The Burden Of Loneliness


When I researched this subject, it made me a little… I was quite surprised. There was one statement – What’s the number one cause of death? What do you think? It is loneliness. It’s loneliness that creates so much stress, right? And ultimately leads to death. We have our local hero, here in Ulm – Dr Manfred Spitzer, who has published
a very thick book on this subject. In this book it is scientifically proven, that many causes of death
are traced back to loneliness. So, I looked into it and
I saw many things that actually show – since the beginning of mankind,
since we’ve been on this Earth, we’ve known nothing but community. We could not survive at all – on our own. Only in the last 200-300 years, with industrialization,
with urbanization – and the cities, big cities started to grow – this problem suddenly popped up. Therefore – I like showing you this picture. This is the image we have
been using this year for our seminars, as we were also focussing on
the topic of loneliness. This picture shows this very well. We see a lone wolf here, right? And the whole environment is
in accordance with that. That’s a bit of a mirror
of how it is in many places, but also how it is inside our bodies. We are a community. There are 50 trillion cells inside me,
that co-habit with me. That make up my body and each cell is a separate entity,
with its own consciousness, with its own soul,
with a digestive system – just the same as it is inside me,
in the whole being. We must be aware of that. We live in a community,
or at least we should. Now, if I look at all the causes
that have led to death, with loneliness as the root cause, you can see how this separation
takes place in the body, this isolation. Cells in isolation die off. They can no longer survive. They’re stressed, aren’t they? So, I really started to dig deeper
to find out more and it’s really amazing, when I now talk to people,
who have problems, who have diseases, it’s because they often feel lonely. You don’t have to BE lonely,
to feel lonely. You can be right here,
with so many people and still feel lonely. You can go into solitude
and not feel lonely, I will show you that, too. So, there are many possibilities. For me, it’s the togetherness, and that’s also what
I can see here today – this potential, here together,
at the same time, in the same place, to stand up for the same cause. That’s great. And who are we doing all this for? For our future! For the children! Our children’s children – we are here,
so they can have a better life. Already when we are born
into this world, it is so important for the newborn baby to be enveloped by its mother. Or by parents, family. That’s why there’s
different phases of life, where loneliness plays a more
or less significant role. In the first seven years, a child is dependent on its parents, it can’t survive on its own. Then comes a certain phase, where we’re heading towards puberty, where they separate from their parents. That’s a key point – they want to get away from their parents, but they need friends. And I’ve seen a
few cases where – even though the parents did a good job,
they’ve done everything they could to give the child a stable foundation, and then – when they break away
from their parents they attach themselves
to certain friends. This often determines which path
they will take from there. I’ve seen it happen many times,
when a young person didn’t have a very favourable environment, no friends who… were on the same level, but rather pulled the other person
down to their level. And some of them even
became delinquents. So, this is a very important phase,
puberty – what kind of friendships do I have? You can all look inside yourselves and see
what it was like for yourselves back then. What I saw during my whole research – the family is indeed the foundation, it is important, but when it comes to loneliness,
friendships are more important. To have friends, having friendships,
in a certain environment, is very important. Especially in the same neighbourhood. Then there comes the phase where we
enter the working world, and because of your jobs – you have many acquaintances, or you have
a family of your own, etc. – then the issue isn’t so… bad. But then comes old age, getting old,
and this next phase begins, and here, many people feel lonely again. So, just going through life together
that’s really something we truly stand up for – Enjoying life, communities,
coming together and making new friends, new acquaintances. This is also the moment, the reason why we’ve come together from so many countries to stand up for our Mother Earth and take on projects together – and that connects. It’s great to know I can go to New Zealand – I have friends there. Or, I can go to Venezuela, I have a friend there, too. That’s what we can build right here, in this congress, that’s why I’ve tried to ensure we can also break bread together. That we can eat together and just cultivate these friendships. The reason for
