Food & Farming

An Ecology of the Imagination

Video with Alastair McIntosh on Wednesday 12th July 2017

Watch Alastair McIntosh as part evening celebration of the WILD

This talk was given at an Advaya event in July 2017. It was part of the ‘ReWild’ series.


His book Spiritual Activism explores such paths of reconnection of the inner and outer worlds, which he argues is nothing less than learning how to sustain the flow of life. If we don’t do this, he states, “then our work will fall on stony ground, we’ll burn out or we’ll sell out.”

But how, in practice, can we tap into the healing power of land, its people and a sense of place? How, especially in the modern world? During the course of our evening together, he will speak about a twelve day pilgrimage that he made on foot through his home islands of the Outer Hebrides. “I ventured out to set afresh the compass of the soul,” he says. It was a journey from the city, over moors and mountain passes, and back towards the city once again. It was a pilgrimage into the nature of imagination.

He asks: is the imagination a quality that we privately possess? Or might the imagination be a part of a greater realm that contains the wilder reaches of ecology and of poetry? In the course of our evening, his words will touch on war, trauma and the great work of healing to which we’re called in these our troubled times. It will be a storytelling. A real-life storytelling about burning issues. But one that seeks to raise us up into the joy of life.

Alastair McIntosh is the author of Soil and Soul: People versus Corporate Power, and his sharing with us will draw on his most recent books, Spiritual Activism: Leadership as Service (Green Books) and Poacher’s Pilgrimage: an Island Journey (Birlinn). His work has been described as “inspirational” by Starhawk, “a map that leads the right way” by Dr Mary Midgley, “world-changing” by George Monbiot and “truly mental” by Thom Yorke.

Alastair McIntosh #

Alastair is one of the world’s leading environmental campaigners, distinguished in his ability to join together the outer and inner life. His book Spiritual Activism explores such paths of reconnection of the inner and outer worlds, which he argues is nothing less than learning how to sustain the flow of life. If we don’t do this, he states, “then our work will fall on stony ground, we’ll burn out or we’ll sell out.”

Read Alastair McIntosh’s profile