Mortgaging my Life Force

A Long Blog by Necessity:

So, HSBC was fined a record $1.9bn by the US authorities for ‘circumventing banking laws and accepting the tainted money of rogue states and drug lords’ – in short money launderingBritain's biggest bank, said it was "profoundly sorry" for "past mistakes" that allowed terrorists and drug traffickers to move billions around the financial system. HA.

Deciding not to prosecute the Bank, the US Assistant Attorney General said the "collateral consequences" of doing so would have been “dire”. “In this day and age”, he continued, “we have to evaluate that innocent people will face very big consequences if you make such a decision”.

Did he mean people like me?

A definition of madness is to keep recreating the same experience expecting a different outcome.

After a number of 'near misses' over the years, 2008 brought a major financial crisis, generated by sheer greed. It shook the foundations of probably every nation on the planet. Short-sellers (those who divest of an asset in the full knowledge that the pice will fall and they can repurchase at a much lower rate thereby making a profit) exposed a system which, having lost integrity, had lost its way. When the music stopped, the behemoth that was Lehman Brothers was left holding the baby  and sunk into oblivion.

World leaders breathed a sigh of relief when, with some sleight of hand, they managed to avert a serious derailment of capitalism. Who knew that the next threatening economic tsunami was waiting around the corner. Not the collapse of another major financial institution this time, but the “collateral consequences” if a European country goes belly up.

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This week’s “bad day for the banking sector” took me back to 2008/2009 when, during a prolonged period of ill health, I finally ran out of money. A state of dependency in the Western world – in fact any world – means destitution and beggardom; there is no place to go except to Cardboard City.  I was overwhelmed with dread and panic as I sat in suspended animation and waited for the guillotine to fall.  Alligators began snapping at my heels – I would be referred to a collection agency, my credit rating would be impacted, my home would be repossessed.

On and on it continued, relentlessly. I wanted to yell "shut TFU". The bank had my number on speed dial. The callers and letters were cold and demanding. I was dealing not with human beings but with machines. I lived in a world of robots. On one occasion I asked a woman from the utilities company what would they do if I dropped dead tomorrow. She told me not to be so pessimistic! That was the Fool speaking; it actually enlivened my day.

I reluctantly considered additional borrowing on my mortgage, although an inner voice was insistent that this was a wrong move. From a point of general enquiry, my mortgage lenders – a highly reputable market leader – with which I had had a relationship for over twenty years moved with great haste to offer me ‘a great new fix-rated deal’.  No checks and no verifications were necessary to borrow an amount pitched by them at a certain minimum; I could not borrow less on this ‘great deal’. The marketing techniques were first class.

On the surface it seemed a brilliant deal. The company followed up with telephone calls and text messages encouraging me to sign and return the form as quickly as possible so that my money could be released immediately. Apparently I was considered a ‘good risk’.  However, their persistence set off alarm bells.  Perhaps that inner voice was right; perhaps my need for additional borrowing was not urgent after all. I read the small print with a fine-toothed comb several times.

All in all, the total cost of borrowing a negligible sum amounted to nearly one and half times the proposed borrowing, which could not be less than the minimum set by the lender. There would be hefty penalty charges for early redemption and my total outstanding mortgage would increase by over a third. They reminded me of their option to repossess my home if I could not make full payment within the allotted time. At least they prompted me to read the small print, as once signed I could not change my mind.

In short, this was the prime lender’s ‘sub-prime’ manoeuvre.

However, to draw a smaller amount on the equity in my home at the current variable rate, which would simply add the amount borrowed to my existing mortgage plus the normal interest, was a mountain to climb. It required various checks and verification of my identity, income, etcetera, going back three years. This experience opened my eyes to the efforts invested in keeping the unsuspecting and unwary in debt, the repayment of which lashed individuals to the treadmill of survival.

Money like every other material thing is simply static energy; it is to the world as energy is to the human body, they are both the lifeblood of the system. We exchange static ‘energy’ – whether that is cash, stocks and shares, precious stones or gold bullions - for goods and services to either meet basic needs or provide us with pleasure. When we deplete and waste either type of energy, and/or plunder our reserves, both the earth and human body begins to deteriorate.

Purchasing on credit to me is symbolic of tying up my vital energies; and the interest charged on credit balances represents others getting benefit from our very life force - a bit like the vampire. I now view interest payments as representing a drain on my creative potential, and constraining my autonomy. In mortgaging the home, symbolically we are placing a lien or bond on our own life force, until it can be redeemed. But then most of us have no other choice. For others that is not even an option nowadays.

I began to re-evaluate all that to which I had bonded my energy and put effort into extricating myself. With the exception of bare necessities, everything had to go. I was making a bid for freedom. Choosing to free myself from the powerful matrix of collective thought that drives consumerism and unconscious consumption triggered a rapid response. This consisted of inducements, duplicitous manipulation and the levy of penalties for jumping ship. One is left apparently exposed, in opposition to the rest of the world, out of step and isolated. 

But that is the power of illusion and we ae all caught in its tentacles.

Comments

  1. Brilliant ! I love the way you bring the two things together in this as smply different currents in the life force. And to think that most of us tie ourself into this serfdom and bondage willingly from 25 - 50 years old on average. Yes these are the years on ensuring stability for your children, but believe me when you come out the other end of that, you are really rather old, and then there is an urgency for fulfilment and purpose with a sense that the future has less years than the past. So you know what - I'll sell my house and buy a houseboat! Thanks for this intelligent as ever blog - keep them coming please!

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  2. Its tough though, going against the grain and out of step with everyone else. Every year I have to vigorously fend off cellphone provider. No, I dont want to use the phone to watch tv, read the news, pay my bills, go shopping and whatever else one can do nowadays. I simply want to make calls and send a text. Do you want my business or not?

    Here's to houseboats!

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