ASTANA – ULTRAMODERN, CULTURAL DIALOGUE-CENTER OF WORLD PEACE
The Republic Kazakhstan is twice the size of the territory of Germany, France and Spain all together. Rich in natural resources, this state is “extremely wealthy”, and thanks to its ideal geo-political position at the crossroads between Europe and Asia they can and will have a broad impact on world events!
Such a cultural-evolutionary mission deriving from the peoples’ spiritual character built over history, is, among others, reflected by Kazakhstan’s new, extremely modern capital and cultural metropolis ASTANA! At the beginning of the 21st century the best thinkers, architects, engineers, artists and other specialists from all over the world created the plan for an infrastructure of an ultra-modern, multi-religious WORLD CENTER, based on international Cooperation and intercultural DIALOGUE! Such a center, designed to meet the needs of the new age, has meanwhile become reality! – The issue at stake is to make use of the significance and importance of Kazakhstan’s CULTURAL MAGNETISM. These positive developments in Central-Asia should be strongly fostered, stimulated and actively supported.
The existence and significance of this state, its function as a bridge between Asia and Europe, can be traced back to a period many centuries BEFORE Christ. This region has always been present, although under different names. Numerous highly developed Asian peoples, also many of the so called “white race”, used this bridge, not only for trading purposes, but for moving westwards; via the territory of today’s Kazakhstan they migrated from the East and settled in Western areas up to various European regions. One of many other consequences from this migration: significant cultural as well as societal qualities were introduced to Europe. The only relict for Europeans from this period seems to be the name Genghis Khan, however, in the western view, as the leader of a wild horde who built the greatest empire of all times.As a result, these peoples inspired and enriched all the regions west and south of Kazakhstan. Genghis Khan, though largely unknown in the West with respect to his groundbreaking achievements, is said to be the actual initiator of the civilization process in Russia and the large continent EURASIA, which today as well as back then must be understood as a coherent area, a geographical as well as CULTURAL UNITY. Subject to the foregoing, the new Kazakhstan will have to demonstrate its qualification as a pioneer and leader in this area of tension! If Kazakhstan fails to seize the current cultural-societal opportunities dynamically by using strong initiatives, its gigantic and multifaceted potentials – today in the hand of a strong state leadership – will be passed on to neighboring countries, indirectly even to foreign powers from other continents!
A major problem remains: The lack of understanding between East and West
Today’s European citizens have hardly any knowledge of the historical or cultural developments outside of Europe; this is mainly due to manipulated, one-sided information, leading to poor understanding of the current situation in the Eastern territories, mostly those regions beyond Europe. In addition, the European spiritual-cultural education and understanding of the human nature and of the world in general is quite limited, one-sided or even false.
Even today shortsighted politicians or pseudo-religious activists regularly launch new campaigns to remind of the “cruel” Genghis Khan or “evil” communism. These reminders are combined with current facts, such as the increasing dominance of the Chinese currency, the threat of potential terror attacks by Russian, Caucasian or Central-Asian peoples or even fear of terrorism coming from Kazakhstan (as spread via the internet). Such worries are even intensified by the Russian and Chinese leadership, because they act quite independently from the West, thus somehow producing even today a kind of “Iron curtain” between East and West and another type of “Cold War”!
One major problem however, which unfortunately cannot be solved through information or education alone, is that the EU citizen’s limited understanding and oftenwrongly programmed comprehension of politics or economy is mainly based on trivial media. This leads to political and cultural misunderstanding, discords and artificial problems, often diverting the attention from the essential issue: the creation of continental cooperation-groups on the basis of culture and ethics. Artificial tension and emotions are created with everything around “Islam”, to take only one example – but still today’s EU citizens have only little or no understanding of the reality of Islamic culture and its fundamentals. Nevertheless, the European citizen’s defensive and emotional reactions are to some extent understandable, given the fact that they have been spiritually and culturally isolated from the multi-cultural reality for almost 2000 years so that high philosophies or religions – such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism or other cultural communities – are hardly understood in the West so that fears of all kinds can grow against “being overrun and overwhelmed by unknown cultures”…
The key to World Peace – is in the hands of cultural or religious powers
Since Islam is generally accepted as a great cultural power in Asia and Africa – and Buddhist, Confucian or Taoist traditions likewise form the basis for civilization and political structures (politics and economics) especially in China, Japan and other states, the so-called (Christian) civilized West will have to catch up with proper education in this respect. Every successful state community is dependent on its citizens’ quality of development in awareness and character! Therefore, not only the intellectual or scientific education, but even more the spiritual-cultural development of the young generations must be promoted – in conjunction with the fundamental support of religions, arts, science and cultural communities!
Especially with respect to education and upbringing(!) of its youth, it should be noted that Kazakhstanas well as Chinaprincipally give top priority to this field! The young people, obviously performing very well at school and demonstrating great learning abilities, nowadays even have the choice to study abroad if desired – funded by the state! Annual analyses on education and comparisons of performances with those pupils of European schools indicate clearly that the Asian pupils achieve exceptional results in highest quality! Considering the fact that the self-dissolution of the Soviet Union occurred just 20 years ago and that the new generation is now being actively integrated into the community life step by step, it becomes obvious that these highly skilled young people, partly educated in Europe and Asia and equipped with all the essential knowledge, will represent and defend interests of Central Asia at very high levels in the future.
Furthermore, as is well known, Kazakhstan is extremely rich in natural resources which the West, but also China urgently need. In addition, the geopolitical location between Russia and China creates discomfort among Western countries. Therefore, they are likely to use political and military power (as happened in Georgia) to better control this strong state in the focus of Central Asia. (Only in August 2011, the U.S. State Department put Kazakhstan on the list of ”terrorist states”!). We all are aware that the USA, when defining an increased terror threat level, reserve the right to intervene with military force everywhere (just take the example of Afghanistan, Iraq, Libyaand other states). No doubt, a great number of secret services are working intensively on finding evidence for Kazakhstan’s terrorist behaviour.
From a global-cultural point of view, we should all hope that Kazakhstanwill concentrate fully on its development, on its spiritual identity and on the target to become a role model of a cultural-spiritual world center.
Astana – a new SPIRITUAL-CULTURAL WORLD METROPOLIS?
A look at the past two decades shows that Kazakhstan’s political and cultural leadership has made quite some efforts to put forward its worldwide, inter-cultural peace-conception on the basis of spiritual culture! Founding the new capital Astana was only one of the stages leading towards a promising future. Muslims as well as Christians and Buddhists are permanent guests in this city and take part in the constantly developing inter-cultural dialogue. As in the past a great number of international, scientific and political conferences, congresses and meetings take place regularly – on topics such as “Peace, political-cultural harmonization, tension release, non-violence or education and upbringing of the future generations”. The exceptional conference centers built in Astana for this purpose exclusively show the high standard Kazakhstan strives for by setting an indelible sign and even acting as a very special magnet.
Over thousands of years Asia contributed to the wealth and development of Europe with numerous goods, special knowledge, scientific and cultural information and positively inspired fairy tales or stories carried from Asia to Europe via the “Silk Road”. Due to traditions grown over generations the silk road had developed into a “neutral highway”, it was respected and protected by the people living near this road, offering benefits to all individuals sharing these possibilities.
In spite of various ethnic groups with different cultures and traditions, they all coexisted peacefully and came to mutual arrangements on the basis of ethical values. Even despite the fact that several culturally “uneducated” rulers, hungry for power, such as “Alexander the Great” (who actually turned out to be a great destroyer of cultural foundations due to the influence by his teacher Aristotle) repeatedly tried to destroy these thousand-years-old traditions, the Silk Road could not be eliminated.
The Silk Road is to be understood as the cultural artery, ensuring the cultural and continental (geographical) union of the EURASIAN continent – also tomorrow! Therefore, the artificial division of EURASIA into two continents (into Europe and Asia) approx. 1000 years ago, driven by interest-led politics and pseudo-religious motives, is truly incomprehensible. Therefore, both sides have to work on developing the urgently needed cultural-spiritual synthesis on all levels and areas.
