Zarathustra, Nietzsche’s shatterer of orthodoxy, seemed to be warning us when he said, "I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance". It's frightening when people try to cut up the world to suit themselves. However, it's peaceful and joyous when someone for whom Love reigns, rather than cutting apart, sews it together. When we creatively connect what has been cut apart, scattered, fallen, or lost, through art and storytelling, we can support each other, including children, who are inherently eager to know how to live, communicate, and make a difference. Let’s hear Dalia Lane, a journalist, translator, poet, peacemaker, and children’s author provide her take on this.
All of the world's myths and utopias can be traced back to a single question: "What if?" But, when you think about it, this very question is also what has spurred the most important discoveries of humankind.
At times, this fundamental question causes unrest, both to humankind in general and to me in particular. I often ask myself, "what if we all suddenly decided to stop competing with each other?"
Or, "what if every country in the world realised that dialogue and trust are more important than their defense budget?"
Or, when yearning to fly, creatively and spiritually," what if the world could be simply painted?"
Questions are justified when they reveal possibilities. To paint the world looks like a possibility to me.
I once took part in creating a painting that was meant to bring peace and represent the Harmony of Contrasts. Its creation brought 20 people of different nationalities to our studio, each one with his or her own vision of the world. It was a very interactive project: one hundred hands working together to create a single picture of the common Reality. The resulting image was an alloy of insights, coming together to reveal a unique Light of Consciousness of its own. Like an Olympic torch, it could be carried across different countries, symbolising the victory of creation over destruction. We are all so different — and that's fine; it doesn't mean that our dissimilarities must lead to condemnation. Contrast does not necessarily lead to conflict.
Watching an artist create a painting, it's clear that the power of art lies in its magical resonating effect. Feelings and emotional impulses are transmitted to the brush; they connect to the world through the brush and heart; thus the world is immediately changed. Our joint project was an attempt to achieve resonance by uniting the hearts of those who want to make this world a better place.
It's so strange: everyone wants peace, but we live on a planet entangled in the meridians of conflicts. Could it be that wars originate within us and arise due to distortions in our mental space? Is war possible without an internal conflict? It was during this unique project that I felt the urgent need to begin my peacemaking efforts by finding Peace within myself.
In our polar reality, characterised by the constant dueling of mind and heart, I choose the heart. The Mind, while it may be the engine of progress, is often arrogant and selfish, attaining victory at times through violence. Violence is what destroys the world. The Heart unites.
No doubt, of course, progress is important. But progress brought about by destruction, by sacrificing a part for the sake of preserving the whole, is a Pyrrhic victory that I can't accept.
But I also wondered what if it's too late to change adults? I felt an urgent need to teach my daughter to take care of this World firstly within herself here and now. I wanted to give her tools that, like brushing her teeth, would just become a part of her daily routine, becoming her second nature. So, I decided to participate in peacemaking through the medium that children love most — a fairy tale.
Thus was born the "Fairy Dalia" project, an attempt through philosophical parables to talk about better versions of the world in which Unity and Harmony reign.
"There are no wars in nature; wars are created by people who are missing Love. In nature, there are only causes and consequences".
"Why wait for Love if it can be created?" teaches Fairy Dalia.
The most valuable thing that children teach us is not to wait, but to create here and now. Why not teach them creation through acceptance? Through conscious empathy? Through mindful creativity?
These days, there isn't enough reading material for children about the art of finding and keeping inner balance and peace of mind. We could use more good books to teach children meditation and mindfulness, the contemplation of present reality without judgment.
The holistic approach of contemplating the manifested reality out of one’s centre is rooted in antiquity. What if we really are all connected to each other? Like drops in the ocean, all different, but all part of the same thing? Wouldn't that mean that on this beautiful blue and green globe, which we call Home, we're all one great family? We can choose to fight against ourselves, or live harmoniously.
"Who are you talking to?" whispered the Rose.
"I'm talking to the Great Ocean," answered Fairy Dalia.
"The Great? But these are just some droplets hanging in the air?"
"For some there is an Ocean in a mere droplet and for some the whole Ocean is just a drop," the Fairy smiled back.
Many tales point to vices and virtues, but few tales teach us how to protect our hearts from injury. Mythmaking, like peacemaking, creates better versions of the inner as well as the outer world.
I believe that our children can be spiritually strengthened only through a mindful attitude towards life, with emphasis on appreciating beauty and creating harmony everywhere. I don't know if the enlightenment of Humanity will be possible in the next 100 years, whether the sixth race will arise, whether we'll develop the 8th sense, but I know for certain that the fourth dimension is Love. And the main tool of transformation for the future is mindfulness.
Perhaps this is utopia.
But what if it's not?