Volume 3



A countup to the year 2000


Chancellor of the UN University for Peace
Former UN Assistant Secretary General

: Barbara Gaughen-Muller
: Jennifer Kubel
: Wanda Dove and Carolyn Hawkins

Copyright © August, 1997

Portions of this may be copied for nonprofit purposes, provided that credit is given to the author. Please notify Gaughen Global PR of any articles or publications referring to these 500 ideas.
This book may be purchased by sending a check for $21.95 ($16.95 per copy plus $5.00 shipping and handling) to the address below.
Make checks payable to Gaughen Global PR.
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Dr. Robert Muller is available for presentations regarding the 2000 Ideas, and may be contacted at:

MEDIA 21 *Global Public Relations
Barbara Gaughen-Muller
7456 Evergreen Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93117 USA
Fax: 805 968-5747
E-mail: Barbara@rain.org

To Barbara Gaughen-Muller who inspired this book, had unstinting faith in it, never allowed me to give up, laboured hard on it, making it the joint product of the global, cosmic couple we consider ourselves to be.

An Agenda For The Future

Our absolute priorities and objectives
for the 21st century and the third millennium should be:

  1. To make this planet a paradise
  2. To eradicate from it all the poverty, miseries and errors engendered by power, greed and egotism
  3. To make out of all humans one family
  4. To create a new social, political world order for the centuries to come
  5. To attain a life of fulfillment and happiness for all humans
  6. To achieve a human family in harmony with the Earth and the heavens
  7. To be the ultimate cosmic success of the Universe and God.

No dream is too big

Barbara Gaughen and Dr. Robert Muller

See the world with global eyes.
Love the world with a global heart.
Understand the world with a global mind.
Merge witht he world through a global spirit.

Our absolute priorities and objectives

for the 21st century and the third millennium should be:


You see things as they are and you say, why? I dream of things that never were and I say, why not?-George Bernard Shaw

Every great and commanding moment in the annals of the world is the triumph of some enthusiasm. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost, that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them. -Henry Thoreau

The greatest insanity is surely to see the world only as it is, and not as it might be. -Miguel de Cervantes

In the future civilization, the power of human creativity will be valued as the greatest resource of the planet. -Mathew Fox and Brian Swimme

The well expressed opposite of any generally accepted idea is worth a fortune. -Fitzgerald

Be not afraid of life. Believe that life is worth living, and your belief will help you create the fact. -William James

We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark. The real tragedy of life is when grownups are afraid of light. -Plato

Dream, dream, dream
Love, love, love
your dreams
Work, work, work
for your dreams
And you will find
heaven on Earth

-Robert Muller

Of all things the most difficult to contain is the expansion of an idea. It is enough for truth to appear just once, to a single mind. From that moment nothing can prevent its spreading until it lights up the world. For whatever is truer will come to light, and whatever is better will ultimately become reality. -Teilhard de Chardin

Unknown to most of us, we are traveling in the midst of an enormous company of allies: a large population of creative people, who are the carriers of more positive ideas, values and trends than any previous renaissance period has ever seen. -Paul H. Ray, From a large research project

One of the basic theorems of the theory of image is that it is the image which in fact determines what might be called the current behavior of any organism or organization. The image acts as a field. The behavior consists in gravitating toward the most highly valued part of the world. -Kenneth Boulding

Humanity has reached the stage of knowledge and creativity when we must acquire a global and cosmic consciousness, and a long term consciousness into the future. An age of unprecedented, flourishing ideas has come which will make of humanity an entirely new species, a transcendent, elevated, cosmic species. - Robert Muller

The beginning of every act of knowing, and therefore of every science, must be our consciousness and perception of things. -Max Planck

Imagination is more important than knowledge. -Einstein

A vivid imagination compels the whole body to obey it. -Aristotle

Mental anticipation now pulls the future into the present and reverses the direction of causality. -Erich Jantsch

Only a new spiritual vision &emdash; cosmic in its dimensions and global in scope &emdash; can rescue civilization. -Vaclav Havel

Use the light that dwells within you to regain your natural sight. -Lao Tze

It is useless to close the gates against ideas; they overleap them. -Metternich

The first person you need to have belief in your dreams is yourself. -Joe Fontana, a youth leader from Loveland Colorado

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward; they may be beaten, but they may start a winning game. -Goethe

An idea must be vigorous, positive and without loose ends so that it may fulfill its divine mission and be productive. -Goethe

I do not need to hope to give birth to a new idea;
I do not need to succeed to persevere
A new idea is God speaking to me. -Robert Muller

The mind is not a vessel to be filled, but a fire to be ignited. -Plutarch

The love of an idea is the love of God. -Frank Lloyd Wright

Not everything that counts can be counted. Not everything that can be counted counts. -Einstein

Small minds discuss gossip, average minds discuss events, but great minds discuss ideas. -An old proverb

What makes men of genius is not new ideas, it is the idea by which they are obsessed that what has been said has still not been said enough. -Delacroix

Ideas are like stars. You will never succeed in touching them with your hands, but like the seafaring man on the desert of waters, you choose them as your guides, and following them you will reach your destiny. -Carl Schurz, a US Senator who lived in Abraham Lincoln's time

We are constantly being astonished these days at the amazing discoveries in the field of violence. But I maintain that far more undreamt and seemingly impossible discoveries will be made in the field of nonviolence. -Mahatma Gandhi

Right ideas of our relationships with the Earth, with humanity, with the heavens and with time will be the true factors of our continued, ascending evolution. -Robert Muller

Your happiness depends on three things, all of which are within your power: your will, your ideas concerning the events in which you are involved, and the use you make of your ideas. Epictetus- A manual for Living



Group Has Prompted 12 U.S. Governors to Honor the 1000 Day Countup
White House is Considering National Proclamation:
Authors Aim To Present Future-Positive Books to Clintons for April 6

President Clinton concluded his State of the Union message by urging that we use the next 1000 days as an opportunity to work together to build a better future. "We don't have a moment to waste." Two writers who heard the speech agree that today it is more urgent than ever to view the new millennium as a once-in-a-thousand-years opportunity for new beginnings.

Believing that story teaches behavior and that the keyboard is mightier than the sword, authors Linda Grover and Robert Alan Silverstein, who learned about each other on the Internet, have founded Authors for the Millennium. A.M. will serve as a clearinghouse to organize published authors of future-positive works, and to encourage the writing of such books as blueprints for a new dawn in human relations - a new A.M. This is not an idea to promote books. These are books written to promote ideas.

"I believe we can consciously use the enormous global energy generated by the Millennial celebration," says Grover, "to make lasting positive change in our world. Humanity has never before done anything together. But now for the first time, technology gives us the opportunity to gather at an electronic global hearth and re-bond. So let us start planning to do just that, both on December 31, 1999 and December 31, 2000. Then let us use the year in between to travel together toward a partnership world."

Silverstein, along with Lois Nicolai of World Peace 2000, has so far persuaded twelve U.S. governors to issue proclamations recognizing the 1000 day count-up. The White House recently advised them that a similar national proclamation was under consideration. Representatives of A.M. hope to present the state proclamations, and members' future-positive books, to the president this week, and to invite authors Hillary Rodham Clinton and Al Gore to join Authors of the Millennium.

About the founders of Authors for the Millennium

Linda Grover's last book, August Celebration (410,000 in print) demonstrates the power of celebration. A former TV headwriter and NY times best-selling author, Grover has just completed Tree Island, an action adventure windsurfing novel written to promote Riane Eisler's vision of partnership. To help turn fiction to reality, each book will contain a sealed invitation to unified global celebration and a request to pass it on. Grover is organizing a windsurfing event to take place April 6th in locations around the globe.

Robert Alan Silverstein is the author of forty children's science books, published by Harper, Morrow, Putnam, etc. In 1995 he formed People for Peace and Kids for Peace, educational networks on the Internet. He is Webmaster for WorldPeace1000, and his book, The Peace on Earth Millennium, is posted on the Internet. President Clinton's public challenge caused Robert to redouble his efforts to raise awareness of the 1000 day opportunity.

Following are the first authors to join Authors for the Millennium

Robert Muller is former Assistant Secretary General of the UN. He created the World Core Curriculum for which he was awarded the UNESCO Peace Prize. The author of numerous books, including The Birth of a Global Civilization, Muller is currently Chancellor of the UN University for Peace in Costa Rica. He will deliver a major address at the GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP 2000 Youth Congress in Vancouver, Canada on April 6th and he will contribute the first 500 of 2000 ideas for a better world to the White House.

Barbara Gaughen is the author of Book Blitz, and is working with Dr. Robert Muller on 2000 Ideas for a Better World. Her radio show "Inspiring Conversations" is broadcast worldwide. She is the president of the Book Publicists and chair of the Women's World Commission for a New Constitution for Humanity and Earth.

Desmond Berghofer is author of The Visioneers: A Courage Story About Belief in the Future, and has just completed Antale, an allegory featuring ants and explores humanity's challenge on the eve of the 21st century. Berghofer has organized the GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP 2000 Youth Congress, which is taking place in Vancouver, Canada on April 4-6th.

Steve Diamond, author of What the Trees Said and co-author, with Robert Alan Silverstein, of the online picture book, One Day in Peace, January 1, 2000. He is a coordinator of the campaign for 24 hours of peace on January 1, 2000.


The 1000 Day Launch


On April 4-6, 1997 the Global Citizenship 2000 Youth Congress launched a 1000 day countdown of creative work on projects designed to care for the Earth and all its life. It was a spectacular start, held in the magnificent concourse of the Vancouver Public Library, on the most important agenda the world has ever known. The youth delegates embraced their task with enthusiasm and commitment.

On that occasion the following Earth Day Proclamation was circulated to the students and all participants and invited guests for signature. It is hoped that innumerable people around the world will sign it.

The Earth Proclamation

We are One people
We are One planet
We have One common dream
We want to live in peace
We choose to protect and heal the Earth
We decide to create a better world for all
We will do our best to make that dream come true
We will change what needs to be changed
We learn to love, share and forgive
We are One people, we want to live and we will.

Personal Commitment

I, the Undersigned,

aware that human activities are seriously endangering the fragile ecosystems of our planet, aware of the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, aware of the need to redirect my energies to protect and restore the global Web of Life,

decide to begin right now to rethink my ways and values, and change what needs to be changed in myself and around me.

I want the year 2000 &emdash; for a new beginning &emdash; to be the turning point in the local and global efforts now underway to create a better world based on equality, justice and a sustainable planet; a sustainable world in which Peace on Earth prevails.

Understanding that we are all individually responsible for the kind of future we will create for our children and for countless generations to come, I will participate in initiatives, locally and globally, to transform our world and protect this Jewel of Life we call Earth.

I agree with this Earth Proclamation and personally commit myself to do all that I can to spread it throughout the world and help make our shared dream of Peace, Love and Harmony on Earth come true.

Signed on the 6th of April, 1997



The time is set in the year 2000, five years after the 50th anniversary celebrations of the United Nations. These five years have been a crucial awareness that the old international order must be changed. During the 1990's, two important documents had been prepared by the UN: AGENDA 21, following the 1992 conference on environment and development at Rio de Janeiro, and Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali's AGENDA FOR PEACE.

The chaos that was evident in Rwanda, Somalia and former Yugoslavia, when politicians rode roughshod over the separate principles of peacekeeping and peace enforcement, muddling them, depriving commanders on the ground of essential personnel, equipment and guidelines, eventually aroused public opinion to the extent that governments were forced to rethink the principles of government &emdash; locally and globally.

The most significant development was the establishment of Ministries of Peace. It was a logical step from the earlier renaming of Ministries of War to Ministries of Defense. It was not achieved without much protestation from the Old Establishment; but it was achieved.

This simulation is therefore located at a historic time in human history &emdash; the beginning of a new millennium, looking back on the suffering of the 20th century, but also its achievements in freeing the human spirit.

The Format

The Minister of Peace presents an overview of the past five years. S/He dwells, with a certain wry humor yet also with understanding, on the difficulties that had lain in the way in the establishing a new Ministry which had been accorded a status somewhat higher than other departments in that the issue of peace occurs within every aspect of government. The Minister therefore has the lead task of taking a holistic view and making clear how all aspects of government are interconnected. Having made this clear beyond all dispute, other Ministers or Heads of Department are invited to make their individual presentations. One interesting development has been the development of a departmental ethic, taking up the challenge of the World Parliament of Religions in 1993, urging the major professions to adopt their equivalent of the Hippocratic Oath.

The Minister of Defense explains the shift that has taken place in respect of the roles played by armed forces. The whole issue of 'security' has been recast to include environmental and social welfare, it having become clear that economic and other forms of injustice lead inevitably to violence and the military having to be called in. Therefore a major part of training, from that of the highest ranking officers to the most junior members of a force, comprises conflict resolution. In addition, all ranks have been trained in the many roles they are called upon to play in UN peacekeeping. Possession of weapons of mass destruction have long been deemed useless in dealing with conflicts on the ground. Moreover they are unethical.

*The Center for International Peacebuilding, 9 West Street Chipping Norton Oxon OX7

  • 5 LH, England, tel. 44 (0) 1608 642335, Fax: 44 (0) 1608 644732
  • The Minister for Youth (a new Ministry) describes how during the late 90's young people were increasingly looked to to educate a largely apathetic public in the need to take effective action to clean up the environment; to address corruption in high places; to shame institutions and businesses which put profit before human welfare, particularly in Two-Thirds world countries; and to insist on being given a role in shaping new community structures which affect their lives &emdash; in housing, employment, training, local economics etc. The UN Unit of Youth was placed in the hands of under 25's who had increasingly been educated through UNESCO sponsored initiatives in administrative and political responsibility. The Minister gave many examples of how young people had been playing a significant role in environmental care and global governance.

