Can one define happiness? Can it be measured? Is it an individual’s inherent disposition? Are feelings of well-being linked to our earnings or situation in life? These are questions that humankind has been grappling with for eternity. The common perception today is that happiness is something we obtain when we get what we seek – high marks in an exam, a car or a house, a job or anything else.
The title of the book itself intrigued me, economics and sacred? The two seemed to be mutually exclusive to me. Living in an economics driven, money dominated, standardized world what one acutely experiences is the absence of the ‘sacred’! Charles Eisenstein’s beautifully written book is a must read, for all those who believe that our economic system is terminally sick and in dire need of a re-haul. He traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism and calls for a transition from profanity to sacredness in money. He describes a vision of a money system and an economy that is sacred and embodies the inter-connectedness and uniqueness of all things.
We have come full circle. We are again in touch with an essential truth that our ancestors knew without a shadow of doubt: the life-giving and healing power of food to nourish and sustain us and the fact that food can truly be our medicine.
Gandhiji once said, “The difference between what we do and what we could do would be enough to solve most of the world’s ills”. Yet, when confronted with the bleak landscape of a vast, vanishing planet, the abuses of free-market fundamentalism, social injustices and the loss of indigenous cultures, one tends to lose a sense of direction. The enormity of the problem pushes most of us into helpless inaction and utter despair.