A contribution to the year 3000
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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.
Dr. Robert Muller
Born in Belgium in 1923 and raised in the Alsace-Lorraine region in France, Robert Muller experienced constant political and cultural turmoil during his youth. His grandparents had five successive nationalities (French, German, French, German, French) without leaving their village as a result of three wars (1870-1871, 1914-1918, 1939-1945). Often as a child, Robert Muller would look out of his window at the border he could not cross and long for the day when he, like the birds, the clouds, the sun and the stars, would no longer have to observe the imaginary line. Today, thanks to the dream and effort of his compatriot Robert Schuman who similarly hated these borders, Robert Muller's passport reads, "European Union" with the sub-title France, and he is free to cross all western European borders.
Robert Muller knew the horrors of World War II, of being a refugee, of Nazi occupation and imprisonment. During the war he was a member of the French Resistance. After the war he returned home and earned a Doctorate of Law from the University of Strasbourg. In 1948 he entered and won an essay contest on how to govern the world, the prize of which was an internship at the newly created United Nations.
Dr. Muller devoted the next 40 years of his life behind the scenes at the United Nations focusing his energies on world peace. He rose through the ranks at the UN to the official position of Assistant-Secretary-General. He has been called the "Philosopher" and "Prophet of Hope" of the United Nations. Robert Muller is a deeply spiritual person. From his vantage point of a top level global states-person he has seen a strong connection between spirituality and the political/cultural scene.
Robert Muller created a "World Core Curriculum" and is known throughout the world as the "father of global education." There are 34 Robert Muller schools around the world with more being established each year. The "World Core Curriculum" earned him the UNESCO Peace Education Prize in 1989. Based on this curriculum and his devotion to good causes, Dr. Muller has recently drawn up a "Framework for World Media Coverage" as a public service, as well as a "Framework for Planetary and Cosmic Consciousness" and a "Framework for the Arts and Culture".
Now in active "retirement," Dr. Muller is Chancellor Emeritus of the University for Peace created by the United Nations in demilitarized Costa Rica. He is in great demand to make speeches to educational, environmental, spiritual and political conferences around the world. Dr. Muller concentrates his efforts on promoting greater human understanding and global awareness. He has received many awards, e.g. the Albert Schweitzer International Prize for the Humanities and the Eleanor Roosevelt Man of Vision Award.
Dr. Muller lives most of the year at his small farm overlooking the University of Peace, on a sacred indigenous hill, Mt. Rasur, from which according to indigenous prophecy, a civilization of peace will extend to the entire world. His traditional Costa Rican house is located just up the hill from the Peace Monument of the University. In addition to his duties at the University, he devotes time to his writings and is an internationally acclaimed, multi-lingual speaker and author of many books published in various languages. He has published his Testament to the UN as well as his plans and dreams for a peaceful, happy world.
At the prompting of many of his friends, admirers and non-governmental organizations Robert Muller was a candidate as a global citizen in 1996 for the post of Secretary General of the United Nations.
In 1998 he was appointed co-chairman, with Dr. Karan Singh, of a World Commission on Global Consciousness and Spirituality.
The Global Peoples' Assembly in Samoa in April 2000 honored him as its Lifelong, Honorary President.
Educator, author, global public relations, business leader and public speaker, Barbara Gaughen-Muller has devoted her life to great human causes and a better world through socially responsible global public relations for world organizations, world leaders, business, education and government. Her Public Relations firm is now in it's 16th year. Prior to this Ms. Gaughen-Muller was Director of the California State Department Career Education Dissemination project, a demonstration teacher, educational consultant and ran the Industry Education Council and worked for the National Alliance of Business.
Equipped with a B.A. from San Diego State University and Masters work in Leadership and Organizational Behavior from the University of California, Santa Barbara and San Diego State University, she has taught post graduate classes for the University of California and has co-authored six books on educational theory and practice. She ran for County Superintendent of Schools and has been appointed to work with national education and youth committees in Washington, DC. She has been an active member of the County Commission for Women.
Her radio show INSPIRING CONVERSATIONS with top business, political and spiritual leaders is broadcast world-wide from the Radio for Peace International. She is the co-founder of Media 21 with Dr. Robert Muller, a PR counsel firm dedicated to preparing the media and organizations for an ethical 21st Century. She created National Book Blitz month, held annually in January, to honor the world's authors and is immediate past president of the Book Publicists. Her book, Book Blitz continues to be a top seller on Amazon.com.
Often requested to be the closing speaker at World Conferences on the subject of "Where Do We Go From Here?" helping Conference attendees to use the 5 basic principles of PR to influence and change their local community and thus change the world. Her key-ending speech introduced her to Dr. Robert Muller in 1994 and they are happily married and spend much of the year on their Finca in Costa Rica.
Ms. Gaughen-Muller created World Spirituality Day on the opening day of the UN General Assembly and is the founder of United Nature. She is a Creative Member of the Club of Budapest and serves on the Boards of several international organizations. Her public relations firm has won numerous awards including being named Best PR Firm for five consecutive years. She is currently running her Global PR firm from Santa Barbara, CA and Costa Rica. Her dream is world peace and happiness created through new global ethics for the 21st Century.
"It is not a calamity to die with dreams unfulfilled, but it is a calamity not to dream. It is not a disgrace not to reach the stars, but it is a disgrace not to have any stars to reach. Not failure but low aim is the real sin."
"Each of us has something truly unique to offer the world if only we have the determination to make our dreams come true."
"The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? We are all leaves of a tree and the tree is humanity."
"Ideas are cosmic energy which makes us co-workers with the designs of the universe and God. The same is true of dreams, visions, prayers, ideals, hopes and all other great philosophical and spiritual concepts which have helped humanity to survive and progress in the infinite universe and eternal stream of time."
