When the joy of compassionate service is combined with the pragmatic drive to transform all existing economic, social, and political institutions, a radical divine force is born: Sacred Activism.
The Sacred Activism Series, published by North Atlantic Books, presents leading voices that embody the tenets of Sacred Activism—compassion, service, and sacred consciousness—while addressing the crucial issues of our time and inspiring radical action.
The Sacred Activism Series was cocreated by Andrew Harvey, visionary, spiritual teacher, and founder of the Institute for Sacred Activism, and Douglas Reil, publisher and executive director of North Atlantic Books. Harvey also serves as the series editor and drives outreach efforts worldwide.
The Sacred Ego
Written by Jalaja Bonheim
Why have we failed to create the happy, peaceful world that we all want? And what can we do about it? For more than three decades, Jalaja Bonheim has explored these questions in her work with women leaders, activists, and spiritual seekers from around the world.
In The Sacred Ego, she tackles one of the core myths of popular spiritual culture—the myth of the ego, supposedly responsible for our greed, selfishness, and violence. In contrast, Bonheim approaches the ego as a sacred function worthy of honor and gratitude. With riveting stories from her work, she guides us into the depths of our collective psyche to pinpoint the real sources of our problems and illuminate our path to wholeness. Firmly grounded in a lifetime of practical experience, The Sacred Ego is a visionary, uplifting book that explains why our world is in crisis and how we can support the unprecedented transformational process that’s underway.
Jalaja Bonheim, PhD, is an inspiring visionary, teacher and speaker who illuminates our path toward peace, wholeness, and joy. Founder and director of the Institute for Circlework, she is one of the world’s foremost experts in the use of circle gatherings as a tool for healing and empowering women. Her workshops and trainings have changed the lives of thousands of women by connecting them in a spirit of true sisterhood, open-heartedness, and authenticity. Jalaja (pronounced Djá-la-dja) has mentored hundreds of leaders from around the world and has gathered international acclaim for her groundbreaking work with Jewish and Palestinian women in the Middle East. Visit her website for more information on her books and workshops as well as free guidelines for study groups.
Love in the Age of Ecological Apocalypse
Written by Carolyn Baker
Baker has written three books on the collapse of industrial civilization. Since the first was published in 2009, our planet has entered what may be a death spiral that cannot be reversed. This book focuses not on preventing the death spiral, or even preparing for it, but rather the importance of building relationships with the earth community, other humans, and ourselves that will serve as our most vital spiritual equipment during these rapidly approaching times. No matter how long we live, it is necessary to survival and to spiritual fulfillment that we prioritize experiences of love and connection with other members of our species.
The foundational texts of Baker’s field, such as Clive Hamilton’s Requiem For A Species and Guy McPherson’s Going Dark tell us that humanity is fast approaching extinction; however, these do not focus on the empathy and psycho-spiritual perspective that Baker’s book primarily emphasizes. A necessary addendum to the genre of Ecological Apocalypse, Baker’s book is one that reminds readers that, at the end of our world, togetherness is not just our greatest instrument for survival, but our greatest purpose.
In the introduction, Baker summarizes: “What I am articulating in this book is, in part, a way of living based in the heart that cherishes and feels the emotions, not simply for the sake of feeling them, but to recognize them as indicators of the deeper self and a deeper and more mutually life-supporting way of relating to all other beings.”
Written by Steven Herrmann
Exploring what the author calls the “shaman-poets”—Walt Whitman, Herman Melville, and Emily Dickinson—this book demonstrates how far ahead of their times these writers were in forecasting developments of our current time. It was Whitman who first wrote of “Spiritual Democracy” as a vision of transformation and global equality. Steven Herrmann delves deep into the visionary expressions of this idea of Spiritual Democracy—”the realization of the oneness of humanity with the universe and all its forces”—in these early American writers, showing the influence the groundbreaking work of the geologist and thinker Alexander Von Humboldt had on Whitman and others. Writing that every member of the global community regardless of color, gender, or sexual orientation can realize these freedoms, the author explores how one can tap into the vitalizing source of equalizing, vocational energy to bring a sense of purpose and peace. Although the book shines as a work of literary criticism, the author’s insights as a Jungian psychotherapist take the reader ever deeper into the creative impulses of Whitman, Melville, Dickinson, and other poets in their crafting of the seminal notion of Spiritual Democracy. In addition, Herrmann offers practical methodologies for personal and global transformation.
