The Sacred Ego
Making Peace with Ourselves and Our World
“This brilliant and visionary book outlines a pathway to peace that is grounded in our collective evolutionary capacity for loving presence and intelligent action. Jalaja Bonheim’s compelling stories of deep transformation in Circlework both inspire and energize … she gives us hope for the healing of our world.”
—Tara Brach, PhD, author of Radical Acceptance and True Refuge
Why have we failed to create the happy, peaceful world that we all want? Are we even capable of it? And if so, what must we do? For over three decades, Jalaja Bonheim has explored these questions in her work with women healers, leaders, activists and spiritual seekers from around the world.
In The Sacred Ego, she tackles one of the core myths of popular spiritual culture—the myth of the ego, supposedly responsible for our greed, selfishness, and violence. In contrast, Bonheim approaches the ego as a sacred function worthy of honor and gratitude. Instead of struggling against it, she invites us to cultivate a new relationship with it based on respect and understanding. With riveting stories from her work, she guides us into the depths of our collective psyche to pinpoint the real sources of our problems and illuminate our path to wholeness.
It’s high time we developed a new sense of respect and compassion for our ego. It is not our enemy. It’s our friend. Granted, it’s a problematic, difficult friend, but a friend nonetheless who deserves to be honored as a sacred ally dedicated to the protection and preservation of life.
Firmly grounded in a lifetime of practical experience, The Sacred Ego is a visionary, uplifting book that explains where we stand as a species, why we’re in crisis, and how each one of us can support the unprecedented transformational process we’re witnessing today. With dozens of powerful exercises!
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“Jalaja Bonheim is the essential voice of feminine wisdom without which we cannot heal ourselves or our planet”
—Marci Shimoff, bestselling author of Love for No Reason
“Based on Jalaja Bonheim’s groundbreaking work with thousands of people from around the world, The Sacred Ego blends profound spiritual wisdom with exciting new insights into the human psyche. For the first time, I can say that I really understand how our dysfunctional behavior evolved and where the path to healing and wholeness lies. For anyone committed to personal and collective transformation, The Sacred Ego is a must-read. It sheds new light on our evolutionary journey and offers profound insights into why we’re in crisis and where the path to healing and wholeness lies.”
—Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money
“The Sacred Ego is a brilliant, wise, profoundly grounded and practical guide to transmuting the selfish ego into one that serves joyfully and humbly the divine truths of love, compassion and justice. All seekers and sacred activists should read and integrate the wisdom Jalaja Bonheim unfolds here with such seasoned pragmatism and spiritual grace.”
—Andrew Harvey, author of The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism
“With an authority that grows from years of experience, Jalaja Bonheim helps us understand how we can be the change we hope to move toward. Absorbing, inspiring, and practical, her book is grounded in psychology, anthropology, and neuroscience.”
—Jean Shinoda Bolen, MD, author of Goddesses in Everywoman and The Millionth Circle
“The Sacred Ego is an exciting, compelling, groundbreaking book, and a work of irresistible compassion.”
—Joan Borysenko, PhD, author of It’s Not the End of the World: Developing Resilience in Times of Change
“Jalaja Bonheim has written a lucid, inspiring vision, based on her direct experience of how to unlock the potential of the human heart for the benefit of all. The Sacred Ego shows how we can awaken the deep wisdom already inside us. A deeply insightful and important work.”
—James Baraz, coauthor of Awakening Joy: 10 Steps That Will Put You on the Road to Real Happiness and cofounding teacher of Spirit Rock Meditation Center
“What a powerful book! Revealing a path to peace within and without, The Sacred Ego is a much-needed offering to the world.”
—Dorothy Firman, EdD, coauthor of Chicken Soup for the Mother & Daughter Soul and Chicken Soup for the Father & Son Soul
“This penetrating and deeply kind book, based on Jalaja Bonheim’s invaluable experience of working with circles of people from around the world, shows how we can create a sane and peaceful world for ourselves and the children of the future.”
—Sherry Ruth Anderson, coauthor of The Cultural Creatives and author of Ripening Time
“With beauty, grace and insight, Jalaja Bonheim peels away layers of encrusted cultural conditioning to reveal a shining jewel: the evolutionary potential of the human race when it taps into its own heart. Read this book and it may change your way of thinking.”
—Liz Walker, cofounder, executive director of EcoVillage at Ithaca and author of Choosing a Sustainable Future