Eulogy for Jesse Owens1

Spirituality means speed: speed in the inner world, speed in the outer world. In the inner world, speed is founded mostly upon aspiration. In the outer world, speed is founded mostly upon inspiration.

There are some individuals who have speed in the inner world, while there are others who have speed in the outer world. There are few, very few, who have speed both in the inner world and in the outer world. Jesse Owens, the champion of champions, the immortal of immortals, has this rare speed both in the inner world and in the outer world. He is the colossal pride not only of his race, the black people, but also of the entire America. Finally, he is, indeed, a universal treasure. As the outer world treasures his fastest speed, even so, the inner world cherishes his bravest dedication that fought against poverty, darkness and ignorance in human life.

Here we are all seekers. As seekers, we are offering our soulful homage to a seeker who has contributed abundant speed and light to the entire world.


  1. EHWM 83. St. Paul's Chapel, Columbia University; New York, NY, USA, 9 April 1980