Sacred Economics Quotes

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Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition by Charles Eisenstein
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Sacred Economics Quotes Showing 1-30 of 53
“When everything is subject to money, then the scarcity of money makes everything scarce, including the basis of human life and happiness. Such is the life of the slave—one whose actions are compelled by threat to survival. Perhaps the deepest indication of our slavery is the monetization of time.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“We have bigger houses but smaller families;
more conveniences, but less time;
We have more degrees, but less sense;
more knowledge, but less judgment;
more experts, but more problems;
more medicines, but less healthiness;
We’ve been all the way to the moon and back,
but have trouble crossing the street to meet
the new neighbor.
We’ve built more computers to hold more
information to produce more copies than ever,
but have less communications;
We have become long on quantity,
but short on quality.
These times are times of fast foods;
but slow digestion;
Tall man but short character;
Steep profits but shallow relationships.
It is time when there is much in the window,
but nothing in the room.

--authorship unknown
from Sacred Economics”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“When we must pay the true price for the depletion of nature’s gifts, materials will become more precious to us, and economic logic will reinforce, and not contradict, our heart’s desire to treat the world with reverence and, when we receive nature’s gifts, to use them well.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“The present convergence of crises––in money, energy, education, health, water, soil, climate, politics, the environment, and more––is a birth crisis, expelling us from the old world into a new.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“How beautiful can life be? We hardly dare imagine it.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“The financial crisis we are facing today arises from the fact that there is almost no more social, cultural, natural, and spiritual capital left to convert into money.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“Perhaps the deepest indication of our slavery is the monetization of time. It is a phenomenon with roots deeper than our money system, for it depends on the prior quantification of time. An animal or a child has “all the time in the world.” The same was apparently true for Stone Age peoples, who usually had very loose concepts of time and rarely were in a hurry. Primitive languages often lacked tenses, and sometimes lacked even words for “yesterday” or “tomorrow.” The comparative nonchalance primitive people had toward time is still apparent today in rural, more traditional parts of the world. Life moves faster in the big city, where we are always in a hurry because time is scarce. But in the past, we experienced time as abundant. The more monetized society is, the more anxious and hurried its citizens. In parts of the world that are still somewhat outside the money economy, where subsistence farming still exists and where neighbors help each other, the pace of life is slower, less hurried. In rural Mexico, everything is done mañana. A Ladakhi peasant woman interviewed in Helena Norberg-Hodge’s film Ancient Futures sums it all up in describing her city-dwelling sister: “She has a rice cooker, a car, a telephone—all kinds of time-saving devices. Yet when I visit her, she is always so busy we barely have time to talk.” For the animal, child, or hunter-gatherer, time is essentially infinite. Today its monetization has subjected it, like the rest, to scarcity. Time is life. When we experience time as scarce, we experience life as short and poor. If you were born before adult schedules invaded childhood and children were rushed around from activity to activity, then perhaps you still remember the subjective eternity of childhood, the afternoons that stretched on forever, the timeless freedom of life before the tyranny of calendar and clocks. “Clocks,” writes John Zerzan, “make time scarce and life short.” Once quantified, time too could be bought and sold, and the scarcity of all money-linked commodities afflicted time as well. “Time is money,” the saying goes, an identity confirmed by the metaphor “I can’t afford the time.” If the material world”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“Ultimately, work on self is inseperable from work in the world. Each mirrors the other; each is a vehicle for the other. When we change ourselves, our values and actions change as well. When we do work in the world, internal issues arise that we must face or be rendered ineffective.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“Contemporaneous with the financial crisis we have an ecological crisis and a health crisis. They are intimately interlinked. We cannot convert much more of the earth into money, or much more of our health into money, before the basis of life itself is threatened.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“A fundamental premise of this book is that human beings naturally desire to give. We are born into gratitude: the knowledge we have received and the desire to give in turn. Far from nudging reluctant people to give unto others against their lazy impulses, today’s economy pressures us to deny our innate generosity and channel our gifts instead toward the perpetuation of a system that serves almost no one. A sacred”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“In the same vein, the problem in economic life is supposedly greed, both outside ourselves in the form of all those greedy people and within ourselves in the form of our own greedy tendencies. We like to imagine that we ourselves are not so greedy—maybe we have greedy impulses, but we keep them under control. Unlike some people! Some people don’t keep their greed in check. They are lacking in something fundamental that you and I have, some basic decency, basic goodness. They are, in a word, Bad. If they can’t learn to restrain their desires, to make do with less, then we’ll have to force them to. Clearly, the paradigm of greed is rife with judgment of others, and with self-judgment as well. Our self-righteous anger and hatred of the greedy harbor the secret fear that we are no better than they are. It is the hypocrite who is the most zealous in the persecution of evil. Externalizing the enemy gives expression to unresolved feelings of anger. In a way, this is a necessity: the consequences of keeping them bottled up or directed inward are horrific. But there came a time in my life when I was through hating, through with the war against the self, through with the struggle to be good, and through with the pretense that I was any better than anyone else. I believe humanity, collectively, is nearing such a time as well. Ultimately, greed is a red herring, itself a symptom and not a cause of a deeper problem. To blame greed and to fight it by intensifying the program of self-control is to intensify the war against the self, which is just another expression of the war against nature and the war against the other that lies at the base of the present crisis of civilization.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“When you hear the phrase “rescue the financial system,” translate it in your mind into “keep the debts on the books.” They are trying to find a way for you (and debtor nations too) to keep paying and for the debt to keep growing.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“McMansions in sprawling suburbs, without mountains of unnecessary packaging, without giant mechanized monofarms, without energy-hogging big-box stores, without electronic billboards, without endless piles of throwaway junk, without the overconsumption of consumer goods no one really needs is not an impoverished world. I disagree with those environmentalists who say we are going to have to make do with less. In fact, we are going to make do with more: more beauty, more community, more fulfillment, more art, more music, and material objects that are fewer in number but superior in utility and aesthetics. The cheap stuff that fills our lives today, however great its quantity, can only cheapen life.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“To be sure, we can buy art, but we sense that if it is mere commodity, we pay too much; and if it is true art, we pay infinitely too little. Similarly, we can buy sex but not love; we can buy calories but not real nourishment. Today we suffer a poverty of immesurable things, priceless things; a poverty of the things that money cannot buy and a surfeit of the things it can (though this surfeit is so unequally distributed that many suffer a poverty of those things, too).

