Comments

  1. Thank you Charles. Your essay was exactly what I needed to hear in this moment. I doubt you remember me but I was the guy who came to the Space Between Stories workshop a year ago outside Asheville, with my old friend Marcie Christensen. I was also the guy who was so emphatic about wanting to “go big,” and gave you a copy of my recently published book Mindfulness Meditation in Psychotherapy. You were very kind, though I can only imagine what you must have been thinking!😵
    Your essay touched me deeply, helping me at an important moment in my life to confront with much less shame my conflicted motivations to help save life on our planet, and my self-aggrandizing craving for fame, money, and admiration. Your willingness and vulnerability to share your own similar conflict will, I am certain, help me and many others to be present with and work through our own conflicts, and to respond to our hearts’ and lives’ true calling in the future.
    Much metta and gratitude to you, Stella, and your sons.
    Sincerely,
    Steve Alper

    • Beautiful, all around. I join you Steve in a deep bow to Charles for his important voice. As one of my spirit guides once kindly said to me, “Constance, humility is the first step on your spiritual journey. Kabow! he got me. My self-confident presence was sadly a poor cover for the insecurity I felt as an aspiring spiritual educator. Who did I think I was to follow in the footsteps of the revered role models, I so wanted to be? while his message to me set me on a far sweeter course, I began noticing all the ways my ego was standing in the way of my hopes to fully understand the sacrifices of service in a new light. Once I began to extinguish the false beliefs I was carrying around like, proving myself to others that I was not ego-involved in my dedication to service, but wanting only to be a generator for greater self-wareness and the importance of spiritual understanding and eduction. Thank you and Charles for your openness and kindness.

      Tenderly, Rev, constance

  2. Thank you for this article, Charles. I feel also that those working hard to heal themselves from trauma, addiction, etc. are creating a larger space for all to heal. I used to think that working on myself was selfish , but now I see how my healthier choices are creating a positive effect for those I care for.

    For example, if my unhealthy and negative thinking goes unchecked, it can potentially affect everyone I come in contact with, causing stressful interactions. However, if I become more mindful of my thoughts and how they affect my moods, energy, words and actions, then I can make the choice to shift my thinking. I can practice a more peaceful way if interacting with myself, my inner dialog, which softens the outer dialog I have with others.

    This personal shift has the capacity to affect everyone I come in contact with. A small movement that begins at home can send ripples out into the world.

    It is not selfish bring the focus inward. Self care gives us the nutrients we use to care for others.

  3. WOW.
    This REALLY resonates…
    with soul purpose…
    and my own journey.

    A former sweetie bought one of those first Ascent of Humanity books…
    and HIGHLY recommended it me.
    I immediately sensed real depth in it (without reading past the first few sections).

    Eisenstein came into my consciousness several times this past week…
    when friends forwarded similar or complementary work from two others that resonated with me years back (but hadn’t read in years):
    Riane Eisler and John Perkins.

    Something big in emerging here.
    Rising out of the ashes of despair?
    Whew.
    I sure hope so (having spent much time their in recent years… re both planetary and personal failures and disillusionment).

  4. Rev 2

    WOW.
    This REALLY resonates…
    with soul purpose…
    and my own journey.

    A former sweetie bought one of those first Ascent of Humanity books…
    and HIGHLY recommended it me.
    I immediately sensed real depth in it (without reading past the first few sections).

    Eisenstein came into my consciousness several times this past week…
    when friends forwarded similar or complementary work from two others that resonated with me years back (but hadn’t read in years):
    Riane Eisler and John Perkins.

    Something big is emerging here.
    Rising out of the ashes of despair?
    Whew.
    I sure hope so (having spent much time there in recent years… re both planetary and personal failures and disillusionment).

  5. Yes. Many of the parts are just the regular, dedicated acts of kindness. I taught in prison here in Asheville for 99 months. I hoped I was supporting people to be different: to change. What I know I successfully did was to show humanity 5 days a week to people who had shown inhumanity and were known for doing so. I have no idea what amount of change I effected. That’s not my job to be concerned about.
    I write poetry. Occasionally something gets published. That audience is quite small. I have no idea whom it touches. That’s hilarious!
    Have fun with your new fame; )

  6. So beautifully written. Thank you for saying many feelings I hold about my path in this life.

    “Acts of kindness strengthen the field of kindness, acts of love strengthen the field of love, acts of hate strengthen the field of hate.
    Nor is scaling up necessary when we trust that the tasks life sets before us are part of a larger tapestry, woven by an intelligence that puts us in exactly the right place at the right time.”

    I’ve not put it in your words but they feel exactly Right!
    My job is selling mattresses on commission. My mission is to kindly help each person get their best night’s sleep, healing sleep. To be kindly present with each person, with joy and Lightness.
    Just today I had 2 elderly customers come back in tears, frustrated with delivery issues beyond our control. I tended to each with focus, kindness, physical and emotional care, as much help as I could summon. I felt as if something ‘around me’ was shifting.
    As an energy channel, I have often felt I’m hiding in plain sight, wearing the costume that allows me to be among these who I’d probably Never meet otherwise in my own life. Last winter 3 diverse women sat in a unattractive work break room, bonding over cookies and cats. Cookies and cats were possibly the only things we had in common but we enjoyed our time together and left with our hearts lighter, warmer. Our field of kindness (I like this expression of yours) enriched, warmed.
    Thank you for enriching my sense of what I’m doing day by day. Thank you for your lovely phrasing, the clarity with which I received your words.
    I’ll also tell the friend who forwarded this to me Thank You for sharing this gift with me. As I’ll now share with others.

    • “Acts of kindness strengthen the field of kindness, acts of love strengthen the field of love, acts of hate strengthen the field of hate.”
      This quote brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for this!

  7. So excited to see you are on Oprah! I love her work & yours. Hope you enjoy both reclusiveness & the enjoyment of your work getting to more hearts & minds.

