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Wild Mind, Wild Earth:

Our Place in the Sixth Extinction



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.


The planet 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/philosophical problem, for it is the cultural 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 the Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism of ancient China. He also shows how these insights have become well-established here in the West over the last two hundred years, through the work of poets and philosophers and scientists. This offers marvelous hope and beauty—but like so many of us, Hinton recognizes the sixth extinction is now an inexorable and perhaps unstoppable tragedy. And he reveals how those primal/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.

                  — from the book jacket


Provocative and original, this one's worth tracking down.


                        —Publishers Weekly

Praise for David Hinton's Ecological Writing:

A gorgeous book, a book of power . . .


                        —Bill McKibbon

One of the best books about mountains ever written . . . Check it out!


A pellucid gem of a book—I couldn’t put it down.


                      —David Abram


It is an uncanny journey, essential for all.

                        —Gretel Ehrlich

Hinton is after . . . depth and boundlessness.

                        —New York Review of Books



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