America: The Great Springtime

Even in life, death is all around us.  Stars are born and die, grass grows then withers; winter turns to spring, turns to summer, to autumn, and back again to winter.  Nothing stays.  Our life today will vanish tomorrow.

We live in a time when we have no answers anymore.  Those who think they have the answers are especially the ones who have no answers.  They are like dead leaves on dying branches.

Chaos is growing, like a whirling tornado drawing everything into its spinning maw.

Where is the meaning in all of this?

The child who was bombed in Beirut or Afghanistan or Iraq, or who died a slow disintegrating death of drugs or utter loss of hope in Chicago or Atlanta or New York – where is the meaning?

After the hurricane destruction in New Orleans, a prominent preacher was asked why God had allowed it to happen.  He did not know.

Traveling to a New AmericaFrom the old religions, there is no longer any answer at all.

This is the universe where now appears the Bomb.

Equal in might – even millions of times mightier – is the solitary self.

Why did the Bomb even appear if there was not some gathering force, a new and bold potential, about to emerge from the human heart.

What is necessary to make the change – that quantum leap into the new, emerging future of the human race?  It is one person alone.

Boundless is the as yet unrevealed power in the mind and heart of a single human being.  The solitary self rules the universe and the colliding monsters of galaxies devouring each other in intergalactic time and space and the trillions of universes unknown beyond our own, and the suns unnumbered spawning and dying out of dark black gravitational holes.

It is time for that person to take center stage.  It is a time for laughter and revelation.  It is a time of great spiritual transformation.

To feel the universe speaking through your own voice and mind, to find stars in your vision and feel the pulsing of deep energy flowing and surging up from within.  To know who you are.  To move unerringly.  To remember all that has gone before and treasure all memories, all greatness, all the love of mothers, all those unremembered and forgotten, all their voices and dreams, and to carry all this forth upon the wave of the birthing dream of Life itself.

At last, we discover who we are.

We are the great eternal ceremony of Life emerging from the dark Earth, bells ringing; solemn yet joyous, dancing, eternal.

We are becoming who we were meant to be.  We are becoming who we were all along.

These are the beginnings of the great Springtime.
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A New Myth for America BuddhismJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.

This year and next, he is talking to people everywhere – in coffee shops, on the streets, in parks – and holding talks and discussions in towns and cities all across America, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

Follow the journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks, readings, and discussions, either in-person or via Skype video, contact the author.

Traveling to a New America – Texas, January, 2018

Traveling to a New America“, a nationwide journey of hope and renewal, moves to Texas in January, 2018, to the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.

Filmmaker, speaker and author James Hilgendorf will be giving talks to groups and holding discussions with people everywhere – in coffee shops, on the streets, in all three cities during a five-day period from January 15th to January 19th.

Hilgendorf is also inviting people to be a part of this journey through a crowdfunding page at Kickstarter .

Kickstarter Traveling to a New America

“There’s so much divisiveness and turmoil in our country right now,” Hilgendorf says, “so much anger and loss of hope; but I feel that this is also a time of immense opportunity, of new beginnings, of an enormous shift in the way we look at ourselves, of our individual potential and the potential of these fifty states.”

A New Myth for America BuddhismHilgendorf is the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America.  One of these is “A New Myth for America“, which is the centerpiece of his readings and talks.

One reviewer wrote:

“I do believe a book like ‘A New Myth for America’ can not only spark an important dialogue in the world, but help us to look at the future with more hope, because we know that all is not lost”. – Cyrus Webb, “Conversations Book Club”

Texas is just the first stage in a seven-stage journey the author is beginning that will cover towns and cities throughout the Midwest, South, and East Coast, culminating in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts in July.

An example of his talks, readings, and dialogue is a recent stop in Taos, New Mexico, where he held a reading at SOMOS, Society of the Muse of the Southwest.

The post for that talk is on his Traveling to a New America Facebook Page.

Discussion at SOMOS in Taos, New MexicoA few comments from the audience in Taos were as follows:

“I was deeply moved by your talk.  It resonated on many levels.”

“It was inspiring and challenging.  The author is a combination of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bernie Sanders, Karl Marx, the Buddha, Ralph Nader, and Walt Whitman.”