"The shortest vital connection you can make in your life is an eighteen inch conduit between your heart and your brain."
At the entrance of the United Nations we should inscribe these words:
"Dreams, ideas, visions and prophecies are stronger than all armies in the world."
Some say it was a dream, but I know that it was too real to be only that. I saw the Earth spiraling into the future - as it was designed to become. Daring humans had unlocked many secrets of the human heart thus opening new vistas, and setting new directions for governments and society alike.
I saw how people had been shaken only two decades before by the continent-sized, fast-growing blacken patches covering both land and sea. With their lives immanently threatened, awakened people mobilized the entire planet for action. I saw that the build-up of this accumulated pent-up energy had exploded into a new world very different from the one we now know.
I saw large pictures of hunger, war, and poverty hanging in museums reminding people of former days and times when old, obsolete instincts needed for survival by our cave ancestors had not yet been challenged and dislodged from the fearful, unconscious mind. One of the great advances of civilizations (so very recently achieved) was substituting the instincts of sharing and caring for the primitive instincts which had prohibited people from living together peacefully in a closely populated world, growing ever more complex.
People had extended their previous loyalties toward families and nations to include bioregions and the world
Each month, the people attentively watched the dozens of indicators providing feedback to the planet which revealed how the whole world was becoming more humane and caring. Now that the world had this information about itself, it could keep making adjustments toward becoming a compassionate world. Even leaders in trade and commercialization took on new energies - like a crusade - as they responded to developing the entire planet for the humane good of all instead of past fixations on profit and expanding their own self-enterprises.
Deeper understandings about linking human minds inspired a world consensus to emerge. The world developed a Mission Statement which set forth purpose and direction for the Planet. Led by former warriors, world institutions mobilized themselves around this Mission Statement, focusing on developing the planet, and installing massive human programs - exciting the people.
The Habitat of Humanity was now a quasi-government program with a high moral and motivations tone, with people building their own houses with the help of their neighbors. Over 30% of the population lived in these homes that people had built themselves, through this program modeled so successfully during the late 1900's, but in which only a relatively few could participate.
Most prisons had been torn down. Justice now was quick and immediate. Victims were compensated by those who hurt them. Persons who could not be rehabilitated were still locked up, but people could now reprogram themselves using the new techniques and devices to rechannel their own thoughts into attitudes and behavior they really preferred - which quickly emptied the prisons. Good jobs were provided for those who had been incarcerated. Roots of crime had been eradicated and a world ethic of responsibility had been accepted by the people.
I saw that most oil wells were deserted. No longer would wars be fought over cheap oil. Fusion and other inexpensive energy sources were abundant to all, thus greatly reducing the cost of all goods. Abundant, low cost energy lowered the costs of housing, food, health care, transportation, and communications to one-third of their cost during the last century. (In the 1990's, the production and use of goods used up 98% of their value in energy costs). Now people did not have to work as long and jobs were available to all.
People had learned to replace their fears with love. In the last century, even most good, moral, religious people lived with disturbing personality flaws that would flare up and ruin friendships. But no more - for people had learned to face and remove such blockages. I was amazed to watch most people daily experiencing the love a higher power was revealing to them through the interactive meditations techniques and shamanic practices on world television and the internet. Various electronic devices linked to their own nervous system enabled each person to invite and regulate messages and images in one's mind sent from this higher power, commonly referred to as God. Regardless of external circumstances, everyone could feel loved to the extent that they did not need to prove themselves to others nor be addicted to work, drugs, television, possessions, power, or any other addiction.
I saw that most people had developed acute empathic powers to the extent that most possessed the ability of mental telepathy. Due to the considerable empathy that people now had developed for all people, wars were considered anathema. Rulers who tried to initiate war were quickly neutralized by world opinions and by decentralized police trained as conflict resolvers and the aegis of a world body.
Using the example of a nursing infant and mother surrendering to each other, a Cuban woman artist had persuaded people that the way of nurturing was the way the planet was destined to operate. Intuition, active listening, and sensitivity became highly valued. Major new technology was being developed to nurture the inner lives of people.
World television was continually beaming pictures of the great potential of humans to develop themselves and presenting visions about what the Earth could become. In daily conversations, people talked about the many new techniques they were using to enhance the lives of their families.
The number one tourist attraction was traveling through space, circling the Earth for three days in a spaceship. Throughout each day, guides would present artistic interpretations of the majestic beauty and functioning of the Earth, the home of all, so alone in the darkness of outer space. For many, such a trip was a kind of spiritual pilgrimage as they explored their own lives and intimate relationships with the planet. Surprisingly, during such an experience people found themselves breaking loose from acquiring 'things'.
Recent contact with Beings from other planets had challenged the beliefs and division among people and brought them together. Attention was focused on comparing our culture with other earths, and learning from them.
Sensing the presence of the Divine in one's own life became as natural as eating or sleeping. People began to know themselves as spirits who were in existence before coming to this Earth and after dying. People learned to communicate with the spirit world and received guidance from various spirits.
Children were everywhere, running, playing, laughing, and frolicking. One activity children enjoyed was a new kind of virtual reality. Children not just mentally but physically explored environments they created with their advanced voiced-activated computers. As the children moved about, they called forth various simulated, holographic figures - some of these figures seemed young, others were from ancient times and wise, and some were entire families. While the children questioned, talked, laughed and played with their created playmates, they learned compassion, felt the deeper meanings, experienced many wonders of life, and created a kind of world they wanted to live in. Ideas of children were taken seriously as they permeated the planet, helping to chart the course of Earth, while creating new kinds of hope.
