These are books that, over the last five years, have transformed my life and re(de)fined my understanding of the world we live in. They have made me wiser, happier, more confident, and have contributed to a greater sense of fulfillment and purpose. At the same time, these books challenged my deeply-held beliefs and perceptions. It was not easy to take in facts and viewpoints suggesting that humanity has been kept on a hamster-wheel of disinformation, dead-end debates and history-by-the-victors. Knowledge is power. In this day and age, money is power as well. Now imagine the idea of the world’s largest corporations handing out money freely to the public. Sounds unlikely? So, why would the dissemination of knowledge be any different? An awakened public, is an empowered public.
Although they are all quite different, each of these books taps into an underlying reality: that humanity has been raised on a worldview that is destructive, divisive, and deceptive. Without even realizing it, we have given up our consent, on many of the most important issues, by accepting mainstream media as fact, aligning with simplified binary agendas (such as Republican vs. Democrat, pro-global warming vs. anti-global warming, etc.), and living our lives so as to avoid thinking of the larger-picture ideas.
Notably, the emergence of a debt-based society and fractional-reserve banking; other possibilities and solutions for human progress and economic productivity; the capacity and power of human consciousness, and its implications in our day-to-day lives; and the responsibility of forming our own opinions and thinking fearlessly, prioritizing truth and compassion over profit and status. It is a tragedy that our system forces a majority of the global population to focus on survival, rather than actually thriving as productive, loving humans. Do we want to live in a society that rewards greed and selfishness; or in a society that rewards innovative, generative enterprise, honesty and compassion?
Note that each of these books is written by a credible, established, and well-respected author in their field. I’ve spent time with Joel Solomon on multiple occasions, have met John Perkins and Yanis Varoufakis, and have communicated with Charles Eisenstein and Marjorie Kelly. I know brilliant people that studied under Professor Howard Zinn, one of the most influential thought leaders of the Civil Rights movement. I have nothing but respect for these diligent, fearless truth-seekers and knowledge guides. Although they will probably challenge you, I’m confident these books will open your eyes to an empowering view of the world we live in.
The New Confessions of an Economic Hitman by John Perkins
A Peoples’ History of the United States by Howard Zinn
An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz
May you enjoy these! I close with a quote from the numinous legend Jelalladin Rumi:
Conventional knowledge is death
to our souls, and is not really ours.
We must become ignorant
of what we’ve been taught,
and be, instead, bewildered…
Live where you fear to live.
Destroy your reputation.
I have tried prudent planning
long enough. From now
on, I’ll be mad.