Charles Eisenstein Quotes

Who is Charles Eisenstein?

Charles Eisenstein is an American public speaker, gift economy advocate, and the author of several books including 'The Ascent of Humanity' (2007), 'Sacred Economics' (2011), and 'The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible' (2013).

Eisenstein writes about diverse topics such as the history of human civilization, consumerism, interdependence and the influence of myth on culture.

Born November 25, 1967

Books by Charles Eisenstein


Best 80 Quotes by Charles Eisenstein | Page 1 of 3

“A miracle is an invitation into a new story.”

“A Zuni man I met told me that they believe that the worst thing is to take so much water that the rivers no longer reach the sea -- because how then can the ocean know what the land needs?”

“An economist says that essentially more for you is less for me, but the lover knows that more for you is more for me, too.”

“Back in the 1970s, dissidents in the Soviet Union were often hospitalized in mental institutions and given drugs similar to the ones used to treat depression today. The reasoning was that you had to be insane to be unhappy in the Socialist Workers' Utopia. When the people treating depression receive status and prestige from the very system that their patients are unhappy with, they are unlikely to affirm the basic validity of the patient's withdrawal from life. "The system has to be sound -- after all, it validates my professional status -- therefore the problem must be with you.”

“By focusing on a measurable quantity we devalue that which we cannot measure or choose not to measure.”

“Enlightenment is a group activity.”

“For a machine to run smoothly and predictably, its parts must be standard and hence replaceable, features which contribute, respectively to modern depersonalization and anxiety.”

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“I am certain we will not save our planet by merely being more clever in our deployment of Earth's resources.”

“I think most kids have a sense that it's not supposed to be this way. You're not supposed to hate Monday, or be happy when you don't have to go to school. School should be something that you love. Life should be something that you love.”

“In a gift economy the more you give, the richer you are.”

“Ironically, many of the environmental issues that seem unrelated to climate change, we are learning, actually do contribute to it.”

“Joint consumption doesn't create intimacy.”

“Let us admit that our knowledge of Earth's climate homeostasis is quite rudimentary.”

“More than a mere alternative strategy, regenerative agriculture represents a fundamental shift in our culture's relationship to nature.”

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“No one's ever completely broken. It's just a matter of how much has to fall apart before the ember of life is exposed to air.”

“The American Dream betrayed even those who achieved it, lonely in their overtime careers and their McMansions, narcotized to the ongoing ruination of nature and culture but aching because of it, endlessly consuming and accumulating to quell the insistent voice: “I wasn’t put here on Earth to sell a product.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to increase market share.” “I wasn’t put here on Earth to make numbers grow.”

We protest not only at our exclusion from the American Dream; we protest at its bleakness. If it cannot include everyone on Earth, every ecosystem and bioregion, every people and culture in its richness; if the wealth of one must be the debt of another; if it entails sweatshops and underclasses and fracking and all the rest of the ugliness our system has created, then we want none of it.

No one deserves to live in a world built upon the degradation of human beings, forests, waters, and the rest of our living planet. Speaking to our brethren on Wall Street: No one deserves to spend their lives playing with numbers while the world burns.”

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“School yourself to demureness and patience. Learn to inure yourself to drudgery in science. Learn, compare, collect the facts.”


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“The cynic thinks that he is being practical and that the hopeful person is not. It is actually the other way around. Cynicism is paralyzing, while the naïve person tries what the cynic says is impossible and sometimes succeeds.”

“The force of love, the force of reunion is unstoppable.”

“The gift economy represents a shift from consumption to contribution, transaction to trust, scarcity to abundance and isolation to community.”

“The logic is backwards. Genius is the result of doing what you love, not a prerequisite of it.”

“The primary method by which governments increase their control is by creating fear.”

“The things we need most are the things we have become most afraid of, such as adventure, intimacy, and authentic communication. We avert our eyes and stick to comfortable topics. We hold it as a virtue to be private, to be discreet, so that no one sees our dirty laundry. We are uncomfortable with intimacy and connection, which are among the greatest of our unmet needs today. To be truly seen and heard, to be truly known, is a deep human need. Our hunger for it is so omnipresent, so much apart of our life experience, that we no more know what it is missing than a fish knows it is wet. We need more intimacy than nearly anyone considers normal. Always hungry for it, we seek solace and sustenance in the closest available substitutes: television, shopping, p*rnography, conspicuous consumption — anything to ease the hurt, to feel connected, or to project an image by which we might be seen or known, or at least see and know ourselves.”

“Time and again, indigenous people have proven that their "superstitions" encode a sophisticated understanding of ecology. While such ideas as "insulting the water" and "stealing the golden soul of the mountains" seem baldly unscientific, we may need to start taking them seriously.”

“Time is life. When we experience time as scarce, we experience life as short and poor.”

“Trust your intuition and be guided by love.”

“We have to create miracles. A miracle is not the intersession of an external divine agency in violation of the laws of physics. A miracle is simply something that is impossible from an old story but possible from within a new one. It is an expansion of what is possible.”

“We sense that ‘normal’ isn’t coming back, that we are being born into a new normal: a new kind of society, a new relationship to the earth, a new experience of being human.”

“We will not escape this crisis so long as we see the planet and everything on it as instruments of our utility. The present climate change narrative veers too close to instrumental utilitarian logic -- that we should value the earth because of what will happen to us if we don't.”

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“What does economic growth actually mean? It means more consumption – and consumption of a specific kind: more consumption of goods and services that are exchanged for money. That means that if people stop caring for their own children and instead pay for childcare, the economy grows. The same if people stop cooking for themselves and purchase restaurant takeaways instead.

Economists say this is a good thing. After all, you wouldn’t pay for childcare or takeaway food if it weren’t of benefit to you, right? So, the more things people are paying for, the more benefits are being had. Besides, it is more efficient for one daycare centre to handle 30 children than for each family to do it themselves. That’s why we are all so much richer, happier and less busy than we were a generation ago. Right?”

“What we do to nature, we do to ourselves.”

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“If someone judges you, they are wasting space in their mind. Best part, it’s their problem.”


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