“As human beings we have a significant responsibility in this time. It is to relate to those patterns in ourselves that lead to fear, doubt, and aggression in such a way that they are transmuted. Our purpose is to realize Peacekeeper mind, a wholeness of mind in which patterns of conflict, separation, scarcity come to balance. With a heartiness, those patterns are transmuted. You never deny what is, but simply acknowledge,”Oh, that feeling is there.” Is it really you? No, it is feeling arising from emotion. Generate the antidote.”
-Dhyano Yeahoo, Voices of Our Ancestors
I am so excited to announce our next Special Feature! In the past we featured The Gibbon Conservation Center and the good work they are doing to help preserve the lesser apes.
This month, I want to present an author who may be an important voice as we face our uncertain future. Charles Eisenstein is an author and speaker. He writes on all variety of topics: economics, politics, environmentalism, the future of humanity. One very refreshing and encouraging quality of his writing is the spiritual aspect that he brings to every topic.
I have read excerpts from 3 of his books but am trying to buckle down and read one of the most challenging of them, The Ascent of Humanity.
This 512 page book includes Eistenstiens’ reflections on all kinds of topics and their intersections throughout history well into our present and their impact on our future choices. He describes the need for our communal transcendence from the “age of separation” to an “age of reunion.” Right up the Life As a Wave alley! There are already too many “YES!” moments to count while I have been reading this book.
To give credit to the person who brought this writing into my awareness and to recruit his help in providing a more thoughtful and articulate review of Ascent, I introduce…my father, ~~~R Wave~~~. Take it away, Dad!
When I was asked to review “The Ascent of Humanity,” by Charles Eisenstein for this blog, I readily agreed, thinking it would be an easy task. I was wrong. My problem is not how I might find something to write about but rather how to choose among the many things I could write about.
Eisenstein is a creative thinker and a prolific writer. He has written four books that I know of and I have read three of them, each two times. Those three are “The Ascent of Humanity,” “Sacred Economics,” and “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.” I have also tried to read a book titled “The Natural Economic Order” by Silvio Gesell upon whom Eisenstein relies quite a bit for his proposed economic solutions.
Many people have reviewed Eisenstein’s works and his books themselves include such reviews. It has occurred to me, therefore, to merely mention my general opinion of his works and then describe the one major problem I have with one aspect of his perspective.
First of all, I want to make clear that I find Eisenstein’s thinking creative, refreshing, thought-provoking and inspiring. I am an avid reader and it is rare that I find an author with so many original insights and ideas. Not only does Eisenstein bring fresh perspectives on numerous problems and issues but more importantly he unifies and integrates these into an incredibly inclusive and broad picture spanning eons of time and vast areas of interest. For example, he weaves language, science, evolution, religion, mathematics, art, music, culture, economics, agriculture, technology and many other areas together into one large narrative regarding the transition from what he calls the “Age of Separation” to what he calls the “Age of Reunion.” It is a narrative I have never before encountered and is, to me, a triumph of creative thinking. However, his view, while acknowledging the tremendous crisis that we all face is, at the same time, optimistic and forward-looking.
As I mentioned, I have one problem with his view that I believe he would be able to resolve for me were I to present it to him. I can’t imagine that he intends to mean what I interpret him to mean in this regard. The problem concerns what he calls, “free land,” borrowing from the work of Silvio Gesell. Eisenstein presents this concept primarily in “Sacred Economics” but it is present in “Ascent” as well.
Simplistically, free land is the idea that since land is part of the commons, it should not be “owned” by anyone but rather should be held by the government and “rented out” at auction to the highest bidder. That way, the land would be put to the best use and only those that could put it to such use would be able to win the auctions and pay the rent. Presumably, Eisenstein would resolve the obvious problem of defining “best use” purely in terms of monetary profit.
However, my primary problem is in reconciling Eisenstein’s repeated excoriation of the commoditization and monetization of the commons with the idea of bidding with money for use of the land. He extols the virtues of gift economies where goods are exchanged without money or expectation of compensation. Yet, at the same time, one must outbid others and pay rent with money in order to use land. If I wanted to use acreage to restore fertility, create forest gardens, provide wildlife habitat, and desired to freely “gift” the outputs of my land to my neighbors, I might not have the money to pay the “rent” to the government. Not only that, but what would prevent the wealthier among us from outbidding the rest of us and monopolizing the land?
