When the Pope and the Dalai Lama call

Thom Hartmann in Australia February 2002

It is a rare ecologist that will step forward and say that recycling won't save the world, preserving what is left of the ancient rainforests won't save the world the way we THINK it will. This is the message from Thom Hartmann, American ecologist, businessman and psychotherapist, which has made thousands of people around the world stop and take notice, including His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight waking up to personal and global transformation, Thom Hartmann believes that we are in the process of a conscious evolution.

Visiting Australia in February 2002 for Banquet for the Soul, a series of one-day seminars, his unique view of ecological damage says that the world's problems do not derive from technology, violence in the media, excessive consumption or any other thing we do, but from our own view of the world.

"There is power in how we think about things. Everything we see around us is the manifestation of thoughts. The tiniest and most anonymous of actions can have historic ramifications.

"In this way, by changing the way we see and understand the world and by examining our cultural stories, every person can have an impact on reversing the deterioration of the globe," Hartmann states.

Hartmann's solutions claim to be neither new nor radical, he believes we need to re-learn the lessons our ancient ancestors knew lessons that allowed them to live sustainably for hundreds of thousands of years and which we have forgotten.

"This change in perspective will then naturally lead us to begin to control our populations, save our forests, re-create community, and reduce our wasteful consumption," he says.

Hartmann has been described as an innovator in the fields of psychiatry, ecology, and the intersection of spiritual and cultural transformation. An award-winning, best-selling author of eleven books he has appeared on the front page of the Wall Street Journal and has had a book selected for the highly coveted Smithsonian permanent collection.

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight resulted in an invitation to spend a week with His Holiness the Dalai Lama at his home in Dharamsala, India. An unsolicited personal audience with Pope John Paul II was the result of another of his books, the internationally acclaimed, The Prophet's Way (released in Australia in November).

Hartmann also lives what he speaks and is co-founder, along with his wife, of the New England Salem Children's Village where for five years he ran a residential facility, changing the lives of troubled youth. The Salem Relief Organisation supports children's villages in seven countries and is directed by Hartmann. He frequently serves as on-site negotiator for the organisation and its host countries, including Bogota, Uganda, India, Russia and Rwanda. Through his work at the Salem village in America he came to work closely with Attention Deficit Disorder children. Recognised for his controversial theories on the subject he is also the author of five books on ADD.

A former journalist, Hartmann is both a licensed pilot and a licensed private detective (neither of which he practices), and a former skydiver. Amongst his many qualifications, he completed a post-graduate course in acupuncture at the Beijing International Acupuncture Institute.

Additionally, he has been the founder of seven businesses including an advertising agency and has worked as a consultant to hundreds of companies. His clients have included over four hundred and seventy of the Fortune 500 firms.

Hartmann will be joined at Banquet for the Soul by Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations with God.