january 2019 – goodnews editorial

Do we have to feel guilty because we are «destroying everything», foremost the climate and nature? Because man has mercilessly exploited all things natural for as long as we can remember? Because we all consume and exploit? Because we have still not made the political our private affair and, as a human collective, are not taking any essential measures to finally adapt our lifestyle to the planetary reality? At present we can only comfort ourselves with the fact that good often emerges from bad and that there is also such a thing as «happy guilt» or felix culpa. The Catholic term means that negative circumstances can lead to positive outcomes, and we may thus transform our guilt. And that – as in Taoism – there would be no better without the bad. My greatest wish: that in the coming year we will adapt ourselves more to the needs of Mother Earth.

I wish you a Happy New Year!
Susanne G. Seiler

What is stronger

what is stronger
than the human heart
which shatters over and over
and still lives

Rupi Kaur

dezember 2018 – goodnews editorial

Many things exist in the sacred realm of the holy. It starts with habits held high, followed by cows, mackerels, crap and rollers. For many nature is the holy grail though when it comes to being properly responsible for the holy and sublime, we think of God and his heavenly and earthly helpers, the angels and the saints. Then there are those to whom nothing is sacred and their meeker companions, the sanctimonious, who only act as if. Most of us would like to be at least a little holy, the holy and the whole being siblings. Except for a few libertines, who feel compelled to be as unholy as possible at every turn. Holiness cannot be purchased, wholeness only approached. Ultimately, we have to measure ourselves against ourselves: How whole am I? Will we ever know?

A reflective winter season to you!
Susanne G. Seiler

Winter Poem

once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved
it so much and i kissed
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower

Nikki Giovanni

november 2018 – goodnews editorial

Everyone has probably wondered what happiness and joy are made of. Likewise, what brings us to affirm life, sometimes against all odds. Fortunately, we have our daily little pleasures, our achievements and successes to push us forward. Our families, friends and loved ones may support us, but there is also a compelling inner force, our life instinct, that keeps us going. Furthermore, we live from our memories of the beautiful and sublime and of the all good times we had. As a rule, they distinguish themselves more than the not so good things that have happened to us. Thus we have reason to be grateful because all these factors contribute to our happiness and satisfaction. The weather is also a decisive element, whether we feel good or bad and promotes our joie de vivre. (We are experiencing a golden autumn this year, at least in the part of Europe where our goodnews are at home.) Ultimately, however, our attitude counts the most. So let us remain positive!

Confidently Yours
Susanne G. Seiler

Sonnet 73

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.

William Shakespeare

october 2018 – goodnews editorial

Are you old? (How old is old?) Still young? U30? And how does it feel? Do you try to enhance yourself or are you happy when everything about you stays the same, give or take a little with the passing years? If you believe in improvement, there is a lot to be done, and there are many ways to beautify and strengthen the body while achieving an ever more mindful and intelligent headspace, paired with a benevolent attitude towards the rest of the world. We all know that whole industries profit from these constraints but we cannot refrain from «working» on ourselves, in order to reach optimal capacity and contentment. Fall is here, the season when it becomes more difficult to stay fit without artificial means. I am pleading for more coziness, less effort and lots of heartiness. Will there be a day when we are no longer allowed to have weaknesses?

Susanne G. Seiler

After the Sea-Ship

After the Sea-Ship – after the whistling winds;
After the white-gray sails, taut to their spars and ropes,
Below, a myriad, myriad waves, hastening, lifting up their necks,
Tending in ceaseless flow toward the track of the ship:
Waves of the ocean, bubbling and gurgling, blithely prying,
Waves, undulating waves – liquid, uneven, emulous waves,
Toward that whirling current, laughing and buoyant, with curves,
Where the great Vessel, sailing and tacking, displaced the surface.

Walt Whitman 

september 2018 – goodnews editorial

What do you think about the rising temperatures and sea levels? About the raging fires, and the furnaces that are our cities in the summer? About the brown fields, parks and gardens? The wilting crops, the slaughtered cattle, the dying fish? The suffering elderly? Does that sound like the Seven Plagues to you or should we wait for locusts? And is the world at large in denial? Our planet is rapidly changing, faster than anyone expected. The prognoses, extrapolations, calculations, predictions, projections, forecasts and visions of our scientists are surpassed on a daily basis. Keeping cool has never been more important. We, as a species, are richer, healthier and more secure than ever before but our summers will hardly get colder, our urgent problems won’t go away all by themselves. We have work to do so let’s shrink our lifestyles, recycle our belongings, simplify our habits. Now.

Reduced yours,
Susanne G. Seiler

memo to lowry

You’re right, there are grotesques who shine
a dark light that lures us like how the sirens
tried to lure Odysseus, and yes, maybe we
ourselves are among the grotesques, but
there are also the beautiful who, if we’re
lucky, save us from ourselves, and validate
the sun’s light, and maybe also the moon’s.

Matthew Sweeney

august 2018 – goodnews editorial

The city, with its multitudes, its noise and its thrash has become obsolete for many, like before, when hippies strove back to nature and founded their country communes, no money but high expectations. The city has become obsolete, and it is easier than ever to leave now, laptop in one arm, child in the other, belongings in a rented truck. Nature beckons and greens, and when it gets cold, an airplane is waiting to fly us to warmer skies. Those fleeing the city are hoping for more time and community out in the country, for fewer distractions, less commerce and less plastic. And when in dearth of culture, their car soon takes them back to where they came from for a day or two. Just that nature grows less wholesome that way unless we become more natural ourselves and live with the earth rather than only out of town. I hope you will have a chance to leave the city now and then during this hot summer. And that your harvest will be plentiful should you already live close to the land.
On 17 August, it will be two years since Dieter Hagenbach left us. We miss him.

