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Favorite Books - Category Archive

Reviews of books that have inspired, enlightened or enriched our life, recent or past.

Jan 24

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities by Rebecca Solnit

Filed under book reviews, Favorite Books

A review and reflection by Christine Heming

I recently had a conversation with my friend Irene about her activism: how to view activism from a buddhist perspective, how not to get caught in the “us verses them” narrative, and what guides her decisions about what to do and how to do it.  As conversations often do, it got me thinking.   It called to mind a favorite book of mine, Hope in the Dark.  This is a book about activism.  Solnit, a social and environmental activist, wants “to throw out the crippling assumptions that keep many from being a voice in the world.”

One of my favorite quotes in the book is from Eduardo Galeano, a committed leftist Uruguayan writer.  Galeano describes his understanding of activism.  He says it is not about reaching some final utopia but “Utopia is on the horizon.  When I walk two steps, it takes two steps back.  I walk ten steps, and it is ten steps further away.  What is utopia for?  It is for this, for walking.”

This always struck me as a metaphor for warriorship. It is how we create enlightened society.  It’s the walking that matters – the path is the goal.   When the Sakyong asked his father if society will ever become enlightened, his father replied, “That’s not really the point.”   The Sakyong realized his question was rooted in doubt and that the real question was, “When is enlightened society not possible?”  Continue…

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