Category: JUSTICE


Gandhi gives his grandson The Gift of AngerDiscover ten vital and extraordinary life lessons from one of the most important and influential philosophers and peace activists of the twentieth century—Mahatma Gandhi—in this poignant and timely exploration of the true path from anger to peace, as recounted by Gandhi’s grandson, Arun Gandhi. In the current troubled climate, in our country and in the world, these lessons are needed more than ever before.

“We should not be ashamed of anger. It’s a very good and a very powerful thing that motivates us. But what we need to be ashamed of is the way we abuse it.” —Mahatma Gandhi

Arun Gandhi was just twelve years old when his parents dropped him off at Sevagram, his grandfather’s famous ashram. To Arun, the man who fought for India’s independence and was the country’s beloved preeminent philosopher and leader was simply a family member. He lived there for two years under his grandfather’s wing until Gandhi’s assassination.

While each chapter contains a singular, timeless lesson, The Gift of Anger also takes you along with Arun on a moving journey of self-discovery as he learns to overcome his own struggle to express his emotions and harness the power of anger to bring about good. He learns to see the world through new eyes under the tutelage of his beloved grandfather and provides a rare, three-dimensional portrait of this icon for the ages.

The ten vital life lessons strike a universal chord about self-discovery, identity, dealing with anger, depression, loneliness, friendship, and family—perfect for anyone searching for a way to effecting healing change in a fractured world.

Arun Gandhi
, born in 1934, is the fifth grandson of Mohandas K. Gandhi, also known as Mahatma Gandhi. He was a journalist for more than thirty years for the Times of India and has written for The Washington Post. His first of two books for children was Grandfather Gandhi. Currently, Arun serves as president of the Gandhi Worldwide Education Institute and travels the world speaking to governmental leaders, as well as to university and high school students about the practices of peace and nonviolence. He lives in Rochester, New York. Visit him at ArunGandhi.org.


Published on Mar 31, 2017

“Anger is like electricity…” In THE GIFT OF ANGER, Arun Gandhi, grandson of the great pacifist Mahatma Gandhi, shares the wisdom he learned from his grandfather. We should not fear anger, but channel it into fighting for justice.

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‘The whole world bows down before me; I bow down before the Master Peter Deunov’ – Albert Einstein

Peter Deunov (Beinsa Dounov)
, who lived in Bulgaria from 1864 to 1944, was a great and inspired teacher of the Perennial Wisdom, that essential thread of truth running through all the major world religions. He was an extraordinary man who at once embodied great simplicity and tremendous profundity. All those who knew him testified to the fact that he inspired inner excellence in very ordinary people. His teachings are both direct and clear, and will speak to everybody whatever their creed. Essentially they give a prescription for living in harmony with others, with the Earth and with the Divine.

Prophet for Our Times is being brought back into print following Dr Wayne W. Dyer’s desire to share the work of the philosopher who greatly influenced him. This selection of teachings makes ideal reading for anyone on the spiritual path, for it explains simply and directly how to find love, wisdom, truth, justice, harmony and balance in life. It also gives advice on techniques of prayer, meditation and visualization, and valuable information on right diet and exercise to assist inner focus and clarity. Peter Deunov’s wise words will speak to everyone, and will have special appeal to those searching for an authentic spiritual tradition of Western origin.

David Lorimer, who edited this book, is a writer, lecturer, editor and educationalist. He was a teacher of philosophy and modern languages at Winchester College, and is the author and editor of twelve books. David came into contact with the teachings of Peter Deunov some 30 years ago and has since been actively involved in his work

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David Lorimer – ‘Life Story’ – Interview by Iain McNay

David Lorimer – ‘Life Story’ – Interview by Iain McNay

David has authored and compiled several books including ‘Thinking Beyond The Brain’ ‘Learning for Life’ and ‘Radical Prince.’ He is Programme Director of The Scientific and Medical Network and VP of the Wrekin Trust and Swedenborg Society. Here he talks about his life, his influences, and the work of The Scientific and Medical Network.
http://www.conscious.tv

Released Date: September 13, 2013

The Occupy Wall Street movement and protest movements around the world are evidence of a new era of inter-generational 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–discovering a spirituality that not only helps us to get along, but also encourages us to reevaluate our traditions, transforming them and in the process building a more sacred and just world.

Incorporating the words of young 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 37-year-old spiritual activist and mentor 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.

Table of Contents
Foreword by Mona Eltahawy
Foreword by Andrew Harvey
Introduction: Invitation to Occupy Your Conscience
1. Is It Time to Replace the God of Religion with the God of Life?
2. Radical Spirituality for a Radical Generation
3. Adam’s Story
4. Matthew’s Story
5. What’s Your Calling? Are You Living in Service of Compassion and Justice?
6. Spiritual Practice: Touch Life and Be Changed by It
7. No Generation Has All the Answers: Elders and Youth Working Together
8. Birthing New Economics, New Communities, and New Monasticism
Conclusion: Occupy Generation and the Practice of Spiritual Democracy
Afterword by Lama Surya Das

ADAM BUCKO is co-founder of the Reciprocity Foundation, empowering homeless youth to break the cycle of poverty, and HAB, an inter-spiritual contemplative fellowship focused on training young people in radical spirituality and sacred activism.