How did such a world come about? The knowledge about how to develop this preferred world was already in the hearts and minds of people in 1997!
Don Tilley, Director, Prairie Peace Park, 4533 Starr, Lincoln, NE 68503, Tel: (402) 466-6622
"Where Children's Visions Come Alive
NOTE: Why write such a vision? 1) Because we need to see the many options available to us. 2) Because our own deficiencies as a society are made known when we dare to see the possible that we are not doing. 3) Because as peacemakers, we need to stretch our thinking and imagination to create new possibilities - to be pro-active rather than re-active as much as we can. 4) Because we need hope.
Virtually everything in the above vision is possible to accomplish.
In all probability, pragmatism, expediency, and gradualism will not abolish war nor the outbreak of violence. The roots of divisiveness are too deep. A peaceful world will probably require the transformation of many of our ideas - about ourselves (including our own potential), relationships, role of technology, the planet, and fields of knowledge such as economics, governmental structures, psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, education, etc. The impetus for such a transformation is likely to be a new vision inspired by the need to survive combined with experiencing a better way of living.
IDEAS 3101 TO 3200
UNIVERSITY FOR PEACE UNITED NATIONS ROBERT MULLER SCHOOLS
Need for a New Science: Anthropobiology
Biology is one of the great, new, modern sciences: the study, the science of life in all its forms. Its most promising avenues are considered to be: microbiology, molecular biology and neurobiology.
But isn't there something more fundamental missing, namely the biology or life science of the whole human species: why it thinks, why it acts and behaves the way it does, why it congregates, why and how it has expanded all its senses with tools and instruments to the point of becoming another species, why it creates institutions, how it improved its memory, why it associates in innumerable groups, why and what it plans, seeks and expects, how it is affected by new global concerns, diseases and scares, how it has created metaorgans, how a global brain is being born to it as well as a global warning and nervous system (communications), how it adapts to the environment and transforms it on substantial scales, including destroying it, why it has massive Earth endangering weapons and armies able to kill millions of people, etc.
Political science and sociology cannot answer these questions which must be tackled by scientists who have the most advanced knowledge of the processes and evolution of other life forms.
Ecologists and environmentalists who deal with Earth science are often no longer credible because they have taken the side of nature and of the Earth, as distinct from humans.
A new human life science, part of a total Earth science, is urgently needed to help us understand and overcome the difficulties inherent in the accelerated evolution of a suddenly dominant life form on this planet: the human species. It should become one of the most important sciences.
On the Earth - by Chief Seattle
In 1844 US President Franklin Pierce wanted to buy land in the area which is now the State of Washington. A Native Chief, after whom the city of Seattle was later named, reluctantly agreed to the sale, in order to avoid war. His warnings against misuse of the land, water and air are even more moving and relevant today than when he uttered them more than 100 years ago.
"How can you buy or sell the sky, the warmth of the land? We do not own the freshness of the air or the sparkle on the water.
Every pine needle shining in the sun, every sandy beach, the mist hanging in the dark woods, every clearing, each humming insect, every part of the Earth is holy in the memory and experience of my people. We are part of the Earth and the Earth is part of us. The fragrant flowers are our sisters. The deer, the horse, the great eagle, these are our brothers. The rocky heights, the foaming crests of waves, the meadows' flowers, the body heat of the pony - and human beings - all belong to the same family.
The rivers are our brothers. They quench our thirst, they carry our canoes, and feed our children. You must remember, and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours, and give the rivers the kindness you would give any brother.
The white man is a stranger who comes in the night and takes from the land whatever he wants. The Earth is not his friend but his enemy, and when he has conquered it, he moves on. He leaves his fathers' graves behind, and he does not care. He kidnaps the Earth from his children, and he does not care. He treats his mother, the Earth, and his brother, the sky, as things to be bought, plundered, and sold like sheep or bright beads. His appetite will devour the Earth and leave behind only a desert.
There is no quiet place in the white man's cities. No place to hear the unfurling of leaves in spring or the rustle of insects' wings. The clatter seems to insult the ears. And what is there to life if you cannot hear the lonely cry of the whippoorwill or the arguments of the frogs around a pond at night? The Indian prefers the soft sound of the wind darting over the face of the pond.
The air is precious, for all things - the beast, the tree, the human being - all share the same breath. The air shares its spirit with all the life it supports. The air that gave our grandfather his first breath also receives his last sigh. And the air must also give our children the spirit of life.
You must treat the animals of this land as your brothers. I have seen a thousand rotting buffaloes on the prairie, left by the white man who shot them from a passing train. I am a savage and do not understand how the smoking iron horse can be more important than the buffalo, which we kill only in order to stay alive. What are human beings without animals? If all the animals should cease to exist, humans would die of a great loneliness of the spirit. Whatever happens to the animals will soon happen also to human beings.
Teach your children what we have taught our children. Whatever happens to the Earth happens to the children of the Earth. If you spit on the land, you spit on yourselves.
The Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth. All things are connected, like the blood which unites one family. Mankind did not weave the web of life. We are but one strand within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together.
One thing we know, which the white man may one day discover: our God is the same God and this Earth is precious to Him. To harm the Earth is to heap contempt on its Creator. Continue to soil your bed, and you will one night suffocate in your own waste.
When the last red man has vanished from this Earth, and his memory is only the shadow of a cloud moving across the prairie, these shores and forests will still hold the spirits of my people, for they love this Earth as the newborn loves his mother's heartbeat. So if we sell you our land, love it as we have loved it. Care for it as we have cared for it. And with all your strength, with all your mind, with all your heart, preserve it for your children."
Note: This text merits to supplement the Earth Charter in Volume VII. It should be taught in all schools of the world.
