cover image The Dreaming Path: Indigenous Ideas to Help Us Change the World

The Dreaming Path: Indigenous Ideas to Help Us Change the World

Paul Callaghan, with Uncle Paul Gordon. HarperOne, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-332126-7

Aboriginal Australian storyteller Callaghan (Iridescence) and mentor and elder Gordon share wide-ranging Aboriginal wisdom for individuals and communities in this introspective offering. Mixing history, commentary, and spiritual parables, the authors explore gratitude (according to Aboriginal values, mundane tasks should be reframed as opportunities to exercise “goodwill and love”); resilience (which entails “taking care of ourselves physically, spiritually, and mentally” during times of hardship); and caring for the planet as both a “spiritual directive” and matter of “practical significance.” Earth “gives us everything we need to live a good life,” the authors write, but only if it’s treated as an object of collective care rather than “an asset/resource to be bought, sold, drilled, cut, mined... controlled, and conquered.” Gordon’s meditative voice meshes well with Callaghan’s explanatory prose, gracefully bridging the gap between Aboriginal tradition and Western social realities—as when Callaghan touches on an attempted job move that fell through for the better (Aboriginal wisdom holds that “traveling down dead-end roads and taking detours on our journey” can be necessary for “achiev[ing] our life’s purpose”) and his struggles with depression, which spurred him to connect to his culture. Readers will treasure this. (Nov.)