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The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  1,366 ratings  ·  169 reviews
In a time of social and ecological crisis, what can we as individuals do to make the world a better place? This inspirational and thought-provoking book serves as an empowering antidote to the cynicism, frustration, paralysis, and overwhelm so many of us are feeling, replacing it with a grounding reminder of what’s true: we are all connected, and our small, personal choice ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published November 5th 2013 by North Atlantic Books
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Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I am grateful for this book, which articulates so beautifully the world in which we find ourselves and offers guidance for the road ahead. I have been circling many of these same ideas recently, and it comes as a supreme relief that I am not alone. It's rare to find a book that puts together so many disparate cultural fragments into a coherent whole, let alone one that's so readable and engaging. I especially appreciate the author's candor -- he is clearly a fellow traveller, albeit an unusually ...more
Dec 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Quite possibly the most Beautiful book I have ever read in my life! Charles is a wizard with words and has an incredible gift of transmitting powerful stories! Stories that penetrate so deep, that we discover uncharted territories within our very own beings as we follow their captivating and undeniable truths, pointing towards the truth that exists within us all. He does all of this using with an astonishing intellect, a great sense of humility, and above all a comprehensive compassion that you ...more
C. Janelle
May 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to C. Janelle by: Linda Decker
I found the first two-thirds of this book to be kind of a slog. There are some really insightful gems in there, but Eisenstein's style is so incredibly wordy, I wasn't sure it was worth it to keep reading. I kept going just because a dear friend of mine said the book was awesome, and I wanted to get a sense of what she'd gotten out of it. With the chapter entitled "Righteousness" about 170 pages in (well beyond the point that I usually set a book down if it's not doing it for me) the book really ...more
Francesca Marciano
Dec 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All I need to say is that I love Charles Eisentstein and I wish there were more people like him. This book maybe wordy and possibly at times repetitive (although I have nothing against repetitions when ideas go so deep) but it puts into words the unpronounceable. Even if you may not agree with everything he says you'll come away from this read with a new story and an alternative narrative of our lives. And that's a lot to get from one book. ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015
I'm not really sure what to say about this book. The content is varied and the thought processes behind Eisenstein's arguments are extremely deep. I suppose I should mention that I have read all of the author's books that have been published to date with the exception of "The Ascent of Humanity", which I plan to read sometime soon. Whenever I read Eisenstein, it is so thought-provoking and his books end up taking me a long time to read because there is so much to chew on.

"The More Beautiful Worl
Bryan Winchell
Jan 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have been head over heels about Eisenstein's work ever since I read his important, epic "The Ascent of Humanity," a book that has the potential to completely overturn one's worldview if you let it. This book continues the themes Eisenstein introduced in that book and is meant as a rallying cry for us to begin living in a new Story of the World, one which empowers us to imagine a world of connectivity, where everything truly is connected and what each individual does matters to the big picture. ...more
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ok, this took me several months to read. I borrowed it from the library twice, then finally had to buy it. Now I will start over again. I may keep reading this book forever.
This is an amazing effort to put into words things that are hard to put into words. How can we describe alternatives to the story we live in when all our vocabulary is part of that story?
I think this is a very important book.
I'm not even sure I know how best to describe this read. A slow burn; thought-provoking.

We have a collection of ideas from Charles Eisenstein which deep dives into our systems and processes we are in as a society. He offers insight on how we might approach one another and our environment to affect change. Key concepts include approaching our adversaries with kindness and love; not combating hostility with more anger and hate.

There is a lot here for me digest (which is why it took me so long to
Barbara Neznek
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I wish the world would read this book
Feb 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is the third of Eisenstein's books I've read (in addition to essays, articles, and talks of his I've absorbed), and I must say this one took the longest to grow on me. The ordering of the chapters was not logically evident, and I was admittedly ruffled by his step toward "fringe" interests (although he states he intentionally makes this move to provoke reader reflection on their versions of self-righteousness).

Once I got beyond the resistance he accurately predicted I would feel, I came to
Enrique Mañas
Feb 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like Charles Eisenstein, probably due to some external recommendations and his undeniable beautiful writing style. I really tried. Maybe all this is my fault for not burning the book when I starting suspecting it.

However, this book is full of pseudo-science, wrong conclusions derived from wrong approaches, intentional lies and general garbage.

Could not finish it, and will leave it at the next bus stop with a note:

"Use to hold paper, not to read"

I want my time back.
Jan 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Eisenstein predicts a number of objections or doubts about his thesis, all of which I had. Although I would like to believe that "everything we do matters" in terms of creating the world we want to live in, I was not convinced. Still, there is food for thought here about whether a future better than we can imagine is possible and what paradigm shifts may allow for such possibilities. ...more
Raoul G
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
If I remember correctly I first heard of Charles Eisenstein when stumbling upon an quite extensive article he wrote about the COVID-19 pandemic. In it I found his perspective very refreshing and somehow different (but not in a conspiracy theory way 😄). So I looked up some of his books and found that this one attracted me most, judging only by the title. Admittedly, it sounds a bit utopic, but hey, that's not necessarily a bad thing, right?