    The Minister of Health explained how, with difficulty, 'traditional' and 'alternative' medicine had come to be accepted alongside 'modern' methodologies. Aromatherapy was extensively practiced among the elderly and in prisons. An understanding of the relationship between correct diet and social behavior was now accepted. There was close cooperation therefore with police, with schools, with the housing sector, because 'peace' is an amalgam of every aspect of society &emdash; when it is working correctly. The issue of spiritual peace brought the ministry into close collaboration with members of all religions and a special inter-faith department was created in the interests of spiritual health.

    Ministry of Education An important factor in education had been the adoption of UNESCO's Global Curriculum &emdash; into which Robert Muller's World Core Curriculum had largely been incorporated, looking at issues of space and time as well as historical events. The late 90's had been particularly hard on those countries where history had been 'doctored' by ideologues and bore no relation to truth. The UNESCO curriculum had served to bring about an understanding of global history, including a study of colonialism, the economic domination of multinationals, the rise and fall of religious fundamentalism, the joy of pluralism &emdash; of many cultures, many faiths &emdash; and the joy of creativity in every art form.

    I won't go on... This Simulation needs to be played with integrity, real imagination and above all with humor. If there are politicians who are prepared to play ball in the right spirit, so much the better. Otherwise the 'Ministers' should be selected from the really inspirational thinkers, the doers who have experience, the military who have the vision (and they exist). One will consider the law, the role of women, new economics, aid and trade, etc. When the 'Ministers' have had their say, the floor would be open to everyone else to contribute their ideas. It ought to be huge FUN!!

    Might we in UK persuade the Observer or the Guardian to sponsor it? Alternatively to make it a combined effort by NGOs who know this is a development which must happen some time? It could be allied to a traveling exhibition to schools/universities/town halls. It could become part of the United World Colleges' curriculum. It could fly anywhere... everywhere!

    - Eirwen Harbottle
    Widow of General Harbottle,
    Former head of the UN Peacekeeping Forces in Cyprus,
    creator of Generals for Peace (The Chipping Norton Center)

    Center for International Peacebuilding
    Chipping Norton, Oxon, UK
    30 November 1995



    Robert Muller's speech to the second World Congress on Philanthropy
    in Miami, December 1991

    After the laudatory introduction I have just received I would only like to add that I am in reality a very simple, down-to-earth, human being from the province of Alsace-Lorraine in France where my father was once a German soldier in World War I and then a French soldier in World War II and my grandparents had five successive nationalities without leaving their village! I myself was in the French underground and my cousins were French or German soldiers in World War II. We could have killed each other in different uniforms. I saw the most incredible horrors between the French and the Germans, and when the war was over I decided to devote my life to peace. I joined the United Nations where I spent all my adult life. At retirement I was appointed one-dollar-a-year Chancellor of the first University for Peace created by the United Nations in demilitarized Costa Rica, where I continue to pursue my work. It is basically what I saw in my youth which supports my efforts.

    Since there are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) represented in our congress, I would like to make these preliminary remarks:

    Point No. 1: there is increased recognition of NGOs and grass-roots movements as channels and recipients of philanthropic aid. Several speakers recognized and recommended it at the 1989 Rockefeller Conference on Philanthropy in the Twenty-first Century. Speaking about what American philanthropy should do, Peter Goldmark, President of the Rockefeller Foundation, said in his concluding speech: "We should be supporting partner organizations in other countries &emdash; especially NGOs and new transnational groups working at the grass roots &emdash; that are willing to work toward balanced global development. A specific challenge: we need a collaborative to help seed the birth and growth of more foundation-like organizations around the globe, especially in the third world..."

    He further said: "If for the first time we live in a period when there are a handful of paramount survival issues, then for the first time it is not enough for philanthropy to address worthwhile subjects. Philanthropy must be challenged to address the indispensable subjects." Well, NGOs are by far the most vocal advocates of indispensable survival projects.

    Also, an article on US philanthropy in this month's magazine Town and Country underlines that several large US foundations have hired peoples movements activists of the 1960s in key positions of their staffs. The issues heralded by the young people of those years, such as peace, world cooperation, the environment, simple and frugal life are now recognized as priority issues. My only regret is that there is no youth movement of the 1990s which would similarly tell the adults how they see the future and the problems which are awaiting us in the next twenty to thirty years.

    Point No. 2: my second point is that NGOs are becoming increasingly a major factor of world governance. This is an important point at the time when the Prime Minister of Sweden is calling for a commission of Eminent Personalities, including heads of states, to look into the way this planet is being governed and to propose fundamental reforms.

    There are close to 20,000 NGOs* in the world today compared with less than a thousand at the beginning of the century. During the League of Nations the majority of them were European-based. Now many of them are US-based. Many more are needed in other regions. They are becoming part of the brain, the heart, the nervous system and the actions of the world community. Their role in the United Nations and its agencies is ceaselessly growing.

    In the light of the above, I would like to recommend:

  • Recommendation No. 1: every NGO represented here should make sure that it is registered with the Union of International Associations which helps the United Nations to keep track of this important world social phenomenon. The address is: 40 Rue Washington, Brussels 1050, Belgium.

    Recommendation No. 2: that NGOs request NGO links and accreditation with all world, international and regional organizations. I was glad to hear that the Arab League will create an NGO office in its Secretariat. NGOs should closely follow the work of each of the 32 specialized agencies and world programs of the UN and of each of its regional economic and social commissions.

    Recommendation No. 3: many more NGOs need to be created in the most populated and neediest parts of the world in order to create a more balanced and democratic peoples' voice in world governance.

    Recommendation No. 4: all international NGOs should have a volunteer or a person representing them at the United Nations in New York and/or Geneva. For information about ways and procedures to be accredited with the UN as an NGO, write to the Secretary-General of the UN, NGO Unit, United Nations, New York, NY 10017.

    Recommendation No. 5: if possible, NGOs should participate in the yearly NGO conference organized by the UN Department of Public Information in New York and in Geneva. This year there were 1,000 participants.

    Recommendation No. 6: the NGOs could ask that philanthropy and the NGOs should be placed on the agenda of one of these yearly conferences. Write to the head of the Department of Public Information of the UN, Room S-1027 A, UN New York, NY 10017.

    Recommendation No. 7: the NGOs should be represented at all major world conferences convened by the UN and participate in the International Years proclaimed by the UN. They should also do something on the International Days proclaimed by the UN (information obtainable from the same department).

  • Here are my recommendations concerning more properly the subject of world philanthropy.

    According to UNESCO only 15% of philanthropy is international, and most of it is bilateral. As a result, when the world and humanity are in greatest need, they are the orphans of philanthropy. At the 1989 Rockefeller conference on philanthropy in the 21st century, David Rockefeller said that this was an opportune time for international philanthropy. Peter Goldmark, in his final recommendations had this to say: "Every major foundation should have an international dimension to its program. In a period of planetary environmental danger, global communications, intercontinental missiles, a world economy, and an international marketplace of ideas and arts and political trends, there is simply no excuse not to."

    *28,000 in 1997

    At the same conference, the Bernard van Leer Foundation of the Netherlands pointed out that in 1981 several American and European foundation leaders considered but then rejected a proposal that 5% of their income be earmarked for the poor countries.

    Recommendation No. 8: this conference should support the recommendation of Peter Goldmark and ask for a substantial increase in the percentage of philanthropy going to poor countries.

    Recommendation No. 9: the NGOs should obtain that the national statistical offices of their countries and the statistical offices of the UN and of the specialized agencies and world programs of the UN publish statistics on national and international philanthropy.

    As an outsider to world philanthropy, having attended only two conferences and read a few writings on the subject, I have the impression that there is a need for a basic rethinking of philanthropy in our global age. It should be holistic, all-encompassing, not only monetary. It should include voluntary services and the contributions of individuals and organizations all around the world, i.e. the contributions of all those who love humanity. Phil anthropos is a Greek word which means to love humans. Such a broader concept of philanthropy in our days should be holistic in several respects:

  • holistic in contributions:
    not only contributions in money, but also
    of services
    of land and premises
    of retirement*
    of art
    holistic in destination:
    philanthropy to the world (e.g. through world organizations)
    philanthropy to regional organizations
    philanthropy to national causes
    philanthropy to transnational causes
    philanthropy to provincial causes
    philanthropy to local causes
    philanthropy to individuals
    holistic in origin:
    from world organizations
    from multinational associations and corporations
    from nations
    from national associations and corporations
    from families
    from individuals

    Recommendation No. 10: there may be need in our global age to give thought to a broader, encompassing, holistic concept of philanthropy, encompassing the entire globe, from the local to the global, from the individual to humanity, and including other loves for humanity than merely through monetary contributions.

    *For instance, the offering to the United Nations of my retirement years could well be considered as philanthropic. The Social Commission of the United Nations has recently recognized this and has asked the Secretary-General to create a Volunteer Service of retired UN officials.

  • Over my forty years in the United Nations I have observed that from 1945 to about 1970 the whole work of the United Nations was geared to humanism: avoid wars, save the children, improve health world-wide, increase longevity, provide better standards of life through economic development, etc. From 1970 to the 1980s, the two major concerns became humanity and the environment. And since the 1980s, the survival and care of our planet have moved to the forefront, so that today the UN can be said to be geared to the Earth and to humanity. This had an effect on philanthropy, since a growing part of it goes now to the environment and the care of the Earth. This of course is of primary benefit to humanity, but I would like to propose that a special branch of philanthropy should be called Gaiaphily, or the love of the Earth (from the Greek goddess Gaia, the Earth, from which were derived the words geology, geometry, geography, etc.) Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 11: a special branch of philanthropy should be called gaiaphily, or love for the Earth, for nature, for the environment, for the basic elements and functioning of our planet.
  • Carrying the above a step further I wonder if the time has not come to envisage the development of a true science of philanthropy, which would study philanthropy from the manifold aspects of which only a few were outlined above.

  • Recommendation No. 12: consideration should be given to establishing philanthropy as a new science which would study its manifold aspects world-wide, in all cultures and societies.
  • The creation of the first University for Peace on Earth by the United Nations in Costa Rica has led to the discovery that humanity had never developed a true science of peace. This is now being elaborated in that University. Hence a further recommendation:

  • Recommendation No. 13: consideration should be given to the creation of a University of philanthropy, a fact which would inspire other universities in the world to create courses in philanthropy. Some universities might consider establishing a Mastership program in philanthropy. *

    *Since the congress, in a conversation with the President, C. W. Lees III, the idea came up of creating such a University in the Hudson Valley where John D. Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie rest in peace.

  • A participant in the congress suggested that philanthropy should be taught in schools. I wholeheartedly agree with her. What has happened with the creation of the University for Peace could happen too in the case of philanthropy: a University of Philanthropy would soon be asked to develop curricula for the teaching of philanthropy in all schools, the same way as we do in the field of peace education. Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 14: philanthropy, love for humanity, should be taught in all schools of the world. A University of Philanthropy would be asked to develop curricula for philanthropy education at all levels of education.
  • My long experience in the United Nations, coping with one new global problem after the other during the last forty years, leads me to recommend that consideration be given to the establishment of a world organization of philanthropy. I have recommended to UNESCO to convene a world conference on philanthropy which would consider the creation of proper global institutional arrangements. The world congress of philanthropy could be that conference.

    Many kinds of institutional arrangements could be considered. For example there is an International Chamber of Commerce. There could well be a World Chamber of Philanthropy with an adequate secretarial which would study and publish information on many aspects of world philanthropy such as legal regimes, tax exemption, etc. Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 15: at its third session, the world congress of philanthropy should consider proposals for the establishment of proper institutional arrangements of a permanent character for world philanthropy.
  • During the last decades a new form of dealing with new global problems and avenues has appeared with considerable success: the convening of World Commissions of Eminent Personalities, including heads of states or governments. Thus we had the Commission of Eminent Personalities headed by Willy Brandt on North-South Relations, the Commission headed by Olof Palme on disarmament, and the Commission headed by Mrs. Brundtland on the environment and development. The next one under the Swedish Initiative called by the Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Ingvar Carlson, will deal with world governance. Why not consider the convening of a Commission of Eminent Personalities to review world-wide the question of philanthropy? Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 16: a Commission of Eminent Personalities could convene to review the state of world philanthropy and to issue a major report on the subject.
  • Representing the University for Peace at the first meeting of the Ministers of Culture of Central America in December 1990, I learned that these countries are poorly equipped to effectively seek and obtain funds from foreign sources for the preservation of a cultural past which is of interest to all humanity. I suggested therefore the creation of a Central American Foundation which would be equipped with the information, experience, expertise and proper personnel to obtain philanthropic aid locally, regionally and from foreign sources. Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 17: consideration should be given to the ability of poor countries to obtain philanthropic aid from abroad and to establish proper regional arrangements to facilitate such aid.
  • The Rockefeller conference held on the occasion of John K. Rockefeller's 150th anniversary, dealing with the subject of philanthropy in the twenty-first century was extremely useful. On the basis of its findings, I would recommend:

  • Recommendation No. 18: that the next world congress of philanthropy examine these findings and further elaborate a strategy for world philanthropy to the year 2000 and into the 21st century.
  • Having coordinated the work of the UN and of its 32 specialized agencies and world programs for several years, I know the wealth of world knowledge on global issues which is available in the UN system. All too often the early warnings of the UN, e.g. the population explosion, the environmental crisis, the energy crisis, the food crisis, the climatic changes were not heard in time and the situation got increasingly worse. I strongly recommend that all foundations tap into this information in order to help stave off new dangers and contribute to a better world. Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 19: a World Foundations Council or Office should be established in proximity of the UN, from which all member foundations would receive information on United Nations thinking, diagnoses and felt needs for a better world. Perhaps the Ford Foundation which is located next to the UN could be the seat of such a Council or Office.
  • I would even go further and draw your attention that each year the Secretary-General of the UN and the heads of the 32 specialized agencies and world programs meet in Geneva and in New York in a remarkable world cabinet meeting where the world and human situation is reviewed in its entirety, priorities of action devised and future outlooks assessed. The UN would have a lot to say to respond to the preoccupation of Peter Goldmark with new global problems. Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 20: I recommend that consideration be given to a meeting being organized following the two yearly coordination meetings of the Secretary-General with the heads of all UN agencies, with heads of major foundations to hear the views of the leading world servants on global priorities as assessed by the United Nations system. Such meetings would help the foundations in devising their priorities and strategy.
  • One form of philanthropy is the awarding of prizes to meritorious individuals or institutions. Such prizes are given in innumerable fields and are a great leverage of human progress. But it will surprise you that it is almost impossible to find either national or world information on existing prizes. I have tried to obtain it in the field of peace. It simply does not exist. Not even the Nobel Prize Committee possesses such information. If world philanthropy were well organized such information would be gathered and brought to the attention of the public, preferably in paperbacks for mass distribution. At the University for Peace we have begun to collect information on peace prizes in the world, and UNESCO has started to establish a data base on prizes in its fields or concern. Hence, a further recommendation:

  • Recommendation No. 21: philanthropy being a great incentive, adjuvant and leverage of human progress, attention must be given to proper information to the public on awards, prizes and financial help available from philanthropic institutions, on ways and procedures to apply, etc. This seems to be an unexplored, utterly disorganized area of philanthropy.
  • There is another subject which I would call "inspirational philanthropy". Nowadays all too many people are depressed, hopeless, giving up their creative energy. Philanthropy could be more directed to inspiring people and institutions not to give up hope. For example at the University for Peace we have on the campus busts of some of the great peacemakers and philosophers of history: Thomas Payne, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Teilhard de Chardin, the Presidents of Costa Rica who contributed most to peace, foremost among them Jose Figueres who had the courage to demilitarize the country in 1949, making it a model of peace and prosperity in Central America, now being followed by other countries. Not only students, but innumerable visitors, including heads of states are inspired by our great peace monument, devoted to known and unknown peacemakers in the world. One President of a Central American country pledged on the inspiring hills of the University to make peace in his country, and he did. Hence:

  • Recommendation No. 22: philanthropy does not require huge moneys. Art often constitutes a free or modestly remunerated form of inspirational philanthropy which can have vast multiplier effects, especially in our time when the world needs above all visions, enthusiasm and dreams for a better future.
  • Finally, there is one new subject coming to the fore, namely the birth of a true global philanthropy, the fact that the new world organizations are becoming increasingly the recipients, the channels and providers of world philanthropy. Here are briefly a few aspects of this new phenomenon:

  • 1. the lands of the UN in New York and in Geneva, and their libraries were donated by private philanthropists. So was the huge land and primeval forest of the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Innumerable works of art have also been donated to the UN and to its agencies. The instruments of Eve Curie, the inventor of X-rays, were donated by her family to the World Health Organization. Many movie actors and singers are donating their talents to UNICEF, the Refugee Organization, the University for Peace, etc.

    2. substantial monetary donations have been made by various individuals, foundations and corporations to the UN system's efforts and activities in the fields of population, the environment, development, drug abuse, children, women, the handicapped, etc. The Sasakawa Foundation in Japan is making average donations of 2 to 3 million dollars a year to the UN system. (see footnote on next page)

    3. a sizable group of individuals interested in the promotion of peace has financed through individual donations a modern and powerful International Radio for Peace short-wave station at the University for Peace.

    4. an increasing number of world prizes are being established by philanthropists with the UN system as their base: scientific, cultural and education* with UNESCO, a World Environment Prize with the UN Environment Program, a World Disaster Prevention Prize with the Office of the UN Disaster Relief Coordination, medical prizes with the World Health Organization, etc. The Sasakawa Foundation by means of such prizes established with the UN system gives the international organization the task of selecting the most meritorious individuals in the world in their fields.

    5. the UN, its agencies and its officers are often the recipients of world prizes. Thus no less than 18 Nobel Prizes have been given to individuals and organizations of the UN system.

    6. the UN and its agencies are often used as the place where major world prizes or philanthropic projects are being announced and awarded. This gives particular solemnity and visibility to such events.

    7. member governments often request that voluntary, philanthropic financing be granted to a host of UN and specialized activities for which the Secretary-General is asked to establish individual trust funds. This applies also to International Years of the Handicapped, for Children and to UN celebrations and anniversaries. They should be known to individual philanthropists and foundations.

    8. some UN agencies have been allowed by governments to give grants or financial help to NGOs. This is the case of UNESCO and of UNICEF, but the UN and most agencies are unauthorized.

    9. I take pride for having proposed the first world foundation, namely the Banyan Foundation for the elderly, approved by the UN General Assembly, located in Paris. It provides in particular the great pharmaceutical firms the opportunity to strengthen the United Nation's work in a field of growing concern. It could be the model for the creation of similar world foundations in a number of fields of growing global concern.

    10. I have also made the proposal and designed the structure for a true World Foundation under UN auspices. In order to promote the idea I have included it in a recently published novel, First Lady of the World, unfolding at the United Nations and at the University for Peace. When the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces were awarded

    *e.g. the Sasakawa UNESCO Yearly Peace Education Prize which I received in 1986 for my World Core Curriculum and Robert Muller Schools.

    the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988, the Secretary-General regretted that there was no UN or World Foundation into which he would have deposited the funds.

    11. at the end of his mandate, Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar, in recognition of the services rendered to him by the University for Peace to exercise his private diplomacy in Central America, announced to the General Assembly the creation of a major foundation, "The Secretary-General's Fund for Peace", administered by the UN Development Program, with a target capital of 250 million dollars. The interests of the Fund would help finance the University for Peace and the private mediation of other activities of the Secretary-General favor of peace. The text of this Fund was circulated to the General Assembly together with document A/46/580 on the Tenth Anniversary of the University for Peace. This major decision by one of the great peacemakers of recent times offers golden opportunities to philanthropists to show their appreciation and to strengthen the work of the United Nations in the field of peace.

  • Recommendation No. 23: as we move to the 21st century and third millennium in a global world, important consideration should be given to the potentialities, growth and development of a true, efficient, productive global philanthropy. The subject should be taken up by a forthcoming world congress on philanthropy. Several studies should be undertaken and published on current trends as exemplified above.

    Recommendation No. 24; Consideration should be given by the United Nations to open to foundations the yearly pledging conferences organized by the General Assembly for the announcement by governments of their voluntary contributions to a large number of UN activities, agencies and trust funds, or to organize separate pledging conferences addressed to philanthropy and foundations.

  • To all of you present here at this Congress, may I say that you are a wonderful group of people, the image of new humans of the 21st century. You are doing good, you are trying to redress injustices and inequities, you are trying to help build a better world in many fields and in many ways. I have met several of you in fields such as blindness prevention, the handicapped, drug addiction, women's rights, the environment, etc. Personal happiness for a job well done will be your recompense. Please never give up, never despair, never become hopeless and negative. Do not make your efforts dependent on immediate, visible results. Many will come to fruition only after our death.

    There is an enormous need for love, for heart, for vision, for inspiration, for ideas, for creativity, for self-esteem, for altruism, for validation of the people. We must be co-creators, true models of the new cosmic leaders needed for the wonderful global journey of this beautiful planet and its genial human race in the vast, star-studded universe. If we decide so, we can make this planet a true paradise in the universe.

    Update 1998:

    Ted Turner's creation of a United Nations Foundation with funding of a billion dollars for UN primary needs over a period of five years, is a wonderful step ahead. So is the decision of the UN Secretary General to create a United Nations International Partnership Trust Fund (UNFIP) open to philanthropy (why not call it UNiphily?) from all around the world. May these actions lead to the birth, at long last, of a well-conceived and well-structured global philanthropy and gaiaphily.


    (love for humanity)

    (love for Gaia, our Mother Earth)

    (love for the cosmos, for our cosmic evolution)

    The following framework is used in the UN as a comprehensive presentation of all world concerns, problems and fields of action by the UN and its 32 specialized agencies and world programs. I devised it when I was Secretary of the UN Economic and Social Council which is in charge of the coordination of the entire UN system. I couched it also into a World Core Curriculum proposed to educators around the world. Its first application was in the Robert Muller School in Arlington, Texas.* The framework can have beneficial application in other fields especially proper world information by the media. Artists are also using it to select the expression through art of their love for humanity and the world. Concerned citizens and institutions can read priorities into the framework and select areas of their preferred action. Private firms can use it as a comprehensive framework for marketing, e.g. for the application of computers.

    Concern and love for humanity (philanthropy) and for the planet (gaiaphily) being the two most potent emerging imperatives at this stage of our evolution, the framework could also be used by philanthropists and gaiaphilists to canvass the areas of possible concern and select their preferred action.

  • * August 1997: and in 33 other schools in the world. The World Core Curriculum is inserted in the first volume of 500 ideas.


    For more details, order the World Core Curriculum Manual from the Robert Muller School, 9005 Royaloak Drive, Arlington, Texas 76016, tel. (817) 654-1018; cost 20 dollars.

    I. Our planetary home and place in the universe

    • The infinitely large: the universe, the stars and outer space
    • Our relations with the sun
    • The Earth's physics
    • The Earth's climate
    • The atmosphere
    • The biosphere
    • The seas and oceans
    • The polar caps
    • The Earth's land masses
    • The Earth's arable lands
    • The deserts
    • The mountains
    • The Earth's water
    • Plant life
    • Animal life
    • Human life
    • The Earth's energy
    • The Earth's crust and depths
    • The Earth's minerals
    • The infinitely small: microbiology, genetics, chemistry and nuclear physics

    II. Humanity

    A. Quantitative characteristics

    • The total world population and its changes
    • Human geography and migrations
    • Human longevity
    • Races
    • Sexes
    • Children
    • Youth
    • Adults
    • The Elderly
    • The Handicapped

    B. Qualitative characteristics

    • Our levels of nutrition
    • Our levels of health
    • Our standards of life (rich and poor)
    • Our skills and employment
    • Our levels of education
    • Our moral levels
    • Our spiritual levels

    C. Human groupings

    • The family
    • Human settlements
    • Professions
    • Corporations
    • Institutions
    • Nations
    • Federations, regional organizations
    • Religions
    • Transnational networks
    • World organizations

    III. Our place in time
    (Past, Present, Future)

    • The universe
    • Our sun
    • Our globe
    • Our climate
    • Our biosphere
    • etc. down to the cell, genes and the atom
    • The human family
    • Our age composition
    • Levels of health
    • Standards of living
    • Nations, Religions, World Organizations, etc. down to Individual

    IV. The miracle of individual life

    A. Good physical lives

    • Knowledge and care of the body
    • Teaching to see, to hear, to observe, to create, to do, to use well all our senses and physical capacities

    B. Good mental lives

    • Knowledge
    • Teaching to question, to think, to analyze, to synthesize, to conclude, to communicate
    • Teaching to focus from the infinitely large to the infinitely small, from the distant past to the present and future.

    C. Good moral lives

    • Teaching to love
    • Teaching truth, understanding, humility, liberty, reverence for life, compassion, altruism

    D. Good spiritual lives

    Spiritual exercises of interiority, meditation, prayer and communion with the universe and eternity or God

    UN International Agencies Cooperating on Categories of Segment I of World Core Curriculum





    These agencies often are humanity's best resource for world-wide statistics, information, recommendations, and teaching materials. They all have information services to whom you can write.

    • Astrophysics and outer space
    • Our relations with the sun
    • The Earth's geophysics
    • The Earth's climate
    • The atmosphere
    • The biosphere
    • The seas and oceans
    • The polar caps
    • The arable lands
    • The deserts
    • The mountains
    • The Earth's water
    • Plant life
    • Animal life
    • Human life
    • The Earth's energy
    • The Earth's crust
    • The Earth's minerals
    • Microbial life
    • The world of the atom
    • WMO, UNEP
    • FAO, IFAD
    • UNEP, FAO
    • UNEP, FAO
    • UN, UNESCO
    • IAEA


    The mere list of the eighteen United Nations specialized agencies and fourteen world programs which compose the UN system illustrates the vastness of today's international cooperation. No other living species has ever so equipped itself with global instruments designed to study, observe, monitor and preserve its habitat. In innumerable organs, meetings and conferences, through thousands of experts and delegates, backed by forty thousand world servants, humankind is today probing its entire biosphere and condition, trying to augment peace, to reduce conflicts and tensions, to build bridges and to seek ways for a greater fulfillment of human life on a well preserved planet to an extent which no philosopher, prophet or social reformer would have ever dreamt possible.

    Here is a quick overview of this incipient world system: The eighteen UN specialized agencies : International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA); International Labor Organization (ILO); Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO); United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); World Health Organization (WHO); International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD); International Development Association (IDA); International Finance Corporation (IFC); International Monetary Fund (IMF); International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); Universal Postal Union (UPU); International Telecommunication Union (ITU); World Meteorological Organization (WMO); International Maritime Organization (IMO); General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT); World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO); International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD); World Tourism Organization (WTO), linked with the UN under a novel type of agreement.

    The fourteen world programs : United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF); United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); United Nations Development Program (UNDP); Office of UN Disaster Relief Co-ordinator (UNDRO); United Nations Environment Program (UNEP); United Nations Fund for Drug Abuse Control (UNFDAC); Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR); United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO); United Nations Institute for training and Research (UNITAR); United Nations Fund for Population (UNRWA); United Nations University (UNU)*; United Nations Volunteers (UNV); World Food Program (WFP).

    The UN itself is concerned with a multitude of global problems, such as peace, disarmament, outer space, the seas and oceans, natural resources, human rights, racial equality, women, multinational corporations, criminality, etc.

    There also exists a first world ministerial council: the World Food Council. Hopefully, similar ministerial councils will be established in other crucial fields, energy, the atmosphere, water, transport in particular.