The World Foundation for Natural Science is not only to stand up for nature, but also – WHY do we stand up for nature? What is the reason? WHAT do we want –
but also WHY do we want it? What is the cause,
Why is the cause an issue? Why did the Creator do this? Why are trees so magnificent
and can provide such a great service? I am really looking forward to Sunday,
when Florian Thoma will come and explain – this building technique using
moon wood – that’s fantastic. It’s truly fantastic – what nature can do,
because that is nature! That’s nature, and inside there are
many chambers and there’s air in the chambers! And the air that’s inside,
is a form of intelligence. It can do anything! You’ll hear about it tomorrow,
I don’t want to give you any spoilers. [Laughs] But, it comes from trees. And when we see what trees can do,
and how trees work together, are there for each other – how they’re connected, by the roots, by the mushrooms
that grow there and build a network – that’s amazing. A tree only grows to a certain height, it doesn’t want to be higher
than the tree next door. No, it has a certain height
and then it stops growing. Once it has stopped growing,
its service lies in being there for others, so other
trees are also healthy. And so they form a tree community and they get all the nutrients,
everything they need, from the ground. From those microbes, from these mushrooms – everything comes together and shares something with them. And they give them something in return – namely sugar. With the CO2 they get from us they can make sugar, with the sun and all that – with these processes that are taking place. So, they give us back oxygen and they give sugar to the others –
that’s fantastic, isn’t it? Now, if a tree gets hurt – maybe because of an axe stroke – not even 2 minutes will go by before the entirety of the
surrounding trees – know about it – Stop, someone’s hurt! One of our brothers or sisters is hurt. They immediately stop doing their jobs, and focus on the tree that’s hurt. Until it gets well again. Because they know – in a community every individual unit must be healthy. And that’s why they’re
there for each other. That’s nature. This is how nature works. That’s actually what has been
programmed inside us, for millions of years. This attitude – togetherness, always
being there for each other, in a community. That’s why I’m very grateful
I found several stories that scientifically prove this is true. That’s the beauty of it – I’ve been
a member for 26 years now, and since The World Foundation
for Natural Science was established, we’ve always done our best
to show this spiritual aspect, the invisible part, that part
we have so far not been able to prove – now the science is ready,
now it can show us proof. “Proof” – I’d rather say provide evidence. But it can now show us –
Hey, this is indeed the case. And that’s great. Nature has something to tell us that science is yet to discover – What is it telling us? I think they are saying: Leave us alone! And that is what I am really fighting for – this peace. This is also what I want –
for us to really keep the peace. What does that mean? When am I at peace? Of course, when there is no war,
but peace is much, much more than just the absence of war. Rather – I am at peace when I know
that what I am doing corresponds to what the Creator
wants me to do. And who is the Creator? The Creator is within me. I am a part of creation. I am at peace when I understand this. That’s the main reason
why we come together, so we can understand each other, develop an understanding heart,
so we listen to each other. That’s also the reason why
I’ve chose this theme for the name tag. In human beings lies all the greatness
and beauty they see. When we look at these decorations,
they are truly beautiful. Many thanks to those who made them. [Applause] Everyone sees something different
when looking at this mountain,
when looking at the trees. The person who took this picture
and was there, physically – has memories of this place. They might have even climbed
all the way up the mountain. They might have climbed all the way to the top
and seen the view from there – all this is preserved in their memory, so they will see and interpret
something completely different than someone who has never
been there themselves. Maybe someone from Peru,
who is unfamiliar with this place. They might know Machu Picchu, and have a completely different impression
of Machu Picchu compared to when we are looking at Machu Picchu. So, you see, it’s all about experience, about consciousness –
it’s all connected. That’s why – you see it the way you see it. You use your interpretation
to create an image. Now let’s come back to the present. So, if I understand – if I have this inner peace,
and if I understand it. If we understand each other. If I understand the person
who took the picture – what they experienced there,
and we can share it, then I receive his experience from them
and I can see the picture from a different perspective. That’s also why we call what we have here a new scientific outlook. We share this outlook with you,
because we have, with our experience, in which we have combined knowledge
with the spirit, and because maybe
we see things differently than someone who has no
knowledge of this spirit. But, this spirit stands above all else. If I have time during the next few days,
I can share with you how the spirit is above matter. And that certain things are possible
even if many don’t believe they are. When the doctor tells you, you are terminally ill,
and you believe that – then you are. But if you change your perspective then…
you can get better. I know the story of a chiropractor, he was riding his bike,
fell down, and a van ran over him. Six vertebrae in his back were broken. He was lying in hospital and the first doctor came along and said,
Yes, we’ll need to insert two aluminium rods, to fix this. So, he asked for a second opinion,
they said the same thing, as did the third… And then he decided –
No, I’m not doing anything. And for six weeks he meditated
for one hour every day, he focussed his mind
– as a chiropractor he knew what a healthy vertebra looks like. He pictures it as healthy in his mind,
and projected this image for six weeks, and after nine weeks, he was healthy. Hm? Just by using his mind. Only through concentration,
by simply imagining this perfect image. That’s something we can use everywhere, so it’s important we can give you this outlook,
of things being complete. So you know, WHY are things like this,
what was the Creator thinking? What should it be like? Once I know that, I am at peace. I’m at peace when I know
it is happening with love. The motivation for my actions is right. It’s not for me – it’s for the whole, it’s for Mother Earth, for the bigger picture,
it’s for my friends. I am at peace when I see this beauty
and this perfection. I’m at peace when I know specifically – there’s something I can do. It’s this specific knowledge –
Yes, I can do this, and that will happen. I know the laws. I can use this. I’m at peace when I know it serves someone. It’s not for me, it’s for the whole. And I’m at peace when everything I do
is done in a certain rhythm, in the flow of nature. And not against the flow,
fighting it. This is true inner peace. That is why I really like this quote
by Henry Ford: “Coming together is the beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” And that’s what we want –
after all, we want to be successful. But, it also takes patience. That’s what it’s all about. When we meet each other
during these days. This is what creates the most
powerful inner strength. What we have in our hearts. And that’s why – when we touch hearts, when we… then we can really make a big difference. So – I’m a baby boomer. Then I grew up… these are those born between
1946-1964 and they live to work. Then, Generation X – those born
between 1965 and about 1976. They work to live. And there’s a difference, right? This is exactly the opposite. I have experienced – I was 18 years old,
during the turbulent times of 1968 and the young people took to the streets. Just like we are seeing it, in part, today. Only back then, they were very militant,
they destroyed everything and caused a revolution and they wanted this anti-authoritarian education, and they were successful. And those kids from back then,
from 1968 – they are now parents themselves. And as parents, all we can
pass onto our children is what we received from our parents. Of course, we can still learn
or change certain things. I remember, when I was
in Germany around 2001/02, a German man showed me a paper, in which it said – the area in Germany where
the unemployment is highest – or was highest, back then – was in Essen. He showed us the situation there – most families consisted of a mother with 3-4 children
from 2-3 different fathers. The mother went to work, the children were
home alone because the fathers were elsewhere… doing I don’t know what. Anyway, from early in the morning, to late at night, these kids were
sitting in front of the TV. They only ate chips, or snacks – nothing substantial, you know? So, now you can imagine – they are now at an age where they can
have children of their own. So, imagine what
fruit they will harvest if the parents have this kind of attitude. In some cases, this is
the reality we have now. The millennials, the ones born 1977-93 and then Generation Z, they’re the ones who grew up with cell phones,
and Smartphone and all those things. And, well, they are now also growing up
and have children of their own. The tendency strongly indicates that… the architecture has changed. In Germany, most people are living in 1-bedroom apartments. In 2014, about 16 to 17 million households
were 1-bedroom apartments. And only about 10 million live in
apartments with 3 or more people. So the trend is going upwards. Just in the last few days
