This is one of the best books that I am aware of at this time, that deals with world unity, collaboration and cooperation of all humans as one. It talks about sustainable living, preserving the environmental riches that this planet provides us with for at the present and for the future. It addresses the illusion of the current economic system and ties in everything with so much love, logic and wisdom, that it is hard not to become part of the solutions the author presents us with.
There are so many amazing individuals on this planet helping to raise global consciousness, helping to bring more love and light to this planet, and helping us to move towards a life that is lived from the highest version of ourselves. One of those individuals is Mike Nickerson and he is the author of Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as if we want to stay.
The genre of the book touches upon society, culture, environment, and economics, yet it fits in perfectly with expanding our consciousness about the nature of this Earthly life and reality. While personally I am not too passionate when it comes to topics that revolve around politics or economics, something was drawing me to this book as soon as I first laid my eyes on it. And I cannot tell you how happy I am that I allowed this book to come into my life and took the time to read it. The book not only awakens us to a higher state of being, but invites us lovingly to start being part of the change that brings us back to living with the Earth as one. It is time to start living on this Earth, as if we want to stay—as if we want the future generations to have this planet to enjoy as well.
Book Format and Structure
Life, Money and Illusion: Living on Earth as if we want to stay was initially self-published by Mike Nickerson, who is a Canadian author, in 2006. It got great acclaim and reviews, and the second, revised edition was published in September 2009 by New Society Publishers.
The book is over 400 pages and packed with facts, details, explanations and incredibly valuable insights. Since it is highly engaging, as Mike has truly put his heart and soul, along with an impeccable amount of value into this book, it is a longer read. Some may even find it a bit “technical”. Hence, do not expect to breeze through this book in several evenings. However, it is a highly valuable investment of your time to read it.
The book starts off with a heartfelt foreword and is divided into 4 parts, with the following chapters:
- Chapter 1 – Without Vision, the People Perish
- Chapter 2 – Vision for the 21st Century
- Chapter 3 – Life: How it Thrives
- Chapter 4 – Problems with Life: Human Impacts on a Full Planet
- Chapter 5 – Mutual Provision: Money, Markets and an Orderly World
- Chapter 6 – Magnitude and Abstraction: When We Grow Very Large
Problems With Our Market Economy
- Chapter 7 – Where Value is Neglected
- Chapter 8 – Where Value is Overstated
- Chapter 9 – Money: Its Creation, Management and Growth
- Chapter 10 – The Monopoly End Game
- Chapter 11 – First Steps
- Chapter 12 – Practical Changes
- Chapter 13 – Monetary Reform
- Chapter 14 – Cultural Foundations: Working Together as Societies
- Chapter 15 – How to Get There from Here: A Question of Direction
- Chapter 16 – A Crack in the Road: Motor Culture
- Chapter 17 – What Will Become of Us?
The book finishes off with an Appendix entitled, Tapping Our Collective Potential and a recommended reading section. There is also a special last page entitled looking back to the present, where Mike leaves the reader with a very positive and uplifting reflection.
Book Content and Personal Commentary
As I have already mentioned, I was absolutely blown away by how much I resonated with all that was in this book, and by how astoundingly wise and informative it was.
Although this book has a huge economical aspect to it, it is so much more than that. This is a book that I would encourage every citizen who wants to make a conscious action to live in and with the balance of the Earth to read. It teaches all about how our actions, our relationship with money, material goods and each other affect the environment and the resources on this planet. It opens ones eyes to what the economy is really based on and how the current economic model is completely unsustainable. And all this, is just scratching the surface of the immense depth this book has to it.
I have to tell you, what impressed me the most about this book is how extremely well rounded it was. Mike included bits of history, biology, mathematics, economics, philosophy, psychology, politics, religion and so much more to make this book such an interesting read. It even has some stories, poems, quotes and pictures to enrich the reader’s experience.
It is deep, and so as I mentioned it can come across to some as a heavy read, but if you are proactive about your life, if you care deeply about making a difference and about being spiritually logical, then this book delivers in more ways than I can ever explain in this review.
In chapter 1, Mike begins with a little bit of history, but mostly with a nice introduction to what sustainability is all about.
In chapter 2, he opens up the platform for ideas about a sustainable future. My favorite part in this chapter was when Mike states:
When people receive new information that is contrary to what they already believe, they become uncomfortable.
How true is that! I think this is the basis for most arguments, if not wars. We all hold deeply rooted beliefs within us (some, if not most that are not even our own) and we feel threatened so much and so often it seems when someone tells us something contrary to those. This is one of the biggest reasons why I love the topics of awakening, transformation and even all matters of the metaphysical, because they challenge one to stay open minded. The surest way to get nowhere fast is to have a closed mind.
