Jesaja 40.- 64
Source: Jesaja 40 op Online-Bijbel.nl
”For those who consciously listen and hear, and for those who look beyond and see”
Someday “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess” that God’s ways are just and His plan is perfect.8 For you and me, let that day be today. Let us proclaim, with Jacob of old, “O how great the plan of our God!”9
Of this I testify in deep gratitude to our Heavenly Father, as I leave you my blessing, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
”’The union of the Condor and Eagle, according to the prophecy, should occur in this time. The ensuing time period will be born with a new spirit. This new spirit will unite once again the red nations of North, Central and South parts of the hemisphere.”;
Er zijn geen redenen over voor onzekerheid, angst etc…
De geweten blocks, en trauma’s en verdriet daar zal ik er voor je zijn!!!
Het is zelfs zo dat de nieuwe generatie regenboog natie kinderen in volledig bewustzijn, en gedefragmenteerd zijn. Daar komt alle heling en onvoorwaardelijke liefde en gewetens zuivering vandaan, als je niemand meer denkt te kunnen vertrouwen, dan zul je onherroepelijk vertrouwen en geborgenheid vinden bij de jonkies…. onderschat ze niet!!!! ”
“We’re doing what so many people told us we were incapable of doing: holding our leaders accountable for their disastrous and dangerous actions,” Martinez said. “I and my co-plaintiffs are demanding justice for our generation and justice for all future generations. This is going to be the trial of our lifetimes.”
# Jorn Jakob Albert Boor
If the download opens in Adobe Acrobat, to download the book, hit “File – Save As.”
December is usually a good time for me to get a few things done. Everyone’s busy shopping or beautifying the place and I’m here at the keyboard! Since we already put your early Christmas present (Financial Wayshowing and …
Source: A New Age Dawning
A New Age Dawning?: Coming to Terms with the New Age MovementDr Maurice Ryan, Senior Lecturer in Religious Education, Australian Catholic University, McAuley Campus, PO Box 247 Everton Park QLD 4053Encountering the New Age Movement
A number of recent commentators have pointed to a shift which has occurred in the Australian religious landscape over the past generation. Hilary Carey (1996) observes that, while religion has traditionally been a major determining factor in the lives of most Australians, this influence has been greatly lessened since 1960. Of the trends which she has observed occurring in Australia in the past three decades – increasing secularisation, the growth of Pentecostalism, and the increasing number of Christian sects – one of the most significant “has been the proliferation of alternative ways of believing associated with what is sometimes called the New Age” (Carey, 1996, p. 173). Gideon Goosen (1997) also has noticed the pervasive interest which some people are showing in the New Age Movement. Goosen wonders about what it is so many people are “searching for and what are they finding in this multifaceted movement? Obviously much that their local denominations are not providing. There is also a strand of dissatisfaction of many westerners with the rampant materialism in our society” (Goosen, 1997, p. 184). This growing Movement – scholars debate whether it is a cult, a sect or even a new religion (Peek & Tonti-Filippini, 1992, p. 223) – poses a number of challenges to established religious patterns in Western countries. Given its rising significance, religious educators require some context within which to examine the New Age Movement.
Religious educators will encounter the Movement in a number of ways: in the questions and statements of their students; in the life styles of their friends and colleagues; in the materials they use in their classroom teaching; and, even in the writings of some religious education theorists who have accepted some of the ideas of the New Age Movement and incorporated these in their published writings. The following discussion is designed to provide religious educators with information and perspective about this complex social phenomena. The table at the end of this paper lists some common practices which proponents of the New Age Movement advocate as the possible forms for seeking self-transformation.
Locating the New Age Movement
Because the New Age Movement is an eclectic social movement which encompasses a wide variety of forms, it is difficult to describe or define with accuracy and clarity. Attempts to generalise about core ideas and themes flounder amidst the diversity of interweaving strands which comprise the movement. It is best conceived as a constellation of ideas, practices, organisations and leaders which cohere around guiding themes and principles. The Movement can be likened to a series of criss-crossing threads rather than a single, formally structured organisation. At heart, its aims are noble: the attainment of personal health, happiness, meaning to life and the redemption of the global community. The term “New Age” can be traced to the writings of Alice A. Bailey in the 1920s, although the sources of the movement can be found in a variety of forms dating back to antiquity. While the contemporary New Age Movement draws inspiration from these ancient sources – and is in this sense not new – the most proximate foundation of the Movement was the counter-cultural groups of the 1960s.
