When economic, technological, educational and media influences erode our sense of ‘belonging’ within this society we have created, how are we supposed to recoup the situation?
In his recent article, published on the popular Huffington Post blog recently, Charles Eisenstein, public speaker and author, sets out his lucid and inspiring opinion about how all of us are seeking to create harmony in our lives, in an effort to reclaim our lost sense of belonging — a result of what he refers to as ‘The Story of Separation’. Eisenstein states:
–“Such a self yearns to recover its lost connections, to belong once more to the land, to the tribe, to the planet, and to the cosmos. Not to be its separate master, overseer, dominator or, ultimately, victim.”
Eisenstein also suggests in more detail how ‘modern life’ can lead to our feeling of ‘separation’ and alienation:
“Here are some of the ways…:
- Indoor lifestyles, air conditioning, and motorized transportation distance us from the rest of nature, making it alien and other to us.
- Digital media substitute material, embodied experience with virtual experiences, further separating us from participation and belongingness in the material world.
- The commodity economy immerses us in a world of standardized, uniform things, stripping away uniqueness and aliveness.
- The money economy also destroys community, replacing gift interactions with paid services and casting us into a world of strangers. Because it is fundamentally competitive, it also creates the experience of a hostile world in which no one cares.
- The industrial food system distances us from nature in its aspect of generosity, so that it is no longer a friend or partner, but rather a resource from which food is extracted. It turns food into a “product,” reducing plants and animals into mere elements of production and obliterating any sense of kinship.
- The ideology of reductionism teaches us that the universe at bottom is a thing, composed of generic building blocks devoid of consciousness, purpose, agency, or intelligence. We are alone in the universe.
- Modern medicine makes the body into something to be dominated and controlled through pharmacy or surgery, and holds us in a position of dependency on experts. The body becomes “my body,” a separate thing.
- Patriarchal attitudes toward love, intimacy, and sexuality, along with their associated institutions, cut us off from deep connection to each other. Even non-sexual touch is severely circumscribed in modern society
This is but a small sampling. All of these come from what I like to call the Story of Separation, that defines us as separate souls in a universe of other…”
He goes on to discuss the ways we can recover a sense of belonging and “our indigeneity” and also recounts a fascinating experience he recently had that really bought this home to him…
A recommended read!
Original article can be read in full here:
The Longing for Belonging
(Charles Eisenstein is the author of ‘Sacred Economics’ and ‘The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible’)