Political & Social

More on Political & Social

Our New, Happy Life? The Ideology of Development

Our New, Happy Life? The Ideology of Development

Essay
This essay originally appeared in Tikkun. In George Orwell’s 1984, there is a moment when the Party announces an “increase” in the chocolate ration – from thirty grams to twenty. No one except for the protagonist, Winston, seems to notice that the ration has gone down not up. ‘Comrades!’ cried an eager youthful voice. ‘Attention, comrades! We have glorious news for you. We have won the battle for production! Returns now completed of the output of all classes of consumption goods show that the standard of living has risen by no less than 20 percent over the past year. All over Oceania this morning there were irrepressible spontaneous demonstrations when workers marched out of factories and offices and paraded through the ... More →

What Is It Like to Be You

Video
A beautiful film on interbeing and the narrative of "the enemy" at play in our wider culture. Thank you to Chris Agnos at Sustainable Human ... More →
The Age of We Need Each Other

The Age of We Need Each Other

Essay
Fifteen years ago when I began writing books, I had high hopes that someday I would be “discovered” and that “my message” would thereby reach millions of people and change the world for the better. But I began to ask myself, “Why are you doing this work? Is it because you hope to become a celebrated intellectual? Or do you really care about serving the healing of the world?” The experience of failure revealed my secret hopes and motivations ... More →
Institutes for Technologies of Reunion

Institutes for Technologies of Reunion

Essay
Imagine a worldwide archipelago of land-based institutions of learning, sanctuaries of alternative technologies of earth, mind, matter, and body that are marginal or absent within conventional universities ... More →

SESC: Vila Mariana (Sao Paulo Brazil) 11.2016

Video
Charles spoke in Sao Paulo Brazil in November of 2016 at the publication of his book, "The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible," into Brazilian Portuguese by Palas Athena. From the description of the talk Our Stories govern us. They synthesize and give meaning to our lives. Many times, however, the stories play out of tune with reality and no longer guide us, but rather create disconnection. Is it possible to imagine a socio-economic story that connects us to reality? That makes sense of the deep knowledge we already possess? What would a life-affirming story look like, one that nourishes a beautiful future? ... More →
Brushes with the Mainstream

Brushes with the Mainstream

Essay
We have to let go of war thinking with its accompanying dehumanization, and enter the question that defines compassion: What is it like to be you? ... More →
Standing Rock: A Change of Heart

Standing Rock: A Change of Heart

Essay
Each time you refuse the invitation onto the warpath, you become more powerful. Those who can stay peaceful in the face of any terror or threat become virtual miracle-workers ... More →
The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

The Election: Of Hate, Grief, and a New Story

Essay
“Brother, your soul is too beautiful to be doing this work.” If we can stare hate in the face and never waver from that knowledge, we will access inexhaustible tools of creative engagement, and hold a compelling invitation to the haters to fulfill their beauty ... More →
War

This Is How War Begins

Essay
Dehumanizing narratives are never the truth. The truth can only be sourced from the sincere question, “What is it like to be you?” That is called compassion, and it invites skills of listening, dialog, and communicating without violence or judgement ... More →
The Lid is Off

The Lid is Off

Essay
It is getting harder to keep a secret these days. The collective shadow of our society, once safely relegated to the dark basement of the unmentionable, is now exposed to daylight, forcing us to face our contradictions ... More →
St. James Picadilly

The Fertile Ground of Bewilderment (E15)

Podcast
Bewilderment. A very bad thing if it is a diversion from what you know to do. But when the honest truth is that you don't know, then to admit that and to succumb to the unknowing is a necessary stage of the process of letting in a new understanding ... More →
The Fertile Ground of Bewilderment

The Fertile Ground of Bewilderment

Essay
The Brexit vote marks a rare moment of discontinuity, when the usual normalizing narratives falter and a society experiences a fertile and frightening moment of bewilderment ... More →
Harder to Hide

Harder to Hide

Essay
Our industrial system of punishment and mass incarceration is fundamentally incompatible with the dignity of each human being. Our consciousness is evolving to the point where that is no longer tolerable ... More →
Picture

Reflections on Damanhur

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

A Shift in Values Everywhere

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