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I ve never read a book quite like this it s very difficult to describe Seven years in the writing, like some mythical hero s trials, it s a hymn to the wild, written by a young poet, anthropologist, philosopher, adventurer, and probably manic depressive too It s divided into sections for each element Earth, Ice an element on its own , Water, Fire, and Air, and Griffiths travels the globe in search of unspoiled wildness the , the Arctic, Indonesia, Australia, and West Papua with a br I ve never read a book quite like this it s very difficult to describe Seven years in the writing, like some mythical hero s trials, it s a hymn to the wild, written by a young poet, anthropologist, philosopher, adventurer, and probably manic depressive too It s divided into sections for each element Earth, Ice an element on its own , Water, Fire, and Air, and Griffiths travels the globe in search of unspoiled wildness the , the Arctic, Indonesia, Australia, and West Papua with a brief epilogue in Outer Mongolia It might seem overdone in places but there is some wonderful sweeping poetry and passionate advocacy of the rights of savages , as well as epic rage against suburbia, Christianity, and golf courses, among other things.The language itself is wild and anarchic, although she is wonderful on the etymology of words, drawing all sorts of intriguing connections On the enclosure of land in Australia, for example Fence means not only boundary but also the keeper of stolen goods, and settlers, stealing the land, fenced it before they did anything else Her bibliography is staggeringly eclectic and erudite she quotes the Bible, Rousseau, Francis Bacon, Conrad, and Flanders and Swann with equal facility Yet despite her erudition she can become fully absorbed by wild cultures, getting stoned with shamans in Peru, going out with whale hunters in Alaska, or struggling through mountains and swamps in West Papua with local guides whom she feelsat home with than the obnoxious sounding anthropologist who is her companion.I took seven years over this work, spent all I had, my time, money and energy Part of the journey was a green riot and part a deathly bleakness I got ill, I got well I got to the point of collapse I got the giggles I met cannibals infinitely kinder andtrustworthy than the murderous missionaries who evangelize them I found a paradox of wildness in the glinting softness of its charisma, for what is savage is in the deepest sense gentle and what is wild is kind If you only have time for one sentence, hear this Jay Griffiths book, Wild, is one of the most powerful books I ve ever read Wild is a celebration of wildness and freedom It celebrates societies that work, societies that have complete respect for their ecosystems, societies that have survived for thousands of years without suffering destructive whirlwinds of mass hysteria.Griffiths is a brilliant heretic and a proud one Her book shows us what happens when madness collides with wildness It If you only have time for one sentence, hear this Jay Griffiths book, Wild, is one of the most powerful books I ve ever read Wild is a celebration of wildness and freedom It celebrates societies that work, societies that have complete respect for their ecosystems, societies that have survived for thousands of years without suffering destructive whirlwinds of mass hysteria.Griffiths is a brilliant heretic and a proud one Her book shows us what happens when madness collides with wildness It helps us understand the dark injuries that destroyed our own freedom, and put us on the path to what we have become It is 350 pages of full throttle outside the box thinking, written with passion and eloquence For outside the box thinkers, it s just awesome For light sleepers, it might provide a life changing wakeup call Griffiths was born in deepest, darkest England, a devastated island that was once a magnificent rainforest She was blessed with the precious curse and gift of having an active mind She excelled at asking penetrating questions that were not proper for young ladies or lads to ask The wardens were not amused.During her teen years, she hung out with fundamentalist Christians, but what they were teaching could not survive rational scrutiny, and her mind was highly allergic to blind faith Painful clashes inspired her to run away She abandoned the normal life for which she had been trained I lost a walled city but found a wildness and freedom I never regretted it She wandered around the world, but life was not always easy Following a passionate freedom can mean loneliness, penury, humiliation, for we live in a world where the caged hate the free By and by, she floated away into a healthy dance with depression Depression is one of life s valuable idiot lights, warning us that it s time to pay attention and alter our course.One day, the phone rang, and a friend invited her to Peru, where she could hang out with shamans, use powerful medicine, and recover her lost soul So she did, and it worked The heavy black clouds soon dispersed She spent the next seven years working on her book, travelling from theto New Guinea, Australia, and Arctic Canada.We routinely teach our children that wild people are primitive, and that their way of life is inferior and undesirable In so doing, we erect a brick wall that prohibits fresh wild notions from flushing the crud out of our wheezing, slobbering imaginations Instead, we teach our children to live like there s no tomorrow, to shop till you drop, to leave nothing behind for future generations.Griffiths understands that the brick wall must be smashed, for the sake of all life Her mind is a sledgehammer She takes us on visits to wild ecosystems that stood in the path of the all devouring global economy She listened to the wild people, in a caring and respectful manner, hearing their pain, rage, and despair They had a healthy way of life before the invasion They needed nothing from us They simply wanted to be left alone She took long treks through the jungle with wild people who possessed immense knowledge of the plants and animals They perceived that all flora and fauna have spirits except for domesticated plants They saw that all wild beings were animated by