The quest for something lost and found after many years has long tickled my fancy and was a major motivation in my life. I was looking for a sort of freedom which allows the self to inhabit every being and to be one with Mother Nature in the same way that a child unconsciously yearns to return to its mother’s womb.
Perhaps we are suffering from a tragic separation between the Self and the Great Nurturer and we are always trying hard to understand the reason and wisdom behind this break. In the same way, a child experiences the trauma of birth when it is separated from the mother’s body. It is a haunting anxiety lurking in the unconscious and which never goes away.
It is for this reason that we need to rid ourselves from all immutable principles which we have grown up with in our countries of origin. A human being is constantly evolving and so are all the principles and beliefs which we build for ourselves. Sometimes we are compelled to choose to live in a country which has surpassed our own to a certain degree in its search for a middle ground between individual freedom and collective interest. Such countries have experienced over long centuries a rending struggle to better understand human history and human motives and to build for themselves a more advanced and wholesome intellectual agenda.
Here begins the journey of the mind looking for a leading thread towards a free spirit. This reaching out towards every living creature is an attempt to attune ourselves to the natural order. We need to go through different stages to achieve freedom because absolute freedom may be impossible unless perhaps each atom of our human bodies is completely dissolved in the greater natural body from which it whence came.
Amidst these concerns, closed notions and narrow principles are blurred by the dazzling effect of words we have grown up with. There is always a new and different way of thinking which opens up new perspectives, allows us to break some of the immutable principles and barriers impeding human progress. We need to ask ourselves about the very meaning of life and what it is good for. After painful deliberations we can deduce that we do not exist in order to stand still, hold on to old beliefs but to swing and dance graciously to the changing rhythm of life itself.
I never thought for one minute that Europe is a heaven on earth and neither have I ever claimed that the Europeans and the West in general have managed to achieve a conclusive understanding of noble human principles and concepts. But as individuals looking for the depths of the self we do have a predisposition to express our ideas and ourselves in a clear and bald manner.
Many of us have repeatedly experienced moments of disappointment for various reasons chief among them the hypocrisy and double standards voiced openly by Western societies and which clash with universal human principles. But despite my strong disagreement with the methods adopted to address some issues, it is impossible for me to write off all the achievements of Western societies. I am somewhat pleased about the directions which my intellectual work has taken and about the small steps which I have made in the pursuit of free thought. Let us not forget that the society which opens up a space for expression and free criticism on any given subject or question is indeed a constructive society which respects its members and considers them all equal before the law.
It goes without saying that this society needs to identify red lines within which each individual is allowed to express his/ her freedom. There are those who might question these constraints and see them as an excuse to exclude other cultures. It may sometimes seem that this freedom is granted only to those whose hearts and minds are westernized and that in reality Western culture like any other culture tends to turn into a prosecuting machine that banishes all other cultures. Here, I need to be clear and explain that humankind should never go backward. What advanced nations believe in and stand for is the outcome of long struggles over many centuries. Western cultures I think should have the right to defend their ideas and to confront any movement which seeks to shackle thought and limit the progress of reason and return it to fables and nonsense which cost the lives of many individuals. What I am talking about here, the point I am making is not out of love for the West but it is motivated by my love for thought and freedom towards which is my goal but also that which the entire humanity is striving to achieve.
The Western mind does not exercise its influence and power by hypnotizing other nations. Such influence is rather derived from the principles it embodies and champions such as a human call to reach certain physical achievements within a given system of social organization. We are all required to achieve freedom, here understood in a comprehensive sense and with a totalizing perspective which includes in the drive towards freedom all living creatures. That is how it will be possible for us to say that the progressive achievments of the West are not limited to the West and its culture is not engendered from its own ideas only. Western culture as we experience it today is the sum total of accumulating historical and intellectual capital which is constantly travelling from one part of the world to another. Western achievements resulted from the best that has been thought and done across many human civilizations since the dawn of history and since the development of life on our planet.
We learned from our diverse human experiences that the twists and turns in the course of human history are prompted by a commitment to free and unrestrained thought, a way of thinking which lends itself to construction and deconstruction, to reform and restoration. The sum total of these historical experiences exists today in France and in the West. But at the same time it is important to remember that Western societies have not reached a state of perfection and still have a long way to go in that respect. The garment that the West has been weaving for itself is not yet complete and that is why it has a lot to take and borrow from the embellishing garments that diverse individuals with different experiences and from different cultures bring along with them to the West when they choose to live there.
I have a lot of criticism and praise for Western nations in general and for France in particular. Here I learned how to inhale polluted air and transform it into clean air that opens up my heart and mind. But I will have to talk about a cancerous problem which has affected the West and the humanity in general. This problem is spreading in a viral way and many people refrain from talking about it openly partly because of the strict and restricting laws related to political correctness and racism which tend to inhibit and silence the voice of reason and critical minds. Paradoxically, inherent racist and supremacist attitudes are on the rise because they found a suitable breeding ground in the principle of chauvinism which I think is the worst form of racism.
If we look closely at the phenomenon of chauvinism we can see that racism is a developed form of [ego-ethnicity/ or ethnic identity] and in this context when I talk about a developed or evolved form I don’t use this image in a progressive sense because evolution or development is different from progress. If we take a closer look at the primitive forms of [ethnic identity] we find that its current usage evolved from the same idea of xenophobia, in the sense of resentment and hatred of the foreign. This feeling grew with the growth of social groups and the same behaviour can be observed among all creatures which live in groups. If we go back to racism, it is possible to see the tendency of humans to lean towards a primitive and animal nature. Our accumulating sciences and philosophies did not manage to curb this primitive nature which is born with the growth of social groups and forms of organization.
It is true that all nations and cultures have to deal with one aspect or another of this primitive heritage. Humanity is the same in each place and context but what makes us different is free thought and what makes societies different is the degree of their achievement in the sphere of civil liberties and human rights in terms of concrete laws and regulations which protect individuals despite their radical differences in thought with the social principles informing the societies to which they belong. I believe that the Western social masses have not been successful in living up to universal human values and principles. Chauvinism is still a mighty weapon in the hands of its philistines who seem to have nothing exceptional to be proud of other than their nations and the laws and thinkers of their nations. We are now in desperate need for an intellectual awakening to restrain Western governments from stiring the mentality of chauvinism among their (native) citizens in their ‘tabloidized’ and ‘feudalized’ media. Complacency and pride are among the most destructive forces of human civilization and that applies to a great extent to the Western variant among them.