EPISODE 371
Charles Eisenstein
It's the End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel Fine (with Charles Eisenstein)

Mark speaks with Charles Eisenstein, writer, speaker, and author of The Coronation, his new book that searches for ​​meaning as we emerge from the troubled time of Covid. Charles’ work covers a wide range of topics, including human civilization, economics, spirituality, and ecology.

Charles Eisenstein
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Show Notes

Today, Commander Divine speaks with Charles Eisenstein, writer, speaker, and author of The Coronation, his new book that searches for ​​meaning as we emerge from the troubled time of Covid. Charles also frequently explores anti-consumerism, interdependence, and how myth and narrative influence culture on his Substack and in his 6 published books. In this episode, he talks about why reality isn’t working anymore for most people, his philosophy about the emerging economy, how to take back our sovereignty, and more.

Key Takeaways:

  • Reality isn’t working anymore for most people. The implicit promise is that if you do certain things (like climbing the corporate ladder, buying a house, following the latest diet trend, etc.) then you’ll be healthy and happy. But nowadays, people who obey the formula are running headlong into a sandstorm of confusion – whether it’s chronic health problems, or dead end careers, depression, or divorce. Something has to change.
  • Considering sovereignty. Lately, the capacity to experience life has become increasingly dependent on technology. For example, most parts of the US are addicted to air conditioning, and to comfort in general. The more comfortable we become, the less tolerant we are to any conditions outside of that small range. This extends to our addiction to the intense stimuli of the virtual world. This trend has accelerated in the last few years, but it’s nothing new. It’s time for us to think about what the alternative is…. and to consider this: What is the vision of humanity that underlies this movement toward more and more dependency on things outside of ourselves?
  • The Emperor has no clothes. The elites govern not so much through everybody’s agreement with them, but through the perception that everybody agrees with them. It’s like the Emperor’s new clothes – the Emperor is naked, but everybody else is acting as if he’s not. But everybody’s thinking it. Charles argues this is why it’s so important now to come out about things that go against the status quo, whether it’s psychedelics or paranormal experiences, or health.
  • On building a parallel society. You don’t change things by fighting existing reality – you build a new model that makes the old one obsolete. We’re currently doing this in many areas of society, from Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies (a parallel financial system), to holistic health modalities (a parallel healthcare system). We’re recreating all of these institutions, but also the consciousness around them. It’s happening slowly, but it’s happening.
  • Despite it all… the future is bright. Charles is very positive about the way the world is heading, despite things looking bad on the surface. Underneath, there’s a huge seismic shift happening in consciousness. More people are aware of and healing their trauma than ever. And despite the vitriol on the Internet, people are nicer to each other in person. We’re becoming less identified with our roles, and are therefore more able to be in humanity with each other.
  • Welcome to The Coronation. Charles’ new book of essays about the pandemic is entitled The Coronation, because the coronation is an initiation into sovereignty. The pandemic has made our unconscious choices more conscious. It’s not that COVID has saved us from a technocratic totalitarian future – it’s showed us where we’ve been going. So now we can choose it consciously, or do something else. And Charles hopes that we do something else.

Quotes:

“Almost everybody probably listening to this has had experiences, whether like mystical experiences, experiences of synchronicity, paranormal experiences, healing experiences, that if you really take them in, you have to question everything.”

“Existing reality is becoming more and more uncomfortable, it’s just not working anymore for people, even if you play by all the rules, and build that CV and do everything you’re told and go to the dentist every six months and get your prostate exam, you know, and do all the things you’re supposed to do.”

“And we never ask, why… even if they do exist, okay, the big C conspiracy. What gives them power? It’s not like they have bigger muscles than we do. Or that they have superpowers. It’s our acquiescence to it. And why do we acquiesce? That’s the question to ask.”

“I know that the picture of what’s real and possible that we are handed, is woefully limited. And that predisposes me to listen a lot more to the dissidents in the critics and the heretics than I otherwise would, if I were just limited to the news.”

“How do the elites govern?… When they don’t have actual superpowers, they govern through not so much everybody’s agreement with them, but through the perception that everybody agrees with them.”

“I’m also very positive actually about the way things are going on the surface, things look worse and worse. But underneath there’s a huge seismic shift happening in consciousness.”

“When we’re cruel to somebody, when we’re mean, when we’re inconsiderate… Usually, it’s because we’re not seeing them as a full human being. We’re seeing a projection, a judgment, an image of the real thing. Well, when we’re online, then what we’re presented with is images of people. We’re not actually interacting with the flesh and blood from the body. You’re seeing an avatar representation… the embodied experience is not the experience of dealing… of interacting with a full human being. So I think that makes it a lot easier to humanize those people. And so it gives vent to all of these shadows.”

