Chinese Culture, Western Mind and Eastern Traditions

Today,we possess information but do not possess culture;We possess knowledge but do not possess ideals;We possess technology but do not possess goals.

The present era of mankind is just like what Charles Dickens described at the beginning of his A Tale of Two Cities:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”

Mankind possesses an unprecedentedly surprising great power. Nevertheless,mankind’s fate is still an unknown variable indeed. One side is Heaven,and the other side is Hell;We may “go up direct to Heaven”,but may also “go down direct to Hell”.

In the current world,there are countless contradictions, people are falling apart,crises are hidden everywhere,and war is going on continuously. In the millennium that has just passed, how many wars were there in our world? Owing to the differences in concept and statistical standard, it is very hard to come to a precise number. US scholar Quincy Wright has a very rough statistic in his A study of War:In the 838 years from AD 1100 to 1938, in Europe alone, there were as many as 4452 “fairly great wars”. In the first half of the 20th century, two world wars broke out unprecedentedly. In the first world war, 33 countries with 1.5 billion people took part in the war,and in the second world war, 80 countries with 2 billion people were involved. Finally,USA used the atomic bomb to Japan, thus, our world has entered an unprecedentedly terrible “nuclear world”,which is a world in which it is possible to destroy the whole mankind in an instant. After the cold war,the economic development worldwide has lost its balance, the gap between the rich and the poor has been expanding increasingly, all kinds of sharp conflicts among nations and religions are intensifying, and what is worse, terrorism, this “malignant tumor”, has stemmed from the conflicts. Nowadays, terrorism has already developed from kidnapping, assassination, bombing, skyjacking, taking of hostages and small-scaled raids to “human flesh bomb”, suicide bombing and the astounding “9.11” event. If things go on like this, not only a peaceful life will no longer exist, but this world will become a horrible hell, too.

Such a world is never the ideal world we wish for.

Nobody likes to have an old world that will “go down direct to Hell”, and nobody is unwilling to choose a new world that may “go up direct to Heaven”.

The New World is a uniform world,a harmonious world,a completely peaceful world,and a highly cooperative world. In other words,the New World is a globally integrative world taking the greatest interest of the whole mankind as its soul. In the New World,we shall not only have global economic integration,but also have global cultural integration and global political integration. In the New World,all mankind will be of one mind,pull together,work hand in glove with each other, and realize the ideal of “all mankind be one family”.

The world is composed of people. Only a new mankind can create a new world. The present world where we are living is just the result of the present mankind.
What is the present mankind is like? Diderot (French philosopher) has such a description: “Mankind is both strong and weak,both humble and noble; it is able to penetrate minute things but often turns a blind eye to obvious matters.” In many ways, mankind is so powerful: as powerful as to be able to turn the whole world upside down; but at the same time, it is so weak: to the extent that by a mere touch of the finger on the nuclear button, the whole mankind would be destroyed in an instant;It can be so penetrating in thinking that it can study the extreme minute things in the outer world, but it often turns a blind eye to the greatest common interest within mankind! Such a mankind, of course, only deserves a world of mutual struggle, mutual killing, continuous war and countless violent events.

Only a new mankind will deserve a new world. What will the new mankind be like? It will not be weak in heart, not humble in manner, not turn a blind eye to important matters, but will be much stronger, nobler, and have a greater insight into things; It will be able to see clearly the common interest and long-term interest of mankind, not only able to penetrate the self interest and immediate interest. In other words,the new mankind is a mankind that has a clear understanding of the common best interest of the whole mankind and make all-out efforts to struggle for it, that is, it is the mankind that can create the new world in the best and fastest way.

The new mankind is just the “new-styled person” mentioned by Floom:

“I believe,only when a new-styled mankind appears can a united world exist in the real sense.”

Such a new-styled man has “appeared from the age-old bondage of soil and blood, he feels he is the son of mankind, is a citizen of the world… He loves the whole mankind, and his judgment will not be distorted by his national loyalty.”

To cultivate such a new mankind, we can only depend on a new culture. Culture is the bottommost software system composed of mankind’s or a nation’s world outlook, life philosophy, values, ways of thinking, patterns of behavior and so on.

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