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Everyone is a Banker.


In my country – Noongar Country in Western Australia – the Whadjuk word for money is the same as the word for rock: Boya. Only with the arrival of Europeans did the word for an externalized monetary system come about (connected to rocks that contained gold).

In Indigenous Australian culture, people are assigned particular totems or dreamings – not arbitrarily, but out of keen spiritual insight and guidance. To have a dreaming is to have a responsibility for that dreaming – to care for it. One is expected to fully know it – to become it.

If one is yongka (kangaroo) dreaming, for example, one is expected to know completely the characteristics, qualities, life cycles, movement patterns, feeding and breeding activity, stories, songs, dances, art and so on of yongka. One is yongka dreaming. Usually, one is expected not to kill or gather one’s own dreaming for one’s-self. One lives, in a way, off the dreamings of others. If, however, other groups are in need of a yongka for food or ceremony and are unable to find any, then, as a last resort, those of the yongka dreaming may be approached to help locate and possibly kill the animal. Such a deed does not go un-thanked nor un-remembered by other groups. As part of this process, an ‘increase’ ceremony may also be requested – where those of yongka dreaming would hold a ceremony at a site sacred to yongka so that more yongkas may appear on the land.

I have also heard it expressed that an individual represents only one part of the physical manifestation of their dreaming – yongka tail, for example. Combined with all others of that dreaming, however, the whole physical manifestation of yongka is represented.

I would now like to put forward the concept of money dreaming. I believe all human beings today are assigned this totem. And I believe they are assigned it at birth, if not earlier, though, again, not arbitrarily.

No matter what culture we live in on Earth, there now exists some form of money – and therefore some form of money dreaming. The question is whether we are awake to it or not.

Have we observed the qualities and characteristics of money so well that we can say we truly know it – that we are able to be responsible for it – to care for it, and for others – to not hoard it for ourselves – to live not off our own dreaming and the fruits thereof, but off the dreaming and work of others, as they live off ours?

Do we recognise that every other human being holds another part of the puzzle, without which it would be incomplete?

Everyone as money dreaming.

John Stubley has a Ph.D. in English and Comparative Literature (Creative Writing). He has received a writer’s residency with the Jack Kerouac Project of Orlando, Florida, as well as an Australian Postgraduate Award. John is the founder of the Centre for Social Poetry, and co-founder of RePerth, Occupy the Future and MacroScope Solutions.

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