This is the fifth chapter of Charles Eisenstein’s book, “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.” You can buy it here.
I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity.
—Edgar Allan Poe
Contrary to the doctrine of the cynic, the Story of Interbeing is (as we shall see) not actually less rational or evidence-based than the Story of Separation. We like to think that we base our beliefs on evidence, but far more often we arrange the evidence to fit our beliefs, distorting or excluding what won’t fit, seeking out evidence that will, surrounding ourselves with others who share them. When these beliefs immerse us as part of a Story of the People, and when financial self-interest and social acceptance are tied to them, it is all the more difficult to accept anything radically different.
That is why to live in the new story can be at times arduous and lonely. In particular, the money system is not aligned with the Story of Interbeing, enforcing instead competition, scarcity, alienation from nature, dissolution of community, and the endless, nonreciprocal exploitation of the planet. If your life’s work does not contribute to the conversion of nature into products and relationships into services, you may often find that there isn’t much money to be made doing it. There are exceptions—glitches in the system, as well as the halting attempts by benevolent people and organizations to use some of their money in the spirit of the gift—but by and large, money as it is today is not aligned with the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible……
You might say I am preaching to the choir. Yes. But as a member of the choir myself, I am grateful for the wonderful preachers whose words have kept me here, kept me believing. Without them I would have quit long ago and found a job greasing the wheels of the world-devouring Machine. That is also why conferences, retreats, and communities for alternative culture are so important. We hold each other in new beliefs. “Yes, I see it too. You are not crazy.” We, the choir, gather, and we learn to sing together.
As things fall apart and the old story releases its thralls into the space between stories, the beautiful music of our choir will beckon, and they will come join us in song. We have been doing important work, first in loneliness, then in small, marginal groups. The time is upon us for the new Story of the People to leave the incubator. When things fall apart, the hopelessly radical becomes common sense.
read the whole chapter here
James McMurtry–Too Long in the Wasteland
The Persuasions–Ship of Fools