How a New Paradigm of Consciousness is Starting to Transform the World
A portrait of Frigyes Fogel, a filmmaker and former principal cellist from Hungary
The Hungarian filmmaker Frigyes Fogel (“say Frici”) won the national cello competition in Budapest at the age of 9. Until he became 33, he made international furors as a soloist in well-known concert venues. However, in this way he lived his father’s dream. One day he decided to choose his own heart. Fogel is still traveling all over the world. Now without cello, but with a camera in hand. To show how people worldwide are renewing the economy and society. From ethical bankers to artists.
“Life behind the iron curtain was everything except a fun. My parents lived in Transylvania (Romania). They were active in a culturally and intellectually rich environment. This changed very fast after World War II. They were driven away from their home and belongings by the Communists within half an hour. My grandfather was sent to Siberia and returned after six years as a broken man. My father became persona non grata in Romania. The future for our family was in Budapest. The connection to this city was already there from an earlier time. My father had always wanted to become a cellist. From Transylvania he travelled to Budapest to study music and cello. However, he was not good enough to become a professional. Then he decided to work for Hungarian television. That went well for him. He became a producer of films and documentaries. However, giving up his dream to play the cello was not easy. As a seven-year-old, I was forced with a hard hand to play the cello. Two years later I won the national music competition in Hungary, but I much preferred to play outside with other children. However, I hardly got the chance to do so. At the conservatory, they didn’t know what to do with such a young child. When I was 13, I played my first solo concert with famous musicians. I’d traveled the whole world for 20 years to give concerts.”
MONEY AND CAREER
“The world of classical music is dominated by maestros, managers and politics. Money and power play a leading role. The renowned British music reviewer Norman Lebrecht has written a book about it (‘Who Killed Classical Music’). When I read the first few pages, I immediately recognized my own life. I had to fight for my freedom. I also saw a lot of colleagues go towards the edge of the abyss. Funnily enough, there is little or no room for real inspiration. While art as far as I’m concerned is precisely about the connection to the invisible world. Not only the mind needs to be enlightened but the hearts also require to be warmed. Instead, great pressure is exerted to go for success. The appearance is more important than the inner person. It’s all about money and career. As a result, today we listen a lot to neatly polished, polite and predictable music. Always the same repertoire. I felt like a slave to the music industry. Whilst while playing I had the need to make myself like an empty vessel, to give space to inspiration, to be in the moment. However, breaking traditions does not fit into the mechanistic view of music. Only a few have managed to be the exception to the rule, such as Austrian conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the English conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
“The gift economy is at the roots of the change of the money system”
On the day “the wall” fell Fogel took the decision to exchange his cello for the camera. From the age of 16, he had seized every opportunity to hold a camera in his hand. This was his passion. He was also interested in the meaning of life and its existence from an early age. He read the books by Carl Gustav Jung, Johann Wolfgang (von) Goethe and Rudolf Steiner. He was looking for the truths of life. Not only in the spiritual vision, but certainly also in its practical applications in everyday life. The camera and the spiritual awareness turned out to go hand in hand.
“The many books, the encounters with wise and intellectuals combined with the necessary intense experiences with illness and (almost) death, taught me to listen more and more to my inner voice. For example, I regularly asked myself what I would do if I had another month to live. That eventually helped me to choose my freedom. I’ve paid a high price for that. I quit my successful career and a solid financial existence and chose to become an independent photographer and filmmaker. Freedom is true wealth. I have now shown ideas and beauty to millions of people. Once again I traveled all over the world to inspire people and show those who think outside the box that they are not alone.”
Worldwide in all areas of economy and society, there are groups of people who in a holistic view on mankind and society doing simply what others think is not possible.
This allows children and adults to develop their abilities and talents optimally, which can make their contribution to society maximal. They create a new health care system based on an integral vision of human being, health, body and mind. The classic contradictions between regular and alternative care are integrated step by step into a new form of medicine.”
“There are architects who no longer build houses and offices but want to create sacred places for humanity. Financial advisers who take the material and spiritual reconciliation of man as the central starting point of their services. Lawyers who want to make humanity visible and strive for a maximum connection between people and organizations. Journalists who take responsibility for reporting on the true essence of people, business and events from the highest possible form of personal integrity. Farmers who speak the language of mother earth and build fully sustainable and fair-trade food and agricultural systems. Scientists who genuinely investigate how what life is about, go beyond old rusted dogmatic ideas, and allow themselves to be open to science that takes humanity to a higher level. Entrepreneurs who see their business as a means of teaching people to develop themselves and each other, while in the meantime work is also being done on the inspiration, enlivening and spiritualization of the economy.”
