Reverence for Existence: A Way of Knowing

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Reverence for Existence is a thought-provoking work that encourages us to take a moment and engage with the natural world around us. Dr. Brestrup proposes that only by fully immersing ourselves in the world we inhabit can we appreciate what it has to offer. There is so much in the natural world to discover and treasure. Brestrup’s writing suggests that when humanity lets go of its self-centered ego and come to terms with the idea that it is neither alone in nor separate from the world, it can develop a reverence for nature and, in doing so, find greater meaning in its own existence. From this realization that we are a part of something larger than ourselves, the earth, we can value and protect it more effectively and more fully.

Throughout this work, Brestrup takes readers on a journey of discovery in nature, particularly to his favorite area, the Sierra Nevada, but also through other environments in East Texas and along the Natchez Trace. These places are filled with wonder but have also been worn and warped by time and changing circumstances. He also explores the work of writers and philosophers he admires such as John Muir, an early advocate for environmental preservation, and Martin Buber, who frequently wrote on harmony, both of whom had a profound impact on Brestrup’s thinking.

I was expecting this book to be more uplifting than it was. It did, however, make me think more about whether homo sapiens will self-destruct and destroy the very things they should be protecting. Many of Brestrup’s ideas and comments encouraged me to take a look around and find meaning in the present through the beauty of nature. Nature should be seen as something sacred, something to be honored and revered.

I enjoyed and appreciated Brestrup’s pondering not only about nature but also his at-times disheartening view of modern cultural developments. The fact that society as a whole, especially the US, seems to follow a path toward power and limitless economic growth and in a quest for dominance for its own sake. It leads me to wonder, as Brestrup does, where it will all end. While this is not a light topic, it is an important one that deserves more attention.

This is a book for those who want to delve deeper into the meaning of existence and what it means to cultivate a sense of reverence for all that we see, touch, hear and feel on this marvelous planet we call home.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Trade
Page Count 275 pages
Publisher Camino Bay Books
Publish Date 2018-12-15
ISBN 9780965728508 Buy this Book
Issue July 2019
Category Philosophy


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