    I am proud that I was at the origin of the creation of eleven of these 32 UN agencies and world programs.

    *Also: the University for Peace in Costa Rica; the World Maritime University in Malmö, Sweden; the Institute for Nuclear Physics of the IAEA in Trieste, Italy, and the Training Institute (now recognized as a European University) for Labor Relations of the ILO.

    Message to the 50th Anniversary World Conference
    of the World Federalist Movement

    Montreux, Switzerland
    19 - 21 September 1997

    After World War II, some Alsace-Lorrainers were fed up with the political chaos in Europe which as a result of three wars forced my grandparents to change nationality five times without leaving their village. My friends Rene Lejeune and Robert Schuman decided to achieve a borderless European Union along the path of a coal and steel community, followed by an economic community, political community and a yet unfulfilled spiritual community. Europe still lacks a soul to offer itself as an unprecedented new model to the world.

    I, for my part, decided to tackle the problem at the world level. God allowed me to join the United Nations as the winner of an essay contest on how to govern the world. I labored there for forty years and continue my efforts as a one-dollar-a-year Chancellor of the first University for Peace on this planet in one of the first demilitarized and most nature-blessed countries, Costa Rica.

    What do I see 50 years after World War II?

    - a dangerous, unjustified purely politically motivated attack against the United Nations by a major country whose dream is now to be the policeman and ideological mentor of the world.

    - still a political chaos of the world, beset by many ethnic and religious conflicts, with armaments and military world expenditures of 850 billion dollars, 40 percent of all public expenditures of the 185 national partitions of this world in the midst of colossal new needs created by the population explosion in the poor countries, by the consumption explosion in the rich ones and the environmental and climatic crisis of the Earth.

    During my fifty years of world service I have observed three major phases in recent human history:

    1. from 1945 to 1970: a period of most intensive, unprecedented concerns and actions for global humanism (avoid wars, prevent early childhood deaths, increase the well-being of all humans, defend universal human rights, put an end to colonialism and apartheid, increase literacy, longevity, good health, etc.)

    2. from 1970 to 1980: while the agendas for the preceding period were still incomplete and were overtaken by the world population explosion, a new major world concern came to the fore: the environment (UNESCO's World Biosphere Conference in 1968 and the UN World Conference on the Environment in Stockholm in 1972), in other worlds: we humans on one side and the Earth and nature around us.

    3. since 1980: (the 1978 UN World Conference on the ozonosphere, the two UN conferences on the world's climate in 1979 and 1987) the problem number one has become the fate of the Earth itself.

    This represents a fundamental, unprecedented change in the entire history and evolution of this planet. From now on the world will never be the same. This is why we must speak of the urgent need for proper Earth Government, the wise management, saving and preservation of our planetary home of which we are an integral part and whose further evolution now depends largely on us.

    In the absence of such government and a new political system for planet Earth we are likely to see the disappearance of most life forms, including human life from this planet in the 21st century.

    Having just now followed the UN extraordinary General Assembly convened to assess the road covered since the UN Rio de Janeiro world conference on the environment of 1992, I was appalled by the resistance, slowness, even opposition of many governments, including major ones, to act upon the recommendations and agreements of the Rio Conference. In the meantime the world population continues to increase at an alarming rate of 85 million a year and so does the deterioration of our environment and the reckless destruction of this Earth's miraculous nature and biosphere, the only one in our solar system and perhaps in the entire universe where so far no other life forms have been detected.

    I addressed in vain the following appeal to the members of the extraordinary session of the General Assembly:

    "Dear Esteemed Member,


    This is the absolute priority which faces us, the top item on the agenda of world affairs as we enter a new century and millennium.

    I appeal to you, I beg you, Member of the UN Extraordinary Session, to adopt a resolution requesting an initiative for URGENT PROPER EARTH GOVERNMENT."

    - Robert Muller
    Former UN Assistant Secretary General

    I attached to my appeal a series of recommendations from the 2000 Ideas I am writing as a countup to the year 2000. Basically they are:

    1. to declare a state of emergency of the Earth;

    2. to consider the present situation as an outright war, a World War III against the Earth and its elements, and we humans must end this war no less than wars between ourselves;

    3. to request a second world conference on the biosphere in 1998, thirty years after the first one in 1968 to see what the state of our biosphere is today;

    4. to support the extension to other countries of the World Party of Natural Law already existing in 85 countries due to the initiative of British scientists.

    5. to place all our weight behind a radical change in the political system of our planet which provides for services and financial resources from local communities, cities, provinces to nations, but leaves almost entirely the Earth and the human family without adequate common services and financial resources, at a time when these are most dramatically needed;

    6. in view of the chaos of the purely nation-state system and its colossal duplications of services (e.g. the military establishments) and their financial costs, I recommend that we urgently agree on the absolute, imperative, unavoidable need to create a proper Earth Government

    either in the form of the transformation and vast upgrading of the United Nations
    or a federal Earth Government,
    or a United States of the World,
    or a World Union on the model of the recent European Union,
    or an extension of the European Union to other regions,
    or of five continental unions with a world super-structure,
    or an Earth Government patterned on bio-regional or bio-organizational models offered by nature itself.
    I also added a list of 21 basic segments of human life on this planet to be reconsidered and rethought from scratch as we enter the 21
    st century:

    a new political system for planet Earth
    a new economics
    a new education
    a new media and communications
    a new democracy
    a new global leadership
    a spiritual Renaissance and inter-religious cooperation
    a non-violent human society
    a well preserved planet
    a decent well being for all humans
    a stabilization of the world population
    right human settlements on the planet
    the disarmament, demilitarization, denuclearization and global security of the planet
    a new science and technology
    a new anthropology, sociology and new ways of life
    a new human biology
    a new world philosophy, cosmology and long term view of evolution
    a new world ethics and justice
    a new world psychology
    a new science and art of planetary management
    a new art and culture
    I would recommend lifting of the UN debates from reforms leading to impotency to debates at obtaining a proper government of our highly delicate perishable planet.

    The most concrete, immediate help by the World Federalists would be to support the proposals of the European Parliament of 8 February 1994, especially "that consideration be given to the possibility of setting up a Parliamentary Consultative Assembly within the UN" (text follows).

    I wish you a very successful, world assisting Montreux conference and assure you of my continued, enthusiastic, unreserved support.

    Yours in peace and world citizenship,

    Happy anniversary

    Former UN Assistant Secretary General
    One-dollar-a-year Chancellor of
    The UN University for Peace

    Resolution of 8 February 1994 of the European Parliamen
    on the Role of the Union within the United Nations

    and the problems of reforming the UN
    International organization and conferences
    United Nations and specialized agencies

    Adopted by Parliament on 8 February, though believing that the duties of the UN should remain the prevention of war and aggression, the promotion of collective security and the peaceful settlement of disputes, Parliament emphasized the need for rapid and efficient reform of the organization, updating its aims and improving its working. Parliament also considered the Union's involvement in the work of the Untied Nations and its specialized agencies inadequate. It saw a vital need to define precisely and unambiguously the principles on which decisions on UN intervention were based, place peace-keeping units under the sole responsibility of the UN Secretary-General, change the rules governing the distribution of humanitarian aid, recognize the universal validity of the right to intervene on humanitarian grounds and provide the UN with the human, financial and technical resources needed to implement its decisions effectively.

    Parliament also suggested that the General Assembly could be more closely associated with the decisions of the Security Council, which should be made to reflect more accurately the realities of the modern world. It argued that once all the necessary institutional steps had been taken for the establishment of a common foreign and security policy, consideration should be given to granting the Union the status of full member of the General Assembly and a permanent seat on the Security Council.

    Parliament also called for the setting-up, under the auspices of the UN, of an International Environment Court and a World Environment Agency, of which the European Environment Agency would be the regional branch. It also wanted indigenous peoples to be better represented at the UN and consideration to be given to the possibility of setting up a Parliamentary Consultative Assembly within the UN.*

    *January 1998: these very important recommendations from the peoples' representatives of 16 European countries at the European Parliament have received little, if any attention. They should be placed officially on the agenda of UN reform.


    A Biological View of Humankind

    We are witnessing a very unique moment of evolution:
    the birth of collective organs of the human species.

    For many years I have observed the world with utmost passion, almost ecstasy, for it was a very unique moment in evolution. I would not have dared to present my views in a systematic fashion or to write a book about the United Nations, as so many people do after having attended a few sessions. This adventure was too beautiful, too majestic to be arrogantly forced into a contrived system of thinking. Enlightenment had to come "naturally," at its right moment. A correct idea, view, perception, or truth must grow and mature like the seeds of a plant, like a child in a womb. It must be nourished, cared for, loved, but it cannot be pushed.

    I will never forget the first instance of such an enlightenment. The United Nations had been invited to send a speaker on current political and socio-economic trends and biological evolution to a meeting of the American Institute of Biological Sciences at Amherst University in 1973. I decided to go myself, fascinated as I was by the subject and by the participants: anthropologists, artists, biologists, religionists, etc. I was not disappointed, for the speakers held some very deep perceptions of human evolution as seen by their respective disciplines. The religious participants spoke of the "sanctity of life" and of their reluctance to compromise with new concepts of birth control and abortion. The biologists held diversity as the supreme law of evolution. The artists spoke about human perceptions, the functioning of the senses and of the brain, and of the meaning of art in recent times. The anthropologists gave their latest views on the origin of humans and the causes of the extraordinary growth of the human brain at one stage of evolution.

    It was the very day on which the heads of state of the USA. and the USSR. were meeting in Washington and when East Germany and West Germany were admitted to the United Nations. It was the week during which three men returned to earth after having spent weeks in a sky laboratory. As I listened to the speakers, I suddenly realized that perhaps the adventure of human co-operation in the United Nations was also a great biological phenomenon. When my turn came to speak, I placed myself in the frame of mind of biologists and presented to them the work of the United Nations as a living part of an evolutionary process. Here were my main points:

    In the last few years, superimposed on a variety of racial, cultural, political, social, and economic diversities, the world has witnessed the forceful emergence of the oneness of humankind. This concept has long been known to biologists, philosophers, and religious leaders, but only recently did it burst through the crust of national thinking and policies. This result was due to the fantastic advances in science and technology which, since World War II, have reached from the atom and the cell to outer space and to our moon and solar system. It was not the fruit of wishful or utopian thinking but of very hard facts and common concerns which have suddenly seized the human species and its leaders: the atomic scare, the population scare, the environmental scare, the energy and resources scare, and there will be others. New preoccupations, beliefs, and ideas which were totally unknown not long ago emerge one after the other and occupy the forefront of the news as birth pains of the global age. There has never been any precedent of such a situation in the entire previous evolution of humanity. We are entering a totally new period of history.

    Thus we find ourselves on the threshold of a new Copernican revolution of thinking about our planet, its biological and chemical processes, our relations with outer space, our sun, our land masses and oceans, our atmosphere, our companion species on earth, and above all the species of direct concern to us &emdash; namely, the human one. Political, economic, social, and personal thinking, behavior, and fates will all inexorably be affected by the need to take into full account the collective effect of our actions on the physical and biological patterns which we have inherited in the universe. We are moving fast toward a global view of our planet; the concept of the biosphere is pressing itself forcefully upon us and, as a result, many priorities, values, rights, ambitions, beliefs, principles, and habits will have to change. This process has already begun under our very eyes, and anyone who does not trace it back to its fundamental causes will neither understand our epoch nor discern the trends of the future. Every scientist and every leader, be he political, economic, social, or religious, must work within this new global concept and contribute to the development of higher levels of human life in the biosphere.

    The instruments which will help us better understand our interrelations are being developed as part of the global notion of the human species, which is emerging at this juncture of time. It is definitely my impression, as a practitioner of world affairs, that the human race is slowly but surely taking the form of a collective organism, with common concerns, moods, and relations, shaken once in a while by real biological shudders, which seize the entire body from one end to the other. The great universalists of the past, people like Kant, would be thrilled to live today and to see their vision of humanity as an entity take progressive shape.

    I have at least one proof of what I say: It concerns the birth of a brain for this new biological body composed of the entire human race. While there are no cellular particles in the human body that are sufficiently "intelligent" to detect or determine the direction of biological evolution and then change themselves accordingly, such a system is being developed for the human species as a whole. In my view, the United Nations and its specialized agencies, together with the mass media and many international efforts, are becoming this collective brain or macrocephalus of humanity.

    All problems and preoccupations concerning our planet are being brought under the pressure of global events to the world organization. There is not a subject on earth, there is not a preoccupation of the human race that is not being registered, studied, and debated in this collective stethoscope of our globe. This goes from the atom and genetic engineering to a legal order for outer space and preserving our environment, our cultural diversity, and the heritage of our past. It reaches from world reporting on birth defects and radioactivity to pressing for better standards of living, longer lives, and attaining humanity's multiple and sometimes conflicting dreams for peace, freedom, equality, order, justice, beauty, and environmental safety.

    The subject is too immense, as we live it on a daily basis at the United Nations, to be entered into at any length, but let me illustrate at least how the collective brain functions and how the human species begins to respond.

    Scientists had been warning about the environment for quite a number of years but they were voices in the desert until 1968, when UNESCO organized the first world scientific conference on the biosphere. This was followed almost immediately by a move on the political front by Sweden in the United Nations to convene a world environmental conference, which was held in 1972 in Stockholm. Well, prior to 1968, you could not find a single ministry or governmental department on this earth dealing with the environment. You could barely find any mention of this subject in the newspapers or in economic textbooks. Today, on the contrary, you can count on one hand the number of countries which do not have a ministry or governmental unit dealing with the environment. University libraries are filling with books on the subject and one cannot open a newspaper without reading about it.

