Charles Eisenstein has written and made available a really beautiful and inspirational book. He addresses our human story of separation and independence, as well as the emotional armor we use to survive the pain of seeing our human brothers and sisters, as well as the biosphere as a whole, suffering from our societal immaturity and disconnected reality. He is very insightful and refreshingly honest about his experience of living the second half of the 20th century to the present. My inner bells were ringing, recognizing the reality basis of his communication. Here is just one paragraph from the third chapter to encourage you to take advantage of this offering of self:
Our society runs in large part on the denial of that truth. Only by interposing ideological and systemic blinders between ourselves and the victims of industrial civilization can we bear to carry on. Few of us would personally rob a hungry three-year-old of his last crust or abduct his mother at gunpoint to work in a textile factory, but simply through our consumption habits and our participation in the economy, we do the equivalent every day. And everything that is happening to the world is happening to ourselves. Distanced from the dying forests, the destitute workers, the hungry children, we do not know the source of our pain, but make no mistake—just because we don’t know the source doesn’t mean we don’t feel the pain. One who commits a direct act of violence will, if and when she realizes what she has done, feel remorse, a word that literally means “biting back.” Even to witness such an act is painful. But most of us cannot feel remorse for, say, the ecological harm that the mining of rare earth minerals for our cell phones does in Brazil. The pain from that, and from all the invisible violence of the Machine of industrial civilization, is more diffuse. It pervades our lives so completely that we barely know what it is like to feel good. Occasionally, we get a brief respite from it, maybe by grace, or through drugs, or being in love, and we believe in those moments that this is what it is supposed to feel like to be alive. Rarely, though, do we stay there for very long, immersed as we are in a sea of pain.
Oh, I have to add another paragraph to give a small example of the authors optimism and call to actions of interconnectedness and hope.
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
In a time of social and ecological crisis, what can we as individuals do to make the world a better place? This inspirational and thought-provoking book serves as an empowering antidote to the cynicism, frustration, paralysis, and overwhelm so many of us are feeling, replacing it with a grounding reminder of what’s true: we are all connected, and our small, personal choices bear unsuspected transformational power. By fully embracing and practicing this principle of interconnectedness—called interbeing—we become more effective agents of change and have a stronger positive influence on the world.
Throughout the book, Eisenstein relates real-life stories showing how small, individual acts of courage, kindness, and self-trust can change our culture’s guiding narrative of separation, which, he shows, has generated the present planetary crisis. He brings to conscious awareness a deep wisdom we all innately know: until we get our selves in order, any action we take—no matter how good our intentions—will ultimately be wrongheaded and wronghearted. Above all, Eisenstein invites us to embrace a radically different understanding of cause and effect, sounding a clarion call to surrender our old worldview of separation, so that we can finally create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
With chapters covering separation, interbeing, despair, hope, pain, pleasure, consciousness, and many more, the book invites us to let the old Story of Separation fall away so that we can stand firmly in a Story of Interbeing.
You can find a German Translation of the book here.
- Length: 289 pages
- ISBN: 1583947248
- Publisher: North Atlantic Books (November 5, 2013)
Read the The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible on-line: