The Bregman Leadership Podcast
Episode 228

Charles Eisenstein

The More Beautiful World Our Heart Knows Is Possible

What does success mean? Charles Eisenstein, author of The More Beautiful World Our Heart Knows Is Possible and several others joins us this week for a high-concept discussion of the self and how we approach our work. Discover the story of separation and the story of intervene, the definition of morphic resonance, and the power of the truth made visible.

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Transcript

This transcript is unedited.

Peter:

We are lucky today with us is Charles Eisenstein. I have been watching him and following him for some time right now. He doesn’t know that he doesn’t know me, but, but it’s, he’s, he’s a tremendous thinker and a great writer and a thoughtful, philosophical, practical guy with some thinking that is incredibly reasonable and, and life-changing, and I’m worried I’m overselling them here, but I’m not because it’s, you know, I’ve, I’ve read his work and it’s powerful stuff. The book that we’re going to be talking about is his most recent books, the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. I first discovered him when a close friend of mine really wanted me to read sacred economics and, and I think he knew I had money issues. He’s written the ascent of humanity. He’s he’s like me, I’ll say in that he is thoughtful and has great ideas and also recognizes the challenges of living day to day, the, the ideas that he is committed to and that the challenges we have of, you know, closing that gap and recognizing that we come from a certain mentality and thought process and at the same time you know, kind of stretch and, and aspire to, to more so, Charles, I, I can’t say without further ado, cause that’s a lot of ado. Um welcome to the Bregman leadership podcast.

Charles:

Thank you, Peter. Yeah, actually my most recent book, isn’t the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible. I wrote one that came out last year called climate a new story.

Peter:

Oh, I didn’t know that. Okay, well, I’ll have to pick that up. Well, thanks for, for coming on. And, and I have, you know, as I said to you and at the beginning, you know, I’ve it’s a 30 minute podcast, but I’ve got, you know, two and a half to three hours of questions. So I’m going to just jump right in. What is the bubble you grew up in and how did it get shattered for you?

Charles:

The bubble you know, we had, we had a formula that was implicitly given to us of how to live life, where you get good grades in school and you are responsible and you get into a good university and you build up your resume and you launch on a professional career and you eventually get married. You have investments, you have your et cetera, et cetera. There was a whole life trajectory that was pretty much guaranteed to work. At least that’s how it was presented to us. And it was part of a world that was moving forward into a better and better future. And if, and if, you know, if you got sick, you would go to the doctor and the doctor would fix you. And it was more and more likely that he would fix you because medical technology is advancing too. And, you know, it’s onward and upward and that, that bubble.

Charles:

So it had both a, a collective incarnation and a personal incarnation. Here’s how to live life and already by, I mean, maybe in my parents’ generation, it kind of works. But by the time I came of age that ideology about life and the world was wearing thin. And since then it has the, the, the disintegration of that world story has accelerated. So for me, I was never fully happy with that bubble. Like I always had this sneaking suspicion that things are not as I’ve been told, which was augmented by readings. I did as a teenager in radical politics. And then, because I couldn’t really, like, I didn’t have a cogent rebuttal to the story of the world that I was all being offered, but I couldn’t make myself go along with it either. And I, I was, I would procrastinate. I would, I just, wasn’t motivated to really take life by the horns and be ambitious, you know, and go to graduate school and just, I just couldn’t make myself do it. And instead I went to Taiwan as soon as I graduated from school. I went there first when I was 19, actually, even before I graduated. And there, that was another of a series of experiences that confirmed my sneaking suspicion that there was a lot more to life and reality than I’ve been told. So that’s, that’s yeah, that’s how it happened for me

Peter:

And, and it, and it brought you to and this is the sort of central focus of the book, these two stories, the story of separation and the story of inter being. Right. Right. Could you describe briefly, cause I want to go into it in a lot more detail, but what are these two stories of life, the story of separation and the story of intervene?