Pioneering the Possible
Written by Dr. Scilla Elworthy
Three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee Dr. Scilla Elworthy, a realist with 40 years’ experience at the sharp end of politics and conflict, presents a bold but realistic vision for the future in Pioneering the Possible. Human beings worldwide are anxious, afraid for their children’s futures, dissatisfied by their lives, but unsure what to do. Our global ecosystems and supply chains are under threat and our leaders appear to have failed us. Pioneering the Possible addresses these anxieties head-on by envisioning a future that could work for everyone, rich and poor, demonstrating with real-life examples how that future is already emerging.Pioneering the Possible tackles the deeply embedded 20th-century values that get in the way of addressing global problems, and shows how these destructive values can be—and are being—reversed.
We know the world is in crisis: we are spoiling our planet at such a rate that soon it may be unable to sustain human life. This crisis is in fact a vast opportunity, because a secure and satisfying future for all of humanity is perfectly possible if we make the right choices. But building such a future will require the leap in consciousness that Einstein indicated when he said, “No problem can be solved from the consciousness that created it.” Pioneering the Possible investigates what this new consciousness is and takes us to meet the leaders who have learned to apply it. With profiles of individuals who exemplify transformative leadership such as Dr. Desmond Tutu and Aung San Suu Kyi, Dr. Elworthy demonstrates how anyone can develop the magnificent inner power to build their own personal contribution to the future and become a 21st-century pioneer of what’s possible. The book then contrasts the value systems that underpin our current decisions with the kind of values that would enable us to make better choices—those that could get us out of the mess we’re in. To envision the kind of future that is possible—a lift-off into life as it could be—Elworthy calls on some experienced specialists to look through their telescopes into the future, then brings in the pragmatists who know what to do in their fields, because they’ve done it, tested it, and made it work. Pioneering the Possible ultimately helps you find your unique way to be useful; as Dr. Elworthy says, “to discover your mission and put it into action—instead of worrying on the sidelines—is to find peace of mind and a heart full of love.”
Written by Linda Bender
In Animal Wisdom, lifelong animal advocate and doctor of veterinary medicine Linda Bender offers us a wealth of extraordinary stories and research-based evidence indicating animals have deeply perceptive–even extrasensory–abilities, especially when love is involved. In addition, she provides 18 step-by-step practices for honing your own natural ability to communicate with animals, so that you too can learn to understand their urgent messages about peace, happiness, and the future of the planet.
Animal and pet lovers, animal-rights activists, and fans of Jane Goodall and Rupert Sheldrake will be deeply touched by this heartwarming book revealing the profound life lessons we can learn from animals, once we learn how to communicate with them as beloved other beings.
During the 14 years that Linda Bender spent living in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, her veterinary work included the rescue, rehabilitation, and protection of wildlife. Her interest in spirituality and healing led her to found the Mind the Gap Wellness Center as well as a pet-therapy program. She is a certified practitioner of Energy for Life and is a cofounder of the nonprofit organization From the Heart. The author lives in Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina.
Second Wave Spirituality
Written by Chris Saade
In his work as a spiritual teacher interacting with seekers and activists from around the world, Chris Saade has witnessed a remarkable recent phenomenon: a new wave of spirituality that is socially and globally engaged in the pursuit of justice, earth care, and solidarity. Saade calls this movement “second wave spirituality,” and in this book he maps out the cutting-edge ideas that are fueling this new wave of engaged spirituality. He challenges us to rise to our spiritual task and join the millions of all faiths who are awakening to the suffering and social struggles of all living beings.
According to Saade, new wave spirituality holds a vision of the intrinsic values of love: justice, global peace, solidarity, inclusion, democratic freedom, compassion, and reconciliation. Saade explores current trends of thought that are shaking the foundations of our belief systems and propelling us toward an evolutionary leap. We are in the midst of a spiritual renaissance, Saade asserts, a universal reawakening that will steer us away from the abysmal global dangers we are facing.
The book also includes a collection of quotations as a resource for those working for peace, justice, and inclusion. By dividing the selections into theme-specific chapters, Saade helps us easily access the wisdom and companionship of other souls committed to our diversity, our oneness, and our pursuit of justice.
Written by Ellen Gunter and Ted Carter
Our earliest mythologies tell us we all start as a little bit of dirt. These stories carry a profound message: each of us is born with a deep and abiding connection to the earth, one that many of us have lost touch with. The Silent Spring for today’s environmental activists, this book offers an invitation to reestablish our relationship with nature to repair our damaged environment.
Chapter 1 examines the threats to the planet’s health through the lens of the human energy system known as the chakras, describing how the broken first chakra relates to our disconnection from our biosphere.
Chapter 2 shows how our current environmental crises–global warming, climate change, dwindling water resources, natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes–represent severe manifestations of our disconnection from the earth.
