Alternative Narratives

More on Alternative Narratives

Our New, Happy Life? The Ideology of Development

Our New, Happy Life? The Ideology of Development

Essay
This essay originally appeared in Tikkun. In George Orwell’s 1984, there is a moment when the Party announces an “increase” in the chocolate ration – from thirty grams to twenty. No one except for the protagonist, Winston, seems to notice that the ration has gone down not up. ‘Comrades!’ cried an eager youthful voice. ‘Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the battle for production! Returns now completed of the output of all classes of consumption goods show that the standard of living has risen by no less than 20 percent over the past year. All over Oceania this morning there were irrepressible spontaneous demonstrations when workers marched out of factories and offices and paraded through the ... More →
Eivind Skjellum: Journey to the Inner Throne (E25)

Eivind Skjellum: Journey to the Inner Throne (E25)

Podcast
Eivind Skjellum is the creator of Reclaim your Inner Throne, a training program for men. In this conversation, we talk about masculine and feminine archetypes, leadership, elderhood, and stories of transformation in this time when the old story of what a man is and how to be one are dissolving. The next Reclaim your Inner Throne program starts on April 2.  ... More →
Sounds True (2018)

Sounds True (2018)

Audio
Tami Simon, Sounds True's founder and publisher interviewed Charles for the podcast Insights at the Edge. For this series, Tami interviews spiritual teachers, visionary writers, healing professionals, and change-makers about their newest work and current challenges—the growing edge of their inner life and outer contribution. The focus is on the nature of authentic growth and transformation—and what that means on a day-to-day basis ... More →
Gigi Coyle (E23)

Gigi Coyle (E23)

Podcast
This conversation with the amazing Gigi Coyle was recorded with a small live audience on a houseboat, where Gigi was recovering from knee surgery. Gigi is a source of valuable wisdom for activists and change-agents today; a veteran of 1970's feminist and environmental movements, she has turned to deeper levels of activism. We connected on topics of ritual, surrender to a path, the importance of water, community, ambivalence and paradox, living our songlines, myth as a conveyor of truth, and more. I wish more people would have the chance to learn from Gigi, someone who is, in my eyes, a true elder ... More →

More Beautiful World/Findhorn (9.2014)

Video
Filmed at the seashore at Findhorn in Northern Scotland, Charles talks to film-maker Ian Mackenzie about grief, not-knowing, and finding a path forward. Transcript: I was just feeling some grief before you came and found me. Looking out at the water there, birds diving for fish, you know, seagulls out there. And I just felt such sadness that there are fewer of them than there used to be.  And someday there may be none. And I thought, how important is it to me that there’s a future with birds and fish and seals? It’s not that I’m worried about my future. It’s not that I’m worried about, you know, will I survive on a planet where the biosphere is dead ... More →

SESC: Vila Mariana (Sao Paulo Brazil) 11.2016

Video
Charles spoke in Sao Paulo Brazil in November of 2016 at the publication of his book, "The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible," into Brazilian Portuguese by Palas Athena. From the description of the talk Our Stories govern us. They synthesize and give meaning to our lives. Many times, however, the stories play out of tune with reality and no longer guide us, but rather create disconnection. Is it possible to imagine a socio-economic story that connects us to reality? That makes sense of the deep knowledge we already possess? What would a life-affirming story look like, one that nourishes a beautiful future? ... More →
The Lid is Off

The Lid is Off

Essay
It is getting harder to keep a secret these days. The collective shadow of our society, once safely relegated to the dark basement of the unmentionable, is now exposed to daylight, forcing us to face our contradictions ... More →
Scale in the Story of Interbeing

Scale in the Story of Interbeing

Essay
Let me present a logic that has immersed me ever since I became aware of the state of the planet as a teenager: The world has some big problems right now. The crisis is urgent. There is no time to indulge in small, insignificant solutions that will be swept away by the tsunami of climate change, economic meltdown, nuclear holocaust, resource-scarcity fueled wars, and so forth. We need big solutions to big problems. Therefore, whatever you do on a local level, you’d better make sure it is scalable. You’d better make sure it can go viral, because otherwise its impact will be trivial. Contained within this logic is an implicit hierarchy that values the contributions of some people — and some kinds ... More →
The Next Level Podcast (5.2016)

The Next Level Podcast (5.2016)

Audio
A podcast interview with Jeff Agnostelli, on the Next Level Podcast on "Navigating the Space Between Stories:"  Some of the topics include: The old story of who we are, how to be a man, how to be a woman, how to be human, how to live a life Different forms of rebellion Charles interest in “the origin of the wrongness” Why he wrote Sacred Economics first What is our true fundamental motivation Forging your path in a new world The sometimes harsh reality of leaving the old story behind Jeff’s story about the first time he left the old story behind “Any path that already exists is the wrong path” David White Trusting the process of life How sometimes regret ... More →
Eivind Skjellum: Journey through the Archetypes (E13)

Eivind Skjellum: Journey through the Archetypes (E13)

Podcast
This conversation with the Norwegian men's coach and teacher Eivind Skjellum is a deep and at times raw introduction to an extraordinary transformational map Eivind has created (or, more accurately, that he has discovered) ... More →
Lyla June Johnston (E11)

Lyla June Johnston (E11)

Podcast
What are the perils of working "in the system" as opposed to trying to change it from the outside? In this multidimensional conversation, Lyla and I expand and perhaps transcend that question. We weave together topics as seemingly divergent as Peak Oil, recovering dying languages, the "emperor's new clothes" syndrome, and the importance of small, barely visible actions that contradict what is normal or realistic. The poetry and insight of this young woman is not to be missed ... More →
Kind is the New Cool

Kind is the New Cool

Essay
Over the last few years I am seeing more and more evidence of a profound sea-change in youth culture ... More →
Misogyny and the Healing of the Masculine

Misogyny and the Healing of the Masculine

Essay
The unconscious shadow rises into our awareness for a reason – to be faced and to be healed ... More →
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