“I enjoyed your presentation, especially your optimism and dedication.  I am inspired to remain optimistic in these changing times.”

For more information on the author, visit his website.

Traveling to a New America – Texas, January 2018

Traveling to a New AmericaTraveling to a New America, the nationwide journey of hope and renewal, moves to Texas in January, 2018, to the cities of San Antonio, Austin, and Houston.

Filmmaker, speaker and author James Hilgendorf will be giving talks to groups and holding discussions with people everywhere – in coffee shops, on the streets, in all three cities during a five-day period from January 15th to January 19th.

Hilgendorf is inviting people all across the United States to be a part of this journey by supporting the first stage of this trip through a crowdfunding page at Kickstarter .

“There’s so much divisiveness and turmoil in our country right now,” Hilgendorf says, “so much anger and loss of hope; but I feel that this is also a time of immense opportunity, of new beginnings, of an enormous shift in the way we look at ourselves, of our individual potential and the potential of these fifty states.

A New Myth for America BuddhismHilgendorf is the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America.  One of these is “A New Myth for America“, which is the centerpiece of his readings and talks.

One reviewer wrote:

“I do believe a book like ‘A New Myth for America’ can not only spark an important dialogue in the world, but help us to look at the future with more hope, because we know that all is not lost”. – Cyrus Webb, “Conversations Book Club”

Texas is just the first stage in a seven-stage journey the author is beginning that will cover towns and cities throughout the Midwest, South, and East Coast, culminating in Boston and Concord, Massachusetts in July.

An example of his talks, readings, and dialogue is a recent stop in Taos, New Mexico, where he held a reading at SOMOS, Society of the Muse of the Southwest.

The post for that talk is on his Traveling to a New America Facebook Page.

A few comments from the audience in Taos were as follows:

“I was deeply moved by your talk.  It resonated on many levels.”

“It was inspiring and challenging.  The author is a combination of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bernie Sanders, Karl Marx, the Buddha, Ralph Nader, and Walt Whitman.”

“I enjoyed your presentation, especially your optimism and dedication.  I am inspired to remain optimistic in these changing times.”

For more information on the author, visit his website.

ICAN, Nuclear Weapons, & A Christian Nation

ICAN – the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons – was recently awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize for Peace.

ICAN is a broad, inclusive campaign, focused on mobilizing civil society around the world to support the specific objective of negotiating a global nuclear weapon ban treaty.

On July 7th, 2017, many of the world’s nations voted to adopt a Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, an agreement that would outlaw nuclear weapons and provide a path to their eventual elimination.  Among those nations failing to support the treaty -  most notably those already possessing nuclear weapons – was the United States.

So why are we still one of the holdouts?

We claim nuclear weapons are essential for our defense and national security.  However, once unleashed, in a nuclear war, there is no defense for anyone against the mind-boggling destructive power of these horrific weapons.  They threaten the very survival of the Earth and all its inhabitants.

This is what happened at Hiroshima 70 years ago.  This was one bomb.  The missiles now carrying our updated nuclear arsenals are now loaded with bombs that are hundreds or even thousands of  times more destructive.  The horror of these weapons cannot be even imagined.

Many people in the United States pride themselves on being Christians.  How does that fit in with these bombs?  Many Christians utterly decry the possession and deployment of these weapons, yet many of them still live in and support and vote for a government that makes these weapons a cornerstone of its military policy – a government that is even now spending obscene amounts of money to modernize and expand our nuclear arsenals.

Here in America, we hold these weapons at the ready.  Given the circumstances, there is no doubt we would use them.  Why else would we have them?

Harriet Beecher StoweJust prior to the American Civil War, Harriet Beecher Stowe, who wrote “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, the great book documenting in passionate and heart-rending detail the tragic breakup of black Kentucky families sold down the river to slavery, stated:

“Up to this year, I have always felt that I had no particular call to meddle with this subject.  But I feel now that the time has come when even a woman or a child who can speak a word for freedom and humanity is bound to speak.”

The central theme of her book was that slavery and Christianity cannot co-exist.

What would Mrs. Stowe have to say now about nuclear weapons?

I think she would say that they, too, are incompatible with Christianity, or with any other religion that advocates the sanctity of life.