Charles:

Yeah. So maybe I’ll say how I got to those. I became aware of a deep wrongness in the world that I won’t try to establish in our conversation right now, whether it was objective true or just my own psychology. I was like, there’s something fundamentally wrong with civilization. Otherwise we should be in utopia by now. No, it’s been long enough for us to engineer all of our social problems out of existence. And we were supposed to have cured all disease by now that was the prediction in the fifties. We were supposed to have flying cars and robot servants and a perfect society. Come on. Like how long has this promise going to be delayed? Something’s wrong here. And I, as I became aware of the, the oppression, the suffering, the starvation the eco side, like all of these problems, it’s sort of the Buddha’s walk outside the palace.

Charles:

Yeah. Right. So I was like, what’s the origin of what, what’s the real reason why all this is happening. And I went through various candidates for the reason, you know, capitalism, you know, or read or whatever. And what I came to was the basic mythology of our civilization, which is what I call the story of separation. That answers fundamental questions in a certain way. The question is being, who am I? Why are we here? What’s real, what’s important. Like the most basic questions humans can ask. And the way it answered it was who you are, is a separate self in a world of other that is not a self this world outside of ourselves. It’s just a bunch of stuff governed by me by mathematical forces. And therefore that our wellbeing in that story comes through dominating those natural forces and out competing the other separate selves who populate this objective universe.

Charles:

So built into that story of self is the entire program of technological domination of the world. The separation from nature, the money system that we have today that generates disintegration of community. Like the whole shebang comes down to a basic narrative or story or myth of the separate self. And my thesis then became that this, this journey of separation is generating endless crises. That co that together form a birth crisis that is propelling us into a new story, a story of reunion, a story of non-separation a story of inter dependency, interconnection, inter being where we recognize we’re not separate selves, that what happens to any being in the world in some levels happening to us, that what I do to the world, I do to myself, that who I am is a set of relationships and not a Cartesian motive consciousness inside of a flesh, but that I am connection.

Charles:

I am the world. There’s an intimate relationship between the inner and the outer. What we do to nature is going to happen to us too. Even if we, if we, if we destroy other species in the Amazon and the Congo and the wetlands and so forth, even if we don’t die ourselves, something in us dies, we become poor. We cannot be secure. If there are people in the world who are insecure, we can’t build a big enough fortress wall to keep out the violence that, that we might perpetrate in the world. It’ll sneak under the fortress wall and come up as domestic violence. So that’s, that’s, that’s the story of inter being. And then I ask, how does that apply to systems? How does that apply? I mean, you can apply it to anything, to medicine, to agriculture, to leadership, to politics. It’s a, it’s a different world story.

Peter:

You’ve expressed it really beautifully. And, and I love there’s a number of things I want to go into around this one is I love how you own the challenge of adopting the narrative of interviewing, like how you admit to not being there yet. And, and, and I alluded to this in the intro that it’s, it’s such a hard part of the transition process to say, okay, I live in this paradigm of separation and the truth is, and I’m talking about myself now. I’m pretty good at it. Like I’ve written a bunch of books. I’ve, I’ve won awards. You know, I’m like ranked the number one executive coach in the world, the top 30 thought leader I’m in the top global gurus lists, like all this stuff, I’m good at separation, right? Like, like, I, I I’ve been financially successful. I’ve been successful in my work.

Peter:

I coach really successful people. So, and I see the truth of what you’re describing. I see the, the, the loneliness of separation, the impossibility of living as an Island. I see the the truth that anything that I do impact everything else that we cannot be secure if there are other people who are not secure, like not just from a a graciousness perspective, from a reality perspective, like revolution happens and the walls aren’t big enough. Right. And so, like, I see all of that and yet, so here’s where I’m asking your help. And I recognizing that you’re also somewhere in between these two things, like how, how do we, how do I I’ll make it very personal? How do I move a long, this path from very successful separation to more than an appreciation of the interconnectedness of things, but really living life in like, not just being convinced of it intellectually, but knowing it and, and, and living in that way where where I’m, I’m part of the narrative of interview.

Charles:

Yes. The first step is to give attention to your yearning, to do that, and to bring into consciousness, things that may have been excluded from the table of your awareness, such as the dissatisfaction with the success arc that maybe has taken you, taking you to a certain place and then hit a glass ceiling, and you realize there’s some other level of wellbeing and happiness that I’m not getting any closer to. It’s like when you build a tower to heaven, no matter how high you build, you’re not actually ever any closer to the sky, but you’ve built a big, big tower. And from the mindset of success, it’s like, well, maybe I needed to build it twice as high. And then I will be closer to the, this elusive happiness it’s like trying to run to the horizon, no matter how fast you run, you’re still just as far from the horizon as you’ve ever been.

