Old Culture
by Joseph De Temmerman

Two years ago, I was allowed to make my acquaintance with the leader of an age-old Buddhist monastery that lay fraternally next to a Shintoïst sanctuary. An area with a mountain range as focal point called the Peninsula, in Kyushu Island in Japan, beside that very island where an atomic bomb wiped out thousands in one blow. As on a number of occasions before, I sensed an irresistible urge to interrupt my activities for a while and seek counsel there. As I continued firing questions at the wise man, I saw his head sinking ever deeper …. So many questions, and he smiled. In that environment, where people faced the atomic bomb, human thinking indeed proves to be more profound.

Back home I understood the Gordian knot we are turned in. At this moment no moral doctrine, no religion is capable of providing moral rules to this new man who perfects himself by using miraculous calculus machines, i.e. to teach him to keep a balance amidst this technical violence.

That is why I have stopped examining the old morality any further and will now start, by logical thinking, to use little pieces of the old morality to construct a basis that will allow us to survive this challenge. Hereby I especially count on the sufficient scientists from all disciplines to develop a balanced global morality as a result of their joint intelligence.

This time our morality cannot turn to the experience of the ancient philosophers. They never had to face the hundreds of millions of screens teaching them to consume ever more. To put it differently, to satisfy themselves. This are immoral teaching modes in a sense that focusing all the attention on oneself is diametrically opposed to the necessity of taking into account other people and the environment.

The fundamental law of nature of the restoration of balance worked here the way I described it: in case the unbalance becomes too big, it will be restored by violence without taking into account the actual perpetrator: they were congeners, to Nature this appears to suffice for a restoration by force of the previous balance. Remarkable that I, exactly on that island – as compared to current similar- population groups, witnessed a community I would gladly be part of. Why? Because the people there manage to combine a very modern way of life with a strong consideration for their fellow man (extremely accommodating) and the preservation of the natural environment.

Their original (tough) Samurai culture had been influenced by the American culture, of which they had taken over some good aspects without altering the general aspect of their own culture. A pity that a gruesome war had to be necessary to accomplish this. In Europe the results of this war also temporarily provided a better moral balance. However, the younger generations were not taught the benefits of the preservation of a balance of proportions, as a result of which these youngsters– the present ruling generation – again clearly fail to preserve a moral balance.

Now I think I can be of use by making a summary of what to preserve from the teachings of past cultures before we start to develop useful ideas for a better world order. Same as hundreds of million people I transferred from a peaceful village to one town after one other. Missing the sight of growing life so much, I always kept in containers at least 1 m2 meter of fertile ground for flowers. The last 25 years living in a sunless cellar, I broke up a small part of the stone floor there, and made a 6 m2 garden were in I grow with even tall plants and flowers. They had sun imitating light, and a shower system that both worked automatically when I was absent for weeks. This garden was separated from my living room by a former show- window, to keep full sight of it. This to say how much I missed nature. This is now becoming a human problem. People loose contact with all what is living.