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There Is a Garden in the Mind: A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California [Anglais] [Broché]

Paul A. Lee

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12 mars 2013
There Is a Garden in the Mind presents an engaging look at the work and life of pioneering organic gardener Alan Chadwick and his profound influence on the organic farming movement. In this wide-ranging and philosophical memoir, author Paul Lee recounts his first serendipitous meeting with Chadwick in Santa Cruz, California, in 1967, and their subsequent founding of the Chadwick Garden at UC Santa Cruz, the first organic and biointensive garden at a U.S. university.

Today, there are few who would dispute the ecological and health benefits of organically produced food, and the student garden project founded by Chadwick and Lee has evolved into a world-renowned research center that helps third-world farmers obtain high yields using organic gardening. But when Chadwick and Lee first broke ground in the 1960s, the term "organic" belonged to the university's chemists, and the Chadwick Garden spurred a heated battle against the whole system of industrial existence. Lee's memoir contextualizes this struggle by examining the centuries-old history of the conflict between industrial science and organic nature, the roots of the modern environmental movement and the slow food movement, and the origin of the term "organic." His account of Chadwick's work fills in a gap in the history of the sustainable agriculture movement and proposes that Chadwick's groundwork continues to bear fruit in today's burgeoning urban garden, locavore, and self-sufficiency movements.

Table of contents:
Chapter one The English Gardener Arrives
Chapter two The English Gardener Goes to Work
Chapter three The Garden Plot
Chapter four Goethe the Vitalist contra Newton the Physicalist
Chapter five Urea! I Found It!
Chapter six USA and Earth Day
Chapter seven The Method
Chapter eight Chadwick Departs
Chapter nine A Moral Equivalent of War
Chapter ten The Death of Chadwick
Chapter eleven California Cuisine and the Homeless Garden Project
Chapter twelve A Biodynamic Garden on Long Island
Chapter thirteen Chadwick's Legacy

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

“The English Gardener Arrives” By Paul A. Lee
 
An excerpt from the book There Is a Garden in the Mind: A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California
 
Alan Chadwick arrived one day in 1967, some weeks after I had organized a walk with the chancellor and a group of interested people to look for a possible site for a garden project. It was an irresistible impulse, the source of which I did not know. I thought a garden on the campus would be a good idea, but I wasn’t clear about what prompted me to think so, or what I was supposed to do about it. Chadwick was coming, and I must have sensed it. I like thinking that now. It is one of the few experiences in my life in which, in retrospect, I have the feeling that I was guided.
 
I wasn’t interested in gardening; as a typical academic, I was interested in the idea of gardening. I thought it would be a good project for the students on the campus of a university that had been a great ranch landscape—the Cowell Ranch—with vistas looking out from redwood groves to Monterey Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The students could do the work. I would watch and oversee and enjoy the asters and the poppies when they bloomed. And, of course, in the mid-1960s, “flower power” was in the air, wafting down from the Haight-Ashbury on a cloud of smoke. We all got a whiff of that. I wanted to put flower power into practice.
 
George Hunston Williams had been my church history professor at Harvard, and I had helped him with a book he wrote, Wilderness and Paradise, describing the history of these motifs in the Bible and throughout Western culture, transposed by analogy as desert and garden. The second half of his book is about the rise of higher education in America. Inspired by desert/wilderness and garden/paradise themes, pioneers from the east headed west to plant gardens in the wilderness, to start schools in accordance with the biblical directives, also reminiscent of the schools of Plato and Aristotle, which included gardens. It was the first time my name appeared in a book, in his list of acknowledgments. I like to think it was a sign of things to come, when I lived out those very motifs after relocating to Santa Cruz.
 
Before I assumed my Santa Cruz teaching duties at Crown College, I taught for a year at Cowell College, where Page Smith was the provost. My colleague and office partner, Donald Nicholl, a visiting professor of history, had given a speech that affected me deeply, “A Sense of Place,” referring to his British friend David Jones, the artist and poet, whose sense of place was acutely attuned to Wales. Donald bemoaned the difficulty of achieving such a sense at a state university, where students were mostly subjected to bureaucratic processing: a secular desert where the spirit was at stake. On one of his last days before returning to England, we had a long talk about his impressions, and he spoke about the “spiritual laceration” he had suffered as a result of his visit, a phrase he borrowed from Dostoyevsky. He also had in mind something like the need for roots at an institution where the life of the spirit and spiritual roots were the last things on anyone’s mind.
 
I had seen a plan for the campus that called for a projected fixed population figure of 27,500, somehow arrived at as the target for each of the campus sites in the system. This meant something like 15,000 parking lots, which conjured up a lot of asphalt. I groaned under this institutional imposition on a great ranch landscape and could hear the redwoods groaning with me.
 
I thought a student garden would help offset this institutional imposition.
 
Santa Cruz was supposed to be the new beacon of hope for higher education, a major departure from the established campuses of the University of California, but for the fixed figure of the eventual population. Following the model of British universities, Santa Cruz would be comprised of smaller colleges, each of which would have a theme, a representative faculty, a library, dormitories, all under the aegis of the university, but autonomous units unto themselves. Cowell College, the first to open, in 1965, was devoted to the humanities. Teaching would be honored over publishing, so the promotional propaganda read, a promise that was not kept under the pressure of “publish or perish,” the bugbear of academic advancement.
 
Some of us had the suspicion that the ulterior motive for a network of independent colleges was to disperse the students so they could not easily organize. Santa Cruz was a reaction to Berkeley and the mega-university of industrial technocracy, provocative of student unrest, which eventually erupted nationally in response to the Vietnam War. And erupt it did at Santa Cruz as well. Geographic distance between the colleges deterred no one in acting out their anguish over the war.
 
A British flavor was injected into the culture of the university by using British academic terminology: common rooms, not lounges; provosts, not deans; boards of study, not departments; and a number of British professors were hired to carry through the influence, notable among them Jasper Rose, professor of art history, and Glenn Wilson in political science.
 
I didn’t have an English gardener in mind to further the theme, but I should have.
 
A few weeks after the walk with the chancellor, the English gardener arrived, as though on schedule. He was told about my interest in a garden project by his friend Freya von Moltke, who was visiting the campus for a quarter. He had stopped off to visit her, returning from a trip to New Zealand, where he had thought of resettling. She had told him he wouldn’t like it, and she was right. It was as though he wanted her to tell him what to do next. A week or two before, Freya and her companion, Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, a visiting professor at Cowell College, had come to our home for lunch, and she told me she had heard about my walk with the chancellor and that I wanted to start a garden. She had a friend coming who would do the garden for me. I said, “Okay, Countess.”
 
Freya was the widow of Count Helmuth von Moltke, one of the great figures in the resistance against Hitler. He was the leader of the Kreisau Circle, named after the estate he inherited as the grandnephew of the famous German General von Moltke, the founder of the modern German army under Bismarck, who was buried at Kreisau, making it a national shrine. For thinking about the future of Germany after Hitler, and holding secret planning sessions at Kreisau, Helmuth was accused of treason and was hanged from a meat hook with piano wire. There is a national memorial devoted to him and others at Plötzensee Prison in Berlin. He was caught up in the net of the Officers’ Bomb Plot, an unsuccessful attempt on Hitler’s life, and even though he had been against assassination, he was executed for his ideas about the future of Germany.
 
A woman of luminous beauty, with a voice to match, Freya had become the companion of Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy, the great polymath, who fled Germany when Hitler came to power and who had worked with von Moltke in youth work service camps until Hitler nationalized them. Eugen had been Page Smith’s professor at Dartmouth, where, in 1940, they had started Camp William James, a leadership training camp for the Civilian Conservation Corps. They wanted to bring the spirit of William James and the vision of his famous talk at Stanford in 1906, “A Moral Equivalent of War,” into what had become a kind of holding tank for welfare youth, due to the so-called means test one had to sign, indicating poverty, in order to be eligible for the corps. They had the blessing of Mrs. Roosevelt and Dorothy Thompson, the famous journalist, to open up the corps to the middle class, and so they started a camp for that purpose at Tunbridge, Vermont. It was short lived, and within months the adventure was over. The war had begun.
 