The New Age Movement owes its impetus to the people who congregated in places such as the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California, where in the 1960s psychotherapists, artists, scientists, and others gathered to create a movement to develop “human potential”. In other places around the world, such as Findhorn in Scotland, and Nimbin in northern New South Wales, people gathered to reject dominant modes of Western cultural life and to discover alternatives in communes, networks, and groups living in harmony with the earth. In part, these groups formed in reaction to upheavals and disconnecting influences experienced in the Western liberal democracies during the turbulent 1960s. Many of those who had attempted to change the world through political action and demonstration, turned instead to an inward search and a reconnection to the earth. The perceived failure of committed social involvement and political action to heal the ruptures of the Western world resolved itself for many in attempts to heal themselves and establish an alternative life style which would eventually bring about a change in social and political structures.
Contemporary Sources of the New Age Movement
While the New Age Movement is a product of the late 1960s and 1970s, many themes and ideas upon which it draws date back to antiquity, as well as to the scientific revolution of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. For inspiration and ideological support, New Agers look to sources other than those which underpin dominant cultural values. These sources are varied and diverse; no one source could be said to be foundational for New Age thinking. Taken together, these sources represent a challenge to the dominant scientific and rational thought forms which have characterised modeern Western cultures.
Astrology has provided a guiding metaphor for the New Age Movement. Astrology teaches that evolution is cyclical. Approximately every 2,100 years, due to the “precession of the equinoxes” the earth appears to move backwards from one sign of the zodiac to another. Precise estimates of dates and times vary between astrologers, but it is generally accepted that the Age of Pisces is ending and the Age of Aquarius is about to dawn, ushering in a period of human harmony, mutual understanding and spiritual growth due to an integration of the masculine and feminine, which is co-operative, non-violent and intuitive. This is in contrast to the Piscean era of confusion and pursuit of material profit due to a reliance upon rational, Newtonian, capitalistic, competitive, violent, left-brained, masculine, and materialistic ways of thought and action. The idea of a new age dawning in human history and the metaphor of Aquarius have been adopted by many New Agers as central symbols of a time of transformation which is presently occurring.
Along with this shift in the astrological realm, some New Age thinkers have described a transformation in the psychological and spiritual realms. This notion is described as a paradigm shift and is promoted by New Agers as a way of understanding the dramatic change which they are experiencing. The notion of a paradigm was popularised by Thomas Kuhn in a work titled, The structure of scientific revolutions, in which he described paradigms as “universally recognized scientific achievements that for a time provide model problems and solutions to a community of practitioners” (Kuhn, 1970, p. viii). According to Kuhn, these interpretive patterns or paradigms strongly guide the community of practitioners in the methods, objects and outcomes of their investigation of problems or puzzles. Ultimately, however, a crisis is brought about in the community when new discoveries force a shift to a more comprehensive, embracing paradigm. Examples of similar revolutionary shifts have been associated with figures such as Copernicus and Galileo. New Agers argue that a paradigm shift is currently underway in the scientific community. A belief in shifting paradigms has a number of consequences for New Agers.
One consequence is an interest in the so-called New Physics. Contemporary physicists, such as Fritjof Capra, Paul Davies and Stephen Hawking, have taken up themes explored earlier this century by some physicists who postulated new ideas about space, time, mind and matter and brought a fresh focus to foundational questions about the beginning of the universe. They argue that the notion of the universe proposed by the scientists of the Enlightenment is inadequate for a full contemporary understanding of reality. Newtonian science taught that the universe is a collection of fundamentally separate objects. The New Physics proposes that inter-relationship and connectedness is the guiding characteristic of the universe: all created matter is involved in a complex web of relations between the various parts. The writings of many of these scientists can sometimes sound like an amalgam of scientific theorising and description, poetry and spiritual reflection (Edwards, 1992).
Another consequence is the sense that this paradigm shift is being experienced in all forms of human knowledge, especially medicine and the healing professions, the social sciences – especially psychology – and in the patterns of community organisation. Significant sources for New Agers on these issues are the writings of psychologists, C.G. Jung and Carl Rogers. The shifting paradigm means that previous divisions between disciplines and forms of knowledge are no longer relevant. New ways of knowing and acting need to be discovered to account for this shift. Every aspect of daily life will be affected by this paradigm shift.
