Consciousness in Action: The Power of Beauty, Love and Courage in a Violent Time by Andrew Beath

 

 

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EARTH LIGHT Magazine by Julie Knowles: Consciousness in Action, by Andrew Beath

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 change.”

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.

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