Wild Mind, Wild Earth
By David Hinton
Exploring the confluence of ancient Chinese spirituality and modern Western environmental thought, Wild Mind, Wild Earth reveals the unrecognized kinship of mind and nature that must be reanimated if we are to end our destruction of the planet.
Earth is embroiled in its sixth major extinction event—this time caused not by asteroids or volcanos, but by us. At bottom, preventing this sixth extinction is a spiritual and philosophical problem, for it is the assumptions defining us and our relation to earth that are driving the devastation. Those assumptions insist on a fundamental separation of human and earth that devalues earth and enables our exploitative relation to it.
In Wild Mind, Wild Earth, David Hinton explores modes of seeing and being that could save the planet by reestablishing a deep kinship between human and earth: the insights of primal cultures and those of Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism of ancient China. He also shows how these insights have become well-established in the West over the last two hundred years through the work of poets, philosophers, and scientists. This offers marvelous hope and beauty—but like so many of us, Hinton recognizes that the sixth extinction is now an inexorable and perhaps unstoppable tragedy. And he reveals how those primal and Zen insights enable us to inhabit even the unfurling catastrophe as a profound kind of liberation. Wild Mind, Wild Earth is a remarkable and revitalizing journey.