Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lynn's Raving About These Books That Seek To Arm Us For Our Changing World

The challenges we face can be difficult even to think about. Climate change, the depletion of oil, economic upheaval, and mass extinction together create a planetary emergency of overwhelming proportions. Active Hope shows us how to strengthen our capacity to face this crisis so that we can respond with unexpected resilience and creative power. Drawing on decades of teaching an empowerment approach known as the Work That Reconnects, the authors guide us through a transformational process informed by mythic journeys, modern psychology, spirituality, and holistic science. This process equips us with tools to face the mess we’re in and play our role in the collective transition, or Great Turning, to a life-sustaining society.

Lynn says:
"It was just seeing the teaming up of Macy and Johnstone that made me pick up the first title, knowing of Macy's work with grief and overwhelm/burnout in the activist world, and of Johnstone's history within the medical establishment that morphed into his passionate work in sustainability, whether in health care, the workplace, in communities or as an evolving inhabitant of a finite planet.  This book is a great antidote to despair and pessimism as we go forward, trying to find equanimity in the increasing stresses placed on our environment and social structures, manifesting in wars, economic upheaval, civil strife, species extinction and climate change, as those clinging for dear life to the status quo seem ever more resistant to substantive change.  Macy and Johnstone both ask us to look unflinchingly at what challenges confront us, and, by extension, the future generations of human beings who more than likely will be even further challenged as the lifestyles we've taken for granted can no longer be sustained.  What's valuable in this book is not so much the enumeration of those challenges, so much as a wider, broader perspective on them that encourages us to inform our daily decisions more from that broader perspective, thereby shifting from a small, egocentric hyper-individualism to a connectedness with all life that can enter the play of life with less fear of annihilation, because we can identify more and more with each other and the larger realities that animate our innermost being... realities that transcend our brief stay on this miraculous Earth.  This book can be read and absorbed alone, but is really designed to be shared with others, whether a life-partner, a book or writing group, or among like-minded change-agents seeking to shift out of old patterns into a more adventurous outlook on what's ahead."

 With the planet increasingly threatened with catastrophe and perhaps even collapse, many seekers are looking to past, proven models to create meaningful change in their lives. One such model is Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths: the reality of suffering, the root cause of suffering, the end of suffering, and the path to the end of suffering. This fresh, timely book taps and modifies that ancient wisdom to address the pressing environmental and spiritual crises facing us.

In The Four Global Truths, author Darrin Drda contends that as global temperatures rise and natural systems decline, humanity is forced to confront the destructiveness of unfettered material progress and mechanistic thinking. He posits a more enlightened worldview that honors the interdependence of all forms of life and aspects of reality, a concept increasingly see as a practical and compassionate approach to averting disaster. Writing in a warm, open style recalling that of Eckhart Tolle in The New Earth, Drda integrates elements of Western philosophy, transpersonal psychology, deep ecology, modern cosmology, and quantum physics to get at the heart of worldwide ecological suffering. In the process he encourages a responsible and joyful—and ultimately healing—participation in this critical moment in life.

Lynn says:
"Drda's book likewise grapples with the paradigm-shifting capacities that percolate beneath the everyday assumptions of our globalized economies and the requirements of systems based on limitless resources and a mechanistic, monocultural view of humanity.  The Four Global Truths journeys through the development of civilizations in a manner akin to the work of Joseph Campbell, Ken Wilber, Brian Swimme and Jared Diamond, but does so by utilizing Buddhism's 'Four Noble Truths' to look deeply into:

1. the Truth of Suffering
2. the Truth of the Causes of Suffering
3. the Truth of the End of Suffering
4. the Truth of the Path to the End of Suffering.

Drda builds upon this foundation to illuminate our profound interdependence, as well as our evolutionary brilliance and folly as a species that too often sets itself apart from the web of life. And he does it in such a way as to stimulate in the reader a wider view that may well be transformative as the book ends and the world waits to be engaged with anew."

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