Can. Not. Wait. For the next one!

Every time you point to the middle path, or the path of peace, in your writing the impulse to just...stop... participating arises alongside my lifelong desire to build a parallel path with other beings who share that impulse. Each step on that path has confronted me with the habits and patterns I’ve acquired over the years that make sense in the old story but now serve to hold a new story at bay. Including, I might add, my impulse to flee. Whatever we build it must live here too. Among the decay of the old order. As you’ve rightly noted so many times... we cannot do this alone. Grateful to encounter fellow travelers among your many devoted readers.

And I will be happy to wait until tomorrow, or now, for the next installment. No rush. 😊

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Years ago I pondered this question of how the evil humans do to each other can come about. Where does it come from? How does it spread? How does it persist? I put it to the universe as a sincere question without any intellectual follow-up. I just waited. The answer came rather quickly and with surprising clarity: Evil begins the moment we begin to separate power from love.

It led me to the conclusion that the only real power (that is not an expression of ego) is Love. Capital 'L', primordial, creative, originating Love that is the spirit of life itself.

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Ah, you have anticipated a major theme of the rest of the essay.

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Ah, hope it wasn't a spoiler :D

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"The answer came rather quickly and with surprising clarity: Evil begins the moment we begin to separate power from love."

I take 'love' to be about caring, about wanting to be of benefit toward, about nurturing, about giving, etc. These are all actions and activities, so love is less a feeling (though it is a feeling) than an intention.

That said, Kannon, I offer you an essay I wrote about love. https://rword.substack.com/p/on-commoning

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Charles Eisenstein

We love you Charles...thank you for spending your life fleshing out these concepts...in front of us, for us and with us.

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Thanks for framing this so gently, Charles.

"..the notion that good will one day triumph over evil would be as absurd as to hope that day will triumph over night.." - that's why I find it (m)useful to frame what we're witnessing as part of the cycle of the rise and fall of civilizations.

Looking forward to upcoming installments.

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I live in an island in the Atlantic ocean. Yesterday I walked miles along a beautiful untouched beach, breathing fresh sunshiney air...i co mingled with tiny crabs scooting along the pristine sand, searched and found a dozen healthy living burrowing sand dollars, gazed at lines of pelicans that would shoot down like missiles into the water and come up with fish in plentiful numbers. A few playful dolphins were bobbing up then down as they always do...just for fun. Others walked too, in silence, grateful to be there, and respectful of all nature had offered us that day. It is like this every day. God is great.

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I live on an island in the Atlantic too, but it's nothing like your paradise. Mind you, I do share it with 68,000,000 others: it's the UK.

Don't s'pose you've got room for one more have you? It sounds idyllic.

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I am nearly 70 years old and the thing that struck me here was the sand dollars. To find one on the Galveston beach when I was a child was a momentous occasion even then. Never saw live ones that I can recall. What an absolutely lovely haven you abide in. Blessings!

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Thanks, Charles. I see here the invitation to give myself (to give ourselves) more fully to the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible, and to embrace the paradoxes, and let go what easily becomes polarising binaries/dualisms (good v evil, truth v falsehood, light v dark). I offer this poem that offers me (maybe others here) a way to hold and express this paradox that I find within myself, and within the world, even as I give myself to that more beautiful world...

Holding the paradox

My life has always been a huge bag of contradictions,

I too have felt at times the fury of the journey’s unresolved tensions,

A roller-coaster ride of upward, unutterable and undiluted delights,

Matched by descents of distress, darkness, and deepening despairs;

I’ve witnessed first-hand the sumptuous, surreal and soulful splendours,

And felt within the turmoil of evasive, elusive and explosive eruptions,

Together, a puzzling potpourri of light and dark, honour and shame, grace and guilt,

The mixed-all of my one-dappled-life, dazzling and dull, delicate and defiant;

I’ve endured endless episodes to halt the colliding, convulsing poles of my life,

Frantic and foiled pursuits for that harmonious heaven of sweet resolve,

Cravings for that prolonged summer and spring-day sunshine to end the autumnal and wintry storms,

In futile hope of that one promised, perfect, placid and poetic life, free of conflicts and cares;

More lately, I’m learning to embrace the present peace of letting come and letting be,

Holding the paradox of my one unfolding pure-impure existence as completely and wholly me,

Joys and pains, beauty and ugliness, life and death - the true and only story to be told,

I accept the heavy lightness of the yoke, and release the stranglehold.

© Roger Arendse 20190529

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I love the Dorito/authentic tortilla metaphor. As an abstract-averse person I really appreciate concrete examples like this. Looking forward to the next installment.

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Dec 8, 2022Liked by Charles Eisenstein

"In the great cosmic battle between evil and good, evil’s most powerful weapon is the idea of a great cosmic battle between evil and good."

A truer paradox has never been voiced. I like to think that I'm gradually becoming more comfortable with paradox and the cosmic joke 🤪

Arigatou, Charles, and happy holidays...we're opening our Ängsbacka celebrations with a Christmas market on Sunday 🎄♥️

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Dec 8, 2022·edited Dec 8, 2022

Hello Charles, thank you for your writings. May I point you to Graeber and Wengrows Dawn of Everything? They show with anthropological findings that our conception of an agricultural revolution is incorrect, in that it never took place in the generalistic and swooping way that we think. It is actually a myth itself. Since I read the book, alarm bells go off every time someone uses the phrase "ever since the agricultural revolution.."

Encouraging you to check it out. Great read, also for learning about power and its mechanisms

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I have read it. Wonderful book.

What I say in this article does not depend on the transition to agriculture being sudden. I never bought into that view, actually, that agriculture was a bad thing, since it emerged gradually and independently all over the world. However, the mindset of domesitic/wild, good/evil, does go along with agriculture. I believe it too developed gradually, in tandem with agricultural civilization.

