The Zen of an Earth Mythology, the 12th and most recent book by Quadra Island author, Ray Grigg, explores the deepest reaches of our dysfunctional environmental relationship with nature while pointing toward a realistic, grounded and present experience of life on our planet.
The Zen of an Earth Mythology was inspired by a comment from the famous American mythologist, Joseph Campbell, who noted in his 1988 book, The Power of Myth: “The only mythology that is valid today is the mythology of the planet—and we don’t have such a mythology.”
After decades of reading, thinking and writing on environmentalism, Grigg’s detailed and comprehensive reply to Campbell’s comment is The Zen of an Earth Mythology, a 452-page survey of Western history, theology, philosophy, sociology, psychology, biology, physics and mathematics that he uses to carefully chart the emergence of an Earth mythology forming beneath our level of cultural consciousness.
A mythology, as Campbell explained, is the template that a culture provides to give structure, coherence and meaning to its collective experience. In the West, this mythology has been the Creation story that is common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam. It is, perhaps, the primary force that has been shaping our understanding and treatment of nature and each other for over two millennia. However, given the multiple environmental crises now haunting our collective wellbeing on Earth, this mythology is demonstrating its fatal failings.
The Zen of an Earth Mythology thoughtfully explores these failings, then describes in detail the replacement mythology that is connecting us more intimately to the bewildering intelligence of nature as revealed by the newest insights in science and mathematics. The result is an immediate and direct relationship with nature that more closely resembles the East’s Zen awareness than the West’s belief system.
The arrival of an Earth mythology is timely and discernible, yet confusing and enigmatic—like Zen itself—as we struggle to understand who we are as a species, and how we are to live on our only home in the universe.
Also available at local bookstores—Coho Books in Campbell River, Laughing Oyster in Courtenay, Blue Heron in Comox, and Book Bonanza on Quadra—is a new version of The EcoTrilogy, in which the three separate volumes of Ecologos, Ecopathy and Ecocide have been abbreviated and amalgamated into a single edition. This new The EcoTrilogy, together with The Zen of an Earth Mythology, provide a comprehensive portrait of the extent and complexity of our present environmental challenges.