Books By Lee Van Ham
Jubilee Circles: A guide to OneEarth Living
Blinded by Progress: Breaking Out of the Illusion That Holds Us
From Egos to Eden: Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable
Lee Van Ham
Nature mystic? In my boyhood in Iowa I knew nothing about being a nature mystic or contemplative as I walked the fields of our 80-acre farm after a rain. I talked and sang to the inhabitants of the creeks and hills. A Presence spoke back. I was sure of it. Were the plants “thinking” about me? Did they feel joy each Spring as they came to life? Or say farewell each Fall as Winter bit in? Later I learned the name for such knowing: nature mystic.
Neither home, church, or school did anything with this mystical thing. So my consciousness narrowed from these expansive possibilities into civilization’s “wisdom”—which means I pastored congregations in Chicago and Lincoln, Nebraska. But 32 years later, I broke away from some of civilization’s favorite religious categories to refocus. Two cancers were like a kiln. Chemo’s alchemy fired a new consciousness. The Presence hadn’t abandoned me. She was just working me over and clarifying that my late 50s were a great time to transfigure my work and devote myself to an ecologically-based economy.
So a few of us formed a couple of non-profits - Jubilee Economics that works on OneEarth living in the U.S. and Mexico, and the OneEarth Project focused on producing books and films on Earth-size living. Working on eco-justice and OneEarth living today seems like trying to achieve the impossible. Paradoxically, they are also more inevitable as Earth shows her genius in the face of fossil fuel-ishness and other breakdowns.
What moves me to act each day? Current apocalyptic events in our air, water, soils, and species. Then there’s the grotesque disfiguring of what is fair economically. And yup. Still there: the Presence. So, I’m looking to contribute to the massive aggregate of efforts underway to reverse climate change and keep Earth livable. That’s why I’ve surprised myself and written two books—"Blinded by Progress: Breaking Out of the Illusion that Holds Us", and "From Egos to Eden: Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable." The first one helped me understand that “improving my life” according to supersize, civilization’s ways have me and lots of us acting like we have more than one planet to live on. The second took me on the heroic journey of growing beyond ego-consciousness to becoming a new human. On that journey, I became deeply convinced that converting to nature’s genius makes it possible to live interdependently with all beings in Earth’s community of life.
It’s a trip thousands are on right now. Any more takers?