Charles:

So what do you do run twice as fast, but then comes a moment where maybe you get tired of building the tower, tired of running to the horizon and you stop. And you realize that the sky actually begins an inch off the ground, and that you were already where you’ve been wanting to go. If you become aware of the things that have been been obscured from the chase, by the chase, this, you know, I was one time I was on not, this is like one of my only times ever on result television. I was in, as, you know, it’s happening like maybe three or four times, but I was in South Africa. And they, for some reason, I got onto like their business show on the national television. And, you know, the guy, the host very gracious man was talking about, you know, South Africa’s economic growth, you know, and increasing wealth.

Charles:

And I’m like, what I’ve seen here, isn’t wealth, even the so-called wealthy people, because your houses are surrounded by, you know, razor wire and surveillance cameras and armed response placards and stuff like that. Like, that’s not wealth. Wealth. Is it, you feel at home wealth is that you feel secure wealth is that you can go outside and, and you belong that’s wealth. And if you don’t have that, then the kind of security that comes from money and power, that’s maybe the best substitute for that kind of belonging for that kind of comfort for that feeling of home, but no amount of it will ever be enough. So I think like, as an executive coach, you know, this kind of work you’re talking about, I’ve had a little interaction with the coaching world and, you know, I’ve been a couple of one or two, one or two conferences, you know, and there’s a presentation after presentation and they’re documenting their results, you know, and the average salary went up by a hundred percent and this, and I’m like, what about the result?

Charles:

Where there, where after the coaching is complete, he retires or resigns from his job. And he travels the world, playing the guitar and his income drops by 98%, but he’s experiencing a joy and a self discovery like does, how does that fit into your statistics? Is that a success in the story of separation, it’s invisible, that kind of success, but there is a yearning in everybody that is visible from the story of inner being. It says, you’re not actually here to win because you’re going to die someday. And the only thing that you can take with you, the only thing that outlives you is what you’ve put into the world, not your money, not your status, not your possessions. So your reincarnation. And this is a, I don’t know, like I know this is probably way too esoteric for the show, but whatever, you know, you can look at it many ways, but you are reincarnation is built on your legacy, on the imprint you’ve made into the world. And we, on some level, no matter how successful you are, you’re not going to be satisfied with, with power and money, because that’s not why we’re here in the old story. You’re here to survive and reproduce and maximize in the new story. You’re here as a giver to participate in something bigger than yourself.

Peter:

So a couple of things, does that become one more or is there a danger that, that becomes one more element of separation? Like, okay, so now I want to be reincarnated. So I want to, you know, so now I’ve got to really give, and I’ve got to like give in a way that, you know, and we’re operating in the world of interconnectedness as a separate person.

Charles:

Yeah. I mean, you know, I was, I was offering that more poetically than, as like, okay, you better do this, or you’re going to be, have a bad next incarnation. It’s more of more of understanding that every choice that we make is a declaration of who we want to become and what world we want to live in.

Peter:

Right. Right. So, so, so let me share some fears. So here’s the fear I’m going to act this way. And I’m going to take down my walls and do my best to create a world in which we’re all at home, but other people aren’t going to do that. And as soon as I take down my walls, I become less secure, but the world hasn’t gotten there yet, so I’m not more secure. So my walls are the best thing to sort of protect me and keep me safe in a world that, you know, isn’t the dust that is still acting in the narrative of separation. And unless the whole world acts now, of course, I understand the conundrum, right. Unless I act that way, the whole, world’s not going to act that way. But if I act that way before everybody else does, then I’m suddenly vulnerable. And, you know, especially as the child of a survivor of the Holocaust, like that taps into lots of fears that I have. And, and how do you make that first one?

