Lecture held on the occasion of the "1st World Forum of Spiritual Culture"
2010 in ASTANA/Kazakhstan
by Wilhelm Augustat
President of the International Association "PEACE through CULTURE"
Our common goal is to regain the trust of the people and to convey again the confidence in an individual, but mainly in a standard of living for all the society. The two main responsible areas connected with such target will be called hereafter simply “POLITICS” and “RELIGION”.
Requirement: To re-establish the dominating significance of CULTURE!
In retrospective over some millennia, it was exclusively the class of those high personalities representing both worldly power AND religious systems at the same time during the high cultures traceable by us, who, through their absolute position, conveyed to the people EVERYTHING that was substantial for their lives.
It was even in the very recent past that the upper nobility (emperors, kings) and cultures (state religions, churches) were the only high authorities to decide in all matters of life and death. Let us remember: It is only 150 years ago that serfdom was abolished. – Unfortunately, the primary responsible individuals failed in most cases causing an acceleration of enormous social upheavals. And for more than 100 years these revolutions in the social area have not found a positive solution in form of a system, which politically and culturally (religiously) would secure a humane situation for a high precentage of mankind. In this area the necessity for action is absolutely a must in most states of the world.
What had happened?
The existing unity of two offices in one: namely of religion and politics which had existed for over a century, had distroyed itself. This fact produced new forms of legislative and executive orders, which brought about a multitude of weaknesses in the system but also in its representatives. There is quite a number of various social systems available in the present time who claim for themselves to be a “DEMOCRACY”. Looking more closely at those, many weak points are emerging so that the existence of some economical basics can already be considered an advantage. Higher social or even generally cultural necessities find almost no response with those politicians.
The main weak point of all political and social systems discussed here is to be attributed to the fact that the DIMENSION OF CULTURE – i.e. the strong areas of sciences and religions representing the socially positive energy fields – was almost completely excluded or ignored. Even though some parts of religious organisations were relatively capable to save themselves in form of “state churches”, they became more and more “insignificant” in the course of time. For example: Germany was basically organised as church- or confession-based before the 2nd world war, but for the last ten years it has become atheistic by the majority.
Although it is true that the closeness to a church does not necessarily result in the application of higher ethics in life, it still shows that with the withdrawal from the churches of hundreds of thousands of members at the same time, a rapid increase of ethical and moral degeneration goes along with this development, especially of those character features required for the development and continuous care-taking of a cultivated state with a multitude of peoples and races. Although religions and churches have totally f ailed in coming up with a viable alternative for a socially sound option during the past centuries, they, on the other hand, have surely gathered a lot of valuable experience from this unpleasant past over the last 100 years (speaking mostly for Europe) which they should apply for the better.
Therefore – since the social difficulties and problems cannot be ignored any longer, the value and importance of “CULTURE” must be secured again in contemporary form, particularly in connection with social sciences, efficiently used and introduced step by step!!! As far as we can look back in history, the significant role of culture and its integrated position in society has always defined the target and scope for all politics. To deny the dimension of culture in a democratic system, or at best to just tolerate its existence, is a political mistake of greatest dimension which cannot be compensated by anything, and in no case by an increase of executive effort.
In quintessence I would like to make my point clear that all dimensions of culture have been severely violated during the last 100 years, culture was underestimated in its valuable penetration of the human being in general, and this field was even left to predominant cultural pseudo-powers and pseudo-representatives. These anarchists and chaotic individuals (not seldom psychically insane) can be recognised in their actions, many times even find great support and are even being allowed to direct their interest towards the young generation.
Social anchoring of a revaluation of CULTURE
Considering that culture in the past has always formed the basis at least relatively for the political and social structures, it is more than urgent today to allow culture AGAIN an equal position besides the LEGISLATIVE and EXECUTIVE system! Fortunately already many science-based studies, plenty of research and knowledge are available for the this requirement. Furthermore, a high number of scientific branches were founded during the last 100 years, which fall directly or indirectly under the classification of “CULTUROLOGY”. Representatives from these institutes would be best prepared to work out concepts with the topmost representatives of all religions and worldviews of each state, which of course are to be screened by the politicians and approved by them. But also the normal voting population, the people, must be included into the ETHICAL Institutions (ethical councils and roundtable structures) to be established as a network and must become part of all cultural and public activities – a German proverb seems to be applicable here which runs “THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE IS THE VOICE OF GOD”.
