Active Hope: How to Face the Mess We're In Without Going Crazy
by Joanna Macy, Chris Johnstone
AVAILABILITY: Readily available
Publication Date: March 2012
Publisher: New World Library
Description: Most books addressing global issues focus on either our dire problems or grand-scale solutions. Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone focus instead on equipping readers with a transformational mind-set. Facing the facts of a planet and economies in crisis, many individuals feel hopeless because they recognize that they can’t create their desired outcomes. But rather than allowing this reality to shut us down, we can choose active hope. This hope is something we do rather than something we have. Instead of acting only when we deduce we may succeed, we can focus on our intention and let that be our guide. On this path we discover new strengths, open to a network of allies, and experience a deepening of aliveness. Because we are actively giving — and receiving — hope, we can face global crises without despair and play a personal role in the collective “Great Turning” toward a life-sustaining society.
Table of Contents includes.....
Part One: The Great Turning
Chap 1: Three Stories of Our Time
Chap 2: Trusting the Spiral
Chap 3: Starting with Gratitude
Chap 4: Honoring Our Pain for the World
Part Two: Seeing with New Eyes
Chap 5: A Wider Sense of Self
Chap 6: A Different Kind of Power
Chap 7: A Richer Experience of Community
Chap 8: A Larger View of Time
Part Three: Going Forth
Chap 9: Catching an Inspiring Vision
Chap 10: Daring to Believe it is Possible
Chap 11: Building Support around You
Chap 12: Maintaining Energy and Enthusiasm
Chap 13: Strengthened by Uncertainty
Review(s): "Renowned Earth elder Joanna Macy has long exemplified what it means to live a life of spiritual activism and courageous compassion. Here, with her colleague Chris Johnstone, she offers the essential guidebook for everyone awakening to both the perils and potentials of our planetary moment. In this clearly written and compelling manual of cultural transformation, Joanna and Chris guide us to find hope where we might least have thought to look — within our own hearts and souls, and in our interdependence with all life — and then to boldly act on that hope as visionary artisans of life-enhancing cultures. To the future beings of the twenty-second century, Active Hope might turn out to be the most important book written in the twenty-first." - Bill Plotkin, author of 'Soulcraft' and 'Nature and the Human Soul'
“Before turning these pages, I was experiencing the total darkness of a midnight depression. I felt incapable of thinking through, much less taking, a necessary step in my life. Then I opened to the pages of Joanna and Chris’s exercise ‘The Bodhisattva Perspective.’ Within minutes, I saw an otherwise inconceivable hope in the interconnected life I had chosen. It was a simple miracle of transformed consciousness. 'Active Hope' is not just a book but a gateway to transformation.”
— Jim Douglass, author of 'JFK and the Unspeakable'
"Words cannot fully express my gratitude for this book appearing at this time. With ancient wisdom, deep compassion, and years of experience, Joanna and Chris guide us through this perilous time, not that we might succeed in saving the world, but that we might consciously choose to participate no matter the outcome. This is the path of right action and right relationship, where joy and peace are available independent of what's going on around us. May we take this beautiful book into our hearts that we may each find the path with heart." - Margaret J. Wheatley, author of 'Perseverance; Leadership and the New Science'; and other books
"Joanna Macy is one of the great teachers of this age. What a delight then, to read her latest work written with medical doctor and addictions specialist Chris Johnstone to show us how we can face the mess we’re in without going crazy. 'Active Hope' helps us to gaze unflinchingly at the horrors that confront us, to honor the pain we feel for our world and to allow the truth to strengthen rather than paralyze us. Its hard to think of a more important task than to empower ordinary folk with tools that allow us to engage with the monumental challenges which confront us, tools which nourish our creativity and bolster our confidence and resilience. If you want to serve the living Earth but don’t know how, if you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task ahead, if you want to find the part that only you can play in “the great work”, please read this book." - John Seed OAM, founder of the Rainforest Information Centre
"Our species is going through a collective Dark Night of the Soul. The authors call this the "great turning" and they provide ample nourishment in the form of concepts and practices that are sure to help us navigate our way. This book is a lucid, timely, practical and very much needed gift. As always, Joanna Macy draws on rich sources from both science and from wisdom traditions to be the spiritual warriors Earth is calling us to be. With the guidance offered we learn how to stay true to our vocations so that neither fear nor despair nor uncertainty nor opposition defeats us. A welcome manual for navigating the Dark Night of our Species. Most welcome!" - Matthew Fox
"Books about social and ecological change too often leave out a vital component: how do we change ourselves so that we are strong enough to fully contribute to this great shift? 'Active Hope' fills this gap beautifully, guiding readers on a journey of gratitude, grief, interconnection and, ultimately, transformation." - Naomi Klein, author 'The Shock Doctrine'