The essence of Woodstock!
What was the essence of Woodstock? In my opinion, that thousands of people experienced together at the same time what peace feels like. They felt peace, that was the essence!
I borrow a goosebump phrase from Christina Wolf. She says, "When longing is greater than fear, courage is born!"
When longing is greater than fear, courage is born! ...
The longing for peace was enormous at the time of Woodstock. Longing breaks the chains of fear! Longing, which is not fulfilled, can bring us to our knees stronger than fear can! Threats, which could hold us before still in check, bounce then at us!
Woodstock was not under a good star at first. Many wanted to prevent this event! Fear paves its way, but the longing also does!
Like everything in life, longing has positive and negative aspects. If the positive aspects of longing get the upper hand, miracles happen!
The essence of Woodstock could be made in an easy way (also without drugs) permanently and worldwide even under most difficult conditions for everyone to experience! Namely by peace-interested people of all nations, who invest, for example, every 3rd Monday in the month 10 minutes of time in the common peace feeling according to the following timetable: from Samoa to American Samoa.
Something similar is already happening! A few thousand people who have mastered a certain type of meditation are joining together again and again to meditate for world peace. Many American veterans with post-traumatic stress syndrome swear by this form of meditation, as nothing has helped them get back to normal life better. This form of meditation is called Transcendental Meditation and was made famous by the Indian Maharishi. In the States, the David Lynch Foundation has taken up the cause to help as many people as possible with this form of meditation. They have well-known fellows such as Elvis Costello, Larkin Poe, Graham Nash, Clint Eastwood, Angélique Kidjo, Kesha, Kim James, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and also Sting:
Meditation, whether transcendental or in other forms, is an interesting subject area about which we still do not know everything. But even if many do not, or not yet master this or other forms of meditation, meditation-experienced and non-meditation-experienced can come closer together to the goal of world peace!
The experiment in Sardinia is to kick this off! Sardinia will lay a invisible ribbon of peace across the island in the autumn/winter of 2023. From 10:10 a.m. to 8:20 p.m., all participating communities will engage in feeling peace one after the other for 10 minutes, representing the whole world. The data and effects of the action will be scientifically processed in order to verify with new criteria and possibilities the proven positive effects - of previous and long forgotten studies. At that time one proved that a thousandfold common peace feeling affects positively the surrounding field, accidents and criminal offences sank in the respective regions significantly! What will be the outcome if as many as possible of the more than 1.6 million Sardinians take part in the experiment?
I would not mind if we repeated Woodstock annually in all countries of the world! For me personally, gladly without drugs, but very gladly with the feeling of Love, Peace and Understanding!
Unfortunately, not in all countries of the world the condition for it is given. But the essence of Woodstock, that is the common feeling of peace, can be realized worldwide even under the most adverse circumstances. And how to make essence tangible, that is our daily business for years!
The fact that Woodstock could become what it became was very much related to the general conditions. If the community had not refused Woodstock, the festival (which despite the refusal bore the name of this community) could not have become what it did. With the actual venue Bethel, the name of the community was probably already program ...
If you stop for a moment and let it sink in that the name Bethel stands for "the house of God" and the event, which advertised itself with the words Peace & Love, actually moved over to Bethel rather unintentionally, a little shiver can run down your spine. Can't it? God ... no matter what religion tries to describe Him, Peace & Love they all concede to Him. Maybe what all religions mean when they talk about God is the feeling of Peace & Love ...
In any case, in the "House of God" everything fit: the big heart and the great serenity of the farmer Max Yasgur, the meadow open on all sides, the nearby lake, the help of the Hog Farm and the surrounding population, even the rain and much more:
Just by watching this video, you can get an idea of what it must have been like to experience it live. And how inspired you can still be by such an experience even 50 years later, you can half guess when you listen to Santana:
We should not underestimate how powerful it is what we experience! We humans are so "knitted" that nothing can be a greater teacher for us than the experience! This is true for very bad traumatic experiences, but also for experiences that are full of joy and love!
Look at Santana!
Listen to people who have been there!
Something happens to their voice when they remember back to the moment they are talking about. You can hear it in their voices. The words form into a melody. Even if you don't understand the language, you understand the message because of the melody in the voice. That's why music can do so much for us. Music is melody! Music does not need language, music is language! Music is not understood in the head, music is understood in the heart!