Adherents of the New Age Movement criticise the predominant paradigm introduced into Western cultures by the Enlightenment. The Enlightenment world view is characterised by New Agers as replete with dualistic thinking, an over-reliance upon critical reason, and an excessive commitment to prediction and control offered by the scientific method. New Agers assert the primacy of reflective contemplation and sacred mystery over technical rationality. Against the Enlightenment notion of dualism and rationality, the New Age asserts the unity of all creation (Gascoigne, 1992, p. 27). New Agers believe in:
An impersonal divine energy or principle which undergirds all that exists, from which everything, including human beings, has been derived, and in which everything participates. It is this affirmation of the ultimate as a divine pattern and force (instead of a personal deity) which gives rise to the belief that each person is god or, more precisely, each person is essentially divine. The New Age ideology precludes a belief in a personal saviour such as Christians believe Jesus to be (Melton, Clark & Kelly, 1990, pp. 113-114).This unified view of all creation leads to a conviction that humans have many levels of consciousness, even though most people operate at the lower levels for most of the time. The guiding concern becomes, therefore, to awaken the higher consciousness which is possessed by each individual. With this awakening will come the achievement of the goal of human life: individual transformation. Of necessity, the New Age Movement stresses individuality, with multiple and loose relations between adherents. Because there are many paths to the one truth, the media for experiencing individual transformation are varied. New Agers might begin their transformation with an experience of re-birthing, meditation, astrology, crystal therapy, macrobiotic dieting, aromatherapy, massage, communication with a disembodied entity through a channel, or by means of spiritual guidance from a guru. Each individual is encouraged to explore a wide range of experiences until they find their preferred form for achieving their higher consciousness and personal transformation.
Ancient Sources of New Age Thinking
The New Age Movement seeks inspiration and ideas from ancient sources as well as the moderns. The wisdom of the ages, especially that wisdom drawn from esoteric, non-rationalist movements and thinkers is valued by New Agers. This retrieval of some of the traditions of antiquity has led many observers to point to the “old age” foundations of the “new age”.
One such tradition retrieved by the New Age Movement is gnosticism, the description given to the ideas of a variety of groups which had their genesis in the early Christian centuries. The majority Christian communities rejected gnostic groups as heretics, repudiating their claims to be searching for hidden spiritual knowledge through astrology and the alleged secret doctrines of Jesus Christ. This secret knowledge, according to the gnostics, was what saved a person rather than correct moral conduct or faith in Christ. Gnostic belief, as it is formulated in the New Age Movement, is an assertion that the initiative for redemption or salvation primarily comes from humanity rather than as a gift from God. Truth and knowledge about the higher worlds is possible by making contact with one’s innate divinity.
The medieval practice of alchemy – the craft of purifying metals – is another source of ideas and has provided the Movement with a number of metaphors. Those practitioners of alchemy in the Middle Ages who possessed a more philosophical and mystical dimension saw within their craft the possibility of a wider insight: the transformation of humanity from a leaden, impure state to a golden, pure condition in which it would be able to attain the Philosopher’s Stone or the Pearl of Great Wisdom.
A more recent source is Theosophy, a title constructed from the Greek which literally means “God wisdom”. The movement, known as the Theosophical Society, was established by Madam Blavatsky and Colonel Olcott in 1875. Its aim was to establish a universal ethic and promote the latent powers of the human soul. It drew on a range of world religions, particularly Buddhism and Hindu mysticism. While distinct from the New Age Movement, Theosophy has been a fruitful source of ideas for New Agers.
Belief in unitary consciousness links the New Age Movement with a variety of religious and philosophical systems upon which it draws to understand the social and historical shift which is presently occurring. One of these links is with animist or nature religions which see the whole created order as alive with spirits or divinities which inhabit the environment. This interest in animism leads New Agers to a regard for the religions of Native Americans and other indigenous cultures. Categories of interpretation and meaning characteristic of these religions find their way into the literature of the New Age Movement. New Agers value the capacity of many indigenous peoples to live in harmony with nature. Partly because the New Age Movement is most prominent in the United States, the spirituality of Native American communities has been given the greatest attention in New Age literature. The following Navajo song is indicative of the texts which are given prominence:
The thoughts of the earth are my thoughts.
