… the city’s largest housing development is now resident-owned, its largest supermarket is a consumer-owned cooperative, one of its largest private employers is worker-owned, and most of its people-oriented waterfront is publicly owned. Its publicly owned utility, the Burlington Electric Department, recently announced that Burlington is the first American city of any decent size to run entirely on renewable electricity.
This part of the radio broadcast is a reading of the chapter “Reality,” from Charles Eisenstein’s book, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible. I urge you to buy this book and support its author, and I note with some amusement that, although I make no attempt to co-ordinate my original writing with the readings from this book, they do seem to play into each other pretty well, and this month is certainly no exception.
Eisenstein starts the chapter by referring to ended the end of the previous chapter, which he concluded with ” If we could somehow master the technology of being in the right place at the right time, if we could learn to ride the flow of synchronicity, then we would have accessed a power greater than anything the world of force is capable of.”
How do we do that? This world of miracles, the things we cannot make happen, is a world of the gift. To live in it we must let go of the old ways of controlling, keeping, and holding back. We must learn to see the world through the eyes of the gift. Today most of us live simultaneously in both worlds, the old and the new; therefore our experience of miracles is haphazard. They seem to violate the laws of the physical or social universe, which is to be expected, as those laws are formed from the perceptions of the separate self.
Despite my call for naiveté, I also want to insert a note of caution here, because there is such a thing in this world as pursuing an impossible fantasy. There is such a thing as a delusion distracting one from the work at hand. How can we tell when we are in service to a real possibility, and when we are deluding ourselves, pursuing not a vision but a mirage? I’m not advocating a credulous confidence in whatever fantasy happens to be comforting……
…..The deeper our service to that which wants to be born, the more it is able to arrange the synchronistic encounters and fortuitous events that allow us to accomplish that which lies beyond our understanding of cause and effect. We might say that the primary “technology” of the Age of Reunion is service. We offer our time, energy, skills, and lives as gifts, stepping into trust, letting go of the habit of looking first and foremost after one’s self. Only then can we fully align with the vision. From that alignment, a tremendous force is born. Our expanded selves are far more powerful and less fearful than the discrete, separate individual who, separate from the world, can only manipulate it by force, and looks with wariness and wonder at the amazing coincidences that line up as it lets go and plunges into service. Obviously, since these are not things that we know how to “make” happen, they happen as gifts, confirming the universal principle of the gift: that giving and receiving always come into balance in the end.
This whole process of cocreating change starts not with faith but with honesty. We must first catch a glimpse of something that we recognize as real. One kind of honesty is to recognize our delusions and see what is in front of our faces. This can be painful. It has been humiliating to admit, “I didn’t really believe what we’ve been working on is possible; all along I was doing it to belong, to appear virtuous to myself and others, and simply to stave off despair.” But there is another application of honesty that is braver still: to believe in a true vision that contradicts the consensus view of what is possible or worthwhile. It takes more courage to believe what we know is true than to disbelieve what we know is false. For the visionary, that knowledge is in the beginning a lonely knowledge, surrounded by a welter of doubt both within and without. To trust a moment of clarity and carry it forward, to translate it into belief and act from it amid all the voices that say it is crazy or impossible, is no trivial matter.
music: Emmylou Harris, “Deeper Well“
Tabla Beat Science “Sacred Channel“
Pru Clearwater, “Sacred Places“
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Tags: Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
Categories : book review, buddhism, transition
Are you looking for an alternative to corporate “Earth Day celebrations” and corporate political parties? Then come to The Green Party of Tennessee’s annual meeting this coming Saturday, April 18th, from 11AM to 3PM at Long Hunter State Park near Nashville, and help create a new vision for Tennessee politics! Details at greenpartyoftennessee.org
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