Book Recommendation

Active Hope – How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy, by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone. (New World Library, 2012)

I can’t recommend this book highly enough.  I consider it a “must-read” for anyone involved in environmental and social justice work, ecopsychology, or deep ecology–for anyone concerned about the mess humanity now finds itself in.  Active Hope provides perspectives and practical tools to support us through both the Great Unraveling and the Great Turning, now happening simultaneously around the planet.

I read the book slowly because there is so much to reflect on and take in; I needed to do so in small batches. After more than 20 years of being steeped in this work, I still need reminders of its philosophical and spiritual depths, and this book does the job.  The book  addresses the individual reader, offering short exercises along the way, while  Coming Back to Life (which I co-authored with Joanna) is more of a manual for working with groups.  Active Hope joins hands with the reader and walks along side, pointing out the sights.  I am grateful to Joanna and Chris for creating it together.

Reading the book helped me realize something about my own approach to doing the Work That Reconnects.  I realized I have been trying to do it all by myself!  I haven’t consulted enough with Gaia nor called on the powers of the land and creatures around me.  I need to pull back, reconnect, and see what arises.  Active Hope reconnects me with what I know so well in my heart, but what my mind (conditioned by our culture) can so easily forget and ignore.

Read it, weep, and find renewed hope and strength for the challenges before us.