Living pathways: Meditations on sustainable cultures and cosmologies in Asia is a remarkable, beautiful, and very valuable book. As the author Manickam (Nat) Nadarajah points out, it can be enjoyed in many ways – visually, verbally, emotionally, and spiritually. All of these ways engage the reader and heighten his or her awareness of the importance, timeliness, and relevance of the book.
Acting on the author’s advice, I leafed through the pages of the book in a very cursory manner first, stopping to feast my eyes on all the exquisite people, faces, images, scenes, and scenery depicted there. The satisfaction that was derived from this was immense. Following this, I read Fr. Niphot Thianvihan’s Afterword – Coming Full Circle: Completing the Journey from Sustainability to Spirituality – and wished everyone in the world could read this urgent and crucial message.
I then read Nat’s thirty-two Meditations very carefully, pausing after reading each one to reflect on the profound insights and messages contained therein, as well as learning that each meditation possessed powerful ideas and evocative images with respect to the world of the future and the role that sustainable cultures and cosmologies in Asia can play in this. This enabled me to see that these meditations – indeed the entire book including the Appendix – lead us to a world that is far more in keeping with the emotional, sustainable, and spiritual requirements of the future than the physical, material, and technical demands of the present.
I strongly recommend this book to everyone who is concerned about the way forward in the new millennium. It is one of the most far-sighted, thoughtful, and moving statements I have ever read on what is wrong with the current world system and what is required to set things right.
D. Paul Schafer, Director, World Culture Project