Innovations Integrating the Three Levels of Perceived Reality

To the verb-noun innovations we saw in earlier posts, the possibility-light level adds an additional dimension of potentiality, opening up even greater choice, freedom, and flexibility for responding to the conditions and demands life presents.  Said another way, if what is possible is not visible, and if there is no sense of how capacities and relationships can develop over time – that is, if one is stuck in a noun-things perspective, or even a verb-development perspective – then the options for how one responds are limited.  The innovations I will now share illustrate how some groups and individuals are able to hold all three perspectives together and what they can accomplish by operating at all three levels as part of their work.

Groups that operate at all three levels take a distinctive approach when looking through the four lenses.  They think first about what they would like to achieve. Then they consider what resources would support them in achieving that objective and how to develop those resources over time, so that they can have what they need when they need it.  In organizing human interaction, these groups look for, recognize and invite in the potential they see in the people they work with and in their relationships.  They choose the capacities and relationships to be developed over time and in this way are able to bring out the best at any given moment.  Finally, they think about value in terms of their vision of what is possible, including the benefits to be enjoyed by both the people within the group and those who interact with it as the result of the development of their capacities and relationships.

This three-level approach both envisions abundance and takes the steps needed to bring it into reality.  In addition, it avoids the “costs of scarcity” experienced at the things-noun and development-verb levels that are not experienced when simultaneously engaging all three levels together.  I will share some examples I have found in the next posts.


Transformative Organization of Human Interactions through Light-Verb-Noun Levels

You can now see how, in the figure below, that when you see organizing at the light level, you experience collaboration towards the highest harmonic vibrancy available within the group.  Working with the harmonic vibrancy is supported by “inspirited” structures that simultaneously support all five primary relationships.  When you filter out possibility, from the light level of organizing, you ground the harmonic vibrancy in specific opportunities for cooperative development and relationship building, at the verb level of organizing.  This is supported by structures focused on each group’s charter.  When you filter out time, from the verb level of organizing, you find the overlapping needs of individuals in the here and now, at the noun level of organizing.  This is supported by competition among incorporated structures focused on the needs of each group.



This highlights the insights gained over the past century at the light, verb, and noun levels of organizing, and how they interweave.  At this stage of human evolution, people want to learn how to work with all three levels simultaneously, transforming the infinite abundance of the light level of organizing to the experience of abundance at the verb level and sufficiency at the noun level of organizing.  This way people can experience the greater harmonic available by integrating all three levels, as in the figure below.



Implications for previous agreements

In the course of your life, you engage in organizing your interactions with others at the light, verb, and noun levels.  What you do at each level is very different.  How you see the potential in individuals and in the group, at the light level, is completely different than the development and relationships at the verb level.  Both of these are quite different than the contracting at the noun level.  You have also seen how collaboration is completely different from cooperative-competition and competition.  You know this, from your own experience.  What you know can change the agreements you make when you organize.

Most agreements today around how you organize your interactions start with the concept of contracting.  This belief focuses on the noun level of organizing.  Through contracts you agree on everything, from how much you pay for your phone and electric bill to your jobs to the taxes you pay and the price you pay for a banana at the grocery store.  These are all contractual agreements you enter, whether you are aware of them or not.  This is noun thinking, and it seems to work well.  Nonetheless, it does not include the verb and light levels of organizing.  Not integrating the verb and light levels of organizing decreases the group’s ability to attract higher potential people and bring in higher potential relationships, increasing duplication of efforts, decreasing the health of the work environment, and decreasing the group’s intellectual and social capital.  Fortunately, you have also seen that people are very comfortable organizing at all three levels, making it possible to shift the organizing agreements you enter.

