Most helpful critical review
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Interesting spiritual trends from Russia
on 22 February 2008
This book gave me rather mixed impressions, mostly favorable and some otherwise.
First the good part: its about getting back to the Earth and living in a sustainable way. For someone who wants to do the same thing, I found the information most interesting : for example, making milk from cedar nuts, even making flour from the same. Also the authors ideas of how to a fence a property are most practical and ingenious. Throughout the book, there is the theme that a deep spirituality can be found by living close to the land.
Some insights the author raises are quite thought provoking. He argues that collective farms exist in the West as well as the East. Its well known that the private farms in Russia have only 3% of the total agricultural land, yet produce over 50% of the produce. However, in the West, its the large corporations that buy the small owners off and you end up with a factory farm, where the owners exploit the land and are not as close to it as the small owners. Ths collectivisation, both East and West, has led to humanity largely loosing their connection with Earth.
The book centres on a dialogue between a Russian wise woman who lives in the remote parts of Russia and the author.
There are also some good colour photos illustrating the fact that many Russians have taken these books to heart and are literally buying some land in Russia. Also there is now a party in Russia that is proposing that everyone should be able to have land for living in a sustainable way.
There is also quite an interesting part on education.
The book does feature shamanic journeys to other times and planets: I distrust this form of revelation as it beyond my experience to assess its validity.
There is sometimes an innocence and at times a naiveity about this book: mostly good.