Sacred Economics

Recommending reading… Charles Eisenstein, Sacred Economics.

I’m only part way through this book, but so much of it is striking the same kind of “Yes that’s it!” notes as Lewis Hyde’s “The Gift”, the book that inspired a lot of the thinking behind creation  of The Loop Project all that time ago…

Take this fantastic quote from Gesell, 1906 regarding ecology and the connected self,

We frequently hear the phrase: Man has a natural right to the earth. But that is absurd, for it would be just as correct to say that man has a right to his limbs. If we talk of rights in this connection we must also say that a pine-tree has the right to sink its roots in the earth. Can man spend his life in a balloon? The earth belongs to, and is an organic part of man. We cannot conceive man without the earth any more than without a head or a stomach. The earth is just as much a part, an organ, of man as his head. Where do the digestive organs of man begin and end? They have no beginning and no end, but form a closed system without beginning or end. The substances which man requires to maintain life are indigestible in their raw state and must go through a preparatory digestive process. And this preparatory work is not done by the mouth, but by the plant. It is the plant which collects and transmutes the substances so that they may become nutriment in their further progress through the digestive canal. Plants and the space they occupy are just as much a part of man as his mouth, his teeth or his stomach….

How, then, can we suffer individual men to confiscate for themselves parts of the earth as their exclusive property, to erect barriers and with the help of watchdogs and trained slaves to keep us away from parts of the earth, from parts of ourselves-to tear, as it were, whole limbs from our bodies? Is not such a proceeding equivalent to self-mutilation?

As we’re only around a quarter of the way through we’ll have to wait to see what the alternative to “endless growth” and “separation” is that he proposes. WIll keep you posted! (or you could go off and buy a copy yourself… or, following the sacred economics philosophy, download it for free).

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