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I've read the mythologist Joseph Campbell. When discussing the development of mythologies the myths of India found their way to the middle east where they were transformed by a man named Zoroaster. It was he who developed the concept of a God of Good and a God of Evil. Our Western religions derive from this beginning.

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I believe that is just a small part of the history.

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Yes. Agreed.

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Graeber and Wengrow are a delicious meal to be eaten with a salt shaker nearby ("with a grain of salt"). David Graeber was a very kind, generous spirit. I did interact with him personally on a few occasions, and liked him a lot. It would be going much too far to say we were friends, though. But I loved the man (in a non-romantic sense of love).

Be sure to listen to some of what this fellow has to say about Graeber and Wengrow. It's worth ten times the price of admission. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcYvqQ-UuvvFsHNNfwjYEBw

Be mindful that the series begins here, and is best watched / listened to in chronological order. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oJIHWk_M398&t=434s

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I knew David also, and had the pleasure of his erudite company on several occasions. I'd say we were friends, though by no means close. He was one of the most intelligent people I've ever met. And yes, he was kind, a beautiful soul.

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I loved the public (and videographed) conversation you had with him some years ago, in which the main topic was "what is money?". You and David agreed that money was basically a form of magic (!) It was a true delight to listen to that one. The video was available on YouTube for years, but last time I checked it had been scrubbed from the internet. A true loss! I hope someone will dig it back up from its virtual graveyard and post it on Vimeo or YouTube or some other video-sharing space.

I may have played some minor role in the two of you guys coming together (?). I know I nudged him to connect with you. He fully agreed that the two of you ought to talk. You guys were brilliant together.

And, of course, there is this.: https://charleseisenstein.org/essays/a-review-of-graebers-debt-the-first-5000-years/

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I found a trace of the Graeber / Eisenstein conversation on money. It leads to a message saying the video is "private". It used to be "public".



Video: David Graeber and Charles Eisenstein on the Nature of Money


“In this video, David Graeber, Occupy Wall Street activist and author of Debt: The First 5,000 Years, and Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics, tackle the loaded question: What is money? Eisenstein and Graeber aptly compare money to magic, and explore the notion that money works because we all believe in it.

This video was recorded by Jonathan VanWettering at NYU Kimmel Center on August 22nd, 2012 for “The New Edge of Radical Economics,” an Evolver Network event moderated by Daniel Pinchbeck.”


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Wish it was still available! Bet it was a great discussion.

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It was fantastic. That it is now missing is a great loss.

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As it is above, so it is below....this concept has occupied my thoughts for decades. Human consciousness and the ideas we have created are interesting to ponder. Are we simply a reflection of the greater cosmos...I mean the idea of an asteroid seeding a planet with the beginnings of life is mirrored fairly well in the process of conception. In cosmic terms, the asteroid and planet are as microscopic as the sperm and egg is to Earth's ecosystem.

Perhaps the same applies to other activities/events on a cosmic scale - such as stars exploding and destroying their planets, galaxies consuming each other...is this cosmic war or even murder from the perspective of a vast cosmic consciousness?

Lot's to ponder - and this is what I love most about your writing Charles...the journey into ourselves that it leads us on.

Can't wait for the rest of these, in the meantime I'll be revisiting 1984 this weekend!

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Let me juxtapose this here:


When we pick a side between PRO or CON:

can we still stay on the side of the truth?

This drama takes place inside our (shared) mind.

We are fighting each other—

trying to convince each other

to be more compliant and trusting

or be more cynical and critical.

There is a rift in our collective psyche.

Isn’t it this internal strife in our heart and our spirit


that weakens our "immunity" the most?

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"the notion that good will one day triumph over evil would be as absurd as to hope that day will triumph over night, or summer over winter, or preservation over decay." Hearing this made my heart open up. A simple yet often overlooked truth that upon realisation unblocks the path to love. Thank you Charles; you've a beautiful way of expressing very important ideas.

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More fresh Mexican tortillas!

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Blake Whitman -- What a name. Two great poets in one.

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Great. Appreciate the outline of the roots of the idea of 'good Vs evil'. What comes to mind is a comic strip from the 1970s: Spy Vs Spy, they were constantly trying to eliminate the other. Never quite succeeding, and so the conflict goes on forever. One thing that has helped me in regards to this idea of 'good and evil' is insights into the ultimate nature of existence. It shows me the idea of a cosmic battle between good and evil is complete rubbish! It couldn't be further from the truth. It also highlights how some established traditional religions are so out of wack with anything to do with spiritual insight, being an expression of deep contradictions and fragmented thinking.

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Thank you Charles, Counting the hours to the next one!

good versus evil, ahhh!

“God is a comedian performing at an audience that is afraid to laugh.”

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What if the blame cannot be placed because the ones who are accountable lived long before us- perhaps it’s more of a battle between beast and human or organic and non-organic or soul and non-soul- those with a conscience and those without the ability to feel remorse.

The system we live in has been building itself long before us- has been deliberately thought up and designed long before us- so the perpetrators are long gone but the workings of their deeds live on in our cells, our genes, our DNA...

Where did we get this idea that “nature is cruel” or “nature is evil”- it’s what we are so how can it be so? The space Between the paradox lies the resolution...

is this space clear and well? Or is it clouded with illusion and sickness?

Light and Dark

Malevolent or Benevolent...

Why must “light” be that of the heavenly and dark be that of all things evil?

“Light” is nothing more than seeing something for what it actually is.

Dark is nothing more than that, that is hidden from consciousness

Certain all the sickness can be found in the dark, behind closed doors, and hiding underground but all the really BiG important answers to the really Big important questions also hide in the dark!

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