Handbook for Youth in a Muddied Age

In these times of coronavirus and worldwide social, political, and economic dislocations, youth need the conviction that they can become the progenitors of a great new age.

——- Prologue to “Handbook for Youth in a Muddied Age” by James Hilgendorf.


Ours is a time of immense disruptions.

The world is fracturing along cultural, ethnic, racial, and national lines
wars seemingly endemic to our species
droughts and winds, polar caps melting
rising waters, hurricanes, angry heavens
a deadly epidemic threatening our world
falling incomes
loss of faith in governments
unbelievable poverty
the center of everything about to spin out of control
politicians locked in power struggles and greed

students and the future loaded down with debt
no jobs
suicide bombers
defamation of women
lock downs at schools
aimless gunners
religions at one another’s throats
bombs so big they can annihilate a country

thousands of atomic and hydrogen bombs on hair-trigger alert built to save us from the madmen who roam throughout the world on wild horses and subways….

This is our world in a muddied age.

Youth, this is your world, your age, your stage.

Time to stand up. There is nothing you cannot do. Believe it.

We are a turning point in all of known and unknown history. The world needs you. You are the fulcrum by which history can be leveraged and changed.

Nothing is as powerful as one person drawing upon the vast powers of the universe.

This has to be you.

This book is for you. This book is a book of voices, my own among them, urging you on. Be an instrument of overcoming and victory and change.

You are the one all of history has been waiting for.

In small ways, in large ways, in the way you challenge your own demons to grow beyond your yesterday self; struggling to reshape your own destiny to add to a larger vision of humankind; to the transformation of self and the transformation of society into a world of justice and compassion and peace; each moment impelling our universe into new and heretofore unexplored realms of the heart.

This is your task.

Remember everything that has come before. Remember these voices.

They show you the way.


James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “Handbook for Youth in a Muddied Age.”

Order your own digital e-book copy of “Handbook for Youth in a Muddied Age” now from your favorite online bookseller.

During this time of social distancing, the author is also holding talks, discussions and readings with small groups of people anywhere online via Zoom video to share ideas about where we are heading and how we might use this challenging time to open up new avenues and a brighter future for ourselves as individuals and as a country. If you are interested in discussing details, please send an email.

Flowers for You/Forever Here

Flowers can bloom from nowhere.
From the deepest gloom, brimstone
And dreams gone awry, then
Tiny buds of hope flower into
Your view.
Bitter the days, cold winds
Strafing the land, then
Sun and waters flowing
Down through sweet valleys.
I would hope to live forever.
By your side, tasting whites and
Blacks and blues,
Tenacious days set against
Foul and fair weather.
Forever here.

—— From “Forever Here”

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

Order your own digital e-book copy of “Forever Here” now from your favorite online bookseller.

Judgment Day

30,000,000 jobless claims total now, a tip of the iceberg.

1,000,000 people infected with the coronavirus, 60,000 dead so far.

Hunger lines, cars lining up for miles, searching for food.

A stock market gyrating wildly, searching for solid ground, for a way, any way, towards profit, towards gold, with no connection to the reality of enormous human suffering unfolding before our very eyes.

A time coming perhaps even more devasting than the Great Depression.

Meanwhile, we have a President disconnected from reality.

“We’re doing great, I’m wonderful” is his mantra, and the chant is carried forward by his son-in-law, by Vice President Pence, the entire United States Senate, the vast majority of the Evangelical community, other church congregations and their communities, Fox News, and at least a third of the citizens of our deeply divided Republic.

Our devastation mirrors our soul.

What we give our allegiance to reflects our inner reality.

Who is Donald Trump?

A president who denigrates African-Americans, Mexicans, other nations and nationalities; who aspires to deprive millions of Americans of their current health care; who verifiedly lies obsessively through his teeth and tweets; who is insanely set on expanding to the tune of another trillion dollars our death arsenal of nuclear weapons; who supports a Senate and Senate leader who secretly lusts to abolish Social Security for tens of millions of our elder citizens; who has been caught on tape expressing his low regard for women; who is trying daily to destroy the credibility of our system of justice, of our courts, of our newspapers and media; who would tear apart hundreds of thousands of children – “Dreamers”; who would open our public lands to plunder and rape by monied interests; who would break all time-honored bonds with our allies around the world; who spits on science and reason; who attacks anyone in sight from his bully pulpit who questions his honesty, greatness, genius; who belittles anyone who shines a light on his immense, overwhelming inner corruption….and the list goes on and on.

