November 03, 2011
Last updated: January 31, 2012
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When author Darrin Drda uses the word “global” he means it. Virtually no stone is left unturned in this call for a new perspective using age-old methods. A practicing Buddhist with a Master of Arts degree in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness, Drda takes a wide-angle look at the world, its troubles, and its promise. The all-inclusive approach threatens to create a disordered assortment of ideas, but Drda borrows structures from Buddhist philosophy to provide a framework for his thoughts.
At its core, The Four Global Truths applies the personal wisdom of the Buddha’s Four Noble Truths to the world as a whole. Drda’s extensive knowledge is apparent when he discusses the truth of suffering through a variety of lenses, from Greek history to space exploration. He works his way through the truth of the cause of suffering, including the growing awareness of self, and predicts that the end of suffering is possible. Drda extends his Buddhist framework with an Eight-Fold Path that will take us toward the end of suffering, focusing on “wise relation” with self, others, other species, the Earth, the feminine, space, time, and the divine.
Drda’s vast knowledge of science, history, religion, and philosophy support his argument that all things are connected and that we, as humans, can be a positive force in this system we call life. The book is best taken in small doses, as he covers so much territory in each chapter. It takes some contemplation to make the connections between topics that flow from Jainism to Stoicism to polyamory all in a few pages. Sometimes sacrificing depth for breadth, Drda offers capsule explanations of concepts like mindfulness meditation, which many have devoted lifetimes to studying. In this way, The Four Global Truths is a great jumping-off point for studying any of its topics in detail, and then coming back to the connections Drda has made here. There is a lot to learn.