Page had invited Rosenstock-Huessy to Santa Cruz to teach at Cowell College as a visiting professor after his retirement, and Freya accompanied him.
 
I later came to realize that the short-lived effort on a farm in Vermont—Camp William James—was to be reborn in our Chadwick Garden in California, once the confluence of historical forces unfolded. It became clear to me only years later, after Page Smith and I teamed up to start the William James Association, in 1972, and later helped Jerry Brown, when governor of California, inaugurate the California Conservation Corps, with the hope of carrying through the Chadwick legacy.
 
Freya was Chadwick’s muse—everyone could see why—and the love of his life. They met and became friends in South Africa, where Chadwick had gone to act in a traveling theater company and eventually shifted to gardening at the Admiralty Gardens in Capetown.
 
After the defeat of Germany and the loss of her estate—Kreisau—to the Russians, Freya had fled to Capetown with her sons to join family who had settled there. She met Alan in Capetown. After becoming friends, she told me how Alan had come to see her in her cottage. They had an argument, and Alan had displayed his famous temper and rode off on his bike, and as she was about to jump on her bike and chase after him, she knew that that would be it. It would be construed as a declaration of love with the implication of a possible marriage. Either/or. She stayed home.
 
I remember Alan talking about the wildlife of Africa and his joy romping with the lions and tigers and the gazelles and whatnot as if he were one of them in his element. Freya’s sons have fond memories of Alan and their friendship with Alan, acting as a substitute father and introducing them to nature’s mysteries as only he could do.
 
Who was Al...

Revue de presse

“[There is a Garden in the Mind] is part philosophy, part personal meditation, and part tribute to a man who was a transformational figure in the organic movement that began from small seeds in California and has now reached a global community.”
Publishers Weekly

“As a gardener, teacher, aesthete, and philosopher, Alan Chadwick was critically important to our understanding of organic and biodynamic farming in this country. No one can tell his story better than Paul Lee, who captures his spirit, and the birth of the California organic movement, with warmth, eloquence, and urgency.”
—Alice Waters, chef, restaurateur, owner of Chez Panisse, and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project
 
 “There Is a Garden in the Mind is a masterpiece—a garden of rich soils, flowering plants, changing seasons. This is a powerful, compassionate story of Alan Chadwick’s and Paul Lee’s struggle to restore the integrity of organic nature into the hearts, minds, and hands of a culture that has forgotten that Garden Earth is the only home we have.”
—Sim Van der Ryn, professor emeritus, University of California, Berkeley; California State Architect emeritus; author of eight books, including Design for Life and Ecological Design
 
“If you think of Alan Chadwick as the man who taught us to double-dig our raised bed gardens, this remarkable account will take you back to the early days of what we now think of as the organic movement. A remarkable man, with a remarkable backstory!”
—Bill McKibben, author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet

“Paul Lee’s story of Alan Chadwick captures the wisdom and foibles of a genius. In Lee’s telling of the tremendous influence Chadwick had on the organic gardening and the environmental movement, he also lays out the profound philosophical implications of Chadwick’s work. Forty years in the making and well worth the wait.”
—Michael Stusser, Cowell College class of ’69, founder of Osmosis Day Spa Sanctuary, Freestone, California

