Welcome to A New and Ancient Story

An oasis for compassionate learning, unlearning, and sense-making

Charles' Welcome

Thank you for visiting. The video below describes the motivation and purpose of the community. A new story that diverges from the surrounding culture needs community to hold it. We don't need to do it alone. This is a place to hold, explore, and practice a new-and-ancient story for humanity as we transition from a society and psychology of dominance and separation to one of compassion and interbeing.

Please scroll down for community description and guidelines.

About Us

We are a reverence based community of care, discussion, exploration, and development of a new (and ancient) mythology. We hold each other in the heart's knowledge that a more beautiful world is possible. We encourage each other to deepen our service to that possibility. Inside NAAS, you will find:

Home Community Content

Our topics span the political and the personal, the ecological and the relational, as no aspect of life will be untouched by the transformation that is before us.

Events

We also provide virtual events both by members and by Charles. Charles holds a monthly livestreaming session for this community.

There are also in-person gatherings organized by members and the NAAS hosting team.

Charles' online Course Forums

If you are here also to participate in Charles Eisenstein's programs, once you complete your join process, you will be able to enter to the course forums from the home page menu, then please select Course Forums to see a list of available course forums. Choose to join the one(s) you register. Thank you.

Regional & Specialty Groups

Groups formed to support local connections or specialty interests groups. More information on how these functions, please go to community home page menu, then Groups, then select Community Service Hub.

**Important** Please only request to join after you read and resonate with our Posting Guidelines below.

Posting Guidelines

To better understand the vibe of this community before you request to join, we will share the posting guidelines below. Please join only if you resonate with them. But first, a few details:


The principle of reverence

Instead of patronizing you with guidelines about being respectful, I would like to invoke the principle of reverence. Reverence is the awareness that one is addressing sacred beings. It is not the same as solemnity; it includes humor, playfulness, and ease as well.

To maintain reverence means noticing habits of polarization and judgment that arise in the presence of difficult information or difficult emotions. Although this community is conceived as a sanctuary, inevitably it will mirror the divisions and conflicts of the outside world. The answer is not to avoid them or to plow them over with positivity. Rather, I invite us to hold them in a non-ordinary way.

Specifically, that means that we help each other

  • to express anger without diverting it onto hate

  • to hold grief without diverting it onto despair

  • to share compassion without diverting it onto pity

  • to interpret each other's words generously

  • to let go of being right and seeming smart

  • to value each person’s unique window on the world

  • to be willing to see each other fully, shadow and gold

  • to be willing to be truly seen ourselves

Challenging material is sure to come up in any community once it progresses past initial politeness. Here, our exploration of a new story will reveal our own unconscious beliefs and habits of separation; that is, the ways in which we still see and act from an old story. If we can hold reverence through that process in our own community, which will surely mirror the divisions and conflicts of the larger world, then there is a chance for the world to move toward peace as well. To the extent we succeed in holding reverence, we establish a precedent and prefigure a possibility. 

It is much easier for me to admit I was wrong, when I’m in an environment where no one is shamed for holding wrong beliefs. It is much easier for me to speak my truth, when others are welcome to speak theirs. It is much easier for me to question my beliefs when humble people surround me. In a community that provides such conditions, each member can grow beyond where they could alone.

A call to inquiry

Gigi Coyle, my dear friend and a teacher of the Way of Council, offers a mantra for speaking in circle that I think can be profitably translated into online conversations. The mantra is W.A.I.T. – “Why am I talking?” On the surface level, it is an antidote to habits of dominating others with ones speech, or speaking to get attention or approval, demonstrating how smart you are, or signaling in-group membership. All of these habits can dilute the power of our words. WAIT, however, is not actually meant as a device to suppress those habits; it is meant to illuminate them. It is not a rule that says, “Never speak if you are just doing it to gain approval, seek attention, show off, etc.” It says, “If you do that, know that you are doing that.”

WAIT springs from a deep trust in human beings, that says whatever wound or insecurity might drive your habits of speech, who you really are and what you really want is to serve the group, the conversation, and the higher purpose that brought it together.

In WAITing, we understand ourselves as more than separate individuals. Many voices, each with different motivations and goals, murmur within us and around us: the voice of the ego, the inner child, the higher self; the voice of beings of nature, spirits, and ancestors; the voice of social forces like patriarchy or peace; archetypal voices to which we may be attuned…. Which shall we allow to issue from our mouths or fingertips? Gigi asks, “Which one wants and needs to speak? Which one may be heard and actually serve life, healing, and contribute to more love, truth and wholeness?”

In an actual circle of humans, only one person can intelligibly speak at once. On an online forum, many conversations can run simultaneously. Attention-seeking or dominating speech can’t monopolize the group’s listening as it can in a live gathering. Nonetheless, people (hopefully) have lives off line too. If they read your post, then they are not doing something else. So another motivation for WAIT is the recognition that the attention of other people is precious. In fact, if I may wax metaphysical for a moment here, attention is the only thing we truly possess. Whatever we pay attention to is a kind of food. By paying attention to something, we accept its imprint and it becomes part of ourselves. To offer something for another person’s attention is not a trivial act. WAIT recognizes that and helps bring consciousness to that offering. Therefore, it too is a principle of reverence.

The question “Why am I talking (or posting)?” might not have an answer you can explain in words. The answer could well be a feeling. What feeling-state are these words coming from? Who am I, as I speak this? WAIT is a moment of self-considering, a mental and emotional check-in, that may result in hitting delete, or in changing some wording, or in replacing the words with others, or in no change at all. It helps uncover what one really wants to say (or not say).

As with reverence, WAIT allows light-hearted banter, humor, wit, and customs of etiquette, as well as discussion of personal and social issues. It is not an overriding rule or guilt trip meant to squelch bad speech. It operates from underneath, subtly aligning conversations to their best potential. It also establishes a habit of mindful intention that may bleed over into other areas of life. By maintaining a constant background question of “Who am I, really?” it induces, on the community level, an inquiry and an awareness of “Who are we, really?”

I don't know the answer to that question now. In fact I am deliberately cultivating a state of open curiosity about that, letting go of ideas about what it should be. I invite you all to do the same. Let us see what emerges.

In Service,

Charles & Patsy

Platform Support

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