Dear Dr. Merchant A beautiful submission. Yours in harmony, Bruce Bruce L. Cook, Ph.D. President, GHA-USA Vice-President, GHA Director of CSSS Publishing and Editorial team President, World Writers Resources, Inc. Author, Harmony of Nations: 1943 – 2020, Just Fiction Editions, 2012 1407 Getzelman Drive Elgin, IL 60123 USA 312-859-8090 cookcomm@xxxxxxxxx www.harmonyofnations.com http://author-me.com http://www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=544 ________________________________ From: AK Merchant <ak9merchant@xxxxxxxxx> To: gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx Cc: "Martin, Glen T" <gmartin@xxxxxxxxxxx>; p.alvarez@xxxxxxxxxx; "ghausa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx" <ghausa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>; "peace-from-harmony@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx" <peace-from-harmony@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2013 5:11 AM Subject: [gha] Re: Invitation to Global Peace Science Imagination - First Bird for GPS Book From: Dr. A. K. Merchant,National Trustee, Lotus Temple & Baha’i Community of India; General Secretary, The Temple of Understanding—India [NGO with consultative status at the United Nations] To: Prof. Leo Semashko, Global Harmony Association Dear Prof. Semashko, As desired here is my article for your latest initiative in the establishing an enduring and lasting peace on our planet. With kind regards and best wishes for your laudable endeavours. Yours sincerely, Dr. A. K. Merchant RESTORING SANITY AND ESTABLISHING PEACE IN A STRANGELY DISORDERED WORLD – LET IT BE THIS GENERATION Dr. A. K. Merchant* There is a conviction deep in every human heart that life has meaning beyond the struggle for survival. But what exactly is the purpose of our existence? To understand the purpose of our existence, we need to first understand the true nature of a human being. When we think about the phrase “human nature”; what images come to mind? Is it something positive or negative? Are we simply a collection of instincts, appetites, urges and emotions, or are we something more? Is there anything that distinguishes us from animals? We share with the animal world many characteristics related to our material existence. However, we also have a spiritual nature, what some would call in India, the atman (soul), and it is this spiritual nature that determines our true purpose. The purpose of life for the individual is to develop spiritual qualities and perfections, and to advance towards Divinity that too, collectively. Such development does not take place through idle worship. Nor can it be achieved in a life dedicated to the pursuit of worldly desires. Fulfilling the purpose of one’s life—which is to know and worship the Divine—requires activity in the arena of the collective life of humanity; it calls for selfless service to society. The growing interdependence and the intensifying interaction among diverse peoples pose fundamental challenges to old ways of thinking, believing and acting. How we, as individuals and communities, respond to these challenges will, to a large degree, determine whether our communities become nurturing, cohesive and progressive, or inhospitable, divided and unsustainable? A recent survey of the world conditions appeals for “a complete reconceptualization of the relationships that sustain society. The deepening environmental crisis, driven by a system that condones the pillage of natural resources to satisfy an insatiable thirst for more, suggests how entirely inadequate is the present conception of humanity’s relationship with nature; the deterioration of the home environment, with the accompanying rise in the systematic exploitation of women and children worldwide, makes clear how pervasive are the misbegotten notions that define relations within the family unit; the persistence of despotism, on the one hand, and the increasing disregard for authority, on the other, reveal how unsatisfactory to a maturing humanity is the current relationship between the individual and the institutions of society; the concentration of material wealth in the hands of a minority of the world’s population gives an indication of how fundamentally ill-conceived are relationships among the many sectors of what is now an emerging global community.” The unfettered cultivation of needs and wants has led to a system fully dependent on excessive consumption for a privileged few, while reinforcing exclusion, poverty and inequality, for the majority. Each successive global crisis—be it climate, energy, food, water, disease, financial collapse—has revealed new dimensions of the exploitation and oppression inherent in the current patterns of consumption and production. Stark are the contrasts between the consumption of luxuries and the cost of provision of basic needs: basic education for all would cost US$ 10 billion; yet $82 billion is spent annually on cigarettes in the United States alone. The eradication of world hunger would cost $30 billion whilst some $92 billion are spent in the United States for combating obesity; water and sanitation--$10 billion, i.e. as reported by the UN