  8. Dear Charles,
    Yet again your words fill me with belief and hope for us all. Thank you.
    It’s a tough one allowing oneself to remain small (not that I suggest you are so) My one small article a month seems like nothing. My joy of solitude in nature and not wanting to be surrounded by people all the time creates a sort of guilt. Yet my love for all that surrounds me and the way I make people smile when I am in town, I hope is enough. So thank you for reminding me it is.
    I have included the website for a house I have for sale, not from a selling point of view, but for somewhere you might like to stay (Before it is sold). It will be available in September as it is booked for holiday rentals for July and August. It’s definitely a place of solitude and I think your family would like it!
    See you at the GEN conference.
    With love
    Conrad

  9. Another straight from the heart sharing using the gift of words and flow that you have. Blessed to read this and all of your work.

    Is a source of inspiration and course correction for me in my own work and life.

  10. Oh Charles. I love you. Thank you. Tears are streaming down my face reading this. As always, your humility and manner to speak for ‘us’ is beyond words – you are an antenna! The tears are deep gratitude for the gift you share on behalf of us all. From my heart – thank you

  11. Praise the spirit and may we all be used to serve this imperative message!
    Thank you Oprah for heeding the call!

  12. Charles, you have changed this one woman in Australia immeasurably. Just by your words, your thoughts, your behaviour. If I could only have, say, five books on my bookshelf, Sacred Economics and Iain McGilchrist’s The Master and His Emissary would both absolutely be there. I think you are a wonderful man and your way of living gives me heart.

  13. Charles,
    What a beautiful evolved soul you are. Many Years ago I had you come do a seminar on “The Yoga of Eating.” You ignited consciousness in each one of us.
    Later I enjoyed your book “The Assent to Humanity”. Your brilliance and soul are inspiring!
    Carol Howe

  14. Thank you so much, Charles

    I have never read anyone else’s perspective/experience of life that so keenly related to my own. Thank you so much.

    Time is running short for me, in this moment, because I have to get to work, and the Internet is so nebulous I can’t guarantee that I will see your article again, so I write a bit now, just to make a dent.
    I am Shiana Seitz, and I wrote, and ultimately self-published two books. Both on Amazon. (If you’re curious, please check it out and you’ll better understand my response.) Your first publishing experiences, and mind sets and intentions relate to my own.
    Now, I’m in the place of sharing Joy with elders as I teach chair exercises at a beautiful retirement home development in San Luis Obispo. I am sharing Joy and Love every day in ways I could not have possibly imagined when those books of mine went nowhere. What’s funny is that the words in the books still inspire me. They remind ME, and that is the being that chooses to be an inspiration to others – to those people within my circle of daily interactions.
    Life is a Mystery is it not?

    Thank you for sharing. It is a validation for me, and undoubtedly for many others, too.
    Namaste,
    Shiana

  15. Wow, Charles, I enjoy your vulnerable sharing of your inner struggles. Your book “The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible” inspired me greatly, along with the numerous videos that have featured you, and I have been through almost exactly the same process as you. I wrote a book, self-published, sold a few copies, and now realize that my greatest pleasure arises from knowing how many free PDF copies have been downloaded. I enjoy a few solitary notes that dribble in from people who thank me for my writing. Even when I wrote my introduction, I realized I write to hear myself tell myself the very things that I need to hear and remember. What “winds my clock” more than anything these days is working directly, face-to-face, with people in conversations, convening people to community conversations about things that trouble them, asking them to collaborate, form networks of sharing resources, information and wisdom. My goal is to be part of a team that builds localized resilience. Right now, it’s focused on the thousands of unhoused people. This is my service, and I’m learning by doing, one day at a time, inch by inch.

    • Hey David, I did not know about your writing. I do know that you are a shining light in Lane County. Keep up the good work!

      Isn’t Charles’ work inspiring? I saw him a few years ago in Eugene.

    • Hi David! Like Charles, you walk your talk, and keep listening (as you say) to your talk so you remember what your walk is. As I was reading both Charles’s and your piece and the responses to it, I get the sense of why I like telling my story of hope and inspiration. It is to remind myself of the essence of that story – stories – so my cellular awareness and my biome recognize my dedication to helping the story unfold – both my story and the bigger story of collaboration and as Charles says; We need each other! I am so blessed! Thank you.

  16. May the Oprah interview open new doors ( hearts and minds) for your hopeful and encouraging message, so necessary for those of us who struggle in this parenthesis between a dying civilization and a more beautiful world yet to be born. Your personal story provides a lift, and I LOVED “The Ascent of Humanity,” all the more when I now learn about its self-published background. Along with the wise words of the Zen master, you allude to a saying of Jesus about the rain falling on the just and unjust. While Christianity has become such a mess over the centuries, and it’s natural for us to look to the East for enlightenment, there are other sayings of Jesus that echo the thrust of your latest essay. That mysterious thing called the kingdom of god or heaven has a couple of interesting aspects. It’s small and insignificant, like a mustard seed or pinch of leaven, but leads to large, significant results. It’s also hidden or easily overlooked, like buried treasure or a precious pearl, yet once found is worth the devotion of a lifetime. I, too, happen to be a self-publisher who put a little piece on the Kindle a few years ago, also in answer to a spiritual question I was asked. For those who may be interested, I hope you don’t mind if I provide a link to the booklet’s description and free sample. They make it clear, I hope, that it’s not a money-making or self-promoting endeavor. If I’ve crossed a policy line here, I apologize, and please just erase the comment. Either way, thank you for “The Age of We Need Each Other.” I’ve been checking your website every day for a new short piece, while eagerly awaiting your upcoming book with a unique take on climate change and related environmental issues.

    https://www.amazon.com/Life-Truth-synoptic-gospel-Theophilus-ebook/dp/B00NIZOJ4C

  17. Estimado Christer: La lectura que me has enviado de Charles Eisenstein(al que no había nombrar),me ha gustado y se ajusta mucho a mi pensamiento de cómo ver el mundo y mi misión mientras me quede un hálito de vida.Aunque me cuesta un poco entender todas las palabras que,al ser traducidas al español, nunca reflejan lo que deben decir en tu idioma.aunque en el fondo entiendas su significado.Es lo mismo que me ocurrió cuando,recién jubilado me puse a traducir del catalán al castellano el libro del mallorquín Joan Mascaró titulado ” Lámparas de Fuego” o ” Llánties de Foc” como el lo titula.En el encontré bastantes palabras que no entendía,del catalán,pero creo que al final,la traducción quedó “bastante decente” con la ayuda del ex-profesor del Seminario D. Sebastián Mesquida.Te quiero manifestar mi agradecimiento,porque para mí tienen un valor especial,que se centra en ayudarte a conocerte a tí mismo y reafirmarte en que tu misión es ofrecerte a la humanidad en todo aquéllo que le puedas ser útil.