Just as money homogenizes the things it touches, so also does it homogenize and depersonalize its users: "It facilitates the kind of commercial exchange that is disembedded from all other relations." In other words, people become mere parties to a transaction. In contrast to the diverse motivations that characterize the giving and receiving of gifts, in a pure financial transaction we are all identical: we all want to get the best deal.

The homegeneity among human beings that is an effect of money is assumed by economics to be a cause. The whole story of money's evolution from barter assumes that it is fundamental human nature to want to maximize self-interest. In this, human beings are assumed to be identical. When there is no standard of value, different humans want different things. When money is exchangeable for any thing, then all people want the same thing: money.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“We are starving for spiritual nourishment. We are starving for a life that is personal, connected, and meaningful. By choice, that is where we will direct our energy. When we do so, community will arise anew because this spiritual nourishment can only come to us as a gift, as part of a web of gifts in which we participate as giver and receiver. Whether or not it rides the vehicle of something bought, it is irreducibly personal and unique.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“We are realizing our own inseparability from each other and from the totality of all life. Usury belies this union, for it seeks growth of the separate self at the expense of something external, something other.   (pg 139)”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“Of all the things that human beings make and do for each other, it is the unquantifiable ones that contribute most to human happiness.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“The more monetized society is, the more anxious and hurried its citizens. In parts of the world that are still somewhat outside the money economy, where subsistence farming still exists and where neighbors help each other, the pace of life is slower, less hurried. In rural Mexico, everything is done mañana. A Ladakhi peasant woman interviewed in Helena Norberg-Hodge's film Ancient Futures sums it all up in describing her city-dwelling sister: "She has a rice cooker, a car, a telephone — all kinds of time-saving devices. Yet when I visit her, she is always so busy we rarely have time to talk."