Department of Public Information, “the estimated cost of closing the gap between current trends and what is needed to meet the target ranged from $10 billion to $18 billion per year.” By comparison, the world’s military budget, unaffected by recession, has risen to $1.70 trillion in 2012 of which approximately 45% is by the United States. The purpose of the collective life of humankind is “to carry forward and ever-advancing civilization.” Civilization has two essential components, material and spiritual. Both of these have to advance simultaneously if humanity is to achieve prosperity and true happiness. “No matter how far the material world advances, it cannot establish the happiness of mankind… Only when material and spiritual civilization are linked and coordinated will happiness be assured.” Building individual capabilities and institutional capacities, therefore, is the biggest task facing all who are in decision making positions, leaders of communities (whether religious or secular), the heads of governments, heads of states et al. Indeed, the opportunities in the 21st century make possible to lay the foundations for an ethical system based on the concept of unity, as revolutionary in its implications as the Christian notion of love was to Greek ethical systems. Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vedanti (Truth is One, the Wise describe it in different ways) is India’s civilizational principle of Divine unity. The pursuit of unity—creating it, strengthening it, and broadening its scope—will require a personal transformation on the part of everyone involved, and the world itself will have to examine in the context of present-day advances of our civilization, the full implications of the concept of “vasudhaiva kutumbakkam” (the world is a family) and begin to look for ways for bringing it about. Thus, we can see that we have a twofold purpose in our lives: knowing and realizing the Divine, and walking the path of collective service for the advancement of civilization, as we know it. To this end, knowledge, volition and action play a central role in fulfilling both these purposes. Knowledge is the foundation of civilization; the will to act and the deeds we perform moves us forward. The principle of the oneness of humankind implies, then, an organic change in the very structure of present-day society. Since knowledge is so fundamental to both personal growth and the advancement of civilization, every human being should have access to knowledge and have opportunities to play a contributory role in its generation, diffusion and application for the betterment of society. Knowledge that helps to discover the workings of nature is accumulated in science. At the same time, insights into the spiritual nature of reality have been organized in the system of knowledge, we may term as dharma or religion. To grow intellectually and spiritually and to be able to contribute to the transformation of society, each individual has to acquire both scientific and spiritual knowledge. This seems to me to be only way for present-day humanity to move forward to the next stage in human evolution. Thus, for such an enterprise to succeed profound changes in the minds of people and in the structures of society, primarily the nature of the educational process will need to be re-thought. As a starting point, the programme of capacity building must be based on a clear vision of the kind of society that we wish to live in; and the kind of individuals that will bring this about. It needs to help learners reflect on the purpose of life and help them to step out of their cultural realities to develop alternative visions and approaches to the problems at hand and to understand the manifold consequences of their behaviours and to adjust these accordingly. Aggressive forms of behavior must give way to more gentle ideals. The need for a binding agreement among nation-states demarcating the international frontiers in a just and fair manner, and proportionate reduction of national armaments so that weapons of war throughout the world may be converted into instruments of reconstruction and release enormous resources, currently being diverted for destructive purposes, for education, health, environmental restoration and conservation and sustainable development. The benefits worldwide would be incalculable, while the consequences of failing to appropriately respond to the challenges of an ever-contracting world will surely prove disastrous and in the long run even suicidal. The cultural shifts resulting from such actions would lead to a greater capacity to carry out collective action, to see oneself as an agent of change in the society, as a humble learner, as an active participant in the generation, diffusion and application of knowledge. “Every truth,” said the German philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer, “passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first stage it is ridiculed, in the second it is opposed, and in the third stage it is regarded as self-evident.” Therefore, it behooves those spiritually-minded and socially-conscious inhabitants of India, be they