I have to tell you, chapter 3 was one of my favorite chapters in the book. As if the thought provoking topics of the first two chapters were not enough to draw the reader in, Mike then takes such a beautifully affectionate turn in chapter 3 as he touches on the biology and ecology of our natural world. Being a biologist and nature lover, this chapter really hit home with me. Mike did such an amazing job here introducing the reader, regardless of their academic background, to the world of nature. He traced back life throughout history and beautifully showed how cyclic and sustaining life is when unnatural forces don’t interfere with it.
This is something so critical that so many people still cannot accept today and that is, the world – this Earth and all life is based on the laws of nature. These are not arbitrary laws put in just for the fun of it. These are the foundations for all life existing and we as just another animal species have no choice or say in the matter on whether we follow them or not. I do not mean to sound harsh here, but I know many people think that as humans with technology we can overcome anything. Well, unfortunately that is not quite true. Mother Earth is an amazing consciousness. However, as loving as she is, the Earth is her body, which we are a part of, and we have to respect the natural laws if our species wants to continue to live, never mind thrive on this planet – her body.
In fact, if we choose to concentrate more on life and less on stuff, we could substantially reduce our material consumption and, at the same time increase our well-being.
In chapter 4, Mike considers other cultures and how we have evolved and are evolving today within our own culture on the planet.
In chapter 5, I was really entertained by the idea of understanding the history of money and markets. As I mentioned, not really having an interest in economics, I felt this chapter (as well as the whole book) added so much value to me as a being. Even though, I have subjects that I prefer, it is always great to learn a little bit about everything I feel, to be a more rounded individual.
Mike finished off the first part of the book with chapter 6, where he considered various patterns of growth and the ideas of supply and demand.
As a civilization, at present we have little empathy for the natural world, or even for our own future.
I have to be honest and tell you that part 2 – Problems With Our Market Economy was a little harder for me to read, as it delved in deeper into all things “economy” related.
However, it still included line after line of valuable information to really present the reader with all sides of the story as to where the problems lie in our current world, with of course the biggest one being that the way we do things today when it comes to money and material goods is just not sustainable.
In part 3 – Economic Solutions, Mike opens up a whole new platform for us to start seeing the new world that can emerge if changes are made. In the opening to this part, he states:
Change, whether positive or negative, however tends to make people uneasy; we are uncertain of how a new situation will affect us.
But as the chapters unfold, Mike presents solutions to a more sustainable, yet economically viable way of life, that are equally feasible as they are logical. Yes change would be involved, but Mike really goes out of his way to explain from every angle how in the end, change would be required of everyone for everyone. It is again this unifying theme that he fantastically expresses, as the basis for the new world. One solution that Mike presents is that of “full-cost pricing”. This is where an item’s price reflects the true costs of that items production and disposal.
I enjoyed part 4 – Transformation immensely! All the chapters were a fantastic read, but chapter 14 was really enlightening as Mike tied how the answers to transformation come from our roots of how we see the world from our cultures. Into this he tied in the concepts of religions and actually what role religions have played in shaping the current monetary system and today’s economy.
It is in these last chapters that Mike lays it all out on the line and presents us with the choices we have and their outcomes. There is no fear mongering at any point, there is only a realistic approach based on natural cycles. Ultimately, no one has to lose. If anything we can all win – we can all be better off, as will future generations if we choose the path of sustainability. After all can you think of a better way to live with the Earth?
In conclusion, as I finished reading the book and even throughout I thought, there are so many books out there today that become number 1 sellers and get hailed for this or that, even though they really add little value to the world or our being. And here is this man who has dedicated himself to helping the world and all of humanity attain sustainable living, who has researched, gathered and written this amazing book, that I know for a fact not enough people know about. This book should be in Oprah’s book club or a New York Times bestseller for sure. Of course naturally, the topic is still an inconvenient truth for perhaps too many out there.
The value that Mike has provided by writing this book is impeccable. If you get a chance, are open to a little more “technical” reading, and are passionate about your life, the lives of future generations and this planet, then I highly recommend Life, Money and Illusion. Whether you see the illusions on which our material world is built upon at this time, or not, this book is bound to open your eyes, heart and mind to a whole new level of living.
Sustainability – requires a change in priorities such as civilization has never before seen.
You can learn more about Mike Nickerson or purchase the book from his website or from Amazon.com (below).