MATTHEW FOX is an internationally acclaimed theologian working in the creation spirituality tradition of Christianity. He is the best-selling author of 30 books, including Original Blessing, A Spirituality Named Compassion, and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ.

Adam Bucko – Buddha at the Gas Pump Interview

Published on Dec 24, 2015

Also see https://batgap.com/adam-bucko/

Adam Bucko is an activist, spiritual director to many of New York City’s homeless youth, and co-author of a new award-winning book called “Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation (Sacred Activism)“.

He grew up in Poland during the totalitarian regime and spent his early years exploring the anarchist youth movement as a force for social and political change. At the age of 17, Adam immigrated to America where his desire to find his path towards a meaningful life led him to monasteries in the US and India. His life-defining experience took place in India, where on his way to a Himalayan hermitage, he met a homeless child who lived on the streets of Delhi. This brief encounter led him to the “Ashram of the Poor” where he began his work with homeless youth. After returning to the US, he worked on the streets of various American cities with young people struggling against homelessness and prostitution. He eventually co-founded The Reciprocity Foundation, an award winning nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of New York City’s homeless youth.

In addition to his work with homeless youth, Adam established HAB, an ecumenical and inter-spiritual “new monastic” fellowship for young people which offers formation in radical spirituality and sacred activism.

He collaborates with spiritual leaders across religious traditions and mentors young people, helping them discover a spiritual life in the 21st century and how to live deeply from the heart in service of compassion and justice.

Adam is a recipient of several awards and his work has been featured by ABC News, CBS, NBC, New York Daily News, National Catholic Reporter, Ode Magazine, Yoga International Magazine and Sojourner Magazine.

Website: http://AdamBucko.com

The Forum at Grace Cathedral — The Rt. Rev. Marc Andrus; The Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox; and Adam Bucko

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A small book of very big poems. Drew Dellinger’s poetry reaches out to the far ends of the Milky Way and to the inner depths of the soul. His poetry and performances have captivated thousands across six continents. He is, in the words of Cornell West, “one of the most creative, courageous and prophetic poets of his generation.” This power of his poetry is tied to his passion for ecological survival and social justice movements. The Rev. Osagyefo Sekou calls Dellinger “the poet laureate of the global justice democracy movement.”

it’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in my dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
from the poem “hieroglyphic stairway” read on the floor of Congress during climate change hearings


Drew Dellinger (Ph.D. candidate) is an internationally sought-after speaker, poet, writer, and teacher who has inspired minds and hearts around the world, performing poetry and keynoting on justice, ecology, cosmology, and compassion. He is also a consultant, publisher, and founder of Planetize the Movement.

Dellinger has presented at over 1000 events across the U.S., U.K., Canada, and Australia. He has spoken and performed at numerous conferences–including Bioneers, the Green Festival, the Dream Reborn, and the Parliament of the World’s Religions–as well as colleges and universities, poetry venues, protests, and places of worship. He has shared podiums and stages with luminaries such as Alice Walker, Cornel West, Thomas Berry, Danny Glover, Julia Butterfly Hill, Brian Swimme, Paul Hawken, Ani Difranco, Chuck D, Eve Ensler, and many others.

Dellinger’s award-winning book of poems, love letter to the milky way–now in its fifth printing–has thousands of devoted readers on six continents. His work has appeared in films, books, anthologies and magazines–from The New York Times magazine to YES!, Tikkun, Kosmos, and others. Dellinger’s poems have been cited and quoted in venues ranging from prison workshops to climate change hearings before the U.S. Congress.

Dellinger co-wrote the documentary film, “The Awakening Universe,” which premiered at the United Nations. As a consultant, Dellinger helped develop and design the Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium, now used in 54 countries, in 14 languages. In 1997 Dellinger received Common Boundary magazine’s national Green Dove Award. In 2010 he received a Writer’s Digest Book Award.

Dellinger has taught at Prescott College, Naropa University–Oakland, Esalen Institute, Sophia Center, and John F. Kennedy University, where he was Associate Professor and Director of the Program in Social Ecology. He studied cosmology and ecological thought with Thomas Berry for twenty years, and is currently finishing his doctoral dissertation on the last years of Martin Luther King Jr.

Dellinger has been called “a national treasure,” by Joanna Macy, “a deep and courageous poet,” by Alice Walker and “one of the most creative, courageous and prophetic poets of his generation,” by Cornel West.

Book Trailer / Love Letter To The Milky Way

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Love Letter to the Milky Way: A Celebration

Drew Dellinger

Published on Aug 3, 2015

IONS 2015 Conference

Malala Yousefzai, who was shot by Pakistani Taliban last year, addressed the UN Youth Assembly on her 16th birthday and called for improvements in global education.
The UN has declared her birthday, July 12, as “Malala Day”.

She started the speech with a prayer.
Some of history’s greatest statesmen have spoken there. Today, the Assembly listened spellbound to a 16-year-old schoolgirl.


