Item description for Markings by Dag Hammarskjold...
A book of meditations. A revealing spiritual self-portrait by one of the great peacmakers of our times. Maturity: Among other things, the unclouded happiness of the child at play who takes it for granted that he is at one with his playmates. Never, "for the sake of peace and quiet," deny your own experience or convictions. The only kind of dignity which is genuine is that which is not diminished by the indifference of others. Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for. Never measure the height of a mountain until you have reached the top. Then you will see how low it was.
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Dag Hammarskjold was born in Sweden in 1905 and died in Northern Rhodesia in a plane crash in 1961, while flying there to negotiate a cease-fire between United Nations and Katanga forces. Elected Secretary-General of the United Nations in 1953, serving until his death, he was known throughout the world as a peacemaker. He had studied law and economics, but was also widely read in philosophy and literature. His internal struggles remained a private matter between him and God until after his death, when this book of meditations was published, making him posthumously one of the twentieth century's most noted spiritual pilgrims.
Dag Hammarskjold was born in 1905 and died in 1961.
What a privilege to share the inner life of Dag Hammarskjold! The writings are personal and betray the very real struggles we all face and so rarely give word to. This is my second copy of this book and while it is not a literary giant, it is an amazing reflection of the soul of a remarkable man, the markings of his life.
Active vs. contemplative life Jul 4, 2006
Hammarskjold was a Swedish diplomat who served as secretary-general of the United Nations at the height of the Cold War (and whose death in a plane crash in Africa in 1961 may not have been an accident). Throughout his life he struggled with balancing the tension between the active life and the contemplative life that always faces the political intellectual. This book is his private journal, in which he struggles with a deeply personal and private faith in the context of a vocation that called him to one of the most visible and influential offices in international politics. That struggle, which emerges in bits and pieces in entries that span nearly four decades, both celebrates life and indulges deep feelings of doubt and isolation.
"Markings" is far more a work of philosophy than autobiography. Hammarskjold's frend W.H. Auden contributes a moving foreword that supplies a context for Hammarskjold's writing. But as the foreword notes, Hammarskjold does not "make a single direct reference to his career as an international civil servant, to the persons he met, or the historical events of his time in which he played an important role."
A keeper Oct 27, 2005
Reading the posted reviews can give someone an idea of what a great treasure this book. Wouldn't be without it, as I find after many years I still get something fresh at each reading. He was incredibly loved by the UN staff, and the pages of Markings give you real insight as to why this was. And admirable man, an admirable book. Certainly a book to be re-read NOW -- as the world is going so terrible wrong -- if we are to learn what the path of righteousness is all about. A true reflection that believes in loving your neighbor as yourself and loving God above all things.
Markings is Awesome!! Oct 10, 2005
This is my FOURTH COPY of this book; lent one out that was never returned... guess they liked it too! I always admired the late Secy-Genl of the UN, which is why I first picked up and bought this book. Don't miss out on a wonderful book!
Timeless Reading Sep 13, 2005
This is a book of mental depth not often found on a public bookshelf. Dag Hammarskjold kept his journal consistantly/regularly and then left written permission for it to be printed following his death. I found it to be, primarily, a "true profile" of the man, and then also an accurate historical document as I traced Hammarskjold's innermost thoughts connected to the history of the time. I believe this book has held our attention over so many years, because most humans on a spiritual quest can truely relate to his inner thoughts of relationship to God/ soul/ consciousness.
It feels special to "know" such a good, thoughtful, God-loving and honest man; it feels wonderful, these days especially, to walk with him in his political functioning and realize how lucky we were to have had such a man in an important world government position.