"Vision of A New Culture"
Healing the Planet

Ode "An die Mutter"
(nach F.Schiller/Han Marie Stiekema)

Freude, dunkle Muttertiefe,
  Schoße des Elysiums,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
  Ewige, Dein Heiligtum.
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
  Was das Ego streng geteilt,
Alle werden Schwester/Brüder,
  Wo Dein sanftes Herze weilt.

Seid umschlungen, Millionen!
  Diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt!
  Kinder - überm Sternenzelt
Muß die liebe Mutter wohnen.

Spiritual Politics  (English)

Healing the Planet in 10 Steps

See also my book:
"Rooted in Heaven & Earth" (in Dutch)


(Wo)mankind rooted in
"Heaven, earth and the (new) community"
Existential Consciousness, first step towards a One World Community
"Unless there is a spiritual renaissance, the world
will know no peace"
Dag Hammarskjöld, Second Secretary-General of the United Nations (1953-1961)

Follow-up of the debate on
The Spiritual and Cultural Dimension of Europe,
eventually establishing a One World Community

1. History of our Initiative:
Europe Unite!

EU Presidency/Bundeskanzlerin A.Merkel/President European Commission José Manuel Barroso/Prof. Hans-Gert Pöttering, President of the European Parlament/Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany/Participants of the Reflection Group/Work e.g. 18 Month Programme about the Continuation of EU Reform and the Constitutional Process/Dialog mit der Zivilgesellschaft bzw Aktion Europa/die Bundesländer/The media etc., etc.

1. As you know, this June the German Presidency of the EU will hold a follow-up meeting about a new European Constitution. The definition of the "Spiritual and Cultural Dimension of Europe" will again be under scrutiny. We have taken the freedom to proceed on the Debate of the Reflection Group, organized by the Institute for Human Sciences (Vienna) in collaboration with the European Commission and the German Foreign Office of March 3, 2004 in Berlin, now culminating in a new proposal. The following is what we want to say. As long as there was consensus about the separation of church and state - a model that came into being in Europe - it was quiet at the front. In the meantime two things essentially changed. People in the West are breaking away from "traditional" ties of the religion e.g. Christianity and orientate themselves on a large scale toward  new spiritual values AND the influx of large groups of immigrants, usually people with a different belief. Because the latter come from a different tradition many don't consider the separation between church and state a self-evident thing. E.g. broad circles in Islam plainly advocate a theocratic state. Christian fundamentalists have set their sights on the same thing. The secular state doesn't have an answer to these developments, and therefore feels threatened. E.g. the European Court of Human Rights passed a judgement in favour of the ban of the Turkish (religious) Welfare Party, because the latter being "against the principle of secularization".

European unity (in diversity) without a common
spiritual foundation is an illusion

2. The paradox is this. The strength of Europe - its secularization - is turning into weakness, when confronted with new movements. Suddenly, there appears to be a gap - the absence of spiritual culture - a gap, that can easily be filled up by others. One-dimensional-materialistic politics have neglected the spiritual substance. Instead of taking the lead, the EU is doing nothing but imputing on spiritual factions*. Exactly the opposite has to happen. In order to prevent, that intolerant politicised groups are getting the upper hand, Europe should fill in the gap itself, before others are going to do it. In order to guarantee freedom, we have to further continue our own - in particular our spiritual - way. This next step I call Existential Consciousness. It departs from the existential reality: "(Wo)man rooted in Heaven, earth and the community". Precisely, by officially adopting these renewed humanistic values in its program, next to the existing ones like freedom, tolerance and human rights, Europe will be able to guarantee the permanent separation of church (the various religions) and state. Why? Because spirituality and religion are two fundamentally different things. Spirituality is existential, religion on the other hand, identifies itself with a particular message, saviour or dogma. The former is "living (in) reality", the latter being a derivative, a certain interpretation of reality. Hence, humanism, through its greatest representatives - Sokrates, Meister Eckhart, Giordano Bruno, Erasmus, Spinoza, Goethe, Schiller.... and.....Beethoven** - never denied the impersonal Principle and the cosmic origin of man. On the contrary, precisely because this was so dear to them, they rejected the church position as one of degeneration. Since we aim at a One World Community, all other traditions will be equally included. We think it is fair to leave it to all non-Western peoples, to make their own contributions to the Whole, based on their own religious, spiritual and cultural insights. We very much welcome your committed actions!  

