by Joanna Macy
(Parallax Press, 2007, $18.95)
For anyone who missed Joanna Macy’s groundbreaking 1991 World as Lover, World as Self, here’s a fresh opportunity to connect with her clear-eyed courage. Macy streamlined and updated extensively for this edition and added two new chapters based on her work of the past 16 years, so it’s worth revisiting for those who caught the first round, too.
The book is organized into three sections: past, present, and future. The past section begins with a heavy dose of Buddhist philosophy, based on Macy’s early academic work, especially her Mutual Causality in Buddhism and General Systems Theory. It’s a worthwhile slog, lightened by personal anecdotes and later by the practical spiritual strategies of the present.
The future section elaborates on the Great Turning, the term Macy coined for the global transition from the industrial growth economy towards a life-sustaining society in which the interdependence of all life is recognized and honored. Macy has the rare gift of inspiring grand hope and courage to work for change while simultaneously keeping the terrible and precarious nature of our situation in full awareness. It’s the essential combination.
– Gina Covina (reprinted from Terrain, www.ecologycenter.org/terrain)