Who is Dag Hammarskjold
Dag Hammarskjöld, in full Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld, (born July 29, 1905, Jönköping, Sweden—died September 18, 1961, near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia [now Zambia]), Swedish economist and statesman who, as the second secretary-general (1953–61) of the United Nations (UN), enhanced the prestige and effectiveness of that organization. He was posthumously awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1961.
The son of Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, prime minister of Sweden (1914–17) and chairman of the Nobel Prize Foundation (1929–47), Dag Hammarskjöld studied law and economics at the universities of Uppsala and Stockholm and taught political economy at Stockholm (1933–36). He then joined the Swedish civil service as permanent undersecretary in the Ministry of Finance and subsequently became president of the board of the Bank of Sweden. From 1947 he served in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In 1951 Hammarskjöld was chosen vice chairman of Sweden’s delegation to the UN General Assembly, of which he became chairman in 1952. On April 10, 1953, five months after the resignation of Trygve Lie of Norway as secretary-general, Hammarskjöld was elected to the office for a term of five years. In September 1957 he was reelected to another five-year term.
Dag Hammarskjold Quotations
1. When you have reached the point where you no longer expect a response, you will at last be able to give in such a way that the other is able to receive, and be grateful. When Love has matured and, through a dissolution of the self into light, become a radiance, then shall the Lover be liberated from dependence upon the Beloved, and the Beloved also be made perfect by being liberated from the Lover.
2. You wake from dreams of doom and–for a moment–you know: beyond all the noise and the gestures, the only real thing, love’s calm unwavering flame in the half-light of an early dawn.
3. Never, for the sake of peace and quiet, deny your own experience or convictions
4. Your cravings as a human animal do not become a prayer just because it is God whom you ask to attend to them.
5. To have humility is to experience reality, not in relation to ourselves, but in its sacred independence. It is to see, judge, and act from the point of rest in ourselves. Then, how much disappears, and all that remains falls into place.
In the point of rest at the center of our being, we encounter a world where all things are at rest in the same way. Then a tree becomes a mystery, a cloud a revelation, each man a cosmos of whose riches we can only catch glimpses. The life of simplicity is simple, but it opens to us a book in which we never get beyond the first syllable.
6. Friendship needs no words – it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.
7. Forgiveness breaks the chain of causality because he who ‘forgives’ you–out of love–takes upon himself the consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.
The price you must pay for your own liberation through another’s sacrifice is that you in turn must be willing to liberate in the same way, irrespective of the consequences to yourself.
8. The longest journey is the journey inward.
9. Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.
10. He is one of those who has had the wilderness for a pillow, and called a star his brother. Alone. But loneliness can be a communion.
11. To preserve the silence within–amid all the noise. To remain open and quiet, a moist humus in the fertile darkness where the rain falls and the grain ripens–no matter how many tramp across the parade ground in whirling dust under an arid sky.
12. Friendship needs no words.
13. You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy does not reserve a plot for weeds
14. What makes loneliness an anguish is not that I have no one to share my burden, but this: I have only my own burden to bear.
15. Do not seek death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.
16. Life only demands from you the strength you possess.
17. If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, — quieter, warmer.
18. It is when we all play safe that we create a world of utmost insecurity
19. Is life so wretched? Isn’t it rather your hands which are too small, your vision which is muddled? You are the one who must grow up.
20. Never measure the height of a mountain, until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.
21. At every moment you choose yourself. But do you choose *your* self? Body and soul contain a thousand possibilities out of which you can build many I’s. But in one of them is there a congruence of the elector and the elected. Only one–which you will never find until you have excluded all those superficial and fleeting possibilities of being and doing with which you toy, out of curiosity or wonder or greed, and which hinder you from casting anchor in the experience of the mystery of life, and the consciousness of the talent entrusted to you which is your *I*.
22. It is not we who seek the Way, but the Way which seeks us. That is why you are faithful to it, even while you stand waiting, so long as you are prepared, and act the moment you are confronted by its demands.
23. The light died in the low clouds. Falling snow drank in the dusk. Shrouded in silence, the branches wrapped me in their peace. When the boundaries were erased, once again the wonder: that *I* exist.
24. God does not die on the day when we cease to believe in a personal deity, but we die on the day when our lives cease to be illumined by the steady radiance, renewed daily, of a wonder the source of which is beyond all reason.
25. Doffing the ego’s
safe glory, he finds
his naked reality.
26. Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream of a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is made clean again.
27. Like the bee, we distill poison from honey for our self-defense–what happens to the bee if it uses its sting is well known.