When Santana performed in 1987 in what was then East Berlin's Palast der Republik, he was thrilled by the euphoric atmosphere, which was possible even without drugs. We don't need the drugs at all. It's the music that has the real magic!
To give another example of how experienced pleasure becomes our teacher: we all know that a healthy lifestyle includes exercise. But when we are offered the opportunity to use a staircase or an escalator, the vast majority tends toward the escalator. This is still due to our primeval instincts that we act in an energy-saving way in relation to our physical strength. If you now want people to feel the positive effect of movement, you have to make changes to the general conditions. If you take the escalator instead of the stairs, you can't feel the effect. But the inner pig dog is stubborn! With what exercise could you learn to overcome it?
As already mentioned, our brains are constructed ("knitted") in such a way that learning through experience is easiest for all of us. Already in the womb we learn by experiencing. So it is the most original way for humans to learn!
image source: https://www.edugroup.at/praxis/monatsschwerpunkt/bewegung-macht-schlau/detail/07-bewegtes-lernen-was-ist-damit-gemeint.html
Unfortunately, especially in school education, we rely on the teaching methods that are the most difficult for us and are also not very effective. The value of the didactics, in particular the brain-suitable didactics, is still underestimated! Of course, there are also people who make rapid progress despite ineffective teaching methods. The brain is not a muscle in the classical sense, but similar to a muscle you can train the brain. Those who practice training their brains early on become the marathon runners among learners exposed to ineffective teaching methods.
So when people read that it is healthier to take the stairs instead of the escalator, the masses can get almost no learning effect from it. Giving lectures about it is minimally more effective. It would be really effective if people would just try taking the stairs. But how do you get them to take the stairs in the first place so that they can enjoy the greatest learning effect?
This is where brain-friendly didactics come into play. The trick is how to create the conditions for a learning exercise so that people feel by themselves motivated to take the stairs. For example, you can turn the stairs into a piano!
So the Peace Experiment has to overcome two challenges. One challenge is that people who have been practicing meditation, yoga, and intensive praying for years feel peace very quickly and easily, but the untrained find it difficult. And most of us are untrained in it. But the Peace Experiment is meant to give EVERYONE the opportunity to feel peace. And the other challenge is to find the "piano", that is, the stimulus to engage in it with fun and joy.
Through my years of professional experience in the field of experiential education, I know which exercises can be used to create positive emotional states. In order to feel peace, we need harmony.
A very wonderful exercise for this is the experiential education "acoustic stick journey".
If, within a group standing in a circle, everyone succeeds in passing their stick to their neighbor or throwing it while still clapping their hands between throwing and catching it without the stick falling to the ground, it requires a high level of concentration, but also creates harmony within the group.
This harmony works into the circle and the sight of the people sitting in the circle feeling peace has a harmonious effect on the stick throwers. The imitated heart rhythm of the stick throwers helps those sitting in the circle to block out everything else, especially when they have their eyes closed. This creates a mutual support to realize the FEELING of peace.
The same can be achieved by other exercises, but this one seemed to me the most suitable for the Peace Experiment. In the trial and error it can happen that other possibilities show up how one can come as an untrained easily and quickly into the peace feeling.
The rhythmic clacking sound of a metronome can also be sufficient! As well silence ...
I could now cite umpteen studies that have already shown that a common simultaneous FEELING of peace of many people lead to positive results. But we already know that reading and reciting has only a very small learning effect and will not necessarily provide a motivation boost to try it out.
You don't learn Sardinian dances by studying books about them, you just dance along.
So now we come to the second challenge: how do we inspire an entire island to join in?
Through a concert!! What should be able to help better than music?
What if we could raffle a concert for summer or autumn 2024 among all the participating of the 377 Sardinian municipalities?
For example a concert by Måneskin who have shown what can happen if you believe in yourself and keep at it! Not only did they won the Eurovision Song Contest, but they hit the spirit of the time with "zitti e buoni"!