IDEAS 3201 TO 3300
recipient of the 2000 Light of God Expressing Award
The International Association of Unity Churches
7 June 2000
Introduction by Rita Johnson,
Unity Church Minister, Author and member of the UN University of Peace in Costa Rica
My husband, Juan Enrique and I have ministered in Costa Rica over seven years now, and the very best part of those years for me have been getting to know Robert Muller. I realized why as I was listening to Andrew Harvey yesterday. He spoke of the kingdom within and the kingdom without and how our awareness of that seamless reality affects every choice we make: in our relationships, politics, the environment, everything. Getting to know Robert Muller has given me a living example of how that really works and can impact at the global level.
Robert is deeply and passionately connected to the kingdom within and he has walked his talk in the kingdom without. Robert decided at an early age to dedicate his life to being a peacemaker, to actually make this his profession. Out of that clear, lifelong intention, Robert has blessed us all with a more peaceful planet, and in the process he became a wise sage with the heart of an innocent child.
Robert worked for world peace for 40 years in the United Nations and continues to work for peace every day. His passion for a world at peace has resulted in a phenomenal global heart. For you see, the way that we know and love our ministries, Robert knows and loves the world. When he starts talking to me about world issues, he speaks of countries as if they were people he has known since they were children. I have seen his heart breaking when violence erupts somewhere in the world, as much as a mother would feel the pain when her child is hurt.
World history over the last 77 years and his personal history have come together as one in his soul. As Assistant Secretary General of the UN, Robert became known as the "Prophet of Hope". This title came as the result of his personal practice of the presence of God. In Robert's words, "You have to consider your political office as a sacred function."
During the darkest days of the cold war, Robert managed, amid a sea of atheism, to implement the practice of beginning and ending sessions of the UN General Assembly and UN meetings with a minute of silent prayer. And Robert continued to consistently advocate that spirituality be embraced at the global political level. He initiated many important global spiritual meetings and was a primary force in the concept and formation of United Religions, an interfaith organization which he envisioned would eliminate religious wars on the planet.
Robert has written 14 books about peace, love and the power of ideas including New Genesis, Shaping a Global Spirituality and his most recent book, 2000 Ideas and Dreams for a Better World. These books flow from the vision that Robert has of a world that lives by the laws of love. And Robert has always understood the crucial role of women in creating that kind of world. As a matter of fact, he wrote a novel called First Lady of the World, which tells the story of the first woman Secretary General of the UN. So symbolically, he placed the Divine Feminine in charge of the world and let her loose on politics. And no one can miss Robert's admiration of the Divine Feminine when he publicly declares his love for his wife, Barbara and describes their union as "the cosmic couple".
Robert has many inspiring visions of how Love could transform the highest levels of power in our world. For example, he asks us to imagine governments who have done terrible things coming to the UN General Assembly and saying "Please forgive us" and for the General Assembly to say, "You are forgiven". Can you join him in the vision of the UN General Assembly acting as a loving mother forgiving her guilty child?
But Robert doesn't just envision a world based on spiritual reality, he walks his talk in every aspect of his life. He talks about caring for the environment and walks that talk by living simply in a charming cabin in Costa Rica. On the front door of his cabin you can read a sign that says - One can take a little rough cabin and transform it into a palace just by flooding it with God.
Robert walks his talk. He talks about the importance of education and he created the World Core Curriculum, for which he won the UNESCO Peace Education Prize in 1989. This curriculum teaches global thinking - I call it "practical oneness". Now 34 schools around the world are using this spiritually based curriculum.
Robert re-ignited my lifelong passion for transforming education on the planet, which took my ministry and my life in a whole new direction. And we are continuing to work on our mutual commitment to a new education, which will lift our children up with love.
Robert walks his talk. He speaks about the importance of young people and he takes the time to relate to them. When we sponsored a Teenage Exchange Program in Costa Rica, Robert spoke to them at the University for Peace where he serves as the Chancellor Emeritus. After inspiring them to dedicate their lives to peace, Robert spontaneously invited them to his cabin for lunch, where he quickly cooked up scrambled eggs and beans for the fifteen of us.
I said that Robert is a wise sage with the heart of an innocent child. I'll never forget when Robert came to Unity Village to speak at the YOU conference and, as a result, had a meeting with Charles Fillmore, which I also attended. After these two men met, they immediately went into a joke telling contest. One of the books Robert wrote is the World Joke Book so although Charles hung in there admirably, Robert finally got the upper hand. Then Robert proposed to Charles that Unity School should have busts made of our founders, Charles and Myrtle, and have them placed in the garden at the University for Peace with the other great peacemakers there like Gandhi. You see, although Robert was joking like a schoolboy, he never missed a beat in perceiving the greatness of the Unity movement and its message of inner peace and love.
The thing I love most about Robert Muller is his enthusiasm for dreaming. He spends time quietly sitting at his Dream Bench overlooking an incredible pastoral view of the Central Valley. Everyone who visits Robert is encouraged to sit for as long as it takes at the Dream Bench to become clear on their dreams.
I am currently working at the University for Peace, which gives me the opportunity to see Robert more often. He stopped me in the hall last week and said, I received a call from someone who wants to write my biography. He wants me to dig into all my old files and pull out all my old writings from the past. But I told him he'd have to do it on his own because I don't want to focus on the past. I want to create the future and make this Earth a paradise on Earth.
So you see, Robert is not resting on the laurels of his lifetime of achievements for peace. He wants to keep right on creating heaven on Earth, the kingdom within, and I know he will. Robert has been achieving his dreams and holding the light at the global level, to the benefit of all humankind. His joy and eternal optimism leave corridors of light wherever he travels in the world, he is truly "The Light of God Expressing" and he has won my heart. Please join me in giving this award to Dr. Robert Muller, a great global peacemaker who walks his talk. Robert, please come forward. Robert, thank you for dedicating your life to peace and for shining the light of love so brilliantly in our world.