28. When the sense of the earth unites with the sense of one’s body, one becomes earth of the earth, a plant among plants, an animal born from the soil and fertilizing it. In this union, the body is confirmed in its pantheism.
29. Never look down to test the ground before taking your next step; only he who keeps his eye fixed on the far horizon will find the right road.
30. I don’t know Who — or what — put the question, I don’t know when it was put. I don’t even remember answering. But at some moment I did answer Yes to Someone — or Something — and from that hour I was certain that existence is meaningful and that, therefore, my life, in self-surrender, had a goal.
31. Acts of violence– Whether on a large or a small scale, the bitter paradox: the meaningfulness of death–and the meaninglessness of killing.
32. It is more noble to give yourself completely to one individual than to labor diligently for the salvation of the masses.
33. We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny, but what we put into it is ours.
34. In a dream I walked with God through the deep places of creation; past walls that receded and gates that opened through hall after hall of silence, darkness and refreshment–the dwelling place of souls acquainted with light and warmth–until, around me, was an infinity into which we all flowed together and lived anew, like the rings made by raindrops falling upon wide expanses of calm dark waters.
35. It is not the repeated mistakes, the long succession of petty betrayals–though, God knows, they would give cause enough for anxiety and self-contempt–but the huge elementary mistake, the betrayal of that within me which is greater than I–in complacent adjustment to alien demands.
36. The more faithfully you listen to the voices within you, the better you will hear what is sounding outside.
37. For all that has been, Thanks. To all that shall be, Yes.
38. My home drove me
into the wilderness.
Few look for me. Few hear me.
39. Jesus’ ‘lack of moral principles.’ He sat at meat with publicans and sinners, he consorted with harlots. Did he do this to obtain their votes? Or did he think that, perhaps, he could convert them by such ‘appeasement’? Or was his humanity rich and deep enough to make contact, even in them, with that in human nature which is common to all men, indestructible, and upon which the future is built?
40. Better than other people.’ Sometimes he says: ‘That, at least, you are.’ But more often: ‘Why should you be? Either you are what you can be, or you are not – like other people.
41. Beneath the hush a whisper from long ago, promising peace of mind and a burden shared.
No peace which is not peace for all, no rest until all has been fulfilled.
42. The dizziness in the face of les espaces infinis–only overcome if we dare to gaze into them without any protection. And accept them as the reality before which we must justify our existence. For this is the truth we must reach to live, that everything is and we just in it.
43. For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.
44. It is easy to be nice, even to an enemy – from lack of character
45. The present moment is significant, not as the bridge between past and future, but by reason of its contents — contents which can fill our emptiness and become ours, if we are capable of receiving them.
46. umility before the flower at the timber line is the gate which gives access to the path up the open fell.
47. I am the vessel. The draft is God’s. And God is the thirsty one.
48. The ‘mystical experience’. Always here and now – in that freedom which is one with distance in that stillness which is born of silence. But – this is a freedom in the midst of action, a stillness in the midst of other human beings. The mystery is a constant reality to him who, in this world, is free from self-concern, a reality that grows peaceful and mature before the receptive attention of assent.
49. That our pains and longings are thousandfold and can be anesthetized in a thousand different ways is as commonplace a truth as that, in the end, they are all one, and can only be overcome in one way. What you most need is to feel.
50. Trees quiver in the wind,
sailing on a sea of mist
out of earshot.
51. No cracking of the whip of words
disturbed his peace
in a space that sung.
52. Do not look back. And do not dream about the future, either. It will neither give you back the past, nor satisfy your other daydreams. Your duty, your reward—your destiny—are here and now.
53. A heart pulsating in harmony with the circulation of sap and the flow of rivers? A body with the rhythms of the earth in its movements? No. Instead: a mind, shut off from the oxygen of alert senses, that has wasted itself on ‘treasons, stratagems and spoils’–of importance only within four walls. A tame animal–in whom the strength of the species has outspent itself, to no purpose.
54. Every deed and every relationship is surrounded by an atmosphere of silence. Friendship needs no words – it is solitude delivered from the anguish of loneliness.
55. Is my contact with others anything more than a contact with reflections? Who or what can give me the power to transform the mirror into a doorway?
56. Do not sea death. Death will find you. But seek the road which makes death a fulfillment.
57. Didst thou give me this inescapable loneliness so that it would be easier for me to give thee all?
58. Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to love for, great enough to die for.
59. Meine Mittelmäßigkeit erkennen, nicht in geißelnder Selbstverachtung, nicht im Bekennerhochmut, sondern als Gefahr für die Integrität des Handels, wenn ich sie aus den Augen lasse.
60. Too tired for company,
You seek a solitude
You are too tired to fill.