Or even better with Salmo the most famous Italian rapper who loves his Sardinian homeland and tirelessly gives food for thought. Rap shouts out the conflict! Peace is often described as the absence of conflict. And conflict for many is something negative. But how can we achieve peace if we don't address conflicts and don't see their positive potential?
Or a concert with Sting, who knows the power of meditation and uses it for himself. Or a concert with Santana, through whose veins flows not only blood but also still the spirit of Woodstock. Or what if Bruce Springsteen were to come?
Peace is very quiet, but peace can also rock as you can hear when they covering Nick Lowe's song: What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding! "The Boss" feels inspired and impressed by the stories as well as by the peace efforts of Francesco d'Assisi! To whom the statement goes back: "The depth of the human soul holds unfathomable powers, because God Himself lives in it!"
At the same time the Boss himself is a person who inspires others!
I was also able to experience him and his band live at a "normal" concert in the western Germany. How much he is able to inspire, he himself is perhaps not even aware. At his concert in East Berlin in the summer of 1988, with few but heartfelt words and lots of rock 'n roll, he got hundreds of thousands thinking! As a German who still grew up in a divided Germany and has scenes of the many escape attempts in front of my eyes, I get a bit goose bumps listening to him even though I grew up on the "other side" and was therefore not there live at this concert.
Figuratively speaking, you could say musicians like Salmo, Måneskin, Sting, Santana and Bruce could become the "piano" so that Sardinia comes into MAKE full of joy! So the "staircase" of peace FEELING is conquered playfully!
They inspire the Sardinians and the Sardinians them and the world! So it could happen at least! ; ) That such a thing is possible, I know namely!
As a German I struggle with being born in a country from which two world wars started. Just as I struggle with the caused horror, that I understood only correctly as a 12 year old in the school lessons by the film "Nacht und Nebel" (Night and Fog). And the fact that still until 32 years ago guards shot their own compatriots when they tried to escape doesn't make it any better ...
BUT when hundreds of thousands of East Germans brought about the turnaround quite peacefully, it confirmed my hope that it is possible to move something peacefully! In 1953, the rebellion of the population was still beaten down with tanks, that was no longer possible in 1989! All did "only" something small, but they were there with their whole heart!
In Ballao we have a mural that shows Mother Theresa with a saying that I like very much: "Not everyone can do something big, but everyone can do something small with great love!" And when many do something small, all together have done something great. Then there is no need for that one who does something great. We don't have to wait for that one to come. We can simply start ourselves. And the great thing is, what we need to feel peace, each of us already has. It works with tools, but with a little practice it works without!
What particularly impressed me about the peaceful revolution in East Germany was its beginning. I am convinced that Bruce's concert gave the revolution a special nudge, BUT it all started very quietly!
In 1973, a young man dreamed of performing in what was then the GDR. He was THE rocker of the West Germans: Udo Lindenberg! With courage, creativity, wit, love, passion, genuine interest, persistence and cordiality, he even conquered their "chief Indian" Erich Honecker in the end, in addition to his many East German fans.
So ten years later his dream becomes reality!
His speech in October 1983 is also a goosebump moment in German history, perhaps even more intense in retrospect than at the moment he speaks it. He doesn't let anyone tell him to shut up, and even if he is subsequently denied his own tour of the GDR, he has certainly paved the way for many other Western musicians. Whether Santana and Bruce would have been given the chance to perform without Udo's groundwork, I think is questionable!
Little Udo? As if! ;)
His songs and his leather jacket break down the barriers of the time and throw a small stone into the water, which begins to draw its circles and in parallel it also continues very quietly ... With a prayer! A prayer for peace!
Again, I get a little goose bumps when I think about it! In 1982, the deacon Günter Johannsen and his congregation in Leipzig initiated the Monday peace prayers as a permanent institution. It took time for it to go around. In winter 1988 it developed into tentative demonstrations, which in 1989 became so large that they could no longer be ignored.
It took several years of a dream, music and repeated prayers to bring about a peaceful turnaround.... The power of dreams, music and prayers should not be underestimated!
When I left school in summer 1988, our politics teacher still said that he would "eat his hat" if it ever came to the reunification of Germany. Whether he ever ate his hat I don't know, but what I learned in that time is that anything is possible no matter how utopian it sounds!
