As the title implies this book deals both with Buddhism and General Systems theory. The author has sensed a compatibility between the two and developed her theme exploring both in the context of each other in a rich and fruitful way. She emphasises the dynamic and interconnected nature of both systems of thought and their application and relevance to both everyday daily activity and choices as well as to the most profound philosophical and existential dilemas that we face in the world today. Macey is passionately aware of environmental problems and their roots, she uses Systems theory and the Buddhist conception of interconnectedness to understand them more deeply by examining the very process of how we and our experience are part of the general system earth or universe. In this way she leaves us with a sense of our relatedness to our environment which we can ignore only at great risk to our conscious integrity. To do damage to our world is to damage ourselves. A short review can not do justice to the sense of journey that one makes when reading this highly readable book.
Well I havnt finished reading this book yet. Its a slow read. But worth while. I'm a Electronic Engineer - Applied Physicist going into Control Engineering and Systems Management. Im also a Buddhist for many years. The thesis and concepts in this books resonate strongly with my sensibilities - so I like that. But it is also awfully well researched and very clearly written. I'm writing a paper on the future viability of systems enginering and this books really helps there. I recommend it!
I knew there was some reason I was attracted to both General Systems and Buddhism, and that they had something in common. This book told me why. Joanna Macy maintains her "scholastic" focus on the task of comparing these two systems of thought throughout the text, and thereby succeeds briliantly in explaining the basic meaning (singlular) of both systems.