Rita Marie Johnson, Ph.D. wrote a wonderful book The Return of Rasur, the story that holds the answer to education in our time, published in 2000 by the Rasur Foundation for Wisdom Education, Apartado 1362-1250, ESCAZU, Costa Rica
Dream: To create a World Association of Women, or of Women, Mothers and Grandmothers, for the UN University for Peace in all countries
Create Peace universities in all countries (a woman from Bulgaria who attended an event at UNIPAZ called for an appointment to meet with Robert Muller. She wants to create a Peace University in her country.)
Sponsor more busts of women peacemakers in the gardens of UNIPAZ (so far there is only one of Eleanor Roosevelt in the memory of Margarita Muller who worked with her on women's' rights at the UN.)*
In all these efforts peace would of course, include non-violence in all realms of life and in our relations with the Earth (see A Strategy for a Non-violent World, pages 36-38 in Volume II of 2000 Ideas for a Better World, and all other items on non-violence listed in the General Index, Volume V, of the 2000 Ideas and the Indexes of the next four volumes of Ideas 2001 to 4000)
Profession-wide (e.g. Airline Ambassadors for Peace, mostly made of airline stewardesses)
* November 2000: We have also now a life-size statue of Peace Pilgrim.
A special subject or branch of the world association would deal with women's for peace philanthropy (see Proposals on world philanthropy in Volume IV, Introduction to Part III; only 4 percent of philanthropy goes to global world causes). Keep in mind that for donations to UNIPAZ by US citizens they get US tax exemption via the Robert Muller School in Arlington, Texas, flier attached)
The creation of such an Association would give a greater world voice to women who, as mothers and grandmothers, as life-givers are more service and peace minded than some men who are mostly inclined towards success, glory, power, money and fame in line with Darwin's theory of competition and survival of the fittest which was right in the 19th century but is obsolete now when the new requirements for further evolution are cooperation and service to the Earth and to humanity.
Union of International Associations, 40 Rue Washington, Brussels 1050 Belgium
In addition to their Yearbook of International Associations they also publish an Encyclopedia of World Problems.
IDEAS 3301 TO 3400
A Boy's Letter to a Prime Minister
Never fail to denounce an injustice to the person at the top.
Someone wrote to me: "Dear Mr. Muller, I love your book of 2000 Ideas but what can I do? I am a nobody, having a very low, minor job in a big firm. You were lucky to have a great life in high positions allowing you to know the whole world. You are still a big shot even if it is only for one dollar a year. I cannot do anything and am very frustrated, unhappy with my life. To read you made me even unhappier and frustrated."
I wrote him back: "Well, I have my frustrations too, e.g. that so few of my books are being read and so few of my ideas implemented. I am 77 years old and I could easily give up. But when that thought occurs to me, I remember a story from my youth which lifts me up again and prevents me from giving up. It is a letter which I wrote when I was a refugee at the age of sixteen, with my father being mobilized in the French Army, my mother without barely any resources and my studies and normal life interrupted. Here it is:
September 1939. I was sitting in my room, reading romantic literature, my soul filled with happiness and poetry about the beauty of the world.
From my window I glanced over the Saar River into Germany. During the last few years the woods had disappeared from the hills on the German side and had been replaced by wheat fields and a new village - Adolf Hitler Dorf. Its inhabitants were metallurgical workers who also did some farming and small animal husbandry in order to increase the self-sufficiency of the German Reich. Along the river and its tributary, the Blies, humans once again were divided by hatred. There were constant incidents. The Germans organized innumerable noisy parades along the river, appealing to the beastly side of human nature. On the French side, we did not remain passive either: we sang the "Marseillaise" at the opening of each soccer game in the stadium which was located right along the border. The Nazis retaliated by holding political meetings opposite the stadium at the exact time of the opening of the games in order to drown the sounds of the French national anthem under their Teutonic marches. Hatred was escalating again along a peaceful river and under the same sun, arousing the emotions of the people like a vicious tide. Noise, colors, words, music, uniforms, sport, day and night, the living and the dead, everything was mobilized to bolster the "greatness" of each nation.
But this was for me the beautiful age of sixteen, when to be alive and to approach adulthood and love were tantamount to paradise. The writings of Lamartine, Chateaubriand, Goethe and Schiller transported me to heaven. The preceding year our town had been evacuated a first time. We had fled to the French Jura mountains, to the summer house of former tenants who had moved away from the border when they saw the turn of events. Our place of refuge was not far from the region where Lamartine had lived. I had walked in his woods, reading his poetry with ecstasy, considering him the greatest literary genius the earth had ever borne.
I was sharing my thoughts and feelings with my beloved authors when my mother climbed the staircase, entered my room and said:
"Boy, come down and help us pack. War is going to break out any moment. Our town is again being evacuated. Our car has already been requisitioned, but the driver can take us to our place of refuge with a load of clothes and food if we can leave early enough. Every minute counts. Get ready and pack your things.
"I could not care less about that war. I hate all wars. Why should anyone, especially a madman like Hitler, have the right to interrupt the course of my life and of my studies?"
My mother looked at me sternly. Her blue eyes turned into cold steel and became filled with a world of hard messages and thoughts. Then, without a comment, she slapped me in the face with a strength that almost knocked me senseless.
She left the room without a word. I had gotten her message; I packed my clothes and went downstairs to help with the preparations of the rest of the family.