  18. I am not one bit surprised at this intersection. Oprah has long had a strong sense of what was needed for healing. She has built trust with her viewers over the years so that when she would present them with something a little ‘out there’ that she resonated with, they were open to receiving it. She has always been all about healing and it makes perfect sense to me that a next ‘stage’ for her would be about transcending healing to move towards creating the ‘more beautiful world’.

    Not to toot my own horn, but I have noticed over the years (I work in a library) that often when I feel like I am ‘discovering’ a new, great, voice, shortly later, Oprah discovers it too, and brings it to her audience. This is because what is great and needs to come ‘out’ will find its way one way or another. It is also because I believe that Oprah and others like her have a strong sense of what is ‘real and good’ and what resonates with highest truth and great integrity and authenticity so it makes perfect sense that she would ‘discover’ Charles after he had come to the place of knowing his own highest purpose.

    This, to me, personally is awesome. Being one of those people who have been thinking ‘I wish everyone would read/know the world of Charles Eisenstein’ (and also recommending it whenever it seemed appropriate) I am THRILLED that Oprah is making this happen in a way that I could do only on a very small scale. Small is good, yes, but sometimes bigger IS better, when it is at the right time and right place with the right people.

    Yay, Charles! Way to go, Oprah! How cool that you found Charles! Wonderful.

  19. Many blessings to you for the sacred work you are doing. Your gifts of empathy and eloquence are so needed during these troubling times.

  20. Dear Charles,

    I met you through your written work a few years back and have been following you since. You capture and articulate with such clarity my own current life experience as one who has come through the community development and humanitarian assistance world into Transformational Conversation (Living Awareness through Personal Life Coaching), which is where my heart has always been taking me. Your authentic and courageous writing has helped me make sense of my own experience and to live more boldly into my highest soul commitment. Thank-you, Charles!

    Peace, Light and Love

    Brian

  21. Charles, your gracious telling of this posts humbling message is deeply inspiring. It plucks a cord that feels familiar to me as I walk a somewhat similar path in Australia. Thank you for this simple, yet powerful, goodness.

    Erin
    Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

  22. I felt tears come at the end when you write, “We will not be alone here much longer.” Thank you, Charles.

  23. Beautiful Charles, thank you so much for writing this. I’m sure many of us who face similarly conflicting motivations will be well served by this essay. I certainly relate. You are the conscience of our generation.

  24. Charles, – it’s Rosalind, now aged 75, from the U.K.
    Do you remember how we stood and looked at each other at the end of a Schumacher course? I said ” no words” and you said ” it’s O.K. by me”.
    Long may this inter-connected presence inform the world of the centrality of respect, love, gratefulness and co-existence, as we journey onwards.

  25. I am on a similar professional path. Thank you for continuing to circulate the clarity you have received from The Spiritual Being. I needed that.
    This May I graduated from Columbia University with a Master of Science degree in Sustainability Management. I pursued it part-time while working at various NGO’s and as a substitute teacher, and kept coming back to your book Sacred Economics in the past 3-4 years. You are right, there is a significant (enormous) gap between your (and my) vision for the planet’s survival and of the mainstream. And you are right about this gap beginning to shrink. Thank you for your work.
    According to my ambitions and the expectations of my family and friends, as a Columbia alumni, I should be working at a prestigious company and earning an impressive salary. However, I haven’t been able to find what fits my beliefs and a desire to produce an impact of a much higher scale. Your post helped me recognize the conflict of my motivations. Thanks again for being a mentor to me and many others.

  26. Like many others, I needed to hear this right now. I struggle to balance the impulse to “find that one thing I need to do to help bring a better world into being” with letting the presence of awareness inform every movement in every moment.
    I want to know that I’m making a difference! But my heart tells me that there is an intelligence working through all of us, and I need only let that move me in the way it will.
    Thank you for your presence in the world.

  27. Thank you for this, Charles.

    It so reminded me of a wonderful book by Margaret J. Wheatley: So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World (2012)

    Highly recommend this book to you and all your readers.

    https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13590007-so-far-from-home
    “I wrote this book for you if you offer your work as a contribution to others, whatever your work might be, and if now you find yourself feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, and sometimes despairing even as you paradoxically experience moments of joy, belonging, and greater resolve to do your work. This book describes how we can do our good work with dedication, energy, discipline, and joy by consciously choosing a new role for ourselves, that of warriors for the human spirit.”

    Don

  28. Charles, I struggle with the same issues! I have even held myself back from writing another book until I was doing it for the right reasons… i.e. not for fame, but only for service — and to trust that “success” would come if that is what is supposed to happen. After a few years of really working on my lifelong need for achievement and success and recognition, I can report that I have made a lot of progress. I’ve also worked on a lot of other personal issues over the past year, many emanating from childhood. I’ve increasingly seen how almost everyone I know is driven by factors that began in childhood — usually as a way to survive and win love from one parent or another or both. I am also learning to love and have compassion for myself! It is a hard, slow process. But now that I feel I am seeing lights at the end of the tunnel — at least this part of the tunnel! — I feel I am emerging as a new person getting ready for a new life that now begins for me at age 61.5. And finally, I feel like a new book is growing in me too. But I have much less attachment to it. It will come as it comes. Charles, kudos on the Oprah interview and your humble attitude about it. If this is a portent of bigger things to come for you, I pray that you retain this attitude! I know it will probably be challenging, but I’m so impressed that you remain cognizant of the issue at all. Blessings on your success.

