I try not to barter (consciously trade) with other individuals in this world. But I do trade with the Universe, with God, if you will - as do wild creatures. Barter (conscious trade) is simply money in a less convenient form. So you use a cow to trade rather than a coin; what's the difference? Except that it makes more sense to use a coin or a bill than a cow, if you're going to trade. Why not use what's more convenient?
Better yet, don't use any of it. Give up all conscious trade. Just freely give what is needed and freely take what you need and don't think about trade. Let God take care of trade. Give up all thought of credit and debt, and only then will everything balance out. "Vengeance is mine, I will repay," says the Universe.
Go to a "progressive" barter fair and you will see what I mean: the same glazed-eye greed as you will see at a Wal Mart.
A phrase I use to refer to conscious trade (money and barter) is Thought of Credit and Debt, a term I use for the Judaeo-Christian term, the Knowledge of Good and Evil, the one unique thing that separates us from other animals and from the rest of nature. Renouncing this Thought of Credit and Debt is the way to return to the Balance of Nature, and it is the principle that drives me into this lifestyle. In Christian terminology, it is about giving back control of Redemption to the Divine Redeemer, the All. In Hindu, Buddhist, and Islamic terminology, it is about renouncing the fruit (reward) of our action. It is about doing for the sake of doing, not doing out of ulterior motivation. It is about Unconditional Love (Grace), not Conditional "Love" (Law), which is not really love.
I discuss our taking on Thought of Credit and Debt in two essays here:
I have been told that trade has been known in nature, particularly primates. This I do not dispute. But what I am talking about is conscious trade. Trade is, in fact, the very Law of the Universe. Trade is basic physics. Every Positive must be met with an equal Negative. Every Action must be met with an equal Reaction. The world's faiths all describe this Law: the Law of Karma, the Law of Yin-Yang, the Law of Sow-and-Reap, the Law of Recompense. This Law is, in fact, blatant proof that we have no need to control Credit and Debt. It happens automatically all around us, else the Universe would fall apart. You don't have to worry about your next breath when you breathe out. But we have lost faith in this most Basic Law.
There have been studies of primates that show, either that they practice what looks like barter, or they have been taught simple trade. However, when you examine such studies, you find everything shows that such trade in wild nature is not conscious, and, if trade becomes conscious, it must be taught to animals by us--us who have Knowledge of Good and Evil. Check out these articles:
Yes, this is about bartering with the Universe, with God, if you will. What you give is given back to you by Jah. "Payback is Mine, I will repay, says Jah." What I give to you I really give to Jah, and Jah gives back to me. There is never a mistake in transaction, no getting gipped, no bargain fighting, as in the world of Canaan (literally, Canaan means "commerce"). How do I know this? Because Nature is in perfect balance, in perfect Justice, perfect payback, while we have yet to witness any commercial civilization that is just, that can even balance its budget. The injustice of crimes, both in politics and in the streets, is only a reflection of the injustice of commerce, the attempt to control payback, which belongs to Jah.
Is this not what our own religion teaches us?
Give, and it will be given to you:
good measure, pressed down, shaken together,
and running over will be put into your bosom.
For with the same measure that you use,
it will be measured back to you.
It's interesting that even our English word barter derives from the Old French barater, which means "to cheat, deceive." Cheating is the unavoidable fruit of barter.