Nonfiction Books


A Writer in Panamá

Life and Travels in a Vanishing Frontier World

An American who cannot afford to live in his own house escapes to Panamá. Finds himself in Heaven - a beautiful land with wonderful people - but finds corrosive civilization coming ever nearer this fragile alien world.

In this travel memoir, novelist James David Audlin tells of his adventures in one of the world's last frontier lands. Here one still sees Ngäbe Buglé people, in their bare feet and traditional finery, walking through the village as if they are visiting from another planet. Here descendants of the Conquistadores still ride horseback on dirt roads far too rutted for the new arrivals, the gringos, to negotiate in their big SUVs. Here in the temblor-shaken Tierras Altas, in the shadow of the great Barú volcano at the center of the world - here, for a while yet, there is a respite from the worldwide flood of commercialism, bigotry, arrogation, and greed. But it will not last much longer.

Links for A Writer in Panama:

CLICK HERE FOR HARDCOVER EDITION (large size, with photos on nearly every page)

CLICK HERE FOR SOFTCOVER EDITION (large size, with photos on nearly every page)



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 The Circle of Life

A Memoir of Traditional Native American Teachings

In a manner accessible to the general reader, this treasury of traditional Native American sacred teachings offers the results of a lifetime of study of oral traditions involving spirituality, ceremonies, visions, healings, everyday life, and the warrior’s way.

This is the COMPLETE EDITION, three times the length of the previously published version.

"The Circle of Life" presents, in written form, traditional oral Native American sacred teachings from the Iroquois, Lakota, and other traditions. The author, James David Audlin (Distant Eagle), has been receiving these teachings orally from elders since he was a youth. The wisdom includes Native American views on cosmology, ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, sociology, psychology, healing, dream interpretation, and vision quests.

Audlin is not a spiritual teacher nor does he even consider himself an authority — he sees himself as a conduit through which the oral traditions handed down to him by elders from various tribes can be presented in a meaningful manner to peoples in today’s modern world. He outlines universal principles common to all the Native peoples of “Turtle Island” – and, in fact, to many traditional peoples the world over. We are all a part of the Sacred Hoop, he explains, and the traditional ways of the Native Americans differ only in relatively less essential outer characteristics from the traditional ways of other peoples.

The Red Road is available to everyone —regardless of religion or ethnicity — who is willing to follow its paths. These paths, however, are often not easy and require deep personal and spiritual commitment. “The Circle of Life” can be used as a guide on this journey. As Audlin says in his introduction, “If this book serves any purpose, let it be to help us bring the Sacred Hoop of All the Nations back together again, so we and all that lives may stand as one in silent awe before that Great Mystery.

Grandfather Sings-Alone, of the Eastern Cherokee Nation, author of “Sprinting Backwards to God”, says this book “is a must read for all who want to know the Native ways of worship and honor.”

The Rev. Nickolas M. Miles, Powhatan Nation says: “James David Audlin’s book Circle of Life offers the reader a glimpse into Native American traditional teachings that will help to eliminate preconceived notions and lead one to a deeper understanding of what it means to live in harmony with all of life. A bonus to reading this book is that your life will change.  

Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota Nation, a nationally syndicated columnist, says: “James David Audlin draws from his own experiences with Indian spirituality and blends them with the traditional Indian spirituality that is becoming more important in America with each passing decade. In blending his points of view with those of the indigenous people, he has created a mixture of Western values and Indian values. Some readers may think that the subject matter touches on traditional values some Indians would rather not reveal, and others will embrace his thoughts and his vibrant storytelling about something that has long been on the backburner of history. Audlin is not bashful in presenting an entirely new conception of Indian spirituality and values.”




The following older, much shorter version, still in print, remains popular with many readers.


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The Book of Dreams

that came to James David Audlin


A novelist whose works are often based on dreams here provides vivid dreams from over a lifetime that not only inspired a number of literary works, but are artistic creations themselves.

"Dreams are essential to me. I do my best to pay attention to them. Not only do I often write them down, but I think about them for years afterwards. It is occasionally made clear to me that they are meant to be turned into stories or poems or plays, or even songs. ...

Dreams can be funny, irritating, frightening, profound, exciting, and everything else – but always sacred. Some of these dreams have been clearly prophetic, some came at significant moments in my life, and all of them are moving. ...

If nothing else, I hope you will find these dreams entertaining. More than that, you might appreciate this window into the craft of a writer. Best of all, perhaps you will sense through them how sacred and powerful the voice of Spirit is and be encouraged to listen for that voice yourself.

For these dreams are not mine, in the possessive sense; they are all of ours; they are Spirit’s."

--from the Preface



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Ranting the Truth
The Essays of James David Audlin


Essays on clocks, Gothic architecture, Edgar Rice Burroughs, the art and craft of writing, philosophy, politics, and much more. This book will be made available as soon as possible after James David Audlin once again has his notebook of essays, which is presently stuck in France.



The Gospel of John

translated by James David Audlin

A scholarly translation of a text that has come down to us  badly edited and then "reworked" by the early Christian Church to suppress anything antithetical to its doctrine of the divinity of Jesus, will be presented translated directly from the original Greek, with an introduction, textual notes, and appendices. Prepare for some eye-opening corrections. This text will retain only the original work and put material by other people into appendices. It will correctly translate passages that have long been rendered incorrectly, such as the famous John 3:16 and the last two chapters. Most important, it will establish a more correct order of passages to provide a more orderly and logical flow of events. This gospel, the only eyewitness account of the rabbi Y'shuah, whom Christians call Jesus the Christ, deserves better treatment than it has been subjected to for two millennia.



What Gives Existence

the Heterobiography of James David Audlin


"Since this is not an autobiography the story does not center on me, and therefore though I am telling the story, the story is not about me. It begins with ancestors, with place, with time. Nor does it end with me. This story embraces all. It doesn’t look at me but outward from me. This story is written by the world, and only recorded by me.

"A heterobiography is not an autobiography, not the organized, synthesized memories of self-as-actor in the context of community, but the raw memories of community in the context of self-as-observer. An autobiography is necessarily narcissistic, dwelling on the self recounting the memories of self. An autobiography is deliberately selective, like a history, choosing certain memories for inclusion and others for exclusion in order to present a certain desired simulacrum of the past. Memories, however, are primarily not of self but of the world around us – for we do not observe ourselves; we remember far more the world around us, and the words and actions of others. What we think of as memories of ourselves are really only mental reconstructions not true to life. Therefore a heterobiography is truer to memory, and tells the story more faithfully, giving only indirectly a sense of the individual telling the story.

"Besides that it can more faithfully portray the past, a heterobiography seems to me the right medium for a deeper reason. I do not believe one can ever know with certainty why one was given the gift of life; Creator neither confides in us a raison d’être nor gives us a list of instructions or projects that we are expected to complete before death. But I do believe that Creator provides us with hints as to what we are to do with our life, and that these hints may be found in the people we meet, the experiences we have, the particular abilities we find within ourselves, the books we read, and so on. I have, for instance, had the opportunity to meet wise exponents of the world’s great faiths; there is general consensus that within me is a facility for learning languages and writing well, and composing and performing music. Others have taught me the importance of thinking clearly and deeply relatively free from the subtly instilled strictures of society; and of doing what one can to leave some goodness behind when one is gone from this life – and, since these aspects of my nature are ultimately the residue of direct experience, they seem to point clearly to why I exist. This book, I hope, will bear out this unprovable belief."

--from the opening pages

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