Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Robert Muller: A Global Soul

I discovered Robert Muller in the January/February issue of Ode, a magazine sort of like an international version of Utne.

Robert Muller was part of the French Resistance. Muller was imprisoned by the Nazis during World War II and while there, in a way similar to Victor Frankl, discovered that a concerted effort to sustain an attitude of internal and constant happiness helped ease the despair. He took a cue from the French psychologist of optimism, Emile Coue, and says, "Always be the happiest man on earthm wherever you are and whatever you do. If you look at it that way, being in prison is actually a rather interesting experience."

In 1948, Muller began a distinguished 40-year career with the United Nations, to which he took his lessons from WWII - that to do good in the face of strife, the greatest necessity is optimism. Of a world prone to conflict, Muller says, "You see, love for peace is not enough. Beyond it we need a vision of peace, a science of peace, a strategy for peace and innumerable actions for peace." And as for the role of the UN in all this, Muller is emploring: "Someday humans will realize that the UN is one of the greatest biological phenomena of all times, a true turning point in our planet's and human evolution. Too many people do not believe in the UN. They criticize it, lash out at it, call it inefficient and ineffective. Why don't they love it instead, defend it, encourage it and give this god-sent instrument for world peace and order a chance to succeed in the face of truly gigantic problems? HOw can the UN succeed without your faith and encouragement?

"In order to model a happy and beautiful world, we must believe in it, we must work at it, we must be in love with it."

"Human history so far has been the history of a primitive race. Only now, with planet wide knowledge and consciousness, have we entered the real challenge to our species: the good management of our earth."

"To be unhappy, to be ungrateful, not to feel wonder and appreciation for the incredible gift of life is a most foolish and short-sighted attitude. The toughest prison of all is that which man imposes on himself."

"Life is divine, life is an extraordinary, incredible, miraculous phenomenon, our most precious gift. We must grow a global brain, a global heart, a global soul. That is our most pressing current evolutionary task."


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