“The Way to Do is to Be”: Gabriele Castagnoli
- Kamran Mofid
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“The Way to Do is to Be” ¹
We are all surrounded by things. Some of which are useful, some just beautiful, some are useless and some even seem ridiculous to me. Not to mention all those iThings.
Mostly we do not know any longer where all those things come from. Some of them are manmade even handmade. More and more of them are self-created. Things made by things. But behind all this there are still humans—sometimes producing at least inventing all those stuff. We are all surrounded of a very complex network of human beings and things, which are helpful in our everyday life. But I have to confess that
I do not believe in things. I believe in beings.
I do not mean maybe-ings, you-know-who. Maybe we should, maybe some other time. Well, maybe a bit.
I refer to—higher beings for example, which you might know or believe in too. Which some of us have encountered at a special point or time in our lives. Mostly difficult times I suppose.
I believe in higher beings, which don’t have to be named in any language or with the words of a special religious tradition.
I believe—in beings.
I believe in the animate beings that surround us everywhere in nature. Be it animals, plants or stones and one or the other fairy too. There are so many of them, which support and accompany us for thousands of years now.
And you know what? For as long they are waiting for us to support them. They are waiting for us, because they—certainly do not believe in human beings. But maybe, in being, because that’s what they are best in. They simply are.
What about us? Do you believe in being—in beings—in us human beings?
I believe in us—human beings. Not being superior but being human.
When I say us, I include all the human beings we have excluded so far—excluded through classification, stigmatisation and hindrances.
The Swiss philosopher Jeanne Hersch*, born in 1910, wrote in one of her essays:
“One isn’t just a human being; One can only hope to become a human being.” ²
Jeanne Hersch was one of the most famous intellectuals in recent times and, throughout her life, she championed human rights and liberty. She was also convinced that when the great majority supported an opinion, you should confront this trend and look for counterarguments.
For two years (1966–68), she was a Director at UNESCO in Paris, where she set up the Division of Philosophy. Probably nowhere else are so many compromises required than in an international organisation, as many of you can attest for sure. This period was a learning process for Hersch.
So she was all the more delighted to be able to publish the book “Birthright of Man” with more than 1,000 quotations from the world’s cultural traditions for UNESCO. These quotations showed that human dignity is not just a Western idea but applies to all human beings everywhere. Jeanne Hersch(s) (…) major concerns were freedom and responsibility, educating young people, the quest for meaning, democracy which should not be taken for granted and, of course, human rights.
I believe that beyond the “human rights” the so called “Birthright of Man” there is a law of nature, an unwritten law.
I believe, before there is any state of being or “a being” there is an essence of being in which we all originate. Above all we humans are spiritual beings—throughout all of time.
I believe in us Human Beings being eternal Spiritual Beings.
According to this:
I believe in the Spiritual Wisdom in Everyday Life.
Or better still:
Everyday Life is Spiritual Wisdom.
To get to the heart of it:
Life is spiritual.
Thank you for the heart warming encounters and the fruitful collaboration these days here at Waterperry House. Using our inner and outer network and our interbeing, we can spin this further throughout the cosmos.
May all beings be happy!
References1 Lao-tzu, 6th century BC, Tao Te Ching, Te Ching: Chap. 47. Lao-tzu was a Chinese Taoist philosopher and the founder of Taoism. 2 Jeanne Hersch, 1976, Die Hoffnung, Mensch zu sein: Essays l Benziger Monika Weber, 2010 about Jeanne Hersch. Monika Weber is former Councillor of State in Switzerland and President of the Jeanne Hersch Society. Gregg Krech, 2001, Naikan: Gratitude, Grace, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection l Stone Bridge Press. Gregg Krech is Executive Director of the To Do Institute, a Naikan education and retreat center near Middlebury, Vermont.Charles Eisenstein, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible