The Spiritual Work of the United Nations and the Spiritual Welfare of the Planet
The Promise of the New Millennium: Revelation of the Soul in Humanity

Thursday, April 1, 1999

SMALL GROUP AND INDIVIDUAL COMMENTARY

What Opportunities Can the UN Offer Humanity?
*Do not hold back the UN--let it be what it aspired to be at its birth. Then, can it enable the higher self of humanity to mirror itself.
*We must be willing to come out of the closet as spiritual human beings. During UN meetings there should be as much space for silence as for words. During the silence we can hold and build on the vision.
*Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
*UN must be revolutionary in the sense of expressing the new paradigm.
*Children should have a say in the UN! We can learn from them.
*Negotiate forever to infinity. (The words of one man's child.)

What Opportunities Can the UN Offer Humanity?
*Allow people to see what goes on at the UN.
*The UN can help people understand the different cultures of the world's people.

What Can We Do to help the UN Realize its Purpose?
*The good news of the UN must be publicized in schools.
*Meditation and the use of our spiritual power can help support the UN.
*Hold a global conference on the new paradigm.
*Help counter the "'we/they", cold war culture. The essence of the UN is about transformation, however, we move and work in this building under a cold war mentality. Each of us needs to be aware of the attitudes we carry with us and the way we interact with others who are different from us. Listening is so important!
*The UN can be a place for education along spiritual lines (within the UN itself and in the world).
*We should not be shy to use the word, "spiritual." When we use it, it allows us to tap into a different reality, a different consciousness than we normally use.
*The UN is the largest publisher in the world and it can provide a vast amount of information about the planet and its people. It can help us become more educated about each other and the planet itself.
*The UN should have oversight over all the armaments of the world.
*The public needs to be educated about the UN's financial issues.
*Spiritual consciousness, and wholeness are an integral part of the work of the UN. Some type of spiritual structure needs to be created to hold these metaphysical ideas and to ground them spiritual. Perhaps the children of the world will create this.

In summary, to me it seems that some of the most important things that came out of the meeting were the following:

*The importance of listening, especially to the indigenous people and the children, and somehow, incorporating their views more fully into the UN.

*The essence of the UN is transformation.

*We need to allow the UN to be what it aspired to be at its birth and we all need to assist and support this process, fully engaging and not holding back.

*Present conditions demand that we need to come out of the closet as spiritual human beings.

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May I suggest that the spiritual purpose of the United Nations is to serve as a focal point of light toward which all nations may turn in order to seek unity with all other nations? When nations, like individual human beings, experience darkness in the ebb and flow of their national evolutions, the United Nations can potentially be a bright light which can serve as a beacon of support and hope for a future global harmony.

On April 1, 1999, a group of people met at the United Nations to attempt to formulate the spiritual purpose of the United Nations and to describe how we might support and facilitate realization of that purpose. Did we accomplish something? I think so, although not anything close to what one woman pointed out was truly possible; that is, to resolve the conflict in Kosovo immediately with "just" the combined power of the people in that room. How right she was - I think. And there's the rub: How do we each individually come to *know* that she was right and to know how to do our part in the group endeavor that would make such a "miracle" possible?

I think perhaps one of the main things that was accomplished was that each of us individually used the opportunity to listen to others' perspectives and thoughts, so that we each came away understanding each other better and also better our own perspectives. In this way, I think we did make a tiny step closer to the "thoughtform of solution," which does indeed have to start with each individual in the group being conscious of his own understanding of the true goal to be achieved, and then relating it to the understandings of the others in the group.

The majority of the people in the room seemed to have backgrounds and professions in the social sciences, humanities, and religion. Consequently, as an engineer in a high-tech profession, I felt, especially in the smaller discussion group of which I was a member, a little awkward and out of place. What I heard from my fellow group members - granted it may not have been what was intended - was a virtual equating of the "spiritual" with the "religious," which, where I come from is exactly the reason why the word "spiritual" is so out of place (although it should not be). Religion and spirituality are not equivalent. I also thought I detected an attitude within the group that it is now necessary (for the UN) to focus exclusively on the spiritual in order to counterbalance what has become, in most people's minds, an overly material, political focus. It seemed as though the people in my group feel that their role is to represent the purely spiritual in opposition to people who represent the purely material (as if there are such people). I disagree with this. I would like to suggest that our role might be instead to think and act equally spiritually and materially, and to help those who work inside the United Nations to do the same.

Unfortunately the meeting was probably too short to accomplish anything significant. We were just getting to know each other when it was time to leave. It may not be practical to plan future meetings for two or more days, but we might consider making use of the Internet to prepare for them. For example, we could set up a discussion area on the Web in which people who are planning to attend the meeting can express their views of the topics to be addressed at the meeting.

I would like to see, in future meetings, less discussion of the religious and purely spiritual and discussion more of the relationship between the spiritual and the material, and between religion and science. It would be useful and interesting to invite speakers and participants from the worlds of science and business, as well as from the religious community. The scientists and businesspeople, being the custodians of knowledge of the material world and its harnessing for the good of the planet, and of money, are just as key to the realization-in-action of the true spiritual purpose of the United Nations as are the religiously inspired people.

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The idea and the ideal of the United Nations reflect a level of consciousness at which individually and collectively we come to feel/know: the oneness-the indivisibility-the interdependence-of humanity-the fact of our oneness as a species and as self-reflective and spiritual beings. We come to feel/know that we are both one family and, paradoxically, striving to become that; that the individual's status of human being has priority over all particulars, such as nationality or provenance, race, color, sex and creed. The evolution of human consciousness may indeed be defined in terms of our progress toward realizing the truth of our oneness beyond all differences. The ideal of the United Nations ultimately connotes not only the wholeness of individuals but also the wholeness of the world. In fact, the United Nations came into being (more than a half-century ago, on the heels of World War II) largely in recognition of the fact of planetary interdependence. Its work necessarily tends to revolve about the present reality of societal interdependence Its work necessarily tends to revolve about the present reality of societal interdependence in all respects-material, economic, ecological, military, human rights, international law, etc. Moral and spiritual values, avowedly or not, inevitably and necessarily enter into these various concerns.

At the present juncture in planetary affairs, when all planetary affairs are dynamically interconnected; when a degree of mutual cooperation, coordination, and sharing in multiple respects on the part of the international community are a sheer necessity of civilization's very survival, the United Nations is indispensable. It deserves all moral and practical support.

The UN is a mirror of the world. At present it is mainly impeded by the inability of nations (and of their citizens) to be motivated sufficiently to act for the common good-it is impeded by the generally prevailing divisive mentality. The reasoning mind, wonderful as it is, is inadequate to overcome egocentrism or divisiveness. Reason must be supplemented by our intuitive and unitive inner faculties. This calls for inner or spiritual work which imbues one with the sense of unity beyond differences.

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Teilhard de Chardins words came to me again and again as I listened on April 1.

"What a vast ocean of human suffering spreads over the entire Earth at every moment. Of what is this mass formed? Of blackness, gaps and rejections? No, let me repeat, of potential energy. In suffering, the ascending force of the world is concealed in a very intense form. The whole question is how to liberate it and give it a consciousness of its significance and potentialities. The world would leap high towards God if all the sick together were to turn their pain into a common desire that the kingdom of God should come to rapid fruition through the conquest and organization of the Earth. May all the sufferers of the Earth join their sufferings, so that the world's pain might become a great and unique act of consciousness, elevation, and union." Teilhard de Chardin

As a presenter gave the image of the United Nations being the hub of a wheel and the nations its spokes, I visualized those spokes as people reaching out to other peoples of nations in their suffering, offering love, hope, trust and opportunities to forgive and reconcile with one another. I remember Pat Misches' Global Spirituality monograph as in a spiral: inward to the Divine to reclaim the love, hope and trust in renewal, forward in compassionate action to others, and outward to create new world order.

I was blessed to have such a rich, diverse small group of spiritual companions with whom to share. We felt that the spiritual consciousness exists individually in this House--meditating and praying is done behind closed doors. Although the heavy cloaks of roles weigh down and prevent its people from bringing their wholeness to the table as they represent institutions and nations, there is a readiness for a spiritual forum and a great need to learn interpersonal and systemic skills to interact in a system created by the victors of world war II that excluded the vanquished. There are more and more individuals believing that the soul of this great body cannot evolve without people and nations taking off the cloaks of their roles representing states and institutions and learning how to treat each other with dignity and respect. In the cold war culture stalemated the UN for so many years, there was an inevitable impediment of individual enlightened efficiency and flows by exclusivity and interpersonal unresolved tensions that became systemic. There is systemic darkness in spite of the good intentions on the part of Staff and Permanent Representatives. I am aware of that darkness as I step in the door of the UN, I , too am part of that system, and I choose behaviors to counteract and be conscious of how the descending force of the world can become the ascending force of the world. We need constant prayer, being cooperative, inclusive, working for the common good rather than individual gain and recognition, sharing power and resources, remembering our relationship to the earth and all creation.

As I pray about the next steps of my work at the UN in my proposed Global Reconciliation Service and peacebuilding institute to train reconciliation leaders, I offer my practical and spiritual gifts to help each individual and nation achieve its spiritual purpose and vocational calling, work for peaceful settlement in Chapter between peoples who work in the UN community, offer healing for the structural and systemic darkness and the harmonizing of nations, the next spiritual step for the evolution of the UN. I commit to embrace and listen to all sides of a global challenge as I acknowledge the goodness in each individual who works here as a foundation for bringing about the healing of its limitations.

I offer leadership as an American as constituted leaders in my own country fail to support the evolution of the United Nations.

I am proposing a Global Reconciliation Service (GRS) to be launched to commemorate the UN Decade on Non Violence for the Worlds Children. The GRS includes the individual and collective Sacred as well as practical and concrete skills as its resources. I offer training in reconciliation leadership in a peacebuilding institute, the Center for Strategic Change, with offices in Boston and New York. A permanent site in a beautiful location is being researched as a retreat area for a cross-sectoral group of reconciliation leaders to facilitate the resolution of global challenges. I am presenting this model at the Hague Appeal for Peace in the Netherlands on May 14, 1999, entitled Establishing Professional and NGO Services in Mediation, Reconciliation, and Humanitarian Assistance to Strengthen the United Nations.

I offer strategic planning to bring the Sacred into international politics and will work as a team member for a shared vision for this spiritual forum.

Virginia Mary Swain, Phone: 212-947-7111 ext 317, or 617-225-0403 imagine@world.std.com

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A Possible Next Step: The Creation of a Permanent Spiritual Forum within the United Nations

As a result of the April 1st meeting in NYC a group of individuals have continued to discuss the creation of a permanent Spiritual Forum at the United Nations. Our thinking is based on the following thoughts:

We acknowledge the fact that there are many today who recognize that we have been gathering at the United Nations from an inspired spiritual calling from within. What has occurred in the past is that most of us have taken this spiritual urging and attempted to pour it into existing patterns-translating it into a mental perspective to lend our support to common causes and mutual concerns. Today we are at a new civilizational juncture. New thinking and new structures are required. The compelling questions to which so many of us resonate are:

*How do we honor this spiritual calling?

*How do we begin to demystify our individual spiritual experiences into a common language? And, most significantly,

*How do we apply our spiritual insights to help solve our pressing local/global problems and improve life on our planet?"

The contemplation of these questions has led many of us to consider the need to create a permanent forum on spirituality as part of the work of the United Nations.

As we remember that we are all Spiritual Beings in a human body, we collectively experience, through meditation, contemplation, reflection and prayer, our dynamic and powerful unity-with each other and with all life. Focused on our common spiritual unity, we will avoid the well-known political and cultural separations, conflicts and strife that have to date caused all fragmentation. We will strive to reflect on all pressing local/global questions from the perspective of our common spirituality. From this perspective, differences can offer possibilities for enrichment, allowing for the development of synergistic understanding. In discovering our common spiritual dimension, we will be able to discover and reveal new, more genuine, inclusive and therefore more effective solutions to our local/global problems. These will be reflective of and rooted in our diverse-but unified global society.

To date, we recognize:

*Spirituality is an inherent part of every person. It is an affirmation of the sacred core at the heart of every individual.

*Spirituality must be acknowledged, honored and lived. No longer can it be kept secluded, hidden and apart from our daily lives.

*Religion must never again be used to justify violence.