I understand that some forms of the commons, such as fisheries or fresh air or water, can be depleted and it makes sense to me to somehow put controls on the uses of those commons. But, although fertility can certainly be depleted and soil eroded, if those problems are prevented, why should all use of land be regarded as profit-making activities? In other words, isn’t requiring bidding and paying rent with money for land use merely another form of commoditization of the commons, a process that Eisenstein decries?
I hope that I am missing something here and I wish I could get a response to all this from Eisenstein. In the meantime, I would highly recommend all his books, despite my reservations on this one issue.
Now is the time, Life As a Wave readers, for you to find out for yourself just what this Eisenstein is talking about. He has generously contributed signed copies of his book to Life As a Wave to be given to two special readers. To enter this giveaway, just share a comment about this post. Do you feel that we are in an “age of separation?” What do you think about “gift economies?” Then, make sure you follow Life As a Wave on Facebook and you’re all signed up! I’ll announce the randomly-selected winner next month.
As always, it is an honor to be connected with each of you. Thank you for visiting, thank you for considering, and thank you for being YOU in this complex world.
The weekend To-Do (Good) List returns this weekend to give you some suggestions for ways to include altruism and activism, introspection and evolution, compassion and connection in your weekend!
1. Good for the Animals
The Performing Animals Welfare Society provides a new home to animals who have been used (and frequently abused) in the entertainment industries. One of their residents needs a little help and it couldn’t be an easier assignment for you! Here is their request:
Ferguson, PAWS macaque, has become more ape-like as he reaches middle age. A few years ago he began destroying his mattresses so we decided to provide him with disposable beds made of paper or straw stuffed inside a pillowcase. We now have an ongoing need for used pillowcases. If you have used pillowcases you would like to donate to Ferguson, please mail them to our Galt office at P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632.
2. Good For Others
The Greater Good Science Center just added an article about the importance of social connection for the lives of seniors. How can you take some time out of your busy weekend to be that connection for them?
Here are some ideas:
- Schedule a visit to a local retirement community…if you’ve got a skill to share, share it! My Grandmother enjoys it when visitors come to her assisted living community to perform, visit, bring their therapy animals, join in game night, etc. Be creative! Maybe you can simply bring some flowers to distribute door to door. Or a St. Patrick’s Day token. Or offer to drive a resident to run some errands or attend church.
- Call a senior you know! Take time to really listen to them. A phone call may not fulfill their need for daily community, but for that hour you will be a welcomed connection. Don’t know any senior who might appreciate a call?….Nah, I don’t believe you.
- Establish a plan to incorporate your senior loved ones into your family routine more consistently. Build that “village” that we know benefits our kids, our elders, and ourselves.
3. Good For You
Take a lesson from St. Patrick! Did you know that St. Patrick was taken captive from Roman Britain when he was a teen and kept in Ireland for 6 years in servitude until he escaped? In some of his writing he said:
The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same. … I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.
As part of your To-Do (Good) assignment I suggest you spend some time meditating on what you can learn from his experience. I don’t want to be too leading here since it will be YOUR meditation, but I’ll just say that you don’t have to be a catholic to relate to his revelation.
Have a wonderful weekend! Make sure to report back on any other good things you added to your
To-Do (Good) list. We would love to hear them!
In light of my recent tough time, which I wrote a bit about in As Much As I Can Summon, I wanted to share something I read that helped me accept the sadness that sometimes rises up.
There is, each time that sadness has passed, some precious reminder that follows that softens the residual ache and propels me on. This was one of those reminders for this time around. I read it at Global Oneness Project. I choose to agree with it and to be the tree that I am!
“Sadness gives depth. Happiness gives height. Sadness gives roots. Happiness gives branches. Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. That’s its balance.”
“If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of
energy, frequency and vibration.”
What do you think about this excerpt from an article at Natural Health Warriors?
“A biological research team at Bielefeld University has made a groundbreaking discovery showing that plants can draw an alternative source of energy from other plants. This finding could also have a major impact on the future of bioenergy eventually providing the evidence to show that people draw energy from others in much the same way.”