Many years later, when addressing a group of veterans visiting the United Nations in New York, a French officer, upon hearing that I came from the town of Sarreguemines, had this comment:
"You must have left your town hurriedly, for when we entered it, we still found dishes with food and unfinished meals on the tables." This comment, indeed, describes better than anything else what our evacuation was like.
In the afternoon the driver who had taken possession of our car drove us to Lutzelbourg, a little locality forty miles away from the border, where my mother had rented in anticipation of these events a small apartment usually only occupied during the summer by vacationers. Days ago my father had been mobilized into the French army and had left for a destination unknown to us in a vast underground fortress called the Maginot Line.
After leaving us at our place of refuge, the driver with our car returned to Sarreguemines and we never saw them again1 The following day, war was declared, annihilating my lofty, romantic dreams and placing me at the age of sixteen at the helm of the family. My mother tried to live on her meagre savings, which were rapidly dwindling under the effects of inflation. The rent for our apartment was high and the priest who owned it wanted us to get rid of our dog. So we moved to a cheaper abode, an attic in a farmhouse of a hamlet called Trois-Maisons (Three Houses). It was a tiny and poor hamlet indeed, located on a desolate plateau near Phalsbourg, above Lutzelbourg, swept by cold and rainy winds, a region deeply marked by wars and desolation. We could walk both to Lutzelbourg and to Phalsbourg, two places for which my heart soon developed a deep affection: Lutzelbourg for its red sandstones, its hills and little valleys densely covered with pine trees, its crystal-clear river, and also a young Parisian girl who was staying at one of the patrician houses and whom I loved madly, without ever daring to address a single word to her; Phalsbourg for its history, its fortifications half sunk back into nature, its majestic church, its description by Goethe, the fact that it was the birthplace of two famous Alsatian authors, Erckmann and Chatrian,2 and the starting point of a memorable journey described in a wonderful French schoolbook: A Tour of France by Two Children. How often at the United Nations was I tempted to write a similar book entitled A Tour of the World by Two Children!
Although war had been declared, there was little military activity at the front. The Germans did not attack France until May of the following year. For the moment, the daily communiqués were all alike:
"Some shooting and patrol activity on both sides of the Blies and the Saar Rivers."
Our evacuated town was apparently quite tranquil, and soon we heard reports that some of the rich merchants were able to enter the city with trucks and evacuate their merchandise. The refugees who lived in the region were very bitter about this. One of the main topics of conversation among them was how to get hold of a winter coat. With the onset of the war this merchandise had disappeared from the stores. We too wished to go home and bring back clothes and some of our belongings, but we were not given any permits. I became deeply infuriated with this injustice when I saw trucks carrying merchandise from our hometown drive through the streets of Phalsbourg toward safer places. I talked with the drivers and indeed they were evacuating the merchandise from the stores of the rich merchants. I sat down and wrote a letter to Mr. Edouard Daladier, the Prime Minister of France, describing the conditions of the refugees on the eve of winter and the privileged treatment being given to the rich, who, as usual, had the right connections. I did not mince my words and I found it prudent not to show my letter to my mother before mailing it.
In the meantime she had convinced a French officer to give her and a friend a pass to a place called Rohrbach, where the husband of the latter was serving in the Maginot Line. The two women hired a taxi and a driver, pulled down the curtains inside the car - at that time automobiles had elegant interior curtains and even little vases for flowers - and we traveled happily through the combat zone to the Maginot Line, where the husband of my mother's friend was called out of the underground fortress and had a joyous reunion with his wife. The soldiers were all from Alsace-Lorraine. They offered us a mighty fine meal, and I listened attentively to their conversations carried out in our dialect. Thus I became aware of another injustice:
They were bitterly complaining that there were so few "Frenchmen" on the front. Most troops consisted of Alsace-Lorrainers and colonial regiments. Only the officers were "French". My compatriots did not hide their intention not to fight under such circumstances if the Germans attacked. They had no illusions either regarding the outcome. One of them who had served as a German officer in World War I told us that when he joined his French regiment he was ordered to guard a bridge with a stick because there were no weapons! These facts as well as the disastrous defeat of France a year later never left my mind. Whenever I hear someone laud the superiority of the French intelligentsia, I cannot help remember how some of these brainy geniuses had mismanaged the country, letting it be crushed within a few weeks by a ridiculous, uneducated little corporal-painter called Adolf Hitler. The Maginot Line itself, the costly brainchild of such a genius, proved to be totally useless: Hitler's planes overflew it and his tanks and infantry invaded France via Belgium.
My mother wanted to press her luck and go to our hometown, located right on the border. We reached the entrance of the city, but at a checkpoint a French officer looked into our car and when he saw two women and a boy circulating freely in the combat zone, he blew his top and had us expelled by the shortest route under military escort. Despite this unsuccessful ending, we had greatly enjoyed our trip and the two women were very proud of their exploit.
A few days later, knocks at our poor little attic door woke us up late in the evening. My mother opened the door and we saw two gendarmes (policemen) from Phalsbourg, who asked whether a certain Robert Muller lived there. I reviewed rapidly in my mind whether I had committed any mischief, but I could not remember any. My mother offered chairs to the two men. One of them extracted from a leather bag a bundle of papers on top of which I saw my letter to the Prime Minister! It was underlined in red in several places and annotated in the margin. The gendarme said to my mother:
"Your son's letter has been read and annotated by the Prime Minister himself. He has asked the proper department to investigate his accusations and these papers are all reports prepared in response to his request. Apparently your son has won his case. We have been instructed to issue passes to you and to all the refugees in the region. You will be able to go home and bring back your possessions. Please come to our office tomorrow morning. We will put a small truck and a driver at your disposal. Here is your laissez-passer."