It is an interesting and also kind of strange experience
Hannah Elizabeth
May 30, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I think this is the best book I have ever read. It is everything you've ever intuited during a transcendent experience, laid out as much as it can be in language. Through the concept of "interbeing", the idea that we are not separate from each other or from nature, Eisenstein explores the marriage of spirituality and activism (and spirit and matter in general), solving problems via attention and love instead of force, nonjudgment, deconstructing our beliefs about cause and effect and objectivity ...more
Raelle Kaia
Aug 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: philosophy
I loved this book. One of the things I really like about Charles Eisenstein is that he doesn't deny how bleak the situation in front of us is, for our species and Gaia; but rather than giving up, he's focused on what we can do about it, with full knowledge of the magnitude of what we're facing. That's my attitude too, and it's great to come across a kindred spirit who not only seeks for optimism in the face of catastrophe, but doesn't suggest we pin our hopes on the empty promises we usually hea ...more
Jan 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In 1993 I read Daniel Quinn's book Ishmael and it opened a door to a very different perspective on how our world works. Since then I've read many other books that have attempted to do the same, and they have all helped me in various ways to see where we are and where we are going as a species. Charles Eisenstein's latest book is like the flood lamp that's been turned on, illuminating both sides of that doorway that Quinn opened. The path that brought us to where we are and the path forward are t ...more
Dec 24, 2019 rated it really liked it
A lot of good stuff in this book! This book was first real intro to this author, and my time reading this book also coincided with a weekend workshop of his that I participated in at Esalen in November 2019. I feel like a main takeaway of this book feels like deeper compassion and a more nonjudgmental stance in many/all situations. I also really like the frame of the story of separation —> the story of reunion / interbeing. May it be so! I plan to read more of his work.
Yvonne S
Excellent. Commended to everyone. "Reawaken to the beauty and the joy that is meant to be." It is time to let go of The Story of Separation in favor of The Story of Interbeing. We are all in it together and everything counts. ...more
Mar 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An incredible book, to be read slowly and digested. I see that this is a life changer! Wow, and I love making comparisons to Flunking Sainthood, which I just finished recently. If you want to go on a spiritual quest this is the book to start with (seriously!)
Mar 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: philosophy-w
Vast. Sometimes brilliant; sometimes clunky. Often unruly. Spoke to my heart more than my head (maybe that was the point).
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
i am at the right place where reading this book is like having a conservation with a wise friend
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Many aren't ready for the ideas contained in this book. To get the most out of it the reader ought to have a natural love and appreciation for, as well as a rich and varied background in, a variety of subjects from physics, biology, psychology, politics and history. This is because the author's thesis is deeply contextual. He weaves seamlessly and comprehensively pieces of a larger puzzle contained within each discipline to create a new emerging paradigm that challenges the old. Like the air we ...more
Apr 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eisenstein is a contemporary philosopher who, throughout this book, speaks to and touches on something beautiful and oft-forgotten in modern life. That something being the idea of interconnectedness, oneness, or as he calls it, “the story of interbeing.” Now I do have a bias going into this book, as I regard that idea to either be the deepest or the most superficial truth. Anyways, he posits that we, specifically we in Western cultures, currently live in the all pervading story of separation. U ...more
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book gently defies categories. It's a spiritual roadmap for those who suspect that our (Western) culture is mired in false narratives, and who crave a more humanistic narrative. It's also an ethical manifesto, proclaiming that the key to addressing our social, political, and environmental problems is embracing our basic need for connection. Its mission is not to persuade cynics, but to sustain hope among the hopeful, and to inspire progressive idealists to find each other and work together. ...more
I did not agree with some of this author's ideas, but it is beautifully written and thought-provoking. I found the last 100 pages less engaging. I did mark many passages to be remembered and reviewed. If I were to become an activist I would like to be a compassionate one as Eisenstein suggests is possible.

Some of the principles of the "new story" (p. 15):

-That my being partaken of your being and that of all beings. This goes beyond interdependency -- our very existence is relational.

-That, the
Aug 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Fascinating exploration of activism which reframed many of my concepts and confirmed for me that it is useful I continue what I am offering.
Camia Young
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Charles Eisenstein puts into words what my intuition has been telling me, he is a gifted thinker and writer who is stewarding society into a new age through developing and sharing his thinking.
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have a great joy reading this book mainly because I can relate to the author's annecdotes and understand where his conclusions come from. Have I ever received gifts from random strangers whose self interests and motives are non-existent (to me)? Yes, many times, but not from every stranger. Am I willing to give out love and gifts to people I meet the first time, without expecting anything in return? I do, quite often, but not everyone needs them. My personal experiences and narratives like in ...more
Mar 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
I really liked the book. It's comforting to know that you are not so alone on your way to a new universally compassionate world.

The world that is organised around fullfeeling deep human needs of belonging, love, meaning and connection and aligned with the higher planetary intelligence. The world run under the story of interbeing and connectedness with all life there is. The world where greed isnt the source of all evil but a symptom of deep personal and collective wounds and unmet needs.

Chelsea Lawson
Feb 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Sold on the Story of Interbeing/interconnectedness, the spirit of the gift, and dedicating my energy toward creating a more beautiful world.

“Orient more toward where our choices come from rather than where they are going.”

“Our beliefs and stories contain within them roles for ourselves that we must play out in order to accomplish anything in the world. Absent, for instance, the belief that it is possible to ride a unicycle, one is unlikely to devote the weeks necessary to lear
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Charles Eisenstein is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His writings on the web magazine Reality Sandwich have generated a vast online following; he speaks frequently at conferences and other events, and gives numerous interviews on radio and podcasts. Writing in Ode magazine's "25 Intelligent Optimists" issue, Da ...more

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From non-fiction to fantasy, here are Goodreads members' top 12 most popular books from each of the past five years. And we're delighted to...
36 likes · 15 comments
“Addiction, self-sabotage, procrastination, laziness, rage, chronic fatigue, and depression are all ways that we withhold our full participation in the program of life we are offered. When the conscious mind cannot find a reason to say no, the unconscious says no in its own way.” 22 likes
“The state of interbeing is a vulnerable state. It is the vulnerability of the naive altruist, of the trusting lover, of the unguarded sharer. To enter it, one must leave behind the seeming shelter of a control-based life, protected by walls of cynicism, judgment, and blame.” 19 likes
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