Independent Publishing Platform, 2021
Reviewed by Ian Mowll
This gem of a book contains a collection of writings by Santoshan covering his spiritual journey and outlook. The first part is about green wisdom and the second part deals with aspects of different spiritual traditions.
Part of any spiritual journey is the call to adventure. Sailing away from the shores of safety, adventuring out to gain new experiences. And then making sense of these experiences and integrating them back into our daily lives. This is what I love about this book. Santoshan has wide experiences and knowledge. For instance, he talks about his time as a bass guitarist in a punk rock band and he goes on to say: For me, what could be seen as a punk spirituality, or at least a highly radical one, is a spirituality that is prepared to challenge dumbed-down teachings. (Page 17)
He carries forward this radical and fresh approach to each of the areas he writes about; drawing from his experiences in art, music, psychology, spirituality and his wide-range of reading giving him a broad base to draw on. He writes: It is a spirituality that embraces and acts upon wisdom that crosses all boundaries in order to include all – to see all as an interrelated and unified Sacred Whole with profound meaning and purpose, which, if we are open enough to take an interactive part in its unfoldment, can enrich and transform our lives in every moment. (Pages 32-33)
Santoshan goes on to deal with modern issues such as feminism, sexuality, green Muslims and modern psychology (including the shadow) all within the context of a holistic spirituality. More than this, he honours creativity and the need for altruism which are an essential part of any meaningful spiritual journey.
Encouragingly, the first part of the book is about green wisdom including a whole chapter dedicated to experiential exercises. This shows that the spirituality expressed by the author is grounded and alive, not confined to thinking and ideas.
GreenSpirit readers may be particularly drawn to the chapter on “Caring for Our Sacred Earth” which starts with a quote from Thomas Berry. This chapter covers practical aspects of our ecological crisis as well as calling for global and creative responses that are deeply inclusive. This big picture view of the world is, in itself, a spiritual response to the issues of our time.
Through all of the experiences and research, the author synthesises a deep and important message which can be summed up with this inspirational quote: I’ve realised that we are all parts of one family from one original creative divine source and therefore share an individual and collective responsibility for all life, including the welfare of Mother Earth. (Page 17)
It is so encouraging to see that we are all fellow adventurers on our spiritual journey and it is heart-warming to read Santoshan’s journey and outlook; none of us are alone – we are all part of a collective journey on our amazing planet Earth. I warmly recommend this book to anyone who is searching for a deep and relevant spirituality for our time.