Awakening the power of Mystical Activism in an age of climate apocalypse.
In Mystical Activism, we each hold the power to change the world right where we are.
To call these "end times" is not hyperbole. We are in trouble and the signs are everywhere: extreme political divisions; xenophobic violence; enormous wealth inequity; poverty and homelessness; racism, sexism, and ageism; arms buildups and unending wars; and, most critical of all, terrifying climate disruption associated with man-made global warming. We are the cause of these dark times.
Driven by left-brain beliefs, illusions and obsessions, humanity races headlong toward the collapse of civilization. Fortunately, the solution to these mounting crises also lies in the human psyche, arising from a most surprising source: the right-brain’s natural mystical consciousness. Our survival depends on whether we grasp and resolve this paradox in time.
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Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. The premise of the book is great and the author really delivers. Great read. Highly recommended. ~ Marianna Plawinska (Media), NetGalley
John C. Robinson, Ph.D., D.Min. is a clinical psychologist, an ordained interfaith minister, and the author of nine books and numerous articles. Like all of us, he is deeply troubled by the problems and crises that we see all around us as the mess we humans are in and the damage we have done to our beautiful planet become ever more obvious and problematical. And in this, his latest book, he not only traces the path we have taken that has led us to these apocalyptic times we are now living in, but gives us specific practices and ways of thinking that can, if we let them, bring sacredness back into our lives and set us on a new path of activism and Earth-healing. As so many wise people have pointed out, the big mistake we have made – and still make – is to assume that ‘heaven’ is somewhere else. Which is why Robinson starts his book with a precious childhood memory. I first witnessed Heaven on Earth as a child – a timeless, radiant, richly textured, sublime and sensuous reality permeated by an omnipresent loving, consciousness. I had no words for this immersion in Creation but assumed everyone shared it…By age seven, I realized that adults no longer saw this lit world…But I never forgot my sun-dappled world and, as I moved into middle age, my seeing grew brighter and I began to notice the divine world still existed all around me. At first, I dismissed this awakening vision. Perhaps I was crazy, I wondered, but as a clinical psychologist, I knew that wasn’t true. I soon began exploring world religions like a madman searching for a lost treasure map and discovered that mystics from every tradition always corroborated what I saw – that Heaven on Earth is already here when we are awake enough to see it. This beautifully-written and richly-textured book, with a thoughtful and appreciative Foreword by Matthew Fox, is presented as a workbook, not only to explain these ideas in detail but to provide, via a carefully selected set of exercises, a form of training through which we, too, can not only awaken to this sacred reality but allow it to infuse our lives and inspire our efforts to bring about much-needed change in the world around us. Most of us, as he points out, have had mystical experiences at some point, be they big, life-changing ones, or the smaller moments of awe and wonder that frequently happen when we find ourselves overawed by the beauty of some natural scene or some encounter with a wild creature. The exercises in this book aim to produce in us not just isolated mystical experiences but what Robinson calls an ongoing ‘mystical consciousness.’ And unlike the usual exercises in meditation that we have probably all encountered, these aim to teach and guide us gently, and with eyes wide open to the world around us, into the perception of a subtle, all-permeating energy that is very much a part of this world: something he refers to as, a sacred, timeless, loving Presence whose consciousness permeates the universe and blesses us. And yet there is no longer a duality. For this Presence is not other. It is us and we are it and everything in the Universe is fully saturated with it. As a lifelong activist who is now also an octogenarian with somewhat diminished energy levels, I was particularly taken by Chapter Eight, which is entitled ‘Elders as Transformational Mystics.’ In this chapter, Robinson points out that: For nearly all of recorded history, only one person in ten could hope to live to the age of 65. Now, however, a huge proportion of us in the global North will live into our seventies, eighties and beyond. These are different times and, according to this author (and to many others, including Carl Jung) we are being given an unprecedented opportunity to achieve a further level of psychological and spiritual development than most of our ancestors ever did. This is not a time of stasis, retreat or simply decline. Rather, our new aging appears to be a profoundly transformational stage, a journey into a new dimension of life and consciousness that will affect not only ourselves but the world. A wonderful project indeed, for the elder years. Or in fact for any stage of life. This may well be a book that is going to take up permanent residence on my bedside table. ~ Marian Van Eyk McCain, Green Spirit