Charles:

Yeah. So it’s not about dropping all of the walls right away. It’s an orientation. So that what I said before, you give attention to the yearning, to live in that world and to, to, to be somebody who is aligned with that world. And so there’s a yearning there. And as we give attention to that, yearning and feel the truth of it, we become attuned to opportunities to take the next step toward that. And so that, that next step, usually it’s not some heroic abandonment of all security, probably it’s going to be something that’s just at the edge of courage, not beyond it, but she said the edge and you, and it feels like the natural step. It feels like, like you’re standing on the high dive and there’s that moment where you’re like, yeah, I’m ready to do this, which is different from the moment where all of your so-called friends are egging you on to take a dive off the cliff that, you know, isn’t safe. Like, that’s not what I’m talking about. Right. I’m talking about this feeling of readiness that grows as we give attention and have validated from the outside who we really are. And as more people do this, it creates an invitation for other people to do this because the more people who do it, the safer it is to do it. Right?

Peter:

Sure. Advice for business leaders, people who are responsible for organizations that, that, you know, one of the challenges, I think, as I, as I’m, as I’m, as I’m yearning to the, to approximate and move towards this, the narrative of intervening is that I still think in units. So the basic unit is myself. The goal I care about is myself. So I expand that unit and I care about my wife and my children, and I care about my parents and my brothers and their families. And I care about my wife’s families. And like, and then we can have a unit of small community, and then we can have a unit of, of larger community and, and maybe, but we’re still, you know, and, and organizations and leaders often really are thinking and held accountable for the unit of their organization, but they’re still separate units.

Peter:

You know, they look out and competitors. I mean, one of the things I’ve tried to do is to say, to, to leaders of organizations, all in the same industry, let’s get together. And, and even though we’re competitors collaborate. And the answer that I often get is, well, I’d love to participate in that as long as I’m the only one for my industry, because I can’t speak openly if I’m speaking in front of my competitors. And, and that’s that unit then. And so I’m just curious what advice you have for leaders in organizations and businesses that maybe struggling with the same challenge,

Charles:

Everybody struggles with this challenge in our current society. There’s no shortcut to get out of it. It’s not only among organizations that are competing with each other, but within organizations, too, right. People are competing with each other for promotions or 400%. Yeah. And the whole economy is set up to mandate competition because of the way the money system works. There’s always more debt than there is money because of the way money is created. Not that there wouldn’t be competition without our current money system, but it wouldn’t be organically mandated necessary. So in a way, you’re no matter whether it’s among organizations or within an organization or, or in any situation, you’re kind of going against the tide of the system and the story that we live in in order to, if you want to cooperate, if you want to trust, like why should you trust anybody when everybody’s out to get the best deal?

Charles:

Right. Yeah. And, and I don’t have a shortcut solution to that, except again, to look at what might be the next step of trust that doesn’t feel reckless, but it feels Derrick that’s the feeling to look for is the feeling of daring, but not reckless. And we do see in extraordinary circumstances, like the COVID at 19 situation, we do see people cooperating. We’re seeing both actually, and we’re seeing like, you know, profiteering and hoarding, but we’re also seeing cooperation that, that is coming out of the woodwork that speaks to this latent yearning to live and relate in a different way. Because when, when, when the structures of normal disintegrate, what comes out, it’s this suppressed aspect of human nature that, that wants to collaborate and cooperate and take care of each other that’s bursting to happen. But we live in structures that don’t really let it happen.

Charles:

Because if you act on that in the corporate world, you could get eaten alive. So as we are experiencing this other dimension of human nature, coming out through the cracks and the structures in the future, as we, you know, go back to normal, maybe, or maybe a new normal we can ask, Hmm, maybe we don’t want to go back to normal. Maybe we would like to get together to create new structures, new agreements that don’t cast us into artificial, unnecessary competition. Maybe we can get together and change the rules of the game. So that competition still operates in a healthy realm, but maybe there’s a realm that has been given over to competition that we could reclaim for mutual care and solidarity. That’s the opportunity that’s being offered to us. It’s an initiatory moment that that brings things into the realm of choice that had been, you know, just part of reality and unchangeable.

Peter:

Talk to us about morphic resonance. I love the idea.