the same life force, but different species appeared in different forms We were all equal When humans lived like equals, rather than masters, they didn t gang rape their ecosystem, because that would have been inconceivable After days of hiking through a perfectly healthy land, a treasure of abundant life, they stumbled upon the town of Maldonado, the cash economy, the modern world electric lights, pop music, abundant booze and drugs, discarded syringes, splatters of puke, and overflowing outhouses Everyone seemed to be mad To me, the forest had been wildly beautiful and the town was a hideous wasteland One chapter was devoted to the vast wildness of the sea, the place where all life began The surface of Mars is better known to us than the floor of our oceans The underwater world is a realm of immense beauty, and diversity Cetaceans, like whales and dolphins, are incredibly intelligent, and they live in an incredibly intelligent manner, exactly as evolution prepared them to live, wild and free, without technology a brilliant strategy for long term success.The ocean is a place where primates have little business, beyond the shoreline Civilized primates have become abusive, ravaging the sea life, and filling the waters with toxins, sewage, garbage, and noise Climate change is making the oceans so acidic that catastrophic harm now seems very likely Wild people didn t do this even when they lived too hard, the harm they caused was far, far less than the harm caused by our way of life.Missionaries were high on the list of people that Griffiths most resented, because their mission was to destroy wild cultures, and convert wild people into literate, employed, Christian consumers In Peru, four different missionary groups, using helicopters and speed boats, competed to find uncontacted tribes They knew that they would import deadly diseases, but they didn t care In some places, half of the people died within two years of their arrival The priests blamed female shamans for the illness, and the angry people killed the shamans.Common gifts for the converts included axes, tobacco, clothing, and mirrors Mirrors enabled people to see their own faces, and becomeaware of their individuality Jesus saved individuals, not communities God lived in heaven, and the Earth was a realm of wickedness, so it didn t matter, it was worthless Missionaries built roads into the jungle, which were soon used by miners, loggers, and other destroyers Separated from the family of life, the modern heart gets hard.Missionaries forced the natives to surrender their sacred objects, which they burned Within two generations, traditional knowledge becomes extinct, because it is no longer being passed down to the young, who spend their days in classrooms Cultural genocide is emotionally shattering In one Brazilian tribe, over 300 natives committed suicide.In Australia, the invasion of civilization has been devastating for the Aborigines and their home, but the elders maintain a sense of patience, for the noxious cities are nothingthan ugly scabs Whites have never possessed the spirit of the land, which remains alive beneath the parking lots and shopping centers With time, the disease will pass the land will heal and thrive once again, to the best of its ability.Humans are not domesticated, we are genetically wild animals, but so many have been tamed Tamed creatures are dolt minded and dumb, insipid and bland, Griffiths tells us The tame are trained only to hear the voice of their tamer, having ears only for command Our wild genes scream in despair, as we go berserk with cage rage Sensible habits and good road safety skills will keep you alive till eighty So what If you didn t know freedom, you never lived The myth of human superiority has constructed an enormous ecocidal monstrosity, and its ongoing self destruction will result in unimaginable harm If we cannot find a way to return to our humble place in the family of life, we will have no future That s the message here I am refraining from high lighting passages of this book because I might as well just dunk the whole thing in highlighter I soak up her words like watermelon juice. Ms Griffith doesn t think like me This is the very reason I am reading this tome She is a radical feminist, anti Christian, anti corporate, and anti western civilization in her views I have found her challenging, engaging, often aggravating, but always a good story teller It has been a positive stretch for me to read this book. Twenty pages in, I decided that this was utterly unreadable Will not finish it. This book exhibits strong language and sexual references and my review contains one example of that towards the end I have checked that this does not violate the Goodreads review guidelines which you can read by following this link Although I apologise for any offence this may cause, I believe it is necessary to meet this author on her own ground, as I hope will become clear as you read on.In her teens Jay Griffiths had an experience of a strongly co This book exhibits strong language and sexual references and my review contains one example of that towards the end I have checked that this does not violate the Goodreads review guidelines which you can read by following this link Although I apologise for any offence this may cause, I believe it is necessary to meet this author on her own ground, as I hope will become clear as you read on.In her teens Jay Griffiths had an experience of a strongly conservative form of Christianity that left deep scars It is hard to tell from her brief description pp.323 4 just how long this period of her life was, but the experience was clearly profound Like many who are wounded in this way, she has a very strong but incomplete and therefore inaccurate picture of what Christianity is Sadly much of what she suspects is then reinforced by her encounters with other fundamentalist Christians as she travels to different parts of the world Seeing first hand much of the tragedies brought about by the spread of Europeans, including aggressive capitalists and missionaries sometimes in an unholy alliance , confirms her in her belief that it is a harmful faith There are painful, essential conversations to be had here about the appropriateness of Christian