This is Donald Trump. This is the person his followers line up behind, whom they support with rock solid unity.

At the heart of many of his staunchest followers’ support is their Christian faith. Pence is the head honcho in this respect. Time and time again, we see Trump huddled in prayer circles with his Christian followers. Many of these supporters believe God sent Donald Trump to lead them out of the wilderness. They rally around him like the Messiah.

We boast of being a Christian nation. The heart of Christianity, the heart of its founder, is compassion for the poor, for the weakest among us; for love, even love of one’s enemy; for justice and selflessness and concern and dedication to the well-being of others. We all know the markers.

Religion, above all, is about behavior, not platitudes or dogma. What is our behavior? What is the behavior of a true Christian?

In every respect, Donald Trump fails miserably. His treatment of people is abominable. His is the most ego-centric and selfish of lives.

Christians have to answer. Who am I?

Trump supporters have to answer. Who am I?

Because, make no mistake, if you – Pence, Republican Senators, Evangelicals, other so-called Christians, voters, the whole array of followers – pledge allegiance to our current President of the United States, you are supporting and falling in line with a person who is the very antithesis of the model of Jesus. You partake of Trump and everything he is and stands for. You are deeply complicit in his words and actions.

Trump is the virus upon this nation. The Republican Party is a virus upon this nation. We need a vaccine to cure this deadly virus lest it continue to infect the entire body politic, body social, past and present and future – all the great dreams that have been born upon this continent since its beginning, of justice, of compassion for all, the great true dream of the true America that has yet to be brought to fulfillment.

This is Judgment Day. Your judgment.

Where do you stand?


James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “A New Myth for America”

Order your own digital e-book copy of “A New Myth for America” from your favorite online bookseller.

The U.S. as viewed from Ireland and the world.

In a recent opinion piece in the Irish Times of Dublin, Fintan O’Toole writes:

“Over more than two centuries, the United States has stirred a very wide range of feelings in the rest of the world: love and hatred, fear and hope, envy and contempt, awe and anger. But there is one emotion that has never been directed towards the US until now: pity….The country Trump promised to make great again has never in its history seemed so pitiful”

His piece is a devastating attack upon Trump and his entire Republican administration and Party for their mishandling of the coronavirus epidemic that has left the economy and millions and millions of people suffering in its wake.

But, as he writes, this is not just about Donald Trump:

“The crisis has shown definitively that Trump’s presidency is not an aberration. It has grown on soil long prepared to receive it. The monstrous blossoming of misrule has structure and purpose and strategy behind it…There are very powerful interests who demand “freedom” in order to do as they like with the environment, society and the economy. They have infused a very large part of American culture with the belief that “freedom” is literally more important than life.”

He concludes with:

“As things get worse, he will pump more hatred and falsehood, more death-wish defiance of reason and decency, into the groundwater. If a new administration succeeds him in 2021, it will have to clean up the toxic dump he leaves behind. If he is re-elected, toxicity will have become the lifeblood of American politics. Either way, it will be a long time before the rest of the world can imagine America being great again.”

O’Toole’s perception – and indeed, perhaps the world’s perception – of what is occurring now in the United States is right on. Please read the full article.

But this is not the entire story.

Yes, what we are witnessing is the culmination of deep forces and tendencies in the American psyche that stretch way back to the founding of the Republic that were struggling for expression and dominance even then.

It was the false American Dream, the dream of power and money at all costs that, from the very beginning, that was beginning to override and drown out the true and original dream of America that was born and given expression by the bards of our original American Renaissance – writers and poets like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Walt Whitman and others who wrote and spoke of a great vision of humanity and justice and compassion infusing a continent of people never before seen upon the lands of the Earth.

This Dream has not died, and will never die.

Indeed, what we are witnessing – all the obvious fraud and cruelty and shamming and disregard for people – is coming forth to a head like a festering sore for all to see.

It is the culmination of the end; but it is also new beginnings.

Yes, it will be difficult; but all of life, all of great things imagined and dreamt of are difficult.

