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Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition [Kindle Edition]

Charles Eisenstein
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth. Today, these trends have reached their extreme—but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being.
This book is about how the money system will have to change—and is already changing—to embody this transition. A broadly integrated synthesis of theory, policy, and practice, Sacred Economics explores avant-garde concepts of the New Economics, including negative-interest currencies, local currencies, resource-based economics, gift economies, and the restoration of the commons. Author Charles Eisenstein also considers the personal dimensions of this transition, speaking to those concerned with "right livelihood" and how to live according to their ideals in a world seemingly ruled by money. Tapping into a rich lineage of conventional and unconventional economic thought, Sacred Economics presents a vision that is original yet commonsense, radical yet gentle, and increasingly relevant as the crises of our civilization deepen.

About the Imprint:
EVOLVER EDITIONS promotes a new counterculture that recognizes humanity's visionary potential and takes tangible, pragmatic steps to realize it. EVOLVER EDITIONS explores the dynamics of personal, collective, and global change from a wide range of perspectives. EVOLVER EDITIONS is an imprint of North Atlantic Books and is produced in collaboration with Evolver, LLC.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews


Sacred Economics:

"This brilliant and beautifully written book is an indispensable must-read for all those who believe our economic system is terminally sick and in need of radical, sacred rehaul. Charles Eisenstein has the great gift of being able to make complex ideas both thrilling and inspiring. I hope this book begins a serious, worldwide conversation on how we can reinvent our attitude to money."
—Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism

"I consider Charles Eisenstein one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time. Rarely have I met a person who combines such philosophical and spiritual depth with such practical insights into the cultural and institutional origins of the potentially terminal dysfunctions of modern society—and the potential solutions."
—David Korten, author of The Great Turning

"If you want a convincing account of just how deep the shift in our new axial age is and must be, look no further than this brilliant book by Charles Eisenstein, one of the deepest integrative thinkers active today."
—Michel Bauwens, founder of the P2P Foundation

"With his breadth of knowledge, enthusiasm, commitment, diligence, and sensitivity, Charles has become a beacon of hope for others. Your heart and mind will be opened by this treasure of a book that shines with wisdom of crucial importance to our troubled world today."
—Kamran Mofid, founder of the Globalisation for the Common Good Initiative

Also by Charles Eisenstein:
The Ascent of Humanity:

"Brilliant and original, with great depth of insight and understanding, Eisenstein's Ascent of Humanity easily ranks with the works of such giants of our age as David Bohm, Julian Jaynes, Jean Gebser, Whitehead. It is a profoundly serious, indeed somber portrait of our times, even as it opens a door of honest hope amidst the dark destiny we h...

About the Author

Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His writings on the web magazine Reality Sandwich have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine's "25 Intelligent Optimists" issue, David Korten (author of When Corporations Rule the World) called Eisenstein "one of the up-and-coming great minds of our time." Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in Mathematics and Philosophy, and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. He currently lives in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and serves on the faculty of Goddard College.

Product Details

  • File Size: 749 KB
  • Print Length: 498 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1583943978
  • Publisher: EVOLVER EDITIONS (July 12, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,271 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beyond 5 Stars, an Integrative Pioneering Work August 14, 2011
Sacred Economics is the second book in the new Evolver Editions imprint, following Jose Arguelles Manifesto for the Noosphere: The Next Stage in the Evolution of Human Consciousness. Other books in the first season include What Comes After Money?: Essays from Reality Sandwich on Transforming Currency and Community, The Secret Tradition of the Soul, The Four Global Truths: Awakening to the Peril and Promise of Our Times, The Electric Jesus: The Healing Journey of a Contemporary Gnostic, Star Sister: How I Changed My Name, Grew Wings , and Learned to Trust Intuition, and Nothing and Everything - The Influence of Buddhism on the American Avant Garde: 1942 - 1962.

I read a lot, and the one word that really describes this book is "integrative." The author describes, in three parts, what is wrong with what he calls the "economics of separation," today's money and financial network economy that lacks soul or spirit; its alternative, the "economics of reunion" in which all forms of transaction have memories, gifts and reciprocal gifts and localized forms of exchange rule, and economics is fully integrated with society to produce social and cultural dividends.
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Book I've Been Waitng For September 2, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Charles Eisenstein's recent book, "Sacred Economics," is the book I've been waiting for. Finally, a brilliant scholar has produced a comprehensive and prescriptive vision for a future that promises to escape the dystopian path humanity is now embarked upon, although not without prompting my caveats.

