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Not Till We Are Lost: Thoreau, Education, and Climate Crisis

By author: William Homestead
Product Code: P701
ISBN: 9780881469486
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William Homestead takes readers inside the classroom, where lost students mingle with students who think they are "found." Most are following the dictates of market-model education--interwoven with the cult of consumerism, techno-addictions, and the understandable need to get a job--rather than exploring their inner lives and responding to our collective lostness in an age of climate crisis. For Homestead, the "lucrative standard" must be balanced with turning within and listening to deeper wells, expressed in differing traditions as the Greek daemon, the "still, small voice" of Christian mysticism, Jung's process of individuation, and especially Emersonian self-reliance. Striving to figure out how to guide lost students (and help those who believe they are "found"), Homestead ruminates on the unfolding of his inner life, including his own struggles with formal schooling and the game of grading. He also turns to the writings of imperfect yet inspiring Henry David Thoreau, who turned within and discovered the blessings of being lost. NOT TILL WE ARE LOST posits that climate crisis is ultimately a spiritual crisis calling us to reset the compass. Humanity is called by inner intelligence in sympathy with ecosystem intelligence and, still further, the soul of the world. As Thoreau modeled, such deep listening, and then acting on what we learn, is the deeper measure of being educated. Lest we lead lives of quiet desperation, we desperately need an educational system that mirrors this reality, embracing the infinite extent of our relations.
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Reviews

Review by: Kristen Case, author of KEEPING TIME - July 10, 2024
"Like the best kind of long walk, NOT TILL WE ARE LOST unfolds organically and in unexpected directions, taking the reader through diverse and vividly drawn ecosystems and neighborhoods. We are joined by many fellow travelers for stretches of the road: not only Thoreau and Emerson, but also Herbert Marcuse, Rachel Carson, Pierre Hadot, Gregory Bateson, Martin Buber, and Carl Jung, to name just a few. But the real joy of this book is the ambling narration of our companion, William Homestead, whose humility, humor, and ready ease in making unanticipated connections are gifts that will long outlast the journey. This is a vital book for anyone interested in thinking deeply about the twin arts of teaching and learning and how they might be mobilized on behalf of the planet."
Review by: Mitchell Thomashow, author of TO KNOW THE WORLD - July 10, 2024
"William Homestead's magnificent memoir is an enriching educational, environmental, and spiritual journey. He uniquely follows the patterns of Thoreau's life to illuminate the challenges we all face as educators and informed citizens."
Review by: Rochelle L. Johnson, president of The Thoreau Society - July 10, 2024
"William Homestead offers a compelling meditation on what it means to teach students whose world is beloved but bewildering, wild but warming. At once pedagogical guide, spiritual autobiography, and climate-grief narrative, NOT TILL WE ARE LOST illustrates how embracing Thoreau's dictum to 'live deliberately' transformed one teacher's intellectual journey, shaping both his life and his lessons for the next generations."
Review by: Bill McKibben, author of THE END OF NATURE - July 10, 2024
"Thoreau may be the crucial American author, and this lively and engaging book reminds us why: the questions he raised are the questions that trouble us still. Or perhaps they trouble us more now than ever, in a dispirited and lonely country, where a tonic reminder of human possibility like this is always welcome!"

Goodreads reviews