To incinerate millions, or even hundreds of millions of men, women and children in the blink of an eye – to push those buttons – this is something totally incompatible with the words and intent of the founders of all the major religions.

And yet we hold them.

So we are not a Christian nation.  We cannot hold that title.

If we were a truly Christian nation, we would never hold these weapons, or even consider the possibility of using them against other human beings.

What it tells us also is that our current religions – Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism – stand helpless in the face of this demonic, destructive, nuclear force within the human mind and psyche.

A new and more potent force is needed in our religious world if we are to rid ourselves once and for all of these satanic weapons.

Who are we?  How do we see ourselves?

Our current religions provide an identity, but these identities are too small.  These identities are separating us, not bringing us together.  Our religions are killing us even now, and threatening to annihilate everyone on the face of the Earth because of narrow, tribal differences.

We have to grow into a larger identity, or perish.  This larger identity is humanity.

Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, once stated a solution to the problem.  He said we need to come to a recognition of the Buddha being in all people and in all things.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said it another way:

“The highest revelation is that God is in every man.”

Do we kill God?  Do we blow up and incinerate God in the lives of hundreds of millions and billions of men and women living all over this planet?

Everyone says no; but the reality is that we are continually preparing to do just that.

A New Myth for America BuddhismAt this point in human history, we need a new story, a new myth, a new religion, to finally bring us together, one that has the power to unite all of us under the same umbrella of our human roots.

One such religion has now appeared.  It is the Soka Gakkai International, or SGI.  The SGI is now the largest Buddhist lay organization in the world, with 12,000,000 members in 192 countries and territories around the world.  Though still small, the SGI is growing exponentially,  transforming people’s lives at the core.

The SGI, in a very tangible fashion, is awakening people of all races, genders, cultures, and nationalities to their very deepest identity as human beings at one with the very universe itself.

This is the transformation that is coming.  This is the great new life of a civilization that is even now emerging and struggling to be born, here and now, not somewhere else, not after we die, but here on this planet Earth.

This is the force that is needed to finally break the shackles of the demonic mind that has bound us to the delusion that we are separate, a mind that could unleash a devilish power capable of destroying humanity itself.

The threat of nuclear weapons is an ever-present, ever-increasing challenge to each and every one of us, to our capacity to rise above our own self-centered ego, to embrace, with deep compassion, all of humanity, the vast universe around us, as one, or perish.

The Buddha is coming to America.

__________________

Traveling to a New AmericaJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

To arrange talks, contact the author.


Traveling to a New America – New England Roots

Traveling to a New AmericaTraveling to a New America, a journey to towns and cities all across America, with writer and speaker James Hilgendorf, will focus next summer on the New England states, culminating July 4th in Concord, Massachusetts, home of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller and other greats of the early American Renaissance.

Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books.

“There is so much divisiveness and turmoil in our country right now,”, he says, “so much anger and loss of hope; but I feel that this is also a time of immense opportunity, of new beginnings, of an enormous shift in the way we look at ourselves, of our individual potential and the potential of these fifty states.”

In the ensuing months, he will be giving talks and readings from his books in different parts of the country, and also listening to his audiences and recording their thoughts and feelings about where we are headed as a country and their ideas for a greater America, then sharing these thoughts and feelings out to a national audience on Facebook.

“Our great New England writers, speakers and poets,” he adds, “were always at the heart of the true, original dream of America – a dream that was corrupted by money and power in a shadow dream culminating in the America we see today, a land of division, chaos and unbridled arrogance of power.

“But even amid the fracturing of identities around the world, and the descent into political and social chaos here at home, a new world, a new America, is being born.”

Hilgendorf is a practicing Buddhist with the Soka Gakkai International, one of the largest Buddhist lay organizations in the world now, with 12,000,000 members in 192 countries and territories around the globe.  In the lives and works of Emerson, Thoreau, and Whitman, he sees a kindred spirit and philosophy that needs to be brought to the fore now, providing a spiritual foundation for the real America that is to come.

“Seeds of a great new spiritual civilization are sprouting everywhere” he says, “in this place, in that place, in common circumstances, like the distant crowing of a cock before the actual dawn.”

A recent appearance took him to Taos, New Mexico, where he spoke at SOMOS, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest.

