From Egos to Eden: Our Heroic Journey to Keep Earth Livable
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 at 1:48PM
Webmaster in Books, From Egos to Eden

SAN DIEGO, CA— Einstein’s saying that we cannot solve our problems with the same way of thinking that created them is quoted at the front of this book. The rest of the book takes us on the adventure of getting to that new way of thinking. With imagination joining reason, and spirituality joining science, we can see through the ecological breakdown of civilization to what is already emerging next. That breakthrough to a sustainable future for our species is not guaranteed. But this book shows how to make the transformative changes needed. It provides a new way of thinking that is interdependent with all of life. Result? Falling in love with Earth-size living. 

The changes we need to make are daunting, requiring nothing less than a heroic journey. It is the use of the mythological heroic journey that is a unique feature of this book. Making that journey transforms us into humans with the capacities to live in Earth-shaped ways. We take leave from smaller topographies of ego consciousness to the far greater topographies in which Self guides our lives. In that larger Spiritual Consciousness we are capable of doing what is beyond our reach in the consciousness where egos shape the supermalls, industrial farming, violent struggles of civilization, technological dependency, and disconnection from Earth’s community of life. We can keep Earth livable.

Strong symbols for OneEarth living, and stories with the power to take us there, get the book beyond the science of our crises to the emotional engines that make changes. The book re-narrates the Eden story, a story which has been used overwhelmingly as a morality tale of human failure. But renarrated, the story regains the edge it had originally when it’s creators told it to protest the oversized, coercive ways that the Babylonian Empire was imposing on life in the Middle East of the 6th century B.C.E. Retold, Eden puts the spotlight onto current superpowers and protests them: the United States’ global reach, China’s rapidly emerging super-status, and the globalization driven by transnational corporations. The superpower model does not fit our planet and must be heroically replaced by strong OneEarth models practiced throughout creation, from policies that aggressively realign transnational corporations with Earth to advertizing and lifestyles that do the same. 

Guides on the heroic journey are essential. First Peoples who have resisted the Civilization Project of MultiEarth living for millennia are able guides and co-creators of Earth-size living today. Patricia St. Onge (Haudenosaune) has written the “Foreword” and consulted on Chapter Seven, “Guides for Earth-size Living: First Peoples.” 

Another guide is Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung whose input on archetypes and two centers of human identity, ego and Self, give us a framework for believing we can be new humans able to respond to Earth’s insurgency. The book includes graphics of the ego-Self relationship, a sequence of the heroic journey to OneEarth living, an image illustrating how our consciousness expands by pushing out into the unknown, and a map for traversing five topographies of consciousness from smaller to larger. All the graphics help us move from smaller, ego consciousness that tyrannizes civilization with MultiEarth domination to the largest topography called Spiritual Consciousness, where our species joins the others in OneEarth interdependence, nature’s norm.

If you’re feeling that the ecological crises of climates, land depletion, ocean warming, population explosion, species extinctions, and greenhouse gases are bigger than our species can correct, be sure to read this book. Read it too if you’re wondering, “What more can I do?”


Link here for an interview that circulated on the “X” Broadcasting Network.

The author is available for presentations and book signings. If you can set up podcast, media interview, or schedule a gathering on the important themes of this book, please contact him ( or 619-528-8075).


Available online through Powells and others; also Amazon. Ask your bookstore to carry it or order it.


What Others Are Saying about From Egos to Eden

Wes Howard Brook, Seattle University, author of Empire Baptized: How the Church Embraced What Jesus Rejected (2016)

Lee Van Ham understands deeply the urgent task before humanity as a species: turning from what he calls a “MultiEarth” to a “OneEarth” consciousness. Drawing upon a wide range of companions on the journey, including Jungian psychology, indigenous myth, personal experience and modern science, Van Ham gracefully and passionately interweaves the call to inner transformation and social/ecological transformation that is necessary to our survival. He gently leads readers step-by-step to begin to put aside ego-based control and move into interdependence with all of creation. It is a challenging, but much needed invitation. Folks overwhelmed by the state of the world and not sure how to respond will find here a solid companion and guide. 

