Read The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature by David Suzuki Amanda McConnell Online


The economy and global competitiveness are the bottom line for society and governments, or so says conventional wisdom. But what are the real needs that must be satisfied to live rich, fulfilling lives? This is the question David Suzuki explores in this wide-ranging study. Suzuki begins by presenting the concept of people as creatures of the Earth who depend on its gifts oThe economy and global competitiveness are the bottom line for society and governments, or so says conventional wisdom. But what are the real needs that must be satisfied to live rich, fulfilling lives? This is the question David Suzuki explores in this wide-ranging study. Suzuki begins by presenting the concept of people as creatures of the Earth who depend on its gifts of air, water, soil, and sun energy. He shows how people are genetically programmed for the company of other species, and suffer enormously when we fail to live in harmony with them. And he analyzes those deep spiritual needs, rooted in nature, that are also a crucial component of a loving world. Drawing on his own experiences and those of others who have put their beliefs into action, The Sacred Balance is a powerful, passionate book with concrete suggestions for creating an ecologically sustainable, satisfying, and fair future by rediscovering and addressing humanity’s basic needs....

Title : The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781550549638
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering Our Place in Nature Reviews

  • Joseph Mckenna
    2019-05-20 07:04

    I will preface this statement by stating that I would want David Suzuki as a neighbor, and that his hopes and dreams are very similar to my own in many respects. However, I am left with an overall feeling of disappointment in his canonical work. There is no paradigm shift, no revolution in thought, only his lingering feeling of nostalgia for paradise lost and token suggestions to slightly modify our own behavior.The Sacred Balance of the earth will not be achieved with individual's considering public transport options, participating in meatless Mondays, and finding the spiritual balance of our distant ancestors. Someone will need to find out how to stop humankind's quest for endless growth that is coupled with finite resources and space; revolutionize transport needs, and create an economic revolution that manages to provides for our needs and wants without destroying everything in our path.No such solutions exist in this book, nor are any real ideas explored. Instead we have wonderful, simplified science explaining how our natural world works. Here Suzuki excels in reminding us the miracle of life, the subtleties of digestion, rainfall patterns, etc. Beyond that we only have a meandering collection of spiritual thoughts, an incredible reliance on Edward O. Wilson quotes, and the recycled suggestions that recycling your aluminum cans is going to save the world.

  • Nutkin
    2019-05-08 12:50

    While I enjoyed reading The Sacred Balance, it didn't really grab me because it was like having someone preach to the choir. I already identify with a lot of the ideas in this book about needing to refocus as a society on what is really important, how to reinvigorate communities and how to recognize that we are as much a part of the environment as is a tree. I was a little put off during the chapter "The Sacred Matter" because I felt that some parts were almost too spiritual & that there was a sense that atheism and/or scepticism is negative. As an atheist myself, I think that one can experience significant awe and wonder in the natural world to hold the same kind of reverence that someone spiritual might hold. Instead of revering a tree because I think it has a soul, I revere it because of the sheer awesomeness of its design, of how it fulfills its needs, of how it is an integral part of the system.I really like that he ends the book on a positive note with inspiring stories of some environmentalists from around the world. Sometimes when reading environmental books or calls to arms, it's easy to get depressed and lose hope, but his choice of ending helps to demonstrate that we have a choice as individuals. Suzuki also makes great use of quotes to emphasis some of his ideas.I would recommend this particularly to people who perhaps like nature, but don't consider themselves environmentalists. I think it would be also a potentially useful read for people who see themselves as disconnected from the environment.

  • Gail
    2019-05-19 07:12

    The Sacred Balance is a stunning exploration of how our physical bodies are comprised of the four sacred elements -- Air,Fire, Water, and Earth. The author, David Suzuki, does draws from the many indigenous traditions around the world that have preserved the knowledge of the central role of these elements in maintaining the balance of life on this earth. Suzuki positions himself as a storyteller adding something to that world view. As a biogenetist, his contribution is to tell the story of the four sacred elements through explaining the science of how we are each composed of the four elements.Core chapters are: "Homo Sapiens: Born of the Earth", "The Breath of All Green Things," "The Oceans Flowing through our Veins", "Made from the Soil", "The Divine Fire", "Protected by our Kin", "The Law of Love", "Sacred Matter", "Restoring the Balance." At the beginning of the book, he quotes from Thomas Berry about the need for human kind to create a new story about how our species has survived and how it will survive. Suzuki believes that an important need for our species to survive is to reinvigorate our stories with a knowledge about how bodies -- nd our kinship patterns -- incorporate the four elements. This knowledge then becomes the root not only for understanding how ecologies work, but also for understanding how vital the human element of love is for ensuring the preservation of life, families, and the larger ecological systems. PBS had a companion video series -- in which Suzuki takes his grandson around the world to expose the young boy to different traditions related to each of the four elements.

  • Elsie
    2019-05-18 10:06

    "Our stories tell us where we come from and why we are here. In the beginning, these stories say, there was water, and then there was sky and fire, there was Earth, and there was life. We humans crawled out of the womb of the planet, or we were shaped out of clay and water, carved from twigs, compounded of seeds and ashes, or hatched from the cosmic egg. One way or another, we were from the sacred elements that together compose the Earth. We are made from the Earth, we breathe it in with every breath we take, we drink it and eat it, and we share the same spark that animates the whole planet. Our stories tell us this, and so does our science..." pg 264-265.Our stories tell us this, and so does our science...and that's what makes this book such a humbling journey for me...I only wish that more people get to read this wonderful book. It would be great to have it introduced as a school text, so that younger people can be aware and have a clear understanding of how everything in nature is interconnected, every single thing or element has it's purpose and are all equal. Therefore all should be respected and loved before it's too late.

  • Dave Angelini
    2019-05-06 14:07

    This is a well-spoken call to environmental thinking. I argue with environnmental causes, but I usually skip books that scare people into the need for action, or preach to the choir. But I couldn't put this book down. It reiterated old truths in new ways and made fascinated arguments I had never heard. Suzuki has a poetic and impassioned voice, but stays plain-spoken. He even raises the issues of overpopulation, often ignored in discussions of global warming and other environmental problems. Importantly he directly addresses what governments and average people can and should do to help the global environmental problem. Reduce. Stay local. Avoid chemicals. Pressure governments to meet human concerns over those of business. One thing Suzuki does well (albeit slowly) is that he points to the knowledge of traditional cultures without romanticizing them. He does not reject modernism or science entirely for a sappy sort of anti-modern parochialism, but he is willing to point out the limitations of modernism, corporate capitalism, and reductionism.

  • Travis Hosgood
    2019-05-06 07:59

    A very detailed perception of mans connections to earth, wind, fire, and water. Not only to the elements, but down to the smallest micro organisms. Suzuki explains detailed relationships of the collective noosphere. Speaks of some dogmas of science and technology and some possible solutions for future generations. Let us understand this message, tell a friend and work to copy nature instead of bludgeoning it into submission.

  • Janet Aird
    2019-05-10 13:59

    I loved this book. Suzuki shows how everything in our universe is connected, from the microscopic to the universal to the undefinable soul.He incorporates quotes from the Koran, the Bible, Leonardo da Vinci, scientists, philosophers and poets, and covers everything from the origin of air to how a breath of air travels through our bodies, from the structure of a water molecule to the hydrologic cycle, from the way soil was formed to soil as a source of life, and more.It’s very dense. I had to leave it for awhile and go back to it a few times.

  • Meagan
    2019-05-22 06:58

    A perspective-shifting take on our environment.Also, I read it as if David Suzuki was narrating The Nature Of Things. Strange, but soothing.

  • Andrew Lee
    2019-05-09 14:49

    The content of The Sacred Balance is crucial for humans to understand and appreciate, and is told in a storytelling narrative emphasizing that everything is interconnected, humans are whole with our surroundings and our environment, and what we do to it, we do to ourselves.However, I found his storytelling to be overly wordy, as if he was trying too hard to sound dramatic, his flow often erratic, and his content to be annoyingly repetitive. I guess that's unavoidable when you are talking about the interconnectedness of everything - the same topics and points tend to come up over and over again. I also found half of his referenced quotes to be useless and outdated, further bogging down the flow.While I would rate his writing style at 2 stars, the content is 5 stars, must-know material. For someone just getting into environmentalism, Suzuki is a wonderful entry point because of is celebrity activist fame. I personally understood most of the heavy content already, which is why it felt annoyingly repetitive for me. If you are already well aware of environmental and economic issues, are deeply connected with nature and are quite spiritual, I would skip this reading, and suggest more stimulating books such as Active Hope by Joanna Macy.As a side note, I have heard about controversy surrounding David Suzuki's integrity and character, and decided to do some internet research on this. My conclusion is that the varied attacks on his character were of suspicious origin and involve twisted facts, a fate that has befallen many celebrity activists. To me, David Suzuki always was and is still a character of integrity I admire who has fought passionately as an activist and environmentalist all his life using his celebrity status for good. Forgive him for having a few nice homes and being excessively outspoken at times.

  • Kurt
    2019-05-04 10:14

    A very well-thought-out book explaining man's place in nature. Modern humans have been around for only the very briefest of moments in the geologic or biologic history of the earth. Yet in that short time we have caused huge stresses to the natural world upon which we are all (all 7+ billion of us) completely and 100% dependent. We treat our air and our water as dumping grounds. We poison our soils in order to produce unsustainable amounts of food and minerals. And we are reducing the earth's biodiversity at unprecedented rates (even on the geologic scale). Collectively, we humans do all this all while remaining apathetic or ignorant to the potential or likely consequences. Many people even have the arrogant attitude that whatever humans collectively do to their world must be good or what we are supposed to do, because, after all, we are part of nature. The book is far from all gloom and doom though. The author presents many ideas and describes many on-going efforts to mitigate or even turn around the harm we are doing to our own home.

  • Susan
    2019-05-03 10:48

    Well written; scientific information presented in a mystical/poetic style. In "The Sacred Balance," Suzuki invokes the classical elements of life: air, water, earth and fire, to explain Earth's ecological balance. He discusses the ways in which humankind, like all the inhabitants of our planet, is dependent on the building blocks of life and the environment around us. And, he asks each of us to remember how sacred our relationship with all life is. Can our "modern," consumer economies be sustained? The answer, clearly, is "no." Do we need to destroy our communities and our natural world to discover that truth? It's up to us to choose.

  • Will
    2019-05-09 08:02

    I had the privilege of seeing David Suzuki present a live lecture a few weeks ago in my home town. I was amazed at the conviction, the energy, and the compassion that he conveyed. Refreshing to hear someone so powerful, so influential, and so important speak live about the pressing environmental issues of our time. While reading this book I could feel his energy coming right off the pages. This is another book that highlights the need for change and paints the picture all too clear what will happen if we do not. If only we would listen.A good read, a great book.

  • Eric
    2019-05-02 12:50

    Suzuki argues that Environmentalism requires nature-spirituality, that a spiritual connection with nature is the reason and driving force behind Environmentalism. In beautiful descriptive language to follow, he lays out the scientific grounds for inter-connectedness. He understands the physical world well, but falls short when relating it to the metaphysical. The end of the book seemed a little shallow and preachy.

  • Daniela Serrano
    2019-05-16 09:02

    This is an excellent and enlightening work about the general state of the planet, humanity as a species, where we belong on the planet and what it means to us in terms of sustaining us as a species for the long run. This book describes the importance of the things that we depend on for survival; water, air, soil etc. Everyone should read this book so that they can incorporate into their daily lives the changes that are necessary to save ourselves and the planet.

  • TW Yeung
    2019-04-26 08:53

    the book flows from the smallest matter of how we digest our food to the largest part of how our ecosystem work, giving a clear outline of the intricacies of how our Mother Earth "works". a deeper understanding of the Nature allows one to learn of our smallest action has always a consequence unimaginable. it nourishes our soul and re-affirms our faith in conserving and protecting the environment for a sustainable living future.

  • Rhonda Browning White
    2019-04-30 10:59

    This text examins the relationship of living things--humans, animals, Earth and the cosmos--in an environmentally ethical way. It touches upon science and spiritualism. It's an interesting read, but I found it poorly written, which at times distracted me from the message. If you're interested in the human relationship to the planet, you might find this book helpful , but there are better ecocritism books out there.

  • Nick
    2019-05-15 10:56

    This is an excellent David Suzuki book. Suzuki artfully portrays basic, but important and frequently overlooked biological realities in an attempt to illustrate mankind's firm link to the natural world. I'd classify it as a religious book for any environmental spiritualist. Reading this book reaffirms convictions of oneness with the universe.

  • Tawnya
    2019-05-20 09:12

    David Suzuki is a great writer. Rather than chastise society for destroying their very roots, he expresses understanding and empathy. Sukuki illustrates where we come from, our ties to nature and the destructive route we are headed down. If society doesn't wake up soon, what kind of world will we be leaving in the hands of our children? Grandchildren? Good eye-opener.

  • Steven
    2019-05-01 14:09

    The sloppy writing in this book reveals the sloppy thinking that accompanies it. I am embarrassed to admit that I helped fund this book. I agree with the message, but this terrible book does a disservice to the ideas that it presents. The writing itself is perhaps the worst I have ever seen published, even by a vanity press. There are many better books on this subject, don't read this one.

  • Claire
    2019-05-22 10:06

    Here is a scientific yet spiritual work from one of my favorite authors, who urges us to rekindle with our inner sapiens (wisdom) and find back our true place within Nature as opposed to despise it, fooling ourselves thinking that we are different, better even, and that we certainly don't "belong" to Nature...

  • Connor
    2019-05-16 10:08

    So amazing. This book will fire up the deep love for nature we have in all of us. Perfect explanation of how EVERYTHING is connected, and how we as a race have forgotten this. The chapters are wonderfully paced, the last chapter holding simple solutions we can all incorporate into our lives to aid in the re-balancing between us and this incredible planet. READ IT, YOU'LL LOVE IT!

  • Petar
    2019-04-26 13:03

    While this book was written in the 90's, it is still very valid today. Interesting approach with the first four chapters broken up into air, water, earth and fire. Unfortunately, a decade later we still take this planet for as disconnected beings apart from the natural world that makes up our whole essence.

  • Deanne
    2019-04-25 09:10

    This book is written by a famous Canadian scientist/environmentalist/writer - David Suzuki. He talks about the delicate balance between the air, soil, and water on the Earth that provide all living things with what they need to survive. He emphasizes that there is a deep connection between everything on Earth and when we, as humans, turn our back on that connection we suffer greatly.

  • Melissa
    2019-04-25 15:00

    I think I need this in video or podcast format and then I'd love it - its like my brain can't hold written science anymore; I need to hear the interest in human voices. So I didn't retain a lot but that's prob just me. Fire chapter was awesome. The formatting in my digital copy was exceedingly messed up but I endured.

  • Claire
    2019-04-29 11:04

    I'm sad to admit I've been reading this book for years, and am interminably distracted away from it, but I love it's density and the way to illustrates how we are intricately connected and enmeshed in our world. This is the year though that I will find a way to read it cover to cover, and even from the first few chapters, I would recommend it.

  • Louisa Ielo
    2019-05-21 09:55

    An immensely important read - I wish everyone could read this, and understand the importance of what we each do, every day, and how it impacts the world. We need to think larger than the small spaces we inhabit, and realize too that we are powerful enough to make changes for the better.

  • Audry
    2019-05-21 15:13

    If you can get past the sometimes tedious scientific jargon this book is potentially life-changing. I learned so much when I had to read this for a class and it inspired me in so many ways. Its a very one-sided point of view, so just be prepared...but an excellent and informative book!

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-26 07:02

    A delightful book about Earth and people and how all living things are all connected. It's beautifully written, easy to understand and follow, and almost poetic at times. A book everyone should read and a book that has so much real meaning.

  • Amber
    2019-05-19 09:17

    Interesting philosophical look at environmental issues. It took me *forever* to get through it though. After reading so many other green books it didn't really have anything catchy to move me forward.

  • Meredith
    2019-05-13 15:09

    I can honestly say that this book shifted my perspective on the world and contributed toward my career in environmentalism. Suzuki's ability to seamlessly integrate Eastern and Western knowledge to convey the concept of interconnectedness is breathtakingly beautiful.