“To a certain point, you can take care of yourself and be healthier and live longer. But at some point, the things you have to do to achieve extraordinary longevity means letting go of the motives that motivated you to seek longevity in the first place, which is all about me. As long as it’s all about me, you’re gonna be in a certain sense tight and controlled, and not really fully in the flow of life. And to open up to the full flow of vitality, you have to make it not all about yourself… make it about service.”

Mark Divine 0:05
Coming up on the Mark Divine Show…

Charles Eisenstein
It’s like the Emperor’s new clothes. It’s like, gosh, the Emperor looks naked, but everybody else is acting as if he’s not naked. So, maybe I’m a fool. And that’s why it’s so important now to like, come out, whether it’s psychedelics or paranormal experiences, or in the health arena, childbirth, like all of the whistleblowers, all the dissidents, like… this is the time to be brave.

Mark Divine 0:33
And this is Mark Divine and this is the Mark Divine Show. On this show, I explore what it means to be fearless through the lens of the world’s most inspirational, compassionate and resilient leaders. My guests include notable folks from all walks of life, to include motivational scientists, nutrition experts, peace crusaders, philosophers, and counterculture authors. Like my guest today, Charles Eisenstein. Charles is an author, speaker, and counterculture philosopher or he calls himself a dissident, and the author of several books. His newest book, The Coronation, will be released in July. And we will speak about that in this podcast. I met Charles about eight years ago when I read his book, Sacred Economics and A More Beautiful World. And we had an incredibly compelling conversation on an early version of this show. And I’m super excited to talk to him today. Charles, thanks for joining.

Mark Divine 1:24
What inspired you to become a writer and a philosopher, to do what you’re doing right now?

Charles Eisenstein
I’ll say that I never aspired to be a writer, or a philosopher. I don’t think that what the world needs the most right now is more people coming up with ideas and talking about them. But through my journey, like I came to see some things in a way that nobody else was talking about, I had pretty much no choice but to write about them.

Mark Divine
Why do you think that was?

Charles Eisenstein
To make a long story short, I went through a process of alienation from the normality that our society narrates to us, that our society has established and offers us. The normality of… it could be scientific reality, it could be economic reality, it could be medical reality, the capacities of the human body, the capacities of the human mind, the way the world is, and should be. I had experiences that punctured that bubble of normality, or reality…

Mark Divine
Metaphysical experiences?

Charles Eisenstein
I mean, in some cases, yeah, in some cases, more mystical, you know, in other cases, like very, very fleshly. Like, for example, I used to live in Taiwan in my early 20s. I was a refugee from academia, I, you know, had been on a success trajectory, let’s say, on one level, I just couldn’t take it. I just couldn’t handle it. I couldn’t make myself do the things that one is expected to do to be an upstanding member of society.

So anyway, there I was in a foreign culture, and I began to experience things that my received version of reality denied as even being possible. For example, I had a severe ankle injury that was similar to what I had running cross country in college, like it was… put me on crutches for six weeks. The bartender where I was working, took me to a doctor, he was like, it looks really bad, all swollen and inflamed. He takes me to this, what he calls a doctor, but it’s actually like this one room, cement floor clinic with no separate waiting room. And it’s like a traditional Chinese doctor. And he’s smoking a cigarette. Like this was like, not anything that was on my radar screen. But this severe injury, he fixed it in very agonizing fashion, by digging his thumbs into it and pulling and yanking and, and putting an herbal paste on it, but it was better the next day. And I was like, hold on. That is not possible…

Mark Divine
Right? The western guy would have cut it open and you know, laid you out for months.

Charles Eisenstein
He would have given me ibuprofen, and put me on crutches, put a cast on it and said wait six weeks. And so I’m like, okay, the pinnacle of medical science does not… is not even able to do what this unschooled…

Mark Divine
Cigarette smoking unschooled guy in a cave, basically.

Charles Eisenstein
And you know, then I came into contact with Chi Gong, you know, and various Taoist practices. And yeah, so I was like, Okay, what happens if I really take in this one data point that doesn’t fit the matrix?

Mark Divine
Everything ripples from there, right?

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, that’s one of the experiences like there was a series of experiences like that. And I could tell a lot more of the story, but almost everybody probably listening to this has had experiences, whether like mystical experiences, experiences of synchronicity, paranormal experiences, healing experiences, that if you really take them in, you have to question everything.

Mark Divine
I love that as a starting point. And most do not, the entire scientific community, you know, has like an uncomfortable shrug around those things.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, they just put them in some other category.

Mark Divine
That some category that just like… if it’s not observable or explainable, then it’s not real. They don’t say that it didn’t happen. They just say it’s just an anomaly of the subjective experience and blah, blah.

Charles Eisenstein 5:00
But we do that too. I mean, not even, you know, scientists, like most people do that, to preserve reality.

Mark Divine
Right, preserve the framework, or the structure, the cognitive structure of what we call real. And I look at it as something a little bit more more involved with penetrating the what’s really real with a capital R versus what we perceive to be real, right, which is what’s taught.

Charles Eisenstein
This kind of thing that is happening to more and more people, because not only does a larger reality back into us, but the existing reality is becoming more and more uncomfortable, it’s just not working anymore for people, even if you play by all the rules, and build that CV and do everything you’re told and go to the dentist every six months and get your prostate exam, you know, and do all the things you’re supposed to do.

Mark Divine
Those are all very uncomfortable things, by the way.

Charles Eisenstein
The implicit promise is that if you do all those things, then you’ll be happy… you’ll be healthy, you’ll be happy. There’s the formula, and people who obey the formula… nowadays, they’re running headlong into a sandstorm of confusion, like, whether it’s chronic health problems, or dead end careers, or just like generalized depression, or divorce, you know, or their children have, you know, become suicidal, or like, normal life doesn’t work anymore.

Mark Divine
Even in the business or organizational or even, you know, global cultural sciences seems to be not working.

Charles Eisenstein
Right. And so that’s the push, there’s a pull that takes the form of these extraordinary experiences that we have that say, there is a bigger reality out there. And then there’s the push, it’s almost like a birth push, where the womb has become uncomfortable, and it’s expelling us. Mark Divine
It’s interesting. I’m curious if more people are experiencing this, or it’s just that because of the global interconnectedness and people’s willingness now to talk about it because of conversations like this. We’re just learning that more people are willing to express it or they have, you know, an avenue to express it. That’s a possibility. Or it’s possible that, you know, consciousness is actually kind of accelerating in his journey toward more, more wholeness.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, I mean, I’m not sure what your take on, on it is. But, you know, whether we’re talking about like, the breakdown of the political system, the venomous climate on social media, the what I consider to be a public health catastrophe, the economic situation, inflation, you know, I mean, just on so many levels, the world of normalcy is crumbling at the edges. And a lot of people cannot even make ends meet anymore. So yeah, I think it’s an objective phenomenon.

Mark Divine
It is objective. And we can only respond to it subjectively. And it’s co created as a result of our subjective minds. What we’re seeing here is hundreds of years of negative thinking and disassociation from self. And also probably a very deliberate attempt to insert institutions, between individuals and God or between individuals and their autonomy. And you see how all of our systems in the United States, at least have been organized is like, oh, yeah, you need this in between your health… insurance and you need this in between your education, you need this in between, right? You… for God, right? So it’s religion. And the reality is, a human being doesn’t need any of that when they’re in control over their mind. And they’re able to think clearly.

Charles Eisenstein
I’m writing an article right now on… the title is something about transhumanism in the metaverse, which is a another example of what you’re talking about where even the capacity to experience life becomes dependent on this intermediary called technology, where dependency on technology extends all the way to the level of the immune system of the physical body, which has already been happening for a long time, like people are, most parts of this country anyway, are addicted to air conditioning, like you become addicted to comfort, and then the range of comfortable temperatures gets smaller and smaller.

Mark Divine
You lose the capacity to adapt, right.

Charles Eisenstein
Right. Or you become addicted to the intense stimuli of the virtual world. So that normal life seems boring. And you feel actual discomfort, if you’re not receiving that intense stimuli, or the interposition of technology in our communication and social reality, where you can no longer even be social, if you’re not connected to the internet. Now, I’m exaggerating the case a little bit. But during COVID, it kind of did become like that, like you were, in many places on earth required to stay indoors, you had to have an official pass to emerge into the social world. So you know, this trend that you’re speaking of, has really accelerated in the last few years, but it’s not a new thing. And so I really like to think about what the alternative is, and what is the vision of humanity that underlies this movement toward more and more dependency. And as you were saying, also, a surrender of sovereignty to the intermediaries.

Mark Divine 10:00
Because this has been going on for several thousand years, you know, when the ancient pharaohs started to understand the power of imagery and controlling masses through imagery, and that’s what media is doing now.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah. And I’m actually rather wary of the conspiracy, the big C conspiracy theory. Because it’s like this simplification. It takes a complicated reality with many, many actors and many influences that are all interrelated. And it reduces it to a matter of good guys versus bad guys.

Mark Divine
It’s a strong duality thinking, right? And you’re right, it’s way more complicated. And you can look at it much more probably clear headed or with clear eyes from a more spiritual perspective, even I think and you get the answers, right.

Charles Eisenstein
And it’s also a kind of a victim mentality, that says that the source of my troubles is something outside of myself. There’s a certain comfort in that, because you no longer have to take responsibility. Here we have decades long deterioration, in general levels of health. It’s not caused by a virus or bacteria. You know, auto immunity is not caused by a pathogen. Allergies are not caused by a pathogen, anxiety, depression, addiction…

Mark Divine
They’re caused by being out of balance. Yeah.

Charles Eisenstein
Right. There’s nothing to fight. Now, all of a sudden, here comes a virus, and from the authorities down to the public, everyone’s like, Oh, good. Now we can do something about it. Because what do we know how to do? We know how to isolate, we know how to control, we know how to kill. So there was a comfort in the familiarity and in the illusion that this is something under our control. And so we projected everything onto this one thing. It’s the same mindset that says the virus is the pedophilia elite. And the solution then is to tear them down by force, same mindset. It’s really an export of sovereignty. And we never ask, why… even if they do exist, okay, the big C conspiracy. What gives them power?

Mark Divine
We do.

Charles Eisenstein
It’s not like they have bigger muscles than we do. Or that they have superpowers. It’s our acquiescence to it. And why do we acquiesce? That’s the question to ask.

Mark Divine 12:09
We’re gonna take a short break here from the Mark Divine show, to hear a short message from one of our partners.

Mark Divine 12:19
And now back to the show.

Mark Divine 12:28
It reminds me of any war on blank has injured those perpetrating the war more than those who are the actual originators. You know, crime…

Charles Eisenstein
Isn’t the leading cause of death in the military suicide right now?

Mark Divine
It is. Yeah. And the war on drugs. You know, what did that do for drugs? Right? It made it worse, brought the spotlight on it… and a war on terror? Right, who’s, who’s gotten injured more, you know, we have, it’s weakened us. And if you come to rely on other people to keep you safe, then you just weaken yourself, you weaken your mind.

Charles Eisenstein
Ultimately, it comes down to, who do you trust? And I lost my trust in the mainstream authorities and their systems of knowledge production a long time ago, because of the story I just told you, because I’ve experienced things in my life that the knowledge authorities, for example, institutional science, say are nonsense. And I’m like, Okay, should I believe you or my own lying eyes, you know, like, I experienced that. And you have categorically removed it from reality. So, I know, like this comes down to my personal experience, you know, I know that the picture of what’s real and possible that we are handed, is woefully limited. And that predisposes me to listen a lot more to the dissidents in the critics and the heretics than I otherwise would, if I were just limited to the news.

Mark Divine
I’ve been reading Michael Pollan’s book right now, How to Change Your Mind about psychedelics. And, you know, just smiling at the story about how the Catholic Church, the Spanish side, really just, they were the first ones to outlaw psychedelics, right, because they saw how they were being used by the Aztecs. And they’re like, Oh, my God, these guys are having a direct God experience. That’s not going to happen under our watch. Then they kind of sprouted again in the 60s, 50s and 60s. And then, you know, the US government said, Oh, no, probably, you know, some forces in there said, Oh, this is dangerous, right? Because look at the movement of the 60s in the counterculture. And this is like a threat.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, in a sense, they were right. You know, it was a threat to society as we know it. That’s what they said back in those days, if we allow these to spread, it’ll end society as we know it.

Mark Divine
And so their answer was to demonize them and roll them up into the war on drugs and make people think to this day, you know, and I’ve been very open, like I’ve got a podcast this afternoon with two folks who are healing vets like with a snap of a finger over a weekend doing Ibogaine and 5 LEO DMT and I went down to experience it and it was a beautiful experience, it wasn’t my first, but I really literally up until about the last three months Charles, I wouldn’t speak of my psychedelic experiences.

Charles Eisenstein
I came out like 20 years ago, but yeah,

Mark Divine
Because I still had that kind of, I don’t know, cultural kind of like stigma.

Charles Eisenstein
We got to stop playing it safe, Mark. Right? I mean, if you’re gonna be a warrior, you know, we got to stop playing it safe. We do, to answer the earlier question, how do the elites govern, when they don’t have actual superpowers, they govern through not so much everybody’s agreement with them, but through the perception that everybody agrees with them.

Mark Divine
Right? Like controlling the narrative.

Charles Eisenstein
It’s like the Emperor’s new clothes. It’s like, gosh, the Emperor looks naked, but everybody else is acting as if he’s not naked. So maybe I’m a fool. But everybody’s thinking that. And that’s why it’s so important now to like, come out, whether it’s psychedelics or paranormal experiences, or in the health arena, childbirth, like all of the whistleblowers, all the dissidents, like, this is the time to debrief.

Mark Divine
You know, my big kind of turning point was all the censorship. I mean, maybe it existed, and I just didn’t know about it, but holy crap, you know, suddenly, we have like, major censorship going on and being pressured by the elites, or by the government or whatever.

Charles Eisenstein
I never thought that to see the day, you know, where I’d be on a podcast. And I would deliberately avoid saying the V word. Because some, you know, algorithm is going to, you know, go through there and flag it, like, gosh, I mean, am I in Soviet Russia here, like, and how instinctive It was to be careful about what I say, because Big Brother’s watching, that really threw me for a loop.

Mark Divine
And I guess the fact check would be for everyone listening is, if things were dramatically better as a result of that censorship as a result of the government and all their policies, then then I’d back down and be like, Okay, I was wrong. But I don’t see that, right, I don’t see any evidence of that, I see things getting worse, as these things breaking down.

At the same time. And we can kind of pivot here, I also see a beautiful, a more beautiful world, on the other side of the chaos, right, and the other side of this, and we see that with the sproutings of blockchain and, and the promise of Bitcoin, and the growing consciousness and psychedelics coming back into the lexicon, into the experience of the ordinary citizens, and even the legalization of that, and many other data points, which are largely on the fringes, or certainly were just even a few years ago, are now becoming more kind of accepted.

Charles EisensteiN
I’m also very positive actually about the way things are going on the surface, things look worse and worse. But underneath there’s a huge seismic shift happening in consciousness. You know, I occasionally sit in medicine ceremony, psychedelic ceremonies, and like, in the last year, so many new people have come to it, like regular people. You know, I mean, these aren’t like hippies. These are like, I mean, yeah, ex military, or like normal, like, you know, corporate people like, and not to say that psychedelics automatically enlighten you, or even make you into a better person, like I’ve, in the psychedelic space, definitely come across, you know, fairly psychopathic people.

Mark Divine
There’s this kind of saying, you have to be somebody before you can be nobody. There are people, many people who have no business doing psychedelics, until they have many years of therapy under their belt, because their ego structures are not fully formed yet. And so this is where you get the god complexes and psychic shifts or breaks. And so this is kind of like a little warning footnote for folks. Don’t just jump into a ceremony, right. If you’re not emotionally mentally stable, there could be challenges.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, I don’t know. I mean, I’ve also seen people who gave every indication of being pretty darn unstable, have their…

Mark Divine
Have great healing. I just … yeah, so I know, it’s a conundrum.

Charles Eisenstein
Even like the psychedelics is just one aspect of this shift in the core of our culture. Like another indication is, I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but in the last few years, despite the vitriol and venom online, people seem to be getting kinder and more considerate in person. You know, even like at TSA, going to the airport. I mean, yeah, sometimes people are having a bad day and stuff. But in general, it seems like people are less identified with their roles in the prison experiment, where, you know, the TSA person is a dickhead, just because they have this petty power. It doesn’t happen as much anymore. But people are less identified with their roles, and therefore more able to be in their humanity with each other. It’s a subtle shift. But I’m curious whether you and your listeners have noticed

Mark Divine
I have noticed that, but I probably wouldn’t have identified it until you brought that up. You could just say, Well, that’s because everyone got stuck inside in the pandemic, and you know, that caused them to do some self reflection.

Charles Eisenstein
It predated the pandemic, though, when my eldest son was in high school. I sat down with him and his brother and we watched The Breakfast Club. Afterwards, I was like, you know, how’d you like it? You know, isn’t that what high school is like? And he was like no, Dad, you know, what century are you from? Like, today, if somebody is bullying another kid, they’ll be ostracized. There’s hardly any bullying in my school, and he was not going to any elite kind of school, he was going to like, below average public high school. He’s like, Yeah, bullying is not cool. Whereas in my day, you almost had to lord it over the weird kids in order to be popular. And it changed to… if you do that you won’t be popular. There’s still a lot of online bullying. I don’t know, maybe I’ve got rose colored glasses on but in person, it seems like it has changed.

Mark Divine
It’s interesting. How do you know how to reconcile some of these polarities. So we have, we have people kind of addicted to the hyper arousal of technology and immersing themselves for hours a day, even if it’s just their iPhone, or video games or what not, while at the same time, they’re becoming nicer, and more inclusive, and more collaborative. And actually, my grandkids are great examples of how most of their learning has come from Minecraft and Fortnight and building things in worlds that you and I have never got to experience.

