Is there still a realistic chance for worldwide peace?
Is it possible in a near future for all arms on our planet to become silent, for rivers to follow their natural paths, for animals to be freed from their cages and for children to grow up in stable homes?
One of a growing number of people who think that this is possible is Dr. Dieter Duhm, born 1942 in Berlin, sociologist, psychoanalyst, former Marxist and one of the leading heads of the ’68-Student Movement in Germany. Deeply moved by the extent of global violence he withdraws from academia during the seventies, turns down a number of professorships offered to him to take the time to radically and quietly conceive a social model for a future without war. He develops the “Plan of Healing Biotopes”, a concept for global peace.
Amongst others the concept is based on the idea of modern natural science and its essence that the building component of mater it is not the atom, instead it is “information”. Earth with her atmosphere and her magnetic field, with her waters and landscapes, her creatures, biotopes and human societies is an integral, oscillating and living body that can be healed, just as a human body can be healed if the appropriate medicine, i.e. the appropriate information is administered.
The healing information is wanted most at the points where new wars are created daily: in the cohabitation of human beings. In this area far reaching change is necessary. Words and appeals alone are not enough. True peace does not ensue from slogans and true peace is far more than the mere absence of war. The peace information needed will emerge from social structures whose ethical basic values of compassion, trust, mutual support and solidarity are no longer being destroyed, but rather, they are being generated and maintained. In its innermost core peace is the experience of trust amongst human beings, above all trust amongst man and woman. It is like learning a new alphabet after ions of fighting amongst men ad women, after oppressing women and after separating the divine and the erotic aspects of creation. To reconcile man and woman the deepest and most sensitive healing work is demanded since “there will be no peace on Earth as long as there is war in love” (Dieter Duhm).
Peace again is an experience of trust between man and nature. Where man fights animals, including the smallest and those who we call “vermins”, structural war, exclusion and enmity are reigning. All creatures have a right to live in freedom and dignity. They are all part of the large family of life. Peace asks for a change in our living habits, beginning with the choice of our nourishment, with the handling of the elements and the natural resources up to the provision of energy, to medicine and the cultivation of food.
Marx said: “The social state of being decides upon the level of consciousness.” At this point Dieter Duhm has remained a true Marxist, when he says: “It will be a new social state of being that is created and that will, more than anything else, decide upon whether the human being will rediscover his original humane soul and his pure heart and be able to live according to them.” Good intention alone is not enough. 2000 years of Christianity and the honest attempts of millions of people are proof enough. Places are needed where the conditions for peaceful co-habitation are researched and put into practice. Peace cannot be realised immediately in the whole of a society. It is not something what can be put on people from the outside rather it is a deep inner decision, coming out of a free will and an insight.
Dieter Duhm calls these places “Healing Biotopes”. They act like acupuncture points to foster a new future in the body of Earth. Life energies which in a culture of war have been opposing each other shall be made to flow coherently towards a mutual vision. By doing so big forces will be unleashed.
Duhm assumes that worldwide only a few such centres will be sufficient to tip over the “information field” of violence. He is not the first one to see this possibility. David Bohm, a quantum physicist, had too mentioned this possibility, so did spiritual masters, such as Sri Aurobindo (India), Satprem (his deciple) or Dhyani Iwahoo (Leader of the Tsalagi, USA), or Teilhard de Chardin.
Therefore, the “Plan of the Healing Biotopes” takes up the idea to develop various centres on Earth with a few hundred community workers each. Together they create the microscopically small change that is based on certain structures of reality which may and will have a large effect on the “Whole”.
Dieter Duhm: “Decisive for the success of such peace projects is not how big and strong they are in comparison to the existing apparatuses but how comprehensive and complex they are, how many elements of life they are able to combine and to unite in a positive way. In the field buildings of evolution it is not the law of the strongest, but the success of the more comprehensive that counts. No new developments would otherwise have been able to assert themselves had they not all begun small and inconspicuous.”
The development of the first such centre began in 1995. After years of preparation and together with his partner in life, Sabine Lichtenfels (theologian), with Rainer Ehrenpreis (physicist) and others, Dieter Duhm founded the peace research project “Tamera” in Portugal. Today approximately 150 people are engaged in the development of a life form which is to be free of fear, lies and violence. Many facilities have been built up, amongst them the Institute of Global Peace Work, the Political Ashram, the Art Centre, the Place of the Children, the Peace Education, the various ateliers and workshops, the reforested grounds, the Water Retention Landscape, the Global Love School. The development and construction of a model “Solarvillage”, a settlement with autonomous energy supply, is being prepared. The visionary and permaculture specialist Sepp Holzer from Austria cooperated as teacher and advisor with the ecology team from Tamera.
Tamera supports peace projects all over the world, cooperates with the peace village San José de Apartadó and the “University of Resistance” in Colombia; with initiatives in Israel and Palestine (amongst others The Holy Land Trust in Palestine, Peace Research Village); with Claudio Miranda de Moura and his idea of a “favela de paz” in the slums of São Paulo, Brazil, with Philip Munyasia and his permaculture project OTEPIC in Kenya. With the projects of the “Global Campus” and the “Terra Nova School” Tamera shares the knowledge for a future without war with a wide network, with inventors, solar technologists, peace journalists and futurists and all who are interested worldwide.
“In answer to a culture of war and death Dieter Duhm counters with a culture of peace and life. For this I thank him.”
“Not only is the vision presented in this book described in a vivid way, but it is also well-founded in scientific terms. Above all, it is alive. As one, who has been actively involved in the Kibbutz and the Peace Movement since the foundation of the State of Israel, I can but say: May this Utopia blossom in the hearts of many people and empower them to build up the Holy Land all over the Earth.”
“This book introduces a powerful formula for the creation of peace by peaceful means. Participating in the work towards the realization of such a perspective, is for us, who live under occupation in Palestine, an answer not only to end the occupation but also to prevent future conflicts once the occupation will have come to an end.”
“Dieter Duhm makes a profound case for living peace rather than talking peace. This will be essential if we want to create a future without war. This is an outstanding book and a “must” for every peacemaker.”
“For a lifetime Dieter Duhm has been delving deeply into our present culture finding the roots of war and domination in the suppression of the feminine. Together with his partner, Sabine Lichtenfels, and others, he experiments to create ways of restoring the balance both on an individual level and through the development of communities and Peace Research Villages. This book gives hope for all of us that it is possible to have a future- and how to create it.”
“‘Never touch, when you heart is not open’ – this sentence guides the people of Tamera in their attempt to experience eros and sexuality as an expression of the sacredness of life.”
“With his book Future Without War Dieter Duhm demonstrates the courage to entertain a great utopia at a time leaving little cause for hope.”