I belong to no church for decades, but this has not diminished my faith in the power of thoughts and prayers! My very personal idea of God is that I see all of us as the hand of God. If we all stick together, no one can fall. The power of thoughts and prayers is for me the unifying element of all religions.
I do not think it is utopian that an action that we launched in 2020 would actually result in world peace after a few years. I have witnessed what can come out of a prayer! So I can no longer be dissuaded from the thought that it is possible! No matter how many hat-eating politics teachers there may be also out there! ; )
In our latitudes, we have lost the connection to prayer in the masses. While in the States 50% of the population still pray daily, in Europe the average is at 10%! The amazing power of prayer has been researched in the USA: "Positive therapeutic effects of intercessory prayer in a coronary care unit population!"
So the fact that we have lost touch with prayer cannot be related to its effectiveness! I suspect it has fallen victim to taking things for granted.
I like to talk with the old people here in the village, including Zio Peppino. He is saddened by how everything has turned out even in Sardinia. He lacks the respect that he had the impression was more in the past. He also felt that the people had been much more cordial in their interactions:
One basis of respect is appreciation. What we appreciate, we find easy to respect. When you are born into a world full of comforts, you may take them for granted, not out of malice, but because you don't know any different.
I remember as a child I believed for a long time that all children in the world would have the same conditions like my little friends and me. Until one day I saw on the news how many children were starving in Africa. I saw my daily meals from that day on with different eyes.
When it was much more difficult to put food on the table, we would say a short prayer of thanks before starting to eat.
All the comforts that we have today, our great-grandparents, grandparents, parents have brought with much sweat, effort, blood, tears and sacrifices on the way!
The fact that the appreciation for it is hardly present in the mass of the society is connected with it like we learn. At the very beginning I already mentioned it. We learn best and most simply by experiencing, because it is our most original form of learning!
If we really care about being more respectful to each other and not taking today's comforts for granted, then it would make sense for us to change our learning programs.
Zio Peppino says that they used to do laundry by the river. Today, every household has a washing machine and many have a dryer. If you grow up like that, it's hard to get the idea that it's not a given that it's like that, and maybe you don't even get the idea anymore that you can wash clothes by hand.
If we from today would face for a month the life situation of our parents, grandparents and great-grandparents, we would feel gratitude again and maybe even a little humbleness, perhaps ...
On the homepage of Sebastiano Dessanay you can find the following picture with his impressions from Villacidro:
This is the "luxury version" of washing clothes at that time. You no longer had to go to the river, you could wash your clothes in the center of the village in the washhouse. Just to give an example: if Villacidro would hold a commemorative week of their ancestors with the action point that the whole village for a week washes the laundry again in the washhouse - and indeed each family member his own laundry - it would not surprise me if after this week many of them will adore their washing machine! ; )
We have managed to establish a very credible illusion next to reality. The illusion makes us believe that it would be possible for everyone to have everything, without any effort, always, immediately and in the best quality. The fact that we have fallen for this illusion has to do with the fact that it takes a very long time for such an illusion to burst and it actually works for far too long for too many. In this parallel world it happens fast, or it must happen even actually, that one loses the relation to himself, to his fellow men, to his fellow creatures and generally to the nature AND to how the rules on this world actually read. In this illusion it has something strange if someone wants to preserve appreciation, respect and love, or even manages to preserve them. There one is considered fast as a crank or as cute, but not to be taken particularly seriously. Only because it is like that, the questioning song of Nick Lowe "What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?" could arise.
In nations that have internalized the illusion to a large extent, not only the interest in prayers dwindles, but also the knowledge of their power, as long as it really comes from the heart and is not simply rattled off. If one finds peace prayers already strange, then it is completely clear to me that one must find the action to FEEL peace still stranger.
But I don't care if someone finds me strange! I have once pushed aside the curtain of illusion and seen how it looks behind it ...
I prefer to be found strange than not to try to win others for a supposedly crazy idea. The feeling for the power of thoughts and prayers the illusion could not take away from me. And when I became aware of the study from Lebanon, that it is possible to achieve a significant positive effect, if thousands of people simultaneously FEEL peace, then it was clear to me: no one can find me so strange that I do not keep at it until I manage to inspire thousands of people to just give it a try. ; )