this was published in Switzerland – Swiss people are living alone. The tendency is very strong here as well,
that everyone has their own place. It also shows that the people of today
make a lot more money, and can afford to live alone like this. But they also entertain themselves. Have their own home movie theatre
and everything… It reminds me a little of where I used to live,
in a high-rise building. It was only 14 stories, it might not seem so today,
but back then it was quite high. And back then, there were many families
I never got to know. Hardly ever saw them, maybe
once every 3-4 years, in the elevator by accident, but I
didn’t even know their names. And yet we were all living in the same house. That shows – something here
is not quite right. Children of today
are often bullied by others. They feel like outsiders
and they… are under a lot of stress and have problems. Then the whole chaos of puberty starts,
where we really need friends, because we try to break free. And what has become
rather extreme lately is this so-called narcissism,
this Selfie generation. Who only think of themselves,
only see themselves. They see themselves as something
they really aren’t, right? But it’s this artificial world of Social Media. Instagram – everywhere. You never know – is this is a real picture, or has it been photoshopped? And people really aren’t happy
with how they look anymore. That’s the problem, they start
judging themselves and feeling other people are much better looking, or that other people are
living a much better life. And so the people isolate themselves
and have problems and step by step turn into outsiders, and then all those issues around
depression and stress arise. Let alone in old age, when the partner
is no longer there, has died or something – and you don’t have someone new. Many admit that they are too shy
to have another partner. Or they say, well, I don’t
get to know many new people. Simply this thinking – my demands
in terms of a partner are too high. They are simply set in their ways
and don’t want to change. Or they are in a professional position
where they seem to think they can’t. But they’re not really happy. Another interesting issue is empathy. Just being there for somebody. That has decreased significantly. This situation today – when someone is lying on the ground hurt – most people just walk past,
or many snap a quick picture on their phone, and just walk past, without helping. Or if someone is attacked,
if a woman is attacked – hardly anyone stops to help
and stands up for the other person. Dr Spitzer – and others too –
have found out – that this feeling of loneliness in the brain is activate – at this point. It has been discovered that
chronic pain, or pain in general –
is located at exactly the same point. And they found out if someone is in pain and a loved one, or a partner,
or a friend comes to visit – either in hospital, or just at home – that the pain is less severe. In some cases, they are
in significantly less pain. This was confirmed to me,
in situations I experienced with friends who were in pain. When I went to visit them – was simply there with them, that alone made them feel better and the pain decreased. It also works the other way –
if someone is in pain and you give them painkillers, the feeling of loneliness
will also be less severe. So, those things are really connected. So you can really pay attention
and also see – What can I do? What causes this pain? Or, if I also think of how much we can do
with our thoughts – for example, when I have pain in my knee,
I can change that. They conducted experiments
using placebos – in one group, they operated on the knee, and in the other group
they just pretended. That means they only drilled
two small holes, so the patients believed they’d performed an operation on the knee –
and the pain was gone. Even though there had been no operation. So, you can change a lot of things
immediately, that’s the beauty of it! We can change our genes within seconds. With our thoughts. They discovered, when someone
experienced pain and they showed them a
picture of their partner, the pain lessened. If you showed them a picture of
a stranger, there was no effect, and showing them
an object also didn’t help. It’s true – a partner or friend
can create this effect. He also talks about forest bathing. This is an interesting phenomenon. When you’re lonely –
and you go into the woods, on your own – the forest will heal you. Why is that so? That just goes to
show that the forest – and it should be as pristine
a forest as possible – not an artificial, constructed forest,
they do not have the same effect as a forest that has grown over
thousands of years with an entire network of connections. If you sit down in the forest and really use all your senses – your eyes, and you hear the birds singing, and inhale the scent, and become a part of the atmosphere – the loneliness disappears. And we get a feeling of order in ourselves, that allows us to heal cancer
