Last week we saw Charles Eisenstein speak at UNC-Chapel Hill on the subject of his latest book The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible.
He argues that we are living in a time between stories. By “story” he means the overriding narrative that shapes how our culture conditions us to view and relate to the world. The “old story” is a story of separation, control and dominance. The “new story” is a story of inter-being. Whereas the old story is a narrative of competition and protection of self-interest, in the new story we are the totality of our relationships with everything else. Recognition of the web of interrelatedness reveals, for example, that any act that hurts something in the world, hurts each of us as well in some way. Likewise any act of compassion, generosity or forgiveness disrupts and subverts the old story of control, separation and domination.
I’m not doing justice to the fascinating talk, which went for a couple of hours. If the subject sounds interesting, here’s a short TED talk I recommend.