Asia

Round Table: Ossendowski, Guenon, Maritain

The arrival in Paris of Mr. Ferdinand Ossendowski, who has been called the Robinson Crusoe of the twentieth century, could not go unnoticed; all critics are unanimous in considering Beasts, Men and Gods, his first book translated into French, as a prodigious book, the most exciting travelogue they ever read,. We had the good fortune to talk with Ossendowski, the man who saw the living Buddha, and we had the no less valued opportunity to meet with the three French personalities who seem best designated to compare their doctrines and science to his experiences, and to judge, in the light of Western concepts, the incredible number of observations he reported about his dramatic trip through Asia. I selected the historian of Asia, Rene Grousset, whom we presented to our readers a few weeks ago, Jacques Maritain, the Catholic philosopher, to whom the Thomistic revival in this country is largely due, and Rene Guenon, the Hinduist, whose meditations have earned us this remarkable book,Introduction to Hindu Doctrines, a nice summary, full of substance, both East and West, and who publishes these days on the questions which trouble the European consciousness.

New paradigm of science (Tokyo University)

The rational man, the man who bases his perception of the world on the "common sense" ("la bonne raison", "bon sens" or "la bonne foi") is the subject of the modern science , its self, its creator, its main developer. In the pre-scientifical period such a subject did not exist purely or, at least, it did not claim for the rational approach as the only one to formulate the truths of the surrounding reality's nature. Some certain superrational dogmas and myths always prevailed over the rational man. As to science, it set itself to emancipation from non-rational foundations from the very beginning. And this is just what one of its specific distinctive features consists in. Where this criterion is not observed, we cannot talk about the science in the strict (modern) sense of that word and should use other formulas, such as "pre-scientific conceptions", "para-scientific method", "pre-scientific" and in some situations even "post-scientific" approaches.

 

IRAN, ARYAN KINGDOM AND UNIVERSAL EMPIRE

The idea of Iran, as a federating civilization,  both absorbing and prevailing over the ancient kingdoms of West and South Asia arises with the conquests and universal claims of Cyrus (Kurosh) the Great, the founder of the Achaemenid Empire in 549 B.C. but the great Median Kings, before him, had already laboured to unite the tribes of the Iranian plateau   while   throwing   covetous   glances   at  Assyria   and  Babylonia.   Indeed   the Mitannians, the Hittites and the Kassites, to mention three illustrious predecessors, had built mighty “Indo-Iranian” states (for want of a better cultural definition) in the Near East, several centuries before Cyrus. Indeed the Kassites   ruled Babylonia during the second half of the second millennium BC.

Further back in history, it is now possible to trace the roots of Iranian civilization at least to the fourth millennium BC, and not, as was held so far in Mesopotamia, the supposed cradle of humanity hailed in the Bible, but  much farther to the East, in what is today Kerman province, on the site of Jiroft which was only discovered in 2001, not far from the shores of the Persian Gulf, on the Halil river.

 

Russia, Japan, China, and the Resistance to Modernity:Eurasianism and Pan-Asianism Revisited

In the 1920s, Russian Eurasianists as well as some Japanese philosophers try to organize a cultural stronghold able to serve as an orientation mark to “second rate” nations. The result is an autonomous intellectual tradition that leaves behind the dichotomy of particularism and universalism. Also in China, the interest in Asian cultural geography led Chinese intellectuals to an awareness of global space that they had to put in relation with the historical space of China. However, criticism of modernization in Japan and Russia, instead of questioning the idea of modernization as such, tends to deal with the quality of modernization. The article examines the consequences that these movements might have for the contemporary situation.

In the 1920s, Russian Eurasianists as well as some Japanese philosophers try to organize a cultural stronghold able to serve as an orientation mark to “second rate” nations. The result is an autonomous intellectual tradition that leaves behind the dichotomy of particularism and universalism. Also in China, the interest in Asian cultural geography led Chinese intellectuals to an awareness of global space that they had to put in relation with the historical space of China. However, criticism of modernization in Japan and Russia, instead of questioning the idea of modernization as such, tends to deal with the quality of modernization. The article examines the consequences that these movements might have for the contemporary situation.

IN THE COUNTRY OF RISING "DO"

Professor Tamotsu Murata told that story in the ancient little restaurant in Asakusa residential area, explaining the canvas which hanged there on a wall. The slender old profesor from a Samurai family was writing haiku poetry on a paper sheet, which opposite side was dotted with mathematic formulas. He was finishing a book on the problem of continuality.

"I think we should seek for the source of continuum in the mistery of a moment", he had told not long before. "One day many years ago, when I was totally young, not such as I am now (the impenetrable visage, in which the smile is expressed by the unnoticeable movement of the hair), I was standing in a tiny yard, looking at the sky, and suddenly I understood, that I am. That there is I and only I. And I not as something occured, lasting, but as something momentary. Continuity is born from a revelation moment."

Hyperborea and Eurasia

The ancient civilizations feared and did not understand the tribesman of Turan. They built the Great Wall and waged punitive campaigns to protect themselves, and despised and hated him, but with surprising frequency he reminded them of their own ideals. Fierce, indomitable Turan: ruthless, high-cheeked, blue-eyed, blond and high-spirited.

Turan – Hyperborean in the broadest sense – was the source of the blood royal. Most of the imperial and royal lines in history came into the civilized zone from the North. Chinese dynasties were for the most part Turanian in origin: Hun, Toba, Khitan, Jurchen, Mongol, and finally Manchu. Alexander the Great himself was the son of a king of the northern barbarians—Philip of Macedon.