An April 2011 article in the leading business magazine Forbes, whose motto is being “the capitalist’s tool,” highlights the predominance of the “obvious” noun-level approach to people, stating that, “the only three true job interview questions are: (1) can you do the job; (2) will you love the job; (3) can we tolerate working with you?  These look at (the candidates) strengths, motivation, and fit.”[1]

It is also clear that the movement from light to verb to noun levels of organizing leads to different results than the other way around.  Starting with a noun-level understanding of organizing, with scarcity driving contracts and an environment of competition, it is very difficult to add time and relationship to get to alliances and cooperation.  It is even more difficult to add possibility to arrive at expansive invitations and a collaborative environment.  Starting from the other end though is straightforward.  From light, you start with the assumption of infinite possibility, choosing to manifest specific verbs, which will meet in particular ways to become nouns here and now to address specific needs you choose – all from abundance.  In a space of expansive invitation and collaboration, you can choose flows where you enter cooperative alliances around specific developmental flows and relationships.  Within the cooperative flows, you can agree to very specific and concrete terms under which specific needs are met.  Both processes work with the interweaving of light, verb, and noun levels of organizing, and arrive at completely different experiences of what is possible.  The other goods news is that people around the globe are understanding this.  In the process, they are innovating many new organizing forms for working with abundance-based agreements, including new forms of the inspirited, chartered, and incorporated organizations (see figure below).  The framework of ecosynomics provides a light for identifying these people and learning from their experience.

Connection to big questions for value and resources

The big questions around organizing looked at why people organize in the first place, how to increase efficiency through agreements, and the specific structures and incentives to support these agreements.  As you explore these organizing questions, it becomes clear that the potential you see in people are the very resources the group wants to develop, as are the relationships they have.  You also see that the motivation for organizing a group and for contributing to that group are best expressed in terms of the value exchanged between the individual and the group.  Thus, the questions of organizing clearly interweave with those of value and resources.


[1] In this article, George Bradt interviews leading experts in executive recruitment (Bradt, 2011).

Transforming Value from Possibility to Need-Satisfaction

This post summarizes recent posts on “value.”  Now you can now see that at the possibility-light level, you experience an invitation to the higher potential vibrancy in you (see figure below).  This fills you with possibility-light.  When you filter out possibility, from the light level of value, you find your choice of the development and relationships you will experience over time, at the development-verb level of value.  This fills you with life.  When you filter out time, from the development-verb level of value, you satisfy your needs here and now, at the things-noun level of value.  This fills you with satisfaction.


This highlights the insights gained over the past century at the light, verb, and noun levels of perceived reality, and how they fit together, to experience the total value of available vibrancy (see figure below).  The agreements people make about what value is, how it is exchanged, and who gets it influence all human interactions.  Starting from infinite abundance, at the possibility-light level, suggests a very different experience of value than starting with an assumption of scarcity at the things-noun level.


These posts on value used the lens of “what criteria” to look at the value perceived in the vibrancy experienced in the five primary relationships.  This exploration looked at the three big questions of value, in the light of the three levels of perceived reality.  The next series of posts looks at the lens “how the relationships interact.”

What You Have of Value

Verb to noun

To transform the development-verb level of value to the things-noun level requires filtering out time.  You bring the flow of the verb to a particular moment in space and time, to the here and now.  As one flow overlaps with another, you have a moment that satisfies a need, at the noun level.  In filtering out time, you bring the value at the verb level of access to development and relationship into the specific satisfaction you receive from it right now – its utility for you.  Out of the verb level of value exchange, you find the moment of exchange, where you set the specific value you can agree to in the exchange, which you refer to today as the price.  In the moment of exchange, you filter out time from the verb mode of exchange, the value exchange inquiry, to find a mode that captures and retains that value, what is referred to today as money or the currency you use.  It is interesting that currency is a noun denoting the verb of a current.  In the transformation of the verb to noun, you also filter time out of who influenced the resource dynamics around the distribution of the value in the exchange to see what residual remains in the stock being exchanged.  You see here that the verb to noun transformation of filtering out time brings you to the present of what is available here and now.


At the noun level of value, you experience value as the satisfaction of a perceived need.  This noun is a projection of the shifting verb into a moment in space and time.  This means that it is a choice of where and when to have verbs overlap.  This is a very special instance in space-time, where the energy in the flow of light potential is completely contextualized, and then shifts form.  This is very different than saying that the scarce thing was there and you decided whether you wanted it or not.  From this perspective, choice is drastically limited, as it completely misses the choice in when and where to have two verbs overlap, and only asks if the somewhat arbitrary overlap that we encountered works.  Need satisfaction is the utility you receive from satisfying a perceived need.  This is the realm of utility maximization, as described amply in the economic literature.

