Nir Lahav continues to review the value and spiritual depth of the modern era that shapes the shape of our lives to this day. From the importance of democracy and liberalism to progress and self-realization.
The state education system hardly teaches the modern values that shaped and are shaping us and the western world we live in (at most it taught citizenship a little and made the students memorize material for the matriculation test, but this is not education for values but learning material for the test). In such a situation it is easy to understand why many people feel that they live in a vacuum of values and why Israel, and the entire world, are going through a period of populism and the weakening of democracy. The time has come to try and complete the flawed education system and explain what the fundamental values are that shape our lives. To know what are the values from which the western culture developed and to decide whether we choose them? If the answer is positive, it has consequences and we need to take responsibility and start living and directing the country according to these values.
In part A of the article I presented how, following the awakening of the human race, Western culture was created, the culture we are proud to be a part of and which is largely responsible for the success of Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel. I showed how at the base of this awakening is the understanding that every human being, regardless of origin, gender, status, religion (etc..) has tremendous power and therefore the right of the entire human race to freedom and equal opportunities must be guaranteed so that we can connect to the infinite side that is in us and realize the power our. The journey of Western culture is an ongoing journey to transform these spiritual and philosophical ideas into a valued way of life and a practical method of governance that expresses these values. Throughout the last five hundred years we have managed to make good progress towards the realization of this ideal. We started from the understanding that the truth should be a central value and that the ability to cast doubt is a central tool in uncovering the truth and personal development. Following this came the scientific revolution and the Age of Enlightenment in which Western culture realized that liberal democracy is currently the best tool to realize these ideals and values.
It will be interesting to see how this journey develops. In the beginning, following the philosophical ideas and the success of the scientific revolution, the regime of the countries had to be changed from monarchical regimes to liberal regimes in order to get closer to the ideal. In the next step, after the regime change was successful, it was possible to continue marching along the journey so that the various countries would really express these liberal values. In the original US Constitution, for example, there was no mention of the abolition of slavery, and despite all the beautiful liberal statements in it, people with dark skin color could be sold and bought and they had no right whatsoever. This embarrassing situation was not corrected until 85 years after the American Civil War in the 19s. At the beginning of the 20th century, another minority fought for its rights - the women. It is strange to call the female sex a minority (numerically there are slightly more women than men in the world) but in terms of the amount of power and rights they are a minority, even nowadays. The feminist movements fought in England and the USA to get the right to vote for women. It was not until 1919 that another amendment was introduced to the American Constitution which guarantees that every American citizen is entitled to vote in elections.
It is a slow journey that never ends and every step in it is usually accompanied by rebellion and revolutions. In the 500s, about XNUMX years after the remembrance of human power, there was another revolutionary wave that resulted in fuller equality of opportunity for both women, African-Americans and other minorities. Among them are the gays and lesbians (and the entire LGBT community). In addition, then they also began to understand that with the abilities comes the responsibility. Because humans have tremendous power, we must take responsibility for man's impact on his environment. This is how organizations were created to protect the environment and animal rights.
Human power begins with the fact that man can decide and choose and can create himself and his personality. With the understanding that what is important is the ability of each person to realize his strength according to his private decision, it is impossible to force someone not to realize himself and it is impossible to force a person not to realize the strength of his love, even if it is not the prevalent marital love. With the courage to question everything, we also question the social norms we grew up with. Naturally, every person is sure that what he knows is the right, true and absolute thing, but anyone who dares to doubt quickly discovers that this assumption is not correct. In general, all behaviors that seem normal and natural to us are arbitrary behaviors. Social codes that we invented for ourselves in a certain place and at a certain time. If we go to a different place or to a different time, we will discover in most cases that the behaviors that we took for granted do not exist, and even if the majority of the population behaves in a certain way, this does not mean that everyone must behave that way. Part of human power is expressed in a huge variety of ideas, feelings and behaviors. Homosexual, transgender and other tendencies may be a minority among the population, but they reflect human diversity and human power and therefore should be respected.
Proud of freedom - why the pride parade is important for all of us
If so, let's help the education system again and show it how it is possible to educate about the values of freedom and equality and the realization of human power in all its shades, even when it comes to the LGBT community. To that end, I produced the following video about the Pride Parade in San Francisco.
The tool of casting doubt is very important for the realization of these ideals and values. It is our way to get rid of illusions to see what is not real and also to refine and develop ourselves so that we can accept and live with opinions different from our own. Thus, in the process of constantly questioning and testing our opinions in front of the environment, we can understand why we behave the way we do and change our opinions when we are convinced that they are wrong. It follows that we will always be in the process of learning and developing. There will always be illusions that we will have to overcome, we will always discover new facts about ourselves, society and the world and we will always have to continue striving to realize the ideal. Our personal life and the entire western culture is a continuous journey of development in which the future is supposed to be more developed than the past. Many times we find that we have to throw away or change the traditions of the past because we doubted and discovered new truths and insights that were not known before. Truths and insights that will make the traditions we are used to irrelevant and obsolete. This is an idea Progress. But it's not just technological progress, it's just a byproduct. It is about cultural and even spiritual progress.
Again we see how these ideals and values challenge us to understand that if our power is so great, we need to realize it creatively in any possible way (as long as it does not harm the other's ability to realize their power). The conclusion from this is that despite the norms we were brought up to, culturally, anything is possible and we must break through the patterns and boundaries we have set for ourselves so that we can feel and realize our tremendous abilities without putting ourselves in invented cages. This is theRadicalism which claims that it is necessary to uproot many of the norms and traditions we grew up with and build a new culture in their place. Otherwise we will put oppressive frameworks on ourselves that will not let us fly as far as we can.
Let's go back to our bird, after generations in a cage she learned long traditions of how to survive in captivity, but now she has been released and she can get out of the cage. Now she has to start developing a new way of life that will suit her new life where she is free and can fly to the heights. She will probably have to discard many parts of the traditions she has learned and develop new ones. This is how we, the sons and daughters of man, began to go free to spread our wings and realize the power within us. We are going through a slow process from a culture of survival to a culture of realizing power, so it is likely that over the generations we will have to throw away many of our traditions and build new ones. Because of our constant and long-term development, when the day comes, we will also have to throw away these new traditions and again and again build a more updated, developed and advanced culture.
These are the basic ideas that underlie the western/modern/liberal culture (all the answers are correct..) of which we are a part. We started from the ideal of the tremendous power of man, we continued to the values that try to realize the ideal, values of individual freedom and equal rights, we saw how science grew out of them and how they tried to turn these philosophical ideas into laws and a liberal-democratic regime that manages to partially realize them and function in the real world and we ended with importance Casting doubt and radicalism and with the vision of the idea of progress, our ceaseless development to realize step by step the ideal about ourselves and about the whole culture. Of course, the liberal-democratic regime does not realize the values perfectly and certainly not the ideal, but that is not surprising. We are trying to take a philosophical idea and realize it in the world, obviously the realization will be partial. This is the important point of the idea of progress which tries to claim that we are on a long-term journey of learning and realization where at every step we will realize more and more parts of the ideal. We started from the Age of Enlightenment, continued to liberal regimes and in the future we will have to change them as well and develop more sophisticated and developed methods that will suit our continued development. Thus, one can hope, we can get closer and closer to a full culture of the realization of human power in the distant future.
More of the topic in Hayadan: