03 Sep 2015
The Resurgence Poetry Prize welcomes former monk and long-term peace and environmental activist, Satish Kumar, who has been quietly setting the Global Agenda for change for over 50 years – to talk on Soil, Soul, Society.
Human aspirations have often been expressed in trinities. Father, Son and Holy Spirit inspire the Christian vision. Life, liberty and pursuit of happiness focused American aspirations. Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité drove the French Revolution. Mind, Body and Spirit was at the heart of the New Age movement.
Now in the age of ecology, Soil, Soul, Society is a new trinity, to inspire us to work towards a holistic world-view. Thus we can act to bring environment, spirituality and humanity together.
Satish Kumar was just nine when he left his family home to join the wandering Jains and 18 when he decided he could achieve more back in the world, campaigning for land reform in India and working to turn Gandhi’s vision of a renewed India and a peaceful world into reality. Inspired in his early 20s by the example of the British peace activist Bertrand Russell, Satish embarked on an 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage together with E.P. Menon. Carrying no money and depending on the kindness and hospitality of strangers, they walked from India to America, via Moscow, London and Paris, to deliver a humble packet of ‘peace tea’ to the then leaders of the world’s four nuclear powers. In 1991, Schumacher College, a residential international centre for the study of ecological and spiritual values, was founded, of which he is the Director of Programmes.
He is the author of Path Without Destination (William Morrow, 2000) and You Are Therefore I Am (Green Books, 2002). Satish Kumar has written the “Introduction” to Seeing God Everywhere: Essays on Nature and the Sacred and The “Foreword” to On the Origin of Beauty: Ecophilosophy in the Light of Traditional Wisdom, by John Griffin.