Value of exchange

To determine the value of exchange, at the noun level, you integrate the flows of the related verbs, at a specific moment of overlap, in space-time.  This gives you the supply-demand curves of economics.  Supply and demand curves express the rate of change (the derivative) of the value one experiences in the exchange.[1]  Over different prices, the rate each overlapping side is ready to accept and provide changes.  This holds for both the supply and demand sides.  In economic terms, supply and demand determine the price paid for factors of production (land, labor, capital).[2]  This is the noun-level description of value.  The father of modern economics, Adam Smith, suggests the price is a measure of utility, “Nearly all actions of life are governed, at least in part, by desires the force of which can be measured by the sacrifice which people are willing to make in order to secure their gratification: this sacrifice may take many forms…But in our world it has nearly always consisted of the transfer of some definite material thing which has been agreed upon as common medium of exchange, and is called “money.”…Thus then the desirability or utility of a thing to a person is commonly measured by the money price that he will pay for it.”[3]  More significantly, for our exploration of the agreements that guide human interaction, I note that microeconomics starts at the price question, delving into the behaviors of individuals in markets.[4]  This means two things, at this stage.  First, much time and energy has been dedicated to understanding how individuals arrive at a shared understanding of the value of exchange at the noun level – the agreed price.  Second, the microeconomic description of value focuses on the noun level, leaving out the light and verb levels of the human experience of the value of exchange.

Mode of exchange

My colleague Orland Bishop observed that, “Once human beings lose the capacity to give value to something, they have lost the sacred.  They are pursuing something (money) on the planet that others (the Federal Reserve) have said is valuable.”[5]

As time is filtered out of the verb level of the mode of exchange of inquiry in the value exchange, you come to the space-time moment of the exchange itself.  This is where the needs of both parties are potentially satisfied.  The mode you use for this exchange is money.  Money is an instrument that allows the exchange.  Money has a long history of its many, constantly evolving forms, from in-kind exchange to more liquid forms such as the currency you use today.

Interestingly, money is the most taboo topic.  A perceived relationship of scarcity to value, as it expresses in scarcity-based relationships to money, is responsible in our experience for most divorces, family breakups, and community dissonance.[6]  In the scarcity worldview, one’s perceived inner value is an inward projection of one’s accumulation of monetary wealth, a noun.  A projection of a noun is a smaller noun, one’s intrinsic value, which one projects back into the world, unconsciously, as static scarcity.  This is supported by a culture of acceptance of the rules of value generation and exchange as given.  The monetary structures and processes supporting this view of money are defined by scarcity.

Distribution of value in exchange

At the noun level of value, who gets what in the distribution of the value in the exchange focuses on the stock.  At this level, who has something in their stock receives value.  Entering the distribution question from the transformation of light into verb into noun is relatively straightforward.  Entering it from a scarcity-based perspective of the noun is not straightforward.

From the scarcity-based perspective, the seemingly obvious is that who ever has it gets it.  This brings in the question of who has it, which becomes a necessary question of ownership.  While each school of economic thought has the only “right” answer to who owns what, their solution depends completely on the primary relationship they feel to be most important.  For example, in the individualist economics of free markets, the relationship to self comes first.  The individual owns things.  From this perspective, the obvious solution is that whoever has something gets the value generated from that something.  This school of economics suggests, from a theory of surplus, that owners of land are paid rents, owners of labor are paid wages, and owners of capital are paid profits, that which is left over after paying rents and wages.  An innovation that results from this understanding emerged with the perspective on capital describe in the previous chapter on the big questions of resources.  If you have capital, then you can use it to generate more capital.  This is money making money on its own.  Nestled into this example is an assumption of who receives a fixed amount or a variable amount in the exchange.  Typically, rents are paid to owners based on a fixed, negotiated contract over a specified period.  Likewise, wages are paid to labor on a fixed, negotiated contract over a specified period.  These are both fixed, which benefits the land owners and labor, so that they are not at the whims of the manager.  This also allows them to determine whether they are willing to exchange what they have with the managers under the negotiated, relatively risk-free conditions.  The manager has a completely different kind of agreement to value distribution.  The manager’s agreement is variable, based on the net amount of value generated – the value left from what was generated after rents and wages are paid.  This gives the manager the incentive to maximize the value generated, while minimizing the cost of rents and wages, thus promoting efficiency in achieving effectiveness.  Much has been learned from this school.  And, it is not the only school that teaches you something.