*The human community cannot continue to place all life on the planet at risk through environmental irresponsibility, the use of nuclear weapons or the abuse of human rights.

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What is the Spiritual Purpose of the UN?

*To enable the Higher Self of Humanity to organize internationally towards paving the path for global understanding.

*To find the common ground in all religions and to create practices that unite the spiritual expression of all cultures.

*To assure that those 450 Human beings that own more than half of the planets' assets realize their spiritual responsibility.

*To promote values of wealth rather than money.

*To allow all nations to share their resources and contribute to the design of international relations that assure basic human rights to all of humanity.

*To develop indicators of spiritual attunement that create a world conversation to bring a higher perspective on both the individualistic credo of capitalism and the socialist belief that personal initiatives are limited and impotent.

What Opportunities Can the UN Offer Humanity?

*To mirror the best of the human spirit.

*To honor diversity and the intricate interdependence of all forms of life and of all cultures, especially at this time when globalization-defined as uniformity and "Americanism" is such a powerful and limiting current.

What Can We Do--Individually & Collectively-to help the UN Realize its Purpose?

*Develop the discourse of what spirituality brings into our lives.

*Offer training.

*Highlight the spiritual components in every gathering, meeting and assembly...

Virginia Sanchez

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What is the Spiritual Purpose of the United Nations?

Physical plane: humanitarian activity; Emotional plane: radiation of love through synchronized, meditation focussed on UN issues; Mental plane: cooperative discussion; Spiritual plane: Recognition of the One Humanity can be created through religious unification and realization of the One Divinity.

It was also observed that war, despite its negativity, has effectively led to cultural familiarity through occupation and relocation.

A suggestion was put forth that the spiritual underpinnings of the UN Charter be publicized.

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Really many important ideas were discussed last April 1st. All those who participated in the meeting are committed to do something good and prominent to open the UN for spiritual re-education. For my part, I want to show spirituality as a responsibility for all, because before we are flesh we are spirit. This is more than a Law, it is a Law of Surviving in our days. A campaign for consciousness must be established inside the UN. Thankfully, with the help of many people of vision, this is already being done

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Perhaps the main idea to emerge from--and since -- April 1st has been the request from many to continue with a meditation group on UN issues and the question as to when there will be another meeting.

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The UN as it is now is very limited in its power and view from within. It seems that he UN is sheltered from the outside world. I don't have first hand experience about this, but I was surprised to hear the view articulated that UN representatives seem to be very boxed in both from inside and outside.

One member of my small group felt very strongly that the UN was ready to be more spiritual on and individual basis, but no one was willing to own that in a larger group. No one wanted to claim responsibility to stand behind spirituality in public.

I personally believe that the most crucial part of global work is personal work. I believe strongly that what we hold inside gets projected outside. So we must attempt to own our projections. I also believe that our un-owned shadow gets played out elsewhere. I think that each of us must see our own violence within ourselves and own it as ours so it does not go into a collective shadow. I think this process allows us to see how close the line is between ourselves and those inflicting violence. When we can begin to own the violence within us, it can bring us together. Currently, we are neither helping the dominator who we degrade or the victim who cannot defend himself. We all have both of these parts within us and when we work to integrate them, we can then work with others to do the same inside and outside.

I guess the heart of this is that the UN needs to be a model of what they want to create in the world, not isolated from it or beyond the world they are working with. I think as I said above, we must start with ourselves to understand how to work with others. We also must keep coming back to ourselves and be sure what we are doing is not about us in anyway. This can be hard to catch at times. I get the impression that the UN is not at peace within itself and does not see how it can manage peace outside of itself. I also get the idea that the UN may seem a bit above the people it serves. This again diminishes some of the effect it can have in its successes.

Also, everything is a process unfolding, so the UN must find its way. I think by having the meetings and doing our own work, we are planting the seeds. The right crisis will occur and provide the opportunity to bring spirituality into the open.

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For further information about this summary report or about the meeting, you may contact Ida Urso at idaurso@usa.net; 604 Jersey Avenue No. 1, Jersey City, NJ 07302; Phone (201)222-7708 or Nina Lynn Meyerhof at coevt@aol.com; P.O. Box 217, Newfane, VT 05345; Phone (802)365-7616.