Chapter 3 describes how the preponderance of oil in our culture–especially agribusiness–compounds this disconnection, from our dependence on other countries for our energy, to current issues of oil depletion, peak oil, and fracking, to the dumbing down of our agricultural polyculture.
Chapter 4 explains how the most basic building blocks of our nourishment–seeds–are being compromised with a loss of biodiversity and rise of GMOs, and how that adversely affects the farmers whose sacred connection to the land has in many cases been severed.
Chapter 5 describes the ways in which we as individuals can begin to wake up to climate activism as a spiritual practice. This chapter includes specific activities that you can use to implement change and heal your own connection to the earth. By learning and practicing ritual and understanding the earth’s rhythms and seasonal rites of passage, each of us can find unique ways to heal our own connections and help others heal theirs.
Chapter 6 looks at stories of how people are responding to their inner callings with generosity, innovation, and dedication–exactly the traits our nation and our planet need now.
Written by Carolyn Baker, PhD
A collection of probing essays and weekly meditations, this book addresses how to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the impending collapse of industrial civilization. Author Carolyn Baker offers wisdom, inspiration, and a sense of spiritual purpose for anyone who is concerned about the daunting future humankind has created.
The author’s introduction to Collapsing Consciously articulates our current predicament of economic collapse, environmental degradation, and global conflict and expresses the confusion, anxiety, grief, anger, and despair we all experience when we take a hard look at the present-day global crisis and the likely future of the planet. But rather than showing us ways to prevent the collapse, Baker argues that the demise of our consumerist, corporate culture is inevitable, and that it is crucial to prepare emotionally and spiritually for the certain changes to come.
Part 1 is a collection of seventeen essays which argue that while the collapse of industrial society cannot be prevented, its meaning extends far beyond tragedy and loss. These essays ask the reader to delve inward and discover the limitless treasures of the soul, as well as the gratification and exhilaration to be discovered in joining with community in preparing for the future.
In part 2, Baker offers fifty-two weekly meditations comprised of spiritual wisdom, inspiration, paradox, comfort, humor, irony, poems, and a persistent challenge to create and savor beauty in the world, regardless of how bleak the future may appear.
Collapsing Consciously is a refreshing take on the perilous present and the grim prospects for our future. Instead of quoting discouraging statistics about our predicament, Baker offers a deeper perspective that makes sense of a world that most of the time appears psychotic or even surreal. Through poetry, inspiration, and perennial wisdom, she has created a manual for making meaning and generating joy, especially in situations that feel hopelessly devoid of both.
The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know Is Possible
Written by Charles Eisenstein
In a time of mounting chaos and crumbling institutions, how can we as individuals do anything to make the world a better place? This inspirational and thought-provoking book serves as an empowering antidote to the cynicism, frustration, paralysis, and overwhelm so many of us are feeling, replacing it with a grounding reminder of what’s true: We are all connected, all living in mutual symbiosis, and the small, personal choices we make as individuals are far more effective and transformational than most of us imagine. By fully embracing and practicing this principle of interconnectedness–called interbeing–we inherently become more effective agents of change and have far more positive influence on the world around us.
Throughout the book, Eisenstein relates real-life stories of interbeing in action: how small, individual acts of courage, kindness, or self-trust have made the world a little more beautiful, and how the worst crises of our past and present have stemmed from a fundamental sense of separation–the very opposite of interbeing. He brings to conscious awareness a deep wisdom we all innately know: until we get our selves in order, any action we take–no matter how good our intentions–will ultimately be wrongheaded. Above all, this book is an invitation to embrace a radically different understanding of cause and effect, and therefore, a radically differing conception of what is “practical.” It is a clarion call to surrender our old belief systems of separation, so that we can finally create the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
Written by Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox
The Occupy Wall Street movement and protest movements around the world are evidence of a new era of intergenerational activists seeking deeper spiritual meaning in their quest for peace and justice.
This book is a call to action for a new era of spirituality-infused activism. Authors Adam Bucko and Matthew Fox encourage us to use our talents in service of compassion and justice and to move beyond our broken systems–economic, political, educational, and religious–to discover a spirituality that can not only help us get along, but help us reevaluate our traditions and transform them.
Incorporating the words of activist leaders culled from interviews and surveys, the book provides a framework that is deliberately interfaith and speaks to our profound yearning for a life with spiritual purpose and for a better world. Each chapter is construed as a dialogue between Fox, a 72-year-old theologian, and Bucko, a 35-year-old spiritual director to homeless youth. As we listen in on these familiar yet profound conversations, we learn about Fox and Bucko’s own spiritual journeys and discover a radical spirituality that is inclusive, democratic, and relevant to the world we live in today.