Charles Eisenstein
Maybe part of it is, you know, like when we’re cruel to somebody, when we’re mean, when we’re inconsiderate. Usually, it’s because we’re not seeing them as a full human being. We’re seeing a projection, a judgment, an image of the real thing. Well, when we’re online, then what we’re presented with is images of people. We’re not actually interacting with the flesh and blood from the body.

Mark Divine
Right? You’re seeing an avatar representation.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, it’s an avatar, you know, it’s a profile name, you know, it’s like some anonymous username on Twitter, like, the embodied experience is not the experience of dealing… of interacting with a full human being. So I think that makes it a lot easier to humanize those people. And so it like, it gives vent to like all of these shadows.

Mark Divine
Yeah. The other thing that’s coming across in my mind right now, and this might be because I live in California, but I think it’s more of a global conscious thing is that a lot of parents have kind of given up this notion of, you know, you have to control every aspect of your child’s life, and given up the kind of parental bullying in terms of the hardcore discipline being the right way. Kids these days are growing up with more autonomy with more freedom to explore, and with less childhood trauma, and therefore they have more self respect. And so they’re not likely to judge and to project those negative things that you and I experienced.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, I think in some ways, maybe, but in other ways, children are subject to even more control than ever. You can do almost anything you want online, but say how many 10 year olds do you see unsupervised in public space? When I was a kid, like we would roam a mile from home, go swimming in the creek, like start a little campfire up on the abandoned quarry? You know.

Mark Divine
That goes back to the conundrum that we’re talking about, right? So the great outdoors seems to be off limits to kids. So they found their great outdoors in Metaverse are in…

Charles Eisenstein
A simulation of the real thing, which is bounded and ultimately controlled. And it gives you a substitute for real adventure. But it never tests your limits in the same way that physical experience does, like walking barefoot over gravel. Like that never happens.

Mark Divine 23:14
Okay, we’re gonna take a short break here from the Mark Divine show, to hear a short message from one of our partners.

Mark Divine 23:21
And now back to the show.

Mark Divine 23:31
Let’s continue this thread around the positive view of the future. What’s your view on kind of blockchain and Bitcoin, I’d love to hear your perspectives on that, both philosophically and also the impact it will have on economy.

Charles Eisenstein
One thing that it’s done is it has exposed the nature of money as being a convention as being an agreement, and not just a fact of reality. Because if you can make different money, then you can also change the money that we have, by simply changing our agreements around it. It suggests a sovereignty that we didn’t know that we had, and thereby makes it all the more intolerable that we are not exercising that sovereignty, that we have surrendered it to an inhuman, out of control system administered by unaccountable private interests, such as the central banks. Like that’s one effect that it’s had. Also, like blockchain more generally, and, and other, you know, expressions of cryptography. They open up all kinds of new domains for Decentralized Governance, for direct democracy, for other ways, besides centralized institutions, to make collective decisions and to coordinate our creativity and labor. And in that regard, like the crypto revolution is just in its infancy. Now it kind of got hijacked by speculative greed. And now, you know, we’re seeing all that shakeout which I think ultimately will be a good thing.

Mark Divine
I agree. On the other side of that, once we get some sensible regulation and all that crackpot stuff gets flushed out of the system.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, I mean, it’s hard to say, you know, the regulation could just be a way to tame it, and make it yet another creature of the centralized institutions. I don’t know, I’m not sure if either of us have enough knowledge to really drill down into that issue. But it is a caution.

Mark Divine
Yeah, it’s here to stay that I mean, I mean, we’re recording this podcast that at one of the bottoms, you know, we’re FUD is starting to take over and people, you know, some of the bigger crypto investment funds and custodial institutions are struggling and laying off at Coinbase and whatnot, you know, and the doomsayers are saying, See, I told you, you know, just took a little bit longer than I thought, but you know, Bitcoin has no value whatsoever, like the Bank of England guys, and Bitcoin has zero value whatsoever. So it’s an interesting time. So people are questioning. I’ll share my view, I think Bitcoin will be the digital gold of the future. It’s, it’s a massively valuable store of value and all the models, you know, that I’ve been privy to in terms of valuation, put Bitcoin valuation right now, between 60 and 100, something 1000. So it’s greatly undervalued, it’s a phenomenal buying opportunity for investors. And, you know, when we look at it with a long view set of glasses on, you know, Bitcoin could be kind of the reserve currency of the world, in 10 years, million dollars per Bitcoin, it could be right, or it could, you know, something disastrous could happen to it. But my view is that it will survive as the strength is in that decentralization and the adoption, right, and it can’t be shut down, like China tried that. It can’t be shut down, unless the entire internet goes down. And then by then, you know, there’ll be satellite based internet, that will find a way, because it’s not controlled by anybody or anyone. It really has a mind of its own almost.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, again, you know, there’s a more complicated conversation to be had there. I mean, China did kind of shut it down in China, you know.

