Source: Charles Eisenstein
In this interview with Derek Loudermilk, Charles Eisenstein delves into the interconnectedness of nature, the limitations of human knowledge, and the importance of embracing alternative ways of understanding the world. Charles calls for a shift in how humans perceive and interact with the world, advocating for greater openness to the interconnectedness of nature, acknowledging the limitations of human knowledge, and embracing alternative ways of understanding that can guide meaningful actions toward planetary healing.
Watch the complete interview HERE.
You have lots of fun analogies, but I like this, like thinking of a person almost as like a light particle that can sort of choose its own path because it reduces the weight it reduces the mass of our choices to some extent, I want to share a little story that came up for me that I was reminded of when I was starting to think about the story of interbeing. And, also in Bali, we were talking earlier about – about being in Bali. I went up to the highlands there in the – it's actually right at the edge of the botanic garden, where the sort of place where nobody can get to because the jungle is so dense.
There's a tree: it's 800, a thousand years old. And I had my first sort of magical experience touching the tree. And my Consciousness was projected to another part of the world. And what was expressed to me was this tree was like Hey, I'm worried about this forest in China that's becoming a desert, and I think you need to look at your own relationship with nature. And I was almost given a mission by this magical tree to bring more people into nature – that it was like you need to remember that you are also nature.
But the simple fact that a tree on this continent was worried about trees on a different continent – it was like I'm not worried about this jungle because we have all the water we need and like nobody comes here,. But it was like, this other place has me feeling sad. And I was like, first, the fact that a tree is communicating with me this way was unique to me. But then also the sense of like that time and space didn't matter to the concern expressed here:
Yeah like all the stuff, all this philosophy we're talking about – interbeing, separation, and so forth – it pales in importance compared to the kind of experience you're talking about right now.
What you described is, in a way. I always call it a medicine story. It reveals just how little we know about how this world actually works. If you ask somebody, how do we fix it, are they drawing on the kind of knowledge that that tree represents? Do they have that way of understanding what's happening…
Like, how does that tree, first, for one thing, how does it communicate with you? How does it know what's happening in China? There's like a whole other intelligence network that operates on this Earth that is almost entirely invisible, not to human beings, but invisible to human beings who have been acculturated to the reductionistic force-based causality of modern science, and the built environment, the economic environment that goes along with it. And the technological environment, the screens, for example. All that stuff.
We become very perceptive in a certain way, our minds, our cognition, develop to a high degree in a certain way. And in that tunnel vision, we lose touch with so many other capacities that we can then rediscover as a gift from other species or even from other human beings who have not been so acculturated.
This maybe goes back to the Einstein quote, you know. If we're going to transform, if we're going to be part of a planetary transformation and healing, we have to access those other capacities: the things that are not valued or even acknowledged to exist in the world story that we've grown up in.
We have to learn how, it's not only learning how to communicate with trees. We have to do it. We already actually know how. You can take the, you know, most urbanized noob out into the rainforest, and they can have a mystical experience like that. This is an innate human capacity. The key to it is to accept that it is possible. Once you accept that it is possible, then you're going to try.
Like, I get information by watching and listening to geese.
They fly – there's a lot of them here in Rhode Island. They fly overhead all the time and they're honking. You know? But, now, why are they honking so much as they're flying?
The Darwinian, reductionistic evolutionary, biologists would be like well, okay, why are they wasting all that energy? Flying is pretty tiring. Are they signaling dominance? Like, what are they doing? You know?
Other interpretations do not occur to that mind: that they are channeling the joy of life and they cannot hardly even contain it; that they love the sound of their voice and they love listening to each other. Like, there are so many things that we just don't think of, and nor do we suspect that the pattern of their calls transmits information about where they have been and what they have heard and seen – that they are interwoven into the tapestry of all being.
So, you can listen to geese and observe geese and you will learn something about the world that you probably could not find out on the internet. You can watch fish in a pool. I mean, anything in nature. You can look at the waves on the shore and you will know something. Now, you might not be able to put it into words, but you will receive information and it might be like your experience with that tree.
You received information that made you know what to do. It transmitted: this is mine to do. Now, in this case, maybe your rational mind could have made sense of it. Well, forests are important, carbon sinks and we got to, you know, whatever.
Like your mind can make sense, but come on! That's not what was happening. That was your mind's justification of it, but that's not where the information came from. That's what we have to listen to. Why?
Because we have no freaking clue about how this world actually works or how to fix it. We cannot rely on the legacy knowledge systems that we're operating in mostly right now.
We have to go to those other places. And it doesn't mean that you, all of a sudden become inactive, and you're spending all your time watching geese. It's the contrary. You become more decisive and you can't even explain it to anybody else. Why am I now going to China, or why am I now doing this thing?
You can't necessarily explain it, because the terms of explanation are foreign to that way of thinking. The only explanation you could be, you could say: go spend a couple of hours watching, geese and you'll understand.
That's not an explanation. It's an induction into a field of knowledge.