The voice of the earth is my voice.
All that belongs to the earth belongs to me.
All that surrounds the earth surrounds me.
It is lovely indeed; it is lovely indeed (Millikan & Drury, 1991, p. 35).
Related to the interest of New Agers in primal religions is a concern for the insights and consequences of some aspects of feminist thought. Hilary Carey (1996) has described how these so-called post-Christian spiritualities have flourished:
Inspired by feminist spiritual writers such as Starhawk, Mary Daly and Rosemary Radford Ruether, post Christian spiritualites embraced a grand narrative which saw personal enlightenment and the potential for world peace to lie in the re-awakening of primal, usually female, energies. Favoured names for what were perceived to be the original spiritual forces of the planet were borrowed from native American, Indian, Celtic and Aboriginal sources and included Mother Earth, Gaia, Byamee or simply, the Goddess (1996, p. 179).Levels of Involvement in the New Age Movement
The New Age Movement differs from most other cultural movements in that there is no central headquarters, recognised significant leader, nor pattern of association. In fact, networks and loose associations characterise the organisation. Mailing lists are more likely to identify and link adherents than general gatherings or popular ritual celebrations. As with any religious or social movement, not all adherents share the same depth or kind of involvement. Adherents of the New Age Movement hold varying ideas about the aims and nature of the movement as well as about appropriate forms of involvement. The central idea which unites New Agers is an experience of transformation. New Agers have either experienced or are diligently seeking a profound personal transformation from an old unacceptable life to a new, exciting future. To various extents, New Agers have repudiated formerly held orthodoxies. Having experienced a personal transformation, they project the possibility of transformation onto all humanity. The Movement is animated by the hope and affirmation that a New Age is imminent, emerging in this generation. Within this general orientation, it is possible to distinguish a number of levels of involvement.
At a simple level, involvement in the New Age Movement could be confined to reading New Age books and magazines, or to wearing New Age jewellery or clothing. Some are attracted to the Movement by the promise of an alternative to traditional ways of life. The wearing of certain clothes and the use of new terms and speech patterns can mark a transition from previous patterns of life for many people. Included in this level of involvement are those who attend the multitude of prosperity consciousness workshops and training sessions designed to “empower”, “energise”, and “unleash the inner wisdom” in order to attain material success, especially in the business world. From the outside, the New Age Movement viewed at this level can seem glossy, commercial and materialistic. Indeed, many of those who remain attached to the New Age Movement at this level of involvement attract condemnation and disregard from fellow New Agers for the shallowness of their approach and their perversion of the ideals of the Movement. The claim is made that these people do not see the movement as a means of spiritual progress, but more as a way of financial prosperity. In defence of this attitude, some claim that material prosperity and spiritual enlightenment are compatible and desirable. Phil Laut (1989), author of the book, Money is my friend, argues that prosperity is a viable path to higher consciousness:
Having a prosperity consciousness enables you to function easily and effortlessly in the material world. The material world is God’s world, and you are God being you. If you are experiencing pleasure and freedom and abundance in your life, then you are expressing you true spiritual nature. And the more spiritual you are, the more you deserve prosperity (Laut, 1989, p. 14).Evidence of deeper levels of involvement in the New Age Movement can be seen in people who pursue an interest in holistic healing. New Age healing practices build on the premise of the multi-dimensionality of human personality. New Agers perceive much of the disharmony in the human body as an outcome of emotional, mental and spiritual disease. It is not sufficient merely to treat the symptoms of this fundamental disease; proper treatment requires a healing of the individual’s spiritual malaise. The distinctive contribution of New Age ideas to modern thinking on disease and cure is the assertion that:
There are “cosmic forces” available for healing, and that these forces may be called upon and utilized with very great benefit not only for individuals but for the healing of the nations, by those who are spiritually “attuned” to this reality (Spink, 1991, p. 42).Beyond these levels of involvement in a range of New Age practices, some New Agers may live out their commitment to personal transformation by abandoning the suburbs for life on a communal farm or in closer relationship with the land. These people incorporate the core beliefs and attitudes of the New Age Movement in their daily lives and strive to discover alternative forms of social organisation. Those New Agers who share a deeper level of involvement in the New Age Movement argue that, while the quest for transformation is necessarily individual, global transformation will occur when a “critical mass” of individuals experiences transformation. In this way, New Agers are able to defend themselves against the accusation of excessive personal concern to the neglect of social or communal involvement.