The visit is recorded on his Facebook Page at:  http://bit.ly/2wvxJWl

Some comments from the audience were as follows:

“I was deeply moved by your talk.  It resonated on many levels.”

“It was inspiring and challenging.  The author is a combination of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bernie Sanders, Karl Marx, the Buddha, Ralph Nader, and Walt Whitman.”

“I enjoyed your presentation, especially your optimism and dedication.  I am inspired to remain optimistic in these changing times.”

A New Myth for America BuddhismOne of his books he is reading from is “A New Myth for America“, of which one reviewer wrote:

“I do believe a book like ‘A New Myth for America’ can not only spark an important dialogue in the world, but help us to look at the future with more hope, because we know that all is not lost”. – Cyrus Webb, “Conversations Book Club”

Hilgendorf is holding these talks and discussions, both in-person and via online Skype video, with interested groups, large and small.

“Small towns and villages, big cities, colleges,”he says, “anywhere people are interested in coming together to talk about our nation’s future.”

For more information on the author and his books, visit his website.  To discuss arrangements for talks and discussions, contact him directly.

America & The World – A New Spiritual Civilization Being Born

Amid the fracturing of identities around the world, and the descent into political and social chaos here at home in America, a new world is being born.

Seeds of a great new spiritual civilization are sprouting everywhere – in this place, in that place, in common circumstances, like the distant crowing of a cock before the actual dawn.

In politics today, we are seeing the ugly fruition of that shadowy, old underside dream of America, of money and arrogance and power that, far in our national past, corrupted the original pristine dream of America still lying unexpressed and unfulfilled in the hearts of men and women everywhere.

The Great New Emerging Civilization  BookFor America is more than the fifty States.  America is a dream at the heart of humanity.  And America is where this dream will unfold now and into the future.

Walt Whitman, our great national poet, spoke it well, though still vaguely:

“There will soon be no more priests.  Their work is done.  They may wait awhile, perhaps a generation or two, dropping off by degrees.  A superior breed shall take their place, the gangs of kosmos and prophets en masse shall take their place.  A new order shall arise and they shall be the priests of man, and every man shall be his own priest.  The churches built under their umbrage shall be the churches of men and women.  Through the divinity of themselves shall the kosmos and the new breed of poets be interpreters of men and women and of all events and things.  They shall find their inspiration in real objects today, symptoms of the past and future.  They shall not deign to defend immortality or God or the perfection of things or liberty or the exquisite beauty and reality of the soul.  They shall arise in America and be responded to from the remainder of the earth.”

America is one person, revealing the intent of the universe, come to fruition and bloom.

This is our task now, to scatter seeds of this new life, to plant them deep in peoples’ lives, to be revealed with astonishment in centuries to come.

What is this life to come?

It is awakening to our true identity, as the gods we worshiped in the past.  We are one with the universe.

Our greatest task is to expand our lives to the limits of the boundless space we see reflected in the mirror of the suns and moons and stars in our universe, to embrace everyone and everything, to summon forth our limitless potential and boundless compassion for all of life and life’s manifestations.

The Buddha is coming to America.

This year and next, author and speaker James Hilgendorf will be traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people, giving talks and readings from his books, and recording people’s thoughts and feelings about our country, the state of this land, and what their vision is of a greater America.

____________________

Traveling to a New AmericaJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  You can follow his journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

The Core of the Soul is the Core of the Universe

The core of the soul is the core of the universe.

To sync one’s heart with the greater life is to enable unlimited potential power.

To believe this, in the depths of your being, is what is required to bring it forth.  There is no limit.

Faith, and action; moving on your dreams.

The universe must eventually yield up and bend to the wishes of a solitary single soul.

Thus, I will never give in.

_______________________

Traveling to a New AmericaJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people, giving talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

Follow the journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks, contact the author.

A Call For New American Voices – Traveling to a New America

Traveling to a New America“Traveling to a New America”, a journey to towns and cities all across America with writer and speaker James Hilgendorf, is looking for Americans of all ages and backgrounds to join in sharing their voices about an unprecedented dialogue on the future of our country.

Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, who is passionate about bringing forth the unlimited potential, not only of individual Americans, but of America itself.

