothing, reproduction
Safety: personal security, employment, resources, health, property
Love/Belonging: friendship, intimacy, family, sense of connection
Esteem: respect, self esteem, status, recognition, strength, freedom
Self Actualization: desire to become the most that one can be
This is explained in a pyramid because each block builds off of each other. Broken money has a direct impact on individuals basic needs which therefore impact all their other needs. If someone does not have stable housing or food, how are they supposed to have stable relationships or focus on personal improvement?
Fiat money inevitably creates boom/bust cycles caused by debt bubbles being created and popped. These cycles destroy people’s lives, and what’s worse is that this is done to benefit a few individuals. Economic chaos leads to general societal destabilization and violence which only perpetuates the issue.
In a time of massive chaos, Bitcoin has a real potential to provide some massive stability. Not only does it have a stable monetary policy that is locked into the code, but it also gives individuals the ability to self custody their money, insulating them from the chaos of fragile third parties such as banks. Having the ability to securely store money during a time of massive upheaval, and even take it safely with you if needed, allows individuals to have options.
When everyone else is standing in food lines, or waiting outside of their banks to hopefully get money, Bitcoiners will be able to transact with money that has retained value and is not being censored or confiscated. We are already seeing this as individuals who interact with Bitcoin are looking at activities such as producing food and/or sourcing it locally while their peers are stuck on their phones.
Individuals who have their bases covered will be able to focus on things that are meaningful and actually choose what they wish to do of their own volition. Individuals who do not have their base needs covered will be desperately scrambling to get their needs met and dependent on others.
An Invitation to a Higher Consciousness
The insidious nature of paper money can not be underestimated. It is impossible to look at the fiat monetary system with a sober mind, and not come to the conclusion that the individuals that control it hate you. “If they can print the money, why don’t they direct it towards helping people instead of funding wars and surveilling everyone?”
Fiat money has three principles which inherently disempower the individual
The money is not yours and is easily confiscated
Your transactions are constantly surveilled and easily censored
The value you create can be debased arbitrarily
Bitcoin has three principles that inevitably empower the individual.
It is easy and inexpensive to securely self custody
It is expensive and difficult to censor transactions and can be used privately
The value you create cannot be arbitrarily debased
One of the most powerful things an individual can do is making the decision to exit a horrible and abusive system to pursue something better. In contrast to the fiat monetary system, Bitcoin allows an individual to genuinely care about themselves by stepping into a position of power.
The alternative and adversarial nature of Bitcoin invites individuals to also exit other systems which are harmful, but also to question the legitimacy of the system they are leaving. Imagine the absurdity of giving the IRS access to your private keys. And now think about how if you have money in a bank account, they essentially do have access to your private keys.
One of the challenges society faces today is the rehabilitation of the individual. Individuals are demoralized, anxious, and generally disempowered. There is very little effort put towards encouraging individuals to explore and grow. Instead it is about pushing individuals to conform and ascribe to some philosophy in which they are second to some collective effort.
Bitcoin by default promotes the individual to be empowered. We cannot see the extent of how harmful something is unless we have context of an alternative. If all we know is toxic and harmful, then that is all we will ever aspire to. But if we learn and see that it is possible to do something different, there is a possibility that we will pursue that new thing.
The rehabilitation of the individual is realizing that being stolen from through taxation and inflation does not have to be inevitable. It is understanding that privacy is a choice and that being constantly surveilled and censored is not natural or normal. It is in knowing that the value an individual produces does not need to be punished, impeded, or leached from by parasites who have no entitlement to it.
The problem with trauma is that it is a complete violation of the identity of an individual. It is inherently deeply demoralizing, and opens up an individual to more harm if not dealt with properly. Society is being subjected to collective traumatization through the destabilization of the currency and Bitcoin is the opt out of that.
Time Preference and Healing
Growing up in a family where there is a stable marriage is becoming pretty uncommon. There are very few positive role models presented in popular culture. Having dysfunction is celebrated and normalized. This makes sense in a culture that is being debased by a currency that is being debased.
Time preference is the measure of whether someone prefers something in the moment or is willing to wait for that thing. An example of this is whether an individual spends all their money when they get it versus saving it and thinking long term.
The way money works has a powerful influence on time preference. Why would someone save in a currency that is devaluing? To do so would mean that their goals are moving further from them. Instead, they are incentivized to consume in the short term as that item will be more expensive in the future.
In contrast, individuals are rewarded for saving if the mechanism they save in either gains in value or retains it. Thinking long term is incentivized and rewarded. It is clear to see how radically different Bitcoin and fiat money are in this regard.
Accomplishing anything meaningful requires low time preference, meaning that you are willing to sacrifice instant gratification to achieve a longer term goal. One of the challenges of overcoming trauma and stepping into healing is that trauma requires dealing with discomfort.
When the money changes, individuals change. It has been amazing to look out across different communities of individuals interacting with Bitcoin, and see major lifestyle changes. Bitcoiners are addressing issues with the food supply. They are focusing on physical wellness. They are working on becoming generally more self sufficient by growing their own food or keeping livestock.
Bitcoin and Relationships
Financial issues is a major stressor in romantic relationships. Financial issues can create a lot of stress for kids. Living paycheck to paycheck makes you a wage slave to your employer. When you have your finances straight, you will walk differently. Having a powerful mechanism to save and securely store money will allow you to walk with your head tall.
Walking Tall by Guy Swann
When your bases are covered, you see the world differently. It allows you to move away from a place of desperation to a place of generosity and security. Healthy and consistent relationships are imperative for individuals to heal and grow.
Looking out 20 years from now, it seems pretty ridiculous to put money into things like pensions, 401k’s, and other traditional speculative vehicles. Why would you trust your money with a custodian in a time when bank runs are happening daily? Bitcoin allows you to be less reliant on institutions so that you can be more reliable for the people you care about.
Bitcoin encourages a healthier relationship with money and the power of this shouldn’t be discounted. An individual’s decision to heal and grow has a massive impact on the larger world. It informs every interaction they have. It can massively influence the lives of their kids for the better. In many ways, it is an invitation for others around them to embrace their own healing.
Bitcoin is not a fix all for all of our pain and dysfunction. It does not cure addiction, or heal sexual abuse. What Bitcoin is, is a piece of sanity in a world that is insane. This sanity is an invitation to a higher level of consciousness.
There are a few things in our world that are consistent and predictable. One is that politicians are liars and psychopaths, while the other is Bitcoin’s supply schedule.