What if the only physics you knew was nature? And what if you understood the natural world and its processes through a set of symbols that didn’t just represent those processes, but actually formed and directed them? What would your relationship to the world be like? To the cosmos? To the creator? What if you communicated in a language that utilized those symbols?

Language of Life: Answers to Modern Crises in an Ancient Way of Speaking attempts to answer these questions within the framework of what it will take to re-achieve sustainability of our mutual home, Earth.

Dr. Ruth Miller and I (Milt Markewitz) met in September of 2012 to discuss co-authoring the book based on the possibility of blending Ruth’s understanding of ancient cultures, languages, and systemic understanding of life, with Milt’s study of Carlos Suares’ articulation of Ancient Hebrew as a ‘living language’. As explained in Nature’s Language inherent in the Ancient Hebrew is a set of nine life-processes that yield insights into all that is necessary to create and sustain life. These life-processes map beautifully into my articulation of Living Systems--the theory that underlies sustainability. I went on to explain how this led to a better understanding of how language is a key factor to cultural consciousness and ethics. In less than 90 minutes Ruth said, “We’ve got a book”, and went on to outline the sections that each of us would write.

As I wrote about the subjects mentioned in the last paragraph, and added critical learning for those who don’t speak a ‘language of life’, and paradigm shifts necessary to re-achieve a sustainable planet, Ruth wrote about the parallels found in other cultures whose languages are similar to the Ancient Hebrew including their deep appreciation for life and the apparent happiness that’s derived from being in harmony and balance with life. And when I utilized Joanna Macy’s work on the need for Systemic Understanding to bridge between our current Holding Action activities of recycling, reusing, etc. and Paradigm Shifts, Ruth wrote a beautiful section titled, Understanding Systems.  

The book has a hopeful conclusion that combines suggested exponential improvements necessary to overcome our current exponential waste and pollution as well as the Indigenous wisdom of living each day in balance and harmony as the means to achieving ecological sustainability and the social and economic sustainability that follow so naturally.


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