137 Comments

I had an experience yesterday that illustrates what you are speaking of, Charles, and by sharing it, I hope to inspire others with its implications of the profound benevolence of creation. I volunteer every Tuesday at a museum where I live. 15 minutes before my shift was over, four people came in to look around. The other docent had also just shown up at the same time, so she was chatting with these people as I prepared to wrap up what I was doing so I could leave. I left and went to the library so I could check out another book as I had finished the one I was reading at the museum. I had a flash of walking a certain way home (I can choose many ways to walk home), but I started walking another way anyway. Well, my stomach started hurting, which happens when I am making a "wrong" choice for me. So I cut through the park by the library to get to the street that I had seen myself walking along. And behold, someone calls out "ma'am, ma'am." Those four people from the museum were lost and needed help getting back to the other museum they had been directed to by the other docent after I had left. I was able to give them directions to get back where they needed to be to get where they were going. I got quite emotional after this as I realized the implications of this encounter. That I was meant to show up for that divine appointment, to be an answer to a prayer. How many times others have shown up right on time in answer to my prayers I can never count. But to open myself to such a profound experience humbled me, moved me, and showed me just how much more there is to life than meets the senses. It is a participatory universe, and we are shaping reality even as it shapes us.

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Great anecdote! We are sometimes the vehicle for which the prayers of others are answered...and intuitiveness is often the way.

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I think we can be earth angels more often than we even realize. One of my mantras I actually got from a podcast with Charles and Andre Duqum. Charles said his prayer was to be at the right place at the right time with the right gifts and know what to do. So my mantra became: I am always at the right place at the right time with the right gifts and I know what to do.

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Excellent, thanks for that.

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My heart is gladdened to help anyone through the sharing of my lived experience.

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Hmm. First time on this substack, and thus, would not have been able to read your comment otherwise. I had an experience in a similar vein just yesterday. I see these things as 'the hand of God'--which hand has led me quite a few times. Formerly, I realized this only long after the 'event', now I recognize it much closer to the happening--as in, yesterday afternoon, at the very time, I saw it as such.

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I like that too-the hand of God. It is a blessing to be present for them in the moment.

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Until we embrace the mystical, and revere what transcends human understanding, we will be stuck in the profane material world. This is what has been lost in the modern world. Indigenous peoples understood that apprehending reality requires both a welcoming of what is beyond our five senses, and an acknowledgement of the limitations of our capacity for understanding. Neither of these is particularly present in today's world. Eisenstein reminds us of this sacred purpose of humanity, and acts as the ember of the transcendent, that must be ignited into flame if we are to ever escape from the prison of our senses. The blatherings of a simple chauffeur can be a window into this reality.

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Feb 28·edited Feb 28

As soon as we’re convinced the world is a certain way, we’re toast. You know?

The HARDNESS of our fixed beliefs is like soul-rust, and it encrusts our vision, our curiosity, our ability to imagine anew. And can often make us cruel, in the stiff certainty of our fixed beliefs and conclusions..

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu says, “Men are born soft and supple; When dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; When dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life.”

There is something life-affirming about being soft, adaptable and supple.

Life is these things — always MOVING, CHANGING, FLOWING, MORPHING. Never static and fixed.

Our certainties, maybe, are pale and hollow, and only serve to disappoint. How many times have my conclusions been pulled from beneath me? Too many to count.

So, then, maybe it’s our QUESTIONS AND INQUIRIES ARISING FROM NOT-KNOWING - with their suppleness and openness - that are wiser than our conclusions.

Maybe coming forward empty-handed, willing to be made anew again and again, is the kind of softness that keeps us ALIGNED with Life.

I don’t know… I don’t know…

I ask: How can I be SOFTER today? More supple? Less FIXED (and cruel in my conviction) but more empty?

How can I be more present and less ENTRANCED BY MY OWN RIGID OPINIONS, BELIEFS AND STORYLINES?

How can I be wowed and awed and more CURIOUS?

How can I be supple enough to MEET THE TRUTH OF WHAT IS HERE, EVEN IF IT DOESN'T ALIGN WITH MY BELIEFS about what should be?

Nestling closer to the pulse of life..

