The Third Wave #37 – Breaking Down The Illusion Of Separation | Charles Eisenstein

Charles Eisenstein, author and thinker, sits down with The Third Wave to talk about how a new story of ‘interbeing’ could help us break free from our destructive modern systems. We hear about the influence that psychedelics have had on Charles’ life, and the reasons why Charles remains optimistic about the direction of human society.

Podcast Highlights:

  • At 22, Charles had a powerful psychedelic experience that he describes as “reorienting” his life.
  • He decided he wanted to tell a story that didn’t rely on social norms.
  • This new story fights the illusion of separation and creates a new fundamental concept of ‘interbeing,’ helping us accept that our actions affect the world and others.


Charles describes his early psychedelic experience as like a confirmation that reality was bigger than he’d been told. It showed him the existence of something to strive for; that it was possible to achieve something new and beautiful from the ashes of our current destructive society.

He decided to begin constructing a new story. Breaking down the old narratives of modern society that rely on concepts of separation (you against ‘others’) and exploitation, the new story relies on the idea of ‘interbeing,’ which posits that every action we make affects the earth and people on it. Harming anything around us will ultimately harm ourselves.

Charles believes that psychedelics are illegal because they’re a genuine threat to the current system – they break down that illusion of separation, leaving us with an awareness of interbeing that de-legitimizes standard cultural narratives. Psychedelics show us how we can live more compassionate lives – and nations that rely on exploitation to survive are afraid of that change.

Despite the current state of the modern world, Charles is optimistic about the direction things are going. He sees Trump and far-right politics as the death-throes of an old system. He sees this as an important process for humanity – a birthing of a new story out of the collapse of a diseased society.

Show Links:

“Sacred Economics” by Charles Eisenstein

Charles’ popular essay following Trump’s election

Charles’ article in the MAPS bulletin

Charles’ website

This Week in Psychedelics:

Norway’s parliament has voted to decriminalize drugs

Recreational marijuana sales have officially begun in California

MAPS has received a $1m donation from a cryptocurrency philanthropist

Sign up to The Third Wave’s Microdosing Course

The Third Wave has released its new Microdosing Kits

Questions from the audience:

Our article on antidepressants and psychedelics

Dr Fadiman’s microdosing site

Ask your questions on Twitter and Facebook!

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