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The Great New Emerging Civilization [Paperback]

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Item description for The Great New Emerging Civilization by James Hilgendorf...

The Great New Emerging Civilization by James Hilgendorf

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Item Specifications...

Pages   200
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.5" Width: 5.5" Height: 0.46"
Weight:   0.57 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2005
Publisher   Tribute Series
ISBN  1929159188  
ISBN13  9781929159185  

Availability  135 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 07:59.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Great New Emerging Civilization?

A spiritual examination of emerging consciousness and compassion  Aug 11, 2005

The Great New Emerging Civilization is a spiritual examination of emerging consciousness and compassion, and the need for a revolution in religious thought, in the wake of a changing world and the failure of existing religions to bring full happiness. Intended as a harbinger of the newly forming vanguard of spiritual thought, which connects humankind directly to the fundamental heart and higher compassion of the universe, The Great New Emerging Civilization details at length the qualities that distinguish this new way of thinking, feeling and believing from the older traditions of Christianity, Buddhism, and Islam, among others. Chapters address such topics as reality, identity, life and death, wars and nations, economics and education, and more, and the role that this burgeoning form of expanded understanding and empathy plays. A visionary and forward-looking beacon of hope, particularly for readers disillusioned with the corruption that is all too common in established religious traditions.
James Hilgendorf's book is part memoir and part manifesto for a new world. He found his own peace in a chaotic world through learning to chant as part of a Buddhist group called Nichiren Buddhism. He provides compelling stories of his own meandering journey through life that brought him to the ideals he expresses on these pages. He tells us that instead of waging war, we should rethink whether the nation-state has real meaning, and start helping one another on a global scale.

He is highly critical of what's happening in the US, with the paranoia about terrorism, as more Americans retreat into a cocoon of phony patriotism. Isn't our obsession with security just selfishness, people who have too much protecting their right to use up the planet's resources while others live in poverty? The US is a society that runs on rampant materialism and an economic system that values only money, that measures success by how much goods and services each of us buy.

The world's religions seemingly have little to offer. He tells us that fundamentalism of any stripe is not real religion and that "until we recognize God in people we will continue killing people." The world needs a new religion that brings peace and not war, that recognizes the sacred in each of us. We try to protect our privileged way of life because we identify with our nation and do not feel connected to people of different cultures. If everyone could see God in every human being we could create a better world.

But can we do that? Like Hilgendorf, I'm disappointed with the direction America has taken. I am less optimistic that we can build a new world any time soon. Currently, religion divides people, religious organizations serve their own interests, and religious leaders denounce those with different beliefs. Religion is the actual cause of most of the present and past wars. Fundamentalism is a powerful force, whether it's flag-waving, right-wing Christians or Muslim suicide bombers. Truly, we need a new religion, but the author's pitch for Nichiren Buddhism leaves me skeptical that any institutional creed can make a difference.
Merging Eastern Thought with Western Ideals  Mar 20, 2005
This is a philosophy book in which Hilgendorf, who previously authored Life & Death: A Buddhist Perspective, weaves in own Eastern views with Western thought. He calls upon many well-known names, including Jesus, Tolstoy, Goethe, Gandhi, Eisenhower, Thoreau, Daisaku Ikeda, Walt Whitman, John Kenneth Galbraith, and Karl Jaspers, to name just a few, to support his views.

Hilgendorf begins by discussing the unseen currents affecting us. While most people sense the chaos, he sees new roots, new sprouts, new leaves, an emerging spirit blossoming forth. He tells us of his own personal struggles and how he found new meaning and new beginnings in life. "During those early days of practice of Buddhism, it was, above all else, a sense of connecting my life to a life greater than my own that kept me practicing," he explains. "I was moving to a new rhythm - the rhythm of the vast universe itself. I was awakening to the greater self within."

The basic problem, as the author sees it, is one of identity. We do not know who we truly are. We thus identify with religion and nationality, thereby creating an identity that divides us and results in hatred and war. We hunger for a sense of purpose. We strive to gather more material goods, but there is never enough.

"What is needed," Hilgendorf says, "is a human revolution, a raising in consciousness and state of life, and this can only come about in the spiritual realm. Mankind needs to open its eyes and heart. This is the true function of religion; and it will be the function of the new religion ushering in the coming new civilization."

He sees Nichiren Buddhism as the emerging global religion, one that offers solutions to the most difficult problems of our times. "It is a religion offering solutions to the age-old sufferings of birth, sickness, old age, and even death," Hilgendorf stresses. It's a practice accessible to everyone and can begin with simple chanting. By chanting Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, he tells us, our mind and life gradually expand from the small, self-centered ego to the larger ego, embracing all of life.

As with his earlier book, Hilgendorf offers much food for thought. The crux of the book, as I see it, is that Eastern practices and Western ideals can be reconciled and result in a better world.

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