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Ego-identity thrives on comforts, convenience, and assumed certainty. Typical for the minds of human beings is take our thoughts and observations of circumstances and the things as we perceive them as being PERMANENT, PERVASIVE, and PERSONAL. These illusions are readily seen through if and when we are REMINDED that the things and circumstance of the world are TEMPORARY (a passing show), SPECIFIC, and SITUATIONAL.

We could a new word or term for "conclusions" , which our minds habitually jump to. the term should mean: what I know (own it) or understand at this point and awaiting new learning and growing in that understanding. Any nominees?

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We die soft. Rigor mortis sets in within 2 hours and wears off after 24 hours. A quibble maybe but even Lao Tzu manipulated some actual facts to present a half truth that fits his point. The will to live seems to produce astonishing results on its own, nothing to do with suppleness or the ability to be flexible in thought. You could say a rigid determination to achieve a goal produces success. I think my point is that all of our words amount to nothing of much use. I'm struggling to see this space in between that I think Charles is asking us to find. When I first read his ideas on this, I thought I could see a way but I feel it slipping away, like a dream upon waking. I need daylight reality, not nighttime dreaming, I have enough of that! So as always, its the sun, the moon, the stars and the response of Nature underneath and beyond - and valuing that as my 'map' to a life of meaning and purpose.

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Feb 29·edited Feb 29

Thank you for this heartfelt comment. I hear you and I do understad. It seems to me like there might have been a slight confusion or misinterpretation here. What was described above does NOT mean a state of complete passivity and not doing anything.. It seems to me like this is perhaps how you interpreted the words 'lack of rigidity', suppleness, curiosity and softeness etc, to mean passivity and nothing being done, but that is NOT what it means 🙂

That being said, I do fully understand and empathize with your sentiment. It is indeed a subtle distinction, and truly a profound "thing" to grasp (let alone, embody). Wei wu wei. Effortless non-rigid non-forced non-violent action. A doing in the world that does NOT come out of hardness and forced rigidity and from the (often) insensitivity/cruelty of exclusion (the certainty of "I already know" and "this is how things must be"), the violence of rigidly forcing things into the mind's version of "success", against the natural flow..

What is this thing? What on earth does such an action look like? That is indeed a very unfamiliar way of doing and being in the world to the western-trained mind..

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I love this.

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Maybe the mystical is the "profane, mundane world" and "we" are missing the inherent magic of it by bifurcating into that versus this, and this versus that.

Let go, or be dragged, says the Zen koan.

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Let go or be dragged. Like that!

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Feb 28·edited Feb 28

"..The question is, What is the nature of such a victory? What can be achieved by having everyone agree to your version of reality? And what cannot be achieved that way?

One thing that cannot be achieved that way is the healing of our world..

.. take someone or something that is already fully defined in your belief system, fixed in place. Or even someone in your life who you “know” so well that there is little room for them, in your conception, to grow or change. Are you willing to put down what you think you know? Are you willing to make room for the impossible?

You might say, “We must recognized reality and stop deceiving ourselves that THESE PEOPLE (the other tribe, the other religion, the other nation, THEM) are anything but evil.” But do you REALLY know that? How do you know that? Maybe there is something else in them besides what you know. Maybe what you “know” blinds you, and confines others in the image of your perception.. "

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Have you read The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic by Martín Prechtel?

He speaks to the truths you are expressing in this comment quite eloquently and vividly.

Here is an interview where he discusses some of these ideas: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LW_ioWnguC4

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I will just add my love for Martin Prechtel and all his books that I have read. The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic is in a series about his life becoming a shaman in Guatemala. The first book is "The Secrets of the Talking Jaguar," then "Long LIfe, Honey in the Heart," then "Stealing Benefacio's Roses," and then "The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic." Martin is one of my favorite people. He lives in New Mexico and has a school called "Bolad's Kitchen." And thanks, Gavin, for a link to an interview with Martin. love, shanti

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One of my favorite books and authors ever. Astoundingly beautiful writing and it speaks deeply to our human predicament. Highly recommended

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I agree wholeheartedly. I have been brought to tears three times already reading his book. The tears were healing tears, hopeful tears, tears that nourished the ancient seeds within my heart to begin to germinate and remind me to explore the wilderness of my indigenous soul.