The prevalence of the New Age Movement supports the contention that the turn to the self in the spiritual journey has never been stronger in the Western liberal democracies. In ever increasing numbers, it appears that members of the Christian Churches are turning to the ideas and practices of the New Age Movement to sustain their religious quest. This is evident in the way that New Age writers infuse secular language with spiritual meaning and possibility. The heavy reliance on words such as synergistic, holistic, unity, oneness, transformation, personal growth, human potential, awakening, networking, and consciousness which describe the mission and shape of the Movement, imbue common experiences with religious possibilities. Embedded, also, in this kind of language is the promise, or at least the hope, in a better world about to happen.
Religious educators who wish to understand the New Age Movement must come to terms with its eclecticism; the Movement draws upon a wide range of sources and operates at a variety of levels of commitment. Furthermore, members of the Movement claim much in explaining its significance and function in contemporary culture: it is a spiritual quest; a way of capitalist expansion and profit; a means of enlightenment for organisational managers and those interested in self-improvement; as well as a new social movement which will thoroughly transform the existing order. The New Age Movement is fuelled by a growing disillusionment with Western technocratic society and a suspicion that modern people have lost the knowledge of how to live with dignity and grace. The hope for a better world is often directed away from the real world of disillusion or despair and instead toward either the private world of each individual, or beyond into the cosmos. The promise of reclaiming previously rejected forms of knowledge to respond to this challenge is attracting increasing numbers of people. Religious educators will be among those most able to observe the impact and implications of the New Age Movement.
An A-Z of New Age Practices and Interests
Acupuncture Ambient music Aroma therapy Astrology Aura balancing Bach Flower Remedies Bioenergetics Channelling Chiropractic Conflict resolution Creative visualisation Crystal therapy Dream analysis Energy conservation Environmental awareness Feldenkrais “Awareness through movement” Float tanks Fortune telling Gestalt Therapy Holistic health Holotropic Breath Therapy Macrobiotic dieting Massage Meditation Near death experiences Numerology Osteopathy Past-life recall Personality type indicators: Myers-Briggs Prosperity consciousness
Prophetic predictions, such as Nostradamus Re-birthing Reichian Therapy Reincarnation Relationships training Rolfing Self-actualisation Shamans
Silva Mind Control Spiritual gurus Tarot cards Unidentified Flying Objects Waste recycling Yoga Zen meditation
Carey, H. (1996). Believing in Australia: A cultural history of religions. St. Leonards: Allen & Unwin.Christianity and the new age. In J. Gordon Melton, Jerome Clark, & Aidan Kelly. (Eds.). (1990). The new age encyclopedia. Detroit: Gale Research, pp. 113-114.
Edwards, D. (1992). Made from stardust: Exploring the place of human beings within creation. North Blackburn: CollinsDove.
Gascoigne, R. (1992). Contemporary culture and the communication of the gospel. Australian Catholic Record, 69 (1), pp. 24-33.
Goosen, G. (1997). Religion in Australian culture: An anthropological view. Homebush: St. Pauls Publications.
Kuhn, T. (1970). The structure of scientific revolutions. Second edition. Enlarged. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Laut, P. (1989). Money is my friend. Cincinnati: Vivation.
Millikan D., & Drury, N. (1991). Worlds apart? Christianity and the new age. Crows Nest: ABC Books.
Peek, L., & Tonti-Filippini, N. (1992). Some trends in religious affiliation, cults and sects in Australia. Australasian Catholic Record, 69 (2), pp. 222-239.
Spink, P. (1991). A Christian in the new age. London: Darton, Longman and Todd.
God is a family, indeed a growing family, presently comprising two divine beings, the Father and Christ the firstborn, yet ultimately to be joined by a vast multitude of others.
Source: The Family of God
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
The meaning of life by Jorn Jakob Albert Boor
This Poem I write to you, are you troubled by silent questions?
Still aware, that spoken questions deserve answers, followed by actions?
The biggest question we have, deserves the world, the worth, to put it in words?
