The Spiritual Work of the United Nations:
Building a Planetary Consciousness

Thursday, October 21, 1999, 3-5:30 p.m.


Nina Lynn Meyerhof

Welcome to all. We are happy to be here with you. Collectively we are here to confirm our knowingness that spirituality permeates the essence of all meaning. We are committed to unveil our true intentions and speak out on the spiritual work of the United Nations and the building of a planetary consciousness.

We have been meeting since last September and held our first open meeting on April first. Since then it has become very obvious that there is a movement afoot. So many people are reaching out, looking for a place, like a home, to bring forward their spiritual intentions, no longer only discussing lofty mental concepts and looking for political solutions.. We are here to offer this possibility to you and to others, while at the same time, recognizing that there are other similiar activities occurring On coming here today I recognized that I no longer need to define myself merely by my outer activities as a "human doing" but rather speak out on my inner life as a "human being". What a gift. I wonder if this is occurring in you too?

Welcome, and let us together build the inner work of the United Nations for greater planetary consciousness.

Ida Urso

Welcome friends and thank you for coming. For those of you who don't know me, my name is Ida Urso and Nina and I as well as a number of other individuals from whom you will shortly hear are responsible for organizing this meeting. However, I want to stress that without the support of many individuals and groups, not only in and around the UN area, but also throughout the United States and abroad, this meeting would not have taken place. There are many others who could not be here today but who are linking up with us mentally and sending their subjective support.

Our work today is about strengthening the United Nations in whatever small or grand way, that we can conceive of-individually and in groups. The intent is to help the UN fulfill its mission on behalf of humanity and the planet. Eleanor Roosevelt often reminded the people of her day that the UN is a piece of machinery and it's the people of the world that must make it work. And, so it is.

As we know, in a few short days, the United Nations will celebrate another birthday. Perhaps we can think of our work here today as our gift to the UN as it turns 54 years young.

I'd like to make a few brief remarks about the theme of our meeting: "The Spiritual Work of the United Nations: Building a Planetary Consciousness."

As I think of it, the word "spiritual" refers to the spark of knowingness, the spark of consciousness at the heart of every individual. A religious person may be spiritual, but a spiritual person is not necessarily religious. That which is spiritual is sacred and the concept of sacred is interchangeable with the concept of "holy"-a word derived from an Old English word meaning, WHOLE and perfect in goodness (before the 12th century).1

So the word "spiritual" actually refers to the evolutionary process as it drives us forward to perfect wholeness. It relates to the expansion or evolution of consciousness. And, thus all activity-be it physical, emotional, intuitional and so forth-that leads towards greater perfection, goodness and wholeness is therefore spiritual. By this definition, a scientist working on a cancer cure is involved in spiritual work, as is a diplomat attempting to bring harmony between warring parties or the artist seeking to create a beautiful masterpiece for the upliftment of all.

"The Development of Planetary Consciousness": Among the many interesting insights that Carl Jung brought to the field of psychology is the recognition that all sages of all time have tried to teach humanity. And that is that the more we probe our individual spiritual depths, the more we find our common humanity and our deep-seated relationship to each other. It's the spiritual spark within each of us that relates us in the sisterhood and brotherhood of humanity. The development of planetary consciousness involves therefore the need to recognize the value of the individual and the fact of the One Humanity. Individual transformation leads to global transformation and vice versa. About this, our first guest speaker will have much more to say.

Let us now turn to the agenda before you: As you will notice, after a brief opening meditation, we'll hear from three guest speakers who will soon be introduced to you by my colleague and friend, Iris Spellings. They'll share their thinking with us around three themes and by so doing spark and inspire our own thoughts around these issues. Each one of us then will have the opportunity to carry forth the work as we break into small groups and consider the suggested questions around the three themes. These will then be discussed in plenary. Nina will walk us through that part of the program. We'll end with a brief closing meditation led by Lynne Murguia and some closing remarks.

1 Merrian Webster's On line Dictionary