Published on Jul 12, 2013

The full text: Malala Yousafzai’s speech to the UN General Assembly

Honourable UN Secretary General Mr Ban Ki-moon, respected president of the General Assembly Vuk Jeremic, honourable UN envoy for global education Mr Gordon Brown, respected elders and my dear brothers and sisters: Assalamu alaikum.

Today is it an honour for me to be speaking again after a long time. Being here with such honourable people is a great moment in my life and it is an honour for me that today I am wearing a shawl of the late Benazir Bhutto. I don’t know where to begin my speech. I don’t know what people would be expecting me to say, but first of all thank you to God for whom we all are equal and thank you to every person who has prayed for my fast recovery and new life. I cannot believe how much love people have shown me. I have received thousands of good-wish cards and gifts from all over the world. Thank you to all of them. Thank you to the children whose innocent words encouraged me. Thank you to my elders whose prayers strengthened me. I would like to thank my nurses, doctors and the staff of the hospitals in Pakistan and the UK and the UAE government who have helped me to get better and recover my strength.

I fully support UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in his Global Education First Initiative and the work of UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown and the respectful president of the UN General Assembly Vuk Jeremic. I thank them for the leadership they continue to give. They continue to inspire all of us to action. Dear brothers and sisters, do remember one thing: Malala Day is not my day. Today is the day of every woman, every boy and every girl who have raised their voice for their rights.

There are hundreds of human rights activists and social workers who are not only speaking for their rights, but who are struggling to achieve their goal of peace, education and equality. Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself, but so those without a voice can be heard. Those who have fought for their rights. Their right to live in peace. Their right to be treated with dignity. Their right to equality of opportunity. Their right to be educated.

Dear friends, on 9 October 2012, the Taliban shot me on the left side of my forehead. They shot my friends, too. They thought that the bullets would silence us, but they failed. And out of that silence came thousands of voices. The terrorists thought they would change my aims and stop my ambitions. But nothing changed in my life except this: weakness, fear and hopelessness died. Strength, power and courage was born. I am the same Malala. My ambitions are the same. My hopes are the same. And my dreams are the same. Dear sisters and brothers, I am not against anyone. Neither am I here to speak in terms of personal revenge against the Taliban or any other terrorist group. I am here to speak for the right of education for every child. I want education for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists and extremists. I do not even hate the Talib who shot me.

Even if there was a gun in my hand and he was standing in front of me, I would not shoot him. This is the compassion I have learned from Mohamed, the prophet of mercy, Jesus Christ and Lord Buddha. This the legacy of change I have inherited from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

This is the philosophy of nonviolence that I have learned from Gandhi, Bacha Khan and Mother Teresa. And this is the forgiveness that I have learned from my father and from my mother. This is what my soul is telling me: be peaceful and love everyone.

Dear sisters and brothers, we realise the importance of light when we see darkness. We realise the importance of our voice when we are silenced. In the same way, when we were in Swat, the north of Pakistan, we realised the importance of pens and books when we saw the guns. The wise saying, “The pen is mightier than the sword.” It is true. The extremists are afraid of books and pens. The power of education frightens them. They are afraid of women. The power of the voice of women frightens them. This is why they killed 14 innocent students in the recent attack in Quetta. And that is why they kill female teachers. That is why they are blasting schools every day because they were and they are afraid of change and equality that we will bring to our society. And I remember that there was a boy in our school who was asked by a journalist: “Why are the Taliban against education?”He answered very simply by pointing to his book, he said: “A Talib doesn’t know what is written inside this book.”

They think that God is a tiny, little conservative being who would point guns at people’s heads just for going to school. These terrorists are misusing the name of Islam for their own personal benefit. Pakistan is a peace-loving, democratic country. Pashtuns want education for their daughters and sons. Islam is a religion of peace, humanity and brotherhood. It is the duty and responsibility to get education for each child, that is what it says. Peace is a necessity for education. In many parts of the world, especially Pakistan and Afghanistan, terrorism, war and conflicts stop children from going to schools. We are really tired of these wars. Women and children are suffering in many ways in many parts of the world.

In India, innocent and poor children are victims of child labour. Many schools have been destroyed in Nigeria. People in Afghanistan have been affected by extremism. Young girls have to do domestic child labour and are forced to get married at an early age. Poverty, ignorance, injustice, racism and the deprivation of basic rights are the main problems, faced by both men and women.

Today, I am focusing on women’s rights and girls’ education because they are suffering the most. There was a time when women activists asked men to stand up for their rights. But this time we will do it by ourselves. I am not telling men to step away from speaking for women’s rights, but I am focusing on women to be independent and fight for themselves. So dear sisters and brothers, now it’s time to speak up. So today, we call upon the world leaders to change their strategic policies in favour of peace and prosperity. We call upon the world leaders that all of these deals must protect women and children’s rights. A deal that goes against the rights of women is unacceptable.