Again some week answer? And hide away, silently remembering historical hurts?
Did life won the feared battle from us individually, and us all?
In the ‘’flock of sheep’’ we feel save, with courage so small.
Standing alone in silence, self decision making seems rough?
Just make the decision, in the end you will feel tough enough.
Visualizing the wall so high, the border so far, even to scared while imagining!
Imagining building inner trust, strength and pride that will be never ending!
Where the trigger does should come from, something needed to start,
Will we be waiting for the bomb, as that power provides, will awaken our hart?
The world showed his errors, examples, way too big or too small.
Everything what states ’too’’ will be a too big responsibility? Again excusing us weakened all?
The mindset we are having, the excuses from weakness we’ll make.
Not teaching us to stand strong while we are forced on steps to take.
Humans think often, the world is too much to take.
Do we use survival instinct, when that world is at stake?
Now with some details, I will show the irony in this.
Walking by, around real essentials, and leave them as it is….
We must look different to needed changes, cultures and mindsets heading for the cliffs and loose.
The roots of the problem measured, we’ll brainstorm for solutions from which together! we will choose.
Troubleshooting, attitude and believes, core reactors make it happen, you’ll see.
Opens different kinds of doors, for the lonely life changer the entrance to be?
As stepping out of the box at first, loneliness is part of the challenge.
Need an example? You will find in the movies, visuals will help with the balance.
As you may choose the right, but difficult path
You‘ll be tested mentally, trust will recognize the value in it, you should now that.
Believing is the keyword; you don’t need a religion for that?
Believing is you! That pure feeling inside! No world war started from that.
Can we stand still, could a simple poem stand a difference..?
No! It will be the reader who breaks down his offence.
Important is that it is able to trigger what’s already there!
It’s already in everybody’s hart; yes, you will get the credits! That would only be fair.
Poem by Jorn Boor '' In the eye of the beholder '' The path of life I will walk, slowly I will grow old Along this road I stumble, throughout the years in which I unfold Insecurity's hold me, only strong tough.. in my past before Skill & faith... I use my tool set, to build my fundamental inner core Passing phases of moving progression, through my moments of thought Life's happiness I treasure in full, it's the ingredient for which I fought I mature through life element's, painful encounters bring hard challenges for sure My mind is set on self realization, which is destined to hold ones cure. I like to run, I love to play, fight through all of my dislikes. As long as I am still aging, I stay determinate to gain insights Triggers, traps, challenges.. I won't give in, I will not be afraid. Life's disadvantages I need to handle, so in the end I can set them straight I let my inner soul control my destiny, I focus, I pay attention I'll grow responsible, I create happiness within this true intention. Birth intended I feel blessed to live, I must shine each single day I hold in mind to respect my life, I choose to live it in my own way. I stand up for all of my choices, of which I am allowed to make. Otherwise I am not able to die in peace, I can't allow that my soul is fake. Frustration towards Human Race, I feel the truth is loosing ground One day I trigger the alarm, to your convenience I will let it sound I'll be my own friend, the bond I create within will set me free Maybe it doesn't mean to you that much for now, but in the end you'll agree Hiding is the key for failure, in the end I will regret I enjoy thunder, the lightings and rain, cleansed air is the result which I expect. Faith is creating a gift we handout ourselves, it leads us towards alignment My environment is a product of me, accomplished... so i can die in contentment. Jorn Boor, Johannesburg SA Date: 26-10-11
Copyright © Jorn J.A. Boor | Year Posted 2011
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.
|Current region||New York City, New York; Charleston, West Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Little Rock, Arkansas; United States|
|Place of origin||Germany|
|Connected families||McCormick family
The Rockefeller family /ˈrɒkəfɛlər/ is an American industrial, political, and banking family that made one of the world’s largest fortunes in the oil business during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, with John D. Rockefeller and his brother William Rockefeller primarily through Standard Oil. The family is also known for its long association with and control of Chase Manhattan Bank. They are considered to be one of the most powerful families, if not the most powerful family, in the history of the United States.
One of the founding members of the Rockefeller family was businessman William Rockefeller Sr. born in Granger, New York, to a Protestant family. He had six children with his first wife Eliza Davison, the most prominent of which were oil tycoons John Davison Rockefeller and William Rockefeller, co-founders of Standard Oil. Oil baron John D. Rockefeller was a devout Northern Baptist, and he supported many church-based institutions.