Obeying science, logics and NEED: politics (by active politicians) must reinforce the significance of culture in concrete, social and humanistic steps. This is a decisive factor and at the same time the highest objective to reach the fastest reactivation of the ethical potential, it is the only way to address this high target, since ethical basics are part of our consciousness and therefore inherent in every human being. In this context we must be aware that this inherent energy, formed by consciousness and character, will lead from mere civilisation to advanced culture.
Towards global ethics
Naturally, the high social value and the meaning of ETHICS for the GENERAL WELFARE is not new to us, because EVERY religion is more or less to be understood as an ethical system and as a kind of mirror of social conduct, since the believing population should become “better” human beings, in other words: they should be the first to develop and live the positive values contained in the relevant teaching. Already the old Greek stateleaders (such as Perikles) and teachers like Platon, who were the true fathers of “democracy”, based a democratic system on the existence of highly educated priest-philosophers and politicians. Later influences through Aristoteles and others eliminated the higher causal connections from the social educational basics step by step, also those about ETHICS. This lack in leading qualities of the elite (from the nobility down to the Roman-catholic popes) continued to be the very root of the negative development following later.
Being aware of these very human weaknesses, the democratic “West” eliminated immediately the possibilities of evaluation of people’s character features and declared these generally as a private matter. This scandalous trend has even established itself within the highest levels, i.e. political as well economical structures within the United Nations, UNESCO, etc.
Today these facts are very well known everywhere, since the internet, television and other media keep informing us continuously up to the most remote corner of this planet. Nevertheless, a new need could develop parallel to this trend which is connected with today’s understanding of reality: a need asking for the integration of our HEART, i.e. of the inner voice, and thefore it is a CULTURAL need, expressing itself in higher targets such as
- a worldwide social as well as a philosophical harmony (a planet free of war and tension), which could be realised through the implementation of a structure called “ETHICAL HUMANISM”,
- a worldwide system of order and justice (a scientifically founded and practiced global monetary system and world economy including an adequate legal system),
- a global unity based on ETHICAL PRINCIPLES in the area of CULTURE and RELIGION always respecting the principle of “UNITY in DIVERSITY”.
Resulting from the above is the mandatory necessity for the formation of a federal WORLD STATE with one WORLD GOVERNMENT, one WORLD PARLIAMENT and an organisation matching this structure, which is to be provided with all necessary instruments and authority. Numerous mentors like Platon, DANTE ALIGHIERI, Kant and many others already pointed to the fact “that only ONE united world will not make war with itself ……
"Moral” versus “ETHICS”?
No question, a scientific basis for the benefit of order and welfare in a state is a must and was already best defined by the great Platon, but also by the Buddha, Konfuzius, Christ and Mohammed – and other cultural great personalities and Masters of Wisdom who have worked out the necessary basic principles, often related to ethical or religious groundrules. Platon, undoubtedly a world-teacher of wisdom, emphasized the absolute SIGNIFICANCE of ETHICS for a social order, since any HIGH CULTURE can develop only on such a fundament. Platon’s ETHICS is closely connected to the LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT, and with the areas of LOGICS, PHYSICS and MATHEMATICS. The COSMIC LAW of CAUSE AND EFFECT is the KEY for the implementation of ethical processes, in order to understand the guidelines contained therein. Therefore, ETHICS has to be understood as a science, as the most important political instrument for social order, especially for the highest possible EARTHLY JUSTICE, to be applied when securing basic EQUAL RIGHTS for all people, by VALUEING all citizens on an EQUAL basis in order to achieve a maximum of HARMONY.
“MORAL” standards are mostly used as a synonym for “ETHICS” and are often mixed with it. In some languages, there is not even a differentiation between the two terms. The term “moral”, at least in the Western countries, and the rules connected with it are relative, of temporary significance only and refer to a structure limited by time, region, traditions; therefore, as a result, moral standards continuously require adaptation to a given frame, region, period of time, etc. They may even go along with some ethical aspects – but this is not necessarily true. Moral requirements and recommendations IN PRINCIPLE UNDERLY THE LAW OF EVOLUTION.
WHAT ACTION HAS TO BE TAKEN?
By politicians and governments in all countries:
- Support of the foundation of
ETHICAL ADVISORY BOARDS
consisting of religious and philosophical specialists in the first place, for the improvement of all current political decisions! These boards have to be managed on a scientific basis and must make clear also those motivations and goals through scientific analysis, which can be derived from the philosophy (or religion) of the political or social leaders of the large states, namely from their religious or world-view.