* Think of the "sect-laws" of e.g. Belgium, France and Austria. The situation in Eastern-Europe isn't optimal either, not to mention Islamic countries.

** The European Hymn (Ode "An die Freude") is an expression of the same Cosmic Spirit.

3. A culture with „having" as common denominator is doomed to go down. To have is a surrogate for the loss of Being. The "everybody for himself" attitude makes society more and more fragmented. While around us the symptoms of decay become more prominent, in its centre a "new spring" is originating. More and more people long for a meaning, a new basis in their lives, for unity in diversity. They understand, that the world has turned upside down. The effects of the "dictatorship" of science, technology, economy (STE-complex: prof.dr.E.Vermeersch) and media are becoming increasingly evident: a mankind, addicted, disoriented and forced into line, amidst a dismantled nature. How can we find (back) this unity in diversity, the foundation of a new culture? How can we, in short notice, secure our future and that of our children? In order for this crazy world to turn out all right again, we have to start with restoring authentic spirituality as the foundation of our Western culture. Once established, it will "automatically" extend itself to the corresponding areas of society, not only to that of religion, but to e.g. (much) better care of ecology/the environment and the renewal of the community.*

* See our "Healing the Planet in 10 Steps" Initiative

The (Northern) European "secular hell" is aptly described by Roger S.Gottlieb1)

"A purely secular society seems to leave people with no real reason but shop, amuse themselves, and seek power and wealth. It can lead to an impersonal and exploitive sexuality, a cheapening of human relationships, a life in which the people learn the price of everything, and the value of nothing. Wonder, awe, reverence, self-awareness, or even the quiet peace of a simple Sabbath become harder and harder to come by. Most important, there is nothing to sustain us as communities, and the lack of community devastates all of our human relationships, leaving us with fractured marriages, pointlessly rebellious teenagers, and business that will purvey physically and culturally poisonous material without ever thinking that they have a responsibility to anything but the next quarterly report. Too many politicians and professionals have a similar lack of concern for anything but self-advancement".

1) Roger S.Gottlieb "A Greener Faith", 2006 Oxford University Press

4. Recently,  in its draft constitution, the EU has rejected its "Christian foundation". Rightly so. Europe is a multi-ethnic conglomerate with large groups of people that adhere to other beliefs, as well. In the near future, this diversity will only increase. Because of that, the generally laudable pluralism will show its shadow part: a fragmented culture, in which unity is increasingly disappearing. Hence, the feverishly searching for a "common spiritual denominator". Actually, the time that this can be (still) accomplished is NOW. Very soon the demography will have changed in such a way, that a majority, necessary for support, has diminished. Alarmingly, at the same time, fundamentalism is on the increase. Not only Islamist, but also (and foremost) Christian (USA). The point is, that above mentioned common denominator cannot be found with the existing belief systems. It would mean favouring one over the other. It is something, that should be avoided at all costs. On the other hand, all concerned should be able to recognize themselves in the "compromise". An almost impossible task, it seems. The solution lies in formulating an existential basis, which is the same for everyone.

2. 2012 Global Initiative: One World Community!

5. We have a hopeful message for you. There is no need to search for this common existential foundation, it is already there. Everyone and all participate in Reality, even if (still) not everybody realizes it. We are all part of three "parallel" realities: our spirit having its home in the Great Spirit (Universal Consciousness, Being, "Heaven"); our body being part of nature (the earth), while our psyche (soul) is part of the community. We don't create life, we are part of it. Hence, life being the celebration of the unity, that is pre-existent. Existential suffering, on the other hand, consists of unconsciously being identified with thoughts, emotions and desires, to such an extent, that you are taken in tow all the time. By being "in thoughts" you are "thrown upon yourself", cut off from reality. Addiction to the virtual world only adds to that. Eventually, it is driving you even more into isolation. Spiritual people will emphasize, that in life, there are actually only two options: opening up to the great Whole or - through identification with your small self - to turn your back toward it. Are you participating in Beings' abundance, or do you condemn yourself to the poverty of having, that is the big question here. That's the reason, why spirituality isn't a search - no "going the same way together" (while never arriving....) - but the opening up to the riches of the Ultimate, which are there from eternity, already. All and everyone is part of this "threefold origin" - "Heaven", earth and the community - nobody or nothing excluded. Animals, plants, rocks, mountains, rivers and clouds are embedded in it, as well. Everything originates in it, while returning to it. It is the universal Matrix of life, the roots of eco-spirituality.

