Leaping Hare (Ivy Press), 2013
Reviewed by Simon Robinson*
Soil, Soul, Society: A New Trinity of Our Time is the latest book from Satish Kumar. Published by Leaping Hare Press, the book itself is very much in line with Satish’s philosophy that the objects we create and use should be useful, beautiful and sustainable.
Drawing on the teachings of Buddha, Ghandi, Rabindranath Tagore and E.F. Schumacher, Satish offers a spiritual vision of sustainability, one where we can learn from Nature as well as about Nature. Offering practical guidance for how we can achieve this vision, Satish teaches that only love and reverence and not fear will lead to long term sustainability.
In the new paradigm which is emerging, one where we shift from ego to eco, there are three moral imperatives which form the new trinity needed in our difficult times. These are Soil (representing care for our natural environment), Soul (our wellbeing and happiness) and Society (the need to uphold human values, in both our personal lives and political institutions).
Satish acknowledges that throughout his many years of campaigning for peace and the environment, he has been accused of being “naive and unrealistic”. But he asks, “What have the realists achieved?” and “How many of us do our work with great joy, with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction of the soul?”
Founder of Schumacher College, in Devon (UK), Satish is a teacher who has always walked his talk, and always found ways to put his philosophy into practice. Soil Soul Society offers a great deal of food for thought for anyone involved in education, both for children and adults alike.
The Indian activist has always seen holistic solutions to the problems we as humanity face, and in this book we can take a huge amount of inspiration from him and those great teachers who have inspired him on his path. This book is an excellent introduction to the gentle teachings and philosophy of this great being and it provides practical ideas on how we can actively move into this new paradigm, one which encapsulates ecological, spiritual and social dimensions.
*For the full version of this book review (and video clip of an interview with Satish), visit http://transitionconsciousness.wordpress.com