Example: The US-President and the senior staff selected by him in accordance to his own views, are acting (as he even points out publicly) based on the views of the “old mosaic testament”. Politicians worldwide could, for example, accelerate their reactions and political decisions provided they connect their own perspective to the present US-view. No matter where we look, such analogy is to be seen almost everywhere so that more or less calculable actions could be predicted if we base our assumptions and expectations more on the ideological, philosophical or psychological background of our partners or even more so: of our so-called enemies.
- The Forming of national ETHICAL NETWORKS, which through communication, dialogue and cooperation (starting with local roundtables) will enhance people’s consciousness of ethicS, make them more aware of social conduct and overall justice based on solidarity, of other cultures and produce an understanding of values in mankind.
- In schools, universities and other educational institutions: promotion of EDUCATION IN ETHICS (as it is already existing for years in a number of Western European states!)
- Step by step formation of a public NETWORK of “ETHICAL CENTRES For Citizens” – connected via communities and cities, regions and through the POLITICAL leaders.
Principle task: “Public partner of order for justice and ethical guidelines”
Rights rendered to these institutions or centers: Providing insight into all public structures of the state, assisting the legislative level and representing the people. EXCLUSIVELY in an advisory function to politics (to legislative and executive departments) and principally as a voluntary (no income) activity – Current main goal: to overcome the ever-growing structures of corruption!
- Further: promotion of the Elders’ Councils already existing in a number of states which have well proven in the past as both cultural and social institutions. Such council should be adapted to the present time requirements and through integration of the young generation, but also of those people who have moved to the country from other cultures.
- Most IMPORTANT: the status of “CULTURE” within the state system must be re-established and revived, supported by the government. It must be established on the same level as all the politicians in order to secure cultural and ethical upbringing and education. The basic significance of religious teachings worldwide which, in principle, ought to cover the same ethical and social targets as defined by an intelligent leadership, must receive sufficient possibilities for social action, provided they cooperate with the governmental institutions for a scientifically and socially based target.
- General support and integration of women, in particular with respect to overall justice in all public and social areas – thus leading to a reduction of emotional and fanatic actions, stopping terroristic developments (often derived from patriarchal structures).
- Cooperation with international and intercultural communities, support of spiritual dialogue and exchange structures for the purpose of OPTIMISING and enlarging the ETHICAL CONSCIOUSNESS on a wide basis.
- General support and USE of scientific findings both in social and in cultural respect adjusted to the present time – IN PARTICULAR with respect to ETHICS (chairs at the universities, special offers for education and training),
- Recognition of philosophy as a NETWORK in the ART OF THINKING, as the synthesis of natural and human sciences, i.e. all sciences around CULTURE.
- An additional high priority: the governmental formation and support of “comparative religious studies” and of a “multi-cultural theology” as new scientific subjects in order to arrive at an objective view of all values leading to a wider consciousness and improved character, values contained in all religious teachings from an ethical, social and philosophical perspective.
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The International Association PEACE THROUGH CULTURE ...
... was founded in Moscow in 1989. The original idea of a worldwide peace situation goes back to the cosmopolitan Nicholas K. Roerich (1874-1947) who initiated the so-called CULTURAL PACT before World War II which was accepted by around 50 nations in 1935.
After World War II the same idea was continued in a smaller frame by the politically neutral Austria and spread over the German speaking countries through the International Ethical Association named „World Spiral“.
Upon Gorbachev’s term in office which resulted in more open, new possibilities in the territorium of the former Soviet Union, the unique idea of World Peace through an improved Ethics in action, in other words: CULTURE, became attractive again in Europe as well as in Asia. In the meantime, we all know that South and Middle America are making efforts in the same direction.
PEACE THROUGH CULTURE Europe and International, in close cooperation with all open-hearted people of good will, endeavours to support the awakening of mankind in face of the necessity to distinctly improve the ethical standard of all action and to build new structures in the world society on strictly ethical principles – be it in politics, economy or culture and religion.
Since the starting year of 1989 numerous international and intercultural events (conferences, congresses etc.) were initiated in Russia, Ukraina, Kasachstan, India, Mongolia, the Baltic states and others in cooperation with representatives from the areas Culture (religions, sciences, art), Politics (socio- and economy related, education and cultural upbringing). In consequence, quite a number of suggestions presented by PEACE THROUGH CULTURE in this period were accepted by different countries and partially implemented in their official structures.
We all are especially pleased to have the chance to assist in this International Conference in Egypt within the globally most important cultural region of „ISLAM“ in order to make more people aware of the fact that Islam principally reflects a wide range of moral and ethical standards that have become covered by a totally different image nowadays.
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