       Existential Consciousness Shared by All:
indispensable for the integration of a multi-ethnical society
aiming at the foundation of a
One World Community

6. „Heaven, earth and the community" is the common denominator, which brings together all of humanity. It encloses everything, it is inclusive, being the universal connecting factor. This in contrast to religion. Religion as the identification with a particular belief-system - saviour, holy book, dogma and church - on the other hand, locks out everything, that doesn't fit into it, it is exclusive. It is cherishing only a part of reality, excluding the "rest". Its own hypotheses have been elevated to "truth", while all other people live "in darkness". These mutual excluding systems therefore not for nothing always have been THE cause of schism, conflict, suffering and war. These are no "deplorable incidents", though, but are inherent to every belief-system, they are the unavoidable consequences of it. That's why "religion" impossibly can become the binding factor of a multi-ethnical society. No wonder, that everybody is afraid of an Islamic-Christian confrontation. As belief-systems they in principle are excluding each other, regardless the degree of "understanding", "dialogue" or "cooperation".* Belief-systems are - as we have seen - only identifications, derivatives of reality, not Reality itself. "Heaven, earth and the community", on the other hand, is the long-awaited context of life, the "unity in diversity". And the miracle is this: from the very moment, that religions drop their absolute claims, recognize, that they are branches of the same tree of life - "Heaven, earth and the community" - suddenly an opening is found. "Heaven, earth and the community" appear to be the existential roots, in which everything - including religions - thrive**. Thanks to this indispensable threesome unity, they eventually can redeem their vow: mankind consisting of brothers and sisters.

* Obviously, despite all principle irreconcilabilities, the interfaith dialogues have always to be promoted. In particular with "worldly" problems - good mutual relationships, tolerance, peace, justice, the environment, protection of the family etc. - progress can be made.

** Acceptance of the existential foundation doesn't deprive religions of their uniqueness. On the contrary, their belief-systems remain fully intact. E.g. "there is only One God and Mohammed is His prophet".

The Essence of spirituality: to become part of the Whole

7. „Heaven, earth and the community" as the threefold HereNow reality of all-that-lives, derives its tradition from the first beginnings of mankind. In pre-history, it was experienced as an "oceanic unity", while at the times of the agrarian revolution (10.000 BCE) it was perceived as "cosmic marriage" - hieros gamos. In the Vedic literature one comes across the image of the „parallel reality": nature as „God’s body", which can be also found (in various forms) with Indigenous Peoples, Chinese Universism, Japanese nature religion (Shinto) and as underground movement in European culture, e.g. nature philosophy and alchemy. Everybody, therefore, should be getting on with it. To start with "Heaven". Superficially, it seems, that "Heaven" cannot possibly serve as common concept. At a closer look though, it is just a matter of terminology. Heaven appears to be a concept, that suits various interpretations. Isn't it so, that Christians name it "God", Muslims "Allah", Buddhists Buddha-nature, Agnostics "Cosmic Intelligence", New Age people "True Self" and Atheists "Nothingness?". Even the latter can thus recognize themselves in it. This is not altogether unrealistic, since Buddhism defines Ultimate Reality as "Nothingness". In our effort to define a common denominator, aiming at providing a necessary basis for a One World Community, goodwill has to be created. Religions traditionally fear to loose their unique world view. Our mission is to operate from a common ground, promoting trust and cooperation, realizing that "being rooted in Heaven, earth and the community" not only benefits religions themselves (f.i. considering the massive church abandonment), but also lays the foundation of inter-religious tolerance.     