The real America has yet to be fully born. It is beyond anyone’s imagining. It is the dream of America, but it is also the dream of the world; and America will yet be at the center of this unveiling – an inspiration to itself, and an inspiration to the world.

The Buddha is coming to America.


James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “A New Myth for America.”

Order your own digital e-book copy of “A New Myth for America” from your favorite online bookseller.

Praise Yourself Forever

“You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.” – A quote attributed to Shakyamuni, the historical Buddha.

A reading from “Maybe We Need A New Religion”.


James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “Maybe We Need A New Religion”.

Order your own digital e-book copy of “Maybe We Need A New Religion now from your favorite online bookseller.

The Arctic Poles Are Melting

The arctic poles are melting, glaciers dropping into the sea, trade winds reversing, the weather presages a dramatic climate change.

A new breed of man and woman is coming. The same smiles, the same heads of hair, limbs and eyes, but a heart and mind now attuned to the orbit of the sun, and of suns limitless – proud the ancient bonds of comrades marching out into the streets of America, along the boulevards and back alleys, stopping at the corner ice cream shop, taking a breather, but ready to make it a go, no turning back, full out now, bring on everything, bring on the doubts and horrors and dark days, and turn it all around, turn everyone around, bring forth a light from the deepest heart of the planet.

Make it shine. Make it shine.

————- From “Handbook for Youth in a Muddied Age”.


James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “Handbook for Youth in a Muddied Age.”

Order your digital e-book copy of “Handbook for Youth in a Muddied Age” now at your favorite online bookseller.

The Turning Point of a Miracle

Miracles.  We hope for them.  We pray for them.

But the miracles are not somewhere out there.

YOU are the Turning Point of a Miracle.

A reading from “A New Myth for America.”


James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “A New Myth for America”

Buy a digital e-book copy of “A New Myth for America” at the online bookseller of your choice.


Hammersmith of the Cosmos

Sound forth your voice, let it echo over the hills and skyscrapers, and bound across the oceans. Craft and mold it to the song of everyone.

Time to bring forth the real dream of America.

James Hilgendorf reading from his book, “Forever Here”.



James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “Forever Here”.

Order your digital e-book copy of “Forever Here” now at your favorite online bookseller.

Time for the Real America to Emerge.

Ours is a time of profound transformation.

Turning one way, we morph into an age of unparalleled, unbridled greed and decimation of people’s rights and welfare, and the destruction of the eco-system and earth itself.

The other way promises an era of the never-before-seen unleashing of human potential directed at the happiness of people everywhere.

Time to begin the real journey. Time to clear away all false views of the self. Time to reveal who we really are.

Who are we?

I am the center of the universe. I am the core of the transformation. You, also, are the same. We have that power.

We emerge from the earth, from the center of all time, come here to fashion a new story upon this mythic continent of America, revealing our hearts and minds at one with the purpose of the universe itself.

We are the originals.

The dock-worker, the medic, the teacher, barber, insurance salesman, ditch-digger, musician, grocery clerk, hair stylist, cab driver – the whole unbelievable panoply of unknowns now taking center stage, revealing their true identity.

Time for the real America to emerge.


James Hilgendorf is a filmmaker, speaker, poet, and the author of ten non-fiction books, including “A New Myth for America”

Buy the $7.95 digital e-book, “A New Myth for America”, from these online booksellers of your choice.

Digital Books for the Moment – Traveling to a New America

Traveling to a New America Book“Traveling to a New America”
by James Hilgendorf
185 pages.

A journey to towns and cities all across America, but also a journey of the spirit, envisioning a new life in these fifty States – a life that is even now struggling to be born, ushering in the potential of the common human being, and the potential of this land of America itself.

Amid the chaos, division, anger and loss of hope we are currently experiencing, this is also a time of immense opportunity, of new beginnings, of a deep shift in the way we view ourselves among the vastness of the universe around us.

This is a book that can change your life.

The eleventh book from filmmaker, speaker, poet and author James Hilgendorf, “Traveling to a New America” is a collection of 73 short pieces, combining writings from his prior books; blogs he has written; poems, stories about great, though sometimes not so well-known heroes and heroines of our our American past; and interviews from some of the many people he has interviewed on the streets in towns and cities while “Traveling to a New America”.

“Traveling to a New America”
$7.95 e-book available through these favorite online booksellers.


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