The AIM: A cultural and societal World Center for worldwide social harmony
Among numerous dreams of mankind one stands out distinctly with all people of good will: The COMMON desire for WORLD PEACE! Whether people are religious and/or materialistic or atheistic (BELIEVERS or NON-BELIEVERS, individuals of quite different thinking), they all share the same great, unifying dream. However, achieving this lofty aim is only possible if the majority of mankind reaches a certain maturity and quality in the development of their character (on an ethical basis) and of awareness – because only then humanity will be promoted to the next level and thus become ready for new options in order to be successful on the way towards WORLD PEACE. So when it comes to finding a pace-setter, promoter, initiator or motivator for such an initiative serving all mankind, only an independent state (also financially), free from material or political interests in other areas, can be a candidate for such a lofty idea! Of course, such a state requires a different level of citizens as well, citizens of a high spiritual-ethical and inter-cultural awareness. These citizens must operate as a source of inspiration, also as reminders, as a cultural fortress, while being united and giving full support to their state leadership.
The very fact that Kazakhstan’s state leadership takes the chance to establish such an approach (as briefly outlined above) and to prepare such development is yet another step in the direction of the common goal of world peace– a step that all peace-seeking individuals from all over the world, without exception, will support. Kazakhstan’s unique chance and role as a peace- and harmony initiator has undoubtedly been created!
In this connection, it is encouraging to find that not only large religious communities – especially the Islam – identify with this World-Peace Initiative, but other mighty states, such as China, Russia, all the Central-Asian countries and also India as well, by acknowledging and even promoting Kazakhstan’s efforts and striving! The political and economic Unions founded in the last two decades, especially owing to Kazakhstan’s cooperation with Russia (V. Putin) and China, represent approx. two thirds of humanity (“Shanghai” or “BRICS”-group). This is just another reason to update the topic of WORLD-PEACE with even stronger efforts and to exterminate the insanity of armaments and military over-kill.
The above-mentioned approach to achieve WORLD-PEACE requires close cooperation between POLITICS and CULTURE in order to prepare the groundwork for further action, to motivate all of humanity for a common engagement in this direction and in particular to encourage all culturally and spiritually interested people including politicians!
But all perspectives have to be balanced in a nonviolent way, therefore, close and intensive cooperation by all parties is required!
However, the objective division of powers as currently practiced by several states should go in line with the striving for LONG-TERM perspectives and understanding. Spiritual-religious institutions have relied on such an attitude for centuries. Politicians, however, are responsible for the issues of both: for civilization as well as for the pragmatic implementation of citizen’s social and cultural needs. But since the duration of legislative periods is limited, the respective politicians can only concentrate on short-term perspectives. Therefore, the separation between religion and state, as introduced to the West by Napoleon 300 years ago, needs to be bridged by close and constructive cooperation of the political and cultural authorities in order to overcome this shortcoming of democracy!
So the slogan for the future can only be: to help and support each other on the way towards SPIRITUAL and ETHICAL CONCORD on a worldwide basis! It is of absolutely no importance, where and by whom such cultural or so-called ideological peace initiatives are introduced, as long as they are based on ethical principles!
Therefore, we notice with great pleasure that the Central Asian territory is laying the cultural and political foundations already today (as it did over the past 20 years by means of carefully targeted activities), and thus continues the bridge building between ASIA and EUROPE. In this context, we have to remember that the World Congress in Almaty in 1992 already prepared the ground for this development under the title “TOWARDS SPIRITUAL CONCORD”. Credit must be given to Kazakhstan’s citizens that they fully supported the early political planning in many ways so that a great initiative could realize the implementation of numerous concepts in the direction described here.
We are extremely pleased with this development – and would like to thank the Kazakh people and the government of the Republic KAZAKHSTAN for this exemplary engagement for Human Values!
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KAZAKHSTAN - an ancient, geo-cultural region is back on the world stage