Glenn Aparicio Parry, PhD, of Basque, Aragon Spanish and Jewish descent, is the author of the Nautilus award-winning book, Original Thinking: A Radical Revisioning of Time, Humanity, and Nature (North Atlantic Books) and an educator, ecopsychologist and political philosopher whose passion is to reform thinking and society into a coherent, cohesive whole.
The founder and past president of the SEED Institute, Parry is currently the director of a grass-roots think tank, the Circle for Original Thinking. Parry organized and participated in the groundbreaking Language of Spirit conferences from 1999-2011 that brought together Native and Western scientists in dialogue, moderated by Leroy Little Bear. He has appeared in several documentary films, including Journey to Turtle Island by Spanish film maker Miryam Servet, and SEEDing Change: A Retrospective of the Language of Spirit Dialogues, directed by Joyce Anastasia and produced by the Foundation for Global Humanity.
Parry is a member of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and the Theosophical Society as part of a life-long interest in bridging the arts and sciences. His first career was as a rock and roll booking agent in Woodstock, NY. He has lived in northern New Mexico since 1994.
Read our review of Parry’s latest book, Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again, as well as our in-depth interview.
Your biggest literary influences:
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, David Abram, Linda Hogan, Gary Snyder, Paula Gunn Allen, Gregory Cajete, Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, Vine Deloria, Jr., Dan Moonhawk Alford, David Bohm, Krishnamurti, Carl Jung, James Hillman, Sri Aurobindo, Jean Gebser, Madame Blavatsky, Bruce Johansen, Sally Roesch Wagner, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Hannah Arendt, Simone de Beauvoir, O. Wilson, Charles Darwin, Homer, Joseph Campbell, William James and Buckminster Fuller.
Last Book Read:
Seeing Through the World: Jean Gebser and Integral Consciousness by Jeremy Johnson
The book that changed your life:
If I must pick one book, I choose Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Essays, and this quotation in particular: “All our progress is an unfolding, like the vegetable plant. You first have an instinct, then an opinion, then a knowledge, as the plant has root, bud, and fruit. Trust the instinct to the end, though you can render no reason. It is vain to hurry it. By trusting it to the end, it shall ripen into truth and you shall know why you believe.”
There are also two academic courses that changed my life: Magic, Witchcraft, and Alchemy: The Occult and the Emergence of Modern Science (NYU, 1982), and Anthropological Linguistics by Dan Moonhawk Alford (CIIS, 1983). Moonhawk, who became my mentor into Native America, described himself as “standing at the lonely intersection of Native America, quantum physics, language, and consciousness” — and that was what the course was all about.
Your favorite literary character:
Odysseus. The hero’s journey of Odysseus was my earliest influence on life as a circle. The trials and tribulations of life are not accomplished in a linear progression of causes and effects; instead, life is a journey of non-linear, radically interrelated parts. The life of one person, and life in general, is all part of a Sacred Hoop of interconnection.
Currently working on:
I am currently working on a third book in a trilogy that includes Original Thinking, Original Politics, and now, Original Love. The fact that Original Politics ends with love is not a coincidence. The first book outlined an overall philosophy; the second its application in the world; and the third, a pathway for remembering our original love for Mother Earth. It is Mother Earth that we came from and will return to; it is love for her that must be rekindled if humanity is to survive and thrive.
Words to live by:
See Emerson quotation above.
Advice for aspiring authors:
“Follow your bliss” (with apologies to Joseph Campbell). Another way of saying this is to find your center. Find the thread that unites your life experience, and faithfully follow that thread, like Ariadne, out of the labyrinth and in the direction of your heart’s desire. When you are called to a project, answer the call. If you are on the right path, the muses and elemental spirits will guide you.
Articles and Reviews:
Indigenous Policy Journal
“Some people are aware of the impact Native cultures had on the development of the US. The vast majority are not. Original Politics finds a unique way of telling the true story.”
— Harlan McKosato (Sac and Fox Nation), former host of the nationally syndicated radio show Native America Calling
“Parry’s richly-textured book holds out hope and guidance for this moment of political conflict over diversity amid fear for the continuation of life on the planet. Inviting us to see how this challenge is the stimulus to transform the conflict into unity of purpose, the author provides us with a roadmap for how to do it through a new worldview that reestablishes an Indigenous connection with the natural world. This worldview privileges place over time, relationship over product, and revalues the feminine, enabling us to rebalance culturally and ensure the survival of life on the planet.”
— Sally Roesch Wagner, founding director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation and author of Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee Influence on Early American Feminists and The Women’s Suffrage Movement.
“Thank you, thank you, Niawen (in Mohawk), K’olabal (in Maya Tzotzil), muchas gracias, merci beaucoup, to you. If all “white” people held such a deep consciousness for Natives as you do, the world would already be truly blessed and sacred. There is no way one can say neutral when reading you, I’m crying, I’m touched, shaking and totally stirred up! This is all so good in spirit.”
— Ohki Simine Forest (Canadian Mohawk), author of Dreaming the Council Ways
“In a fractured time when a rude politics of nationalism rides in the high saddle as the climate crisis and many other environmental problems demand effective international co-operation, the world needs Glenn Aparicio Parry’s Original Politics: Making America Sacred Again. Engagingly written, mixing the best of the past and present, the indigenous and immigrant, appreciating everyone’s beauty: that is how we forge a sustainable future. Parry traces a path. Life on Earth will be better if everyone — everyone, regardless of race, religion, and class — re-learns what many indigenous ancestors call “the original instructions.” Read this book, enjoy it, and pass the word: we cooperate, or we face a hot, miserable future world squabbling over toxic crumbs.”
— Bruce E. Johansen, author of Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shape Democracy and The Iroquois: The History & Culture of Native Americans.
“In a brilliant historical retelling, Original Politics makes clear that America’s sacred legacy — while appearing to have fallen in the ditch of a crude and phony populism — is destined to be a thriving pluralistic democracy and a sanctuary of ecological values.”
— James O’Dea, former president of The Institute of Noetic Sciences and author of Cultivating Peace and The Conscious Activist.