Celebrate diversity and create symbiosis

Celebrate diversity and create symbiosis

By Johan Galtung

May 8, 2019

There is much diversity.  Let us praise that mega aspect of our world as multipolar, passive but peaceful, coexistence of civilizations:

Anglo-American; Latin American-Caribbean; Islamic; African pre-, post-colonial; European from Ireland to Russia Far East; West Asian Islamic; with Israel Jewish; Iran Persian; South Asian, SAARC, Hindu and Islamic with India; Southeast Asian, ASEAN, Buddhist, Christian, multi-cultural; Northeast Asian daoist-shinto with China and Japan; Asian-Pacific, multi-cultural, with Maoris, Aborigines, Polynesians, Micronesians, Melanesians from one rim to the other.

14 civilizations.  Others stop counting at 8, 10.  Around that.

What a wonderful, diverse, polyphonic world!  Not monophonic US or European all over, as they both have wanted and maybe still want.

It should be celebrated as part of a formula for endurance and duration. The other side of this is symbiosis.  Man-woman diversity is fine; the other part is man-woman symbiosis – that is probably celebrated in half of world literature?

Civilization diversity is fine, so is symbiosis.  Meaning what?

The standard answer: dialogue. “This is our position; what is yours?” Good enough for getting to know each other across gaps of differences. But dialogue is not good enough for symbiosis, for “living together”-ness.

What more is needed, beyond “dialogue of civilizations”?

Like for man-woman: creating something new.  A real dialogue goes beyond getting to know each other to mutual learning, beyond mutual learning to mutual visions, and beyond that to mutual practice.

Thus, Christianity and Islam could join in producing a Chrislam, Hinduism and Buddhism a Hinbuism, Daoism and Shinto a Daoshin.

The civilizations we know, and often celebrate as if they were eternal, arose like that.  That wonderful process will not stop by somebody putting a lid on it: “You have us; that is all you need”.

They may try, but will not succeed. Seeds under ice burst forth.

Seeds of new civilizations under the present will also burst forth.

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