Letting Go of Fiat Means Letting Go of Bitcoin

Letting Go of Fiat Means Letting Go of Bitcoin

This article is featured in Bitcoin Magazine’s “The Withdrawal Issue”. Click here to subscribe now.

A PDF pamphlet of this article is available for download.

Letting go of the fiat world also means being able to let go of Bitcoin. Let me explain by telling you a story about how I died.

I grew up in Germany as the oldest of four brothers. My father worked at the local energy company but outside of that he was always politically active. Aged 16, he joined the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) — equivalent to the Democrats in the USA. His

life, and therefore mine, was dominated by the SPD. He spent a lot of time helping with campaigns and doing political work; sometimes it felt like he had forgotten that he had kids. But that was okay. One day he asked me and my brothers if he should run for mayor in our hometown of 350,000 souls. We said yes, of course. We were excited for him. I was excited. He announced his candidacy and the campaign took off.

I followed his lead and joined the Social Democratic Party. I wanted to support him and the cause. I identified with his political views and those of the SPD, and I thought this was the only “right way” to see things, and see the world. The Conservative kids at my school started debating me on political issues. I love debating people. But with them I used to get very angry because — in all honesty — I had no arguments other than my father’s. And every time it made my blood boil.

I believed in things like universal basic income and that capitalism was the cause of all evil.

I hated people like Donald Trump or similar figures from Germany who were considered “right wing”, and I never questioned that I was on the “right” side.

You might wonder now, “What does this have to do with Bitcoin?” Please bear with me; we’ll get there. I started attending party meetings and got to know other party members — young leftist students, mostly men. I always had an odd feeling when I went to those meetings. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but in retrospect I was always uncomfortable being around them. I didn’t know why, but what I observed was a discrepancy between what my fellow party members said and how they acted and appeared. It was as if they didn’t even believe their own ideas.

However, a couple of months later, my father won the election and became city mayor. It was an exciting time. I’ve never had so much attention in my life. I felt like a local celebrity: People would recognize me and suddenly everyone was so friendly.

A year passed and my interest in politics waned. Although I wasn't a passionate party member before, I began skipping meetings. Nevertheless, I still remained a member. The years passed.

Then it was 2020. Governments all around the world locked people down, confining them to their homes. COVID-19 restrictions dominated our lives. My freelance jobs dried up; I was effectively ordered to stop working as a filmmaker. I had nothing to do all day. A couple of months before, a good friend told me and my girlfriend about Bitcoin. And now that I had the time, I started looking into it and inevitably, dear reader, I fell deeply down the rabbit hole. I don’t think I need to explain how that went.

This whole intellectual process triggered some kind of pain. The more I read books and listened to podcasts, the more I realized how little I knew about how the world works. And I slowly but surely realized that the worldview that I had, mostly influenced by my father’s political views, was certainly not my own. Everything I once identified with was suddenly ripped from me, as if something had taken my sense of self. Opinions I believed I held about politics, society, government and money, of course, transcended into an orange light. It was so painful because up until then, I thought that all those things were deeply embedded in my personality. On top of that, I realized that the ideas in my head weren’t even mine; they were my father’s, my mother’s, my fellow students’, my friends’. Certainly not mine. And I never questioned it. Learning about Bitcoin makes you question everything. This triggers an awakening and ultimately leaves you being forced to let go of everything you once believed in. Lesson learned. The side effects include your friends and family thinking you’re going crazy, especially if you criticize COVID-19 restrictions. But it was worth it.

If you let go of your worldview, you tend to exchange it with another one. I’ve observed this a lot in the Bitcoin community.

Many Bitcoiners have identified themselves with Bitcoin so deeply that their life depends on it. Not only materialistically, but mentally. And in the unlikely event that Bitcoin might not succeed, they would be completely lost. And I think if you self-identify with an idea, you are living in an illusion; everything, and I mean literally everything, is just a temporary state. There’s a Greek saying: “panta rhei” (English: “everything flows”). Nothing is solid. And that is true for everything, even for Bitcoin. But don’t take my word for it. Experience it yourself, observe life, nature, people, and you will find that things come and go.

In order to fully embrace Bitcoin, you have to be able to let it go. You can only see the full picture at all times when you distance yourself from it and question everything. That’s what made me realize that my previous worldview had a shaky foundation. I was only able to become aware of that through letting go of everything and taking one step back to look at it from an outsider’s point of view — the way you observe the water from behind a waterfall. It affected my whole life situation. I no longer tie people to their ideas.

To some, this might be helpful because I see Bitcoiners on Twitter — and even worse, in real life — getting angry at people who dislike or disagree on Bitcoin. Those people get angry because their personality is so tied up with the idea of Bitcoin that they see criticism of it as an attack on them, on their personality, and on their sense of self.

The chances that Bitcoin might fail are extremely low. But they will increase if we continue to question everything at all times. See the big picture.

We all work together but individually, we have to let go in order to be ultimately free.

All of this happened within the last three years. Time has passed incredibly fast. I wonder how, if my sense of self is not tied to an idea, then what is it tied to? This question goes beyond Bitcoin and it is so existential that I do not dare to answer it for you. I can only encourage you to ask yourself.

Who are you?

Who am I?

This article is featured in Bitcoin Magazine’s “The Withdrawal Issue”. Click here to subscribe now.

A PDF pamphlet of this article is available for download.

This is a guest post by Siddharta. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

 
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