The Shift into Gift
Join Chris Yates at Studio Bija for a very special talk on
“The Shift into Gift”
A path to conscious community and the end of poverty mentality
Saturday, February 9th, 2013
11:00 AM to 12:30 PM
Offered as a Gift
In order to build a strong, thriving, fully inclusive community, we must first build an economy of gifts. In a highly modernized society, community is nearly impossible. This is because community is woven from gifts, which is why “poor” people often have stronger communities than “rich” people. In highly monetized societies, people don’t need each other because they can pay for the goods and services they need. If one person doesn’t fulfill their needs, they can simply pay someone else.
To forge community, we must do more than simply get people together. While this is a start, soon we get tired of just talking and crave to do something, to create something. It is a very complacent community indeed, when the only need being met is the need to air opinions and feel that we are right. The Facebook message board and that group e-mail list are not getting it done either. People communicate much differently in person than they do from the safety of separation as provided by a digital device.
Community is woven from gifts. Unlike today’s market system, whose built-in scarcity compels competition in which more for me is less for you, in a gift economy the opposite holds true. Because people in gift culture pass on their surplus rather than accumulating it, your good fortune is my good fortune: more for you is more for me. Wealth circulates, gravitating toward the greatest need. In a gift community, people know that their gifts will eventually come back to them, even though it will often come in a new form. Such a community might be called a “circle of the gift.”
Fortunately, the monetization of life has reached its peak in our time, and is beginning a long and permanent receding (of which economic “recession” is an aspect). Both out of desire and necessity, we are poised at a critical moment of opportunity to reclaim gift culture, and therefore to build true community. The reclamation is part of a larger shift of human consciousness, a larger reunion with nature, earth, each other, and lost parts of ourselves. Our alienation from gift culture is an aberration and our independence an illusion. We are not actually independent or “financially secure” – we are just as dependent as before, only on strangers and impersonal institutions, and, as we are likely to soon discover, these institutions are quite fragile.
Many of us no longer aspire to financial independence, the state in which we have so much money we needn’t depend on anyone for anything. Today, increasingly, we yearn instead for community. We don’t want to live in a commodity world, where everything we have exists for the primary goal of profit. We want things created for love and beauty, things that connect us more deeply to the people around us. We desire to be interdependent, not independent.
Come learn how this transition to gift is already underway in both economic and social realms. Learn why the “poverty mentality” is obsolete, and why small communities are most likely to succeed. Discuss real examples of how gift economy is already at work in both the North Fork Valley and online, and how you can join the shift. Receive specific instruction on what you can do NOW to create positive change in the community, and in your life, both economically and socially, regardless of your current situation. Chris will end the talk with a very powerful exercise in Gratitude, which is guaranteed to leave you feeling truly wealthy, abundant, vibrant, blissful, and prepared to go forth as an unstoppable agent for positive change in the world.
For so many reasons, we need to need each other.
“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”
Inspired by the work of Charles Eisenstein, author of Sacred Economics