Why enlightenment is group project

Photo: Ian MacKenzie

A review of Sacred Economics Author Charles Eisenstein with Integral New York

In deeply contemplating the ever increasing, ever more complicated and intertwining crises facing the world today, one can find a common thread: the financial system and the human species’ relationship to money. No matter what the problem, if one looks deeply to the root cause, it’s nearly always money. “What does a money system look like that no longer destroys, but instead heals nature, culture, and the human spirit?” asks Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics.

This was a rare chance to spend quality time in dialog with the emerging philosopher, writer, teacher and (I would say, he wouldn’t) economist. His book is fast becoming a guiding force in the Occupy Movement, or as it’s more widely known, The Global Awakening. Of the many speakers and gurus highlighting problems and offering solutions today, Eisenstein stands out for his ability to pull it all together and articulate root cause and realistic actionable steps toward rejuvenation. He is in a class all his own.

Charles (and I hope you don’t mind us all remaining on a first-name basis) speaks to the spiritual in a way that shows he has arrived there from deep trial and emerged with intuitive understanding of ageless wisdom. He speaks to our institutions and systems with scholarly depth, worthy of a Yale graduate, which he is. He weaves this insight and knowledge together offering an approach to solving the seemingly unsolvable inviting the listener to a new level of consciousness wherein things don’t seem so bad.

I felt good as soon as I arrived. The room was filling up and Charles was already there. In his tee-shirt and not-so-pressed khakis, he was leaning back in a chair at the front of the room, calm and monk-like, taking it all in. Gilles Herrada was the host for the evening and gave a fantastic introduction, which included a pronunciation of “Charles Eisenstein” in an elegant, liquid-French accent that made Charles smile from ear-to-ear. (My wife and I tried to imitate it the whole way home with little success….Shawls…Shaaawls Eye-shin-shteen. What fun! My Midwestern accent feels so inferior.)

The entire evening lasted just short of 2 1/2 hours and it was equal parts Charles speaking to the room and a Q & A.

Charles is on a book tour for Sacred Economics, but the talk, I think, encompassed all of his work and was not specific to the new book. If there is an over-arching context to his theme, it is this: we modern humans are living in a transitional time and, if there is a main theme, perhaps it is interdependence, inclusiveness and community.

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