The distributive question provides the formal description of what is happening at the noun level of value.  You have an experience of a need that is satisfied here and now.   The formulation is now very simple.  You exchange something (X), thus the formalization of the value experienced at the noun level is:

Value(noun) = X

This formulation shows that whoever has more at the noun level, satisfies more needs at the noun level, and thus perceives more value.  This puts a premium, at the noun level, in having the value – wealth comes from having.  This is the economic formulation of wealth.

[1] For an early description of supply and demand curves, refer to (Marshall, 1890, p. 150).

[2] According to Harvard economist Mankiw, “The price paid to any factor of production – labor, land, or capital – equals the value of the marginal product of that factor…” (Mankiw, 2008, pp. 408-409).

[3] This quote comes from Adam Smith’s famous forging of modern economics, in An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (Smith, 1976, p. 151).  It is curious, from an ecosynomic perspective of light, verb, and noun expressions of value, that most economists today refer to Smith’s work as “The Wealth of Nations,” erasing the initial eight words of the title describing Smith’s perspective on “An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of..”

[4] Economists Heilbroner and Thurow start their explanation of microeconomics, clarifying that “The micro point of view brings us immediately to look into the question of prices” (R. Heilbroner & Thurow, 1994, p. 174).  Likewise, economists Samuelson and Nordhaus write, “microeconomics studies individual prices, quantities, and markets” (Samuelson & Nordhaus, 1995, p. 382).

[5] This insight is from Orland Bishop (Teague, 2010d).  It is currently perceived that money has to be scarce to be valuable.  This is exactly the opposite of the human experience of flow being what is valuable, not the limiting of flow.

[6] This observation on money and life was made by psychotherapist Aaron Kipnis (Teague, 2010b).

Development-verb Reality of Value

Light to Verb

Filter out possibility from the experience of the infinite to get the manifestation of what you can develop in relationship over time.  In value, this means that the experience of the invitation that most enlivens you now comes into relationship with the living into that invitation through the development of specific dimensions of possibility.  In the transformation from possibility-light to development-verb, you see what you can do to maximize the harmonic vibrancy you seek, and how to develop in relationship capacities needed to step into those possibilities.


The development-verb experience of value is value exchange.  This is what remains from the possibility-light-level experience of invitation – what of the invitation is to be developed, in relationship, for your experience.  At the development-verb level, you experience value as the flow of light, which shows up in the five primary experiences of relationship.  While it is clear that at very low levels of economic wealth (money), more money increases the sense of well-being, it is also clear now that above a minimal level of monetary wealth, increases in well-being are unrelated to increases in money.[1]

In the development-verb level of value, you seek to manifest access to what you choose in your experience in the light.  This is what you see when you take out possibility from light.  In the verb, you experience the light in fewer dimensions.  The light is still there: you only experience part of it, in the verb form.  This means that the infinite abundance of value in its light form is still there.  You are just experiencing the aspects of it that you are giving your attention to.  As you begin to develop specific potentials in yourself, such as your ability to play soccer with your nephew, does not mean that the light value has gone away now – all of the value you experienced flowing through you by being in a clearer invitation with the potential is still there.  In this moment, you are living the manifestation of it, in specific dimensions.  Understanding that the verb level of value is a geometric projection of light and all of its infinite abundance, reminds you that you are experiencing the abundance of the infinite.  This is completely different than thinking of the verb level of value as an expansion of the noun level, which starts from scarcity, which is the perspective of the scarcity-based approaches that add process and relationship to the allocation of scarce resources.