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Amazon.com: 4.8 étoiles sur 5  5 commentaires
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 an elastic narrative that shines in our minds ... 20 mars 2013
Par Matt Hill - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
Although the subtitle of Paul Lee's new book is A Memoir of Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California, this narrative is also "a memoir of my experience as the founder of the Chadwick Garden at the University of California, Santa Cruz and the part I played in the subsequent gardens developed by Alan Chadwick." This text is part chronicle of the California organic movement; part telling of the antecedents of the origins of the environmental movement and the philosophies of vitalism (via Rudolph Steiner and his hero Goethe) versus physicalism (Newton); and part memoir of these two lives that were lived in a dynamic, synergistic balance during the late sixties and through the seventies. This narrative had a genesis of forty years, and it is a wonderful book to read about the intimate accounts of these times. Lee does spend a considerable amount of this book describing the life of Alan Chadwick in the years he knew him, and how that life wove a fabric through so many other lives. However, it is also stated in the preface that this is not a biography per se; that task will be left to someone else.

Aside from the narrative events of Alan Chadwick's life, Lee's primary focus in this text is what he describes as the fundamental division in our culture, namely "industrial technocracy against organic nature, accounting for the current environmental crisis." The vitalist/physicalist divide, another dichotomy along the lines of the famous Two Cultures thesis of C.P. Snow, was responsible for the decline of vitalism as a philosophy with the discovery of urea in 1828. Lee argues here that this was the "moment when organic nature was collapsed into the inorganic, when everything was reduced to physical and chemical forces." The terrain was then left open to the existentialism philosophies of estrangement and alienation to fill this void left by a defeated vitalism.

The Garden in the Mind would be the working metaphor here, symbolizing the shift that has occurred, one from viewing the world as a vitalistic and organic whole, as against an inorganic and artificial technology that has prevailed for several centuries now. It is a schism that is "central to the Chadwick story." Paul Lee musters the conceptual formulas supplied by his mentors Paul Tillich and Hans Jonas toward the telling of this struggle between these contending forces. The Chadwick garden at UC-Santa Cruz was a microcosm of organic nature played out against the vast system of the "late stage of industrial self-destruction."

Taking the title THERE IS A GARDEN IN THE MIND from an essay by Norman O. Brown, this is a project Paul Lee has ruminated upon for the last forty years. In the Introduction to the book, he articulates a philosophical panorama of the antecedents of our schizoid modern era, where the too-heavy influence of various species of existentialism have affected our "hope against hope". Lee's philosophy of gardening is woven from many themes running throughout Western culture, from Homer and Virgil to Dante and Goethe.

So, who was this Alan Chadwick fellow, and what was his background? Born in 1909, he hailed from landed gentry, growing up in Bournemouth, south of London. His father was a lawyer, and the family had acquired their wealth through the manufacture of textiles. As Lee tells the story however, Chadwick seemed rather disassociated from this part of his past, preferring to live the lifestyle of an ascetic gardener. This was the side of his personality that was the opposite of the persona, of the professional actor, who previously had a career in the London theater world. Apparently, he was "always dramatic, in elocution, in gestures, in deep emotions." As a young man, Chadwick devoted his energies into painting, playing the violin, and also Shakespearean acting. However, World War II intervened, providing an abrupt halt to these activities, and Chadwick found himself as the commandeer of a mine sweeper in the British Navy.

After the war, he moved to South Africa to resume his acting career, and it was here that he immersed himself in designing a twenty six acre display garden. His tendency at this time was to become almost misanthropic, his dislike of humanity causing him to increasingly shut himself off from others. Chadwick had been influenced by the visions of Rudolph Steiner, who in turn took his inspiration of the vitalistic affirmations of organic procedures from Goethe. It was Steiner who provided the bridge back to the philosophy of vitalism first articulated by Goethe in his opposition to the mathematical physicalism of Newton and the burgeoning scientific age. "Goethe was Steiner's hero ... When Alan started to talk to me about Steiner and his influence on his work and the significance of biodynamics, I started to read Steiner's works, beginning with his book GOETHE, the SCIENTIST."