We call upon all governments to ensure free, compulsory education all over the world for every child. We call upon all the governments to fight against terrorism and violence. To protect children from brutality and harm. We call upon the developed nations to support the expansion of education opportunities for girls in the developing world. We call upon all communities to be tolerant, to reject prejudice based on caste, creed, sect, colour, religion or agenda to ensure freedom and equality for women so they can flourish. We cannot all succeed when half of us are held back. We call upon our sisters around the world to be brave, to embrace the strength within themselves and realise their full potential.

Dear brothers and sisters, we want schools and education for every child’s bright future. We will continue our journey to our destination of peace and education. No one can stop us. We will speak up for our rights and we will bring change to our voice. We believe in the power and the strength of our words. Our words can change the whole world because we are all together, united for the cause of education. And if we want to achieve our goal, then let us empower ourselves with the weapon of knowledge and let us shield ourselves with unity and togetherness.

Dear brothers and sisters, we must not forget that millions of people are suffering from poverty and injustice and ignorance. We must not forget that millions of children are out of their schools. We must not forget that our sisters and brothers are waiting for a bright, peaceful future.

So let us wage a glorious struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism, let us pick up our books and our pens, they are the most powerful weapons. One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world. Education is the only solution. Education first. Thank you.

We need more goodness now.

We live in a most challenging time. Many of us struggle, emotionally, ethically, and spiritually. We seem headed toward less compassion and consideration, failing to overcome that basic instinct that often leads to evil in human behavior–self-preservation at all costs. Yet within each of us a new future is stirring. We can become better people and build a better world by opting for good over evil–one choice at a time.

In The Constant Choice, Peter Georgescu offers a gripping narrative of his journey from childhood captivity in a Romanian labor camp to his role as CEO of the world-renowned advertising agency Young & Rubicam. His traumatic youth–his parents’ exile from their homeland, his grandfather’s murder in prison, his neighbors’ betrayal of one another–led to a lifelong struggle to grasp humanity’s moral nature. Despite his conviction when he arrived on American soil that he had reached the land of the good, he discovered a more subtle evil at work all around him. Yet he also thrived through the generosity of one benefactor after another. Goodness, he found, isn’t inherent; it evolves from daily choice.

Through decades of reflection on human behavior, as well as philosophical and spiritual exploration, Peter arrived at a new perspective on the significance of our habitual choices. Every decision we make alters our biological nature, for better or worse–a model that has been confirmed by recent science.

The Constant Choice reveals a path for changing who we are and the future of humanity. It’s up to each of us to become activists for good.


Peter A. Georgescu is Chairman Emeritus of Young & Rubicam Inc. and author of “The Constant Choice” and “The Source of Success.” Under Mr. Georgescu’s leadership, Young & Rubicam successfully transformed from a private to a publicly-held company. During his tenure, Young & Rubicam built the most extensive database on global branding and, from its findings, developed a proprietary model for diagnosing and managing brands.

“The Constant Choice” is a remarkable story that transcends memoir or autobiography in favor of a reflective look at an unusual life. Peter Georgescu has chosen to write a ground-breaking book about his unlikely path in business and his own illuminating journey in the world of faith. Georgescu has struggled with the forces of both good and evil, which are often indistinguishable, disguised and difficult to differentiate from one another. His story offers a hope and clarity to those struggling in today’s confusing and frightening world. http://theconstantchoice.com

In 2006, Mr. Georgescu published his first book “The Source of Success” — asserting that personal values and creativity, devoted to creating lasting relationships with individual customers, are the leading drivers of business success in the 21st Century.

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Peter Georgescu Interview with Dr. Michael Wayne

Published on Jun 12, 2013

Interviews with the Leading Edge is an exclusive video series on the Quantum Revolution website, at http://www.quantumrevolution.net. In this segment, Michael Wayne talks with Peter Georgescu, the former CEO and Chairman Emeritus of the advertising agency Young & Rubicam, and author of “The Constant Choice.”

In this inspiring interview, Peter talks about his remarkable life, from his childhood in Romania, where as a child in the 1950’s he was forced by the Soviets to work doing slave labor, to his coming to the U.S. as a teenager and then his rise in the business world. Along the way, Peter’s thoughts and worldview evolved, and he began to clearly see and understand human psychology and why people make choices that either reinforce behavior patterns that harm themselves and others, or make choices that serve the greater good. Peter’s conclusion is that each one of us can make a constant choice to transcend our baser instincts and go towards the good.

Peter Georgescu Speaking on The Constant Choice

Published on May 20, 2013

Peter Georgescu, author of The Constant Choice talks about his book, including his personal story of overcoming evil with good.


Chilean Writer Isabel Allende on Her Memoir, Her Family, Michelle Bachelet, Torture and Immigration Bestselling Chilean writer Isabel Allende is world-renowned for her narrative craft and gripping stories that blend the mythical with the personal. She has written over a dozen books that have sold fifty-one million copies. Her debut novel in 1982, The House of the Spirits, chronicled four generations of a Chilean family through the tumult of that country’s political history. It is a history that is intertwined with Allende’s own. Her latest book is a memoir titled The Sum of Our Days. Allende joins us in our firehouse studio for an extended conversation about her writing, her family, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, the treatment of immigrants in the United States and much more. [includes rush transcript]

Chilean Writer Isabel Allende-2/3

Chilean Writer Isabel Allende-3/3

“My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side.”–Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln led America through one of the most tumultuous times in our nation’s history. Reading his words today, it is clear we still have much to learn concerning what it means to be on God’s side.

Bestselling author, public theologian, and leading Christian activist Jim Wallis speaks directly into our current context, revealing the spiritual compass we need to effect lasting change in our society. He explains how the good news of Jesus transforms not only our individual lives but also our public lives. Jesus’s gospel of the kingdom of God helps us recover a personal and social commitment to the common good and shows us–in concrete ways–how to be both personally responsible and socially just. Working together, we can reshape our churches, society, politics, and economy.

Releasing in the wake of the 2012 election cycle, this book seeks to move beyond the current media and political warfare and bring together a divided country. Wallis explores how Jesus’s agenda can serve the common good, what it takes to sustain a lifelong commitment to social justice, and how reading the Bible as well as the culture can shape our lives for genuine transformation.

Contents

Part 1: Inspiring the Common Good
1. A Gospel for the Common Good
2. The Lion, the Word, and the Way
3. Who Jesus Is and Why It Matters
4. Lord, Help Us to Treat You Well
5. The Good Samaritan Goes Global
6. The Beloved Community Welcomes All Tribes
7. Surprising Our Enemies
Part 2: Practices for the Common Good
8. Conservatives, Liberals, and a Call to Civility
9. Redeeming Politics
10. Economic Trust
11. A Servant Government
12. Making Things Right
13. Healthy Households
14. The World Is Our Parish
Epilogue: Ten Personal Decisions for the Common Good
Index

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New York Times best-selling author Jim Wallis thinks our life together can be better. In this timely and provocative book, he shows us how to reclaim Jesus’ ancient and compelling vision of the common good — a vision that affects and inspires not only our politics but also our personal lives, families, churches, neighborhoods, and world.

On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good

New York Times Bestselling Author Jim Wallis discusses the themes of his latest book, On God’s Side.

Special thanks to Matt Willingham for extra video footage.

How should we respond to our converging crises of violent conflict, political corruption, and global ecological devastation? In this sweeping, big-picture synthesis, Louis G. Herman argues that for us to create a sustainable, fulfilling future, we need to first look back into our deepest past to recover our core humanity.

Important clues for recovery can be found in the lives of traditional San Bushman hunter-gatherers of South Africa, the closest living relatives to the ancestral African population from which all humans descended. Their culture can give us a sense of what life was like during the tens of thousands of years when humans lived in wilderness, without warfare, walled cities, or slavery. Herman suggests we draw from the experience of the San and other earth-based cultures and weave their wisdom together with the scientific story of an evolving universe to help create something radically new — an earth-centered, planetary politics with the personal truth quest at its heart.

Louis G. Herman, a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii–West Oahu, was born in an orthodox Jewish community in apartheid South Africa. He was educated in England, studied medicine at Cambridge University, and then moved to Israel to live on a kibbutz. After a life-changing wartime experience as an Israeli paratrooper, he turned to political philosophy. He lives in Honolulu.

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This culmination of award-winning author Andrew Harvey’s life’s work bridges the great divide between spiritual resignation and engaged spiritual activism. A manifesto for the transformation of the world through the fusion of deep mystical peace with the clarity of radical wisdom, it is a wake-up call to put love and compassion to urgent, focused action. According to Harvey, we are in a massive global crisis reflected by a mass media addicted to violence and trivialization at a moment when what the world actually needs is profound inspiration, a return to the heart-centered way of the Divine Feminine, the words of the mystics throughout the ages, and the cultivation of the nonviolent philosophies of Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Aung San Suu Kyi, and the Dalai Lama.

Harvey’s concepts of radical passion and sacred activism fly in the face of restraint, of pessimism, of denial, of all that is inhumane, fusing the mystic’s passion for God with the activist’s passion for justice and for healing the division between heaven and earth, heart and will, body and soul, prayer and action. Sacred activism asks that we engage deeply on a personal, spiritual, and political level so as to become a fully empowered, fully active, and contemplative humanity that can turn tragedy into grace, and desolation into the opportunity to build and co-create a new world.

Unlike many spiritual books, Radical Passion does not veil the dark with artificial hope. It explores the catastrophes of our current times and celebrates the ecstatic hope and divinity that is possible—right now and in the future.

The author of more than two dozen books, Andrew Harvey began his study and practice of Hinduism in 1978 after meeting a succession of Indian saints and sages. He has studied with masters such as Thuksey Rinpoche and Father Bede Griffiths for more than 30 years. Harvey was awarded the Christmas Humphrey prize for A Journey in Ladakh, the Humanities Team Award (an award previously received by Desmond Tutu) for his 2010 body of work, and a Nautilus Award for The Hope. He is founder and director of the Institute of Sacred Activism.

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Click here to listen to the radio talk.

View here for more of Andrew Harvey video clips.

‘Eradicating Ecocide highlights the need for enforceable, legally binding mechanisms in national and international law to hold account perpetrators of long term severe damage to the environment. At this critical juncture in history it is vital that we set global standards of accountability for corporations, in order to put an end to the culture of impunity and double standards that pervade the international legal system. Polly Higgins illustrates how this can be achieved in her invaluable new book.’ Bianca Jagger, Founder and Chair of Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation

In Eradicating Ecocide, international environment lawyer and activist Polly Higgins sets out to demonstrate in no uncertain terms how our planet is fast being destroyed by the activities of corporations and governments, facilitated by ‘compromise’ laws that offer insufficient deterrence. She offers a solution that is radical but, as she explains with great competence and experience, absolutely necessary.

The recent Mexican Gulf oil spill is a compelling reminder of the consequences of un-checked ecocide. Higgins advocates the introduction of a new international law against Ecocide. It would become the 5th Crime Against Peace and would hold to account heads of corporate bodies that are found guilty of perpetrating ecocide.

The opportunity to implement this law represents a crossroads in the fate of humanity; we can accept this one change and in doing so save our ecosystem for future generations, or we can continue to destroy it, risking future brutal war over disappearing natural resources. This is the first book to explain that we all have a commanding voice and the power to call upon all our governments to change the existing rules of the game. Higgins presents examples of laws in other countries which have succeeded in curtailing the power of governments, corporations and banks and made a sudden and effective change, demonstrating that her proposal is not impossible.

Eradicating Ecocide is a crash course on what laws work, what doesn’t and what else is needed to prevent the imminent disaster of global collapse. Eradicating Ecocide provides a comprehensive overview of what needs to be done in order to prevent ecocide. It is a book providing a template of a body of laws for all governments to implement, which applies equally to smaller communities and anyone who is involved in decision-making.

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earthrise : Big Thinker: Polly Higgins

In most countries the environment has no legal rights. Corporate CEOs and heads of state are not bound by law personally to look after the earth and clean up any mess they make. But environmental lawyer Polly Higgins is trying to change that.

Ecocide, the 5th Crime Against Peace: Polly Higgins at TEDxExeter

Dare to be great: Polly Higgins at TEDxWhitechapel

Barrister and activist known as ‘lawyer for the Earth’, Polly Higgins, tells her recent transformative experience taking time out walking in New Forest where she was awakened to her greater purpose and next steps in service of the Earth. She challenges us to ask the empowering questions: “How can we move from a place of dependency to a place of interdependency? How can we create a world of peace? How can I dare to be great?”

Polly Higgins, barrister, international lawyer and award winning author of Eradicating Ecocide, proposed to the United Nations in April 2010 a law of Ecocide to be classed as the 5th Crime Against Peace. Ecocide is defined as the mass “damage, destruction to or loss of ecosystems of a given territory, whether by human agency or by other causes, to such an extent that peaceful enjoyment by the inhabitants of that territory has been severely diminished.”
Polly has been a vocal spokesperson on Earth Law for a number of years and is recognised as an expert in her field. Her first book, Eradicating Ecocide: Laws and Governance to Prevent the Destruction of our Planet is published by Shepheard-Walwyn, Winner of the Peoples Book Prize 2011 for non-fiction and book number 2, Earth is our Business, changing the rules of the game has been described as ‘groundbreaking’. No other author has addressed the heart of the problem and proposed how to change it into a solution by using law. Polly has now mounted a global campaign to have Ecocide recognised as the 5th Crime Against Peace.

• Fox marries mysticism with social justice, leading the way toward a gentler and more ecological spirituality and an acceptance of our interdependence

• A road map to fulfillment for the coming century

In A Spirituality Named Compassion, Matthew Fox, the popular and controversial author, establishes a spirituality for the future that promises personal, social, and global healing. Using his own experiences with the pain and lifestyle changes that resulted from an accident, Fox has written an uplifting book on the issues of ecological justice, the suffering of Earth, and the rights of her nonhuman citizens.

Fox defines compassion as creativity put to the service of justice and argues that we can achieve compassion for both humanity and the environment as we recognize the interconnectedness of all things. Working toward the creation of a gentler, ecological, and feminist Christianity, Fox marries mysticism and social justice, emphasizing that as we enter a new millennium society needs to realize that spirituality’s purpose is to guide us on a path that leads to a genuine love of all our relations and a love for our shared interdependence.

Matthew Fox is a theologian, educator, former Dominican priest, and the author of such popular books as Original Blessing and The Coming of the Cosmic Christ. The author of twenty-one books and the winner of numerous awards, he is also the founder and president of the University of Creation Spirituality and co-director of The Naropa Institute’s master’s program in Creation Spirituality, both in Oakland, California.

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Matthew Fox: Creation Spirituality (excerpt) – A Thinking Allowed DVD with Jeffrey Mishlove


NOTE: This is an excerpt from a 30-minute DVD.
http://www.thinkingallowed.com/2mfox.html

A concern with nature and humanity is primary to the social conventions of organized religion, according to Matthew Fox, a Dominican priest and spiritual theologian. Fox is director of the Institute for Culture and Creation Spirituality at Holy Names College. Author of numerous books, including A Spirituality Named Compassion and the Healing of the Global Village and Creation Spirituality: Liberating Gifts for the Peoples of the Earth. Editor of Creation Magazine, he proposes that spirituality is a joyful response to life itself.

