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February 2014

Helen Keller, Inspiration for the Ages

Photograph of Helen Keller at age 8 with her tutor Anne Sullivan on vacation in Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Helen Keller was a normal child, until, at age 19 months, she contracted an illness which left her both blind and deaf for the rest of her life. After several terrible, lonely years, […]

America: A Look into the Mirror

America has always been about much more than the old American Dream of material progress. At the deepest level, it concerns the flowering of the individual.  This is the true meaning of democracy. But this requires a transformation in the way we see ourselves.  We possess unlimited powers of self-development, but we have not been […]

The Power of Perseverance

Many times, the key to overcoming problems and surmounting obstacles, is a simple thing – simple, yet difficult. It’s called perseverance.  Hanging in there, when everything seems to tell you there’s no way out, it’s impossible. At that moment, summon up the strength to continue.  Keep going, and doors will open. James Hilgendorf is the […]

Dream Big, New Visions of America

Our dream of America has become too small.  Our energies are vastly misplaced. The original dream of America was something that could contain the universe. Our great dream for this country, born out of the early American Renaissance, led by Thoreau, Emerson, Walt Whitman and their likes, was infinitely more than the sad and constrained […]

Different Drummers: Thoreau & the American Dream

Henry David Thoreau famously wrote: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.  Let him step to the music which he hears, however, measured or far away.” Thoreau, Emerson, Whitman – they were all great individualists.  Their writings comprised a vision of what America […]

What’s It All About? Life & Death Looking Backward.

In 2006, I made a trip to Hiroshima, Japan, to the atomic bomb memorial at the center of the city. It was springtime, and the cherry blossoms were out in full bloom.  The city was beautiful, and young school children were flooding the streets. No one could ever guess the horrific destruction that had once […]

Make Your Own Music, Live Your Own Life

Believe in yourself! It takes faith, and perseverance, and courage, and confidence to bring forth the real you, whether it is in music, dance, writing, acting, or in any other endeavor or business. It is all up to you, and many times it may seem impossible to realize your dreams. Never give up.  Keep trying.  […]

Books of a New American Renaissance

Buddhism, America, and a new American Renaissance – these are the themes of a trio of books by author James Hilgendorf now available in paperback or e-book format on Amazon.com. “A New Myth for America“; “The Buddha and the Dream of America“; and “Poems of Death: Time for Eternity” are the titles of the books […]

Treasure Yourself

Find a way to give of your own unique self. Treasure yourself, no matter how insignificant you may believe yourself to be.  Look in the mirror and know that you are the only one under the sun who can express your unique aspect of the universe’s heart. Love your own voice.  Give expression to who […]