Charles:

Yeah. Morphic resonance is, is a alternative theory of change basically in contrast to the story of separations theory of change, which is based on force that says that the more force you exert on the world, the more power you have. So the powerful in this world are those who have a lot of force under their command. For example, the chairman of a large corporation, a politician, a general, somebody who can make lots of people do things. That’s a powerful person, someone with a big platform, you know, you are, I might be considered maybe not as powerful as somebody, you know, powerful because we could persuade lots of people to do things morphic resonance says because self and world are not fundamentally separate. That any change that happens in yourself in your relationships, in your realm is part of a larger change morphic resonance, or morphogenesis says that any change that happens in one place creates a field of change. So that the same change begins happening elsewhere,

Peter:

No matter how quiet or subtle or, or private that changes,

Charles:

Right? So you could make some kind of change in your organization to a different decision making process or a different, you know, non-hierarchical like some kind of innovation and maybe it spreads because someone else finds out about it and they go tell somebody and wow, what a great idea. And it spreads in a con in a way that we rational mind can understand, but it could be that as you’re doing this, someone across the world is doing the same, pretty much the same idea, because it’s like, it’s an idea whose time has come and by doing it, it’s like, you’ve kind of crystallized this, this change in the world. And you can’t say that you caused it to happen, but there’s sometimes the feeling that by making this change in my life or in my organization, I am declaring what world it is that we live in.

Charles:

So no wonder it’s happening everywhere else. When we embrace that principle of change, we realize that there’s no person on earth who’s more powerful than any other person that all of our choices are significant. And for me, it’s like, it’s a relief. You know, like this conversation that we’re having, it doesn’t have to go viral. Even if one person listens and it’s the right person on a 500 year timescale that might have more impact on the world than if it makes a big splash, a big wave, a hundred thousand people listened to it. And then, then it’s the next episode. And the next episode, like, how do we really know how this world works? Sometimes the biggest change is hinge on a tiny coincidence.

Peter:

No, it reminds me of the story of Emily Dickinson, the poet, where, you know, she was part of this well-known family and she wanted to sort of be a writer and, and, and, you know, she was making moves that her family is saying like, you’re going to destroy the family name. Like we have an important name, we’re going to destroy the family name. So she ended up writing, I dunno, 2000 poems. And, and, and, you know, they were later found in in, you know, in a trunk somewhere. And, you know, like nobody knows nobody would know the Emily Dickinson name without Emily Dickinson, the poet who was going to destroy the Emily Dickinson name. So it’s like in, you know, in the, in the hundred year view you know, to your point, but I guess my question is what if that trunk was never discovered, what if she wrote all of those poems and they never impacted anybody, it was just her quietly writing those poems and putting them in a trunk. Would she had still had an impact on changing the world?

Charles:

Yeah. I would say yes, because we do not really understand causality. A lot of people have had experiences that seem to violate causality as the Newtonian story has described it synchronicities in life. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this, but, but they especially happen at moments where you’ve let go of being in control of things. Maybe you move to a new city with no plan like that, where you’re traveling, you know, without having booked everything in advance. And in that space of open receptivity, the strangest things happen and you get a sense, there’s a, what David Boehme called the implicate order. Another intelligence underlying the way we think the world works. And, you know, you can explain them away in various ways. But sometimes it just feels like Whoa, that couldn’t have happened like that, that, that has to mean something, you know, this, this feeling of of a purpose or an order or an intelligence underlying our own.

Charles:

What, how powerful would you be if you were able to ride those synchronicities, if you had mastered the technology of being at just the right place at just the right time meeting, just the right person, those people who are really successful in the world is that because they are so organized and so together, or is it maybe sometimes because they were in the right place at the right time playing out a story that was written in advance. And sometimes stuff just works by magic and I’m not discounting all of our learned skills and, and things like that. But I often get the sense that there’s something else at play here.

Peter:

And also your, your even as I listened to you, I could, I could see myself think like, Oh, so to be successful in the world, you need to follow those synchronistic moments. And what we’re saying in this conversation is it’s not about being successful in the world,

Charles:

Right? Yeah. What does success mean? Right. Success in, in, in some of the esoteric traditions, like the greatest Zen masters or whatever, we’re not the ones who have lots of followers. They might be one who only had one follower. Right. And maybe that one had one follower and that one had one and that one had a hundred thousand. So was it the one who had a hundred thousand that was responsible for this big change? Or was it someone back in that lineage? You know, and what’s like, I often think about what, what is going to be my impact on the world, the biggest impact is it going to be because of my books, where is it going to be? Maybe because of a special moment I had with one of my sons that gets that he takes in, and it changes who he’s going to be as a father and three generations down the road. Maybe there’s a great leader who comes out and everyone says, wow, thanks to that great leader. The world has changed for the better, but maybe the real reason was that moment where I chose to skip, ah, a fancy podcast so that I can be with my son. That’s just another example. Do we really know how this world works?