    On the practical side, the effects have been far-reaching, for nations, firms, local communities, and, last but not least, individuals heard the message. A global phenomenon and danger was thus registered in time by the brain, which emitted the necessary warning to the species and to its political, economic, and social components and leaders. These have begun to react in the direction of survival and correction, opening a new chapter in the era of Copernican thinking regarding our terrestrial affairs.

    I will give this other example: In 1966, before the environmental issue arose, global concern about our oceans and seas, which represent two thirds of our planet's surface, was expressed by the Secretariat of the United Nations and by a small country, Malta. We were appalled to discover how little was being done by the collectivity of nations to better know these vast masses of our planet, with their enormous potential of protein, mineral, and energy resources for our rapidly growing human species. A lot has been done since then: The oceans and seas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction have been declared a common heritage of humankind, an international regime is being worked out for the exploitation of the seabeds' riches, and a great impetus was given to international and national oceanographic research.

    One could write a whole treatise about the birth of this collective brain and warning system of the human species. Consisting of eighteen UN specialized agencies and fourteen major UN programs, it will be further strengthened by direct contacts between the political world and the academic community through a United Nations University, which is to deal with the collective frontiers, challenges, and dangers of our planet.

    As a further illustration, let me mention the major world conferences which are being convened by the United Nations as part of the brain's efforts: In July will start in Paris at UNESCO a major scientific conference on the sun in the service of humanity, which will review our current knowledge and technology on solar energy, the effects of the sun on our habitat, and its relations with plant, animal, and human biology.

    Soon thereafter, preparations will start for a world conference on the oceans and seas, which will review practically every subject conceivable concerning our seas and oceans, and establish a legal order for this common heritage of mankind.

    Next year, in Bucharest, the first world population conference in the entire human history will be held. A year thereafter, a world conference will gather in Canada on human settlements, a field of vital importance where our projections indicate a staggering urban concentration all around the world with its economic, social, biological, and environmental effects.

    Two years, later, the United Nations will convene a world water conference to review this most important cycle, which from times immemorial has ignored political borders and human divisions and which is being at long last recognized as one of the binding elements and common concerns of the human species.

    New global subjects will come up one after the other. For example, I would not be surprised if, as a result of the dramatic drought in the Sahelian-Sudanese region of Africa and the extension of the Sahara Desert, the African countries were to ask for a world conference on the deserts.1

    All this forms part of biological evolution. The human species continues to probe out, on ever larger scales, the possibilities and limits of its terrestrial and perhaps tomorrow extraterrestrial habitat. Despite the avalanche of problems, despite the unsolved mysteries, despite the frustrations, inequalities, impatience, and despair, this is one of the most thrilling and challenging periods of our planet's history. There remains so much to be done and I am personally very confident that we will find the necessary adaptations of our brains, appetites, beliefs, feelings, and behavior to find new equilibria and to select what is good for us instead of bad on our small spaceship Earth circling in the universe, surrounded by its thin but so fantastically rich biosphere of only a few miles, containing all life of our solar system...

    When I finished, Dr. Ernst Mayer, a famous anthropologist from the University of Chicago, reputed for his work on the evolution of the human brain, had the following comment:

    "This comes as a total surprise to me. I have never heard the work of the UN presented in this way. I felt as if I were witnessing a rare moment in evolution &emdash; namely, the birth of a collective organ to a species, a moment similar to that when the first protozoa developed into a metazoa. Perhaps indeed, the human race is entering a new period of evolution, a period of global life, an event that will only be fully understood by future generations."

    I have never forgotten these words, which were very precious to me, for I often heard later the evolution of humankind detracted with various comments, such as these:

    "The fate of the human species will be that of a school of fishes overpopulation in a pond. At one point, the fishes become too numerous, they overstress their ecological environment, and they all perish. This is what will happen to humanity too." Or, "When apes get too numerous and live in overcrowded conditions, they become aggressive and kill each other. The same will happen to men overpopulating this planet. Humans will destroy each other through crime and war."

    Thenceforth, I was able to answer:

    "Nothing of the sort is likely to happen, for there is a fundamental difference between fishes and apes, and humankind: The human species has a vastly superior brain and communications system. It is quite capable, through a multiplicity of efforts and organs developed of late, to better know and probe its planet, diagnose new perils, give the necessary warnings, and act in common. There is little danger of a collective self-destruction through human proliferation and misbehavior. On the contrary, I believe that, for the first time ever, humanity will be able to organize paradise on earth."

    The biologists' meeting at Amherst was my first enlightenment that something important was happening in the world. It was not the result of chance or accident, but conformed to a basic biological pattern. An extraordinarily complex, highly developed species, the human race, superior to all others in its capacity to understand, dominate, and change the surrounding world, was trying to live the longest and fullest possible lives, to survive successfully in unprecedented numbers, and to reach full consciousness of its existence on little planet Earth and of its cosmic presence in the universe.

    I felt so happy because I was allowed to live this prodigious adventure and to bring my little contribution to it. What a distance Fate had allowed me to cover since I left my little town on the border between France and Germany with its horizon of wars, uniforms, tombs, and quarreling nations. If only each human could feel the same elation at seeing humanity at long last proceed toward world oneness and harmony. So I gallantly finished my speech as follows:

    "These are facts of very profound significance for our future progress and survival, and there is one conclusion that I dare to place before you: There will never be again any world war. Humanity has entered its global age with a narrow escape from a world holocaust, but we are over the hump, and the worst is past in this regard."

    1977, I notice that, for several months now, there has been no active conflict anywhere. Perhaps this is the beginning of a new era. If such peace can be maintained year after year, thanks to the restraint and vigilance of every nation, perhaps the day will also dawn in the not too distant future when real disarmament will become a possibility. I am certain of it, I can feel it with all my soul: The world is entering a period of lasting peace and co-operation. It cannot be otherwise. It must not be otherwise.


    Alas, this is no longer entirely my hope. Humanity is now engaged in an outright war against the Earth. Genuine world cooperation has been stopped by the United States government which is reducing the UN to impotence, convinced as it is that its national power and business ideology will solve all world problems. No further world conferences are to be held by the UN, the claim being that they cost money, are useless and recommend agreements which are contrary to US national and business interests. No stock-taking and forward looking thinking is to take place by governments and by the United Nations on the occasion of the year 2000. Thank God, communism has abandoned its claim to be the solution since this speech was delivered in 1973. Since no proper new global ideology has been formed, except for the building blocks provided by the UN and its agencies, humanity is not likely to adapt to the new imperatives of further evolution and we might rush head-on towards major disasters and possibly the end of most evolution, including the human one, on this planet.

    Please, United States, renew the dream of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt and use the first universal organization in human history, established on your soil, as the guiding light and meta-biological organism of the human species to allow this planet to become the ultimate success of God and of the cosmic forces of the universe.



    We as indigenous people and Native Nations, honoring our ancestors and for our future generations, do hereby declare our present and continuing survival within our sacred homelands in the Western Hemisphere.

    Since time immemorial, we have lived in a spiritual way in keeping with our sacred laws, principles and values given to us by the Creator. Our ways of life are based on respect for Mother Earth, a sacred regard for all relations and the survival of our languages, cultures and traditions.

    In the Year of Indigenous Peoples, while the United Nations Declaration of our Rights is still being prepared, we ask for solidarity in our cause from the religions of the world.

    We call upon the people of conscience in the Roman Catholic hierarchy to persuade Pope John II to formally revoke the Inter Cetera Bull of May 4, 1493, which will restore our fundamental human rights. That Papal document called for our Nations and Peoples to be subjugated so that the Christian Empire and its doctrines would be propagated. The US Supreme Court ruling Johnson vs. McIntosh 8 Wheat 543 (in 1823) adopted the same principle of subjugation expressed in the Inter Cetera Bull. This Papal Bull has been, and continues to be devastating to our religions, our cultures, and the survival of our populations.

    We call upon the people of conscience in the many other organized religions whose historical actions have participated in the dehumanization of our Indigenous Nations to help us put an end to the violation of our peoples' human rights.

    We call for an end to the deafening silence of religious denominations and groups regarding the violations of our peoples' human rights, because this silence implies complicity and tolerance of the effects.

    One hundred years ago during the 1893 Parliament of World Religions, the profoundly religious original (Native) peoples of the Western hemisphere were not invited. We are still here and still struggling to be heard for the sake of our Mother Earth and our children. As our spiritual and physical survival continues to be threatened all over the hemisphere, we feel compelled to ask you to join us in restoring the balance of humanity and Mother Earth in these ways:

    A. Acknowledgment of the myriad of messengers of the creator, the Great Mystery, to the peoples of the Western hemisphere.

    B. Support in promoting, preserving and maintaining our indigenous languages and cultures.

    C. Involvement in the world outcry against the continuing genocide of Indigenous Peoples of the Americas by taking direct action in support of the International Conventions prohibiting genocide in their various countries.

    D. Protection and return of the sacred sites and traditional lands of Indigenous Peoples.

    E. Reversal of environmental degradation that endangers our traditional lifeways and threatens our very existence.

    F. Repatriation of our ancestors and sacred objects from the museums and holdings of the world.




    The State of the World on Earth Day 2013

    The Birth of a Global, Spiritual Civilization
    through Inter-religious Co-operation*

    The text herewith was written in November 1992, the year preceding the centennial World Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1993. In it I tried to visualize the state of the world from a spiritual perspective in 2013, twenty years after the Parliament's session.

    In June 1997, on the eve of the United Religions Initiative second conference in San Francisco, my attention was drawn to this text by Reverend Marcus Braybrooke, Chairman of the International Interfaith Center during a visit in Oxford, England. Reading it, my belief in a spiritual Renaissance and respiritualization of all walks of human life on this celestial planet was stronger than ever.

    My only changes in the text would be:

    1. replace the words World Spirituality Agency by the words United Religions Organization;

    2. add the conviction I have gained since then that in order to save the Earth and the human race it is now imperative to create a proper Earth government in the form of a United States of the World on the model of the federal United States of America or of a World Union on the model of the European Union born since then as a promising model of a new, democratic, well financed system of global government.

    I address my warmest wishes to the Second United Religions Conference which to my deep sadness I am unable to attend this time.

    I am with you in spirit and in prayer for the rapid success of one of the most important initiatives taken in human history on the momentous eve of a new century and millennium. May you be the mothers, the fathers, the founders of the United Religions Organization. May the city which bears the name of St. Francis and gave birth to the United Nations Organization be the birthplace of another miracle.**

    - Robert Muller

  • * From Visions of an Interfaith Future, Proceedings of Sarva-Dharma-Sammelana Religions' meeting in Bangalore India, 19-22 August 1993 © 1994 by the International Interfaith Center, Oxford.

    ** The intention of the founders is to have its Constitution adopted on 26 June 2000 in the same room in the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco where the Charter of the United Nations was adopted fifty five years ago on 26 June 1945.

  • Today, on Earth Day 2013, I am sitting in my little wooden farmlet on sacred Mt. Rasur overlooking the University for Peace created 33 years ago by the United Nations in demilitarized Costa Rica. From that country and from these hills, according to indigenous prophecy, a civilization of peace will spread to the entire world.

    As Chancellor of the University for Peace and a former servant of the United Nations for 38 years, I have been asked to teach a course on the world as it has developed and continues to develop to this day: A Planet of Peace and Justice, a Planet of Unity and increasing interdependence, a Planet of Happiness and Human Fulfillment, a Cosmic Body inhabited by a cosmic human species living in right relationships and harmony with the planet, with itself, with the heavens, and with time. In my course I will show how institutions created in the present and last century and the religions of this planet were among the main artisans of that miracle. For what is being achieved is the total inter-relation of humans with all nature, creation and creatures, with religions as the soul of this inter-relation and all-embracing cosmic, evolutionary consciousness.

    This paper, which is preparatory reading for that course, describes the elements that came to play in the development of a global, cosmic, spiritual civilization of Planet Earth.

  • Part I: World Situation and Inter-religious Co-operation in 2013, twenty years after the Second World's Parliament of Religions in 1993.

    Humanity is now a united world community of nations, not only economic and political, but also spiritual, following the path opened in the last century by Dag Hammarskjöld and U Thant in the United Nations, by Robert Schuman in Europe, and also throughout the millennia by prophets and founders of religions, and by great sages such as Plato, Aristotle, Maimonides, Huxley, Albert Schweitzer, Teilhard de Chardin, Thomas Berry, Bishop William Swing and others.

    Humanity's material, scientific and technological feats of the 20th Century have been transcended first into the moral, ethical dimension, then into philanthropy and gaiaphily (love for humanity and for our Earth), and finally into the highest form of all: the spiritual dimension heralded for so long by all religions, namely the right understanding of our place and relationship in the universe and in time, and of our fundamental cosmic nature and role. The phenomenal expansion of human senses and physical capacities through science and technology was followed by the birth and development of a global brain, a global nervous system, a global heart, and a global soul to humanity.

    Much remains to be done to perfect and refine this system and to integrate it fully into the total life-system of our living planet. When I was young, the majority of humans believed that the Earth was here to be exploited by men. Then they became concerned with the environment and survival of the Earth and began to turn toward beliefs that revered the Earth as a living organism, without which no life of any kind was possible. The Earth became the first priority, and we came to understand that we are all part of a total living planet which is itself a cosmic body of the universe; and that in this living system, we are linked not only to the Earth but to each other and to the heavens in which we live.

    The miraculous transformation we have experienced in the progress of humanity is a result of the co-operation of the world's religions along the lines of the vast frameworks of our knowledge and needed actions born in the United Nations and its agencies. These led to a better understanding of our planet and place in the universe, of our total human family, of our place in time, and of the miracle of individual human life. The last decades of the 20th Century provided humanity with the global information and first experiences indispensable for our better behavior, for better Earth government and for the physical, mental, moral, affective and spiritual fulfillment of all humans blessed with the miracle of life.