He states:

“There is so much divisiveness and turmoil in our country right now, so much anger and loss of hope; but I feel that this is also a time of immense opportunity, of new beginnings, of an enormous shift in the way we look at ourselves, of our individual potential and the potential of these fifty states.”

He is talking and reading from his books, as well as listening to members of his audience and recording their thoughts and feelings about where we are headed, and solutions for a greater America, then sharing these ideas out to a national audience on Facebook.

Taos, New Mexico  SOMOS  Book ReadingA recent appearance took him to Taos, New Mexico, where he spoke at SOMOS, the Society of the Muse of the Southwest.

The visit is recorded on his Facebook Page at:  http://bit.ly/2wvxJWl

Some comments from the audience were as follows:

“I was deeply moved by your talk.  It resonated on many levels.”

“It was inspiring and challenging.  The author is a combination of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bernie Sanders, Karl Marx, the Buddha, Ralph Nader, and Walt Whitman.”

“I enjoyed your presentation, especially your optimism and dedication.  I am inspired to remain optimistic in these changing times.”

One of his books is “A New Myth for America“, of which one reviewer wrote:

“I do believe a book like ‘A New Myth for America’ can not only spark an important dialogue in the world, but help us to look at the future with more hope, because we know that all is not lost”. – Cyrus Webb, “Conversations Book Club”

Hilgendorf is holding these talks and discussions, both in-person and via online Skype video, with interested groups, both large and small.

“Small towns and villages, big cities, colleges,”he says, “anywhere people are interested in coming together to talk about our nation’s future.”

He added, “President Abraham Lincoln once stated: ‘My dream is of a place and a time where America will once again be seen as the last best hope of Earth.’  Let’s move together toward that dream.”

For more information about Hilgendorf, and to contact him, visit his website.

Traveling to a New America – Florida State University

Traveling to a New America – Florida State University

Last week, I gave a talk, via Skype video, with members of the Department of Dance at Florida State University.

Cape Town Minstrels South AfricaThe group, under the direction of celebrated choreographer Millicent Johnnie, is creating a performance centered around the annual Minstrel’s Carnival in Cape Town, South Africa.

About fifteen years ago, my brother John and I had visited Cape Town and produced a 40-minute documentary about the city.  One of the sections of the film was a three-minute interview with an older man, Noor Ibrahim, who lived in what is called District Six at the time of apartheid. Millicent’s dance troupe saw this interview, and asked to use the audio as part of their dance performance, and also asked me to talk to the dancers about my experience in Cape Town.

District Six was an extremely cosmopolitan area of the city in the 1960′s, with people of all backgrounds, races, religions, cultures, with everyone getting along very well with one another.

In the 1960′s, the apartheid government chose to designate District Six a whites-only area, and proceeded to bulldoze all the buildings in the District and remove all the black and colored men, women and children to barren land just southeast of the center of the city, which came to be called the Flats.  People were just dumped there, with no facilities.  Families were divided, broken up.  The government wanted to create a State based upon white supremacy.  The Dutch Reformed Church was in league also with the government, and supported apartheid.

While in Cape Town, my brother and I visited Khayelitsha, one of the large townships in the flats.  We visited a small prefabricated school which had been donated by a Rotary Club in Germany for the children there, and interviewed the teacher.  The area around was devastated, with most people living in simple timber or metal shacks.  Young children were filling pails with water at the only open public water faucet available in the area.  This was the legacy of apartheid.  From reading reports, I don’t think too much has changed since I was there.  The problem has been difficult and enormous.

District Six, at its height, was also – and still is – intimately associated with the yearly celebration on January 2nd of each year, called the Cape Town Minstrel Festival.

The festival had its origins in the colonial era of the early 1800’s, when slavery was rife.  The ancestors of today’s Cape Minstrels, local slaves, were given only one day off a year – January 2nd – when they could celebrate and let loose – the day after January 1, when their masters had celebrated the new year.

In 1862, the internationally renowned Christy’s Minstrels visited the Cape from the United States, and for the next several years staged minstrel shows, which were believed to have contributed greatly to the birth of the Cape Minstrels and  Cape Town Carnival.  Christy’s Minstrels were a troup of white men and women who painted their faces black and whited out their eyes.  They brought American music with them, as did other minstrel groups.

