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Books > Language and Literature > East and West- A Cultural Dialogue (An Old and Rare Book)
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East and West- A Cultural Dialogue (An Old and Rare Book)
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East and West- A Cultural Dialogue (An Old and Rare Book)
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Preface
I have great pleasure in publishing the book "East and West - A Cultural Dialogue" as the Volume 43 of the Bharatiya Vidya Series.

The present work is the posthumous publication of the late Prof. Satyavrata R. Patel (1931-1981), Professor of International Law at M.S. University of Baroda. In the short span of 49 years, he wrote 17 works on a variety of subjects with insight and erudition. He was a seeker of a new era with a fuller life in pursuit of the spiritual quest. His works include, "The Human Quest", "The Marxian Mirage," "Hinduism, Religion and Way of Life" and "Towards a new man and a new civilization."

We are happy that we are able to publish his work which was preserved by his sister, Dr. Nivedita Patel. We pray indulgence of the readers for a few incomplete references which we could not trace in the original manuscript. The work, we hope, will illumine the core of Indian ethos.

Introduction
What is East and what is West? The phrase designates a geographical divide as well as a cultural divide. East and West are the, two sides of the Euro-Asian land mass. The Ural mountains and the river, the Caspian sea and the straits of the Dardanelles and Phosphorous divide that land mass into East and West. The city of Constantinople ideally divides the two. It was founded by Constantine on the site of ancient Byzantium, a town formed by nature as if intended to be the centre of the great division between east and west, for its narrow straits join east and west and from its seven hills the city commands the approaches to east and west. It is also here that we find most pronounced contrast between east and west.

Asia-minor, which has been a theatre of conflicts for centuries, is near about. We find here a Greek column, a Turkish battlement, a Church and mosque, relics of Persia and Macedon, Rome and Islam. A rough cultural division is made to correspond to this geographical division. The author feels it would be truer to bracket the Middle East with Europe and to regard the rest of Asia as a single cultural entity. But to do so - though scientifically correct - would lead to disturbing the existing connotations acquired over a long span of time and cause the blurring of the whole superstructure of know-ledge raised on such a rough approximation between east and west. The whole of South Asia and East Asia are more pronounced cultural facts. In view of its Semitic heritage West Asia is a part of the modern West. Even earlier, Assyria and Egypt, in view of their proximity affected Europe more, as later on did Islam, since the ideology of the religion is the same, and that significantly colors cultural traits.

In time to come, there should and will be much greater intercommunication in depth between east and west even at the mass level and at an accelerated speed. Not merely is this essential for an enriched perspective, or greater awareness of things, but also for greater co-operation and close collaboration between peoples, a characteristic of all civilization.

The time is now ripe for the welding, or rather the wedding, of east and west, for the meeting of the souls of east and west, and for the significant cross-fertilization of their cultural Endeavour. The annihilation of distance has jostled civilizations in a closed time-space environment, but despite this juxtaposition, or belonging to the same environment, civilizations may yet remain strangers to one another, even as an individual may remain a stranger to his own self, and may even act against his own interests through lack of sufficient understanding, which often results in much profitless conflicts.

This work aims at the diffusion of right knowledge which may Clear the-fog of misunderstanding or inadequate understanding. It seeks to initiate a dialogue at a deeper level between the cultural souls of east and west, enabling each to find itself and its own transcendence. Hitherto, east and west have often met, and unconscious borrowings have occurred throughout the corridor of time, but a real dialogue has not been possible. If it ever began it was short-lived, and was broken 'off abruptly. Since they met and were soon non-pulsed and they parted before the dialogue could really make progress. Now only does the situation permit the dialogue to be more frequent, continual and fuller, and also capable of being sustained at all cultural levels. It can also be more integral, and be of permanent duration and character.

Now at last mankind may move out of the closed orbits of east and west and move forward to a way and a vision of life shared in common by all human beings. Henceforth east and west would not divide, but rather unite in common quests, in reaching or endeavoring to reach common goals on a global basis. In our time even the social crises and ethical problems are common to east and west and demand common solutions since all challenges in our time tend to be global. Modern man has to stretch his awareness or consciousness to include within himself other ways of looking at the world, ways of being human not yet familiar to his psyche. Mere communication has no meaning unless it leads to a communion of souls; it has no meaning if people remain inwardly unrelated, though outwardly they are bound together by co-existence in the same environment. The next step after outer cohesion is the cohesion of minds and souls. What we want is a true and healthy dialogue founded on facts, on terms of equality and full reciprocity. We do not want a west disillusioned and gripped by failure of nerve, in a mood of disenchantment turning to the east in a diffident mood; we do not want a decadent west to surrender to the east. Neither do we want the east to move to the west in cringing self-pity, placing all the blame for its failure on the west, and losing its soul in an excessive effort to acquire the goods of this world. But each must use the other for its own self discovery.

Both east and west must share their dreams, ideas and intuitions to deepen their dialogue and carry it on at an accelerated speed and at deeper levels of their being. Each must understand both itself and the other, and consciously Endeavour to rise beyond their own initial premises, to attain the common basis of their selves. They share common values. Their origins and destiny are the same. At another level their values are polar yet complementary, and that may enhance the dialogue. However, the author feels they are one, and diverge only in superficialities.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages








East and West- A Cultural Dialogue (An Old and Rare Book)

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NAW886
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Edition:
1992
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English
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136
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Preface
I have great pleasure in publishing the book "East and West - A Cultural Dialogue" as the Volume 43 of the Bharatiya Vidya Series.

