"Psychonomics" as a term has been encountered more and more often in specialised literature in recent decades. Many authors regard psychonomics as an interdisciplinary science, one which, unfortunately, does not yet have its own clear system of concepts, categories, and laws. Some concepts are borrowed from psychology and economics, although researchers are trying to fill them out with new content.
A different view of psychonomics is presented in the book Gaiia by Hares Youssef, which served as the basis for creating the Gaiia Foundation.
One of the goals and the objective of the Foundation's work is the development and formation of psychonomics as an interdisciplinary subject, the relevance and degree of importance of which lies in the novelty of defining economic relations through their relationship with spiritual and moral values. Our state of mind essentially affects our physical and spiritual state. This process shapes our behaviour, and is expressed in financial and economic acts. Their interdependence lies at the heart of Psychonomics.
We are all born with genes of kindness. The most famous of these is the oxytocin gene, associated with reproduction, breastfeeding, and social behaviour. The “love hormone”, “hug chemical”, “kindness molecule”. The reason for these affectionate names is that oxytocin prompts us to love more, hug more, and show trust and kindness.
This gene is essential, otherwise, it would have ceased to exist a long time ago. Oxytocin plays a crucial role in reproduction and the functioning of the cardiovascular, immune and digestive systems. In other words, without kindness, we wouldn't be here.
Kindness, not conflict or isolation, is the solution to humanity's problems. When we misunderstand, we need sympathy. When we’re pained and anguished, we seek compassion. Where we see an opportunity, we should show kindness. At the genetic level, we are programmed to solve problems through participation, understanding, exchanging experiences, and finding common ground.
Hares Youssef is right to point out that, "… we live in a holistic energy organism as part of the ecosystem, and our negative influences on it are directly reflected in the human soul. The ignorance that has occupied our consciousness today is mainly economic ignorance. All our spiritual and moral values have an economic equivalent."
Just like the gene for goodness, our natural habitat is endowed with virtue and gifting. It is in these conditions that human life is born. The sun gives, the earth receives and creates good. As a result of this process, goodness becomes a fundamental vector of human behaviour. Any other behaviour is strange and unnatural. It arises, as Hares correctly notes, from the vice of ignorance.
Here it would help to recall the views of Epicurus, who identified three basic needs of human existence:
- Natural and necessary (food, clothing).
- Natural, but not necessary (intimate relationships, reproduction of the human race).
- Not natural and not necessary (desire for fame, wealth, immortality).
These needs permeate the economic and spiritual aspects of human activity. Unfortunately, the engine that drives financial relations in the modern world is the third need, which has inevitably led to a crisis and the deformation of moral norms. Psychological dependence on consumption and production has become a stimulus for the world economy, generating the concept of "debt obligation" (living on credit). It is often the case that if someone wants to rent a home abroad, they need to comply with the landlord's requirement to have an active line of credit as a necessary condition to conclude agreement. “Debt obligation" has become a new form of slavery, where a person is considered an object of property.
David Graeber, a renowned American anthropologist, explains this paradox as follows: "The history of finance tries to reduce all human relationships to one of bartering. Our relationship with society, even with space itself, can be thought of in terms of a business deal." But there are no norms of human mental capabilities in business deals. In a worker’s attempt to gain work experience, an irregular and laborious work schedule leads to a catastrophic depletion of physical and mental strength, and the money earned arouses disgust as payment for exhausting work.
An alternative solution to this situation is offered by the views of Hares Youssef, set out in his book Gaiia, where attention is focused on the priority of spiritual over economic values. If economic relations in modern society are reduced to production and consumption, then Gaiianomics proposes to reduce these relations to indicators of goodness, mutual assistance, and gratitude.
An example of this is supplied by Brunei, where the Gross National Product is expressed as Gross National Happiness rather than economic indicators, and quality of life includes moral and psychological values.
An African parable describing the close link between economics and morality is of interest here: "Money is like water - it flows through the life of everyone. It does not belong to any one person, but to everyone at the same time. For some, the river is wider and deeper; for others, it is only a slight trickle, but the water current is constant. This current is the carrier (it is where the term "currency" comes from). It is our responsibility to convey this current with the best intentions of love, participation, courage and honesty. Money is cleansed and disinfected in this stream of moral debt, but if it collects and stagnates, it becomes toxic - just like water."
This exemplifies how Gaiianomics gives everyone access to capital. The value of capital lies not in its augmentation, but in people's abilities, in their goodwill.
Kindness elevates the human spirit. It opens the heart and mind, and helps us to see the same thing in a new way. Kindness and love are the power of creation.
The Gaiia Foundation invites you to join the process of creating the architecture of a new and kind world.