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Yes, yes! The book is breathtaking. As much as Honey in the Heart...which I've probably read 4 or 5 times. I am listening to the audiobook of Peace at Chuchumaquic for the second time, and his voice is even more powerful than the writing. Like you say, it touches something deep inside, water for a seed that has been waiting lifetimes to grow again. He lives and teaches in Ojo Caliente NM now and I've always wanted to study with him.

I'd love to see him have a conversation with Charles Eisenstein!

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I am unfamiliar with Prechtel's work. I will look into it. Thank you very much.

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Get his audiobooks if you can. As much as I love reading, listening to his voice and his native language is such a gift. My favorites are also Honey in the Heart, the first book where he was allowed to express himself more freely, so language is exquisite, as well as being a fantastic story and an astonishing accounting of life, culture and the initiations young people went through in the intact Mayan culture.

His first book, The Secret of the Black Jaguar, is also an incredible story about how he went from the Navajo Rez to Guatemala and apprenticed with the shaman who had called him there, but it was heavily edited to bring it back to boring old English, as opposed to the fluid, living, breathing, delightful English translated more directly from the way the Tzutujil Mayans speak.

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Thank you very much for the generous comment. I shall add those previous books to my wish list.

Blessings of fecundity and resilience to all the seeds you tend within and in the physical world.

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Right beside you in the mystery. I keep thinking about what Aristotle famously wrote, "The more you know, the more you realize you don't know." Thank you for your courage in attempting to articulate the unknown. 🙏🏻

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I have a lot of ... weird things happen to me. Things I can't explain. I've given up trying. Life is just ... weird. And amazing synchronicities happen. I'm not "hopeful" about where our species is headed, 'cos I'm just not "into" hope (I won't go into that deeply here; not relevant). Your essay reminded me of this thing Thomas Berry said in his amazing book 'The Great Work – Our Way into the Future': “We are not lacking in the dynamic forces needed to create the future. We live immersed in a sea of energy beyond all comprehension. But this energy, in an ultimate sense, is ours not by domination but by invocation.” The people who run things think they can control everything. They control a lot! But there's lots they can't control, too. & hurray for that!

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Thank you! I have read some of Thomas Berry and will look for this book. I love the reminder that the "controllers" cannot actually control everything. Yes, Hooray for that!!

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"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."

- George Orwell

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Of all you write here, I will only comment on one: choosing a new story, opening to new possibilities instead of embracing the old, very exhausting ways. As I seek to more fully understand the multi-dimensionality of all that is, I cannot cling to "objectivity" as currently defined. So, these days I keep putting my focus on: imagining alternatives, choosing magic, choosing synchronicity, choosing to expand instead of contracting. I am daily assaulted by the old ways that keep pushing back. I find myself often quoting that iconic line from Maya Angelou's beautiful poem and find that, as she so poignantly wrote, "And Still I Rise." Knowing there is so very much More to everything and that my very Essence is speaking, my feisty radar remains on alert for the New that truly heals and embraces all of Life. So, I appreciate that you keep reminding us that it is possible to Open and Create together a truly Beautiful World that serves us All.

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Thank you Charles. What wonderful work you do. Your mastery of the language is a pleasure in itself, let alone what it points to. You build lenses out of words that create evolutionary movement just by looking through them. The effort to comprehend your work is an evolutionary act in itself, prising me open to see a larger expanse of what is possible, making me larger, deeper, more receptive to more of life, a little more whole for the effort of metabolising your perspectives. Thank you so much!

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Dear Creator of Synchronicities, Our world needs more synchronicities like this. Many Many More. Thank you in advance for sharing more with us ❤️

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I think these people who throw castigation need a serious hug and a night around a fire with the mystery of Life tickling their nooks and crannies.

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John Michell described this same phenomenon in his five-minute talk at, I think it was the 10th anniversary celebration of the Co-Evolution Quarterly magazine. He called it something like "the feedback nature of the universe" and said that if you obsess over something long enough, the universe will start providing you with evidence that what you believe, is true. And he went on to give multiple examples of people who have used this principle to bring more synchronicity into their lives. Similar to Gordon White's observation that cultures that believe in magic, experience more magic in their lives. Thank you for highlighting this feature for us from your life experiences, Charles.