This was a worthwhile read for me. One of the exercises explored in the book was both novel and immediately effective for me -- that's rare when I am reading about any type of exercise/recommended practice and trying it out for the first time. I was also impressed by the author's commitment to dismantling the negative effects of patriarchy through his spiritual practice............ ~ Kara Shamy (Reviewer), NetGalley
..........John C Robinson, a clinical psychologist, interfaith minister and self-professed mystic, invites his readers to transform their personality, life, work, spirituality, religion, even the world itself, and become ‘a divine human in a divine world — a mystical activist in a time of apocalyptic, cultural, political and climate disruption’. Mystical activism is a stirring and inspired concept (and a great title for a book, may I say!) which places post-materialist thinking in the dynamic context of campaigning for change — John Robinson, writing with passion and clarity, raises the banners valiantly, placing the need for a shift in human consciousness on a radical footing both necessary and achievable, given the will. At the outset he says mystical awakening represents ‘one of the most important experiences in human life, bringing profound religious understanding, forming or confirming our deepest values, and changing our very nature as human beings’........ ~ Geoff Ward, Medium.com
As the subtitle suggests, John Robinson’s heartfelt and illuminative book Mystical Activism offers wisdom and counseling for those trying to navigate “a world in crisis.” Robinson provides not just a coherent prescription for awakening the power of mystical consciousness articulated in the great spiritual traditions, but through guided meditations and personal coaching he helps readers take the necessary medicine so they too can actually overcome the trauma of moving through a world in crisis and realize for themselves the mystical experience he describes as “Heaven on Earth.” Every spiritual journey is a uniquely personal experience, but never a private one. Sharing his own story of awakening and years of thoughtful reflection, Robinson appreciates Spirit as a blessing to be shared. Reading his book is like having a cozy fireside conversation with a good friend and mentor. He offers hard-earned insights, precious guidance, practical suggestions, and feasible tactics as he encourages and inspires readers to uncover the divine presence within and recognize this wounded world is saturated with Spirit. ~ Joe Mitchel, Earth and Spirit Center, Louisville, KY, Review
Here is a rare book which reminds us of the truth about our ancient origins as Divine beings. The Ageless Wisdom throughout the millennia has suggested this fact in ancient texts and in the sayings of world teachers such as Hermes, Buddha and Jesus - that we are so much more than our physical bodies - we are in fact, multi-dimensional. In this new age of Aquarius and with much of humanity mistreating the planet for short term gain, now is the time to re-connect with our own innate divinity, so becoming our true soulful selves. In this book, John Robinson gives us a brief insight as to how we can re-connect to our innermost being such as through gentle breathing, meditation and contact with nature. He writes with passion about our new reality and there are exercises and points to think about which could help give access to the true soulful you. Books such as this are needed more than ever before in order to encourage humanity to look within themselves for the truth - that we are divine and we are not powerless, we can change the world one by one as we re-connect and become who we truly are. Heaven is on earth if we know where to look and by co-creating with the wisdom of the fifth dimension to initiate humanity back to the love that they originally came from, we can begin to raise the consciousness on this precious planet. A book with much to ponder upon. ~ Jon Jonnson (Educator), NetGalley
We hold the power to change right where we are. We are in trouble and the signs are everywhere: extreme political divisions; xenophobic violence; enormous wealth; poverty and homelessness; racism; sexism and ageism; arms buildups and unending wars; and just critical of all, terrifying climate disruption associated with man made global warming. These are the parts that caught my interest when I read the blurb. The world is a mess and we have the power to fix it. Our problems are created by our obsession with left brain goals. The right side brain is the hemisphere where we might be open to divinity. You need to read this book with an open mind and a clear head. An interesting read. ~ Louise Wilson (Reviewer), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Here is my suggestion for everyone: Read the first chapter, in which author John Robinson describes our world in its current state. If you don’t even feel the smallest stirring within your consciousness, the book is still for you but you may not be ready for it. Just so you know, this book is not about Mr. Robinson preaching his views to you. In fact, he encourages you to search for what is real and valid for you, telling us “It is your journey.” This is a teaching book that lays out the steps for those who are seeking further enlightenment. As the author says, “We can transform the world but we must start with our own transformation.” What is amazing is the author writes for everyone, no matter what your religious beliefs are or if you are lacking in this area. Your journey is your journey, and he seeks only to guide you along your own path. These are easy concepts to assimilate, and the only cost is in time and effort, and much less than you imagine. The author informs us that they can easily be incorporated into our daily life, and especially into the things we love to do (play, take walks, participate in sports, hobbies) and the things we have to do (work, household chores, etc.). What I liked best was that Mr. Robinson took his time, easing the reader into the information and not overwhelming me with everything at once. The book is building blocks of information, each one cemented down and made firm through knowledge. There are numerous exercises throughout the book which prepare each level, helping it support the weight of new ideas, thus allowing the author to move on to subsequent chapters. It may have been easier for me to grasp some of the initial knowledge, based upon previous readings of the teachings of different religions. The concept of God being within all of us is revealed in many different religions, and is a cornerstone of this book. I recommend this book to everyone. Even if you don’t entirely embrace what Mr. Robinson has to say, there are still many nuggets of knowledge for you to gather. And after all, just because one doesn’t initially believe in something doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Five stars. ~ Dee Arr (Reviewer), NetGalley
This is a book which I will need to read several times in order to take in all the detail. It has the potential to open our eyes to a wonderful, peaceful world, which is always there, but which we fail to see as we are blinded by day to day problems, worries and fears. The author explains that our problems are created by our obsession with left brain goals, achievements and ego-centric living. He argues that if we can connect to our right brain, we then connect to our soul, making it possible to release ourselves from self-imposed concerns and enjoy the bliss of heaven on earth..............If you feel helpless in the face of all the current world issues you may find this book points you to a road where you feel you can take positive action. I would certainly recommend it. ~ Rosalind Bryden (Reviewer), NetGalley
Never has a book been more timely or more urgently needed than John C. Robinson’s MYSTICAL ACTIVISM: Transforming a World in Crisis. This inspiring spiritual handbook for all those concerned about climate change should be required reading for everyone on the planet in this time of global emergency. With Australia and California literally on fire, and the global ice caps melting at a rate far more rapid than even the most pessimistic climate scientists had predicted, the Earth is now tilting on the edge of a precipice – and as Robinson points out, unless we act immediately, and with all the spiritual wisdom, inspired intelligence, and practical skill we can muster as a species, the fast-approaching result will be an unimaginable calamity for every life form on the planet. Robinson makes it clear that this impending disaster has been caused almost exclusively by human beings—by our greed, arrogance and willful ignorance—and only we can turn it around. But the question is, how? Given the dire urgency of the situation, and the appalling intransigence of those in positions of political power, it seems only natural that people would engage in enraged activism against our corrupt governments and the fossil fuel industries that have bought them. But is it possible that when we act from a place of rage, we are actually feeding the psychic flames that have found such a frightening reflection in our outer world? In this beautifully written, compelling book, Robinson suggests that for true and lasting solutions to the climate crisis to be found, we must begin with a mystical transformation within ourselves, a spiritual awakening that opens the doors of our heart to a direct perception of the omnipresent Divine as manifest in all of nature. Through prayer, poetry and inspired prose, Robinson invites us, again and again, to seek the direct experience of God within ourselves and within the natural world. He suggests that as we enter into profound communion with the all-pervading Creator, we will find ourselves deeply in love with all of creation, and we’ll then naturally strive with all our hearts to protect our precious sacred Earth. Our activism will then be imbued with divine love and inspired by the Source, and from that mystical wellspring, we can then seek and find genuine solutions to the crisis we’re facing. I hope everyone will read this book, and accept its loving invitation to dive deep into the omnipresent Divine. And we must then strive with all our hearts, and with all our intelligence and energy, to somehow pull our planet back from the cliff edge of disaster. ~ Ram Das Batchelder, author of “Rising in Love” and other books ~ Ram Das Batchelder, Author with John Hunt Publishing
