Reviewed by Ian Mowll
This ebook on Deep Green Living is a collection of articles written by fourteen different authors and is in four parts. The first is about feeling our sense of place on the Earth, the second looks at our lifestyles, the third is about wildness and the final part discusses our relationship with the natural world. The intention of the ebook is to help us to find our place in the world and to inspire us to live in good relationship with the Earth and all beings. One of the main points that the ebook makes is that green living can simply be a selfish desire to make one’s own circumstances better. Deep Green Living is about taking care of, and being in relationship with, the whole planet for its own sake. And this is a key aspect of good spirituality, compassion without expectation of reward. Although, paradoxically, this approach can lead to a more fruitful and fulfilled life.
The advantage of a book with many contributors is that you get different perspectives and so there are many very valuable points made and useful insights. For instance, the chapter on ‘Life on the Allotment’ is not just about growing green beans but more of a lifestyle choice with many spin-off benefits. And ‘Learning Your Bioregion’ challenged me to find out more about the resources I consume and to take more steps towards sustainability.
For me, the jewel in the crown is the article by Eleanor O’Hanlon. She writes with personal experience and insight about elephants in their native environment. More than this, she writes with a vivid and sometimes poetic style that captures my imagination and makes me feel present with the elephants.
The ebook also tackles the thorny problem of taking advantage of the many benefits of a modern lifestyle whilst living in good relationship with the Earth. There are no easy fixes but the issues are aired and it’s a matter of continually being mindful and living with the complexity of many competing demands.
The ebook is very current containing references to up to date research, one example is; Scientists from many different disciplines – biologists, zoologists, evolutionary biologists, comparative psychologists, neuroscientists – state openly now that consciousness, in varying degrees of refinement and complexity, is not confined to the human, or even to the vertebrate brain.
Finally, my favourite quote from the ebook is by Eugene Cernan – the last man to walk on the moon who said; We went to explore the moon and, in fact, discovered the earth. Our journey on this Earth is an adventure and wherever we find ourselves, we can always reflect on the Earth and travel the road with others towards a more sustainable lifestyle.