With warm summer wishes,
Susanne G. Seiler


his approach
to love he said
was that of a farmer
most love like
hunters and like
hunters most kill
what they desire
he tills
soil through toes
nose in the wet
earth he waits
prays to the gods
and slowly harvests
ever thankful

Suheir Hammad

july 2018 – goodnews editorial

One of the most important responsibilities we all share is the responsibility to be truthful – in our public life, in our relationships with others and most of all in our relationship with ourselves. While THE TRUTH is a shifty notion, an authentic attitude is not. We need this honest approach more than ever today, and most of all we need it in the media. It is not only sad to witness newspapers, TV stations and social media promote the falsehoods known as fake news, it is equally embarrassing to see how they advance a culture of squirming commiseration or puffing outrage, leading to already marginalised groups being „infantilised by a culture of victimhood and offence-taking.“ (Dorian Lynski). Especially in the tabloids influencing „the masses,” readers are told what to think rather than being helped to form their own opinion. But it is still up to you what you choose to believe! Up to you what opinion you cultivate! Up to you what causes you support or become involved in! As Timothy Leary liked to say: „You are the director of your own movie. And the movie you are making tells the story of the great adventure that is your life.“ So don’t believe the hype!

Susanne G. Seiler

Eat Your Words

I am a veggie table
A table made of veg,
There’s so much fruit upon me
All living on the edge,
Life is hard
But so are plates
And tea can be quite hot,
And vegetarian poets
Make me nervous quite a lot.

Benjamin Zephaniah

june 2018 – goodnews editorial

When all is said and done, there is one question that remains: what do we want to be committed to in this day and age other than our personal well-being and that of our significant others? For as far as I am concerned,  it is nohing less than peace on a sustainable planet. We cannot all be Bojan Slat of the Ocean Cleanup, Keep Skateistan Rolling like the skating pros do or clean up the Himalayas, as much as I would like to participate. But we can all contribute to peace and to a healthy planet in a myriad of small ways such as collecting garbage where we hike or jog, by reducing the consumption of animal products or by at least eating less meat, by wearing more second hand clothes and walking or riding a bicycle whenever we can, as well as by keeping ourselves in shape. While I still fall short of the aforementioned, I am keeping my eyes and ears open for other good ideas to integrate into my daily life while enjoying the warm weather.
You too, I hope.

Susanne G. Seiler
P.S. I will be speaking at the Elev8 Symposium on 9 June on
«Evolving Conscious Media.» (see below)

I Go Down To The Shore

I go down to the shore in the morning
and depending on the hour the waves
are rolling in or moving out,
and I say, oh, I am miserable,
what shall —
what should I do? And the sea says
in its lovely voice:
“Excuse me, I have work to do.”

Mary Oliver 

may 2018 – goodnews editorial

„The amount of disinformation is equal or superior to the amount of information.“
This eminent piece of wisdom was coined by me. It is the first reason why I am not impressed by the huge collection of data the powers that be gather on us. Sure, if they focus on me, for whatever reason, all of my life will be illuminated but this is hardly new. During the Sixties and Seventies, the Swiss secret service kept elaborate tabs on „The Movement“. You were nobody if you didn’t have such a tab and, fortunately, they also spied on me. We all had the opportunity to view our folders in the Nineties. You wouldn’t believe the nonsense the deep state claimed to know about me. First of all, I didn’t live near Basel but in Canada at the time. They also labelled me and a friend „the theoreticians of the movement“ – we translated song texts by Patti Smith, The Doors, Bob Dylan or The Rolling Stones to German. A lawyer I didn’t know called me up one evening to ask me if his name figured in my tab too? And so on. Yes, I know, it is more about consumer preferences and credit ratings nowadays. So what? My second reason not to worry: computers search for buzzwords but in the final analysis the evaluation has to be done by people. Will half the population soon evaluate the other? Who then is to evaluate the evaluators? And who is left? Think about it!
Unfazed yours,

Susanne G. Seiler

Believe Believe

Believe in this. Young apple seeds,
In blue skies, radiating young breast,
Not in blue-suited insects,
Infesting society’s garments.

Believe in the swinging sounds of jazz,
Tearing the night into intricate shreds,
Putting it back together again,
In cool logical patterns,
Not in the sick controllers,
Who created only the Bomb.

Let the voices of dead poets
Ring louder in your ears
Than the screechings mouthed
In mildewed editorials.
Listen to the music of centuries,
Rising above the mushroom time.

Bob Kaufman

april 2018 – goodnews editorial

Do you believe in divination, the practice of seeking knowledge of the future or the unknown by supernatural means?“ That you are able to obtain advice about your life through direct contact with your „higher self,“ the „collective unconscious“ or the „Earth Coincidence Control Office“ (ECCO), as John C. Lilly called this outlier of the great unknown? There are innumerable methods for achieving this. They carry names such as abacamancy (divination by dust), daphnomancy (by burning laurel twigs) or ptarmoscopy (by sneezes – my favourite)! Next to these largely forgotten methods we use many well-known oracles such as the Tarot, the I Ching (the oldest wisdom book we know), crystal gazing, numerology, astrology or palm reading. Thanks to modern science we know that we are not just imagining that the answers we obtain through these and other means can be trusted but there are a few rules to observe as outlined in two of the books introduced in our column good to read, the most important being (according to me) urgency and sincerity. Being real is always a good idea! As to urgency – don’t ask if there is no need to know.
Authentically yours,
Susanne G. Seiler

Speech to the Young Speech to the Progress-Toward
(Among them Nora and Henry III)

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
“Even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night.”
You will be right.
For that is the hard home run.
Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

Gwendolyn Brooks

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