If I let the “concept” that the Earth is a feeling, speaking, etc. being and can speak to us, rise in my head, it becomes dicey and there is resistance.
However, if I think about it and simply let its speaking and writing or feeling way of communicating affect me, I feel good. I discover several, often very small, elements, with which I can resonate. Even without having gone a path like the author’s.
But his work, or should I say what he has lived through and his way of letting one share in it, creates trust. Coherence arises. I feel harmonious. His gentle, almost delicate way of letting the book flow and of always being present with his person, ensure that resistance doesn’t even arise in the first place or is not necessary. Beautiful.
~ J. Wittig
From Amazon.com review page:
This book is a bit out of the ordinary. I’m a scientifically thinking kind of a guy, and I had to take a good long rest – several months – about halfway through. But something pulled me back to it, and I just now finished. I’m giving it five stars not because I consider it the best thing I ever read, but more because I got important ideas from it that I don’t think I could have gotten anyplace else. The author is a clear thinker and a very good writer, and the experiences of his life were so different from mine, that I kept having little surprise shifts-of-perspective as I read, all the way through. By the end, I felt that his willingness to let the earth speak in its own words (however you want to take that) had allowed him to glimpse something true and important. It’s fairly short. It’s actually a page-turner in its own way, I kept wondering what was next – I’m going to be interested to see how the ideas here set and gel over time with the more standard scientific stuff I routinely read.
~ Pete Wakeman (Dillon, MT, US)
(The following is not a review in the strict sense of the word, since the author was consulted and provided valuable input during the editing phase of this book.)
Julio Lambing, Cologne, March 1, 2012
Recommendation for the book “I Am With You: The Earth Speaks to Us“
My friend Sten Linnander has published a book. The contents seem simple enough: A man climbs a mountain and receives messages from the Earth, which he is asked to share with humanity. The first message is: “I, the Earth, am alive and conscious. I act consciously. I have free will.” That is not all or even the most original thing that the Earth says, for the author describes what the Earth thinks regarding a number of topics that affect humans.
At first glance this book seems like another attempt to establish a prophet on the New Age market: “See here, the Earth speaks and here is its chosen ambassador.” But Sten Linnander is not cut out to be a prophet. He is too self-ironic, too skeptical toward known esoteric stereotypes and clichés, too self-critical and too humble.
I have known Sten Linnander for 20 years. I value him as a cosmopolitan free thinker from a distinguished family from the Swedish upper class, whose intellectual originality and personal integrity has rightly opened doors for him all over the world. I am continuously impressed by how he moves like a fish in the water of the heretical environment of serious researchers, inventors and thinkers who challenge our traditional world view beyond the scientific mainstream. There is hardly anyone that he is not aware of, and he has personally met a large number of them. The same is true of quite a few open spirits in political, governmental and spiritual circles and a number of original avant-garde representatives of the most varied subcultures. If one describes him like this in his presence, he will deny it. But if one listens intently to what he says, with whom he has collaborated during the past decades and who all has opened their doors to him and obviously take him seriously as a discussion partner, and which initiatives and projects he has visited, then you quickly realize that this denial may be understandable, but not applicable. I therefore regard it as a special honor to have been allowed to critically accompany the creation of this book during the past year.
Today, the media sometimes praise a book as being an intellectual adventure. But it is only seldom that the claim to challenge to our fundamental conceptual categories, patterns of interpretation, evaluations and behavioral dispositions is justified. If one assumes that Sten Linnander is not a charlatan and not a narcissist with a strong streak of megalomania, then his little book can provide exactly that. And this contributes greatly to the pleasure of reading it: What would be the consequences if the Earth were truly a conscious, self-aware being with the ability to communicate? For example, what would be the ethical implications: What modes of behavior, among those we must adopt toward other people for all of us to be able to lead good lives, would then logically have to be adopted toward the Earth, if we seriously regard her as being a person? This question alone takes us beyond the scope of traditional ecological ethics. It becomes even more challenging if our relationship with the Earth is as intimate as it is claimed and illustrated here. For then it is not only the paradigm of our inter-subjective interactions in general that applies, but also the paradigm of trust and intimate connection that we know from the personal relationship between parents and their children or between lovers. What virtues do we then need, and what new responsibilities does this lead to? Similarly wide-ranging consequences can be deduced regarding our understanding of our consciousness. I would here like to touch upon just one example: If we humans (and monkeys, dolphins, pigs) see ourselves as living, conscious beings who live on Earth, and if at the same time the Earth is a conscious being, then what is the relationship between the consciousness of each being in general and also between the streams of consciousness to each other?
The book does not pursue these issues, nor can it do so. This also applies to the many topics and theses that are addressed and stated in the book. But the book is like the author himself: in a small amount of space it offers a rich treasure of original new perspectives regarding our understanding of life. It is worthwhile to enter into its magic. This is especially true for what Sten Linnander has written down as the content of his conversations with the Earth. These parts are clearly delineated through the typeface and consist of passages of unique poetry and beauty. But the same is true for the interspersed comments by Sten Linnander himself, which are formulated in a clear, simple language and which include his own experiences and thoughts that help us to interpret the passages from the Earth. They are characterized by personal honesty and intellectual incorruptibility. Sten Linnander makes no secret of his being clearly well versed in today’s esoteric categories and interpretations and has himself engaged in a number of practices. He shares many concepts and topics that have come out of the modern culture of self-experience and the New Age milieu. But at the same time he is a scientist, albeit a heretically inclined one, but he knows that the impressive fact that the Earth speaks does not free us from the duty of critical thinking.
It is not necessary to agree with everything in the book – and neither should one, in my opinion. Neither the Earth itself, nor the one that it has chosen as its conversation partner, is immune to stating nonsense, one-sided statements or popular mistakes (whereby it would be interesting to know what “popular” means in terms of the Earth). As one example of many, it is highly probable that the fact that the Earth attaches such a high significance to heteropolar sexuality between men and women is due to the fact that her dialog partner has spent a significant part of his life in projects that are thus characterized. People who are sensitized to heteronormative concepts of interpretation and for whom the Queer movement is close to their hearts, will rightly frown at this.
One could enumerate more things that would provoke, for example, my protest. But this only insignificantly detracts from the value of the book. We can all profit from its main concern. I therefore recommend it to anyone who takes joy in unusual, challenging thoughts and who regards him/herself as truly having an open mind.
Julio Lambing is a social activist and writer, who cares theoretically and practically about a commons sensitive industrial society. He is also the managing director of an international business association dealing with the conversion of our combustion-orientated economy, UN climate politics and climate justice. To reconcile the idea of sustainability with the achievements of our modern age, he argues in favor of learning from diverse milieus and (sub-)cultures in order to attain a fusion of novel technologies, economies and sustainable ways of life. Lambing himself has been involved with alternative lifestyle projects for twenty years. He is engaged in various social initiatives and intentional communities and has a strong interest in ancient and animistic traditions on the one hand and new family structures on the other.