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Thanks for the reminder that we refashion our world/story in each moment. Greater possibilities than we can imagine are on the horizon.

“Love is an expression of the willingness to create space in which something is allowed to change.”

— Harry Palmer

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Yes. Aligns with these words from Richard Rudd that I was contemplating today:

“Life is a mystery in which chance and love are dancing together. The more you allow love, the more chance appears to work in your favor. When you love totally, even chance is shown to be an illusion and the underlying cosmic geometry is revealed behind all things. It is only then that your timing becomes perfect and that which appears to be random is understood as an aspect of the holographic universe unfolding its myth through your life.”

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Grooving along the same lines, I've recently started reading Rudolph Steiner and basic material about him. He came to the fruition of his work around the time World War I was breaking out right where he lived. I'm reading it in case the U.S. dissolves. What did people who believed in synchronicities do in the early 1900's? He started Biodynamic Farming and Waldorf Schools, and I so admire his ability to act. I have four grandchildren, and I'm counting on their open-mindedness and willingness to love nature and produce art and creative projects in the real world to save themselves as our current dramas unfold. Steiner believed that freedom is the place where an embodied human acts on creative insights gleaned from unseen sources. There's more here than meets the eye!! Thanks for acknowledging the esoteric!!

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Ha ha, yes! Thank you for pointing out a generally shared, albeit often missed or denied, human reality - our minds have the ability to co-produce our experiences - not only our individualized interpretations of the events we experience, but also the magnetizing of experiences that are resonant with our most deeply held beliefs.

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I just imagine being your passenger and you the loquacious driver during a two-hour ride. It would probably be pretty memorable.

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Or maybe Charles would sound completely unhinged to you!😂

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Charles, you are a beauty. I mean this from the depths of my soul. I'm so grateful that you exist. You inspire me.

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Feb 28·edited Feb 28

As soon as we’re convinced the world is a certain way, we’re toast. You know?

The HARDNESS of our fixed beliefs is like soul-rust, and it encrusts our vision, our curiosity, our ability to imagine anew. And can often make us cruel, in the stiff certainty of our fixed beliefs and conclusions..

In the Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu says, “Men are born soft and supple; When dead, they are stiff and hard. Plants are born tender and pliant; When dead, they are brittle and dry. Thus whoever is stiff and inflexible is a disciple of death. Whoever is soft and yielding is a disciple of life.”

There is something life-affirming about being soft, adaptable and supple.

Life is these things — always MOVING, CHANGING, FLOWING, MORPHING. Never static and fixed.

Our certainties, maybe, are pale and hollow, and only serve to disappoint. How many times have my conclusions been pulled from beneath me? Too many to count.

So, then, maybe it’s our QUESTIONS AND INQUIRIES ARISING FROM NOT-KNOWING - with their suppleness and openness - that are wiser than our conclusions.

Maybe coming forward empty-handed, willing to be made anew again and again, is the kind of softness that keeps us ALIGNED with Life.

I don’t know… I don’t know…

I ask: How can I be SOFTER today? More supple? Less FIXED (and cruel in my conviction) but more empty?

How can I be more present and less ENTRANCED BY MY OWN RIGID OPINIONS, BELIEFS AND STORYLINES?

How can I be wowed and awed and more CURIOUS?

How can I be supple enough to MEET THE TRUTH OF WHAT IS HERE, EVEN IF IT DOESN'T ALIGN WITH MY BELIEFS about what should be?

Nestling closer to the pulse of life..

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https://biologyofstory.com/#/

This is a work that brings forward story as active in all human endeavour.

Implicate/Explicate brought forward by physicist David Bohm is a breathing/relating. Involution/Evolution is the way Rudolf Steiner described it. Our world is currently awake to Evolution...And we don't understand Involution. So we are just breathing out....that is Asthmatic. And cannot support life.

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Involution is very much a reality in my world! Awakening, highly conscious beings doing their own deep inner work (Involution) then joining together in “real time” to harness the power of collective healing and expanding capacity for loving and being loved. 💜

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