(This is the second chapter of Charles Eisenstein‘s book, “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.” I have reproduced the opening and the closing paragraphs. You can find the whole book here, for free, but please support Charles Eisenstein by buying the book! Thank you!
The kingdom of God is for the broken hearted.”
It is frightening, this transition between worlds, but it is also alluring. Have you ever gotten addicted to doom-and-gloom websites, logging on every day to read the latest evidence that collapse is coming soon, feeling almost let down when Peak Oil didn’t start in 2005, or the financial system didn’t collapse in 2008? (I’m still worried about Y2K, myself.) Do you look toward the future with a mixture of dread, yes, but also a kind of positive anticipation? When a big crisis looms, a superstorm or a financial crisis, is there a part of you that says, “Bring it on” hoping it might free us from our collective entrapment in a system that serves no one (not even its elites)?
We do not have a new story yet. Each of us is aware of some of its threads, for example in most of the things we call alternative, holistic, or ecological today. Here and there we see patterns, designs, emerging parts of the fabric. But the new mythos has not formed. We will abide for a time in the “space between stories.” It is a very precious–some might say sacred–time. Then we are in touch with the real. Each disaster lays bare the reality underneath our stories. The terror of a child, the grief of a mother, the honesty of not knowing why. In such moments our dormant humanity awakens as we come to each other’s aid, human to human, and learn who we are. That’s what keeps happening every time there is a calamity, before the old beliefs, ideologies, and politics take over again. Now the calamities and contradictions are coming so fast that the story has not enough time to recover. Such is the birth process into a new story.