8. Few will deny, that apart from "Heaven", we are also part of the earth and the community. Everybody thus "being part of Heaven, earth and the community", regardless the various terms used for it. It therefore is the existential foundation, the common denominator of the culture of all times. That's why I called it Existential Consciousness. Against the background of (rapidly) increasing fragmentation, meaninglessness and violence, an inclusive model like ours just comes at the right moment. In a time, in which so much - the survival of (wo)mankind - is at stake, it couldn't turn out better. Existential Consciousness has to take its "rightful place" as the bearer of the culture. Our threefold roots are the basis of a new "people's spirituality" promoting wholeness on all levels of society. It connects to the deepest longings of mankind. It can be easily understood, ways of practicing it easily developed. It can be shared with everyone, restoring solidarity among people. Everyone - regardless descent, religion, race or gender - can recognize him or herself in it. Reality is as it is, after all, a fact that cannot be denied. Everybody is part of "Heaven, earth and the community", if you want it or not. Reality doesn't need belief-systems, hierarchies, dogma's or priests, the only thing to be done is to open yourself up. The paradox is this: once you have discovered unity, diversity spontaneously becomes something that gives life extra colour, it becomes life's delight. Sharing replaces distrust and animosity. "How wonderful all those different people, animals and plants". Instead of excluding "the other" , the endless variation is being welcomed as the richness of the same Great Life. A permanent source of misunderstanding, discrimination and conflict has thus been taken away. It is like creation itself: diversity as an ode to Unity.

* See also:  "(Wo)men rooted in Heaven and Earth"

Existential Consciousness as the Unity in Diversity

9. Existential Consciousness is open, inclusive, tolerant, renewing and democratic. By making it the fundamentals of a One World Community, it will become a shining example to All. Its values will be recognized everywhere. People all over the world are in desperate need of true spirituality. The core can be formulated as "to be yourSelf connected". Being cut off from "Heaven, earth and the community" on the other hand, is the cause of all suffering - alienation and isolation - the situation, in which the bulk of people finds itself in. It is the "negative confirmation" of the authenticity of our principle. People are estranged from ther True Self ("Heaven"), the earth (to start with their own bodies) and the community. It is the cause of culture's degeneration. In order to achieve a (cultural) turning point, the unity with "Heaven, earth and the community" has to be restored. Suffering will be coming to an end. Now you will find the context, from which life originates. Disorientation, meaninglessness, ignorance and indifference have melted as snow in the sun. Freedom appears not to be for the self, but from the self, it is being freed from all self-centeredness. In opening-up for "Heaven, earth and the community", you will be granted "supernatural gifts" like clear awareness, great intuition, vision, creativity, receptivity and compassion. They are your guides in daily life. With their help you will re-organize your life. You will undo of the superfluous - all things that obscure the transparency of Being - to such a degree, that you restore the overview. Instead of a constant energy leak, which brings you on the verge of exhaustion, a surplus value will establish itself. The basic condition being a meditative life - to continuously being geared to your body and spirit - together with connectedness to nature and a healthy lifestyle. It not only gives you joy and lust for life, but also health and vitality, sensitivity and compassion. That's why we push forward this our unique concept. It is directed to all people. It should become an indispensable part of the educational system. It is addressed to the United Nations, the European Commission, the national governments, the parliaments, the media, international organizations (UNESCO), interfaith groups and spiritual/religious organizations. We strongly ask European politicians to take their responsibilities and provide the future Constitution with a binding paragraph, in which Existential Consciousness is included as the spiritual foundation of our culture. The aim is nothing less but a One World Community, sharing common basic values.

10. 1961 was the year that Dag Hammarskjöld died. Through a tragic air crash over Rhodesia. Many claim that the plane had been shot down. Western interests colluded with a man, who had put the Truth in the center of his actions. He was one of the very few who integrated deeply felt spirituality (Meister Eckhart, Jan van Ruusbroec) and international politics. He went even further "Unless there is a spiritual renaissance, the world will know no peace". This statement is very revealing. It brings together inner and outer. We therefore take it as the guideline to our work. Our goal is to carry on Hammarskjöld's LEGACY,  to realize what he tragically wasn't able to continue. With his spiritual mandate we dedicate our lives to spiritual renaissance, everything in the service of peace, justice and harmony with nature. Key to the renaissance is "(Wo)mankind rooted in Heaven, earth and the community". In order to achieve that goal we seek cooperation with the UN and affiliated organizations.

Han Marie Stiekema
Green Man              

Let there be no misunderstanding: now you are also
"fitted-in". Are you fitting in in "Heaven, earth
and the community" or in materialism,
that is the question

"Existential Consciousness" is part of our "Healing the Planet" Initiative


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Last revising: 03/16/15

Can we still be saved?

Culture Renewal Manifesto for the 21st Century

Step 1
Existential Consciousness

Step 2
One World Community

Step 3
One World Community Certificate