  29. Imagine an Oprah show (or whole season) that just tells the stories of the millions of ordinary people doing powerful daily work. The threads in the fabric. The everyday heroes. Thank you for being one of them Charles. If you should go big, thank you for remaining, in your own way, small.

  30. Also a big thanks from me, Charles.
    I could have written those first few paragraphs myself, albeit from a much ‘humbler’ place.
    I could also have asked all those questions that you ask.
    Would I be willing to make that same deal? Good questions!
    I never read ANYTHING you write without being renewed and inspired!
    This time, it was or is the path you are choosing in doing the small things.
    But, it is heartening to hear about Oprah and we do need some messages of hope at times.
    Warm wishes,
    Brian

  31. Hi 🙂

    You, and The Ascent of Humanity, have been at the center of many wild, deeply life-changing synchronicities over the past few years. Right out of college, on my first day in San Francisco, I got a big, hardcover copy of The Ascent of Humanity at a little bookshop. I wasn’t sure why I needed it, but I knew that I did… long before I had even the slightest inklings of a spiritual sense.

    Almost two years of full-time work, burnout, and a deep depression later, I was on a disability leave from work and went to Lightning in a Bottle 2016. I was in a workshop you gave there (we traveled in time :D), and then hung around the space for a bit. The next workshop in the space was Paradox Pollack’s monkey chant. It was a powerful, magickal experience in itself, and through it I connected with Danielle – a powerful connection that blew the doors off of… just about everything for me and set me on the path of awakening and healing. After the festival I connected with Paradox again, which brought me to one of the most deeply nourishing and stable connections of my life, a person who has been really instrumental in my growth and healing.

    After that I quit my job and started traveling. You and I crossed paths at the Beloved festival later that year. I was nervous to say hi, and you were resting (in a biiig, wide-brimmed sun hat), so I didn’t say anything and went to lay down in the shade myself. About a minute later, Paradox literally stepped over my sleeping body, which led to us connecting again and opening some new pathways in my life. BIG WEIRD MAGICK.

    I still haven’t finished the book! Nonetheless, it’s been a powerful engine of synchronicity and anchors an important energy in my life. Now I’m on new adventures in Berlin, healing, growing, and showing up for the Work. Thank you for being you and for the work you do! I hope we’ll have an opportunity to speak some time 🙂

    <3

  32. Hey Charles,
    Well and honestly put, as is your way and talent.
    Too wordy, too- but you already know and suspect that.
    I subscribe to you – not so much to all your bleating and blessings of heady logic and counter-logic and third thing logic, and even when you stumble into the Fourth Way of disappearing logic and logos for the “astonishment of the soul” moments your writing/something to say creates, I love you despite your backasswards aggressive-passive aggressive humbleness.

    But there’s the rub.
    I’ve nothing to critique about your intelligence- astounding, astute and growing- nor about your home-base points, once you finally get there. Good stuff!

    What sings out behind your voice in your writings is too much “I” – both denying-while-inflating yourself, and some kinds of cultural trappings of mind – of which you are aware.

    Also, that your working these things out in this process of writing for others is clear. And I wish more power to you in your clearing.

    This reply space is not the format to go into detail about what I see and hear in you, and any way, it’s what you (eventually) give us as viable new knowledge and new POV viewing – what we hear from you- that is significant. So only two things – that are really a fusion of one thing – I’d like to add here about your take and make regarding this communication, and what you communicate as who you (think you) are.

    One, I sense a blind spot in you – that you’re being too good – too “goody-goody” – that somehow walking the razors edge like you are – like many of us are – doesn’t get our souls bloody really often. I say, let it bleed. In your silence… then, when you’re blood cleans, write. Not before.

    The blind spot is in how you fold into and upon yourself so many times trying to cover your tracks – as though you hope not to offend telling us we don’t get a lot of what we are doing/thinking- and that we also don’t get we are each other and the world.

    It doesn’t matter what we do or don’t get. What matters is saying it with your sword and rose as is… thorns and shine all. Don’t “protect” us by being Mr. Nice Guy. You’re not him. Your rage and fume have a place to help communicate unto communion – I trust you in this because you are transformed- and transforming.

    By hedging your insights as you do, you’re telling us you don’t trust us. Nobody wants to read that, nor feel that from a brightness.

    This fuses into your Oprah bit. Oprah is perhaps more lost than most- and it is this quality in her – that is of her compelling to seek in such Darkness – that blesses us with a needed mainstream of stuttering toward wakefulness. My take is ” Thank God for the OprahChoprah SuperHighway!” Without her carving out this path of hers in front of out TV minds, we’d still be stuck enmasse back at “I’m angry as hell and I’m not gonna take it anymore!” And meditation and mindfulness would still not be in the national-lowest common denominator vocabulary across all demographics. But it is now. Thanx to that SuperHighway.

    And the razor you walk is reminding you to that we are all in a quickening, so there is no time to bow to OprahChoprah left. Acknowledge, thank, hold in gratefulness and still cut the wheat from the chaff. It’s your job – without the wordiness obfuscation effort Inga to get everyone into the boat. Remember, people are quite capable – and many will swim on their own even just by seeing the boat. Yes, many will also drown.
    That’s the nature of the razor.
    But giving even those who are drowning the dignity of their own place to do that for themselves is more respectful, and more real.

    Keep it real, Charles. Catch the cultural/org. religious stuff before it injects/infects into your truth-telling and valuable insights. You really do have something to say, to share, and to communicate unto communion – now Zen it out. Cut off your own Buddha head and let us hear it! Trust us… we will grow. It’s soul’s trajectory. And we will quicken as needed across the land when you stop babying the Godscape and luv the blood and mud that challenges our ego-minds.

    Now is the time. Let the good times roll! You’ve nothing to lose but your head🤣😑❤️😎🙏!

