In the first half, contributing editor at Wired,David Wolman, discussed the history of cash money, the liabilities of it and why people are so attached to physical, paper currency. As an experiment, he tried living without cash for a year to see what problems and realizations would occur. Using cards and other forms for payment, "many weeks would go by actually when I wouldn't notice that I was cashless, then all of a sudden I'd run into a pickle," such as when he tried to convince the babysitter's father to open a Paypal account on the fly. So many people are frightened by the idea of a cashless or digital money future, yet "the reality is, like it or not, we are already in the soup with electronic money. In other words, most money today is already zeros and ones on distant servers," he said.
Rather than ponder whether we'll become a cashless society, the more interesting question is what is money in the first place, and what gives it its value, Wolman remarked. Money is held up by the faith and trust we have in the issuing institution. Yet, many people are hungry for a change, and seeking alternative forms of currency that can get them away from monetary ties to the government. The digital 'Bitcoin,' independent of a central authority has emerged, and local currencies have been tried out in such places as Berkshire, MA and Ithaca, NY. People don't necessarily want to buy "a coffee table from CrateandBarrel.com, made in India, using their VISA card. They want to buy a coffee table from a local furniture maker down the street. So why not use a local currency to do that?" he asked.
In the latter half, medium James Van Praagh spoke about the afterlife, as well as his forthcoming book on the grieving process that he co-authored with Doreen Virtue. Everyone grieves differently, just as their relationship to the deceased person was unique, he pointed out. It's important that people realize that dying is a part of life, a process in which everything is changing, he said, even though the soul never dies and continues on very much alive. The grieving can become aware that they're still connected to a deceased loved one on the soul level, "and if they open up their minds and listen to the little subtle whispers, they might hear their loved one or feel them close to them," he shared. Interestingly, Praagh said the deceased are sometimes in a position to help their living loved ones more from the Other Side than they were in life.
Several months back, he assisted his colleague Debbie Ford with a meditation process to help her come to terms with her passing. After her death, she communicated to him that she felt "part of the oneness of the wholeness." On the Other Side, we become part of everything, and we're all connected, he noted.