"As separate individuals, we live in separate cultures haunted by the vague memory of an intimacy that we all share. Let us, all together, chase the very horizon of existence, the edge of understanding, the point at which new sensations, emotions, thoughts and ideas begin to emerge… and let us bring this intimacy alive." ~Alex Mero
What is the difference between the terms “multicultural” and “intercultural”?
Both “multiculturalism” and “interculturalism” are frequently confused with one another, and yet there is a big difference between them. A multicultural society is one where people from different cultures, nationalities, ethnic and religious groups live in the same area, but are not necessarily in contact with one another. What we see in multicultural societies is that the mutual differences are often the basis for discrimination, where minorities may be tolerated, but are seldom fully accepted or valued. Even the law isn’t applied equally to everyone, despite the fact that legal rights exist to counteract these practices. The concept of an intercultural society is the next step in human evolution that will eventually lead to universalism. Interculturalism occurs in a society where people from different cultures, nationalities, ethnic and religious groups live in the same area and keep an open and impartial relationship with one another. Within an intercultural society, people recognize each other’s way of life and accept these differences with respect and appreciation, and live together in order to actively encourage a healthy balance of interest, tolerance and self–achievement. This is a process that makes it possible for all members of the society to be treated equally and fairly.
What are your views on the crises occurring in the world today? What are the possible solutions?
There have been perpetual crises since the beginning of time. Man is constantly in crisis, whether it’s with himself or with his surroundings. To better understand the profound causes of these crises, one needs to look beyond the political or economic factors. The sources of the problem are the injustices imposed on people, and even on whole nations, and the fact that these injustices are tolerated, justified and even considered necessary. Today, more than ever, humanity is less important than achievements. If one really desires resolution of these problems, it’s important to revise objectives and the unjust systems that support them. This has to come from within and not from without. Those in power have the task of enforcing and maintaining such systems.
Is the notion of universal morals central to your philosophy and dialogues?
Although a philosophy may be a bearer of ethical and moral values and therefore contribute to exemplary conduct and behavior, its role remains limited. Philosophy can describe a discourse embracing a vision of the world, but not a real truth, otherwise it wouldn’t be philosophy any more. What I try to bring forth through my writing- and I think both my own philosophy and philosophy in general can play an important role here- is that everything that exists is permeated by a superior intelligence. My work, essentially, focuses on revealing the existence of a universal order which provides structure to all of creation, rather than a universal moral sense.
Are you not skeptical that the universalism you aspire to, might eventually lead to a single world philosophy which would abolish global diversity?
Universalism does not imply a blending of all cultures into a single one; this is repeatedly attempted and leads to nothing more than a multicultural melting pot. Universalism is a new concept in which all cultures unite, complimenting each other, and highlighting each other’s values and shortcomings, while maintaining some of their uniqueness. In order to achieve this, a universal model needs to be created permitting the assemblage of all desirable qualities, allowing the evaluation of one another’s values and shortcomings and maintaining those qualities that are positive in promoting overall peace and growth. This requires courage and willingness to forgo some sense of security and familiarity for something new; it is the only way for a new universal civilization to develop; one that is fair and tolerant towards all.