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James O'Dea
James O’Dea teaches international courses in peacebuilding and social healing and is bestselling author of Cultivating Peace and Creative Stress He is a member of the extended faculty of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and was, until recently, its President. The Institute of Noetic Sciences is a non-profit membership organization, founded in 1973 by astronaut Edgar Mitchell, that explores the frontiers of consciousness and global paradigm change.

James also spent 10 years as the Director of the Washington Office of Amnesty International, where he testified before Congress, met with U.S. Presidents.

Subsequently, he spent five years as Executive Director of the Seva Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to international health and development." Prior to that James lived and worked in Turkey and Lebanon and witnessed civil conflict, war and massacre, which influenced him deeply.

James founded and co-led with Dr. Judith Thompson an international series of "Compassion and Social Healing" dialogues funded by the Fetzer Institute. The dialogues, spanning a seven-year period, brought together leaders and activists in a variety of fields related to human rights, peace, and social reconciliation initiatives. James and Judith are currently involved in a major initiative to expand the theory and practice of social healing funded by the Kalliopeia Foundation.

Since 2008, James has been a member of the Evolutionary Leaders, a group convened by Deepak Chopra and Diane Williams to unify efforts in support of evolutionary changes in political, economic, ecological, scientific and health and healing arenas. He is also a member of the Global Systems Initiatives, an organization bringing a whole-systems approach to complex global issues, founded by Louise Diamond. He regularly participates in the Language of Spirit Dialogues, which are convened by the SEED Graduate Institute for Native Americans, Physicists, and thought leaders.

He lectures all over the world and has essays published in numerous magazines and books, including currently "The Mystery of 2012" (Sounds True); "Consciousness and Healing: An Integral Approach to Mind-Body Medicine" (Elsevier); and "Earthrise: The Dawning of a New Civilization in the 21st Century" (Goi). His new book, "Creative Stress: A Path for Evolving Souls Living Through Personal and Planetary Upheaval," was released March 2010.

Visit his website at

Entries by James O'Dea

Mind the Gap: Bridging the Chasm Between Rhetoric and Reality

(2) Comments | Posted August 21, 2012 | 2:00 PM

There is a widening gap between rhetoric and reality in American life and politics. Now would be an especially good time to look around and identify genuine bridge builders because the more extreme the divide the harder it will be to construct viable bridges so needed in times of crisis.

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Should Accountability for Global Warming Be Linked to Crimes Against Humanity?

(31) Comments | Posted July 31, 2012 | 6:21 PM

We define as having criminal intent any person who calculates that there is a definite possibility their actions will result in harm to others. Equally, we define as criminally negligent anyone who is aware that an individual is likely to harm others but who ignores the situation. In the not-too-distant...

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The Politics of Struggle vs. Snuggle

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2012 | 3:12 PM

Harvard Professor Martin Nowak, writing in the current issue of Scientific American suggests that life is not just a struggle for survival, it is also a snuggle for survival. In fact evolution has always depended on more snuggle than bare-toothed struggle and aggression. So can our politicians please...

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Eradicating the Smell of Contempt

(1) Comments | Posted July 2, 2012 | 3:02 PM

While the Attorney General faces contempt of Congress charges for what many agree was mild and routine political obfuscation, politicians are throwing up rivers of bile and taking us for fools who will mistake the stench as honest or genuine political debate.

Adolescents vomit after binge drinking and politicians who...

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New Entry Qualifications for Political Life

(7) Comments | Posted June 18, 2012 | 12:42 PM

There are plenty of politicians who genuinely desire to serve their communities and nations with humility and integrity, dedicating their lives to the cultivation of a wisdom that will benefit society at large; sadly, they are a minority.

Mostly, the perception of those who crowd public office is that they...

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Entropy, Negentropy and Our Moral Imagination

(3) Comments | Posted April 8, 2011 | 9:36 PM

Scientists are not the only ones these days pointing out the fact that our planetary civilization is hugely entropic: we are burning up useable stuff at ever accelerating rates. China's latest move to reduce exporting rare minerals used for all our tech toys from iPads to cellphones is just our...

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There's Nothing 'Magical' About Societal Healing

(1) Comments | Posted December 6, 2010 | 2:29 AM

Nothing seems spontaneous when it comes to the necessary evolutionary work of releasing social pathologies or historically embedded wounds. Sorry, I know wonders and miracles abound when people change their attitudes and deep-seated beliefs about themselves and their bodies.

I know that affirmations, gratefulness and forgiveness can bring swift...

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Finding the Holy of Holies: Sticky Particles and the Ground of All Being

(68) Comments | Posted October 4, 2010 | 7:23 PM

There was some excitement at the Tevatron collider site in the U.S. recently, not because they had found what has been mischievously referred to as the "God particle," but because they had ruled out a quarter of the energy range where the Higgs particle is said to exist. Meanwhile, the...

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