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  • Writer's pictureTamlyn Hunt

Grief in the Age of Separation

My reaction to Charles Eisenstein’s remarkable book The Ascent of Humanity — in short, every compassionate and reflective person should read this book and meditate upon its contents

Recently, I experienced life as it was a 100,000 years ago, a million years ago. A friend of mine invited me to a song circle in a natural hot spring not too far from my house. The night I finally was able to join was a new moon — that is, no moonlight at all — and it made it all the more special to be sitting in a large natural hot pond (a new one created at Pohoiki park by the volcanic eruptions of 2018), in the utter dark, surrounded by people I could only hear in the water around me, singing songs to the beat of a hand drum, call and response style, in a way that was almost certainly something we have done from the earliest days that we humans acquired language.

It is rare these days to be able to experience these moments of technology- and electricity-free moments of being. To merely be in the moment, to be with others without the mediation of screens or some other kind of modern technology.

How did we find ourselves in this world of ever-increasing complexity and anxiety? Why are so many people so miserable (depression and anxiety were already epidemic before the pandemic vastly exacerbated them)? Are we headed in a good direction? Should we change direction? Can we?

These are all questions prompted by my reading of Charles Eistenstein’s astounding book, The Ascent of Humanity, his 2013 magnum opus that took over a decade to write.

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