    A. Our place in the Universe and our Planetary Home:

    This framework deals with the various realities and elements in which we live. These are: the heavens, the known universe and outer space; our relationship with the sun; the Earth's geophysics and climate; the biosphere and its atmosphere; the seas and oceans, the polar caps, the arable lands, deserts, mountains, water, forests, plant life, animal and human life; the earth's energy, its minerals, its crust, down from the infinitely large to microbial life, genetics and the world of the atom and the infinitesimal small. This represented an unprecedented expansion of humanity's knowledge and consciousness of our planetary and cosmic home.

    The 19th Century had seen the birth of the first world agencies in the wake of the industrial revolution: the Universal Postal Union, the International Telecommunications Union, the World Intellectual Property Organization. More than thirty new world-specialized agencies and global programs were created in the 20th Century, ultimately to form the United Nations family of organizations, among them the International Labor Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, UNESCO, the Food and Agricultural Organization, the World Health Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the UN Environment Program, etc. On the eve of and since the third millennium, several others were created: the UN Outer-Space Agency, the World Climate Organization (incorporating the World Meteorological Organization), the World Energy Agency (incorporating the International Atomic Energy Agency), the World Transport Ageny, the UN Law of the Sea Agency, the World Biological Organization, the Earth Resources and Conservation Agency and the UN Consumers Agency.

    Working with these agencies and of prime importance has been the United Religions Organization, created after the Second World Parliament of Religions. This agency has greatly contributed to human knowledge by making known the spiritual views, perceptions, and wisdom of the religions. Several indigenous religions, for example, believe that rocks, earth, and minerals are endowed with life, that humans should respect that life, use the minimum and ask for forgiveness when use is indispensable. On the polar caps Eskimo religions have valuable views, as have African Indigenous peoples toward deserts, forests, as well as the beginnings of life. The United Religions has also brought forth the deep insights of religious cosmologies of the heavens, the universe and outer space. Cosmonauts have spoken of spiritual experiences when floating in outer space or walking on the moon. Comprehension of the universe is not only through science and analysis alone, but also through mysticism, interiority, prayer, meditation, and enlightenment: many scientists, including Einstein, became spiritual believers when their science was at a loss (Deus semper ultra - beyond there is always God). Science, originally a spiritual search (in the West it originated as alchemy, and in India it was always a part of the vast and complex philosophies of Hinduism) is now enriched by the religions.

    One of the early examples of the valuable input of the world's religions into the Earth and life segments was the meeting on Sacred Ecology and its joint statement that preceded the second United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro in 1993. Today this is a regular feature of world co-operation in every field on an ongoing basis. No world agency today, no world conference, no meeting of Heads of State or eminent personalities, scientists, experts, or thinkers, takes place without the input and contribution of religions.

    B. The Human Family:

    This framework was developed by the United Nations and co-operating world agencies, such as the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the International Labor Organization, the UN Development Program, the World Bank system, the UN Fund for Population Activities, UN Habitat, the UN Regional Commissions, as well as by the recently established UN Council of Youth, the World Agency for the Elderly, the High Commissioner for the Handicapped, the UN Population Agency (incorporating the UN Fund for Population Activities), the International Migration Agency, and the World Peoples and International Associations Agency. The elements include the world population, human settlements and migrations, human longevity, races, sexes, children, youth, adults, the elderly and the handicapped. It encompasses our levels of nourishment, health, education, morality and spirituality; our standards of life, skills, employment, and activities; it includes the family, professions, corporations, institutions and entities, nations, federations, regional unions and organizations, religions, multinational business, transnational networks and associations, and world organizations and governance.

    In this vast human area, the United Religions contributes to each segment and to all efforts the religious insights, experiences, and wisdom of the religions, thus joining the world organizations to further human progress through a spiritual dimension and fulfillment.

    C. Our Place in Time:

    If we examine the realities included in the preceding two frameworks in the context of time, we see that all the world's global agencies are concerned with the past, the present and the future. For example, UNESCO deals with paleontology, archaeology, history, the preservation of works of art and the world heritage, linguistics, the future of education, etc. The UN receives from all the agencies yearly reports on the state of the world in their respective fields, as well as long-term forecasts, sometimes reaching far into the future, such as population trends, the future climate, the environment, the preservation of the planet. The UN can thus issue warnings and guide humanity into a better, peaceful, and safer future, thereby heeding the Iroquois tradition to always be thinking of the seventh generation when taking a decision.

    On each of the above segments, the United Religions Organization is working with UNESCO and with all world organizations on the past, the present, and the future. For example the multibillion Year of Brahma (Creation, Preservation, and Destruction) is confirmed today by astrophysicists: it corresponds to the birth, stability, and destruction of a solar system. Religions also have deep insights into the meaning of "life" and "death". Two world conferences were held by the UN on these subjects, upon the recommendation of the World Parliament of Religions.

    D. The Miracle of Individual Life:

    This fourth framework, which revolves around the centrality of the human person, goes far deeper and beyond human institutions. It has become increasingly clear that in the vast, global quantum change in human consciousness, individuals are the alpha and omega, the basic living, cosmic units of evolution. Individual human life is the highest form of universal consciousness. With the recognition of universal human rights and responsibilities, it became apparent that institutions, systems, states, groupings, entities had no consciousness and could only be instruments, servants, means for the increase of individual consciousness, fulfillment, and responsibility. The highest goal for humankind is to attain optimum physical, mental, affective, moral and spiritual lives as part of the total life-system of our planet.

    Optimum physical life involves knowledge and care of the human body; the human ability to see, to hear, to observe, to create, to do, to act, to transform; and the expansion of all senses and physical abilities. Optimum mental life involves knowledge and education; the ability to question, to think, to analyze, to synthesize, to conclude, to communicate; the ability to focus from the infinitely small to the infinitely large, from the local to the global from the past to the future, to be what Hinduism calls Trikaldarshis and Trikolonaths. Optimum affective and moral life involves the ability to love, and the human virtues of truth, understanding, humility, liberty, responsibility, reverence for life, compassion, altruism, and charity. And finally, optimum spiritual life involves the ability for interiority, meditation, prayer, communion with the universe and eternity, and with God.

    Here the United Nations, the United Religions, UNESCO, and other world agencies stand today in the forefront of human progress and evolution in the education, information, enlightened democracy, transcendence, and fulfillment of the miracle of human life and its contribution and responsibility in the overall cosmic evolution of our planet and of the universe.

    This is where we stand at the moment, in the year 2013, twenty years after the Second World Parliament of Religions.

    It represents a unique, tremendous quantum jump in consciousness and evolution of humanity. We know our planet inside out and we are now in charge of its future. We even know a good part of the heavens. We have entered the cosmic age of our evolution.

    In my course I will show students how all the above was primarily learned and developed in a pragmatic fashion since the end of World War II in the last century, when the first real universal political ("polis", the city, now the planet, hence planetic) organization, the United Nations, was created. Much of this progress was due to accidents, scares, adverse consequences of the dearth of adequate global information and data, global ignorance, thoughtless mistakes, misjudgments or no judgment at all regarding long-term effects, the persistence of obsolete ideologies, values, beliefs, institutions and power-structures and also a total lack of experience in planetics, or planetary administration and management. I will also show that the above institutional world system, which continues to change and to adapt constantly to new circumstances, was not enough, in view of its pragmatic approach. Therefore several world centers of learning and scientific inquiry into global values and phenomena were established to develop sciences, strategies, and methodologies in the field of higher values which have always guided the human race. There exist today several important world universities on peace, spirituality, faith, hope, love, truth, justice, optimism, happiness, the art of living, forgiveness, altruism, philanthropy, and gaiaphily, etc. They all have affiliated regional universities to benefit from the cultural and religious capital of the various continents.

    One of the earliest of these universities, the University for Peace in Costa Rica, revealed how all the numerous pragmatic peace efforts around the world needed to be complemented by a true science of peace, an all-encompassing strategy for peace and a thorough methodology of peace, i.e. conflict prevention, peace-keeping, and peace building in all sectors of society. It has affiliated regional peace and non-violence universities on each continent. Similarly, the pragmatic efforts of the religions and of the United Religions are complemented by a World Spirituality University which has developed a science of spirituality, a strategy for spirituality and a methodology of spirituality derived from all religious practices, celebrations, and rites around the world, aimed at the spiritual fulfillment and responsibility of human beings.

    As a result the world is in a new period of full, flowering spiritual Renaissance, far beyond inter-religious dialogue, based on the common spirituality of all religions and on a common denominator of all human beings; the yearning for answers to the mysteries of life and death and of our universe, to which the scientific age, despite its amazing advances, was unable to find satisfying answers. The age of scientific analysis and dissection, our checkered history of local cultures and national divisions, the millennia of religious dissections of the spiritual nature of humanity, of the Earth and of the cosmos, have now led to a new age of universality, holism, and all-encompassing convergence, synthesis, synergy and transcendence. ***

    Part II: Current Manifestations and Results of the World Spiritual Renaissance and World Religious Alliance in the United Religions.

    All conflicts of a religious origin or background were eliminated by the year 2003, year of the Fourth Session of the World Parliament of Religions*, in fulfillment of its recommendations at the Second Session in 1993. The work of the Department of Conflict Resolution and Mediation of the United Religions was of determining importance.

    Religions have forgiven each other their past wars and misdeeds, following the recommendations of the 1993 World Parliament of Religions.

    Agreement was reached between all religions that the concept of just war is no longer justified in the new spiritual world order and that peaceful conflict resolution is the only acceptable civilized rule.

    As a result, all religions have strongly backed the disarmament and demilitarization efforts of the United Nations. Total disarmament and demilitarization were achieved in 2010, after the putting into operation of a proper world security system following the end of the cold war. All along, the world religions have supported the shifting of resources released by disarmament and demilitarization to the needs of the poor and of the environment.

    The richness and diversity of religious beliefs and practices and the principles of the UN Declaration on Religious Freedom are recognized by all religions.

    Religions are now refraining from criticizing and diminishing each other. Instead they validate each other to create a world spiritual civilization and synergy.

    Alongside the World Parliament of Religions meeting and the United Religions, a World Monastic Council has been established to bring together the richness of monastic science, practices and experiences from around the world.

    World-wide prayers and meditation are held each year on the International Day of Peace (third Tuesday in September), when the delegates of all nations observe a period of silence for prayer or meditation at the yearly opening of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

    World prayers and meditation are also held on 24 October, United Nations Day, declared by the General Assembly a World Holiday (holy day), and on all International Days proclaimed by the United Nations.

    Since the year 2000, which was celebrated as World Thanksgiving Year, an International Day of Thanksgiving has been observed throughout the world and is celebrated in all countries. This holiday is similar in spirit to the customs of the Quechuas in Ecuador and Peru, Americans in the USA, Jewish practice, etc.

    Meditation rooms or places of worship have been created in all world organizations, national Parliaments, government offices, professional sites, and businesses.

    Spiritual education has been restored in all schools of the earth. Prayers and meditation are held at the beginning of each school day. Education of any religion is accompanied by a minimum of teaching of other religions and of the diversity of the world's faiths.

    Work in factories, offices, business, and in all professions around the world starts with a period of prayer or meditation.

    Daily family life begins with common prayers or meditation.

    Thanks are given before or after each meal all around the world, as was inspired by the practices of Christians with grace offered before each meal, the Indigenous people of Abya-Yala, who give thanks after a meal for the energy given by it, and the Chinese for the happiness provided to them.

    *It held its third session in Capetown in 1999, on the eve of the 21st century.

    Every United Nations World Conference receives the input of inter-religious thinking and recommendations.

    A representative of the United Religions is accredited to each official UN meeting, organ, conference, and to every UN specialized agency and world program.

    Each year the United Religions submits a report to the United Nations on the state of spirituality and religiosity in the world and on inter-religious co-operation for a better world.

    Spiritual ceremonies at the high points of human life - birth, adolescence, marriage, anniversaries, academic degrees, professional entrance, retirement, "vanaprashta" (preparation for the beyond) and demise - have been restored in all societies of Earth.

    A World Pilgrimage Organization for the care of existing places of pilgrimage in the world and the development of new sacred places, has been created.

    An International Day of Forgiveness has been proclaimed.

    As advocated by all religions and by former Secretary-General U Thant, spirituality is no longer separate from daily life or reserved for special days or moments or services. All life is now considered spiritual in nature, from birth to death, from morning to evening. It starts with prayer or meditation, and ends with prayer or meditation, and examination of one's conscience. Life has become a constant presence of God, a dialogue with God, a constant soulful communion with the Universe, our planet, with the human family, and with the infinity of time.

    Life is considered sacred world-wide. The death penalty has been abolished in all countries. The human right not to kill and not to be killed, not even in the name of a nation or a religion, was proclaimed by the 1993 World Parliament of Religions and by the United Nations.

    It is now accepted world-wide that spirituality means basically doing good on Earth. As former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld said, "Today the way to holiness goes through the world of action." The practice of day-end examinations of conscience, of a daily record of the good and bad we have done, has been restored. Every human being is urged to do at least one good deed each day for the Earth, for humanity, at large or near home, in order to be able to say at the end of earthly life: I have fulfilled the will of God, I have done my best, I have tried to be a good human being. I leave the world a little better than I found it.

    Spirituality has become a priority for world philanthropy; a World Spiritual Foundation has been created alongside the United Religions. Each year World Spiritual Prizes are awarded for outstanding spiritual achievements.

    All media in the world have added a moral, ethical, and spiritual dimension to their work.

    Robert Schuman, the father of the European Union and prophet of a European and world spiritual union, was canonized by his religion. Political office is now considered a saintly, sacred office, endowed with the highest responsibilities towards humanity, the Earth, and the success of the cosmic evolution and experiment unfolding on this planet.

    Spiritual epithets are given to beloved political leaders, following ancient traditions and contemporary Oriental traditions. They are called shepherds, Mahatmas (great souls), gurujis, avatars, beloved teachers, masters, luminaries, etc.

