The Force That Drives Our Civilization

How do the stories we believe impact our behavior, the way we treat one another and our attitudes about our relationship to the planet?

Charles Eisenstein, a Yale graduate and economist, explains how every culture has a way of asking questions that are fundamental to understanding ourselves. However, science is beginning to confirm that the story that we have been taught to believe about ourselves: namely, that we are discreet, separate individuals, is built upon a faulty understanding of the Universe. As we learn more and more about the dynamic intelligence of the natural world, humanity is beginning to realize that we are a part of billions of years of evolution and life that is working together in one larger system. The time has come for us to re-examine the stories that we believe about ourselves in relationship with all life. When we are able to do this well, we will understand how to make better decisions that do not cause damage and destruction to the living world.

The world that we see around us is built on a story.

Every culture has a different set of answers to these basic questions:

Who are you? What is it to be a human being? What’s important? What’s valuable? Where do
we come from? Where are we going? How does the world work? Every culture answers this in a
different way.

And science provides some answers. It says basically that what you are is a discrete separate
individual among other individuals in a Universe that is separate from you as well. Every field
has agreed with this characterization of what it is to exist. Psychology – you are this bubble of
psychology or this mind encased in flesh. Religion – you are a soul encased in flesh. Physics –
you are a mass subject to impersonal forces that are deterministic. Biology – you are basically a
flesh robot programmed by your genes to maximize reproductive self-interest. Economics – you
are a rational actor seeking to maximize financial self-interest. All of them agreed on what it was
to exist.

Well, the new sciences contradict that. Quantum mechanics seems to violate this separation
between self and other.

If we are separate from the Universe, then of course we want to control these indifferent or
hostile external forces and humanity’s destiny becomes to become the lords and masters of
Nature and to transcend Nature.

And its not working too well anymore. In economics, that translates into growth, the endless
growth of the human realm. And we are learning that there is a limit to that. We are learning that
it is not an external Universe out there but that everything we do to this world, we are doing on
some level to ourselves. That is a wound that we feel all the time and that we suffer from. That
pain of existing in our culture that is so omnipresent that we don’t ever realize it, except when
we are bored. That feeling of why does it hurt just to exist.

When we are young, we have this knowledge that the world is supposed to be much more
beautiful that what has been offered to us as normal. We understand that, but that expectation
gets betrayed again and again and again and to protect it we develop cynicism.
As our ecosystems fall apart, our political system, our educational system, our health care
system falls apart, it is a lot harder to fully believe in our stories.

So we are moving into a different story, a different story of self, a different story of the world, a
different story of the world, a different story of the people – a self of interconnectedness, a self of
interbeingness.

One thing it means is that these tiny actions may have a significance beyond that we can
understand. That logic of the heart that says, “yeah, I know that this is a significant act and I
know that everything I do is significant” no longer contradicts the logic of the mind, which had
been the logic of separation and “what effect could you, one tiny little being have with the puny
force available to you when the powers that be have so much more force at their disposal.

Every act that comes from the understanding of interconnection, of interbeing is a spiritual act
and also a political act. By acting from a different story, we disrupt the psychic substructure of
our mythology and we offer an alternative. This is something that is eminently practical. Anytime
that we give somebody an experience that doesn’t fit into their old story, it weakens that old
story. It disrupts it. It could be an act of generosity. It could be an act of forgiveness. Anything
that violates that understanding that we are separate and everybody is in it for themselves.

Being of service to something larger than yourself. I would offer that as the formula for stepping
into the flow of synchronicity. You don’t know how to get from here to there but that thing larger
than yourself does, and it arranges these synchronicities, being in the right place at the right
time, being in flow. I think everyone has experienced that and usually when you experience that
its when your world has kind of fallen apart and you are in this state of uncertainty, and then all
things just start to flow, they start to work. And we can enter that state when we let go of the
paradigm of control and bow into service to this thing larger than ourselves. And what is this
thing? What is it that unifies all of these things that we are committed to? Let’s call it The More
Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible.

As you go about your life, in fact, right now, feel that part of you that knows that you are here in
service and ask yourself if you are ready to bow more deeply into that service. If you do it, I
predict that you will unexpected opportunity to act on that intention, and it will be just at the edge
of your courage, but not past it.

“This the most well explained description of how the world truly works that I have ever heard. Thank you for making this beautiful video! I hope more of the world adapts towards this sensibility.”

“This video should be shown to every person. Really great description on the story of people.”

“This was a real tear jerker, in a happy way! I will share with as many people as I can. I hope that this reaches more people.”

“Truly inspiring.. insightful reflection. Thank you!”

“Shifting the story of — “who are we really?” — is a keystone change that will inspire and affect many other causes and transformations in the world (and in ourselves). Great video. Here are my notes…”

Music:

“Faith” by Peter McIsaac Music
“Feather” by Peter McIsaac Music

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Here is some instruction so you can easily translate the videos.

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