I had remained mouse-still during the entire conversation. Nevertheless, when the two gendarmes left, they threw me a nasty look which I interpreted as a mixture of nastiness and admiration for a rotten kid who had the guts to write directly to the Prime Minister!
My mother did not allow me this time to accompany her, but when she returned from our hometown with a truckload of clothes, linen, blankets and preserves, she had a wonderful and thoughtful gift for me: in a large box she had rescued and brought for me the seventeen volumes of my beloved German encyclopedia, which my grandfather had given to me: an 1894 edition of the Meyers Konversations-Lexikon. It remained one of the few memorabilia from my youth, because when we returned home in 1940, our house had been completely plundered. Later, in America, I would show its beautiful illustrations to my sons, as my father and grandfather had shown them to me.
I have drawn two important lessons from this anecdote:
First - if you see an injustice, do not wait for a better world; denounce it right away to the person at the top, even if you have little chance of being heard; you will at least feel better and sometimes you might even get results.
Secondly - when I became myself a close collaborator of three Secretaries-General of the UN, I made it a point to ensure that worthy letters written by humble, well-intentioned people were always seen by them, acted upon and answered. The right to complain and to receive a reply should be made a basic human right, for government is here for the people and not for the tranquillity of the bureaucrats.
Later I learned that President John Kennedy set the rule that every hundredth letter from the vast amount of mail a President receives every day from citizens be handed to him unopened, so that he could read it and keep in touch with his people. This good practice should be adopted by the heads of state of all countries of the world. It would break the barriers which their entourage usually builds around them under the pretext of protecting their time. And in the year 2001, at the UN University for Peace and Earth Council in demilitarized Costa Rica, I was happy to learn that a position of Ombudsman would be created to receive unattended complaints from people all over the world. May God bless the incumbent of that new position. And may my story encourage people to write to their heads of state and parliamentarians.
A Message to Children
Early in April 1999 I received the following invitation from Mr. Ervin Laszlo, the President of the Club of Budapest:
The children of Budapest have taken the initiative to make Budapest the cleanest city in the world. They invite you and Barbara, your wife of Hungarian origin, to come to Budapest and help inaugurate their dream by cleaning together famous mount Eggert in the city. They invite you because they loved and were deeply inspired by your story The Cleanest Mile on Earth in your 2000 Ideas and Dreams for a Better World. Please come and join the children, the Mayor of Budapest and the Prime Minister in this meaningful and memorable event. The children send you their love.
I replied with this message:
Dear children, very dear friend Ervin Laszlo, dear Mr. Prime Minister, dear Mr. Mayor of Budapest,
I am very sad that due to a small accident I am unable to be with you on this memorable day and event, namely the cleaning of Mt. Eggert and making Budapest the cleanest city on Earth. What a further fulfillment this is of my dream The Cleanest Mile on Earth!
When I was a child in the war-torn region of Alsace-Lorraine, I had the dream that there would be no more wars in the world, that the border with Germany which I saw from my window would be suppressed, and that I would be allowed to work for peace as a grown-up.
Another little boy lived at the borders of France, Germany and Luxembourg. When he rode his bicycle he ran into these borders and dreamt that he would be able to suppress them in his life. He became Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, remembered his dream and got the European Union created in which the borders between 15 European countries were abolished. He never saw his dream fulfilled, he died two years before it. I went to his tomb to report it to him. His name was Robert Schuman. He will be declared a saint.
As for myself, coming from a poor family in the poorest street of our city, after World War II in which I was a refugee, a prisoner, a freedom fighter and saw the most horrible acts, I wrote as a student an essay for a contest on how to best govern the world. I won it and entered the United Nations where I spent all my adult life.
And now, as an elder, I am dreaming more then ever: I have just published 2000 Dreams and Ideas for a Better World and I am writing 1000 more!
Let me say today what my dreams are for you:
1. I dream that all you children and many more around the planet will become Ambassadors for a Clean World. My dear, beloved, admirable friend Ervin Laszlo and the Club of Budapest should create a World Movement of Children and Youth Ambassadors for a Clean World;
2. I dream that in commemoration of this day, your wonderful Prime Minister will propose to the United Nations to declare the 24th of April or another day World Day of Cleanliness;
3. I dream that all the people of Budapest will make their city the cleanest city on Earth;
4. I dream that the Mayor of Budapest will give each year on 24 April a prize to the cleanest street or neighborhood in the city;
5. I dream that the United Nations Habitat Organization will give each year on 24 April a prize to the cleanest city on Earth;
6. I dream that all you children will have the cleanest room in your house and that each Saturday you will devote some time to make sure of it;
7. I dream that you children and all the children of the world will become teachers of cleanliness: when you see someone in the street throw away trash, go, pick it up and give the good example to that person;
8. I dream that you will become dreamers of a better, peaceful, clean, beautiful, kind, non-violent world and will send your dreams and ideas to your Prime Minister;
9. I dream that the Prime Minister will create new Ministries and make Hungary an example to other countries and a model to the world: A ministry of Cleanliness, a Ministry of Peace, a Ministry of Happiness, a Ministry of the Future
I will be happy to give him my advice, if he should need it.
10. I dream that the United Nations will declare the 21st century the Century of Peace, Happiness, Cleanliness and Beauty of our wonderful, God-given planet Earth;
11. I want each of you to remember that you are a miracle, that you should give thanks for that miracle and be worthy of it through your good actions.
