From the book:
"Every great civilization has had its own myth, a cosmic story of how we fit into the universe, a divine story of who we are and where we came from.
"Now all the old myths have crumbled to dust.
"What we crave is a new consciousness
The Title "Poems of Death" comes from a passage in Walt Whitman's "Democratic Vistas, in which he wrote:
"In the future of these States, must arise poets immenser far, and make great poems of death."
Whitman was actually referring not to death its
"Life & Death: A Buddhist Perspective" provides a wide-ranging overview of Buddhist insights into life and death, including correlations with science, psychology, and near-death experiences research.
The author draws on many sources - from writers
"The Buddha and The Dream of America" is another of James Hilgendorf's books aimed at revealing a new vision of America - a vision encompassing everything that has transpired in the past, yet transfigured now - voices, dreams, peoples, the Dream that
In 2007, the author - a highly-acclaimed video producer - interviewed people throughout the United States about nuclear weapons and nuclear waste, and then traveled to Hiroshima, Japan, where he interviewed the Mayor of Hiroshima, visited the site of
From the book:
"A new spiritual civilization, beyond even age-old dreams, beyond anything we have yet imagined, is struggling to be born. It is here and now. It grows from the wreckage of despair, of lost hope, of pollution, greed, in justice, ha
AMERICA'S DIALOGUE I
America's Dialogue originally grew out of a desire to create a national platform for dialogue on specific important issues facing us today.
The first project centered around the issue of nuclear weapons. As a video producer, I felt impelled to add something to the discussion surrounding this topic. At that time, I came across an article in the September 14th, 1946 issue of the Saturday Review magazine - about a year after the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima - by Norman Cousins, internationally known writer and advocate for justice, peace and a better world, who wrote:
"What the country needs today is a moratorium on its normal activity, habits, and general routine; which is to say, a moratorium on trivia in order to acquire a basic literacy on the questions of our time. Let us have a National Concentration Week, during which we can ponder not only the implications of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, moral and political, but the problem of competitive national sovereignty in an atomic age. Let all our communication and educational resources be mobilized for the articulation of a set of national values on which a platform for leadership might be built. If it did nothing else, it might at least enable the American people to recognize a crisis when they see one and are in one."
This became the idea for the first America's Dialogue. I traveled to Hiroshima and interviewed the Mayor of Hiroshima and two survivors of the Hiroshima bomb, interviewed other people around the United States, and finally put together a video.
I thought that this idea of Cousin's, of a National Concentration Week when people could gather and begin to talk about the future of our country, was a wonderful idea.
I sent personal emails to about 10,000 individuals and organizations, telling them of the plan to hold national grassroots discussions the week of April 14-22, 2007. I placed the full 42-minute video on YouTube, and free DVDs were sent to those groups who requested them for showings and discussions. During that week in April, many individuals and groups all across the country participated in the first America's Dialogue discussion. Hundreds of thousands of viewers have since seen the video on YouTube. You can still view Part I and Part II on YouTube.
AMERICA'S DIALOGUE II
Health Care is an issue which we all need to be more informed about. The waste and inefficiency in our health care system is enormous, and we could learn a great deal from other countries. In 2008, after having traveled and interviewed many health care professionals, I produced a 27-minute video on health care, which I once again made freely available to groups around the country. The video is still available on YouTube.
AMERICA'S DIALOGUE III
Brothers John & Jim Hilgendorf
In 2008 and 2009, as a new President - Barack Obama - was coming into office, my brother John and I traveled to 23 Universities all across the country to interview students about what they felt were the most important issues to them - issues and directions that they would like to see addressed by the new government and President. Over 100 students responded, and we made a short video of each of them, posted them on YouTube, and the students themselves became part of the process by sending out video links to their friends and acquaintances. The videos are still available on YouTube.
AMERICA'S DIALOGUE IV
In 2010, I had the honor of doing a video interview with Mrs. Byrganym Aitimova, Ambassador to the United Nations from Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan was one of the major nuclear powers in the world, but after the breakup of the Soviet Union and achieving independence, Kazakhstan renounced the use of nuclear weapons and dismantled its nuclear arsenal. Mrs. Aitimova spoke of this and about her general pride in her country. She helped me locate 13 Kazakhstan students, living and attending school in various parts of the world, and I interviewed them on Skype video and posted the videos on YouTube. I was very impressed with these young people, and with their pride in their country - which in many respects is a model for racial and religious harmony. The videos can still be viewed on YouTube.
Jim Hilgendorf and Mrs. Byrganym Aitimova.