Mark Divine
Well, that’s what they say. But all the miners have come back online.

Charles Eisenstein
In China?

Mark Divine
Yeah, just in the past few weeks.

Charles Eisenstein
I mean, if you’re facing like, say, you know, years of imprisonment, are you gonna run a server farm? You gotta take a risk.

Mark Divine
I don’t know how they Yeah, they’re doing that with two anonymous and masking and everything. So they’re taking a huge risk, right? I think maybe China just wanted to get their arms around it and get the digital won, you know, enough kind of legs, then then, you know, once other countries start to adopt it, they will have to

Charles Eisenstein
I’ll just ask you a question. You’ve mentioned that the purpose of your podcast is to help people regain their sovereignty. What is the core of that in your mind?

Mark Divine
So sovereignty to me comes with taking control back of how we train our minds, and how we train our minds, then you know, will dictate everything else. And I believe the body is even expression of the mind. And so if we want absolute health, then train your mind for absolute health. If you want longevity, you want to live to 150, train your mind to live to 150. You know, my evidence or the yogi’s who like, either Baba Ji or you know, others who train their minds to keep the bodies alive for a very long time. Again, Western science who just poopoo this, and I can’t like march a yogi into my podcast studio, and you know, who’s hundreds of years old, but I’ve read enough accounts. And I’ve had enough experience of my own around the capacity of the mind to dictate the body that I personally believe this. And I believe that the more an individual evolves, trains their mind and evolves their consciousness, the less separation they feel, the more inclusive they become, until ultimately, they experience that unity consciousness. And I believe that that unity consciousness is not reserved for a few enlightened beings, but is the birthright of all humans. And so you could say, my, one of my beyond bringing people autonomy, and sovereignty is to democratize enlightenment, and to demystify it, and to scale it. And my mission is to train and inspire 100 million to come to this path of what I consider to be a Western path, or modern path toward what I just described, which requires daily activities around self mastery, in combination with, you know, service mindset and doing things that benefit other human beings, self mastery and service. How does that resonate with you?

Charles Eisenstein
I thought a bit about longevity, you know, and a paradox occurred to me. To a certain point, yeah, like you can take care of yourself and, you know, be healthier and live longer. But at some point, the things you have to do to achieve extraordinary longevity means letting go of the motives that motivated you to seek longevity in the first place, which is all about me. As long as it’s all about me, you’re gonna be in a certain sense, like tight and controlled, and not really fully in the flow of life. And to open up to the full flow of vitality. You have to make it not all about yourself, as you were saying to make it about service. And at that point, maybe you can then through that achieve extraordinary longevity, but you won’t even care anymore.

Mark Divine
You won’t care. That’s true. I agree with that. So the longevity is kind of a fun aim really for optimal health lifespan, as opposed to… or health span as opposed to lifespan is one way of looking at it. And also think that the accounts of those who’ve done it, you know, and I’ve seen accounts from Qigong martial arts, as well as yoga of individuals who’ve lived for more than well more than 100 years, they literally have to segregate themselves from society, because it’s just too unhealthy and negative and toxic. But there might be a point in the future where that’s not true, right, where you’re gaining energy in your relationships and being a part of culture, you know.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, one of the concepts I’ve been working with a bit, it’s actually in the epilogue of the book that’s coming out is building a parallel society. You know, it’s kind of drawing off Buckminster Fuller’s famous quote, you don’t change things by fighting the existing reality, but by… you build a new model that makes the old one obsolete. And so in many, many areas, you mentioned, you know, like Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, that’s like a parallel financial system, holistic health modalities, that’s a parallel healthcare system. We’re doing like all kinds of radical schooling experiments, you know, that’s a parallel educational system. We’re growing more of our own food, parallel agricultural system, like we’re recreating all of these institutions, but also the consciousness around them. And the values embedded in them are also parallel. They’re different from the mainstream. And so it could very well be, as you say that when we immerse ourselves in that parallel society, no longer is it a source of pollution, and something we have to resist, because it’s always trying to tear us down from our sovereignty and from our positivity, it’s actually the opposite. It’s actually supportive.

Mark Divine
I think that’s awesome. And I love that, but parallel kind of assumes that they’re at an equal level, you know, operating side by side, whereas I think that they’re vertical in nature, in that this new, these new systems are actually operating at a higher level of vibrational quality or consciousness, you know, largely invisible to someone operating at the original level, maybe not invisible, but you know, they’re just not able to really understand or go there. Let’s talk about The Coronation. What’s it about? And where are we at with it?

