The December 4 Challenge Prompt asks What book – fiction or non – touched you? Where were you when you read it? Have you bought and given away multiple copies?
In this case, Joanna Macy’s World As Lover, World as Self stands out. This was a book assigned for a short summer class I took with Mrs. Macy herself, so one might think that it would be academic oriented or not engaging. That was not the case at all. In this new edition to the book (I think the original was published sometime in the 1980’s), Macy writes with compelling urgency and warm directness about her Great Turning philosophy, which she then covered in person during the two day seminar. The book blended optimism with real world issues in a way that did not seem condescending or desperate. If anything, I felt even more inspired to take part in ecopsychology and world issues after reading her book. I considered it a true page turner, and I don’t often feel that way about non fiction books.
It’s interesting to remember the circumstances of how I acquired the book. I reviewed the syllabus for the then-upcoming class just a few days before it was scheduled to take place. I was surprised to discover that we were required to read a segment of World as Lover… and one of her other books before coming together as a group. I checked to see if the books were available in the Marin County library system, and they were only available out at Stinson Beach. I called that library from Berkeley and arranged to pick up the books on the next day they were open, which was not until Friday – and the class was on Saturday and Sunday of that same week. I was prepared to travel to Stinson to pick them up… until going to CIIS the next day and seeing that both books were available in the school bookstore. Although it was obviously more expensive to buy them first hand rather than second hand or the library, I chose to do so anyway, and am grateful to have her books on hand for the future. It is likely that both volumes will come in handy as I phase in more ecopsychology studies to my work.
I have not bought multiple copies of the book, but I certainly have referenced it as an inspiring, useful book, and hope that others have absorbed my recommendation with interest.