“The book that you hold in your hands is nothing short of a miracle.” —Desmond Tutu, from the Introduction

The authorized record of Nelson Mandela’s most inspiring and historically important quotations

Notes to the Future is the definitive book of quotations from one of the great leaders of our time. This collection—gathered from privileged access to Mandela’s vast personal archive of private papers, speeches, correspondence, and audio recordings— features more than three hundred quotations spanning more than sixty years, and includes his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech.

These inspirational quotations, organized into four sections—Struggle, Victory, Wisdom, and Future—are both universal and deeply personal. We see Mandela’s sense of humor, his loneliness and despair, his thoughts on fatherhood, and the reluctant leader who had no choice but to become the man history demanded.

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Nelson Mandela’s Life Story

A short documentary about Nelson Mandela and his legacy.
Credit: Nelson Mandela Foundation

https://i0.wp.com/therebelgod.com/HTG/images/cover.png Why did Jesus have to die? Was it to appease a wrathful God’s demand for punishment? Does that mean Jesus died to save us from God? How could someone ever truly love or trust a God like that? How can that ever be called ”Good News”? It’s questions like these that make so many people want to have nothing to do with Christianity.

Healing the Gospel challenges the assumption that the Christian understanding of justice is rooted in a demand for violent punishment, and instead offers a radically different understanding of the gospel based on God’s restorative justice. Connecting our own experiences of faith with the New Testament narrative, author Derek Flood shows us an understanding of the cross that not only reveals God’s heart of grace, but also models our own way of Christ-like love. It’s a vision of the gospel that exposes violence, rather than supporting it–a gospel rooted in love of enemies, rather than retribution. The result is a nonviolent understanding of the atonement that is not only thoroughly biblical, but will help people struggling with their faith to encounter grace.

DEREK FLOOD is an author, theologian and artist. He holds a masters degree in systematic theology from the Graduate Theological Union and is a featured blogger for the Huffington Post and Sojourners Magazine.

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Q & A WITH AUTHOR DEREK FLOOD

1. Healing the Gospel is focused on understanding the meaning of the cross. Why should the average Christian reader be interested in a book on the atonement?

Most of us were taught that Jesus needed to die to appease a wrathful God’s demand for punishment. This brings up a number of difficult questions: Does that mean Jesus died to save us from God? How could someone ever truly love or entrust themselves to a God like that? How can that ever be called “Good News”? It’s questions like these that have made so many people want to have nothing to do with Christianity.

These are deeply relevant questions for us to face that have a profound impact on our relationship with God and others. Countless people filling our pews have adopted a hurtful view of God and themselves which has led them to internalize feelings of shame and self-loathing. Others have lost their faith entirely, unable to worship a God who seems to them to be a moral monster. Faith motivated by fear, threat, and feelings of worthlessness. How could things have gone so wrong? When did the good news become bad news?

Healing the Gospel is about breaking away from that hurtful image of God and instead learning to understand the cross in the context of grace, restoration, and enemy love.

2. Many people would say that the idea that Jesus died to appease God’s demand for punishment is simply what the Bible teaches. How would you respond to that?

First, I would want to stress that this has not always been how Christians understood the atonement. For the first thousand years, the work of Christ was understood primarily in terms of God’s act of healing people, and liberating them from the bonds of sin and death. This understanding is known as Christus Victor. But gradually there was a shift towards a legal focus, and with it a focus on violent punishment. With this shift the message was flipped on it’s head: instead of the crucifixion being seen as an act of grave injustice (as it is portrayed in all four Gospels), it was now claimed that God had demanded the death of Jesus to quench his anger. Not coincidentally, this coincided with increased violence perpetrated by the church, and it went downhill from there.

As a society we’ve increasingly come to recognize the damage punishment can do―not just in the realm of religious violence like the Crusades, but spanning a wide scope of issues ranging from how we raise our kids to international conflict. Across the board we have come to see that restorative justice works and punitive justice doesn’t. It’s about making things right, rather than perpetuating hurt.

At the same time, it has been deeply ingrained into our thinking that God demands retributive justice. For many Christian this is inseparable from how they understand salvation. Consequently, in an effort to be true to the teachings of the Bible, many Christians struggle to believe it, even though it seems immoral and hurtful to them. They hate it, but think this is what God wants them to believe.

Healing the Gospel takes a deep look at the Bible and makes the case that this view is neither representative of Jesus and his teachings, nor is it reflective of the New Testament. Rather, it is the result of people projecting their worldly understanding of punitive justice onto the biblical text. Jesus was focused on confronting those cultural and religious assumptions. What we see in the New Testament is the gospel understood as God’s act of restorative justice. This is the master narrative of the New Testament, and entails a critique of the way of retribution and violence rather than a validation of it.

3. But doesn’t that entail being soft on crime, and not taking sin seriously? How can God be just if there are no consequences?