The family was heavily involved in numerous real estate construction projects in the U.S. during the 20th century. Chief among them:
Beginning with John Sr., the family has been a major force in land conservation. Over the generations, it has created more than 20 national parks and open spaces, including the Cloisters, Acadia National Park, Forest Hill Park, the Nature Conservancy, the Rockefeller Forest in California’s Humboldt Redwoods State Park (the largest stand of old-growth redwoods), and Grand Teton National Park, among many others. John Jr., and his son Laurance (and his son Laurance Jr. aka Larry) were particularly prominent in this area.
The family was honored for its conservation efforts in November 2005, by the National Audubon Society, one of America’s largest and oldest conservation organizations, at which over 30 family members attended. At the event, the society’s president, John Flicker, notably stated: “Cumulatively, no other family in America has made the contribution to conservation that the Rockefeller family has made”.
The family has been awarded the annual UNA-USA’s Global Leadership Award, along with other recipients over time, including Bill Clinton and Michael Bloomberg. Members of the Rockefeller family into the fourth generation (especially the prominent banker and philanthropist David Rockefeller, who is the present family patriarch) have been heavily involved in international politics, and have donated money to, established or been involved in the following major international institutions:
The Rockefeller Archive Center, an independent foundation that was until 2008 a division of Rockefeller University, is a vast three-story underground bunker built below the Martha Baird Rockefeller Hillcrest mansion on the family estate at Pocantico (see Kykuit). Along forty-foot-long walls of shelves on rails, maintained by ten full-time archivists, is the entire repository of personal and official papers and correspondence of the complete family and its members, along with historical papers of its numerous foundations, as well as other non-family philanthropic institutions. These include: the Commonwealth Fund, Charles E. Culpeper Foundation, Lucille P. Markey Charitable Trust, and the John and Mary R. Markle Foundation.
In total, it holds over 70 million pages of documents and contains the collections of forty-two scientific, cultural, educational and philanthropic organizations.
Only the expurgated records of deceased family members are publicly available to scholars and researchers; all records pertaining to living members are closed to historians. However, as Nelson Rockefeller‘s researcher, Cary Reich, discovered, in the case of Nelson’s voluminous 3,247 cubic feet (91.9 m3) of papers, only about one-third of these files had been processed and released to researchers up to 1996. He reports that it will be many years before all the papers will be open to the public, despite Nelson’s having died in 1979.
The Center maintains that this repository of records, covering 140-plus years of the records of the family, in addition to non-Rockefeller philanthropic collections, gives unique insights into United States and world issues and social developments in both the 19th and 20th centuries.
Records in the collection are available up until only the early 1960s, generally 1961. Major subjects in the collection include:
The combined wealth of the family – their total assets and investments plus the individual wealth of its members – has never been known with any precision. The records of the family archives relating to both the family and individual members’ net worth are closed to researchers.
From the outset, and even today, the family’s wealth has been under the complete control of the male members of the dynasty, through the family office. Despite strong-willed wives who had influence over their husbands’ decisions—such as the pivotal female figure Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, wife of Junior—in all cases they received allowances only and were never given even partial responsibility for the family fortune.
Much of the wealth has been locked up in the notable family trust of 1934 (which holds the bulk of the fortune and matures on the death of the fourth generation), and the trust of 1952, both administered by Chase Bank, the corporate successor to Chase Manhattan Bank. These trusts have consisted of shares in the successor companies to Standard Oil and other diversified investments, as well as the family’s considerable real estate holdings. They are administered by a powerful trust committee that oversees the fortune.
Management of this fortune today also rests with professional money managers who oversee the principal holding company, Rockefeller Financial Services, which controls all the family’s investments, now that Rockefeller Center is no longer owned by the family. The present chairman is David Rockefeller Jr.
In 1992, it had five main arms:
In September 2014, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced it will divest its investments in fossil fuel companies. In March 2015, the chair of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund stated the two conclusions science lead the Fund to arrive at, one that “it’s immoral to continue down the fossil fuel path”, and secondly that it is “financially imprudent to stay invested in companies whose profits depend on defying … the international effort to restrain climate change.”
