He is an author, psychoanalyst, sociologist, art historian, futurist, initiator of the Healing Biotopes Plan and co-founder of Tamera. We thank him for his great life’s work as a visionary of a new culture, for his unconditional commitment to peace and unvarnished humaneness, for his deep stand for truth, especially in the repressed areas of love, sexuality, and religion. Like few others, he has remained true to the radical search for societal liberation and healing despite many setbacks and challenges.
At an early age, Dieter Duhm had to experience first-hand what war means. Born in Berlin amid the falling bombs of the Second World War, he, as a small child, became an internal refugee and experienced the hatred of village youths in his new home on Lake Constance. He learned about what happened in the Holocaust and reflected later: “I defended myself with all the mental, spiritual weapons at my disposal… My hope of experiencing something comforting, soothing, pain-relieving, melted away with increasing research. There was no consolation.”
As a student, he then saw the reports of American war crimes in Vietnam and became part of the anti-imperialist movement. He realized that cruelty against humans, animals and the Earth does not arise only from the actions of individuals but is a structural foundation of patriarchal civilization as a whole. The dreams of the ’68 revolution crumbled, but he could not return to normality – even until today – and devoted the following 50 years to researching the foundations of an authentically non-violent civilization. Find more on his biography.
He always remained in search of the truth, unafraid to shake things up and cross borders, ready to help where help was needed and ready to look for new pathways. He addressed truths that were often uncomfortable, never being satisfied with half-truths. This was one of the aspects that brought him recognition.
He became known within the German student movement with the bestsellers “Fear in Capitalism” and “The Human is Different.” He began to point out ways for transforming the latent violence of our global societal systems.
Besides all his confrontation with the pain of the world, he is also a witness and ambassador of a completely different “reality of life” – the reality of love and its countless miracles, which he calls the “sacred matrix” of life. This has increasingly become the focus of his peace work:
“The seeds are sprouting as they did, the trees are growing, and the flowers bloom. The sun shines as it did a thousand years ago. How can it be that after five thousand years of patriarchy the birds still sing, the children still play, and lovers still feel as if they were in seventh heaven? Something on life seems to have remained intact through all the agony and blind alleys of history. It is something healthy and sacred, perhaps something eternal, that comes from the Universe and not from human beings, and yet it has been entrusted to us in the deepest roots of our soul and body.”
He dared to tackle the hottest topic – love and sexuality – and formulated it as a political topic. The essence of Eros and the primordial love of the sexes became his life’s theme. In his book “Eros Unredeemed” he named the devastating consequences of the repression of Eros and dared to ask: How would a world of redeemed Eros look like? Until today, he has stayed faithful to this question.
I, Sabine Lichtenfels, got to know him in March 1978. He saw no other way than to completely step out of the system and devote himself entirely to peace research. He travelled through Germany looking for people who would join him in founding a “free university” for a non-violent culture, the so-called “Bauhuette.” The first meetings of the “Bauhuette” took place in Herrenberg, in 1978. A common life path then began. Through many different stages we were led together to the foundation of the first “Healing Biotope” in Portugal: Tamera.
Since 2008 he has been suffering from a chronic disease, a Herpes zoster neuralgia.
We thank him that he never resigned, but that he took the illness as a motivation to turn ever more consistently to the “other reality,” and to bring his vision of the “Healing Biotopes Plan” ever more precisely into words. Central to his life’s journey was the formulation of the political theory – a theory for overcoming fear and violence. Here lies a key for the morphogenetic field building of a global peace movement.
Last but not least, I believe I can speak on behalf of many women: we give thanks for his love and faithfulness to women. He has greatly supported me and others on their way to “womanhood” and has given us courage and strength to seek and walk our true path.
We thank him for his work, we thank him for the power of his thinking.
His biography, his books and insights have become a beacon of hope for us, shining even where many can no longer see any real solution in the face of war.
We wish for his vision to find acceptance in more and more places on Earth and that it will be realized in the concrete solidarity of human beings.
Sabine Lichtenfels and the Tamera Community