    Much Aloha

    Satya

    • I was worried about being the contrarian in this sea of accolades and was relieved to come to this response. Satya, your nuances are so layered (fascinatingly so) that I’m not sure I got all of them, but am in tune with you about the gist. Charles, who are you to be so damn humble? We lack for heroes and you are blessed with that capacity. Don’t cheat everyone with the ordinariness you are dabbling with. It’s not about craving recognition but taking the job you were given. We so need the community you call us to that I encourage you to keep shining that light as you do in the video clip from Occupy Wall Street I have in Inspirations on my new site: scroll down on http://suespeaks.org/inspirations. I‘m under some orders, too – this is on my archival site: http://mightycompanions.org/suzanne. It’s the directive that got me making a Heroes Gallery and I’m hoping you will find yourself comfortable there.: http://suespeaks.org/featured-heroes .

    • Satya, I’m finding myself feeling quite frustrated after reading your comment. When I read your comment about staying silent until the blood is clean I was reminded of something Martín Prechtel said in his talk on grief and praise about criticising people when they have an idea of how to make life better and are pursuing it, “If you’re trying to talk him out of it, you’re slitting your own throat!” Prechtel said.

      When you criticized Charles for being too wordy I felt confused because I don’t experience his writing as too wordy, and valued everything he said in this essay. I had no idea what you were talking about with your discussion of his layers of logic, because there were no specific examples. I was fairly deeply irked when you used the phrase “backasswards aggressive-passive aggressive humbleness” because it was accusatory without givng any evidence of what in his writing you are referring to, what it even meant, or what could be done to remedy whatever it was that you saw as being that. Criticisms in this form have a tendency to just shame and inhibit people rather than helping them remedy anything if there truly is a an area which could use some attention for improvement. Please, give specific examples, and how it impacted you. Your message will be easier to hear.

      Are you hoping for Charles and his writing to be more like you and yours, and you felt frustrated when reading this that that’s not the case? I wonder this because it struck me that I find each of the problems you point out in his writing to be present in this one example of your writing that I have to know you by, and I personally don’t see the things you spoke of in Charles’s writing. I think that’s why Charles uses so much “I”, and it’s one of the reasons I try to also. At least when I talk about myself I know I am not committing what Jesus decried as hypocrisy, pointing out the speck in my brother’s eye when I have a log in my own. I may not be seeing everything perfectly clearly when I talk about myself, but it feels better to me to be mistaken when talking about my own shortcomings than to be mistaken about someone else’s shortcomings.

      Your use of “you” statements impacted me in such a way that made it difficult for me to find anything helpful or valuable in what you were saying, and it also made me also not care to search, because your overall message left a foul taste in my mouth. I am writing only because I treasure both Charles and the perspectives that come through his writing, and it is important to me to speak up in their defense. If you feel compelled to comment again in the future will you please form your criticisms in the form of “I” statements, and give specific examples?

      And Charles, if you read this, please don’t heed the confusing advice to stay silent until your blood cleans?

  33. Down the street is a center for the blind,
    where folks who can see,
    lead around those who cannot.
    Those who hold the sticks,
    smile bigger and longer,
    darkness into light,
    and I wonder,
    who’s really blind here?

  34. Your words at the Slow Living Summit accompanied by that superb cellist put your message into my bones. A million times Thank You. This essay was just what a needed in a time of crisis of purpose. With gratitude. Rachel

  35. Wowza – your writing provided the grounding mat I needed to hear – AGAIN!. I half wrote my draft book ‘Life’s a Load of Balls!’ about 7 years ago. I actually reached out to you at the time to ask if you would help out with a review. You bowled me over by saying ‘Yes, if the timing was right with whatever else was going on in your life.’ It’s sat perculating on my computer and just two weeks ago, I picked up the threads to bring it to life. I am now ready to bring it into the world to be of service and not for the fame. Like you the anticipation, the dreaming felt exciting. The universe had other plans to align my teaching with my values. It’s humbling and fulfilling when you take time to sit and listen to other peoples wisdom – the philosophy of the older fok and the fresh, innovative, raw wisdom of the young.
    Thank you for your heartfelt muse; it has served as a mouthsmacking affirmation to pursue my witing with love and vigor.
    Congratulations on being invited to be Oprah’s guest, I look forward to listening.
    Huglets
    Philippa

  36. Thank you for this essay. It is a joy to read about the smallness of a real life. My real life often feels very small. I am a composer and music teacher in a town with a population of just over 20,000. I’m in the process of restoring some lost work-life balance and that involves weeding parsnips!

    I found you by way of the short film trailer “Sacred Economics.” I ran across it on Gaia as I was trying to use yoga as an antidote to too much time spent at my computer making music. After I watched the film, I read the book and have slowly been making my way, as I dare, into treating some of my music life as gift. Here’s an example of a project I’m undertaking this summer. I thank you so much for spelling out the philosophical underpinnings to this new way of thinking. You inspire me to have the faith to offer my own work as a gift.

    https://ellenschwindt.blogspot.com/p/blog-page.html

    Also, I’m big fan of your podcasts. Thank you for them.

  37. Dear Charles,

    I am looking forward to seeing you and Opera together! So curious about what will evolve – both in the interview and the after affect on her audience. I love her curiosity and ability to connect with people. She has good questions to bring out interesting aspects of the people she interviews. And I always enjoy listening to you interacting with another person as you often do – great stuff emerges..

    And thank you for this article, it touches my soul and ignites my imagination about the “coming age of we need each other”. Like an evolutionary shift from single cells to organism. Who know where that will lead.

    I discovered your work very early when I bumped into The Ascent , loved it and spread the word far and wide. I was so excited when I saw you were doing a workshop in Bali just when it was possible for me to attend. To me it felt like a miracle and my memories of that week are still clear and strong. You have touched lives – not just by your words but by being your self. What a gift to all of us to understand that aspect of making a difference.

    These days I mostly sit home, write and draw, and feel bad that I am no longer teaching. You remind me that my work continues even if I don’t know how or why – just by being myself.

