Economy as we know it, as is most widely understood and implemented in society, is one of managing wealth and exchanging goods. A system of “getting", of acquiring what is needed or desired. Giving is only a means to an end in such a system, one side of the exchange, and has nothing to do with generosity or goodness. This understanding of economy differs greatly from spirituality and the internal journey but it needn’t by necessity. There is a way of integrating our physical world and systems with the spiritual; living and thinking in such a way that the physical and spiritual realms combine to create a state that can accurately and truly be described as heaven on earth. There are differences in perspective of operating in either a worldly or spiritually oriented economy though both are participating in the natural, physical realm.
The way of Love and the spiritual path is often quite the opposite of the ways of the world. In regards to spiritual truth and reality, love and generosity are, at least practically speaking, synonymous. To give is to Love; to Love is to give. Again, and I must restate this for emphasis, giving for the sake of receiving, a mere exchange of commodities, is not an expression of or directly related to love. Giving can occur for many reasons and can achieve a variety of ends, but to give from a heart overflow, out of compassion, care, or for joy or pleasure; giving for the sake of blessing and spreading, this is the economy of Love. There are conditions which associate giving as Loving as opposed to the worldly system of just buying.
In the economy of love there is no debt. No one loses. No one owes anything to another. Debt is not simply or magically erased in an economy of love, it never exists in the first place! On a practical, monetary level this looks like no repayment or interest. In love and generosity nothing is expected in return. If I give to you from a place of love I'm not concerned about coming out ahead or even breaking even in the end. I give because you have a need. I bless for the sake of blessing. End of exchange. This applies to every other aspect of life as well. If I'm kind it's not to receive kindness but I act for the joy of being kind. I don't offer you a hand up so that the favor will be returned in the future, I do it because it's the way of goodness and traveling the way of Goodness is the path I'm on, the path to growing into my fullest and truest expression of Self. I'm not saying it's wrong to exchange goods, lend money, or to be helpful knowing you will need help in return at some point, but these motives should not be confused with the economy and generosity that is love.
In the economy of love one does not think of oneself primarily. The reason behind this is not one of self-deprecation or deprivation. Love doesn't concern itself with others because of hatred of self; our “self” is to be loved, appreciated and cherished. Love looks outward and concerns itself with that which is other because of a deep realization that All Is One, that there is no “other”. Love focuses on blessing and caring for that which is outside it's small self because it knows that our larger and True Self is a collective being and state that includes everything and excludes nothing. Love blesses and offers because to bless is to be blessed. This is no exchange, bartering or neediness, it's the reality of things. To give is to receive in the deepest in the Truest sense.
The last essential difference (at least for this short blogs purposes) between worldly and spiritual economy is that the Economy of Love is limitless in both scope and potential. Love finds a way. It is not restrained by scarcity. In the economy of love the only limiting factor to giving is the scope of need. Once a need is met giving can stop, not because of shortage but because it's purpose in the moment has been fulfilled. As I mentioned before, operating in a system of Love means thinking beyond oneself. In doing so we (all those operating in love) are more concerned with blessing and generosity than self-preservation. This enables us to give beyond our perceived means and ability. Those participating in the Economy of Love aren't governed by fear of lack or scarcity because they know, as was also mentioned, that they aren't trapped in a system of giving to receive. Giving is receiving and all their needs will be naturally and practically met as they engage in generosity.
The way that these ideas and spiritual concepts apply and become practical in our everyday lives is through a heart change. Those moving in the direction of connecting with reality through a more spiritually oriented paradigm will naturally begin moving in this direction as their hearts soften and they realize, more and more, that they and everyone else are loved. This experience of love is largely the path and goal of the spiritual pursuit. We stop seeing people as commodity. We recognize money for the basic tool it is and its value is reduced in our lives (no longer valuing it over other people, relationships or even nature and creation). In the end, as we participate in an economy of love and grace, we realize deeply that giving, blessing and honoring are sources of deepest pleasure and are the most useful and beautiful ways of engaging with the people around us and the world we live in.