Alternative Narratives

More on Alternative Narratives

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

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)

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)

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)

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

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

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

Nipun Mehta: Changing the Story with Kindness (E01)

Podcast
A conversation with Nipun Mehta, founder of ServiceSpace, on kindness and generosity, non-monetary wealth, and how even small, simple acts of kindness alter the fabric of our world to have potentially enormous social and political consequences ... More →
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Reflections on Damanhur

Short Reflection
I'm writing this on my way home from a trip that ended with a short visit to Damanhur, an intentional community in Italy. With 1000 members it is, as far as I know, the largest in the world next to Auroville. But what makes it extraordinary is the worldview and mission that carries it.Damanhur is founded on a very rich and detailed mythology. It originates with its founder Falco, who in lectures and writings spanning several decades presented a kind of alternative history of humanity, with associated metaphysical and cosmological teachings. It involves galactic civilizations, prehistorical and para-historical civilizations on earth, a cosmic battle between the forces of life and anti-life, and a series of great defeats suffered by humanity ... More →
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A Shift in Values Everywhere

Short Reflection
I've been seeing news articles a lot recently about parents being arrested and their children removed from their custody because they let them play unsupervised outdoors. I'm linking to one here. The first thing I felt upon reading it was intense indignation, and alienation from a society in which such a thing is remotely conceivable. Why is it conceivable? Why this tremendous change from my own childhood, in which it was normal for us to wander far and wide, unsupervised, from as young as 6 or 7? Here are a few reasons: (1) The decline of community. In my childhood all the neighbors knew each other and would keep an eye on each other's kids. The boundary between home and ... More →

The Woman Who Chose to Plant Corn

Essay
The best and brightest are abandoning the ship, and even those who remain aboard are participating half-heartedly as they sense the inevitable shipwreck. Eventually even going through the motions of complicity becomes intolerable, as our hunger to live a meaningful life draws us towards a new and ancient story of interconnection, interbeing, and social, personal and ecological healing ... More →
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The Cynic and the Boatbuilder, Revisited

Short Reflection
I would like to share with my readers part of a letter I received from Samuel Brett (who has given me permission to share this.) The article he references, The Cynic and the Boatbuilder, explores the value of living a life devoted to something beautiful, even if it seems senseless in the face of climate change and so on. In this case, it is the preservation of the ancient craft of Nordic-Irish boatbuilding. The cynic says, “That’s all very nice, but what good does it do in the face of The Crisis?" Here is Samuel’s letter. "I recently was linked via Facebook by a friend in the US to an article you wrote called 'The Cynic and the boatbuilder' and ... More →
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