or other diseases just by bathing in the forest. Once again we can see – nature can do everything. It shows us, nature has this order, and if we go into this order,
and we do so mindfully – don’t just walk off into the woods
and start thinking – oh, I must remember to make this payment and do this,
and I must make a phone call – then nothing will happen. But, if I am mindful of the elements,
and connect to everything with my senses – then it will happen. Even if I go alone. Hence this connection –
Body – mind – soul, to bring that into balance. Nature can help us
because it creates order. And it’s also what our bodies want. They are designed to do everything
to create this balance. So, when we have lost our balance,
and need to fix it – that creates stress. If this stress is chronic,
we have a problem, and we get sick. Bruce Lipton describes this beautifully
and he has also written a book – The Honeymoon Effect. So when we’re experiencing being in love,
these very substances – dopamine, oxytocin, vasopressin,
growth hormones – there’s growth, this is what is contained within us,
making us healthy. That’s why – when we’re in love,
we are also healthy, and then we have enough energy
and everything is just great. Whereas when we are afraid,
it’s stress, it’s these other chemicals, those stress hormones – cortisol, all those…
that eventually lead to inflammation, as Lukas Waldmann will show you later all these underlying causes. But Bruce Lipton also shows beautifully, how it works, if you
use your mind right. We perceive something,
with the mind, and then we project our interpretation back. So, let me mention
the nametag again – How do we see it? How do we interpret life? This influences the cells and determines – do we become healthy, or are we stressed and fall ill. All this happens with our interpretation. That’s why, if we want to change things, if we have old patterns, it’s not that easy. But, we CAN change things. If we want to, and if we’re patient enough, work on it and always remember
to focus on the new pattern. Because – everything is based on
the resonance principle. Where there is resonance – of any kind – something will happen. It’s possible to have resonance
that causes an explosion – you can make a glass break,
if you use the right resonance – for example, an opera singer can
make a glass break. Depending on the frequency. Our cells adapt. Our stem cells – depending on
where they go, where they are – if they’re in a muscle,
they turn into muscle cells. Or, if they are in a bone, then these
stem cells become bone cells. We are shown that the same
is true throughout the universe – from the smallest to the largest part. That’s why I was looking for this picture,
where it passes through all levels, always with the same pattern. We saw it last year
in Andreas Roesti’s presentation, who showed these fractals,
how everything has the same patterns…
it runs through everything. Now I’d like to share a story with you, that has everything we’ve been
talking about contained within. There is a place in Italy,
called Roseto. With R, not with G – Groseto. No – Roseto. In Valforte Italy, and there they lived like this, whole families together,
…in these two-family houses. Back in 1880, many were unemployed
and heard about America, how it was the country to be in
and so, they emigrated. And they created their own
community there. In the Pocono Mountains
they saw a landscape similar to the one that made them feel so at home in Italy. So, they built a second Roseto there. It was 1882. And soon, a young priest
named Pasquale de Nisco came and took charge of this community. He encouraged them
to grow crops, raise pigs, plant vineyards, and
start prayer circles, and also to organise various festivities. Because they came there as strangers, they worked hard to create a tightly-knit
community for themselves. Because in the surrounding towns…
they weren’t very popular. But, they implemented his ideas,
they built factories, this is the main street, Garibaldi Avenue,
and here they also built two-family houses, where
whole families lived together. This place was empty during the day,
because they all went to work, they were all in the factories. But, in the evening, when they returned home from the factory, they stopped on their way to sit with friends, hold conversations, drink a glass of wine and then they went home, changed their clothes and when the church bells rang this was the signal – Now we meet in the town square. The men arranged the tables and the chairs, while the women brought food from the kitchen and every evening
they had dinner together and shared their food
and maintained this lifestyle. In 1960, a doctor Dr Stewart Wolf, bought himself a
single-family house in the area, he was a physician. Once, he gave a talk there and subsequently got together
with other doctors practising in Roseto. They told him that hardly
any men under 65 years of age had heart disease.