Peter:

That’s so, so let me ask you a question here around that. Here’s a quote, one of your quotes, I’m saying that there’s a time to do and a time not to do and that when we are slave to the habit of doing, we are unable to distinguish between them. As I mentioned earlier, the time to do is when you know what to do when we don’t know what to do and act anyway, you’re probably acting out of habit. Now I’m feeling this, especially in this moment when I’m seeing all these people around COVID-19 and they’re pivoting, and they’re going digital, and they’re doing this and that, and I do not have an impulse to act like I do not know what to do in this moment, particularly I don’t have some brilliant idea. I don’t, in fact, I actually have an impulse to stop doing and to to, to slow down and, and, and yet I feel my habituated response to life as a doer, I, I don’t generally stop. I’m constantly doing things. And so part of my question to you then is how do I stop? It sounds so stupid because, you know, you stopped by just stopping, but, but it’s, it’s not always that simple. And there’s, you know, it’s, it’s kind of, and, and, and no, maybe you can answer this question at the same time, which is you talk about the scarcity of money and time being artificial, but how do we combat our feelings of scarcity in order to live our lives with that sense of,

Charles:

Yeah, it’s not about combating. Combating is one of these habits, these reaction templates that our society, and many of us individually, or are trapped in the quote that you read another way to put it is that when our habituated, our habitual reaction patterns are themselves, part of the problem, it is a necessary step to stop doing so that, so that we can do habituate from those reaction patterns and do something that isn’t contributing to the problem. So, and, and the deepest reaction pattern in civilization and the most problematic one is the pattern of got a problem, find the enemy and dominate it, whatever that is our, our, you know, the problem is our election, our democracy, that working very well must be flat, flattering your Putin, like find the problem. And now we know what to do. People are getting sick, find a virus. Now I’m not saying that that the COVID virus is not related to this, to the sickness, but it’s, it’s interesting that, that there’s such a tremendous mobilization to do something about coronavirus, because we knew what to do.

Charles:

Like we’re, there’s a comfort level in identifying an enemy. Ha okay, now we can control something. Some enormous number of people are clinically depressed by 10 or 20% obesity, addiction depression, I’ve mentioned suicide. Like these things are all steeply on the rise, but there’s no, there’s no like, Oh my God, we’ve got to change our entire way of life to do something about this. Why? Because there’s not an easy enemy to identify here. So this is a pattern of response that can achieve certain results, like through technologies of control. Like you can save the life of somebody who has had a severe car accident. You know, you, you put them in the ICU, you can like, you can control their organs, like control works for some things, but there’s a glass ceiling. And we’re realizing collectively now the, the, where this regime of control is taking us to a world of isolation, of distancing, of fear of, you know, like, is this really where we want to go?

Peter:

So this, this question itself might defy the whole premise that you’re leading from, but so what do we do? Like, let’s say we can see this right. And we can end. And I agree with you, and it’s easier to attack an enemy and it’s, and, and, you know, things that we can control are seductive because we, we can do something about them. We can control. And here you have this view of the world that’s incredibly compelling that says we are all interconnected, that that everything, you know, in fact, I feel one of the things I wrote this morning when I woke up and I was thinking about this interview is I feel like you, Charles are one part of me saying things that are part of me says that like, there’s even that interconnectedness, that I, that I, I see this world really, really clearly. And I, and I also see and hold on to the world of separation. And, and, and what you’ve said, a number of times is, is go to the edge and trust the next step that you can trust. And, you know, don’t push yourself past that step, but go to that step. And I wonder as a world, as a society, how do we not get overwhelmed with, you know, the 5 million dying people of hunger and the, you know, how do we not get overwhelmed with that

Charles:

When new information comes in, then who we are as a chooser changes? How so maybe one question is if we want people to start making different choices in the world, including ourselves, how do we change the conditions from which the choice arises? And that gets us into how do we heal the trauma that dictates so many of our choices? How do we bring invisible truths into visibility through the power of our word, through the power of our agreements, through the power of our stories, how do we invoke and summon lost parts of ourselves that if they were brought into integration, we would make different choices. So this is, this speaks to a different kind of power that I’m sure in the leadership world that you’re in has been the, I’m sure that there’s recognition of this, like to name the gift, for example, to name somebody, to name something in another person that calls it into being through, naming it, to say, I know what you’re capable of.

