The ABC of Harmony
REVIEWS, 15 Oct 2012
The ABC of Harmony, edited by Dr. Leo Semashko has been published by Global Harmony Association (GHA) together with Gandhi Vidya Mandir (GVM) and Institute of Advanced Studies in Education (IASE), deemed university.
This is the first exclusive book to deal scientifically on harmony, harmonious civilization, harmonic education, and cross-cultural dialogues across the world at local, regional, national, and international levels. Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, an eminent scientist and the former president of India, has poetically renewed the Confucian wisdom: “If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.” So had preached Gautam Buddha, the Enlightened One: “If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nation; if there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.” Many contributors of the book have beautifully presented the core values, thoughts, fundamental societal structures, and features of global harmony.
While illustrating its significance in our lives, Dr. Semashko states without overemphasizing: “Peace comes through harmony and harmony is derived from the beauty of human character.” Harmony has its own magnificence with profound sense and true reality. Thus, the book attempts to achieve great paradigm shift in human thought from utopian attitude on love, kindness, happiness, compassion, and enthusiasm to modern interactions respecting freedom, freedom seekers and freethinkers.
The authors tend to impress that it is the first encyclopedia of its kind on philosophy and holistic scientific knowledge of fundamental elements of social harmony that took more than 35 years to develop in the present form. Along with 75 GHA coauthors from 26 countries, the editor rightfully claims that it is a book of enlightened social harmony for the entire humanity in the 21st century.
The book has five chapters ranging from philosophy and reflection to applications and prerequisites, ground reality and stars, poetry and the author’s explanation on the nitty-gritty of harmony. Furthermore, it also tries to dwell upon its possible role in terms of history, religion, anthropology, sociology, psychology, politico-economy, arts, ecology, and so forth. The authors have come together from various academic and professional backgrounds ranging from former president and nuclear scientist to sociologist, educationist, historian, philologist, priest, poet, cultural expert, philosopher, physician, economist, school teacher, trans-disciplinary scholar, peacemaker, spiritualist, engineer, and so forth. The gorgeousness of the book is its diversity while selecting authors in terms of their gender, profession, education, social standing, understanding, belief, attitude, and location, i.e. whether from developed, developing and non-developing poor countries. Successfully coordinating so many diverse contributions is testimony to Dr. Semashko’s extraordinary acumen for innovating ways to experiment and create harmony in the world.
“Harmony is inbuilt in human nature; rather conflicts are created by us” is an inspirational message for peace through harmony from Chancellor Dr. Kanak Mal Dugar. An individual’s harmony is only a part of universal and social harmonies that guide the world toward perfection. The contributors have focused on the fundamental elements of social harmony by presenting resources, processes, structures, classes, and human character. They have pointed out three inseparable qualities of harmonious relationship – necessity, sufficiency and coherence – through the four PIOT resources, viz. people, information, organizations, and things. The panoramic outline of harmonious culture and civilization includes cell, language, thinking, worldview, nitty-gritty, and so forth. They all somehow conclude that harmonious character must be there for creation of the ABC of harmony, which corresponds with the spirit of harmony.
The thoughts incorporated in Harmony as Dignity and Protection from Humiliation by Dr. Evelin Lindner, Transformative Harmony by Dr. Ananta Kumar Giri, Dynamics of Unity of Nations by Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Lord Buddha: Master of Inner Peace from Harmony by Dr. Charles Buddha, Leo Tolstoy: School of Harmony by Svetlana Kuskovskaya, Mahatma Gandhi: Harmony of Non-violent Civil Disobedience by Dr. Surendra Pathak, Dalai Lama: Need of Religious Harmony by Dr. Semashko, etc. are a few noteworthy examples of unity in diversity and inter-connectedness of the world’s authors and their varied opinions on contemporary issues. Harmony is inseparable from disharmony. It advocates for a confluence of civilized beings and propagation for a benevolent world.
The fruits of enlightened harmony obtained by the authors have been kept at high pedestal of intellect. However, it is an ambitious project to be contemplated and transmitted worldwide as commoners’ knowledge influenced by 3Ps of power, politics and property. But, the output lacks clear thinking on religious harmony, socio-cultural harmony, political harmony, science and technology harmony, philosophy of harmony, economic harmony, system harmony, peace harmony, art harmony, and security harmony, etc.
Seeds of peace are sown in the soil of universal harmony, which sprouts up when like-minded individuals and/or institutions work together on a common platform with similar 4Ps of purpose, program, policy, and priority. The ABC of Harmony will eventually be nurturing a gigantic tree, the peoples, if the governments and the UN jointly establish appropriate schools worldwide. It is a primary criterion for creating harmonious consciousness imparting education for world peace. A harmoniously civilized world sprouts the fruits of peace with a concept of tolerance for peace and harmony and at the same time intolerance toward conflict, tension and war.
Chief Editor Dr. Semashko and other esteemed contributors have together created a podium of harmonic society. Their proposed practical teachings in an integrated form could create an invaluable guideline to develop harmonic mind, harmonic behavior, and harmonic thinking for all. Personally, I have enjoyed reading the book from cover to cover and have learnt a good deal about harmony. In no time, I believe, it would become a principal reference book for the interested person in all universities and institutions in every region of the world. I will not be surprised if the book is held as scientific sensation in traditional sociology and anthropology.
The ABC of Harmony needs to be adopted by all governments and world institutions so that its prescriptions may be conveniently heeded. There is need of harmony at home, work and community; it is required in the region, in the nation and on the earth. The fusion of social democracy in the countryside and market economy in the urban centers may soon be a role model for universal harmony, no less so for socially, culturally, economically, and politically sensitive and conflict-prone countries like Nepal.
The reviewer highly appreciates the editing of copy editor Mr. J. K Tater.
*Bishnu Pathak, PhD:
-Board Member: TRANSCEND Peace University
-Convener: TRANSCEND International (South Asia)
-GHA Consul General for Disarmament
-GHA Coordinator: World Peace Movement-Peace and Disarmament from Harmony
-Founder and Director: Peace and Conflict Studies Center (PCS Center)
P. O. Box 11374, Sukedhara, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel.: +977 1 4650696
Mobile: +977 9841 345514
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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 15 Oct 2012.
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