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Spirituality in World Affairs
by Dr. Robert Muller, Sep 10, 1998
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On the eve of a new century, a former United Nations Assistant Secretary General summarizes his approach to spirituality in world affairs. In 1986, after 38 years with the UN, Muller retired to Costa Rica where he began service as a one-dollar-a-year Chancellor of the UN University for Peace. Working from his hillside writer's cabin just above the University, Muller rises at dawn, watches the sunrise and writes for two hours every morning in order to conclude his lifework.

1. At the 1993 World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, I proposed the creation of a United Nations "World Spirituality Agency," and later during the 50th anniversary of the UN in San Francisco, in 1995, I proposed the creation of a United Religions Organization similar to the United Nations Organization.

2. At the World Parliament of Religions I also recommended that the Parliament should not wait another hundred years to reconvene, but should do so before our entry into the next century and millennium in the year 2000. This was adopted. I have now been invited to address the Parliament's session in Capetown, South Africa in December 1999. I will ask for a world-wide spiritual Renaissance and offer a comprehensive detailed plan for that.

3. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UN, I published My Testament to the UN with an important chapter on the UN and spirituality, underlying the spirituality in a world of action of Secretaries Dag Hammerskjold and U Thant.

4. I could not attend the second meeting of the United Religions Initiative in San Francisco in 1997, but submitted a paper on the "The State of the World on Earth Day 2013, A Vision of the Future of Inter-Religious Cooperation."

5. I have finished writing my fourth volume of 2000 Ideas for a Better World as a countup to the Year 2000. In it I request that spirituality should become priority number one of humanity.

6. My 1986 recommendation that the UN should proclaim the year 2000 "International Year of Thanksgiving" has been approved by the UN Economic and Social Council and has been confirmed by the current General Assembly of the UN.

7. The Global Dialogue Institute acted upon my idea to establish a "World Commission on Global Thought and Spirituality for the 21st Century," in August of 1998, to fill an important gap in the series of World Commissions already held to guide our path into the next millennium.

8. As a member of the Club of Budapest on Planetary Consciousness created in 1996, I am advocating the need for a cosmic, divine, spiritual conciousness.

9. I continue as an active member of the canonization of Robert Schuman, my compatriot from Alsace Lorriane, who was a political saint and achieved peace between France and Germany and fourteen other European countries by creating a European Union. He never saw it completed. I went to his tomb to report it to him.

10. I am planning with the Thomas Merton Foundation on Spirituality and Politics a millennium conference. They found a note by him envisioning such a conference of world leaders to ask the question: "How can we practice contemplation in a world of action?" At that meeting, I will advocate how this is possible by practicing, as I do, the constant Presence of God.

All the above are only continuations of my efforts exercised since I joined the United Nations after the horrors I saw in World War II. It started with the creation of a spiritual Pacem in Terris society in the UN, meetings with spiritual leaders at the UN, my fundamental book New Genesis: Shaping a global spirituality.

I could list a multitude of efforts and results: three visits by two Popes to the UN; the Assisi meetings of the Pope with religious leaders which I proposed to the Mayor of Assisi; the creation of a World Congress of Religions and Peace, and World Parliamentarians and Religions.

Other efforts include prayer or meditation at the opening and close of many UN meetings and world conferences; the accreditation of religious non-governmental organizations of a spiritual character to the UN (e.g. the Franciscans International and the Brahma Kumaris from India); innumerable speeches on spirituality and writings on spirituality in my fourteen books, some of them published in various languages.

My personal philosophy and spirituality is that of Brother Lawrence from my province of Lorraine in the 17th century, namely to practice constantly the presence of God.

Dr. Robert Muller
Dr. Robert Muller
One-dollar-a-year Chancellor, University of Peace
Former UN Assistant Secretary General

URL: http://www.wnrf.org/cms/muller.shtml

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