!!> BOOKS ✴ The Blue Sapphire of the Mind: Notes for a Contemplative Ecology ✪ Author Douglas E. Christie – Tactical-player.co.uk
One of the remarkable books on ecological consciousness available A must have for anyone committed to this earth, with its precious and imperilled gift of presence Here, one meets an author as masterful in his scholarly depth as he is poetic in his literary reach A wonder of a book. There Are No Unsacred Places, The Poet Wendell Berry Has Written There Are Only Sacred Places And Desecrated Places What Might It Mean To Behold The World With Such Depth And Feeling That It Is No Longer Possible To Imagine It As Something Separate From Ourselves, Or To Live Without Regard For Its Well Being To Understand The Work Of Seeing Things As An Utterly Involving Moral And Spiritual Act Such Questions Have Long Occupied The Center Of Contemplative Spiritual Traditions In The Blue Sapphire Of The Mind, Douglas E Christie Proposes A Distinctively Contemplative Approach To Ecological Thought And Practice That Can Help Restore Our Sense Of The Earth As A Sacred Place Drawing On The Insights Of The Early Christian Monastics As Well As The Ecological Writings Of Henry David Thoreau, Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, And Many Others, Christie Argues That, At The Most Basic Level, It Is The Quality Of Our Attention To The Natural World That Must Change If We Are To Learn How To Live In A Sustainable Relationship With Other Living Organisms And With One Another He Notes That In This Uniquely Challenging Historical Moment, There Is A Deep And Pervasive Hunger For A Less Fragmented And Integrated Way Of Apprehending And Inhabiting The Living World And For A Way Of Responding To The Ecological Crisis That Expresses Our Deepest Moral And Spiritual Values Christie Explores How The Wisdom Of Ancient And Modern Contemplative Traditions Can Inspire Both An Honest Reckoning With The Destructive Patterns Of Thought And Behavior That Have Contributed So Much To Our Current Crisis, And A Greater Sense Of Care And Responsibility For All Living Beings These Traditions Can Help Us Cultivate The Simple, Spacious Awareness Of The Enduring Beauty And Wholeness Of The Natural World That Will Be Necessary If We Are To Live With Greater Purpose And Meaning, And With Less Harm, To Our Planet This is a powerful book I am so thankful to have discovered it I often find myself reading and re reading passages Christie is a deep thinker who puts words to longings on the tip of my tongue He embodies a rare combination of love and wonder of the natural world and a great appreciation for Christian Contemplative Tradition Christie understands that healing the torn fabric of our souls is related to healing desecrated places He understands, like few others, that the profound ecological crisis that we face today is primarily a spiritual crisis If we connect to the depths of our own beings we can transform our relationship to the natural world Amos Smith author of Healing The Divide Recovering Christianity s Mystic Roots Great so far very interesting Beautiful Insightful Stirring. An excellent study of spirituality and ecology A wonderful book. the struggle to stand in the midst of and hold in a compassionate embrace the reality of a broken world.Christie reminds us that this is what Christian monks and mystics have contributed during crisis after crisis since the time of Christ then he illuminates for us the relevance of this kind of contemplative practice to our current ecological crisis This is not offered as a solution to the current crisis the scope of the crisis is such that only an inter faith collaboration can achieve a solution rather, Christie s goal is to identify what Christianity can contribute to that collaboration.He approaches this goal from a range of perspectives Each perspective is considered in turn Penthos the gift of tears Topos estrangement Prosoche the art of attention Logos the song of the world Eros intimacy and reciprocity Kenosis emptiness Telos toward paradise Each consideration draws from the long history of Christian contemplative thought St Antony Evagrius Eckhart St Augustine Merton and others The final perspective draws from the previous perspectives to take an ecologically relevant stance on paradise God poured Himself into His Creation thus Creation is the worldly manifestation of God when we distance ourselves from Creation, we distance ourselves from God in trying to create a Paradise on Earth through the domination of nature, we distance ourselves from Creation in a sense, this is Original Sin anew only through gathering the courage to face the reality of how we have broken the natural world and to retake nature in a compassionate embrace can we recover the innocence of a child and find ourselves still in Paradise our exile having been a self inflicted blindness to God s truth.That is but a whirlwind tour of Christie s book And while the climax is a beautiful thought to behold in and of itself at least to me , Christie s elucidation of the contemplative work required to provide the foundation for such a thought is itself sublime.