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    • #18078
      Paul met Debbie

      Ode an die Freude

      My fiftieth contemplation! Little did I know when I started this, that there would be an ugly war in Europe before I completed my first year of writing. Russian government (or some extremists in it) decided to take this unprecedented risk with world peace a couple of days ago. Our hearts go out to all the fine people in the Ukraine, who suffer from this deluded and brutal violence. There is only in the most extreme situations a reason to apply violence and this is clearly not one of those cases. In our little hamlet one of our friends has parents in the Ukraine and she is in a lot of distress understandably. Fortunately she is still in contact with them, but for how long? A very agonizing situation. But not as bad as it must be for the people that are in the war zone right now.

      We also sympathize with the Russian people, who no doubt will suffer from this as well on the long run. The common folk are never at fault in situations like these, it is the politicians that declare wars and play with the lives of innocent people.

      We are completely helpless and the only thing we can do, is pray for their safety and burn a little candle for them, so that is what we do. The candle is burning every day since the start of this stupid war. And we play Ukrainian and Russian music, for artists of both countries have made the most beautiful compositions that always transcended the superficial world of thoughts and minds, the madness that almost all of human kind suffers from which is the cause of misery for time everlasting.

      Who doesn’t know the beautiful melodies of Mikhail Glinka (1804-1857), Pyotr Tchaikovsky (1840-1893), Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov (1844-1908), Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881), Alexander Scriabin (1871-1915), Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943), Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971), Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953) and Dmitry Shostakovich (1906-1975)? Many of these Russian composers have suffered themselves from the political systems the had to deal with, some even fled their country for this.

      And of Sergii Bortkevich (1877-1952), Maksym Berezovski (1745-1777), Mykhaylo Verbytsky (1815-1870, composer of the Ukrainian national anthem), Mykola Lysenko (1842-1912), Reinhold Glière (1875-1956, who was of Ukrainian, German and Polish decent), Mykola Roslavets (1881-1941, of Belorussian and Ukrainian origin, the Ukrainian Schoenberg) and Oleksandr Koshyts (1875-1944), such fine Ukrainian musicians, who also suffered from war and political mistakes that are as old as the world indeed.

      The peoples of Russia and Ukraine are united by much more than the superficial divisions of borders and language can ever mean. And the same goes for the peoples of the world. We should all make love, not war. We should stop believing the dividing and separating thoughts of our minds, that pushed us into different languages, countries, religions, political systems, nations, flags, national anthems, and all the other illusory differences that the mind cares to distinguish.

      Let us please consider in what myriad ways we all on a daily basis fight our little wars like this, judging, comparing, competing and complaining – and separating, trying to be some little special individual in stead of a grand feature of Nature’s union as god has intended. Let us try to end this as soon as possible and with as much zeal we can muster. Let us listen again to the choir finale of Beethoven’s 9th Symphonie, this music set to the words of the German Poet Friedrich Schiller who wrote this “Ode an die Freude” (Ode to Joy). Since 1985 it is the official anthem of Europe, but it should be the anthem of the united world.

      Alle Menschen werden Brüder (all humans become brothers and sisters) it is said in this beautiful and lyric poem. Will we ever learn this lesson? In these days it seems impossible to believe, but we still do. Please join us and listen to this great melody now and again, as long as this terrible war is going on – perhaps it is the only thing we can do. Look up the text, read it, understand it, and find a YouTube video to hear the music for it. Memorize the melody and keep it in your hearts, in stead of thoughts of division and separation.

      This is not a German poem set to music by a German composer. This is are uniting words of peace and sounds of music, that go beyond all nationalities and borders. We can be like that from this day on. If only we stop believing our separating minds.

      Truth and Peace to all of you.


    • #18098
      Jenny Livingston

      Paul, thank you for calling attention to this. I’ve struggled with knowing what to post here because nothing feels quite right at the moment. My heart says that we need to acknowledge these atrocities, but I’ve truly been at a loss for words. On Instagram the other day, I got a message from a woman in Russia who is the mother to a young boy with CF. She said, “Please do not think that Russia people are haters or crazy. We are against the war and half of Russia have relatives and friends in Ukraine. We pray to stop the war.”

      Your commentary here reminds me of the quote by philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti. He says, “When you call yourself an Indian or a Muslim or a Christian or a European, or anything else, you are being violent. Do you see why it is violent? Because you are separating yourself from the rest of mankind. When you separate yourself by belief, by nationality, by tradition, it breeds violence. So a man who is seeking to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind.”

    • #18102
      Paul met Debbie

      Thank you dear Jenny for contributing and finding these fine heart felt words of compassion and truth.
      J. Krishnamurti, indeed one of my favorite beings and philosophers. He had a very clear and empty mind and a lot of true, transcending Love. Not many understood him, but those who did are the richer for it.

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