As I look over the books I've read this year I count about 12 that are either purely focused on our economic system or are in large part about it. There are three or four that I would highly recommend. But none of them goes as deep as the gift of Charles Eisenstein's recent Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Community in an Age of Transition unwrapped on Christmas morning which has been an inspiring early morning companion since. The combination of Eisenstein's courteous tone, his layered analysis, and his weaving of so many disciplines in a prose that is not burdened with elitist lingo has made this a joy to savor and reflect on.
Like any profound work this one unsettles some pretty solid foundations with some gentle, but powerful observations and hypotheses. I say this with the acknowledgment that I am only 75 pages into a 458 page tome. His idea of sacred "embodies the interrelatedness and uniqueness of all things" and "reunites long-sundered realms of human and nature; it is an extension of ecology that obeys all of its laws and bears all of its beauty."
There are four parts to this work: 1)" a fundamental analysis of what has gone wrong with money; 2) describes a more beautiful world based upon a different kind of money and economy; 3) explains collective actions necessary to create that world and the means by which these actions come about; and 4) it explores the personal dimensions of the world transformation, the change in identity and being that [he] calls "living in the gift."
He unravels the threads of our history with the concept of money and how it furthers our separation from each other and the natural world that we are part of. There is so much to reflect on from nearly every page. One wants to devour it, like the perfect blueberry pie fresh from the oven, but one realizes that a slow savoring is all the more enriching and satisfying. No local bookstores or libraries hold this book, which keeps it too remote. It is published under the Creative Commons Attribution License making sharing of large portions of it permissable.