    With warmest wishes,
    Mara

  38. Charles – thank you for your humility, for your deep caring, and most of all for continuing to serve as an antenna. Your words are like rich compost in a global field where I pray human consciousness keeps growing, expanding, mutating. This piece is a particularly profound gift and an inspiration.

  39. Thank you Charles for the reminder to those of us who are writing and need to be writing:
    “After all, the work I do isn’t “my” work. These are ideas whose time has come and they need capable scribes.”

    For too long I’ve held back on publishing even my blogs on ideas that shift the course of humanity – many of which resonate with what you write about. – because of my fear of being mis- understood – or my fear that I’m unable to express these ideas clearly.
    But your clarity encourages mine, and this essay is an important reminder that we need to do the work we’re called to do.

  40. Thank you for this essay. Yes, it is important with the comminity and be together with others. If I ever wanted to do anything in life, my father used to always ask me – why do you want to do it? For fame? For influence or to help? No matter how small or big the project was. And I do try, to find out what motivates me. This essay has put much in prespective for me. And I love the expression of – Age of needing each other.

  41. caregiving is being of service. I am a caregiver and I am so burnt out. Please pray for me that I find new work. You have reminded me that my work has value which will help as I look for new work. blessings. Clare I also liked reading your essay and I am looking forward to seeing the video.

  42. Thank you Charles for sharing your experience, it is touching. I am beginning to see a growth in the connection of us all and although there is a lot of tragic things happening in the world, all that is happening is waking us up to the need to become closer together.
    Your words resonate with my experiences, I have become a servant to others over my lifetime and many times have thought that it was not right to be this way. I have tried many times to be different and perhaps more selfish to achieve my own ambitions but have regularly heard that voice telling me, “you are here to serve” now I know what my purpose is, I do what I’m here to do, and I know that it makes a difference.

    Thank you for having the voice that has once again confirmed that the path we are on is the right one.

    Kindest regards

    Andrew

  43. Hi Charles,
    Another wonderful essay from you. Who knows whom or what we may influence, we can only trust fully that we are guided along the way. I did find your thoughts on the need to be important and big so very helpful as I muddle along in my own life, however. Thank you! Certainly in this small corner of Aotearoa I remember your teachings, the Space between Stories weekend and they have given me ongoing guidance in the months since February, with a slow unfolding in my own life.
    Thank you for having made the time to come here this year as I continue to be amazed at the synchronicity that allowed me to be there too. So here is for impact in unexpected ways!
    Be well, Britta

  44. Charles, Thank you for all your wonderful books, talks, podcasts and essays. Your messgaes have enriched my life.
    Wayne

  45. Love this. I believe our (yours, mine and all the people who have similiar journeys of questioning and surrender) multifaceted motivations and accompanying self doubt are part of our transition to the ‘more beautiful world’. Birth can be long, drawn out, painful and difficult and/or blissful and beautiful. Transition is where we wanna give up in birth, lack self belief etc before the more active pushing stage where we get right down into our full power and push… And we are – rising and shifting and unmistakable gaining momentum. I agree, your moment with Oprah is a a sign. The good news of the truth of interconnection, and the path out of this mess that it offers is spreading! How wonderful. Thanks for your contribution – both Charles and anyone else who is reading!

  46. Hello Charles,

    It’s been quite some time since we met. One of the last conversations we had, you spoke of the knowing of how you could change Oprah Winfrey’s Life.. and that was with your book
    “The Yoga of Eating”. I wonder if you were able to present her with a “sacred copy”. Wouldn’t that have been a nice manifestation, if she of course reads it… I did read the book. You know Charles,
    The Yoga of Eating book was the only book if I recall that I couldn’t download for the easy gift of immediate reading without having to order or pay online. My friend Wcagner, asked me one “What book would you like me to bring back for you from a Conference that Charles is having in New York”? Of course I told him “The Yoga of Eating”. I even believe you signed it. I read that book on a 4 day gifted vacation in North Carolina with my ex-husband and only Son “Taylor”. I since then gifted it to my friend Paul J.. (PJ for short). You see Charles, your books are finding us.. somehow…

    I am so happy, an idea with passion has manifested for you… It is truly so that not only does God see everything.. but also hears everything… In my daydreams, I think I’m alone.. I wanted to meet a certain person.. I intentionalized it with my passion.. and it did manifest… Was it worth it? Of course, my dream came true!

    Thank you for all you do!

  47. indivisible = indi-visible whatever we see, imagine, think, feel, do is only ever part of what our individual i carries… just so each individual carries its parts of the greater whole from which we all come and into which we all immerse ourselves – living and dead, remembered and forgotten to become re-membered again…

  48. Thank you so much once again Charles. I love your candour, your honesty and your willingness to share your life of not-knowing if what you are doing is having any effect at-all. My life even though I am now 70 is still the same, I do what I do to the best I can, and have to let go of craving to know if what I do makes any difference at all to others or the world. Like you, I have come to see that when I teach , give talks, see clients or babysit my grandchildren, if it fills me with a warm glow, then something is happening somewhere, even if only within my own once closed off heart.

    Due to trauma and fear I closed my heart as a child to anything but study and work. Both of those I have excelled in, in my own little way, but getting close to people, be it partners, friends or family has felt beyond me until recently. Yes it truly is the time of seeing that it is time to acknowledge we need each other just as much as we need the air we breathe. And I have recently realised that “Fear is Letting go of Love” just as much as the reverse is true, so its time for me to give up fear, separation and going it alone, and embrace everyone equally, no matter if they think I am mad or the best thing since sliced bread! Thanks Charles
    Emma Mary Gathergood

  49. Dear Charles,

    It would appear that the work I am called to do – as a writer and “a capable scribe” as you put it, also isn’t “my” work. We writers in the realm of the “spiritual” or “personal development” are but vessels for communication to remind people what they already know but may have simply forgotten. From reading this article, it is clear that you and I share an understanding that” ideas whose time have come” simply Call to be expressed, are heard by whomever’s antennae picks them up and then, feel “called” to manifest the “message” into the words that are authentic and true to them.

