Distinguishing Elements

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One can not solve a problem with the same thinking that created it in the first place, Einstein noted. To try to do so, he added, is “insanity”.


Einstein’s conviction has informed our labors. That is, we have sought to illumine each and every aspect of the Con-vocation (as opposed to conference) — from the program itself to its presentation and funding — with a new and fundamentally human thinking, one that is inspired by the “promise” of redemption. We have made this effort for a reason: Only when the means we employ are truly humane, will the ends be the same. This applies no less to our conferences/convocations as to life itself. The means — how we go about things — are, in fact, the ends in process. Accordingly:


^ The Bretton Woods IV Convocation ~ Toward the Redemption of Our Financial System & Restitution of Our Common Wealth is, preeminently, a “labor of love”, redemptive love — if, we trust, such terms still have meaning for us. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who took up Lincoln’s torch and carried it on into the monetary and economic spheres, spoke, and speaks, to that eternal “promise”. Dr. King’s words set the tone for the Convocation:


“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. The Negro needs the white man to free him from his fears. The white man needs the Negro to free him from his guilt. I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’ Man must evolve for all human conflict a method, which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love. The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. The time is always right to do what is right.“


^ Thereto, appreciating, friends, that the labors of love of which Dr. King speaks are not easily achieved, those so moved are invited to begin the Convocation by taking part in the Iroquois “Condolence Ceremony”. This ceremony finds enriching expressions in the cultures of the Original Peoples not only of this land, but of all lands. It marks — if we may suggest — the first step in such healing and renewal.


^ Bretton Woods IV Convocation is, as expressed, a con-vocation, a calling-together of individuals: local, state, national and international. What is bringing the individuals together is the recognition that — if we wish to have a future worth envisioning for ourselves, our children, and for the generations to come, “all our relations” — we need to think in entirely new ways about our monetary system, commerce, and culture. The Convocation would offer a renewed vision for our times. That vision is based, as noted, on the revival of our native common sense — aptly translated in German as a “gesunder Menschenverstand”: a healthy human understanding.


Spirit of the Convocation:

^ There is no fee for attendance at The Bretton Woods IV Convocation. Money has become, increasingly, a “currency” of separation and exclusion. This will not be the case at the Convocation. Inscribed atop our US Dollar are the words: “In God We Trust”. The Convocation envisions the day when — as our African brethren and sistern note — such trust, trust in “the God in the other”, is recognized as having stood behind our currencies, behind all free exchanges between people of good will. To date, gold, silver, metals and commodities have served as the mere proxies of that trust. When such trust becomes recognized, conscious, explicit, the indispensable human basis for a truly prosperous monetary system will be established.


^ As is the case with fees, there are no honorariums for speakers or presenters. The Bretton Woods IV Convocation, itself, is, preeminently, an offering — a labor of love. That said, we look forward to working with those who would bring an offering to ensure that it is possible for them to do so. Toward that end, and in the spirit of our New England self-reliance, we invite you to first reach out to your friends, colleagues, and local organizations. If you are engaged in your community, your attendance — as a representative of it — will be to its benefit and on its behalf. If no funding sources whatsoever exist, you are invited to contact us at: info@brettonwoodsiv.org


^ Anyone is invited to speak of their work at the Convocation, if its actual fruit is present in the world. The Convocation’s focus is practice, as opposed to theory. Building on the foundation of monetary matters, we look forward to highlighting working solutions in the realms of commerce (food, energy, housing etc.) and culture (music, movement, drama etc.) — solutions that are improving the lives of our fellow human beings, as we speak. For these three realms are related; they are part of the greater whole. Those interested in offering a presentation should contact: info@brettonwoodsiv.org


^ The Convocation is open to the public. Every person of good will is welcome to attend. By “good will”, we mean — as King states in the foregoing — people who have reserved judgments with respect to others, including those they consider to be running (outwardly) our monetary/financial system: the “powers that be”. Otherwise expressed, the Convocation is not about pointing fingers. For, strict matters of law aside, unless we are walking in the other’s shoes, we have no basis, intelligent basis, for judgement. Simply expressed, the focus of the Convocation is on what is positive, working, the opportunities before us — inspired by the revival of our native common sense.


^ The Bretton Woods IV Convocation moves beyond a preoccupation with the problems before us to the challenges and opportunities that the problems bear within them — for a reason. There is not a single problem we face today that hasn’t, we suggest, already been solved by those who recognize the accompanying challenge and opportunity. In this respect, the main problem before us today is, we further suggest, the lack of more effective communication. Such an opportunity the Convocation takes up.


^ Initiative circles are arising, addressing the theme of the redemption of our monetary system, as well as innovations in commerce and culture. Those interested in taking part are invited to contact: info@brettonwoodsiv.org


^ Companion or satellite convocations, near and far, will be held concurrently to The Bretton Woods IV Convocation. For information contact: info@brettonwoodsiv.org


^ While there is no charge for attending the Convocation, we do have expenses, as do those fellow citizens of lesser means coming from afar. If your fortunes allow (whether you are able to attend or not), a contribution to the cause is gratefully received and will help to both distinguish and solidify the monetary foundation that we look forward to introducing. We welcome a word from those so moved at: < info@brettonwoodsiv.org >.


^ The inspiration for The Bretton Woods IV Convocation is the North Country’s “Old Man of the Mountain”. As depicted in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s beloved story, The Great Stone Face, the spirit of “The Old Man” still holds sway in the hearts of many fellow citizens across our state, nation, and around the world. Unfolding passages from the The Great Stone Face ~ the golden thread ~ will be woven throughout the Convocation and read at the conclusion of each evening. A postscript to Hawthorne’s tale is offered at < http://brettonwoodsiv.org/great-stone-face-old-man-on-the-mountain/ > . The moral of the story undergirds the Convocation: We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
“If ‘We the People’ should indeed prove an entity, a corporate being, [imagine] what power that incorporation might one day represent.”
Catherine Drinker Bowen, “The Miracle of Philadelphia”