Kritika Narula, blogger at “So Many Books, So Little Time,” freelance writer, Delhi, India

I had earlier read Blinded By Progress and adored how our environmental issues were explained through the concept of the Muti-Earth worldview. This book takes it up a notch and shares information at a speed that speaks volumes about the urgency of the situation we are in. It echoes the sentiment of Amitav Ghosh’s The Great Derangement and is just as commendable an effort to bring the environmental discourse to the centrestage. It is important to view this as a call to action, one which is reaching it’s finality.

Richard Rohr, Dean of the Living School for Action and Contemplation, Albuquerque, New Mexico

It’s widely agreed that a massive effort is needed to keep our planet habitable in this century. Less widely understood is how our human species must move beyond ego-consciousness into the greater consciousness centered in the soul, or Self, in order to be capable of that effort. From Egos to Eden clearly shows how the two energize each other, making possible new humans and new societies. It provides a compelling eco-spirituality in which Earth and soul are no longer in opposition, but poles for an integrating Uni-verse. Readers will be guided through the stages of the heroic journey that is ours to make in these decades.

Herman F. Greene, President, Center for Ecozoic Studies, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Van Ham asks the essential question, “How do humans live on one Earth?” and takes it seriously. This book is the second in a trilogy, the first concerning the illusion of progress and the succeeding one to focus on best practices. In this volume he takes us on the hero’s journey of moving from false reality of our current “MultiEarth” industrial civilization to taking on the burden and then the promise of a viable future. He draws heavily on Thomas Berry who wrote that the main difficulty in this journey would not be the physical situation but the “psychic entrancement” of our present mode of development. This is a soul struggle of the highest degree at both the individual and collective levels. Van Ham looks for guidance in the wisdom of indigenous people who preceded civilization and now distance themselves from it. He recovers the meaning of the Garden of Eden as the promise of cooperative balance and what befalls us when that is lost. He takes us on the journey of moving beyond the small self of ego to the larger self that lives in a covenant relationship with Earth and all its beings.

Steve Gehring, corporate attorney, Omaha Nebraska

From Egos to Eden is a must read for all of us who continue to treat our planet as though we had three others in the warehouse. Lee Van Ham … is one of only two or three people throughout my life who can stretch me to uncomfortable spiritual growth and love me through the process. Blinded by Progress and From Egos to Eden have again done that for me and will do it for all who read these two jewels. Lee’s gentle but compelling journey will motivate each of us to a deeper understanding of our Garden and how to preserve it for the next generations of inhabitants.

Pannell Carr, M.D., Jungian-oriented Spirit-centered therapist, San Diego, California

“From Egos to Eden” powerfully informs and champions the earth’s present crisis and calls for help, inspiring a needed paradigm shift into greater consciousness.  By doing the hard work of illuminating and contrasting the healthy connection that exists between earth and spirit, it offers us a sound, beneficial and soulful path for the healing and regeneration of our civilization.

Jim Larkin, Interfaith Minister, Berkeley, California

In “From Egos to Eden” Lee Van Ham provides a well thought-out and beautifully communicated wake up call for humanity to save ourselves and the One Planet we have to live on…. The story of human history Van Ham presents, which he calls the “Civilization Project”, clearly explains how we have come to live with a “Multi-Earth” mentality that literally requires much more than our “OneEarth” can provide. We are literally living beyond our means as a race, and have been for a very long time. Is there still time to turn this dynamic around? Pick up, open, and read this book to receive a compelling call to action to insure that there is!

Jeff Edwards, Professor Emeritus, Northeastern Illinois University, Chicago, IL 

Van Ham has studied, reinterpreted and brought forth a new old version of OneEarth and that is a good thing. What first opened my eyes in this book is Van Ham’s deconstruction of the Eden Myth. Clearly, and supported by researched references, he takes us back to Augustine’s version of the Eden myth that is not the original Judea version. What a difference, when you see how the original is far from what we have been indoctrinated to believe. Van Ham submits that Nature’s interdependence of all life becomes the renewed version of life. 

Gerald Iversen, CEO and Chief Activist at Simple Living Works

Some may read Van Ham’s words as “Change or Die!” For those who will hear, he is most emphatically and sincerely saying “Change and LIVE!” Though the subject of the book is “deep,” Van Ham keeps it from getting academic. Without being self-indulgent, he connects each of the steps toward OneEarth consciousness to to his own personal story.

Article originally appeared on OneEarth sustainability amid climate change (
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