It's not a work of fiction, in the way that The Fakir of Florence is, because it has been very thoroughly researched and double-checked through a wide range of sources, which are listed at the back.
But at the same time it's not an essay, or a collection of essays, in the style of most of my other titles.
This ambiguity of genre is deliberate, at least on an unconscious level!
When I first started writing books, I was at great pains to point out that I am not a professional academic and do not write with the intention of being accepted within that milieu.
But, inevitably, because I like to do my research properly, and often address questions of interests to academics, my writing has been regarded within that context.
And that's not always a good thing – I write in what academics call a "polemical" style, which goes against the studied "neutrality" with which they are obliged to address their subject matter.
I don't write so much about ideas, movements and philosophies as from them. I am expressing my opinions, even if I muster up plenty of other voices to amplify and deepen what I am saying and place it in a broader cultural context.
With The Green One there can be no confusion about this. For a start, I decided to use the first personal singular – "I" – throughout much of the book. It is The Green One her/himself who addresses the reader and describes all the different forms he/she can take.
No serious academic, or would-be serious academic, would do that, so there is no point in taking this book as an attempted contribution to that world.
It is instead an interpretation – a poetic interpretation I would say, even though it is written in prose – of a certain force that I have identified and named.
This force does not "exist" in the way that a river or a mountain or a bus exists. Although I draw heavily on mythology from around the world, I am not presenting the various spirits, goddesses and other entities as having a reality independent of the human mind.
Instead, I view them as aspects of our collective human consciousness. More precisely, I view them as diverse forms of one aspect of our collective consciousness – the universal human awareness that we are physically, and thus also psychologically, part of nature and the universal human awareness that this belonging is crucially important.
Towards the end of the book, I explain how this awareness changes form in the face of adversity and how The Green One then assumes pro-active, revolutionary, guises as the struggle against nature-hating capitalism, as the philosophy behind this struggle, as the desire to reassert this philosophy in the face of the sterile industrial dogmas which stifle authentic ways of thinking and being.
Ultimately, I would say, the book called The Green One is itself a manifestation of The Green One.
Perhaps that is why it felt so right to have her/him speaking directly from its pages!