Thursday, August 21, 2008

current events

Someone asked me to discuss current events such as war, child abuse, etc. from the perspective of Ascent. I guess I could do this: I could show how each is a different manifestation of separation; how labels, categories, and stories distance us from other people and from nature, and thus allow us to treat them as an other. Our behavior is a result of our ideology, the ideology of the discrete and separate self in an objective universe. However, I think anyone who has carefully read the book can perform this analysis. You could also trace the same phenomena to money, to the conversion of nature and community and relationship into money.

The sense of self that I call Separation gives birth to a compulsion to control, related to the belief that there is no purpose to life except to survive, to maximize comfort and minimize risk. We see this in our medical system, our education system, our financial system, and in nations' foreign policy. Why oh why is "security" the highest priority? Obama said recently, "My top priority as President will be to keep Americans safe." I find that insulting. It implies that that is the will and top priority of the American people too. Even if it is true, it is still insulting. We humans are better than that. When is a candidate going to say, "My top priority will be to create a more beautiful world"?

It is impossible for politicians to make any meaningful changes when the operate from the same deep assumptions about self and world that have held sway for the last several millennia. The world we know today is the inevitable result of those assumptions. Real change will only result from a thorough revolution in the human sense of self; I call it a revolution in human beingness. I have made this point at length in AOH. It is time for me to move on I think.

Move on to what? Recently, aside from my occasional essays on Reality Sandwich and a couple other places, most of my work has been with individuals: conversations and correspondence. Another book is brewing as well. It may be fiction. In the meantime I will publish a collection of essays I've written over the past two years. Probably about half will be from Reality Sandwich.


At August 21, 2008 at 7:46 PM , Blogger thailandchani said...

I heard about an online class you did at one time. Will you be doing that again?

At August 22, 2008 at 2:40 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Current events within the old paradigm are exhausting to discuss, I also avoid those who seek to embroil me in polemics that my heart has progressed beyond. Thank you for having allowed truth to speak through you, thank you for having given so much time and stable, careful thought to the matters you address in your book and on the blog. To me, they have been very helpful and I try to use the basic sense of wholeness as the foundation to help others trapped in the agonies of unreasonable control. Your writings have been catalytic in making me happier. Perhaps you have written so much and been so generous with your ideas that your impact has reached a point where you can relax and leave it to find out how to embody the native decency, which you (by naming it) have awakened in us.

At August 25, 2008 at 2:11 PM , Blogger Charles Eisenstein said...

The results of the online class were unsatisfying. It was not entirely fruitless, but there was something not quite working about. For one thing, I felt like an idiot talking into a microphone and imagining people on the other end. It put me into "broadcast" mentality, which is fine except that the whole idea is to work together in a more personal way. It made it difficult not to see the faces I was talking to. When I speak to groups, I know from people's expressions what is communicating and what isn't. The dialogue becomes something bigger than any of us.

At August 25, 2008 at 6:47 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe you could do a conference phone call or radio pod or interactive webcast instead.


At September 27, 2008 at 10:28 PM , Anonymous Sean FitzGerald said...

Charles... I have had several years experience working in online learning and elearning. I completely relate to your difficulty of talking to a camera and imagining an audience - it doesn't work for me either. I too need something more interactive and conversational. I now also understand why your video version of AOH only went so far.

As Anonymous says, there are other, more interactive, platforms that could work better for you, like webinars, or even good ol' mailing lists and forums.

However, I've found the best platform for creating the type of experience you are after is Second Life (with voice). It can be personal, conversational and you'd be surprised at how many cues you can pick up from other people's avatars. For me looking at avatars does away with that "staring into space" phenomena you describe.

Your ideas are too important to let languish (although I respect your desire to move on too). If you are interested in exploring Second Life or other options for sharing your work online feel free to contact me on


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