Over the generations the family members have resided in some notable historic homes. A total of 81 Rockefeller homes are on the National Register of Historic Places. Not including all homes owned by the five brothers, some of the more prominent of these are:
A trademark of the dynasty over its 140-plus years has been the remarkable unity it has maintained, despite major divisions that developed in the late 1970s, and unlike other wealthy families such as the Du Ponts and the Mellons. A primary reason has been the lifelong efforts of “Junior” to not only cleanse the name from the opprobrium stemming from the ruthless practices of Standard Oil, but his tireless efforts to forge family unity even as he allowed his five sons to operate independently. This was partly achieved by regular brothers and family meetings, but it was also because of the high value placed on family unity by first Nelson and John III, and later especially with David.
The combined personal and social connections of the various family members are vast, both in America and throughout the world, including the most powerful politicians, royalty, public figures, and chief businessmen. Notable figures through Standard Oil alone have included Henry Flagler and Henry H. Rogers. Contemporary figures include Henry Kissinger, Nelson Mandela, Richard Parsons (Chairman and CEO of Time Warner), C. Fred Bergsten, Peter G. Peterson (Senior Chairman of the Blackstone Group), and Paul Volcker.
In 1991 the family was presented with the Honor Award from the National Building Museum for four generations worth of preserving and creating some of the U.S.’s most important buildings and places. David accepted the award on the family’s behalf. The ceremony coincided with an exhibition on the family’s contributions to the built environment, including John Sr.’s preservation efforts for the Hudson River Palisades, the restoration of Williamsburg, Virginia, construction of Rockefeller Center, and Governor Nelson’s efforts to construct low- and middle-income housing in New York state.
John Jr., through his son Nelson, purchased and then donated the land upon which sits the UN headquarters, in New York, in 1946. Earlier, in the 1920s, he had also donated a substantial amount towards the restoration and rehabilitation of major buildings in France after World War I, such as the Rheims Cathedral, the Fontainebleau Palace and the Palace of Versailles, for which he was later (1936) awarded France’s highest decoration, the Grand Croix of the Legion d’Honneur (subsequently also awarded decades later to his son, David Rockefeller).
He also funded the notable excavations at Luxor in Egypt, as well as establishing a Classical Studies School in Athens. In addition, he provided the funding for the construction of the Palestine Archaeological Museum in East Jerusalem – the Rockefeller Museum.
The members of the Rockefeller family are noted for their philanthropy; a Rockefeller Archive Center study in 2004 documents an incomplete list of 72 major institutions that the family has created and/or endowed up to the present day. Historically, the major focus of their benefactions have been in the educational, health and conservation areas.
Family leaders in both philanthropy and business have included John D. Sr., John D. Jr. (“Junior”), John D. III, Laurance, and David, who is the family’s current patriarch. Several family members have held high public office, including Vice President of the United States (Nelson Rockefeller), United States Senator (Jay Rockefeller), state governor (Nelson, Jay, and Winthrop Rockefeller), and lieutenant governor (Winthrop Paul Rockefeller). Another noted family member was Michael Rockefeller, son of Nelson Rockefeller, an anthropologist who came to media attention after he was presumed killed in New Guinea in 1961.
The corporate, financial, and personal affairs of the family – numbering around 150 blood relatives of John D. Rockefeller – are run from the family office, Room 5600, known officially as “Rockefeller Family and Associates”. It comprises three floors of the GE Building in Rockefeller Center; all private family legal matters are handled by the family-associated New York law firm of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Room 5600 is also the base of the current family historian, Peter J. Johnson, who assisted with David Rockefeller‘s Memoirs, published in 2002.
To distinguish the generations and facilitate communication, the fourth generation is generically known as “The Cousins” (24 in all, with 21 still living) and the younger family members are known as the “Fifth/Sixth” generation. Many if not all of these family members are involved in institutionalised philanthropic pursuits. Family links are solidified through the practice of ritualised family meetings – which started with the regular “brothers’ meetings” held in Room 5600 or in their respective private residences, beginning in 1945. Family get-togethers are held today at the “Playhouse“, in the Westchester County family estate of Pocantico, in June (the “cousins weekend”) and December of each year (see Kykuit).
The total number of blood relative descendants as of 2006 is about 150.
An article in the New York Times in 1937 stated that William Rockefeller had, at that time, 28 great-grandchildren.
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