Value of exchange

What you experience of value at the verb level is access to development and relationship.  This is the excitement of learning, of the new, of deepening your understanding, of curiosity, of ever better relationships, of great times that make your friendships stronger.

Mode of exchange

As you experience value at the verb level, you exchange it in your primary relationships.  As you enter these relationships, the sages of thousands of years have prepared a reminder, a warning.  They called this monére – a warning or reminder.[2]  This early word became the word used today, money.  They warned that, as you enter the primary relationships, you must remember that you are experiencing the verb level of the infinite flow of the light level, in a particular way.  Thus, you should celebrate it, looking for the abundant beauty and truth in what is manifesting of the infinite.  You needed, and still need, a warning to remind you of how easy it is to forget this.

Exchange at the verb level is a special case of being in relationship to the flow of light in all five of your primary relationships (self, other, group, nature, spirit).  You do not exchange what you pay for what you experienced when I did something.  It is not $5 for every smile that you get from every moment of my creative brilliance on stage.  This would be: a flow in me – ka-ching! – results in a flow in you – ka-ching!  For $50 you expect 10 smiles, thus I better give you 10 brilliances.  Rather it is the gift you give me, to take me out of the exchange world for a few moments to be in the flow of possibility-light, so that you can be in the free flow of my creativity.

Value exchange is simultaneously the fantastic experience of the actual flow of light through your life and one of the subtlest, complicating factors of your life.  How you enter the flow, through the agreements you accept, consciously or not, influences whether you experience abundance or scarcity.

Communities worldwide are experimenting with the underlying assumptions of money in their communities.  They are doing this through complementary currencies – monetary currencies that are used as a complement to the national currency.  They typically remove the interest associated with national currencies.  These complementary currencies are often designed to increase the local velocity of money, linking unmet needs with unused resources.  The velocity of money is how much a currency is exchanged in a given period of time within a given geography.  Simply defined, the amount of value exchanged equals the amount of money times the velocity of money.  This means that when $100 comes into a community, it is available for increasing the total value exchanged in the community.  Most currencies promote coming into the community, say via wages and then be spent at a large store, which usually takes the money right back out of the community.  It was exchanged once.  That was $100 within the community.  However, local communities that promote local use might cause that same $100 to be used a dozen times locally before it leaves the community.  This would be $1,200 of total value exchanged with that $100.  This greatly increases the local output.

Bernard Lietaer documents over 4,800 complementary currencies globally since 1984.[3]  This includes the exchange of hours for national currency, hours for hours, local exchange trading systems of interest-free money, and systems that put a premium on the flow of money, penalizing the store of money.[4]

As an expression of the five primary relationships, complementary currencies engage the development of the individual’s unique gifts, recognition of the other’s gifts, and the benefit of local circulation for the group.  They also specify what is important within the local currency, promoting the flow of that value in the community.  These systems also acknowledge the high leverage of being explicit about what the group wants to promote, why people should exchange value in a particular way, and making that way most efficient.  Most complementary currencies focus on increasing the sufficiency people experience in their lives, which is a deep move from the scarcity invoked by national currencies.

From the harmonic-vibrancy move perspective, complementary currencies move one’s relationship with their own self from taking jobs for fiat currency to engaging in the flow of creativity through unique services provided.  While the fiat currency promotes self-interest, complementary currencies promote relationship building through value exchange networks.  They also promote and acknowledge contributions to and the health of the group.  One’s relationship with nature and spirit are not directly acknowledged in most of these systems.

Distribution of value in exchange

At the verb level, the distribution of value generated in the exchange focuses on who is participating in the development and relationships in the verb flow.  Simply put, who does and has gets a part of the flow.  Those who participate in the inflows and outflows perceive some of the value.

