Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy
cathy_edgett

Dag Hammarskjold

I greatly admire Dag Hammarskjold, who as Secretary-General of the United Nations was both deeply spiritual and an effective diplomat.  Shambhala Sun this month has an article on him by Roger Lipsey, his biographer.  I quote from the article.

Lipsey offers this quote from Hammarskjold's private journal:


  Lord, Thine the day,
  And I the day's.



Lipsey goes on: Hammarskjold "endowed the United Nations with a heightened sense of its mission through his clarity of mind, breadth of vision, unshakeable integrity, and quiet eloquence."

He died in central Africa in 1961 in a still-troubling plane crash.  He was mourned by millions.  We continue to learn from him today.  His private journal Markings is still available.

When he was engaged with winding down the Suez Canal crisis of 1956, he recorded these words.

"Every day the first day. Each day a life. Each morning we must hold out the chalice of our being to receive, to carry, and give back.  It must be held out empty - for the past must only be reflected in its polish, its shape, its capacity."



Here is one of his haiku:


     This accidental
        Meeting of possibilities
       Calls itself I.



He orchestrated and designed a place for meditation at the United Nations headquarters, a Room of Quiet.  For its inauguration he wrote:

"We all have within us a center of stillness surrounded by silence. This house, dedicated to work and debate in the service of peace, should have one room dedicated to silence in the outward sense and stillness in the inner sense. It has been the aim to create in this small room a place where the doors may be open to the infinite lands of thought and prayer."  "There is an ancient saying that the sense of a vessel is not in its shell but in the void. So it is with this room. It is for those who come here to fill the void with what they find in their center of stillness."

His death was suspicious.  Such a man.  Oh, how we could use him here now, but we have his words and we have a Room of Quiet, both at the U.N. and within.  Peace.
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