We are groping in the dark. You can’t see anything – not where you come from – not where you are going. At least ones hand feels a wall on the side, that gives direction … Or does it lead us in circles? Have we been here before? Suddenly the ground begins to slope slightly downwards … Involuntarily we stop, try to grasp the end of the slope somehow … Hopeless – without our eyes we are helpless at first. Very slowly, little by little, other senses open up to us, offer their help, give us a new security in the darkness.

We, that is the preparatory team of the International Youth Conference 2023 in Darmstadt, were groping in the dark when we visited the Freudenberg Castle in Wiesbaden and tried out the dark passage there. “Wouldn’t that be something for our conference? How could we make it happen?” So we started to discuss and found ourselves in the middle of preparation!

Experiencing our different senses is what the conference will be about.

BECOME MINDFUL: By becoming aware of our senses, by learning to consciously grasp and take hold of them, a process of becoming begins.

BECOME TRUTH: What do our senses tell us about reality? If our senses can also deceive us, how do we nevertheless sense something of the truth behind external appearances through their help?

These questions moved us, and from them the title of the conference emerged:


Every day we grope in the dark, in the darkness of a sensory world that floods us with stimuli, that wants all kinds of things from us, but rarely really reveals itself to us. The ground beneath us can suddenly feel sloped, and we need a foothold that points us in the right direction.

For us conference helpers, it is quite clear that this can only be done together. Starting from the “I” of our own experience, towards the “YOU”, the experience of the other and his or her world of perception, the path leads to a “WE”. Because truth reveals itself precisely in its diversity, as tangible, experienceable and perceivable.

In the dark corridor we trust that Freudenberg Castle has not been built with any great dangers in its corridors, that our path will already lead back into the light. And so, despite all the excitement, it has been great fun. To acquire this confidence also for our lives, that is what we would like to realize together with young people from all over the world. For this we have put together a great conference program!