by Helga Zepp-LaRouche
Helga Zepp-LaRouche is the founder of the Schiller Institute, and its president in Germany. She is also the chairman of the Civil Rights Movement-Solidarity party (BüSo), which is currently campaigning for the Sept. 19 state parliament elections in the German state of Saxony. Her remarks have been translated from German. She made this tribute to Mark Burdman at his funeral on July 15, 2004. See also Lyndon LaRouche's opening remarks at his July 15 webcast, and a tribute by Mark's wife, Mary Burdman.
It is such a hard thing, to have to say good-bye to such a wonderful human being, as Mark was.
His heart bore not the faintest trace of malice, yet his mind was razor-sharp. His soul was good-natured, yet he had an incorruptible consciousness of the misdeeds of the enemies of mankind. Among the many reasons why he felt such a great affinity with Lyn—and Lyn cherished him as his close friend—was his extraordinary gift, which he shared with Lyn, of being able to grasp historical processes, and to take the pulse of the oligarchical forces' plots and schemes.
Mark made so many creative contributions. Over many years, he engaged in dialogue with prominent individuals in Russia, in India, in Great Britain, and in many other lands; and without exception, each of his partners valued his brilliant dialogue, and his acute sense of humor. He was always able to perfectly capture his dialogue partner's state of mind; and I'll never forget how Mark would imitate Professor Bondarevsky's customary introductory remark: "In my humble opinion, tell Mr. LaRouche that it is very urgent, that he...." Oh, yes, Mark's jokes!
But above and beyond the mere sum of all the many productive things that Mark did with such richness, is Schiller's description so apt: "And therefore, with a beautiful soul, his individual actions flow not, in fact, from a code of ethics; rather, it is his entire character.... The beautiful soul's merit lies in nothing else, but that it is so." Mark was a tremendously lovable person, and so it went without saying, that the youth of the LYM [LaRouche Youth Movement] turned to him, and put their trust in him, imbibing from his virtually inexhaustible reservoir of knowledge. For, to them, Mark was living proof that it wasn't merely in books that Schiller wrote about beautiful souls, but "that people that cool, really do exist."
Mark was, in another sense, the incarnation of the original idea of the Schiller Institute, namely the idea of true German-American friendship. He was, of course, a great American in the tradition of the American Revolution; but he also knew and loved German culture. If only all Americans, and all Germans, would so naturally be world citizens and also patriots, imagine how easy our relations would be! Each nation would selflessly give the best of itself, and would, without envy, accept the best of others, and out of both, would create something even richer. In this sense, Mark was an American, and—I hope you'll agree with me, Mark—in this sense, he was also a German—indeed, more than that: an ambassador, like Posa from Schiller's play Don Carlos.
And therefore, Mark, we promise you that we will redouble our efforts to ensure that everything on which, and for which you worked, will be brought to fruition: a new, just world economic order, and a new cultural renaissance. And above all, we will, with absolute determination, act to set into motion a "Biological Defense Initiative," something which we discussed at the party congress in Berlin. Because it's clear that medical research has simply not yet solved the problem of your own, and of many other illnesses. We need a completely different starting-point for research, one which considers life as a process from the standpoint of Cusa and Vernadsky, not separate from lawfulness that governs the entire universe.
Mark will "live in immortality" in precisely the sense that Schiller addresses in his poem "Das Mädchen von Orléns" ("The Maid of Orléns"). All of us whom he loved, and who loved him, carry, within us, what he has cast into our souls. His ideas, his thoughts, his ideals, and his desires live on within us, and within those who, in turn, are touched by us. But, is it only within us that Mark lives on? What is his true immortality? I think Mark's soul continues to exist, really and concretely, only it's no longer located in his mortal frame.
When we think about Beethoven's life's work, and about everything that Schiller said and wrote, and about all the many times when both men's works have been heard and read anew by new generations, and we think about how millions of individuals have been inspired and changed by all the ideas contained therein, and about how this will remain true for countless generations to come—are we not then looking at the idea of the simultaneity of eternity, and do we not then see, in all concreteness, the souls of Beethoven and Schiller?
I think Nicolaus of Cusa was right, when he said that the soul is the birthplace of the sciences—mathematics, music, astronomy, and so forth—indeed so much so, that these latter would not exist, were it not for the soul. And that because the sciences, once born, are immortal, it is also certain that the soul, whose power is far loftier than that which it creates, is, likewise, immortal.
The same point is made by Riemann when he adopts Herbart's argument concerning the nature of Geistesmassen["thought objects"]. The laws of cognitive development which have been adduced from knowledge of the inner self, can also be applied toward understanding human existence and the development of history. In order to understand the life of the soul, we must assume that the Geistesmassen which arise from our cognitive processes, continue to exist as a part of our soul, and that their inner connectedness remains intact. Changes occur only when new Geistesmassen are added. From this, it follows that these Geistesmassen remain intact, as the soul's "organic being," even after death. And, is it not the case, that Nicolaus lives on in Leibniz, and Leibniz in Herbart, and Herbart in Riemann, and Riemann in Lyn, and Lyn in Mark, and both these in us and in everything we do? It is only by us having a passionate commitment to make our own contribution, that we can "bind our fleeting existence onto the long chain of humankind," and, in so doing, make ourselves immortal.
And I would like to add one more thing, which I'm sure is in Mark's spirit. Let us take the powerful emotions we experience over Mark's death, as the occasion to solve what we must solve, if we are to live up to this ideal. And let us not delay for a single moment, because no one knows how much time we have left, for we know not the day, nor the hour.
We shall keep you in our hearts, forever.