For Chadwick, the garden was viewed as the transformative ground of hope, and Paul Lee relates that "Life into death into life" was a favorite saying of Chadwick's as he talked to his students of compost as the material for new life. He was a driven man, working all day, seven days a week, on the garden project there at the entrance to UC-Santa Cruz. He had gone out and bought a Bulldog spade, and had just began digging, working himself over even as he worked over the hard pan soil, then double digging the soil to approach that state of cultivation in the garden of his mind. Using his own funds to meet the garden expenses, he dug and double dug, day after day, an enigma to the academic minions who drove past him each morning, an alien set down in their midst. With his visage, fierce and eagle like (Lee says he bore an uncanny resemblance to both Danny Kaye and Samuel Beckett), "he was a real nut about comportment. He taught his students how to walk. How to enunciate. Diction was extremely important to him, and he had to deal with all the dopey mumblers who stumbled in." And yet, he insisted he was not a teacher, even as he had a core of apprentices who attached themselves to him. Although he walked out on the garden project at the University after five years, the garden (and his legacy) continue to the present day. Chadwick had other fish to fry after Santa Cruz, starting gardens in Saratoga, Green Gulch, Covelo in Mendocino, and finally in West Virginia.

Paul Lee was Chadwick's benefactor in many ways, even arranging for Alan to spend his final days at the Green Gulch Zen Center in Marin when Chadwick's life ended from prostate cancer. Lee was the catalytic agent in so much of the events and scenarios that happened in those years, not just with Chadwick and the garden project, but also his associations with Page Smith in the beginnings of the William James Association, the California Conservation Corps, the Homeless Garden project, and several others. Thanks to Paul Lee and friends, a hundred or so of Chadwick's recorded talks are now archived at the McHenry Library on the UC-Santa Cruz campus.

And Alan Chadwick certainly was no Chance the Gardener either, with his periodic rages equal to anything Wittgenstein could produce. Apparently he suffered from being high strung and neurotic; together (a condition formerly called "neurasthenia"), they produced fits of ill temper that could erupt volcanically. But his needs were minimal too; he was completely self-reliant, and always went around in white shorts and boots. Although his intensity could be intimidating, he also had a most compassionate spirit. John Cage tells the story of the time he came to see Norman O. Brown. Along with Robert Duncan the poet, and Chadwick, they all sallied forth into the woods to collect specimens of local fungi, having a most memorable afternoon together.

In sum, it was Chadwick's focus and mindset that slowly caught on with people, namely, to work WITH nature, not against it, and thereby his gardens all spoke to this, and for themselves. Paul Lee aptly chronicles the life and times, not just of Chadwick, but of many others. If there would be any weakness in this text, it might be in the weaving trajectory of the narrative blend, at times wandering off into musing tangents that can be mildly disorienting. The long quoted selections of Tillich, Hans Jonas, Goethe, and Mumford, inserted mostly in the middle chapters, definitely slow the reading down too. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, especially given the vast terrain that Paul Lee covers in this lovingly produced work. This book is highly recommended reading for anyone interested in the legacy of Alan Chadwick and the times we all lived through during those bright shining days.
2 internautes sur 3 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 There is a Garden in the Mind 13 mars 2013
Par mjammann - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché
I loved this book because it articulates philosophical & environmental questions I've had for decades. Written by philosophy professor and theologian, Dr. Paul Lee, There Is A Garden In the Mind, Alan Chadwick and the Organic Movement in California, is part philosophy, part personal meditation, and part tribute to a man who was a transformational figure in the organic movement that began from small seeds in California and has now reached a global community.