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. This was a fascinating and apropos read for the times that we're in and the times that we're facing. I'm extremely grateful to have read this book as well as deeply appreciative of the knowledge and wisdom that John C Robinson is sharing. I appreciated how Robinson, though a Christian pastor, wrote a piece that speaks to the deeper mysticism and spirituality that many of us seek without making it overtly about any religion or practice but rather a deeper spiritual narrative of self-inquiry and connection with our own spiritual compass oriented toward the divine. So much of what Robinson writes about are mirrors of my own belief system like Heaven is a place on earth that we can cultivate if we allow ourselves to connect with the divine that is inherent in us all through our own awakening and embrace of mystical consciousness. I love the inclusion of the very real challenges that we face as a collective force of life and culture on this planet right now as it would be erroneous to write a book on mysticism and activism and ignore the pressing matters of the incarnate world. His bold tackling of these subjects which many can consider "harsh" and even "controversial" through the lens of mysticism and spirituality immediately drew me in. Many spiritual books of this nature do not speak so plainly to the true challenges before us while still holding space for the mystical truths that allow us a certain amount of detachment from the drama and pain that is wrapped up in these scenarios. By additionally weaving in the left and right brain manners of relating to the world that hold us back or draw us in to transformation, I felt empowered to make meaningful change instead of simply acutely aware of the need for change with insufficient tools to make that happen. I also deeply appreciate the weaving in of ancient stories and myths, a personal favorite to explore, through a more deeply interpretive lens. I could have read an entire book simply on the interpretation of Odysseus that Robinson put forth! The exercises in this book are incredibly insightful and helpful and I found myself making immediate practice of them and application in my own day to day spiritual life. I have returned to this book many times since reading it and feel it's shifted my spiritual discipline profoundly. I'm truly pleased with having taken the time to read Mystical Activism as it satisfied so many elements of my seeking without coming off as preachy, judgmental, or even fear-based in tackling the driving elements of the spiritually minded activist. I would highly recommend that anyone seeking a helpful and transformative way to weave their spirituality and their drive to help the world pick up a copy of this book and take it to heart. I am so profoundly grateful to Robinson for taking the time to put together such a wonderfully illuminating and prudent, timely piece. Notes: this was a wonderful read-- very well organized and straight forward. helpful and extremely fascinating view points. I would love to hear more about the author's opinions on Odysseus and other mythology but definitely felt that the relation between the left and right brain and spirituality made for a fascinating and pertinent read on mystical activism. thank you for making this title available to anyone who wanted to read it. ~ Sarah Womer (Educator), NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. ........Are you up for the challenge? Are you ready to face up to what is ahead? Are you willing to acknowledge your part in why we are what we are, what we have done and how we can realign All into a tranquility of frequency and vibration that heals? Are you willing to say enough is enough and step up and be your true self, one who is caring, loving and compassionate? If so then this book is for you. If on the other hand your are the doubter, the unbeliever or the devil’s advocate, then I suggest you read this book and see what I speak of. You may decide you find confirmation of what you sense, feel and know or you may just find that what you thought you knew is now not so easy to swallow. You may find yourself changing who you are into who you should be. In reading this book I guarantee you will not be the same person you were at its onset. No, you will be so very changed and simply because the words, the feel and the intenseness will bring about a change. ~ Faith S Michael (Reviewer), NetGalley