    My new book, “Survive To Thrive 11 Keys To Unlock Your Thriving Life” has been exactly that experience for me, and I am grateful to be it’s humble scribe. I resonate with your thoughts about sacrificing your peace and quiet after your interview with Oprah. I too will put my book out on to the altar of consciousness this fall and then simply let. it. go….for whomever ultimately it is meant to serve to find it….or not. As you pointed out, the pleasure and service was in the writing, and I don’t feel responsible for who finds it or how. That will be God’s job, not mine.

    I also loved your story of your friend Roy. Truly being present for someone, even if it is only one person in need, is more than enough. I am more and more convinced that every kind word and deed does affect the level of consciousness of the whole, and no positive energy is ever wasted and is never considered a “small” thing in the eyes of God/The Universe/Ultimate Consciousness. As you pointed out, living in a way where you know “God Sees everything” changes your perspective totally.

    Thanks for a very thought provoking blog. I look forward to reading more of your writing in the future. One day, I suspect our Paths will cross….

    Warm regards,
    Mary Anne Dorward
    http://www.wordstothriveby.com

  50. Can I please share a piece of poetry that I created from an experience I had with a “homeless man”? I think this is the most appropriate place right now to share. You see, it’s rare to be touched… to the point that we get inspired to write about it. Here we go.. The poem in its story, says it all about what is really going on with homeless people. I know you think they have the “pick up money lines”.. and I’m sure some of them do… the true ones you meet, who we think don’t enjoy being homeless, perhaps do enjoy it and may actually have a message for you!

    It was a balmy afternoon as I left the store
    To drive the one mile back to the Movie Theatre
    I had left my Friend and My little One There
    To grab a coke for us all to share
    Only half way back to my car I was called
    “Sweet Lady can you lend me a helping hand”?
    His name for now let’s call him Mister
    For I do not know and I did not ask
    I was too enthralled by the glow behind the mask.
    I walked toward him and there he stood
    The physical appearance of a withering bud
    “I know the economy and all is bad but please please can you help me
    I’ll work if you have”?
    “What do you need? I don’t have long. I have to get back to my friend and Son”
    “A Dollar or two will do if you have it.. I’ll be honest with you I need a beer and some nuggets”.
    Some change I gave him non-grudgingly as something inside me said “Ask him about his life story”…
    “So what is your story.. we all do have one.. share with me please I shall gladly listen”.
    He looked at me and I was deeply touched at the kindness in his eyes and for his trust.
    He knew I would listen and I knew he would share… why were we truly both there?
    “My life sweet lady I shall tell you this – has not been one of happiness and bliss
    I’ve had opportunities all throughout my life
    But never took them – experiencing instead sadness and strife”.
    “My IQ is 141 and my ASVAB Test was a 92 I could choose any job I wanted to”.
    “I became an Aviation Mechanic and tendered 4 years in the Seals
    but I was young and dumb and thought I would always have time so I left. Looking back it’s all so surreal”.
    “Sweet lady if I had stayed I would be retired now with a house and a pension
    but look at me I am a nobody begging to you for some change and attention”.
    “I have never been married and have no kids.. I am 47” he said heart broken.
    “When I was 36 I met my girl.. I asked her to marry me.. “Of course I will”
    “We were happy in Love and we mailed out the invites
    I Love my Bethany and always will”.
    “An officer knocked on my door to give me the news – my lovely Bethany had died but murdered by who?”
    “I hit the bottle and have been like this ever since – Love lost and my life awashed” he cried full of released emotion..
    “Oh yes my friends try to comfort me by telling me their family has died of cancer
    but this is not the same.. my Bethany is gone and I never had time to grieve her”.
    “Bethany will always be with you” I said and I knew
    And we hugged him together and at once he knew too.
    I walked away back to my car.. sensing a shift even in the air
    I turned around to give him one last glimpse
    But he was gone!
    The healing had indeed begun.

    Bright Eyes is now playing

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGyQmH9NZcw

    The first movie I ever saw.. I was 10 years old.

  51. Hi Charles,

    I just wanted to note that I love your use of the word logic. As a computer scientist I know there are so many different kinds of logic just within that domain. How refreshing to hear someone speak of other logics of the mind.

    But the question is real. What will happen to (“your”) ideas as they enter the mainstream? What distortions will they face?

    It’s scary how success can be so much more dangerous than failure.

    Slavoj Zizek in “The Courage of Hopelessness” quoted Lenin and Trotsky before the October revolution:
    Lenin: “What shall happen to us if we fail?”
    Trotsky responds with the counter-intuitive:
    Trotsky: “And what if we succeed?”

    I wonder what will happen. I hope you find the strength to remember. But to know that the strength comes from others who hold the ground and not just yourself! This is a great learning, one that we all need to learn, in an age of an individualism that prevents us from recognizing the contribution of others and makes us think that we alone have the answer.

    I hope you find the right path between your more settled existence and a possible more widespread visibility and that each informs the other.

  52. Charles, brother. Your message of interbeing and morphic resonance, has resonated deeply within me and in my service to healing. You are a beacon to the awakening of our collective consciousness. Much gratitude to you brother. Aho.

  53. Thank you for sharing with such authenticity and vulnerability Charles. I don’t know how I found your article today, but it was the perfect mirror of my own process, as I piece together a book that has been a lifetime in the writing. All are as drops in the ocean…

    For whom do we write? For millions, or for that one, who on reading the lines we penned in our hours of both darkness and light, remembers, and dares to dream again.
    Where our love touches their love, in that moment, hope is ignited deep in heart of the world.

    I trust, as you say, that Oprah’s invitation to you represents a deepening and a readiness within the collective that she serves. That we all serve.