Charles:

And maybe until that moment, they weren’t capable of it. But if you can actually see it and know it, then you’re speaking something into realization that had been latent before. So there’s many other kinds of power and it comes through ultimately for me, it’s right. To my, maybe two things. One of them is, is the power of the truth made visible, which comes from, I mean, there’s many ways to make hidden truths visible. But one way is to name them and, and, you know, for that to work, you have to actually see them and to actually see them, you have to look for them and to look for them, you have to know that they exist. And that’s something that we can do for each other. We can say, yeah, you know, I saw this and that reminds you, that it exists. And then you start looking forward to, so this is a different kind of change, and it’s not a substitute for then eventually taking action. Like I said, in that quote, it’s not that I’m advocating, never doing anything, but it’s to change the ground from which our doing arises so that we’re not trapped in old patterns.

Peter:

Yeah. You have this other quote that I’m going to read to you which is, which is resonates with what you’ve just said. You don’t have to do anything. Why not? Because nothing needs to be done it’s that you don’t have to do. You don’t have to do, because you will do the unstoppable compulsion to act in bigger and wiser ways than knew possible has already been set in motion. I’m urging you to trust in that you need to contrive to motivate yourself, guilt yourself, or goad yourself into action actions taken from that place will be less powerful than the ones that arise. Unbidden trust yourself, that you will know what to do, and that you will know when to do it. What is the risk that we need?

Charles:

It’s not even a risk, a certainty in order to move in this, that something will be lost in order to move into a new story and into the, the evolved self. That is part of that story. Something of the old will have to be sacrificed, and we’re going to have to let go of something. It’s a different thing for each person. It could be some level of perceived financial security or some level of control in life. It could be a hidden agenda that you’ve been carrying. No, this comes up for me as a, you know, sort of semi-public figure, you know, as, as like, if necessary, am I willing to sacrifice? People’s good opinion of me, if that is what serves change, or maybe if you’re conflict averse, like, that’s another thing I have, like, you know, I’m conflict averse. I’ve tried to please everybody, like, am I willing to sacrifice that if that’s part of stepping into my next version of myself.

Charles:

So there’s always, always a cardigan at the threshold of evolution that needs to be placated by with a gift, with a sacrifice, you know, by letting go of something of who I have been. And I think that, that it, this does not have to be like, you’re ripping up way something that’s so precious to you. It could be something that feels kind of old. It feels kind of heavy, you know, that you feel like you’re kind of done with it. And maybe it’s still kind of precious, you know, and maybe even needs to be thanked and grieved as you let go of it, because I mean, all of our bad habits and you know, psychological pathologies and, you know, all of these control patterns and so forth, these were developed for a good reason. They were. I mean, once upon a time, we were a little, little babies.

Charles:

We were a little sweet ones that, that responded to a very far from ideal world as best we could. And at some point what had been protective and necessary holds us back. And the time for healing has come when the underlying wound or trauma that generates the protective, controlling behavior is healed. Then the letting go becomes a lot natural, more natural. And I mean, this is, you know, this is, there’s no trivial thing here. It’s not like anything in this conversation is going to solve your problem. And now all of a sudden you’re going to walk out of it, you know, full of courage or something. But I mean, you know, I’m just pointing to some, some things that are, that I think are true, that when they come into awareness, things start to change. A new truth works on you as you take it in, it changes you, you become a different doer. That’s how it is for me. Anyway,

Peter:

We’ve been talking with Charles Eisenstein, his book, the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible is not his latest book. That’s on climate, but it is a really wonderful book that I really highly suggest you explore. Charles, it is such a pleasure to speak with you about this and, and life changing. And I’m just appreciative of your time and your thoughtful presence on the podcast. Thank you for being on the bregman leadership podcast.

 

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