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.

5 Responses to "Celebrate diversity and create symbiosis"

  1. F Jahanpour   June 4, 2019 at 8:21 pm

    This lovely video showing the amazing diversity of a meadow is a good representation of what Professor Galtung is talking about:

  2. F Jahanpour   June 4, 2019 at 7:11 pm

    Thank you Professor Galtung for this enlightening and stimulating article. Clearly, some people are so immersed in their own narrow prejudices that they cannot see that global diversity is something to be celebrated, rather than being afraid of. Of course, all civilisations have been guilty of some reprehensible behaviour in the course of their history. It includes our own Western civilisation which went through centuries of the Dark Ages, religious wars, slavery, the period of European witch craze resulting in the killing of thousands of women as witches, and in our own times the two world wars with tens of millions killed, unimaginable savagery including the Holocaust, the killing of some three million people in North Korea and more than two million people in Vietnam, right up to the killing of at least a couple of million people in various countries in the Middle East.
    One can find similar dark events in the history of all other civilisations, and it would be silly and fruitless to try to engage in a game of oneupmanship and try to compare their evil deeds. However, despite all those faults, humanity has achieved a great deal and created beautiful and sublime arts, literature, sciences, technologies, religions, philosophies, etc. Instead of trying to make everybody just like ourselves and create a garden with flowers of just one colour and one scent, we should celebrate the amazing diversity of different races, religions, civilisations and nations like a variegated garden. Let’s hope that we can protect and preserve what we have, rather than destroy it through out foolishness.

  3. Alfred vierling   May 8, 2019 at 12:04 pm

    This wishful thinking by Galtung is inly made possible by his total lack of knowledge of islam and mohammadan expansionist hegemonic proliferation strategy. Islam doesnot tolerate any diversity. By occulting coranic premises, centuries’ long dhjihad, sharia law and hadith dictates, Galtung and all dreamers of ‘Euro-islam’ (of which the famous protagonist Bassam Tibi gave up hope for its realisation in Europe) expose our European peoples to the most exclusive racist fascist anti-women anti-gay male chauvinistic anti-scientific, anti-democratic, anti- western relideology on earth, only because he coins it falsrly so as an anti-imperialistic anti-capitalistic third world ideology against white hegemony. One minute studying islam in India or China would have precluded him from this vatican-like strife for world religion.

    • JO   May 8, 2019 at 2:44 pm

      With all due respect, Alfred Vierling: Why do you keep on propagating your own obsessive prejudice and hatred on this peaceful site. If you cannot express your – of course, legitimate – views in a more respectful way but have to be so black-and-white judgemental about authors and contents, I’d frankly not be sad if you chose to find some other place to continue your clearly Islamophobic Crusade. – Jan Oberg

      • Alfred vierling   May 8, 2019 at 5:21 pm

        Dear Mr. Oberg. I admire to your institute’s anti-NATO commitment and subscribe to your efforts for better relations with Russia. Instead of psychologizing me (islamophobia) pls take not of Russian, Chinese and Mideuropean reasons and methods to curb down mohammedan intrusion and sharia enclaves. Hopefully, if you are not to be enlightened by me or any personal life experience, your Iranian shiite friends will be able to impinge upon you some awareness of the nefarious influence of (neo)ottoman and suni-arab islamisation projects in Europe. Or better, leave your ivory tower and go downtown to dhimmi reality in westeuropean cities. It may help to read ‘ La Guerre civile raciale’ by defunct Guillaume Faye. As you wish, I ll leave this platform, but if you will ever at last change your mind on the topic, let me know. I may be loud and straightforward here, but a peace institute cannot just do away with Brexit and opposition against multiculturalism and islamic proliferation by mere labeling it ‘populism’. Nasser would have ridilculised you as he did with de muslim brothers. ‘Islam in the Modern World’ by the Egyptian philosopher prof. Hassan Hannafi may also convince you that my statement is well established and not a sick head’s xenophobia. alfredvierling@yahoo.fr

To promote dialogue, write your appreciation, disagreement, questions or add stuff/references that will help others learn more...

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.