    Dearest one, thank you

  54. Charles, I too am torn between solitude and the “requirements” of a public life. So far solitude seems to be winning and so does obscurity! I can’t believe that my connection with all that is not here to serve in a much bigger way. I’ve written the articles, the books, the Global Humanity Bill of Rights, created the Foundation and a new trickle-up economy, Heaven on Earth, but it remains mostly in the realm of the invisible. I’m learning to accept and let go of ambition myself. Our love to all the everyday heroes for they are each and every one of us… And much love and gratitude to you. Christine

  55. I really connected with your talk on Oprah! It is my first time becoming aware of you and your teachings. (Just ordered your most recent book after watching the episode) Sometimes, I feel I see the world a lot differently than many of the people I know. You were able to put into words many of the things I feel. I had similar feelings about school and looking outside thinking, “Something is not right, why aren’t we outside”. Currently I am both a high school teacher which just isn’t fulfilling my soul completely and I started my own business as a mindfulness coach. Hopefully this new path will help to create the more beautiful world my heart knows is possible. Thank you again! I look forward to reading the book when it arrives!:)

  56. Beautiful! Your words speak the truth of the heart, keep doing your job Charles, cause’ we’ll give you the energy, but you’ll be the harbinger for the whole world to know it.

  57. Charles, Thank you for speaking into the universe what many of us have been collectively thinking and feeling for sometime, but were not able to verbalize it. I saw your interview with Oprah on a rerun of Super Soul Sunday this morning, your words had that essence of truth that my soul recognized. Your conversation with Oprah on our desire for connection to each other and nature reminds me of the African principle or philosophy of Ubuntu which is recognizing our connectedness and humanity to all including nature. Thank you also for your comprehensive website and resources.

    Lanita

  58. Just a brief note to thank you. I watched you talking with Oprah and I must be one of the people you’re meant to reach. Your message amazed me. I’ve struggled with my response to the hate and polarized society that is our current political reality. I knew intuitively I was hearing the truth as you spoke. I’ve become very reclusive myself and wonder if in part it’s an escape from the dysfunctional/unnatural way of life now. I hope everyone on planet earth will embrace your words.

  59. So please let me share with you all today, a thread that I have kept alive since 2012 in the annals of this timeline… a memory, a message, to be shared, and remembered! I think it’s appropriate here, as it echos along the times of line…

    Please take the time, to see all of the video clips and listen and here to all of the messages that ring to you now!

    http://www.themistsofavalon.net/t3895-charles-eistenstein-january-8-2012-the-revolution-is-love

    copy and paste the above into your web browser. Control C [highlight] and control V to paste

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PbBBsu-4kOc
    Lover Earth Original Song.. Is So Beautiful To Me!

  60. YES you are on to something Charles – My mouth dropped open when I saw your interview with Oprah. You summed up the very thoughts that I have been trying to articulate this past year and touched my soul (and obviously so many others) in a deep way. You are so right when you say ” our culture validates and celebrates those who are out there with big platforms speaking to millions of people, while ignoring those who do humble, quiet work, taking care of just one sick person, one child, or one small place on this earth.” That’s where the heartfelt, life giving, soul inspiring work is being done.
    The statement of “humble, quiet work” is the perfect summary of those who choose motherhood as a career. They serve their family and communities on purpose. Thank you for speaking to the hearts of millions and indirectly giving a quiet nod to the mothers of the world. There is no better quote for you than this one: “Admiration for what you are building when no one sees.” Much Love, Elayne

  61. exactly – as i write – recently on service – and always reminding people that in service is not about the reward nor is it about the number – but that you BE and in that – all life changes around us.
    Thankyou for your beautiful words x

  62. Charles,

    I watched your interview with Oprah yesterday and I was deeply moved.

    I recently took a leap of faith to leave the corporate world, launch my own marketing firm and start a blog focused on trauma. I had a similar experience as you did. My world kinda collapsed and with the help of my amazing therapist (and a huge nudge from the Universe), I chose to release my need to be recognized as successful and the go-to person to solve everyone’s problems.

    I launched my marketing firm with my best friend and my traumallama.com blog at the same time. While prospective clients trickled into our marketing firm, my following on traumallama.com took off. The intention of the blog was only to give people a place where they felt like they belonged and to share their stories. It was never meant to be a source of income or fame.

    Within two weeks of launching the blog and the Trauma Llama Facebook page, I had over 1000 followers on Facebook alone. I can’t calculate the following on Twitter and Instagram because it grows daily.

    I noticed something else was happening, something you alluded to in your interview with Oprah. I found myself spending more time and having more joy working on traumallama.com than on scaling my marketing business. However, I still need to pay the bills and take care of my family.

    This coming week I am going to refocus my motivation for launching the marketing firm away from trying to be successful, and selling my expertise, to focusing on how can I help my clients and learn from them. I want to feel the same awe and joy that I feel with traumallama.com when I am working on projects for my marketing firm. I believe that once I make this conscious shift the Universe will provide all that I need.

    I’m looking forward to following your journey.

    Best,

    Susan

  63. Hi Charles,
    I really appreciate and grateful to find someone like you, because we always do something to a person with thinking what I am going to get a return. Through your books and net hope everyone can live their life more beautiful. Namaste!

  64. I just saw you and heard of you for the first time on Super Soul Sunday. I have to say that it was a huge moment for me when I heard of all that you spoke about. For the first time in my life, I felt like finally there was another person who had perspectives similar to mine. I have always felt like something was wrong with me because I hoped for a better world and tried to really see people and empathize with them. People would tell me I am too sensitive and as you said “naïve”. When you spoke about being connected, I totally could relate. I feel energies of people all around me, positive or negative. I really feel deep for things, people, the environment, nature. Sometimes it could be very exhausting because most of the time, especially from the news and reading stuff on the internet, it brings me way down. The other day I went to the market, and I could feel everyone’s stress, rushing, and anxiety. No one personally did anything to me but, I sat in my car and just felt overwhelmed. I used to view feeling deeper than the common person as a gift because I got the most out of experiences and relationships but, lately, I just felt of it as more of a burden. I see people seemingly going on in their daily lives as if they don’t have a car in the world and I thought how nice it would be but, after hearing you speak, that’s not what I want. I do care about not just what is going on in my little bubble but, all that is going on. I guess, it’s finding balance. Anyway, I wanted to thank you for taking the courage to speak from your heart and show us your humility. I look forward to hearing and reading more.

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