interventions in other cultures We have some of us learned our lessons the hard way Others have learned nothing at all.The strength of this book is therefore also its weakness Griffiths writes passionately She is not afraid to take sides But this wholeheartedness blinds her to some of the nuances that exist in the world as it is today Suspecting the Christian god to be malign she looks for evidence wherever she can and surprise, surprise finds it But this never amounts to a proper critique of Christianity, based as it is on supposition and lies She therefore sabotages her own argument For me this feeds two fears first that the thundering machinery of ignorance and prejudice continues to desecrate the human spirit second and farimportant that the real evils of colonialism go unabated, for an ineffective challenge is as bad as no challenge at all.Griffiths is at her best as most of us are when she concentrates upon what she loves Her command of English is impressive flowing, poetic, at times transcendent She demonstrates that the flint hard Saxon so often exiled from polite publication has its place and must not be ignored She gives voice to the profundity and profanities of nature in so many of her manifestations, and I found myself transported time and again, scanning whole sections so that I can revel in the sensuous, vital, living power of her words She is hardest to take when she is attacking the things she hates, mostly because her weapon is a scattergun everyone who looks like part of the problem whether they are or not is mown down I think I saw Jesus among the dead.Where I believe her to be wrong is that wilderness and wildness is not a problem for those who follow Christ unless and this is a human trait, we all do it we make it one Jesus went to the wilderness He was even offered the opportunity to change it, to tame it, to bend it to his will which he refused But the wilderness is frightening Many of us shy back from it The devil appears there, certainly, butsurely in the cities It is only in the wilderness where Satan is exposed and speaks with her his own voice For those of us who believe, Jesus is the face of one who, in love with the world, gives all he has thunder and cunt These things can be from God however you choose to name them, and they are good Self willed Yes, like their creator, who is also their lover Jesus self identification as the good shepherd is by contrast to the hired hand who runs away It is not about making everyone a sheep, it is about himself and his fierce passion, an intense fire We see his image in the West Papuans who become heedless p.305 of the British Indonesian bullets, for only the beloved matters Where do we read of Jesus taming, or advocating the taming, of any creature To whom indeed do those freedom fighters pray pp.302ff Wild was a book that chose me winking across a crowded library, causing me to change tack Endorsed by one of my favourite authors, Robert Macfarlane, I promised I would read it and have kept my promise It has been one of the most profound, vital and difficult books I have ever read, and I will not be the same again It took me a year and a half to finish this, simply because I didn t want it to finish this book It lay beside my bed as a Bible I have swallowed every single phrase out of this book, chewed it and dived into extreme details, wishing that kids learn all this in geography classes The author uses great figurative language and if you are not a native speaker, you can learn so much from her She uses words beautifully and has a coherent research for writing this novel I awe her attempts to find It took me a year and a half to finish this, simply because I didn t want it to finish this book It lay beside my bed as a Bible I have swallowed every single phrase out of this book, chewed it and dived into extreme details, wishing that kids learn all this in geography classes The author uses great figurative language and if you are not a native speaker, you can learn so much from her She uses words beautifully and has a coherent research for writing this novel I awe her attempts to find wilderness in the most remote places on Earth and elaborate on the destruction of wildlife by modern society *DOWNLOAD E-PUB ☠ Wild: An Elemental Journey ↡ In Wild, Jay Griffiths describes an extraordinary odyssey through wildernesses of earth, ice, water, and fire A poetic consideration of the tender connection between human society and the wild, the book is by turns passionate, political, funny, and harrowing It is also a journey into that greatest of uncharted lands the wilderness of the mind and Griffiths beautifully explores the language and symbolism that shape our experience of our own wildness Part travelogue, part manifesto for wildness as an essential character of life, Wild is a one of a kind book from a one of a kind author While I enjoyed the stories of her global travels and descriptions of other cultures and customs, I was intensely repelled by Ms Griffiths obvious deep seated hatred for so many things, especially white people and western civilization Ms Griffiths has a way with words and can weave beautiful, poetic images yet often resorts to crude slang If you enjoy odd philosophical meanderings and radical ideologies, pseudo intellectual eco socialism, and scathing attacks on the moralism and ethics o While I enjoyed the stories of her global travels and descriptions of other cultures and customs, I was intensely repelled by Ms Griffiths obvious deep seated hatred for so many things, especially white people and western civilization Ms Griffiths has a way with words and can weave beautiful, poetic images yet often resorts to crude slang If you enjoy odd philosophical meanderings and radical ideologies, pseudo intellectual eco socialism, and scathing attacks on the moralism and ethics of anyone who isn t a loincloth gird savage , this book is for you Wild a very confusing story should be the title I found the author jumped around alot in the book and although some of the description used in the book was very awe inducing, I found that she repeated herself quite alot I did not finish this book because after a while I found her writing to be annoying and she was a little bit condescending and patronising