A gift is a gift… nothing more nothing less. It is given from the heart. It is not, by definition, given in order to compensate for anything, and it is also not given with the expectation of return. Ulterior motives for giving a gift completely defeat the purpose of a gift economy.
ACE’s Gift Economy encourages a “pay-it-forward” culture meaning that if Person A gives Person B a gift and at some other point in space-time Person B is able (without compromising his foundational security) to give that same gift to a Person C who is seeking it, then Person B then pays the gesture forward to Person C. In this manner, we accept, honor, and use to the highest efficiency the quality of impermanence of all states of the universe. As well, we understand that by liberating the gift from our care, we make room for other new gifts to come to us.
Energy is neither created nor destroyed, however it is constantly changing states. When we give a gift we allow it to go out into the universe, interact with other energy, permutate its quantum states, and eventually over the infinite time scale of the universe that gift will come back to us in a completely novel and enticing form. Keeping a given energy eternally in one’s possession (i.e. hoarding) will cause that energy to depreciate in value as it will naturally loose its luster and vitality through the death of its animated existence.
The concept of a vritti in yoga and tantra is that of an energetic blockage caused by attachment. By actively practicing detachment from our possessions and all the while cherishing them and ensuring their safety, we are taking preventative measures for all types of ailments ranging from the gross physical in the individual body to the collective consciousness of humanity. Attachment is the cause of all of the wars, suffering, diseases, and inequalities in the world. By practicing non-attachment we create a free economy and society.
Giving gifts should in no way create a sensation of resentment. On the contrary, they are to be given when the inspiration to do so is present. The ultimate pleasure of giving a gift is the final release of energy that has been received, cherished, and then allowed to be passed on, recycled, and modified. In this way, the giving of a gift can be likened to an orgasm.
As the gift passes into the possession of the receiving party, the giver vows to relinquish all control over the employment of the gift, to not attempt to observe and analyze the usage of the gift, or to give direction as to the usage of the gift (unless council is explicitly sought).
Energy is neither created nor destroyed. Hence all of the energy that exists in the observable universe has existed forever and will exist to infinity and beyond. Therefore, the universe as a whole is always in a state of balance, and when awareness of this is achieved, one’s personal and local system also transforms into a state of balance. Local imbalance is merely a perception created by a limitation of the mind.
Since entrusting your gift to someone implies allowing it to be in the sole care of the receptor, it is of utmost importance to resolve that you trust that your gift will be cherished in the manner that you see fit and to then completely detach from the gift’s fate after it has been given.
Things that are not included in a gift economy, but are included and completely relevant and acceptable in capitalistic and trans-capitalistic societies are:
- Return on Investment,
- Strict project planning for the goal of return, and
- Any form of motive that deters from the sheer pleasure of giving the gift.