Love, Marriage, & Life & Death Amid the Pandemic

Transformation is coming to America. Profound changes are underway.

In the midst of an unprecedented viral pandemic, people are suffering from other growing human diseases – hopelessness, lack of meaning, despair, powerlessness.

Who are we?

In 2018, my wife Elizabeth was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer – a deadly, aggressive cancer – and for two years, up to and beyond the tumultuous Presidential election of 2020, we faced this threat.

We were approaching our 50th year of an extraordinary marriage. We loved each other, we loved to be with each other.

This new book – “Capricorn & Cancer” – by author James Hilgendorf, is a record of those days, and a look back over their life together also.

In the final analysis, it is a story of personal transformation, and of hope, amid seeming devastation. Alongside the destruction and transformation taking place within the social, economic, and political chaos gathering in America, it is a story of discovering new levels of being.

It is a story we are all in the process of writing, personally and as a country.

It is a story of eternity.

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

“Capricorn & Cancer” is now available in digital e-book format from your favorite online bookseller.

Understanding America

America at a Crossroads

There is a saying, that “When great evil occurs, great good follows”.

Certainly the events of the last few days have triggered a tsunami of eruptions not only in America, but around the world.

Who are we – Americans – as a people?

Many would look at the display of thugs overrunning the U.S. Capitol building as a sign of the final degradation of the American spirit, of everything that America has stood for – equality, justice, respect.

But another saying also goes: “It is always darkest before the dawn.”

This is the darkest part of the tunnel; but it is also revealing the glimmer at the dawn of a new awareness, of a new America that has been waiting to be revealed since the dawn of the first light of the beginning of time.

Countries looking at America from abroad might think that America is finished as a dream; but America has only really begun. America is an eternal dream, not for the people of the United States, but for the world’s people as well, and it is a dream that will never be extinguished.


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

A special e-book collection of ten of his books – Traveling to a New America – is now available at select online booksellers, Apple, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble. To purchase the book, go to your favorite one of these stores.

Change The Way The World Looks

The individual changes himself or herself, then everything around is transformed.

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

As You Truly Live

Pursuing our dreams, obstacles inevitably arise – commensurate with the breadth and scope of those dreams.

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

You are the Center. Realize it.

The dream of America is more than the huddled masses coming to our shores.

It is more than a flag waving in the wind.

It is more than the opportunities to get a job or make money or start a business or freedom of religion or liberty bells.

It is something deeper than heretofore imagined.

It is a single soul emerging from the crucible of the deepest fires of the heart of the universe itself.

The dream of America is the dream of the universe itself, coming to fruition in the fulfilled self, at one with the universe, indivisible, drawing on its deepest potential.

You are the center.  Realize it.

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

I Have To Defeat The Bomb

The Bomb. Hiroshima. Nuclear Weapons. Nuclear Proliferation.


What happened at Hiroshima, and an experience of a woman who was there.

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

Facing Destruction

Resurrecting Hope from the Ashes

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

The True America

The Original & True Dream of America.

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

Theodore Parker: Early Religious and Social Reformer.

Theodore Parker Photo  Transcendentalism

Although relatively unknown today, Theodore Parker, who lived in the turbulent decades leading up to the Civil War, was an American whose life exerted a tremendous influence upon his own times, and whose thought and actions still reverberate at the very heart of modern day issues.

In one speech, Parker used the phrase, “A democracy of all the people, by all the people, for all the people”, which later influenced Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address.

Of the abolitionist cause he was advocating, he wrote: “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience.  And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”  These words later became the basis of the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. when he said: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Parker ( 1810-1860) was a minister of the Unitarian Church.  He was also associated with the Transcendental Club, which included such figures as Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

In 1841, he gave a sermon titled “A Discourse on the Transient and Permanent in Christianity”, which set him on a collision course with orthodox Christian belief.  He argued that the essence of Jesus’ teachings remained the permanent essence of Christianity, but denied the churches’ reliance on miracles, revelation, dogma, and the literal authority of the Bible.

He was attacked, and most of the pulpits in the Boston area were closed to him.  His supporters, however, organized the 28th Congregational Society of Boston, where he was installed as minister in 1846.  His congregation, which grew to a membership of several thousand, included such famous social reformers as William Llloyd Garrison, Julia Ward Howe, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

In the second half of his life, Parker was deeply involved in anti-slavery and social reform movements.

He fought and organized opposition to the Fugitive Slave Act, which required citizens of all states to assist in the recovery of fugitive slaves.  He even hid fugitive slaves in his home.  He denounced the Mexican War.  He supported women’s right movements.

At the heart of all his work was his sense of himself as a religious reformer.  He felt that individuals should find their connection to a higher spiritual source, to God, without the need of intermediaries, without the trappings of orthodox Christianity.

Parker’s stances would put him at odds with the beliefs of most of the churches, religions, and faith traditions of Western civilization today:  A reliance upon the authority of the Bible; a belief in Biblical miracles; a belief in miraculous births, and atonement of sins; a belief in the infallibility of religious leaders and books; and the list goes on.

He wrote:

“Let then the Transient pass, fleet as it will, and may God send us some new manifestation of the Christian faith, that shall stir men’s hearts as they were never stirred; some new Word, which shall teach us what we are, and renew us all in the image of God”.

We live in a world of old, decaying ideas that have bound us for millennia.  We struggle in the dark, while our religions become instruments of division and hatred, anger and death.

Amid all the trappings of religion and religious faiths, we are still looking for that “Word”, which will reveal to all of us our true identity and the scope and meaning of our interconnectedness to this unbelievably vast universe we inhabit.

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

America, Without Borders

Here in America, it’s time for a great renewal and rebuilding.

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