In economics, capitalism is privately owned land and capital, with capital being everything that is not land or labor.[5]  From an ecosynomic lens, capital is the accumulation of the net-flow – inflows less outflows, which are the manifestations of possibility-light flow, in and out.  Possibility flows through me in the act of creating something someone else needs.  When this creative value is exchanged, when the individual “pays” you, value flows in for you (money in).  When you “pay” for a need you have that someone’s creative flow satisfies, value flows from you (money out).  The net difference of the flow in and the flow out is the “capital” you are accumulating.   If what flowed in and what flowed out were symbolic representations of the flow of light-Spirit (creativity), what does it mean to accumulate the net-flow of light-Spirit?  Massive experimentation is exploring the localizing of agreements of what is valued and how it is exchanged.

There resides within the living of agreements a particular human sense of relationship seldom captured by the rules of economics.  Nobel Laureate Stiglitz describes this, “Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.”  The last two words were the key.  Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now!  Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest – in other words, the common welfare – is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being.  de Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook – in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul – it’s good for business.”[6]

The distributive question highlights the formal description of the verb level of value.  As you live into the increasing development of the potential value you saw, you begin to perceive that value.  You perceive it through both the flow and the change in the accumulation.  This describes your verb-level formulation.  The something you experience changes.  It increases from one level (X1) to another (X2).  The difference you experience is the change in that something (dX).  The change you perceive happens through development, from one time (t1) to another (t2).  The time elapsed between the two is the time to develop, in relationship, the new something you saw (dt).  This leads to the formalization of the value experienced at the verb level:

Value(verb) = dX/dt

This formulation shows that whoever influences the inflows and outflows, through their development and the relationships that influence them perceives more value.  This puts a premium, at the verb level, in being the value, doing the value, and having the value – wealth comes from all three at the same time.

[1] These findings are described in many forum lately.  See the “Happiness (and how to measure it)” cover story of The Economist in the December 23rd 2006-January 5th 2007 issue.  For a summary of this research, see (Kahneman & Krueger, 2006; Kahneman, Krueger, Schkade, Schwarz, & Stone, 2006).

[2] The etymology of “money” is uncertain, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, with possible connections to the Latin monére, which means “to warn, remind,” see (“money, n” The Oxford English Dictionary. 2nd ed. 1989. OED Online. Oxford University Press. 4 Apr. 2000 <;.).

[3] For an in-depth study of complementary currencies, see (B. A. Lietaer, 2001; Teague, 2010a) and visit  For the number of complementary currencies, see or (B. Lietaer, 2003, p. 12).  Bernard Lietaer estimates there are over 5,000 community currency systems in operation, as of 2009, as cited in (Gelleri, 2009).  Another estimate in 2006 was 4,000 (Wheatley, 2006).

[4] For more on complementary currencies, see

[5] This definition comes from Nobel Laureate Samuelson (Samuelson & Nordhaus, 1995).

[6] This quote comes from Stiglitz’s writings in (Stiglitz, 2011).  Economists Heilbroner and Thurow describe the limitation of the free market system of determining who gets what part of the value exchanged, “the system has the defects of its virtues.  If it is efficient and dynamic, it is also devoid of values.  It recognizes no valid claim to the goods and services of society except those of wealth and income.  Those with income and wealth are entitled to the goods and services that the economy produces; those without income and wealth receive nothing” (R. Heilbroner & Thurow, 1994, p. 183).

Summarizing Resource Transformations

Digging into the experience of resources at the possibility-light, development-verb, and things-noun levels can overwhelm the senses.  Why does someone need to know this?  Because it is the first step and critical starting point of the whole journey.  If one can realize that resources are abundant, starting with choices made from the light level, the world looks very different than when starting from scarcity.

At the possibility-light level, resources are the potential seen in the five primary relationships.  Filtering out possibility, from the light level of resources, brings the possibilities to life, by giving them intention and attention, at the verb level of resources.  The interrelated flows of resources develop over time, influenced by the intentions brought to them.  Filtering out time, from the verb level of resources, focuses on the need to be satisfied at any given moment in space and time, at the noun level of resources.

