I came across this book a few months ago and it was like finding gold. I've been practicing meditation for years and my experience brought me to the same life-affirming conclusion that Joanna Macy expresses in this book. She talks about three ways of viewing the world, (a) World as battleground, in which the world is viewed as a battleground between the forces of good vs. the forces of evil; in which each of us must pick a side, (b) world as trap, in which the world is viewed as a tempter, ensnaring us in its web, and that our job is to transcend this existence to free ourselves from it, and (c) world as lover, in which the world is regarded as "...an intimate and gratifying partner.." through which we must move as if the world is our lover.
The first two, I view, as life-denying; essentially painting this creation as fundamentally flawed if not downright evil, whereas the 'world as lover' is life-affirming. By far, most of the world's religions and philosophies follow the life-denying model, but this has always seemed counter-intuitive to me since I can't believe that the Creator emanates this manifestation in order for it to be denied or utterly transcended. When a person becomes aware of their true nature and the nature of creation we see that the creation fairly screams out with beauty and love; ever tends toward it. This is not for nothing as Joanna Macy's book makes abundantly clear. Our job is to be both fully aware in fully in love! In that, creation's promise is fulfilled.
Thank you, Joanna Macy, for this wonderful gift to all humankind.