World as Lover, World as Self Book Summary - World as Lover, World as Self Book explained in key points

World as Lover, World as Self summary

Joanna Macy

Brief summary

World as Lover, World as Self by Joanna Macy offers an inspiring and thought-provoking exploration of our connection with the natural world. It delves into ecological awareness and provides a new perspective on how we can heal and transform our relationship with the earth.

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    World as Lover, World as Self
    Summary of key ideas

    Understanding Our Interconnectedness

    In World as Lover, World as Self, Joanna Macy, a scholar and eco-philosopher, invites us to explore our relationship with the world around us. She begins by introducing the concept of 'interdependence' - the idea that everything in the world is interconnected. Macy argues that our current environmental crisis is a result of our failure to recognize and respect this interconnectedness.

    Macy draws on various spiritual traditions, including Buddhism, to illustrate the concept of interdependence. She explains that the Buddhist notion of 'dependent co-arising' suggests that everything in the world is dependent on everything else for its existence. This understanding, she argues, should lead us to a sense of responsibility and care for the world around us.

    Ecological Self and the Pain of the World

    Macy introduces the concept of the 'ecological self' - the idea that our sense of self should extend beyond our individual bodies to include the natural world. She argues that by recognizing our interconnectedness with the environment, we can develop a deeper sense of empathy and responsibility towards the planet.

    However, Macy acknowledges that embracing the ecological self can be challenging, especially in the face of the environmental destruction we witness. She introduces the idea of 'the pain of the world' - the emotional and psychological distress that arises from our awareness of the planet's suffering. Macy argues that rather than denying or suppressing this pain, we should acknowledge and work through it as a means of motivating positive change.

    The Work That Reconnects

    In response to the pain of the world, Macy introduces a framework called 'The Work That Reconnects'. This framework is designed to help individuals acknowledge and work through their ecological grief, anger, and fear, and ultimately reconnect with the world in a positive and empowering way.

    The Work That Reconnects consists of four stages: Gratitude, Honoring Our Pain for the World, Seeing with New Eyes, and Going Forth. Each stage is designed to guide individuals through a process of acknowledging and embracing their interconnectedness with the world, and finding a renewed sense of purpose and agency in addressing environmental issues.

    Active Hope and Engaged Buddhism

    Macy concludes World as Lover, World as Self by introducing the concept of 'active hope'. She argues that rather than passively hoping for a better future, we should engage in active, meaningful actions to bring about positive change. This, she believes, is essential for addressing the environmental crisis we face.

    Finally, Macy discusses the concept of 'engaged Buddhism', which emphasizes the importance of taking action to alleviate suffering in the world. She argues that by embracing the principles of engaged Buddhism, we can work towards a more sustainable and compassionate relationship with the planet.

    Embracing Our Interconnected World

    In World as Lover, World as Self, Joanna Macy presents a compelling argument for embracing our interconnectedness with the world. She encourages us to acknowledge the pain of the world, engage in meaningful actions, and work towards a more sustainable and compassionate relationship with the planet. By doing so, Macy believes we can not only address the environmental crisis but also find a deeper sense of purpose and fulfillment in our lives.

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    What is World as Lover, World as Self about?

    World as Lover, World as Self (1986) explores the interconnectedness between personal and global transformation. Author Joanna Macy delves into Buddhist philosophy, systems theory, and deep ecology to offer insights on how we can heal our relationship with the Earth and cultivate a more harmonious way of living. Through beautiful prose and thought-provoking ideas, Macy reminds us of our inherent bond with the natural world and the potential for positive change.

    World as Lover, World as Self Review

    World as Lover, World as Self (1991) by Joanna Macy is a thought-provoking exploration of our interconnectedness with the natural world and why this understanding is crucial for the sustainability of our planet. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • Offers a deep ecological perspective that challenges conventional thinking and urges us to see ourselves as an integral part of the Earth's web of life.
    • Presents a call to action for individual and collective responsibility towards the environment, providing practical tools for creating positive change.
    • Through enlightening anecdotes and compelling insights, it captures the beauty and significance of our connection with nature, making it anything but boring.

    Who should read World as Lover, World as Self?

    • Individuals seeking a deeper connection with the natural world
    • Activists and environmentalists looking for inspiration and guidance
    • Readers interested in exploring the intersection of spirituality and ecology

    About the Author

    Joanna Macy is an environmental activist, scholar, and author. She has dedicated her life to addressing the interconnected issues of environmental sustainability, social justice, and spiritual well-being. Macy is known for her groundbreaking work in the field of deep ecology and her development of the "Work That Reconnects" framework, which aims to empower individuals to take action for a more sustainable world. Through her books, including World as Lover, World as Self, Macy has inspired countless people to engage in meaningful and transformative work for the planet.

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    World as Lover, World as Self FAQs 

    What is the main message of World as Lover, World as Self?

    The main message of World as Lover, World as Self is the interconnectedness of all life and the importance of taking care of our planet.

    How long does it take to read World as Lover, World as Self?

    The reading time for World as Lover, World as Self varies depending on the reader, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is World as Lover, World as Self a good book? Is it worth reading?

    World as Lover, World as Self is a thought-provoking book that offers insights on our interconnectedness with the world. It's definitely worth reading.

    Who is the author of World as Lover, World as Self?

    The author of World as Lover, World as Self is Joanna Macy.

    What to read after World as Lover, World as Self?

    If you're wondering what to read next after World as Lover, World as Self, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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