For Big Problems, Small Solutions

That is the title of an article by Charles Eisenstein, subtitled “Now more than ever, we must recognize the logic of ‘bigness’ devalues the personal and seemingly small when it comes to making a difference” in the Winter issue of the UTNE Reader, Cure Ignorance, magazine.  Thanks to Ellis and Win Standing for making me aware of this marvelous publication, and my parents for the subscription!

Charles Eisenstein has just recently begun publishing a number of books and articles illustrating how he sees us transitioning from our current worldview, to a new one.  In the book “The More Beautiful World our Hearts Know is Possible”, he writes of our current view as “Separation” where each person is separate from everyone else, and separate from the natural world.  From the UTNE article he writes “We are transitioning away from a narrative that holds us separate from each other and the world, toward a new and ancient story that Thich Nhat Hanh calls ‘interbeing’.  In that worldview, self and universe mirror each other; whatever happens to any being is also happening in some corner of each of us.”

I’d like to summarize the article, but every sentence is worth reading, so I highly recommend it.

The basic idea is that, in the face of the huge problems we are facing, we are taught that we need solutions with a huge impact in order to address them.  He writes about an implicit hierarchy that values the contributions of some kinds of people more than others–those with big reach, basically.  “That valuation is, you may notice, nearly identical to the dominant culture’s allocation of status and power–a fact that should give us pause.”

“The logic of bigness devalues the grandmother spending all day with her granddaughter, the gardener restoring just one small corner of earth to health, the activist working to free one orca from captivity.  It devalues anything that seemingly could not have much of a macrocosmic effect on the world.  It devalues the feminine, the intimate, the personal, and the quiet.  It devalues the very same things that global capitalism, patriarch, and technology have devalued.”

“We all have another source of knowledge that holds the small, personal actions sacred.  If a loved one has an emergency, we drop everything to help them because it feels like the most important thing we could possibly be doing at the moment.”

“Reality, moreover, often turns out to be the opposite of what the arithmetic of measurable impact would suggest.”

“In my work I have discovered that the most powerful gatherings were the ones that were not recorded, as if the shielding from the outside world allowed us to enter a separate reality more completely.  These gatherings also seem to ripple their power out into the future beyond the room, despite the lack of any attempt to make that happen.  Maybe causality doesn’t work the way we’ve been told.”

This is exactly what I have been experiencing with the small group discussions, based upon books of ideas, at KI (Kheprw Institute).  On several occasions Imhotep (director of KI) has said the fact that we come together for these multi-generational, multi-racial meetings of about 20 of us is “revolutionary”, and I agree.

“Every act of compassion strengthens the global field of compassion;  every choice of conscience strengthens the global field of conscience.    Each act becomes equal; each act ‘scales up,’ even if by a process so mysterious and untraceable as to evade any perceptible sequence of cause and effect.”

This has helped me understand why I have not been led to engage with all that is going on related to the new Republican administration and the resulting chaos.  I am quite at peace with continuing to work with KI, instead.  Quite certain that what our small, local #NoDAPL gatherings, with song and prayer, are exactly what I should be doing now.  Certain these are moving us along a sacred path into our future.

There is so much more in the article.  I really hope you read it.

“My intention is to get scale-based thinking out of the way of love-in-action”

Along those lines, these photos are of me downtown to close my Chase bank account today, part of a national day to promote defunding of the Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL). Bridget sits on the Circle in downtown Indianapolis everyday crocheting. She asked me what my sign said, and we had a discussion about the importance of protecting our environment. She kindly agreed to take my photo with Chase bank in the background.

CHASE Bank: As of 02/01/2017 1:12:02 PM EST, the available account balance was $0.00, which is less than the minimum balance of $50.00 in your Alerts settings.

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