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The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible (Sacred Activism Book 2) Kindle Edition
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—Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“It is rare to find, in such digestible portions, so rich a feast for mind and heart."
—Joanna Macy, author of Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're in without Going Crazy
“When I read Charles Eisenstein I felt as if I had just put on an extraordinarily clear, lucid, morally honest set of glasses. I see my outer and inner worlds in penetrating detail. He isn't just describing a possible world. He is helping us find our way to it.”
—Vicki Robin, author of Your Money or Your Life
“Charles Eisenstein is a cultural investigative journalist, questioning the perpetually unexamined assumptions of both conventional and counter-cultural thinking. He is a cultural storyteller, a visionary who gives us a glimpse of what the new Story of the People may look like, how we might get there, and how close we are to it.”
—Mark Boyle, author of The Moneyless Manifesto
“God damn this is good! This version of the big story by Charles Eisenstein is one of the best I have ever heard. Charles, you are speaking for millions of us and we so know what you are saying to be true. We will absolutely tell the whole fucking world about it.”
—Brad Blanton, author of Radical Honesty
“The more beautiful world I inhabit accords with Charles Eisenstein's vision: a world where we embrace the shadow and give it name so that the healing can begin. Take this book and let it seep into your very being.”
—Polly Higgins, author of Eradicating Ecocide, barrister and earth lawyer
“This book will change your world. It is beautiful because Charles Eisenstein has the courage to be vulnerable and it is in acknowledging our vulnerability that we will realize our greater humanity.”
—Revd Peter Owen-Jones, presenter of Around the World in 80 Faiths, author, and priest
"One does not 'read' this book, but rather interacts with it. And take heed, it will open your heart and mind, arouse ire and derision, and change the way you think about your life. Beautifully written, heart-warming, and thought-provoking, Eisenstein will undoubtedly be noted in history as a pivotal storyteller."
—New Conciousness Review
On Sacred Economics
"This brilliant and beautifully written book is a must-read for all those who believe our economic system is terminally sick and in need of radical, sacred rehaul. 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
On The Ascent of Humanity
"Brilliant and original, with great depth of insight and understanding. The Ascent of Humanity easily ranks with the works of such giants of our age as David Bohm, Julian Jaynes, Jean Gebser, Alfred North Whitehead...."
—Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of The Crack in the Cosmic Egg
“A powerful pick for any who would combine spiritual perspectives with social change. This book thwarts cynicism and offers keys to connecting personal choices to powerful change. … An uplifting, inspirational, spiritual and social examination recommended for a wide range of readers looking for positive encouragement.”
—Midwest Book Review --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- File Size : 4848 KB
- Publication Date : November 5, 2013
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 289 pages
- Publisher : North Atlantic Books (November 5, 2013)
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- ASIN : B00CQZ5M5A
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Language: : English
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #184,648 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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"The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible" serves as a handbook to the midwives of a new age, a spiritual guide to the permaculture/new economics nomads, a wake up call for those in Silicon Valley and the Financial District who have found success in our current world, and an inspiration to burnt out hippies to give this love thing one more try.
We find ourselves at a transition between ages, moving from the Age of Separation to the Age of Interbeing. Humanity is in a stage of adolescence. But our entrance into young adulthood is by no means guaranteed, although change is inevitable. I find the title to be misleading, as the book isn't about the Age of Interbeing, but rather, how to get there. This is likely the more useful topic.
Some would say we've been here before. G. I. Gurdjieff talks about a time before the sand storms of the Caucuses 7,000 years ago when human civilization was at least as developed as it is today. The Shivapuri Baba said we're coming to the close of a 6,000-year period; and as humanity is much older than that, his statement infers there have been cycles of development before this one. Ancient Origins would have us believe that the distant past of our race has been anything but primitive.
Regardless of whether you pay those sources any attention, something does set this stretch of human history apart from anything in recent millennia: the ecological limits with which we've already begun to collide. Deep Green Resistance can get you a good sense of the circumstances. Certain communities have periodically reached these limits before on a regional scale, but this time it's global.
