“When any of us meet someone who rejects dominant norms and values, we feel a little less crazy for doing the same. Any act of rebellion or non-participation, even on a very small scale, is therefore a political act.”
— The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible
Charles Eisenstein has written several books, and was a keynote speaker at an event held at the Central Baptist Church in Wayne this weekend. His work stems out of his firm belief that we are all connected, and that separatism (the belief that we are not connected) leads to crises. The talk addressed separatist systems in our global ecology, militarism, and economics. Convergence, and the recognition of inter-connection, can be a foundation for new systems. After the talk, followed by storytelling, comments, and questions, there was a break for lunch. I stood in line, waiting to get my books signed.
I couldn’t help but want to stand in line, letting everyone else advance, in hopes of overhearing the short conversations each person had at the front of the line. The woman in front of me told him that his talk made her feel like she wasn’t crazy. It was an open, honest, human exchange, and I was glad I let her cut me in the queue, because she voiced something I was feeling too. Hearing her say it out loud made me feel like I was less crazy, and there was an aura of “saneness” that had passed from him to her, and from her to me. When it was eventually my turn, I asked him rather dull questions, all I really wanted to know when and how he started writing.
He pointed to one of the books, Ascent of Humanity, and said simply “I knew there was something but I didn’t know what it was yet.” At first he was just writing to get it out, whatever it was. He wrote and published a book and kept writing essays, books, and then he had laid that special egg. The way he phrased it, he sounded like he was just blindly following his words as they came out of him, without knowing what he was doing at first. It sounded like a meditation.
His brief words made me want to reaffirm my relationship with my intents and purposes in my lifestyle. I have been feeling rather existential, and I often do in the winter when it’s difficult to be outside all day. There were plenty of things to do, but I just couldn’t help feeling like there just wasn’t a point. I couldn’t justify my actions, and so I decided to wait for inspiration to arise. I found inspiration in Charles’ method, to express himself without hesitation or justification. The only incentive I really need to do something is an instinct in that direction.
Since that day, I have found myself more spontaneous, less afraid of failure, more active, and more satisfied as a result of my actions. It’s that age old boost of “carpe diem” that I was sorely needing to bring me back into spring.