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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 (80 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

Review

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
  • ASIN: B004ZZNNKU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,859 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
75 of 79 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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56 of 62 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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25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's worth $20,000 and more !! September 5, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I read a book a day, run a Body Mind Spirit Book Club, spent half my earnings in book stores, but I have never written a book review until now. If you still don't see how important this book is to me, maybe you should know I wrote off a $20,000 debt someone owed me and asked nothing of him in return except to read this book. And I have to add that I don't really have that sort of money to throw away. This is how bad I want everyone to read it, because on its pages are not words but a vision of hope for the future of humanity.

I will keep this short because the average person don't have time to read too many long reviews. I have no intention to expand on what others have already said about the book. While they had done a wonderful job, I don't think any summary or synopsis will do it justice. The ideas it covered are so radical and with so many ramifications that it will easily be dismissed by most as impractical and over-idealistic if read in snippets. Half way through my reading of it, I was still skeptical if ignorance, social conditioning and resistance could ever be overcome, but every chapter took me one step closer to believing that it's really the answer I had been waiting for. It's a manual for the future ! I have my work cut out for me. Everyone has a part to play and that's why everyone should read it. And like a manual, it has to be read from cover to cover !
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prepare to be shaken to the core November 4, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Do you want to live in a world where humans treat each other and all of creation as the sacred gifts we are? Read this book.
Do you want to know how to protect yourself from our slow-motion train wreck that is the global debt-based economy? Read this book.
Do you want to obliterate any blocks you might have about money so that we might all share in abundance? Read this book.
Do you want to live your life as your soul intended? Read this book.
Are you prepared to unlearn everything you thought you knew about money? Read this book.

This is one of the most important books I've ever read. There were definitely some parts I didn't agree with at first reading. Some of it felt a little "utopia-ish" or "pie-in-the-sky." But then I got it. Eisenstein has seen not only the world that could be, but the world that IS BECOMING. He is a true modern day prophet. He has looked deeply at economics and discovered an understanding so deep that he has left me in awe.

This book forced me to confront and abandon many of my assumptions about the nature of reality, of humanity, and of myself. If you are like me and some of the book seems a bit unrealistic, I urge you, please keep an open mind until the end. It might just change your life. Eisenstein might just be seeing right into the heart of the world that is emerging in front of us.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great book! Highly recommend it! A wonderful vision of our possible future.
Published 4 days ago by juliet paloma glass
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful read. I think it helps introduce new ideas ...
Wonderful read. I think it helps introduce new ideas that should be part of the current discussion throughout the world in terms of economics and the basic functioning of modern... Read more
Published 18 days ago by matt
5.0 out of 5 stars An enlightening and thorough study of the economics for the ...
An enlightening and thorough study of the economics for the future. We need this book and the intelligence of this author to help us transit into a more peaceful era.
Published 24 days ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Shifting our concepts of how economics can work to benefit all.
Introductory portion to build foundation for theories and ideals was a bit much to wade through but the background was worth reading; it did set a good stage for concepts presented... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marley Beard
5.0 out of 5 stars How the world economy must change
The author has studied economics, and his knowledge comes through the further one gets into the book. Read more
Published 2 months ago by red riding hood
5.0 out of 5 stars Good ideas. Will never gain traction
Good ideas. Will never gain traction, too many vested interests in keeping things the same.
Published 2 months ago by LO
3.0 out of 5 stars It would have satisfied me more to have read about what people are ...
I am engaged with the subject yet the book was way to long, It would have satisfied me more to have read about what people are doing that is shifting the paradigm into Sacred... Read more
Published 3 months ago by shoshana frumkin
4.0 out of 5 stars Great heart, good questions, abstract proposals
I want to give Eisenstein great marks for his courage to dream and his massive determination to figure out a better kind of economy. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Brian Griffith
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 3 months 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 4 months ago by Alan Polk
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