EARTH LIGHT Magazine by
Julie Knowles: Consciousness in Action, by Andrew
What means of salvation is waiting to direct us to a healthy relationship
with the Earth and bring forth a vital future?
This is the question that has spawned the theme of his book: or,
at least, it is the overarching question that guides Beath, and
the reader, through a comprehensive historical and contemporary
inquiry of Earth, industry and social evolution. Many people involved
in social change and earth activism have been asking similar questions
for years, but Beath is not simply reinventing the wheel. He brings
to this imperative quest a gracious and eloquent blend of mind,
body and spirit.
As Beath deconstructs the undesirable history of ecological and
social evolution, we reconnect to the places inside that feel all
suffering as our own. Not to wallow, but to remind ourselves that
“the crisis we have created has become the impetus for the
next step in the evolution of human consciousness.” Saying
this, the author actually answers his own question, implying that
salvation lies in accepting that our next evolutionary step is determined
by our present choices and response.
But unconscious choices or responses won’t do. Beath identifies
seven engagements of conscious activism and explores them in depth
throughout the book: nonviolence, not knowing, introspection, Eros,
no enemy, vision (free of reaction), and joy. He includes lengthy
excerpts from seasoned “conscious activists” such as
Julia Butterfly Hill, John Seed, Ralph Metzner, Joanna Macy, Mark
Dubois, and Deena Metzger, who illuminate his insights about consciousness
evolution. He has chosen well, for the contributors are inspiring
role models whose stories and lives are pertinent, poignant and
powerful to understanding personal and planetary transformation.
Through his insights and the way that he writes so even-handedly,
passionately and openly, Beath models what “conscious activism”
can look like in true form. Within his words, we feel that this
man is authentic as someone who considers his relations, values
and actions carefully. He comes across in essence as a quiet, modern-day
hero “living his life out loud”: a mirror for the conscious
activist in all of us. He defines conscious activism as “an
engagement with the world that expresses our most profound understanding
of the nature of reality. It is imbued with appreciation and reverence
and encourages compassionate connection- the basis for lasting social
In truth, any one of us could have written this book (although
undoubtedly no so well), for Consciousness in Action speaks a language
that is vitally encoded in each of us.
Copyright ©2005 Julie Knowles. All rights reserved.