Are we going to make it this time? Why didn't we make it last time? Charles might liken the first question to the way that Bill McKibben talks of global warming. Speaking at Slow Money in 2011, I remember Bill reminding us that it's our obligation to have hope when pondering the possibility of coming to right relationship with the biome of the planet earth. Behaving as say, Goldman Sachs, has, putting the economy before the planet, has no possibility but failure. So why not look on the bright side?
Late in the book Charles gets into his view of miracle. A miracle is an impossible event. And what defines possible? Our worldview, our paradigm. One aspect of this transition between ages involves a fundamental shift in perspective. In the Age of Interbeing, there are no islands in the universe. Every being has a relationship with every other being. Questions of scale take on a very different meaning. From the perspective of Separation, the smallest acts can have impossibly large impacts. Think fractals, think microcosms, think holism.
During this transition, we have a foot in each world. The rules that govern possibility take on a shifty nature. We walk between two divergent realities, sometimes unsure which one houses us at any given moment. One useful model can be that of roles; we each have two faces, one for the old world and one for the new. Our role in Separation might be an accountant, when our role in Interbeing might be artist or gardner. It takes courage and strength to show our new faces to the old world, and in some circumstances, the old world can crush these faces.
That's where community comes in. Belief is a social force. Enlightenment, if you please, is a communal activity. J. G. Bennett was very much of this perspective. And it makes sense: in Separation the frame of reference focalizes around the individual; in interbeing, the focal point is community.
And yet the path that Charles describes in the book, the challenges that we each face during this transition, are primarily internal. Where as Charles' middle two books focus more on cosmology, this book is a return to a spiritual approach, similar to that of his first book. The experience of reading it reminds me of "The Power of Now." Both are personal, humble, and practical accounts of how we can each work on ourselves.
Moving from the grand story of humanity Charles draws in his lengthy earlier works, this book is short, approachable, and focused on the self. I find this progression natural and fitting. If we seek to change the world, we must change ourselves.
I'm left with a number of concepts to ponder. One such topic is that of authenticity. In Interbeing, we do things because they matter. We don't take one action in anticipation of it leading to something we desire; every act is a monad. For example, in Interbeing, we don't get a degree to get a job. We could get a degree, but only due to it's inherent value. In other words, value is completely illiquid. In contrast, in Separation, value has been commodified and liquidated through money. To those in Separation, money is the essence of value. In Interbeing, we need a fundamentally different understanding of money. This is an expansive concept to try to wrap one's mind around. Maybe that's one of the reason Charles used the word hearts in the title as opposed to mind; with something this different, understanding grows out of an intuitive feeling, rather than a mental model.
EXCERPTS, NOTES, AND ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Who am I?
Why do things happen?
What is the purpose of life?
What is human nature?
What is sacred?
Who are we as a people?
Where did we come from and where are we going?
That my being partakes of your being and that of all beings. This goes beyond interdependency - our very existence is relational.
That, therefore, what we do to another, we do to ourselves.
That each of us has a unique and necessary gift to give the world.
That the purpose of life is to express our gifts.
That every act is significant and has an effect on the cosmos.
That we are fundamentally unseperate from each other, from all beings, and from the universe.
That every person we encounter and every experience we have mirrors something in ourselves.
That humanity is meint to join fully the tribute of all life on Earth, offering our uniquely human gifts toward the well-being and development of the whole.
That purpose, consciousness, and intelligence are innate properties of matter and the universe.
SEEDS OF THE TRANSITION
When one is aligned with the purpose of service, acts that seem exceptionally courageous to others are a matter of course.
When one experiences the world as abundant, then acts of generosity are natural, since there is no doubt about continued supply.
When one sees other people as reflection of oneself, forgiveness becomes second nature, as one realizes "But for the grace of God, so go I."
When one appreciates the order, beauty, mystery, and connectedness of the universe, a deep joy and cheerfulness arises that nothing can shake.
When one sees time as abundant and life as infinite, on develops superhuman patience.
When one lets go of the limitations of reductionism, objectivity, and determinism, technologies become possible that the science of separation cannot countenance.
When one lets go of the story of the discrete and separate self, amazing intuitive and perceptual capabilities emerge from lifelong latency.