Charles Eisenstein
At the beginning of that pandemic, I wrote an essay called The Coronation, more of a philosophical take on things, and a social analysis. Like I read a lot about mob morality, and the mentality of totalitarianism. And just anyway, I wrote a series of essays on various aspects of the pandemic. And now, publishing a book called also The Coronation, that brings all these essays together, and with some new material that kind of weaves them together. So it’s kind of like a, it kind of maps the trajectory of the pandemic, both as a social phenomenon, but also like for myself, in the material that we use it together, I’m talking about, like my periods of despair, and despondency, and paralysis, and my self doubt, you know, the times where like, maybe everything I’ve been saying is wrong. How do I know that what I believe is true? And just going through all of that inner journey that many people went through a version of during the pandemic. You know, so that’s really what the book is about.

And the reason that I’m putting it out, it’s like, everyone wants to move on. And that’s good. But have we really learned from the experience? Have we really made sense of it all? Or are we just rushing headlong into the future, with unlearned lessons that will then be repeated? So that’s why I am putting quite a lot of energy into the book.

Mark Divine
Yeah, I appreciate that. I think it’s really important because things are moving so fast, that there’s less and less reflection happening, both individually and culturally. And I think, you know, if you wanted to take a positive look at it, and a retrospective look like this is a pivotal moment. It caused, you know, a great pause, it was helpful for the environment, it caused people to stop and go within, it reshaped the global economy in I think a more resilient way, or it is in the process of doing that. And also the definition of what it means to be human. The next pivotal moment will be when artificial intelligence gained sentience, if that’s possible.

Charles Eisenstein
The reason I titled it, The Coronation is because a coronation is what the word means is a crowd. So a coronation is an initiation into sovereignty, which means that choices that had been unconscious that we didn’t know we were making, now become conscious. So it’s not that the pandemic has saved us from a technocratic totalitarian future. It’s that it showed us where we’ve been going. So now we can choose it consciously or to something else. And it’s my hope that we do to somebody else, and that’s what I work for.

Mark Divine
Awesome. When do you intend to have this published?

Charles Eisenstein
It’s with Chelsea Green Publishing, comes out July 28.

Mark Divine
And so Charles, where do people follow you learn more? Are you know, what’s the social handles and whatnot?

Charles Eisenstein
The best place is Substack. I publish on charleseisenstein.substack.com. I mean, I have a website, also charleseisenstein.org. But the new stuff is on substack.

Mark Divine
Thanks so much for your time today, Charles.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah. Thanks, Mark.

Mark Divine
Fascinating conversation. I really appreciate it. And let’s try to stay in touch somehow.

Charles Eisenstein
Yeah, yeah. Take care now.

Mark Divine
Bye. Bye.

Charles Eisenstein
Take care. Yeah.

Mark Divine 35:24
Wow, that was a fascinating interview with Charles Eisenstein. We talk about philosophy, philosophy of Bitcoin, blockchain, virtual reality. We talk about the emerging economy, talk about spirituality and yoga. Fascinating stuff. You can find the show notes at MarkDivine.com, video of the show at our YouTube channel, Mark divine.com/youtube. You can reach out to me on Twitter at Mark Divine and at real Mark Divine Instagram, Facebook, and also my LinkedIn account.

If you’re not on my newsletter distro list, then consider subscribing at MarkDivine.com. So you can get the Divine Inspiration newsletter every Tuesday, where I have a digest of the week’s podcast episode or Show episode, as well as my blog and habits and other things that I’m reading that I think would be valuable.

Special shout out to my amazing team, Geoff Haskell and Jason Sanderson and Jeff Torres, and Melinda Hershey, who helped us produce the show and finding incredible guests like Charles bring to your ears every week. I appreciate reviews for the show, it’s very helpful to bring the show credibility to help grow the audience and help other people find it. So if you haven’t rated or reviewed it, please consider doing so at Apple or wherever you listen.

And as we discussed on this show, the world’s changing very fast, we have like a parallel universe that’s growing up in alongside in almost a completely different vibrational level. Out of view of a lot of people in mainstream media, but it’s happening is happening fast, the economy is changing, new medical kind of genres are beginning to be formed or growing, new educational experiments, all sorts of really cool things are happening, and they’re getting more widespread adoption. At the same time, there’s a lot of chaos and anxiety and stress and burnout. And it’s up to us to do our best to maintain optimal health and a strong positive mindset and to train ourselves to be the change you want to see in the world. So thank you for being part of that and doing the work and for supporting the show. Until next time, stay focused and believe in a more beautiful world. Hoo-yah.

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