Siegfried Finser, author of Money Can Heal, has been a Waldorf school teacher, has managed a division of Xerox, and was Director of Executive Development worldwide for ITT. He has been a consultant to many large corporations and was president of the Threefold Educational Foundation, and treasurer of the Anthroposophical Society in America. Finser is the founder of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation (RSF), where he continues on the Board of Trustees.
LILIPOH: We all handle money, but, as your book points out, we generally have little thought about what money really is and how each of our transactions affects us all in deep ways. In Money Can Heal, you say:
"When we speak about the movement of money, we do not mean a physical movement at all. Money is, in fact, not susceptible to physical forces."
You also distinguish between "currency" and "money." Would you comment on these qualities and say something about what makes money move?
SF: Physical forces change physical entities, at least those that are susceptible to physical force. Take a lump of clay and begin to shape it, mold it to imitate your picture of what it can become. The clay is susceptible to your physical exertions upon its substance. Now take some currency and shuffle it around, throw it up in the air, pile it into a knapsack and race through town with it. It moves when you push it, like all other objects in the world. But it isn't money yet. To become money, it has to be involved in a transaction between two parties. Both parties must be aware of how money moves. Both need to have a conception of what value is, what parity is. Both must also feel the desire in their soul and how the transaction can fulfill the desire. A price tag doesn't mean anything unless we make it real through a transaction. In other words, economic values do not reside in objects, but are created through transactions. We, through our transactional activity with each other, create the whole economic system of the world and create the values and the forces that move money in a vast circulatory system. Once we really understand what each transaction does and how it affects human life, we can then insert healing forces into the circulation of economic values around the world.
LILIPOH: You list three essential types of transactions: buying and selling; borrowing and lending; and giving and...