Only speaking of the men. Nothing. During this time, America
was experiencing an epidemic of heart disease. He was quite surprised. And he wanted to know why,
so he conducted scientific research into why also the older people had
30-40% less diseases. Most of them just died
in peace of old age, and he just couldn’t explain it. At first, he thought it must be genetic. Then he found other people from Roseto,
who were living in other parts of the USA, but they had – like all average Americans –
their share of diseases, so it couldn’t lie in the genes. At first he thought –
Well, it must be the diet then. Olive oil. So, he looked at their diets,
what they ate, how they cooked. And he saw they didn’t have any money to buy olive oil. And they simply used lard
for frying food and – this wasn’t great news –
that most of them were smokers. And they were obese. And yet, they were so healthy. Until he finally discovered
and saw for himself, how they were living together. It is also been said that they had no incidents of rape or envy
or things like that. Because they really lived
together as a community. Harmoniously. In fact, their goal was to create
a better world for their children. But, a short time later, the young people
suddenly had more money. More money means
more opportunities, right? And some of them moved
further away, left town, maybe married a nice American woman
or nice American man, and because they suddenly
had more money, they bought their own home, a single-family house, with its own
swimming pool, and a nice fence around it … and they no longer did things together, as a community. They also arranged to meet
only over the phone, then TV was invented, so they spent
their evenings in front of the TV and ate their pizza at home. Not even 10 years went by, and some were already experiencing
heart disease aged 45. Also other diseases – until
they increased by 30-40% – that’s three times as much. For me, this is a classic example that shows how people,
when they adopt this lifestyle, how they become ill, and how
it really makes you sick. And how the other option, being together, being there for one another
and things like that – how that makes you happy. The lady who wrote this book – it’s also on the book table – it’s very exciting, I can
really recommend it to you. Mind over Medicine. She, as a doctor, noticed this… it’s not really a phenomenon – and I’ve asked myself the same question
while working in my practice. I see people, who watch what they eat,
they do sports, they’re good citizens and everything, don’t smoke and…
do everything by the book. And yet they have some chronic illness. And then there are others,
who smoke like chimneys, eat what they like, cheat on their partners and
do I don’t know what – and they are healthy. Then she… realized she had to change her perspective. She had to ask different questions. Because all these tests, these lab tests, didn’t show meaningful results. Instead, she asked questions – I’ll ask you some of questions,
if I can find them here… Is there something that prevents you
from living a life that aligns with your authentic, vital, true self? If so, what exactly is this something? Next question – What do you love and praise about yourself? What’s missing in your life? What do you value in your life? Is there a romantic partner in your life? If so – Are you happy? Do you find your work fulfilling? Do you feel that you are in harmony
with the true purpose of your life? Do you experience your sex life
as fulfilling? Either with your partner,
or on your own? Do you express your creativity? If yes, how? Do you feel your financial situation is stable, or is money a stress factor in your life? If a fairy godmother came along
and granted you one wish – what would it be? What rules do you follow,
that you would like to break? [Laughter] You’re laughing… but there are so many dogmas, so many imposed rules, …either by the church
or from somewhere else… that you’d like to break. Because some of them
don’t even make any sense. They have scientifically proven how much praying together, and singing together, and standing up for things together – how that promotes health. How it gives you hope. To not just stand up for
what is good on one’s own. As soon as we start
being there for each other, serving each other, we will be happy
and we will be healthy. This is from a doctor, this is
scientifically proven today. She was surprised
when her patients responded to her question: What do you think is the cause
of your problem? For your illness? She was very surprised. I don’t want to give you
too much detail, but… I highly recommend this book
“Mind over Medicine” as it reminded me again of
what incredible power lies within of us, in our minds. How we can work with it, in real life. And this is important, we can
directly implement change. And anyone can do it, it’s easy. Alright. My time is up. You now have the opportunity
to ask questions. [Applause]

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