This is a momentary outcome.  The momentary outcome of the development of self, other, and group asks the question of, “How much human capacity is available right now?  Economics calls this labor.  Likewise, economics calls the amount of the flow of nature/reality available in the moment land or elaborated nature.  Creating a symbol for the flow of creativity among people, economics refers to the momentary difference in the creativity that flowed in and out as capital.[1]

This highlights the insights gained over the past century at the light, verb, and noun levels of resources, and how they relate to each other.  The task today is to learn how to work with all three levels simultaneously, transforming the infinite abundance of the light level of resources to the experience of abundance at the verb level and sufficiency at the noun level of resources.  This gives access to the abundance available at all three levels, as depicted in the figure below.

The next post looks at the implications of the abundance available through resource transformations for how we look at the value we experience and how we organize human interactions.

[1] A synthesis of much of the environmental and economic thinking about nature, at the noun level, is captured in the term “natural capital,” defined by Paul Hawken, Amory Lovins, and Hunter Lovins as, “the sum total of the ecological systems that support life, different from human-made capital in that natural capital cannot be produced by human activity” (Hawken, Lovins, & Lovins, 1999, p. 151).  From an ecological perspective, they clearly intend “natural capital” at the verb and noun levels, highlighting “living systems” that interweave with people.  “Natural capital includes all the familiar resources used by mankind: water, minerals, oil, trees, fish, soil, air, etcetera.  But it also includes living systems, which include grasslands, savannas, wetlands, estuaries, oceans, coral reefs, riparian corridors, tundras, and rainforests” (Hawken, Lovins, & Lovins, 1999, p. 2).  While they invoke the “living” dimension at the verb level.

Converting Resource Verbs to Nouns

To move from the development-verb level of probability, flow, and relationship to the things-noun level of here and now, I filter out time.[1]  A noun comes into existence when values or verbs overlap to satisfy a need.  When the fibers rushing from the earth through human hands to land fill are seen and taken off the hangar by my daughter, then, at that moment, they become a dress.  Otherwise, the fibers are simply a form of energy being transformed, from sun to minerals to nutrients to silk to fabric to landfill to minerals.  Likewise with the grains rushing from the earth through human hands to land fill.  If they are seen, at a very particular moment in time, they become a piece of bread.  Otherwise they are grains, dough, or stale bread, none of which I want to eat.  The noun expresses when the verb of the fibers or the grains meets the verb of my life at the moment of a “need.”

The point is to realize that most moments in the life of a verb are not recognized as a noun.  It is only when the verb meets another verb in a very particular way that the verb becomes recognized as a noun.  This makes the noun a very special case of the verb.  This deeper understanding comes from seeing that it is the specific overlapping of verbs that brings nouns into being.

To filter out time – to convert a verb into a noun – you look at the changes to the resource over a specific period of time.  As I shared before, this means to add the inflows and subtract the outflows over the same time.  This tells you what is in the stock of the resource at this moment.

[1] To the technically comfortable, to filter out time, we simply integrate the inflows and outflows over a specific period of time.  This simply means that we take what we had at the beginning of the time period, add what came in, and subtract what went out, to end up with the new level of the resource.

Three Levels of Reality in Resources

In previous posts, I looked at resources as things-nouns, development-verbs, and possibility-light.  With these basics of resources, I can show you how they shift the understanding of the big questions for resources.  Looking at the possibility-development-things levels, you experience the substances or resources that support you in very different ways.  When you experience scarcity in the inner circle of the figure below, the resources you have are very tangible nouns, with which you can work.  Economists call these the factors of production – the few nouns you have with which you can produce something.



In the middle circle, you find tangible and intangible resources that accumulate over time, depending on how much is flowing into and out of them.  In the outer circle, resources are how you manifest what you give your intention and attention to – of all the possibilities you could bring into reality, energy starts to converge around what you bring to life.  What do the noun-verb-light levels show about the dominant principles for working with resources in each circle?

Anything that you manifest, that you make real, has gone through a light-verb-noun process.  As will be clear from everything discovered to now, if you start from the light level, you start with abundance and choose for what is manifested here and how.  If you start from the noun, you end up walled into starting with an assumption of scarcity, which will not allow you to get very far.  In the next posts, I will develop that understanding step by step.  While it will take a little while, it will be worth it, as you will then be able to see both the brilliance of what humanity has learned over thousands of years, and how you can make much better use of that learning by starting with different assumptions.