Friday, October 17, 2014
Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward (Sacred Activism)
by Steven B. 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 in the section, "Ten Ways to Practice Spiritual Democracy."