There most certainly are consequences. The choice is not between action and inaction, it is between allowing hurt to be perpetuated or acting to repair the harm. The Greek word for “saved” used throughout the Gospels is sozo, and it means both “saved” and “healed.” This is deeply significant because it reflects the fact that salvation is not conceptualized by Jesus in a legal framework, but in terms of healing and restoration. We see in Jesus that God’s response to sin is not to punish it, but to heal it. In other words, the guiding metaphor here is not sin as crime in need of punishment, but sin as sickness in need of healing. It’s a model of restoration not retribution.

This entails a much deeper understanding of sin because it recognizes its deep roots, and offers a real solution that involves changing a person’s heart, whereas a legal focus stays on a superficial level of outward behavior, and only perpetuates hurt through punishment.

In short, love heals. The real problem I think is that people don’t trust in love and so they revert to punishment and fear. But that is not the gospel. Real justice is not about punishment, it is about making things right. Likewise, biblical mercy is not about looking the other way, it is precisely about seeing. Compassion means that we do see the real problems and hurt around us, and therefore act in compassion to help. Justice is not in conflict with compassion, on the contrary real justice only comes through acts of compassion.

4. What about the the many passages that seem to support Christ being punished instead of us? For example Jesus is described as our sacrifice, and the book of Hebrews says that “without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” (Heb 9:22)

This is an important question, and Healing the Gospel spends a considerable amount of time carefully looking at key passages like this one in order to articulate an understanding of the cross that is at the same time both life-giving and grace-centered as well as thoroughly biblical.

In this particular example, it’s important to note that you have only quoted half of the verse. Context matters. The full verse reads: “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” So the stated purpose of the sacrificial blood is not to appease, but to cleanse, to purify, to make holy. We see this theme of sacrifice understood as cleansing repeated throughout Hebrews. It tells us the sacrifices were a symbol of the reality in Christ, and the focus is on how Christ acts to make us pure, cleansed and holy.

We see this in Paul too: A central focus of Paul’s throughout his epistles was on how we are to follow in the way of the cross, which is the way of enemy love. If we instead see the cross as focused on appeasing God’s anger then it ends up standing for the opposite: As if to say we should not act in retribution, but God apparently does.

Here’s a really simple rule of thumb: If our understanding of the cross completely contradicts everything Jesus taught and demonstrated in his own life, then we are probably missing the point. The things we see Jesus doing in the Gospels are there as a context for us to get what his cross was all about. Paul understood this, and said that we need to follow in that same way of the cross. This is the way of enemy love which God demonstrated in Jesus, and which we are to follow.

There is therefore no contradiction between how God treats his enemies, and how we are called by Jesus to treat ours. Show me someone who has forgiven a great wrong done to them―or even more, show me someone who has forgiven a great wrong done to someone they love dearly―and I’ll show you someone who understands the cross better than all the theologians in the world. We fail to understand the cross because we have not plumbed the depths of what great love can bear. Really getting the cross doesn’t come through study, it comes through discipleship. The more we grow to be like Jesus, to see people through his eyes, to love as he does, the more we understand his cross.

When journalist Liao Yiwu first stumbled upon a vibrant Christian community in the officially secular China, he knew little about Christianity. In fact, he’d been taught that religion was evil, and that those who believed in it were deluded, cultists, or imperialist spies. But as a writer whose work has been banned in China and has even landed him in jail, Liao felt a kinship with Chinese Christians in their unwavering commitment to the freedom of expression and to finding meaning in a tumultuous society.

Unwilling to let his nation lose memory of its past or deny its present, Liao set out to document the untold stories of brave believers whose totalitarian government could not break their faith in God, including:

The over-100-year-old nun who persevered in spite of beatings, famine, and decades of physical labor, and still fights for the rightful return of church land seized by the government

The surgeon who gave up a lucrative Communist hospital administrator position to treat villagers for free in the remote, mountainous regions of southwestern China

The Protestant minister, now memorialized in London’s Westminster Abbey, who was executed during the Cultural Revolution as “an incorrigible counterrevolutionary”

This ultimately triumphant tale of a vibrant church thriving against all odds serves as both a powerful conversation about politics and spirituality and a moving tribute to China’s valiant shepherds of faith, who prove that a totalitarian government cannot control what is in people’s hearts.

Liao Yiwu was born 1958 in Sichuan, and is a Chinese author, reporter, musician, and poet. He is a critic of the Chinese regime, for which he has been imprisoned, and the majority of his writings are banned in China. Liao is the author of The Corpse Walker: Real Life Stories, China from the Bottom Up and God Is Red: The Secret Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China.

In 2003, he received a Human Rights Watch Hellman-Hammett grant, and in 2007, he received a Freedom to Write Award from the Independent Chinese PEN Center.
HARDtalk: Liao Yiwu 1

Stephen Sackur talks to Liao Yiwu, writer and musician, about his time in prison and his work depicting China’s underclass.
HARDtalk: Liao Yiwu 2

Stephen Sackur asks Liao Yiwu, writer and musician, about his feelings towards his country.

HARDtalk: Liao Yiwu 3

Stephen Sackur talks to Liao Yiwu, writer and musician. Has his struggle for freedom become lost in modern day China?