I liked this. It's pretty straight forward info, and requires the open-minded reader to participate via exercises and suggestions to get the most out of it. The initial premise is that the world is a mess, and while some may see it that way, our reality really is relative. So this may benefit those most that think the "mess" perspective is true. The book will help you see things differently. ~ Paul V (Reviewer), NetGalley
John Robinson’s Mystical Activism is a practical and profound guide for those seeking to link their inner spiritual life with their concerns for our crisis-ridden world. Robinson argues for a radical kind of activism that flows spontaneously from the thought-free consciousness of mystical awareness. Maintaining that the ecological crisis of climate change is creating an evolutionary pressure for a collective awakening, Robinson outlines a practical path to allow us to participate in this profound unfolding. Passionate, inspiring, and wise. ~ David Nicol, Author of Subtle Activism: The Inner Dimension of Social and Planetary Transformation
John C. Robinson’s Mystical Activism: Transforming a World in Crisis is a book for a world and a people living in an apocalyptic age; an age of destruction and revelation, of despair and opportunity. It recognizes that such times require more than mere political activism; they require a spiritual transformation as well. Robinson offers the reader practical steps for this transformation, presenting tools for us to come home... It is truly a book for our time. ~ Theodore Richards, author of The Great Re-imagining and A Letter to My Daughters, Founder of The Chicago Wisdom Project
Mystical Activism Transforming a World in Crisis is a call for all people to rise up to our next level of active spirituality and intergenerational mutuality. Never before has it been so important that the human species dives deep into our inner world so that we may draw forth our divinity and act in a way that can positively transform our world in crisis. Every religion began as a mystical experience; in this book Robinson challenges us to see the world from this divine knowing as sacred, cosmic beings all interconnected and interdependent so that we might begin again while drawing upon ancient wisdom. Interweaving science with spirituality, Robinson is doing what is especially vital at this time – calling upon us all to create new mythologies, narratives, and wisdom stories that will guide us toward universal healing and cooperation as well as a return to sacred living. Inspiring, moving and challenging in all the right ways, Mystical Activism is a guidebook for saving our world. ~ Rev. Deshna Charron Ubeda, Interfaith Minister and Chaplain, Director of ProgressiveChristianity.org and ProgressingSpirit.com
John C Robinson's Mystical Activism is a powerful introduction to spiritual consciousness for those who have thought that religion is either for the empty-headed or for the reactionary, and a compelling challenge to those whose spiritual or mystical experiences have so absorbed them that they have little interest in social transformation. ~ Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor of Tikkun.org and author of 12 books, most recently Revolutionary Love: a Political Manifesto to Heal and Transform the World (University of California Press, 2019)
Walk the mystical path with practical feet,' the noted cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien would reply when asked how to live well. This an excellent how-to-guide to do just that! John Robinson, using with a clear model based in perennial wisdom and modern psychology, guides us through inviting exercises, clear examples and daily practices to support a healthy existence for ourselves and the planet. This is a wonderful resource for claiming greater happiness and our innate roles as both mystics and activists. ~ Deidre Combs, DMin, author of The Way of Conflict; Worst Enemy, Best Teacher; and Thriving Through Tough Times
Mystical Activism is a book that is urgently needed in this time of environmental and cultural crisis, reminding us that frightening statistics and apocalyptic predictions are not enough—that the wisdom and will that can save our planet can only come from deep experience of the sacredness of life on Earth. This book is a beautiful, practice-filled guide to accessing mystical consciousness and committing to using the soul gifts we find there in service to a world teetering on a knife’s edge between collapse and transformation. ~ Ron Pevny, Director of the Center for Conscious Eldering and author of “Conscious Living, Conscious Aging.”
Mystical Activism is a heartfelt guide to healing that integrates psychological insight and spiritual depth. John Robinson writes with the seasoned clarity that comes from decades of experience as a psychotherapist and spiritual elder while approaching the mystical journey with a beginner's mind. Mystical Activism is written with the understanding that the healing of self and world are one and the same and needed now more than ever! ~ Skylar Wilson, Founder: Wild Awakenings, Co-author of Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action