The book is the result of over thirty years of research and inquiry into the undermining of organic nature by modern science and industry and why the reaffirmation of organic nature had to be carried by the organic and environmental movements such that `organic' became a buzzword. The first organic garden at a university (the University of California, Santa Cruz, 1967) was regarded by the scientists at the university as another hippie plot to further embarrass them. They thought `organic' meant artificial and synthetic as carried on by `organic' chemistry. This conflict between the organic Vitalist and the materialist Physicalist was exposed when Alan Chadwick began the student garden project and who would eventually be called "the world's greatest gardener" (E. F. Schumacher) and who brought the Vitalist tradition of food and flower production from Goethe to Rudolf Steiner and the practice of Biodynamic and French Intensive systems and methods. Students flocked to him to learn about a sacramental understanding of nature opposed to the industrial /commercial relation. Chadwick initiated students into the mysteries and magic of nature from the layer of shellac in the seed to the nuptial flight of the Queen Bee. Tracing his gardening career from UCSC to Saratoga, to Green Gulch Zen Farm, to Covelo, to West Virginia, Chadwick is characterized as a Johnny Appleseed of the organic movement, transforming the lives of many of those he touched, taught, and trained.
1 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Like Gertrude Stein Paul Lee keeps on shining 20 mars 2013
Par William O. Davis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
A good book is like a good seed, it keeps on producing. This one is worth planting in the garden of any of our minds. This review will be a bit long, but the book makes me want to write a longer review. Forgive me, please.

Paul Lee's book is a good seed. -- Whether you have ever gardened before or studied philosophy, ancient or modern, or not. It is what others call "readable" and "relevant." The mind like the soil must be tilled to produce its best. This book is more than a kind of shovel or plow, though -- a simple tool to be set aside. It is a call to think, reflect and act for the betterment of all of us, our collective humanity.

It is like Gertrude Stein's autobiography (a story ostensibly about Alice B. Toklas, but telling Gertrude's story at the same time -- the difference is that, in this one, there is a "there there"). In that sense it is a passionate or com-passionate self-revelation -- a kind of Augustine's confessions or Montaigne's diaries. Unlike Gertrude Stein's work, the "there there" is the University of California at Santa Cruz in the middle of the Viet Nam War years, the 1960s, and the counter culture revolution - not Gertrude's otherwise boring or insignificant Oakland, CA, US at or before the turn of the 1900s. This world, that Paul Lee is writing about, was not an insignificant or otherwise boring place or time -- I was there and can testify to that, it is today.

For Paul Lee to work to make sense out of it all, like he has done in the Garden in the Mind, is a great relief. It took him some 30 years and more. He has articulated a paradigm for understanding the conflicts that we all feel -- the "physicalist" vs. the "vitalist." It is not anti-scientific. It is an urgent request that scientists or science (e.g.vis a vis GMO food seeds and their proponents; chemical fertilizer advocates or carbon fuel energists) become socially responsible and morally significant in the modern world, especially now, when science has established its hegemony over spiritual or "religious" thinking - i.e. the "organic chemist's" world over Chadwick's "organic universe." He, Dr. Lee, is simply elevating humans and humanist interests over chemical and inorganic economic interests.

The book is a plea consistent with the admonitions of the Dalai Lama to develop a secular ethics. "Help not hurt, in whatever you do or think," is what I would call Dr. Lee's message. It is the same as the message my Native American heritage speaks loud to me: Leave the world at least as well off as you found it, walk softly, and respect Mother Earth and all the beings.

Paul Lee clearly hopes the scientists follow suit. I sense that his and the Dalai Lama's motive is the same humanistic effort to stop the destruction and terror in the world by a simple, humanely compassionate, reflection that we are all human, all brothers and sisters, one way or the other. Ultimately, I feel, Paul Lee wants students, readers, and the general public to ask the scientists, the professors, the "experts" to make themselves accountable for what they are doing in their own careers and in the universities, research institutes, governments, and industries of the world. I think that is why some scientists considered Chadwick when he was at UCSC (and for no real reason) to be an enemy of their "organic scientific" procedures of developing things like agent orange, plastics, other pollutants, and artificial fertilizers and pesticides.

To transgress common sense and the universal wholistic concept of our universe is dangerous. Just look now at the legacy of the antibiotics we have been using ... now there are untreatable resistant strains of bacteria killing people. Those original medicines were originally developed out of a naïve belief we can stop one thing without creating another unwanted thing in reaction. What happens if we create super insects from pesticides, which insects can eat all the food? Instead of focusing on becoming healthy, becoming resistant to existing diseases, we create chemicals to kill bacteria and viruses, breeding ever stronger varieties. Those are not just stupid philosophical or literary issues. But this is not a negative book about inevitable doom, it is an encouragement to find solutions and create a better world.