These people are also called cultural creative beings. “But oh well, what’s in a name. In any case, worldwide it is hundreds of millions of people who are living and working from a new vision. There is no place yet for them in the mass media. They also have little or no space in the existing political structures that are rather polarizing. In my documentaries I try to show the global shift in thinking and taking actions. Whether it’s the art of healing, ethical banking or new ways of agriculture.”
In the documentary, the (R)evolution, Fogel focuses on the values, lifestyles and beliefs of cultural creative beings. The film attracted more than a million viewers. Despite the success, Fogel’s financial position remained uncertain. “I felt like the proverbial black sheep. I was buried under fan mail but received very few donations. Many people in all kinds of social positions told me they were right behind me but did not dare to do this not publicly for fear of possible repercussions at work. This is a radical revision of existing systems and structures. To a point it is politically permissible to speak about this as long as it remains within the existing framework of the financial and economic system.”
“One of the emails belonged to a certain Christopher Mann who again talked about how I had managed to capture all these examples so beautifully in photographs. I felt somewhat frustrated at the time and decided to react very openly and sincerely to the process through which I had gone. Including the financial challenges to keep my head above water. I had taken out a personal loan from the bank to produce this documentary and had to pay it off in seven years with an amount of 300 euros per month. A day later, I received a donation of 2,000 euros with the invitation to come and talk. A series of meetings followed, and I was rather surprised to learn more and more about the person Christopher Mann, a wise man who turned out to be rather invisible, working from behind the scenes, who stood behind many beautiful people and initiatives whom I had highlighted in my film. A beautiful friendship grew. He became a second father to me and supported me both in material and immaterial way. Together we made the film ‘The Alchemists’ about groups of people who are healing planet Earth. In this film we show how that happens.”
Together with his wife Martina, Christopher Mann stood at the birth of numerous organisations and initiatives in the field of ethical banking and biodynamic agriculture. For example, RSF Social Finance still encourages an economy of love by connecting a fast-growing community of intrinsically motivated investors to value-driven entrepreneurs and social projects as a financial serviceprovider. With more than 1,900 customers and more than 600 million euros in outstanding loans since 1984, RSF is a player of interest in creating new money flows towards local people and markets. More than seventy percent of projects funded by RSF are led by women. An inverted image of Wall Street. Fogel’s documentary, The Secret of Ethical Banking (not only for bankers) is a half-hour film portrait highlighting RSF’s deeper motivation, as well as the Triodos and GLS Bank.
Mann died on February 7, 2018. “A huge blow. He was so loving and innovative. The practical spirit of his original ideas continues to live on in the many organizations inspired and supported worldwide by him and his wife. He asked me to make a documentary about his life and his work. To transfer knowledge and information to future generations. I’m working on that right now. His work is about the world of tomorrow that has already begun today. It’s high time to make that visible!”
“Mann has explicitly asked me to pay attention to the economy of giving. According to Mann, the giving economy is at the roots of the change in the money system. The actual value is not in the money, but in the values within man itself. Giving is a way to re-experience the essence of being human. It helps to raise awareness of people and organizations to the next level, taking balance in the exchange of talents, love and gratitude.”
“Let’s keep asking ourselves the question of why we’re doing the things we do. It’s an art to be truly honest towards ourselves and others. To genuinely face and share our fears with our fellow people. To make it transparent what is going on within ourselves. To have the courage to show ourselves as we really are. Beyond the mask of personality and what others believe to find correct and correct. We live in times when everyone seems to be an expert in all areas. It’s so simple to share our beliefs and vision. Asking questions is often so much more powerful than formulating answers. More and more people are experiencing pain and have problems with their conscience. What could be more beautiful if they had the courage to get up and share their experience?”
What is more beautiful when we listen to people, beyond judgment and beyond polarization. In the end, the inner artist, the connection with the higher spheres, lies in every human being. Let’s create plenty of space for that.
Filmography Frigyes Fogel
More information: www.fogelmedia.com