An inspirational guidebook for the distracted, disconnected 21st century.
In his thoughtful, substantial nonfiction debut, Miller promises to “look underneath rocks, peer into deep shadows, and return to long-forgotten and carefully avoided places.” He holds master’s degrees in clinical psychology and counseling psychology, and although his book has a good many insights into the often frazzled psyches of modern inhabitants of the industrialized West, the bulk of his discussion points inward rather than outward. His main contention is that mankind has become “dangerously disconnected from the very processes of nature that we depend on for our life and sustenance.” His book’s main aims—which he attempts to make clear through both wide-ranging philosophical discussions and pragmatic advice (even including a few simple, calming, low-impact exercises)—are to offer helpful observations about the spiritual drift of our current era and to provide ways we can heal ourselves by “cultivating a clear and direct relationship with Earth and sky.” The amount of research on display, touching on everything from the Mayan “long count” calendar to the 19th-century geology of Sir Charles Lyell, is formidable, although sometimes it strays into questionable areas: Miller contends, for instance, that the humans of 200,000 years ago wouldn’t look out of place “in the shopping malls of the modern world,” and he repeats the erroneous belief that the story of the biblical flood is “echoed around the world.” He views human history in cyclical, seasonal terms and places current humanity in Late Summer, when the “peaking wave of this world” is beginning to fall back on itself in the form of tornadoes, tsunamis, firestorms, and similar catastrophes that tend to remove the “solid ground” from under mankind’s feet. But even though Miller is unflinching in his portrayal of the natural and technological problems facing the modern world, his book is infused with a quiet optimism that will appeal to harried, overworked readers. “We don’t have to live like this,” he writes with typically simple directness. “There is another way.”
A heavily detailed and ultimately uplifting analysis of the ways the 21st century can return to its spiritual roots.