The music celebration of January 2nd in Cape Town was a powerful binding force in creating cohesion and a sense of freedom, even amid the oppressive years of apartheid.  It helped to build bridges between the communities after the apartheid era. It is still a day when the community that survived slavery, segregation and apartheid celebrates its existence and perseverance.  It is a celebration of freedom.

Apartheid attempted to divide and separate black and colored communities, and create a state based upon white supremacy.  District Six was a blatant example of this.

But this is not simply a story of the past.  The struggle continues.  There are forces all over the world seeking to divide people.

Here in the United States, for instance, we are seeing old antagonisms emerge once again – battles over Confederate statues, over issues of white supremacy and racism – issues we thought we had finally buried with the Civil War and the passage of civil rights legislation.

These forces live among us.  As an example, the President himself recently rescinded DACA – the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – which protected eligible immigrant youth who came to the United States when they were children from deportation.  Without this protection, whole families could be fractured.  Behind all of this is the same familiar impulse, the same impulse that leveled and destroyed District Six with its cosmopolitan community – destroy, divide, break up and render impotent, this is the idea – elevate the idea of the supremacy of one heritage, one race, one nation, one culture, one people.

The impulse that attempts to divide, to break apart, to sever relations with the broader world around, to retreat into the smaller, more familiar and isolated world of the past, is an impulse that will lead inevitably to disaster, both personally and as a nation.  Life is constantly seeking a broader expression.

President Barack Obama once said it well:

“For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.  We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus, and non-believers.  We are shaped by every language and culture, drawn from every end of this Earth; and because we have tasted the bitter swill of civil war and segregation, and emerged from that dark chapter stronger and more united, we cannot help but believe that the old hatreds shall someday pass; that the lines of tribe shall soon dissolve; that as the world grows smaller, our common humanity shall reveal itself; and that America must play its role in ushering in a new era of peace.”

__________________

Traveling to a New AmericaJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is reaching out to towns and cities all across America, meeting people, holding talks, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

Follow the journey on Facebook.

To arrange talks and discussions, contact the author.


Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, New Mexico

Mabel Dodge Luhan House, Taos, New MexicoLast week, while giving a talk and leading a discussion at SOMOS – Society of the Muse of the Southwest – in Taos, Mexico, Elizabeth and I stayed for two nights at the Mabel Dodge Luhan House in Taos.

The House is a National Historic Landmark.

In 1917, Mabel, a rich heiress, and former famous patron of the arts in New York City, moved to Taos, where she began a literary colony.

The House became a magnet for visiting influential artists, poets, writers and other famous people, including such personages as Willa Cather, Robinson Jeffers, Georgia O’Keefe, Aldous Huxley, Carl Jung, Thornton Wilder, Martha Graham, Ansel Adams and others.

Perhaps the most famous of her visitors was the English writer D. H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda.  They became close; and eventually Mabel gifted a 160 acre ranch north of Taos to Lawrence, which he loved, and where he lived, off and on, for a total of about a year between his other travels.  In return, Frieda gifted the original manuscript of one of Lawrence’s most famous novels, “Sons and Lovers”, to Mabel.

Mabel fell in love with the American Indian culture (later marrying an Indian chief, Tony Luhan), feeling it was an antidote to the fractured life of modern humanity.  She hoped that her home, with influential people coming from all over the world, would become the center of a new rebirth of Western civilization.

D. H. Lawrence Taos New Mexico

D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence also dreamed of founding a utopian community, to be called Rananim, where humanity’s spiritual life and needs would begin to find a new rebirth.  He hoped that it might be in Taos, but that was not to be.

Lawrence dreamed of finding a new home, with other people, a place of renewal, apart from the materialistic civilization, founded upon money, that he sensed crashing everywhere he went.  His whole life was a search for this opening into a new mode of living, a new life for humanity.  He knew it was there.  He knew it would come, but he was ahead of his time.

We are now moving through that time.

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, injustice, hatred and war.  It is the compassionate heart of the universe itself coming to fruition and bloom.

____________________

Traveling to a New AmericaJames Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books that are opening the way to a new vision of ourselves, a new dream of America, a new religion for the world.  This year and next, he is traveling to towns and cities all across America, meeting people and holding talks and discussions, under the banner of “Traveling to a New America“.

Follow the journey on Facebook.

To set up talks, contact the author.