Book Review: Confronting the Crisis


Please note: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions given in this review are my own.

If the human species has an evolutionary purpose that purpose is delight. Aren’t we constituted to experience and express conscious delight in the immensity and intimacy of creation, the diversity, abundance, and miracles of life? We have moved far from such purpose. Instead of imagination’s dreamers with the Earth, maturing into avatars of relationships, narrators of wonder, we are now a clear and present danger to all species. How do we change identity, direction, and move toward a future inclusive of Earth stability and Human responsibility?

Book Blurb – John Hunt Publishing

Confronting the Crisis is a collection of essays and meditations on the state of the planet from a humanity and spiritual perspective. The subtitle of the book says this, “Essays and Meditations on Eco-Spirituality”. Eco-spirituality is, as I understand it, the worship or honor of Earth as a sentient being. I’m sure it’s more complicated and nuanced than that, but that simple definition is really all you need to understand the perspective of the author, David Sparenberg.

In this book, there are 11 essays and 20 meditations. The essays are exactly as they sound – writings with a purpose, to convey a message about the topic of the essay. The meditations aren’t what I had originally thought when I started reading this book. They seem to be, instead, streams of thought put together as the author’s own experiences, if that makes sense. Each one has its own topic and conveys a different smaller message in the grand scheme of eco-spirituality.

There are many things I enjoyed about this book, including the first few sentences of the first essay. In these lines, the author gets straight to the point of the entire book.

Albert Camus wrote something along these lines: “We never stop making war on one another and unite against the common enemies of humanity – disease, poverty, death”. The global pandemic is a challenge for nations and individuals alike. We live on a Trauma Planet and the COVID-19 crisis is not the only crisis coming our way. There are lessons to be learned if we will learn them.

Confronting the Crisis and the Specter of Critical Mass

This opening line touched on my own perspective of healing the Earth as well as ourselves as a species. I believe we need more unity, love, peace, and healing for everyone. Our species, as the author writes, is one of continual trauma. That trauma gets carried from generation to generation, and like many cycle-breakers today, that needs to continue in more areas of our lives.

One thing that I really appreciated about this book is that the author looked at the crisis of Earth from multiple perspectives, and there’s even a chapter on perspective and differing realities. Climate change, poverty, war, and systemic injustice are all mentioned in the book, albeit with sometimes different and flowery language.

The author brings up many different points for the reader to consider in their journey of eco-spirituality and environmentalism. Some of them I had considered briefly, and some of them are foundational aspects of my pagan practice.

However, one thing I found difficult about this book was the writing style and language. This is potentially a me issue, but some of the chapters or paragraphs were difficult for me to understand and I had to go back and read them again. There is a lot of difficult language and vocabulary in this book. The average reader may have a difficult time understanding some of what the author says, having to go back and read multiple times to understand it.

This is also a very short book. I finished it in an evening as it is only 87 pages. I feel that the author got their point across well in their essays, though, and this was all the pages that they needed to share their message.

Overall, I think this book would be okay for more experienced readers to ponder different thoughts on spirituality and healing the planet. The author doesn’t put themselves in a position of power on the subject, and they clearly state that they don’t think their one voice can change the world. But the important thing, as they state, is that one more voice sharing the message can do a lot of good.

Grab the book for yourself!

John Hunt Publishing

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