It will come from the people and places that were excluded from full participation in the old Story of the People, and that thus preserved some pieces of the knowledge of how to live as interbeings.
It will come from the ideas and technologies that were marginalized because they contradicted dominant paradigms. These include technologies of agriculture, healing, energy, mind, ecological restoration, and toxic waste remediation.
It will also draw from marginalized or near-forgotten social and political technologies: consensus-based decision making, nonhierarchical organization, direct democracy, restorative justice, and nonviolent communication, to name a few.
It will engage the kinds of skills that our present system suppresses or fails to encourage. People who have languished outside our dominant economic institutions, working for very little doing what they love, will find their skills and experience highly valued as pioneers of a new story.
It will liberate the marginalized parts of people who have been suppressing their true gifts and passions in order to make a living or be normal. To some extent, this category probably includes every member of modern society. We can feel the stirring of these suppressed gifts any time we their, “I wasn’t put here on Earth to be doing this.”
It will embody and validate marginalized parts of life, the things we neglect in the rush and press of modernity: qualities of spontaneity, patience, slowness, sensuality, and play. Beware of any revolution that doesn’t embody these qualities: it may be no revolution at all.
A Gathering of the Tribe
My tweets on the book - #AgeOfReunion
Top reviews from other countries
If you want to be part of the solution to the planetary crisis and not just perpetuate the problem, please read this book. It is very challenging, as Charles suggests that we need a radical change of perspective if the human race is to survive this century - a 'new story' of Self and The World - but, for the same reason, it is also very inspiring. I have just finished it and will go back to the beginning and start again.
I enjoyed reading the book. The author writes very well. There is much that is 'quotable'. The basic premise is that the world we live in is bad, wrong (for all the reasons so often espoused and which motivate activism). We live in the 'Old Story' (something like our myths, ideology, ways of being, culture etc.) which is now collapsing into itself, and millions of people in different ways are entering the space between stories. The 'New Story' will see a new consciousness, new ayas of thinking and living, specifically 'inter-being'. New technologies will not save us. We have to BE new, and the author sees signs of this happening. He is cautious and aware of the pull of the old on both himself and his reader. He admits to doubts but sees these as inevitable. The age of gurus and wise sages is over: 'enlightenment' will be achieved by the shared consciousness of myriad individuals seeing one vision through many different eyes. The Age of Separation will be over, the new age will be one of interconnectedness. While valuing science and religion, Eisenstein suggests that they are both limited and inadequate in their claims to reveal Truth. The Hippies were right but the Old Story was still some way from final disintegration; nevertheless young people in their twenties have absorbed Hippie wisdom and stand on their shoulders.
Water has memory and there is morphic resonance. Consciousness is everywhere and we shall no longer separate human from human, human from animal, from plant, from nature, from cosmos. If the 60s were on chance, the present time is another and better chance for the ruins of the Old Story are all around us. If not, 2050 certainly will be a third chance for by then ecological catastrophe will destroy any lingering shreds of the Old world. (This world is the North America and Western European, but enlightenment will proceed from our interconnections with the whole world).
I fund some very valuable and interesting things, especially ways of thinking. I especially liked the idea that stories in the broadest sense reveal less through their narrative content than through what emerges through their structures - glimpses of things beyond the story. I loved the phrase, 'voice behind a word'.
I'm not, I hope, a doomsayer (such as Eisenstein dismisses), but I am reserved when it comes to casting utopias into the future. This story has been around since history began. A radical contemporary alternative to Eisenstein is in the equally passionate belief in a soon-to-come singularity by which technology will overcome suffering and death. There can only be hope that humanity itself will survive much longer. Hope is a good, sustaining thing. Those Christians who await Christ's return and final judgment do, I am sure, achieve much sustenance and sense of security, and anything that helps people to negotiate the arduous and perilous travails of living is a good thing. The wisdom traditions of Taoism and Buddhism, for instance, speak centrally against the story of separation and the need for interconnectivity. As I have rrespect for this wisdom it's just possible that my eyes do see the same growing consciousness foretold in Eisenstein's book.