The present work is the posthumous publication of the late Prof. Satyavrata R. Patel (1931-1981), Professor of International Law at M.S. University of Baroda. In the short span of 49 years, he wrote 17 works on a variety of subjects with insight and erudition. He was a seeker of a new era with a fuller life in pursuit of the spiritual quest. His works include, "The Human Quest", "The Marxian Mirage," "Hinduism, Religion and Way of Life" and "Towards a new man and a new civilization."

We are happy that we are able to publish his work which was preserved by his sister, Dr. Nivedita Patel. We pray indulgence of the readers for a few incomplete references which we could not trace in the original manuscript. The work, we hope, will illumine the core of Indian ethos.

Introduction
What is East and what is West? The phrase designates a geographical divide as well as a cultural divide. East and West are the, two sides of the Euro-Asian land mass. The Ural mountains and the river, the Caspian sea and the straits of the Dardanelles and Phosphorous divide that land mass into East and West. The city of Constantinople ideally divides the two. It was founded by Constantine on the site of ancient Byzantium, a town formed by nature as if intended to be the centre of the great division between east and west, for its narrow straits join east and west and from its seven hills the city commands the approaches to east and west. It is also here that we find most pronounced contrast between east and west.

Asia-minor, which has been a theatre of conflicts for centuries, is near about. We find here a Greek column, a Turkish battlement, a Church and mosque, relics of Persia and Macedon, Rome and Islam. A rough cultural division is made to correspond to this geographical division. The author feels it would be truer to bracket the Middle East with Europe and to regard the rest of Asia as a single cultural entity. But to do so - though scientifically correct - would lead to disturbing the existing connotations acquired over a long span of time and cause the blurring of the whole superstructure of know-ledge raised on such a rough approximation between east and west. The whole of South Asia and East Asia are more pronounced cultural facts. In view of its Semitic heritage West Asia is a part of the modern West. Even earlier, Assyria and Egypt, in view of their proximity affected Europe more, as later on did Islam, since the ideology of the religion is the same, and that significantly colors cultural traits.

In time to come, there should and will be much greater intercommunication in depth between east and west even at the mass level and at an accelerated speed. Not merely is this essential for an enriched perspective, or greater awareness of things, but also for greater co-operation and close collaboration between peoples, a characteristic of all civilization.

The time is now ripe for the welding, or rather the wedding, of east and west, for the meeting of the souls of east and west, and for the significant cross-fertilization of their cultural Endeavour. The annihilation of distance has jostled civilizations in a closed time-space environment, but despite this juxtaposition, or belonging to the same environment, civilizations may yet remain strangers to one another, even as an individual may remain a stranger to his own self, and may even act against his own interests through lack of sufficient understanding, which often results in much profitless conflicts.

This work aims at the diffusion of right knowledge which may Clear the-fog of misunderstanding or inadequate understanding. It seeks to initiate a dialogue at a deeper level between the cultural souls of east and west, enabling each to find itself and its own transcendence. Hitherto, east and west have often met, and unconscious borrowings have occurred throughout the corridor of time, but a real dialogue has not been possible. If it ever began it was short-lived, and was broken 'off abruptly. Since they met and were soon non-pulsed and they parted before the dialogue could really make progress. Now only does the situation permit the dialogue to be more frequent, continual and fuller, and also capable of being sustained at all cultural levels. It can also be more integral, and be of permanent duration and character.

Now at last mankind may move out of the closed orbits of east and west and move forward to a way and a vision of life shared in common by all human beings. Henceforth east and west would not divide, but rather unite in common quests, in reaching or endeavoring to reach common goals on a global basis. In our time even the social crises and ethical problems are common to east and west and demand common solutions since all challenges in our time tend to be global. Modern man has to stretch his awareness or consciousness to include within himself other ways of looking at the world, ways of being human not yet familiar to his psyche. Mere communication has no meaning unless it leads to a communion of souls; it has no meaning if people remain inwardly unrelated, though outwardly they are bound together by co-existence in the same environment. The next step after outer cohesion is the cohesion of minds and souls. What we want is a true and healthy dialogue founded on facts, on terms of equality and full reciprocity. We do not want a west disillusioned and gripped by failure of nerve, in a mood of disenchantment turning to the east in a diffident mood; we do not want a decadent west to surrender to the east. Neither do we want the east to move to the west in cringing self-pity, placing all the blame for its failure on the west, and losing its soul in an excessive effort to acquire the goods of this world. But each must use the other for its own self discovery.

Both east and west must share their dreams, ideas and intuitions to deepen their dialogue and carry it on at an accelerated speed and at deeper levels of their being. Each must understand both itself and the other, and consciously Endeavour to rise beyond their own initial premises, to attain the common basis of their selves. They share common values. Their origins and destiny are the same. At another level their values are polar yet complementary, and that may enhance the dialogue. However, the author feels they are one, and diverge only in superficialities.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages








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