David Sparenberg’s Confronting the Crisis: Essays and Meditations on Eco-Spirituality, the second title in the new Earth Spirit series from Moon Books, is a kind of hybrid work that incorporates in two parts critical essays and personal meditations that examine climate change and ecological instability with an eye toward the human values that have been threatened and endangered. And a search for re-establishing connectedness for a recovery of those same human values, not the least of which is a poetic sensibility for the living, sacred Earth.
Sparenberg’s is a passionate and felt critique, interwoven with a sense of mourning bordering on outrage at the destruction of the ecological integrity and stability of the Earth, together with a sense of urgency to regain ground through a reengagement with modes of living and being that are not simply “eco-friendly” but indeed “Eco-Dharma”, as one of his poetic meditations describes it. Confronting the Crisis is a book informed by Romantic poetry, Gestalt psychology and phenomenological philosophy – all of which share concern with an intimate and lived reciprocity with the human community and the animate Earth.
“If you want to learn the way of the shaman, druid, alchemist or sage, study the art of a tree,” Sparenberg writes. It is a simple statement but infused with profound insight and wisdom, much of which Sparenberg draws from and weaves throughout this thoughtful and heartfelt book. The art of a tree is an ancient Earth intelligence that is ours to examine and ours to imitate, in the best shamanic spirit.
Difficult and complex as the crisis doubtless is, books like Sparenberg’s offer perspective that at least hold potential to restore hope in the face of troubling realities. The shamanic spirit has at no point in human history been needed more. Recommended reading for those seeking the same.
Book Details: David Sparenberg. Earth Spirit. Confronting the Crisis. Moon Books (29 October 2021). ISBN 978-1789049732.
Review Details: Confronting the Crisis: Essays and Meditations on Eco-Spirituality was reviewed by Christopher Greiner for Indie Shaman magazine and this review was published in Issue 51.
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