Can humans share energy like the algae did in the studies described in the article? If so, what kind of energy are you giving out? What are you taking on from others and why? Are you in control of the energy you absorb? The author recommends doing an energy cleanse to keep your own energy intact and prevent yourself from being too susceptible to others’. I love energy cleanses and usually do a version similar to one described in the article 1 to 2 times per day.
Here are some other suggestions for clearing your energy which, by the way, is not so different from what we might think of as the feeling of having “alone time,” “decompressing,” “relaxing” —that feeling you get when you close your eyes in the sunlight. When you soak into the bath after a long chaotic day and relish the quiet. You get the idea.
Don’t forget to follow Life As a Wave on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LifeAsAWave!
“Whatever may be the tensions and the stresses of a particular day, there is always lurking close at hand the trailing beauty of forgotten joy or unremembered peace.”
― Howard Thurman, Meditations of the Heart
This is going out to those of you who might be going through a challenging couple of days.
I know that there are those individuals in my own life with whom I share a connection that befuddles my understanding in terms of the synchronicities that we have in our spiritual journeys. The synchronicities make me believe a little more easily that perhaps the moon, the stars, God, the butterfly effect–whatever it might be might truly be causing a certain atmosphere to be manifest and that those of us who think we are just experiencing some really “bad days” might actually be riding a purposeful wave of cosmic and/or divine change that is beyond us.
Not that I know what to do with that. I just can entertain that possibility more…the alternative being more about random moods, inconsistent perspectives about very important things, and in the end not much purpose to it all. In the latter scenario I fear that, in the middle of a low time, I could wreak havoc on the beautiful things that are being built in my life like relationships and new healthy practices and the pursuit of dreams. In the former there is always the hope that the bigger purpose is GOOD and that if I persevere that good will prevail.
And so over the years it has given me gradually more and more comfort to think that perhaps I am not so alone in my low times, but am actually experiencing something that is being shared by many of us as we represent a larger “body.” It has also taught me to try and turn my attention away from myself during my low times if I can and to place my inner attention on others that might be going through something of similar spiritual character.
On that note, I turn to any of you who have experienced something in the last few days like I have. A confusing resurgence of old fears and negative mindsets. Less hope and more negativity. A feeling of disconnect. I’m thoroughly aware of the tangible circumstances that have caused this for me, but what is perplexing is the strength of these things and the seemingly insurmountable load of them.
That is why I look around from under the brick pile of all this negativity and peer to and fro to see if any of you are under your own pile right now too.
There’s a good chance that one of you is. So to you, I am here too! Get those bricks off if you can, but otherwise hang in there under your pile and remember that the bricks aren’t going to be there forever. They aren’t really you but are something that you are experiencing for some reason right now. Try to believe that..what you believe about your circumstances becomes your reality. There is goodness on your side and there is a “body” of which you are a part that couldn’t function without you.
I speak these things to you because I am unable to speak them to myself right now. Or I should say, I can’t “hear” them right now. But if we really are one then maybe I can share in your upliftment and perseverence.
That is as much positivity as I can summon right now and it is for you, whoever you are! Tomorrow is our new day!
“Over the last few hundred years, leading Western scientists have talked about nature as if she were a woman to be dominated, a mindless machine, a struggle for survival, or (at best) a “glorious accident.” These metaphors have influenced the way modern nations have dealt with internal social problems, other communities, and the natural world.”
From this point of view, connectedness reigns!
Originally posted on Creative by Nature:
“Every particular in nature, a leaf, a drop, a crystal, a moment of time is related to the whole, and partakes of the perfection of the whole. Each particle is a microcosm, and faithfully renders the likeness of the world.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
If you look around yourself carefully, you may notice that our Universe consists of a unified network of systems nestled within systems. Your physical body is composed of various organ systems, each maintained by groups of cells, molecules and atoms. Our families and social communities are embedded in ecosystems, the biosphere, the solar system, our galaxy and the universe.
From this perspective, human beings are as much a part of nature as the oceans, trees, and stars. What’s more, there seem to be certain patterns and processes which occur in natural systems everywhere, guiding the development…
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