And as a wise elder who knows life well, I promise you this:
if you are peaceful and do good, God and the saints will recompense you in the most mysterious ways. They will make you very, very happy, as they did me: I am the happiest man on Earth, despite my age. I was allowed to work for peace all my adult life; in my retirement I was appointed Chancellor of the first University for Peace created by the UN in one of the first countries without armaments and militaries, Costa Rica; and above all St. Stephen in heaven recompensed me for having obtained from the United States the return of his golden crown to Hungary: He gave me the most wonderful wife on Earth, of Hungarian origin, Barbara Gaughen, a descendant of one of your kings. She is a dreamer too: she works unceasingly for a more peaceful, more beautiful world, she wants the Earth to become a garden, a temple of God, a regained paradise.
We wish you the very best.
May you be the happiest children on Earth and your parents too,
Robert and Barbara Muller (Moellnar)
Note for the reader: the story The Cleanest Mile on Earth is published on pages 151-154 of Volume III of my 2000 Ideas and Dreams for a Better World.
IDEAS 3401 TO 3500
Preface to a statement by a Coalition for the Children of the Earth
submitted to the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations
When I was a small child I considered that to be alive was the most beautiful thing on Earth, a true miracle. I used the biggest word I could find and said that life was divine. The grown-ups smiled at me when I said that. But when I looked out of my window I saw a border between France and Germany beyond which other people lived, enemies, and I was not allowed to cross that border. There were armies on both sides. But I saw the moon, the clouds and the birds overfly freely that border and I wondered why humans could be so wrong. Well, the war came and made me become a refugee, a prisoner, a freedom fighter in the mountains. You cannot imagine all the horrors I saw done by humans to other humans. When the war was over, I decided to devote my life to peace. I am still doing it as Chancellor of the first University for Peace in one of the first demilitarized countries on this planet.
I am so happy that thanks to the Coalition for Children of the Earth, the children from all around the world will be given a voice and tell the grown-ups of the United Nations on its fiftieth anniversary what kind of world they want. I wish that somewhere on this planet there were a United Nations of Children which would tell their elders what they should do and how they should manage this beautiful planet in peace, kindness, justice, love and happiness for all. Please consider it. It could be located on the heavenly grounds of the University for Peace wherefrom Rasur, the god of the indigenous children, prophecized to them that a civilization of peace will extend to the entire world. How happy I will be in my old age and in my grave knowing that you would work near me and fulfill the dream I had as a little boy.
These are my rules
Insert Decide to Network Chart on PC
Answers to Surveys by the Foundation for the Future
I. CRITICAL FACTORS
A. What are the factors that are most critical to the long-term survival of humanity?
B. What are the current map and trajectory of these factors?
What are the problems and opportunities with the factors identified?
IA. To take the future of the Earth and of humanity as the most critical factors of the future evolution of this planet in the next 1000 years
IB. There exist no maps and trajectories at least not by governments and only a few by international agencies, e.g. on population. Multinational corporations and the militaries probably have such maps. The US militaries revise theirs every five years.
II. POTENTIAL IN YOUR FIELD
What do you envision as the greatest potential/future in your field in the 1000 year future?
II. To reform and transform rapidly and urgently the global United Nations system into the first Evolutionary, Cosmic Earth and Humanity Organization.
III. DISCUSSION TOPICS/QUESTIONS
What are two or three topics/questions, critical to the long-term future that you wish to explore in small group settings at the Humanity 3000 Conference in Seattle?
IV. 1000 YEAR VISION
Please articulate your vision of the 1000 year future in a 3-5 line statement.
1. Main threat to the survival of humanity
For the first time in human history humans are destroying the Earth and the natural, vital elements on which we live.
2. Main opportunities
a. The rapidly growing, world-wide consciousness of our wrong-doings
b. The opportunity for the Foundation for the Future to report its findings and recommendations to the Secretary General of the United Nations, to the heads of states meeting and UN General Assembly 2000 which are "to focus on means of solving our global problems and to reform the means of global governance in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century."
3. Main priorities
To urgently and rapidly slow down the continuing human population explosion
To slow down the even worse, accelerating, world-wide spread of often unnecessary consumption and unnecessary human activities explosion.
The urgent convening by the UN of a World Conference on the Future of the Earth and of Humanity to the Year 3000.
These surveys were preparatory to a conference of world futurologists and thinkers in August 2000 in Seattle, convened by the Foundation for the Future. The final report can be obtained from the Foundation: 123-105th Avenue Southeast, Bellevue, WA 98004-6265, Tel: (425) 451-1333, Fax: (425) 451-1238. Email: email@example.com; website: www.futurefoundation.org.
Anyone can create a bench of dreams where people may sit a moment and dream. Follow the example of the UN University of Peace in Costa Rica and build benches of dreams in many places: schools, government offices, public parks, Parliaments, etc. Invite people to sit on them and to formulate their dearest dream. The first Bench of Dreams was created by Robert Muller in Costa Rica on beautiful Mt. Rasur. But any bench can become a bench of dreams: in a park, at home or a bus bench.
Select two small stones.
Hold them close together, pressing one in each hand, close your eyes and dream intensely your dream.
This is how Mara van der Lugt (10 years old) from Holland taught us how to dream after visiting our Bench of Dreams in beautiful, demilitarized Costa Rica, near the UN University for Peace.
Barbara Gaughen-Muller, Global Public Relations for good causes, associations, authors and speakers Tel: (805) 968-8567, Fax: (805) 968-5747, Email: Barbara@rain.org
1 After the war we learned that Jules Frank, the driver, had died in a German concentration camp.
2 Little could I dream that 45 years later, in 1984, I would stand in front of their monument in Phalsbourg, holding in my hands the Erckmann-Chatrian Literary Prize received for my novel Sima, mon amour! And little could I dream that a few years later I would visit our daughter Solange, in Honduras where she was the head of a refugee camp of hundreds of Nicaraguan refugees.