Lucidly written, the first part of the book explains the increasingly dysfunctional workings of the grow-or-die financial economy in great (and often reiterative) detail. For some, this will be tough sledding because his analysis undercuts the Chicago School of Economics ideology that is constantly beaten into our brains by the mainstream media. The material he integrates is abstract with many independent variables.

He makes crystal clear what some of us have known for a long time about the roots of poverty, climate change, environmental destruction, wealth concentration, the erosion of democracy, and the destruction of the human spirit under corporate rule. He carefully and logically deconstructs the arguments put forward by the spokespeople for the present system.

More importantly, he combs the entire history of the world for ideas and practices that have shown us the way out of the traps set by a money system based on artificial, contrived scarcities and the theft of the commons. In Chapter 17 he puts all these together as a symbiotic interconnected program for a peaceful transition to a stable, sustainable economy in harmony with Nature. If you find the previous chapters to be preaching to the choir (the book is 469 pages long) go directly here and then backtrack to pick up the pieces.

But he doesn't stop here, and that's where I think he begins to get himself in trouble. He questions the "meta-Stories" that we tell ourselves about who we are.
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54 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most important book of the decade August 14, 2011
By dam9
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an absolutely astonishing book; a must read. We ordinarily don't think of economics as sacred. In a way we often see economics and the sacred as opposites. Perhaps: economics as worldly, and the sacred as otherworldly. As Eisenstein (correctly) asserts, this is part of the problem. Compactly, thoughtfully, and with feeling - Eisenstein shows how the history of economics and of our relationship to money have led us to this moment in history. This moment in history means: a time when the earth is on the verge of multiple ecological crises, and when our economic system itself is similarly on the verge.

Indeed, Eisenstein's work well predicts the current malaise and multiple crises the world is presently undergoing. Most importantly, Eisenstein shows us (and the world) the way through this mess and into a fundamentally more sane, more sound, and more soulful (sacred) economic system.

Do you ever wonder what will happen to the world in the next twenty to thirty years? This book will show you. Never has there been a more pressing time in history, and never has there been a book that so clearly shows us how we got here, what is unfolding before our eyes, and most importantly, where might we go from here? This includes, specifically, not just what will happen to our economic system if we are to survive, but what you and I can do starting today to make this more humane and bountiful future come into being.

I don't ordinarily review books, but am moved to do so because this is such a masterpiece of a book.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Repeats what's already out there
I was somewhat disappointed on this book. It covers much ground that I have previously read elsewhere. I find Eisenstein's style of writing to be tedious and long winded. Read more
Published 5 days ago by John Adams
5.0 out of 5 stars special book
Charles seems to be well educated in many fields. His writings inspired many new ideas from me, including the realization of how little we talk about our relationship with money. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Alan Polk
4.0 out of 5 stars It shows really good pointa in a very human way
It shows really good pointa in a very human way, but is way too long. It could say the same in a third of the length
Published 15 days ago by Daniel
3.0 out of 5 stars Gotta Change My Way of Thinking; Gonna Get Myself a Different Set of...
Frank Zappa wrote a song about this type of analysis: "Cosmic Debris." Actually, it is insightful - but much too ethereal to be practical. Read more
Published 20 days ago by SoberMoney
5.0 out of 5 stars This is an Absolutely Fascinating Book. I Took Seven Pages of...
This is an absolutely fascinating book. I took seven pages of tiny-handwriting notes.

It's also one that made me cry out "Is he crazy? Read more
Published 1 month ago by Shel Horowitz
5.0 out of 5 stars Sacred Economics will change your thinking!
This book is excellent. Charles Einstein is an amazing author who makes you look at our financial world in a totally different manner. Read more
Published 2 months ago by T. M. McBroom
4.0 out of 5 stars There Might Be More Than One Way To Do Things
Mr. Elsenstein makes very valid statements in this book, and he states them very eloquently.
One of these statements: “Our cultural and spiritual capital: the things that... Read more
Published 2 months ago by vinnie
4.0 out of 5 stars Transformational
Although this book has some ideas which will not work, many of the ideas herein are very valuable and quite revolutionary for our global society today. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Craig Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars sound ideas
A very useful and in these times very important book. Charles gives a very good overview of ideas and directs you to plenty of interesting other writers. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michel
love love love... Not yet read the entire thing, but I will keep reading it, over and over, for the rest of my life, learning how to, and become part of society with no need for... Read more
Published 3 months ago by anniken udbye morch
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