    Meetings of Eminent Spiritual Personalities are convened by the United Religions on every major world problem, under the presidency of different religious leaders, and their reports are submitted to the United Nations and all religions.

    The names of children are once more selected from those of great saints, sages, and spiritual guides, to inspire them to follow their example during their life, or from spiritual, moral virtues.

    The names of streets, public buildings, monuments, and parks are selected from those of great saints, sages, spiritual leaders, or from moral and spiritual virtues.

    National, regional and world parks around the world have been declared sanctuaries.

    Spirituality is exercised in great and in small things, globally and locally, collectively and individually. The humblest work and life can be a spiritual dedication.

    Combining their views on the essential needs of life, the world's religions are advocating simpler, more frugal lives in order not to unduly tax God's creation and cosmic energies embodied in the Earth's resources.

    Vast numbers of people are turning once more to their religious shepherds for psychological, psychiatric, and social advice.

    Demilitarized, peaceful countries like Costa Rica (see idea 20) have been declared holy countries.

    Frequent meetings of spiritual leaders are convened on the world's holy places to give humanity spiritual guidance and enlightenment.

    Inter-religious dialogue, consultation, co-operation, and synergy are taking place from local levels to the world level all around the planet, in a flourishing of spiritual gatherings and institutions.

    All professions, human entities, and associations, have adopted codes of ethics and have acquired the practice of asking themselves whether their activities contribute or not to peace, to non-violence, to a better world, and fulfillment and responsibility of human life world-wide, thus contributing to the cosmic spiritual progress of the human race.

    All forms of arts, including architecture, have once more acquired a spiritual dimension and meaning, repeating the feats of earlier high points of our artistic journey, when art represented the highest aspirations and ideals of peace and harmony of the human race with nature, with the past, present, and future, and with the heavens.

    More and more humanity is aware and happy that we are now capable to make this miraculous planet the ultimate success of God and of the universe. We are in full process of governing paradise Earth in proper cosmic, holistic, spiritual ways.

    "The religion of the future will be a cosmic religion. It should transcend a personal God and avoid dogmas and theology. Covering both the natural and the spiritual, it should be based on a religious sense arising from the experience of all things, natural and spiritual, as a meaningful unity."

    "The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion."

    "The third millennium will be spiritual or there will be no third millennium."

    "A new spiritual pyramid must be erected on the high intellectual platform that has already been built by the United Nations."er

    "Today the way to holiness goes through the world of action."


    Antietam Creek, Maryland, September, 1862 (26,050 dead)
    Ardennes Forest, France, December, 1944 - January, 1945 (38,000)
    Auschwitz, Poland, 1938 - 1945 (3,500,000)
    Attu, Alaska, May, 1943 (2,901)
    Bataan, The Philippines, April, 1942 (10,000)
    Belleau Wood, France, June-July, 1918 (9,777)
    Beirut, Lebanon, October, 1983 (321)
    Bull Run, Second Battle, Manassas, Virginia, July-August, 1862 (24,000)
    Chattanooga, Tennessee, November, 1863 (12,492)
    Chicamauga Creek, Tennessee, September, 1863 (34,642)
    Cho-Sen Reservoir, South Korea, February, 1951 (25,726)
    Corregidor, The Philippines, May, 1942 - August, 1945 (90,000)
    Dachau, Poland, 1939 - 1945 (1,5000,000)
    Dien Bien Phu, French Indochina, April - May, 1954 (95,000)
    Dieppe, France, August, 1942 (7,953)
    El Alamein, Egypt, July - November, 1942 (13,000)
    Finland, December, 1939 - February, 1940 (225,000)
    Fortress Alamo, San Antonio de Bexar, Texas, March, 1836 (183)
    Fredericksburg, Virginia, December, 1862 (15,000)
    Gallipoli, Turkey, 1915-1916 (250,000)
    Germany, Fifty major cities, 1942 - 1944 (458,906)
    Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July, 1863 (51,000)
    Hiroshima, Japan, August 6, 1945 (70,000)
    Hong Kong, British Crown Colony, December, 1941 (14,602)
    Hue City, South Vietnam, January - February, 1968 (10,000)
    Isonzo River, Italy, 1915 (250,000)
    Iwo Jima, February - March, 1945 (6,821)
    Japanese mainland, six major cities, March - June, 1945 (260,000)
    Kasserine Pass, Tunisia, February, 1943 (3,000)
    Khe San, South Vietnam, January - April, 1968 (10,205)
    Leningrad, Russia, August, 1941 - February, 1944 (1,450,000)
    Leyte Gulf, The Philippines, October - December, 1944 (85,000)
    Malaysia, December, 1941 - February, 1942 (148,532)
    Murphreesboro, Tennessee, January, 1863 (25,000)
    Okinowa, Japan, April - June, 1945 (122,922)
    Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, December, 1941 (2,403)
    Pusan, South Korea, September, 1950 (3,137)
    Quang Tri City, South Vietnam, February, 1968 (400)
    Riga, Latvia, 1941 - 1945 (40,000)
    Rome Airport, Italy, December, 1985 (13)
    Rumania, December, 1916 - January, 1917 (360,000)
    Shilo, Tennessee, April, 1862 (24,000)
    The Somme River, France, July - November, 1916 (1,090,000)
    Stalingrad, Russia, July, 1942 - February, 1943 (1,600,000)
    Tarawa Atoll, November, 1943 (5,670)
    The Tet Offensive, South Vietnam, January - February, 1968 (165,000)
    Ukraine, USSR, 1941 - 1945 (2,500,000)
    Verdun, France, 1916 (690,000)
    Vicksburg, Mississippi, October, 1862 - July, 1863 (21,141)
    Warsaw, Poland, April - May, 1943 (70,000)
    The Wilderness, Chancellorsville, Virginia, April - May, 1863 (30,051)
    The Wilderness, Second Battle, May, 1864 (25,166)
    Yom Kippur War, October, 1973 (7,537)
    Ypres, Belgium, 1914 - 1917 (392,000)

    - Mary Luttig




    (Interim Report, November 1997)

    Implicit within our cosmic evolutionary paradigm is a transcendence of the Darwinian principle of natural selection, a loftier standard that I call the principle of cosmic selection: Those technological civilizations (of any type on any planet) that recognize the need for, develop in time, and fully embrace a global ethics will survive, and those that do not will not.

    - Eric Chaisson,Space Scientist

    His insight into global problems and his vast perspective led Dr. Robert Muller, Chancellor Emeritus of the University for Peace in Costa Rica and former Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations, to call for a UNESCO-backed Summit Meeting of the world's scientists and thinkers concerned with the long-term fate of our Earth and of humanity, which is endangered by blind pursuit of short-term goals.

    He envisions an interchange of knowledge and ideas among the most conscientious persons on the planet, leading to advances in human wisdom that could not otherwise occur, and that would initiate a permanent shift toward more future-oriented, responsible attitudes worldwide. To ensure continuing sensitivity to changing conditions, he suggests that simultaneously an Association be created (to be officially founded during the Summit), which keeps such pioneer-thinkers in constant contact.

    I have been privileged to help with the initiation of the project. The following is a description of its objective, a brief history, and conclusions derived so far.


    The importance and urgency of the project lies in the need for a transformation of past-inspired ethics, with their many contradictions, fundamentalist shackles, and mutual hatreds, to a future-oriented ethic in which all of humanity can unite in a striving to become more enlightened and more humane.

    Many scientists believe that the universe is dominated by a "Cosmic Principle of Self-Destruction," a universal law that destroys any civilization in the universe which has achieved a level of intelligence and technical capacity similar to our own. Because intelligence is the result of the fiercest competition during the process of evolution, they argue, our brains cannot possibly conceive of an alternative that would avert our fate.

    Other scientists see in the process of evolution a forward march not toward more destructive competition, but toward more foresight, insight, wisdom, and love. These persons, most of whom are inspired by the teachings of Teilhard de Chardin, believe that the trend from the material to the spiritual, from the amoeba to man, will inevitably be continued toward superior heights of love and wisdom, however threatening present developments on Earth may appear to us now.

    Between these two views lies the perception of the large majority of scientists and thinking individuals, who see evolution itself as indifferent to human fears and hopes, but who acknowledge the potential for both projected outcomes. Our fate will be determined by how we think and what we do.

    An association of scientists concerned with long-range evolution would help to sort these contradictions out and to align and attract thinkers and scientists toward a superior goal. It is urgently needed to show to the pessimists that alternatives to competition until death, do exist, (even in non-human nature, but especially in human nature), to show to the optimists that reliance on non-human determination of our fate might weaken our sense of personal responsibility for our descendants and our Earth, and to impress upon the majority the importance of a long-range and encompassing vision to guide our choices.

    What unites us is a look at the miracle of evolution from a cosmic perspective. It is the effort to prevent our species from becoming another dead end, bypassed by ongoing development of life. It is the search for principles and values guiding humanity toward further ascent.


    The project was conceived by Dr. Robert Muller in 1993, during his reading of Professor Jean Claude Léonide's book L'Évolution &emdash; de l'Amibe au Cerveau Humain, while he was being simultaneously introduced to the "Cosmic Principle of Self-Destruction." (Léonide's book "Evolution &emdash; from the Amoeba to the Human Brain," goes beyond traditional description of physical evolution to describe the evolution of spirituality as a consequence of brain function.)

    The person first introduced to Dr. Muller's plans was Federico Mayor, Director-General of UNESCO, who initially showed interest in the project, but who, due to other urgent commitments, was unable to pursue it further. Dr. Muller then asked Professor Léonide and me (Erika Erdmann, who had introduced him to the "Cosmic Principle of Self-Destruction"), to find out whether an association of long-range evolutionary thinkers and scientists already existed, and, if not, to create one.

    The task was fascinating. As no association of the kind envisioned by Dr. Muller was found, we created first a network of scientists and thinkers concerned with long-range evolution (Dr. Léonide working as French coordinator and I as the English one), using a passionate appeal of Dr. Muller as introduction and an interchange of "worldview-résumés" to establish cohesion. These résumés (also invented by Dr. Muller) consisted of condensed biographical information, preceded by a one-page statement of a person's worldview or excerpts form his or her most relevant publication. They were an effective basis for moving forward and resulted in instant friendships.

    Soon the work became more than we could handle, and Dr. Ervin Laszlo took over. A prolific author and internationally known professor of system's science, he had founded a "General Evolution Research Group" several years ago. Dr. Laszlo succeeded in interesting persons in charge of the "Cultural Capital of Europe Weimar 1999" Summit in (probably) funding an international congress of science on "Chance of Evolution," which is to coincide with the Weimar Summit.


    Two currents struggle for dominance in our civilization: 1) The exact sciences, which have led to tremendous progress, but which are accused of heartless materialism, the presentation of a world without purpose and meaning, and the justification of ruthless competition based on Darwin's principles. 2) A "New Science," attempting to rectify the shortcomings of the exact sciences by declaring that the assumptions of "Mainstream Science" are in error, and that less rigorous (or less prejudiced) and more openminded pursuit of science would prove that Darwin was wrong, that purpose preceded evolution, and that spirituality is an important aspect of reality and thus of science. That view is accused of, and often contains, claims of parapsychology which cannot possibly be verified.

    The chasm between these two perceptions of reality, widened by unjust and distorted portrayals of the opposite point of view, endangers our civilization. -- It is the task of future-oriented thinkers and scientists to arrive at a new vision of reality that is superior to both.

    History sets an example: More than 100 years ago, a fanatic battle raged in the scientific community around the world on whether diseases are caused by germs or by poverty and slums. The battle was conducted with such fury that one of the most famous medical doctors in the world, Professor Rudolf Virchow (whose slum cleaning initiatives had transformed Berlin from one of the dirtiest to one of the cleanest cities on the globe) resigned his prestigious position as head of a medical institute built in his honor, rather than permit the "heretical" teaching that germs cause disease! Today, of course, we know that poverty and slums cause disease BECAUSE that's where germs proliferate. Once the relationships were grasped, the fights subsided immediately.

    Similarly, a better understanding of science and of the process of evolution will eliminate perilous controversy and lead to constructive advances. It is not necessary to deny that competition was an important factor in evolution in order to arrive at the insight that, in the presence of increasing intelligence, further single-minded concentration on this procedure would be fatal to human and other life on Earth. Neither is it necessary to assume that purpose preceded evolution, in order to accept the existence of purpose and meaning in nature. Both were, and are being, created by a contingency of events that were random only at the outset, but became increasingly constrained and directed by previous energy interactions and the various phenomena they brought forth. Energy and matter are not different entities; matter is the result of specific energy interactions. The process of evolution consists in a continuous interplay of the dynamic qualities of energy during which purpose and meaning, created in the human mind by an interaction of neuronal functioning and environmental input, have become aspects of nature essential for the further evolution of our species.

    This understanding, shared by the most perceptive scientists and thinkers, is best expressed in the book Vital Dust &emdash; Life as a Cosmic Imperative (1995) by Christian de Duve (Nobel Laureate in biochemistry). I am quoting from one of my letters about this book to Dr. Muller:

    "This book shows with infinite attention to detail how chance activity produces a specific trajectory guiding the evolutionary process, leading to ever more complex organisms. De Duve continues that, as a result, the evolution of brains and minds, thoughts and values (on any planet suitable for life) is nearly inevitable, and that further advance of evolution cannot occur unless increasing wisdom accompanies expanding intelligence. (Wisdom is not the same as intelligence, but involves love and cooperation.) thus, the very nature of evolution embodies a quest for values. Unless we can find and adopt the right values, degradation and extinction will be our fate. Evolution, however, will go on, trying and discarding, trying and discarding, until &emdash; perhaps in millions of years &emdash; a more capable civilization will arise. Only a few exceptional persons in each generation are able to perceive this interdependence of evolution and values; the fate of all others depends upon their impact." (May 1996)

    Whether or not our specific project will lead to the desired breakthrough in understanding of reality will depend on the openmindedness, knowledge, and insight of persons invited to participate. If the right persons are chosen, such a breakthrough may occur before the year 2000.

    From the survey of long-term evolutionary scientists and thinkers
    by Erika Erdmann and Professor Jean-Claude Léonide


    By D.H. Meadows, D.L. Meadows, and J. Randers

    Professor D.H. Meadows (USA) is a systems analyst and journalists, Professor of Systems Management D.L. Meadows (USA) is Director of the Institute for Policy and Social Science Research, and Professor J. Randers is a policy analyst and President Emeritus of the Norwegian School of Management, Chairman of the Norwegian Bank of Industry, Norwegian Institute for Market Research, and deputy Director General of the World Wildlife Fund. --All three authors collaborated on the pathbreaking book The Limits to Growth, published 20 years ago.

    Their present book, Beyond the Limits (Post Mills: Chelsea Green and Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1992), also provides such clear, convincing, and well documented information about our present world and the dangers of rapid, uncontrolled growth, that it is difficult to imagine how it could fail to have an immense impact, ("Growth" is defined as material, resource consuming advance only, while all other growth is called "development".)

    The authors show four different graphs of future prospects generated by their computers, each of them based upon a set of different assumptions. The first of these shows unlimited growth, both of population and consumption, which is clearly impossible on a planet with limited resources. The second graph is based on unchanged present expectations, clashing with the hard facts of reality. It shows "overshoot and collapse". That is, for several decades exuberant and rapid growth will be maintained, followed by devastating and unprecedented hardships on an exploited Earth, the resources of which were to a large part destroyed beyond recovery. The third graph assumes that people learn from experience. It shows a small degree of overshoot, followed by excessive caution and recovery, followed by more overshoot, and so on in alternation. The authors, however, see no indication that people are reasonable enough to reverse their lifestyles in time, once overshoot becomes evident. Moreover, in most cases it will be too late once depletion is clearly visible.

    The analogy of a car with faulty breaks is used, approaching a stop sign in thick fog. Would the driver be as fast as possible, or would he slow down? Would he heed the warning of a more knowledgeable person beside him, or would he ignore them? Clearly, the most responsible approach would be to drive slowly and to take advantage of all knowledge available.

    Such an action, translated into progression at every aspect of our reality, would lead to results portrayed in the fourth graph. That graph shows our species at full maturity. Population increase and increase of wasteful and unneeded consumption slow down in time, we achieve renewed harmony with our biosphere, we leave the Earth in a condition to support innumerable future generations, and at the same time increase our own health, sense of fulfillment, meaningfulness and happiness. --There is as yet no indication, the researches maintain, that this fourth possibility, vividly felt by a responsible avant guard, will become the worldview of the majority.

    The thrust of the authors' work is dedicated to their conviction that, once the danger of depletion becomes clearly visible, it is too late to change course. --The time factor is absolutely essential. "When problems arise exponentially and in multiples, even though those problems could be dealt with one by one, the ability to cope can be overwhelmed...The reason that growth, and especially exponential growth, is so insidious is that it shortens the time for effective action. It loads stress on a system faster and faster, until coping mechanisms that have been able to deal with slower rates of change finally begin to fail." (P.180) "The longer the world economy takes to reduce its throughputs and move toward sustainability, the lower the population and material standard that will be ultimately supportable. At some point, delay means collapse." (P.208)

    Throughout their work, the authors stress that they do not predict the future. No-one can do that. Their computer-research only points to if-then relationships. If we act in a certain way, then these or those results are to be expected. Consequently, if we care for a decent life of our descendants, if we care for the health of our biosphere, our dreams and aspirations must be redirected, and our actions realigned.

    The Cleanest Mile on Earth*

  • One must never miss fulfilling one's dreams.
  • Editor's Note: I worked on Wall Street for eight years. Owned a small firm that did research for mutual funds and acquirers of companies. There were some dark, desperate days. I found a book in the library, Most of All, They Taught Me Happiness, that helped me through. Recently I wrote the author, Robert Muller, asking for permission to quote from his books. He wrote me back two beautiful letters and the essay that follows.

    When I think of Robert Muller, I think of the state of mind a few of us are somehow able to live in. It is best described as Love &endash; a love for life and for creation. It is the life that revolves around an appreciation of beauty, of friendship, of nature. Life abundant, but life based on material simplicity. Robert Muller is an inspiration to me.

    - Rodcrick W. MacIver

    Shortly after World War II during which I had witnessed and suffered so many horrors, I was lucky to be selected as one of the first United Nations interns at Lake Success, Long Island, where the UN started in an abandoned war factory. As a Frenchman coming from the beautiful region of Alsace-Lorraine, I did not like New York City and its skyscrapers, and I did not like overcrowded Long Island. After my internship I took a trip by train to Canada where I wanted to visit indigenous people of whom I had dreamt when I was a child. The train followed many miles the beautiful Hudson Valley. As I looked out of the window, I said to myself: "If fate ever wants me to work for the United Nations, I would select one of the beautiful little villages along this river to live in."

    Fate fulfilled my dream. I was hired as a permanent official of the UN which moved to Manhattan. I married another intern, from Chile, who had come to the United Nations to fight for women's rights. I remembered my dream to live in one of the villages in the Hudson Valley and we selected a garden apartment in the beautiful and peaceful village of Dobbs Ferry. Years later, when we inherited some money from our deceased parents, we bought a house with an acre of land in the neighboring village of Ardsley, where we moved with our four children and lived happily until my retirement from the United Nations four decades later.

    From our house in Ardsley I liked to walk to the train station on the bank of the Hudson River. It was a beautiful walk, about a mile long. In the 1960s I began to notice a lot of fresh trash along the road. It was the period of "keeping up to the Joneses" when the ideal of many Americans was to have a big flashy car with fins, the latest model of course, and to drive to the station with a big cigar in the mouth, throwing trash out of the window. I decided to do something about it. I took a bag along with me and progressively picked up the trash. My neighbors stopped their car when they saw me, and commented: "Mr. Muller, you are wasting your time. You will never win. There will always be new trash."

    Well, they were wrong. I discovered that once the trash has been removed, there is little additional trash, and there is no difficulty in keeping a road clean. The only time when more efforts are needed is in spring after the snow has melted. The battle-ship cars and the cigars later began to disappear, and people became more concerned about pollution of the environment. For years I could gladly note that I had won my tiny battle and was walking every day on the cleanest mile on Earth.

    *From HERON DANCE, a magazine devoted to the search for meaning of life and inner peace, August 1995. 727 Burlingotn VT 05402-0727

    In the late seventies I decided to write a book for my children, telling some of the most important lessons I had learned in my life of war and peace. It was published under the title Most of All, They Taught Me Happiness, Doubleday in 1978 and was shortly thereafter translated into German. The Austrian publisher, Helmut von Loebell, invited me to the Frankfurt annual bookfair for the launching of the German edition. When I arrived in Frankfurt and we walked together to the Fair, I saw him bend once in a while, pick up trash and put it into a bag. I looked at him and asked him why he was doing that. He answered: "Because some months ago I heard the speech of an Austrian monk, Brother Steindl-Rast who told the audience how he had met a United Nations official who was picking up trash along his way to the train station in order to ensure and enjoy the cleanest mile on Earth." He smiled at me, and added, "I got interested in you and decided to publish your book in German."

    After my retirement from the UN, fate did not want me to return to my beloved Alsace-Lorraine, but decided that I should be the first one-dollar-a-year Chancellor of the first University for Peace on Earth in one of the first demilitarized countries, Costa Rica. The University is located in a marvelous area of preserved tropical forests, on a sacred hill, Mount Rasur, from which, according to a local indigenous prophecy, a civilization of peace will extend to the entire world.

    Next to the University a beautiful farmland was for sale. I loved to walk on it and to dream that if I were younger I would buy it. Then one day I read this text I had written a few days before my retirement from the UN:

    "I dream that someday as a sort of elder of the United Nations I will live on a hill with a breathtaking view and spend my last days writing the beautiful stories of my life, and my visions for a better world."

    Well, that was a signal from fate. One must never miss fulfilling one's dreams. I bought the farm, live on it, have a breathtaking view, and am writing the stories of my life and my visions for a better world. Every day I walk from it to the University for Peace, ensuring that it is the cleanest mile on Earth. And here again the tourists are looking at me with curiosity and doubt that I will ever win.

    My dear, beloved wife, Margarita, alas has left this Earth. I visit her tomb often, reporting to her and asking for her help from the world of the spirits. I noticed that the cemetery has also a good amount of trash. So I decided to make it the cleanest cemetery on Earth. And I have succeeded too.

    There is one major duty where I have not succeeded, alas. When visiting the Hopi people in Arizona, a Hopi woman asked me if she could give me a better name than Robert Muller (Red Beard the Miller). It is women who have the task of giving names. I accepted and she gave me the name Kogyun Deyo. I asked her what it meant. "It means Spider Boy. Your task will be to make a vast spider web, to catch in it all evil on Earth and then to throw it far away into the universe."

    On that task I have not succeeded, although I cannot complain about the many positive results I have obtained during my forty years at the United Nations. And I continue to try relentlessly and against all odds. I am writing this story at dawn in my little farmhouse with a breathtaking view on Mount Rasur, triggered off by the publisher of a nice magazine of good stories, Heron Dance, who liked my book Most of All They Taught Me Happiness. Since the 11th of July of last year, when the countdown to the year 2000 began, I have also been writing a compendium of Two Thousand Ideas for a Better World: Perhaps each of them will not represent more than one little mile on Earth. But if each of the 5.6 billion people on this planet would take care of a little mile, there would not be enough miles to clean for all. The peace, the cleanliness, the beauty and the happiness of all on this magnificent planet begin in the mind, the heart and in the hands of each of us.


    It seems that beautiful stories never end. There is a magic built in them. In May 1998 I was invited with President Gorbachev and former UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali to a conference on Globalization and the Fate of the Nation-State, in Cagliari, on the Italian island of Sardinia. I was asked to submit to it a paper on the next stage of the international system (it is reproduced at the end of my ideas 1501 to 1600). At the conclusion of the conference a public and press meeting was held at which questions were asked by the audience. I got the question: "What can one poor, lonely individual do to improve the world situation?" I told them the story of the cleanest mile and the effect it would have if 5.6 billion people would each clean a mile: we would be the cleanest planet in the universe. I told them also that early at sunrise on this very day, I had cleaned the beach in front of our hotel: I received not only the applause of the audience, but also a few days later, from someone in the audience the following fax:

    Dear Dr. Muller,

    Since you were so kind to clean one of our beaches, I am happy to send you the following information on beach cleaning just published by the leading Italian newspaper Il Messaggero:

    (1) 200 Italian beaches were cleaned yesterday by 120,000 volunteers. (2) Hundreds of boats and 5,000 underwater cleaners went hunting for plastic bottles and sacks in an operation named "clean sea-bottom". (3) In Grosseto (Tuscany), 500 people met on the beach with delegations of young environmentalists from 9 Mediterranean countries for the operation "Clean up the Mediterranean Sea"; this operation will reach its climax on June 5, world day for the environment organized by the United Nations Environment Program. (4) In the Marche region (center Italy, on the Adriatic), the project "clean beaches" is becoming a permanent project financed by the Region, that will utilize 200 boats for the cleaning of the sea-bottom.

  • With warmest greetings to you and to your wife Barbara,

    Dr. Sergio Tripi

  • And on Father's Day, a few days later, in my US hometown of Dobbs Ferry in the Hudson Valley, we walked with my wife on the marvelous wooded old Croton aqueduct and helped remove from it trash to make it the cleanest aqueduct on Earth.

    Please, dear reader, help me implement this simple idea. Join the unwritten, anonymous world movement of volunteers for the cleanest mile on Earth. Mother Earth will rejoice and recompense us with much happiness. I am placing this dream on my Bench of Dreams.

    Better to pick up a piece of refuse than to curse the garbage.

    - Robert Muller

    Epithets Given to Robert Muller
    in 1997

    Humanity is blessed that he was born
    Tomorrow's God-How, the supreme artist in Purushottama
    One of the few people who is listened to all over the world
    A seedman
    Number one in the world
    An exemplary leader in the cause of peace and a better life for all
    A man with a prodigious mission
    Someone whom God will make an even more powerful instrument
    A king of ideas who does fabulous planetary healing
    A living example of rejoicing
    A fascinating and inspiring individual
    An extraordinary, indeed unique man
    The only man today willing to tell the truth about the world situation and how we together can save nature, our families, our lives and more tomorrows of clean air, clean water and sunshine
    An angel of evolution
    A great and wonderful person
    One of the leading global minds of our time with the highest moral ideals and leadership the world seeks
    A blessed presence on Earth at this time
    The soul of the UN
    One of humanity's greatest heroes
    A charismatic and compelling force who makes impossible hopes and dreams come true
    An extraordinary human being, a person who lights up everyone he meets
    The gem of the Americas
    An example of how one person's life can make a difference
    The shining star of the University for Peace
    The best informed man in the world
    A magnet of spiritual ideas
    A messenger, a teacher, a world server and an illuminator
    An inspired voice of the United Nations
    A brilliant, illuminating global diplomat
    An optimistic outlaw
    A rare individual who has been called both the rabbi of the UN and the beloved of Allah
    A man who makes vibrate the soul, the heart and the intelligence of life
    A fighter for peace
    The Beethoven of peace and world affairs
    An irrepressible and cosmic optimist
    An untiring optimist
    An ebullient optimist
    The elder of the United Nations
    One of the greatest citizens of the world
    The patriarch of the first University for Peace
    The most incredible man
    God knew what He was doing when he created Robert Muller