Wednesday, 27 June 2012

The world in Harmony

Book Review: - Harmony, a new way of looking at our world.  By HRH The Prince of Wales.

I finished reading this book a couple of weeks ago, and I have since ordered myself a copy.  It is a really beautiful book, both physically and philosophically.

I grew up hearing about Prince Charles and his love of nature, he was often derided for 'talking to his plants', for being at the 'extreme' end of the green scale, and for butting his nose into the areas of architecture and town planning.  But we all know how the media likes a good story, and doesn't always let the full truth get in the way.

Reading this book will tell you more about Prince Charles as a person than you will ever get from any magazine or newspaper report.  It will reveal a man who was ahead of his time in his concern for the earth in a truly holistic way.  A man who has an incredible respect and even reverence for the different peoples, cultures and religions of the world, and sees their commonalities.  An intelligent, interested, well read & hard working man.  But don't think this is a self-congratulatory book, that is just the impression gained from the thoughts he expresses.

But learning about Prince Charles the man is far from being the primary reason for reading this book - it is for its holistic view of the interrelatedness of life on earth, how one thing affects another, of how our view of the world and our place in it has caused us to reach this point of imbalance, and how we might change our view and work towards rebalancing and renewing our connection and sense of place in the grand scheme.

He starts out with geometry.  Yes that's right, basic mathematics.  How beautifully complex patterns appear in nature over and over again and how ancient peoples identified these and used them in their sacred art and architecture.

He talks about how man viewed his place in the environment, and how that has changed over time. The importance of beauty and how our sense of what is beautiful relates back to the geometry found in nature.  Of walkable towns and civic design.  Of psychology and how our environment affects it. Rainforests and their importance in creating rain, especially the Amazon, the 'lungs of the world'.  Of education and organic farming methods (he's been farming organically for about 30 years).
Strong views are expressed - gently.
It is a lovely read.

This is the lecture that inspired me to read this book in the first place.
One of the foundations that Prince Charles has set up to work towards creating a better world is the Prince's Foundation for Building Community, but there are others.  Behind the scenes he must work pretty hard.


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