Paul Lee and Chadwick were and remain like "peas in a pod." They did and do fertilize people's imaginations with new, and always positive thoughts -- and even more, ways to do things better -- a bit at a time every day - like making a great garden out of raw land, even bad land.

This book is beautiful 'in itself', as J.P. Sartre would say, and at the same time tells the story or points to a transcendent reality of what was happening at a time when people were, in effect, just coming out of the daze of how great industrialism and commercial agriculture were as an answer to the world's food problems and overpopulation. The book is about, in large part, a time when people began to throw off the plastic gorged consumer world and stop bombing and killing innocent people in Viet Nam and elsewhere, and that is what Chadwick's gardens embodied, and still do. It is also about today and how we can choose to go forward.

The importance of the book, as an intellectual contribution, is that it creates a new paradigm -- not a "deconstructionist" critique of Western Civilization - trashing everything with nothing to replace it -- but a "reconstructionist", renewed and re-affirmative vision that this civilization, as well as any other, can be in harmony with the universe, with each other culture, civilization, animal and plant all to our mutual benefit -- if we tend the universal Earth garden and put in the effort -- with love, attention, discipline, hard work and knowledge of how it works.

We can take back the Garden of Eden from history and resurrect it -- that is the message of Alan Chadwick's gardens and this book.

Thus, a kind of divinity in action is what the book is about, how to mesh the secular and the supra-secular or spiritual -- how appropriate for Paul Lee to espouse such simple but universal ideas as the long time ago teaching assistant of Paul Tillich, the spiritual existentialist. These are teachings that are consistent with every great spiritual educator from Buddha, Ghandi, the Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Janists, indigenous people's traditions and others ... a love of this world and reverence for what is beyond it and around it ... in total. Highly recommended reading.

It is time to beat swords into plowshares, and make gardens not war - that is the inevitable message of a book rooted in the 1960s counter culture, student rebellion and baby boomer thirst for a better world -- To make human life better, not worse, and make the world better not worse. As the Dalai Lama says, we should work to encourage a secular ethics - one free of any religious or scientific prejudices and supportive of humanity in general - a garden in each and all of our minds. What a better format for such concepts than creating a new Garden of Eden, a secular gardening project for all humans in the whole universe, as a totality - un-dissected and wholistic - and a garden not just in the material universe but the ineffable soil of our own minds. That is the kind of vibe that Chadwick radiated, illuminated and was. He was not an ideologue, he was a supreme human being that you miss, if you knew him.

This is a book of currents -- Blending various ancient and modern commentaries and thoughts, and the varieties of ideas abundant today -- as in hybridizing plants or the meeting of rivers and the ocean in the estuaries of the world. And, currents we have. There is the current of Chadwick's life. There is the current of the history of science and western philosophy. There is the current of the last 50 years in the US and the gradual dissolution into a kind of mindless, inorganic swamp of modern materialism and technology.

Alan Chadwick was a phenomena, like a Lou Reed of vegetables, cut flowers and gardening and Paul Lee's book does Alan, Lou, and Paul himself justice. It is worth reading this book to touch those lives and realities, and more.
0 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Very philosophical, 18 avril 2013
Par Iwasthere - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
might be too abstract for some, it is clearly for intellectuals. Nine more words required so I have to write this.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 There is a Garden in the Mind: Alan Chadwick memoir 17 avril 2013
Par Freelance editor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Purchased this book as a b'day gift for my oldest daughter, a graduate of UCSC, where Alan Chadwick's organic
garden is still located on the Santa Cruz, CA campus. She was very pleased with this memento of her college years which, I believe, led her "down the path" to a lifetime of organic gardening.
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