politicians, leaders, scientists, intellectuals, or students and other ardent and sincere workers who are passionately striving for the fulfillment of the ideals of their respective belief systems to work for the betterment of the world and contribute substantially to the advent of that universal and divine family sung throughout the ages by seers and sages and poets and foretold by the prophets and messengers of the past. Bahá’u’lláh, founder of the Bahá’í Faith, proclaimed: “The well-being of humankind, its peace and security are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established;” “the earth is but one country, and humankind its citizens.” _____________ *The author is a National Trustee, Lotus Temple & Baha’i Community of India; General Secretary, The Temple of Understanding—India [NGO with consultative status at the United Nations]; Chairperson, Sarvodaya International Trust—Delhi Chapter; Member, India International Centre; Visiting Faculty, Centre for Cultural Resources & Training, Government of India. Emails: akmerchant@xxxxxxxxxxx & ak9merchant@xxxxxxxxx On Fri, Sep 27, 2013 at 8:24 PM, Leo Semashko <leo.semashko@xxxxxxxxx> wrote: > Dear Glen, > > Thank you very much for your excellent and great article in the Global Peace > Science book! > > Your article is the first bird for this book. Of course, later, we will > discuss it in the details, may be in the October end or in November. > > With love, best harmony wishes, > > Leo > > Dr Leo Semashko: > State Councillor of St. Petersburg, > Philosopher, Sociologist and Peacemaker from Harmony; > Director: Tetrasociology Public Institute, Russia; > Founding President, Global Harmony Association (GHA); > Director, GHA Website "Peace from Harmony": www.peacefromharmony.org > Global Peace Science from Harmony: > www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=582; > World Interfaith Harmony Project on the ABC of Harmony Base: > www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=541; > GHA Program Book, The ABC of Harmony for World Peace: > www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=478; > GHA Peace Video: http://youtu.be/hbxY5lREOeA; > My Web page: www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=253; > Address: 7/4-42 Ho-Shi-Min Street, St. Petersburg 194356, Russia > Phone: 7 (812) 597-65-71; Skype: leo.semahko > Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/leo.semashko?ref=tn_tnmn > > ----- Original Message ----- > From: Martin, Glen T, gmartin@xxxxxxxxxxx > To: leo.semashko@xxxxxxxxx > Sent: 26 сентября 2013 г., 22:11:07 > Subject: [gha] Re: Invitation to Global Peace Science Imagination > > Dear Leo, > > Please find my 3 page article submission for the book on Global Peace > Science. > > Yours in peace and friendship, > > Glen Martin > > > Dr. Glen T. Martin > > President, World Constitution and Parliament Assoc. (www.wcpa.biz, > www.worldparliament-gov.org) > President, Institute on World Problems (www.worldproblems.net) > Professor of Philosophy, Radford University (www.radford.edu/gmartin) > > > > From: gha-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:gha-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf > Of Leo Semashko > Sent: Monday, September 23, 2013 11:50 AM > To: williamsbj@xxxxxx; c.von-furstenberg@xxxxxxxxxx; p.alvarez@xxxxxxxxxx > Cc: gha@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; ghausa@xxxxxxxxxxxxx; > peace-from-harmony@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx > Subject: [gha] Invitation to Global Peace Science Imagination > > INVITATION > TO GLOBAL PEACE SCIENCE IMAGINATION > > For scientists, poets, painters and composers; for religious, political, > women's, youth and other community leaders; for Heads of States and > Governments; for employees of the UN, UNESCO, UNICEF and other international > organizations; for Nobel Peace Laureates; for all who are known to be > peace-loving with a firm commitment to peace. > > The Global Harmony Association (GHA: www.peacefromharmony.org) is happy to > invite you to participate in unique on its world significance book: "Global > Peace Science: The First Common Good for the 21st Century and every Human" > (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=585). We would be thrilled to > include your art work or article up to 3 pages (at your request it may be > more) to answer this subject: "What I imagine as the most effective pursuit > of global peace science on the basis of GHA sources and my own vision in the > 21st century?” Your art work or article will be featured in one of the book > chapters or a new chapter, proposed by you. > The deadline for articles is November 30, 2013; for the art works is April > 30, 2014. > This can be modified at your request. > > Your article or work would be sent, by e-mail in attached file WORLD.doc, to > the GHA President, the book Editor in Chief Dr. Leo Semashko > (leo.semashko@xxxxxxxxx) or another GHA leader at the address here: Contact > Us > (www.peacefromharmony.org/?cat=en_c&key=574). > GHA will highly appreciate and publish your response to this invitation with > any suggestions and comments. > This invitation may be distributed freely.