For the animal, child, or hunter-gatherer, time is essentially infinite. Today its monetization has subjected it, like the rest, to scarcity. Time is life. When we experience time as scarce, we experience life as short and poor. If you were born before adult schedules invaded childhood and children were rushed around from activity to activity, then perhaps you still remember the subjective eternity of childhood, the afternoons that stretched on forever, the timeless freedom of life before the tyranny of calendar and clocks.

"Clocks," writes John Zerzan, "make time scarce and life short." Once quantified, time too could be bought and sold, and the scarcity of all money-linked commodities afflicted time as well. "Time is money," the saying goes, an identity confirmed by the metaphor "I can't afford the time.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“There are puppet-masters, but they are systems and ideologies, not people. As”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“To be truly seen and heard, to be truly known, is a deep human need. Our hunger for it is so omnipresent, so much a part of our experience of life, that we no more know what it is we are missing than a fish knows it is wet.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“Yet the knowledge of what is possible lives on inside each of us, inextinguishable. Let us trust this knowing, hold each other in it, and organize our lives around it. Do we really have any choice, as the old world falls apart? Shall we settle for anything less than a sacred world?”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“Usury-money is the money of growth, and it was perfect for humanity's growth stage on earth and for the story of Ascent, of dominance and mastery . The next stage is one of cocreative partnership with earth. The Story of the People for this new stage is coming together right now. Its weavers are the visionaries of fields like permaculture, holistic medicine, renewable energy, mycoremediation, local currencies, restorative justice, attachment parenting, and a million more. To undo the damage that the Age of Usury has wrought on nature, culture, health, and spirit will require all the gifts that make us human, and indeed is so impossibly demanding that it will take those gifts to a new level of development.   (pg 155)”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“Competition and the accumulation of more than one needs are the natural response to a perceived scarcity of resources. The obscene overconsumption and waste of our society arise from our poverty: the deficit of being that afflicts the discrete and separate self, the scarcity of money in an interest-based system, the poverty of relationship that comes from the severance of our ties to community and to nature, the relentless pressure to do anything, anything at all, to make a living.  ( pg 247)”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“When what we offer is sacred to us, then the only honorable way to offer it is as a gift.5 No price can be high enough to reflect the sacredness of the infinite.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“Another way to see the unexpected fruits that arise from the mystery is that when we live in the spirit of the gift, magic happens. Gift mentality is a kind of faith, a kind of surrender—and that is a prerequisite for miracles to arise. From the Gift, we become capable of the impossible.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“Ultimately, what economics attempts to measure, underneath money, is the totality of all that human beings make and do for each other.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“The one who bows into service is an artist. To see work as sacred is to bow into service to it, and thus become its instrument. More specifically and somewhat paradoxically, we become the instrument of that which we create.”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“The hippies saw it and lived it for a few shining moments, but the old stories were too strong. Instead of the hippies pulling us all into a new world, we dragged them back into ours. The”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition
“Today's usury-money is part of a story of separation, in which "more for me is less for you." That is the essence of interest: I will only "share" money with you if end up with even more of it in return. On the systemic level as well, interest on money creates competition, anxiety and the polarization of wealth. Meanwhile, the phrase "more for me is less for you" is also the motto of the ego, and a truism given the discrete and separate self of modern economics, biology, and philosophy. (Pg 153)”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition
“And given how much of the evil and ugliness of the present world can be traced to money, can you imagine what the world will be like when money has been transformed?”
Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, And Society In The Age Of Transition

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