Conference materials

We have an important title and theme for this conference – Spiritual culture – a key to the transformation of the world! I cannot emphasize enough how important this understanding of a spiritual culture is. And yes, it is the key for the transformation of this world. If we hear, see and feel, we can find around us and in the whole world a movement of spiritual culture, which is expressing its strong potential in the historical events in the Arabic world. But this is just one side of the coin, the other side is the transparency which begins to appear everywhere. Thanks to the new information technology it is impossible to hide anything, at least not for long, and so the world starts to be like a small town, not like an unknown place where we hear about catastrophes from far away which don’t interest us. No, it is just around the corner. We can see, hear and feel it. It’s happening in our living room, thanks to television. It’s happening on our blue planet earth; it must hurt us if we still have a sense of feeling.

Ribbons of Hope from New York City I offer deep appreciation to Tolegen Mukhamedzhanov for inviting me to this forum, to President Naserbayev for his profound investment in a peace-filled future, and to the people of Astana for their warm hospitality. Today, we hear many lofty principles, but only as these concepts of mutual respect and understanding are expressed in day-to-day community life, can we succeed in changing the world. Can we do this? In the words of my President Barack Obama, “yes, we can.” Indeed, we must. But how? There are 1,000 stories we could tell. I will share just one. A year ago, I addressed this forum out of a context in New York of hostility, acrimony and the threat of violence in the wake of an angry controversy over creating a Muslim Community Center in lower Manhattan near the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attack in 2001.

Remembering Why: Purpose, Vision and Action Jonathan Granoff (Member of the Astana Forum Presidium) To commence any endeavor – whether that of our individual lives or the conduct of a state -- intention and purpose are essential. Every seed contains the blue print for its purposeful expression as its ultimate manifestation. Every natural manifestation is part of a larger purposeful expression. Within all such expressions are ineffable aspects. How can the beauty of the rose be found in the genetic code of a rose seed? Similarly there is an ineffable and most wonderful dimension in the seed of our personal and collective humanity. How can the majesty of being human be found in the biology of our bodies? How can our personal humanity be divided from our collective human unity or, indeed, from the very web of life of which we are each a part?

Environmental culture is the main component of ecological civilization The 21st century is an epoch of great changes in the world history. Humankind faces important elections in its development: one of these elections is the formation of ecological culture, which offers a new way of human being. The concept of "ecological culture" includes the spiritual world, forms of social consciousness and social structure, governing environmental values and goals. In a broad sense, it refers to a mode of existence of a man in harmony with nature. It has the following characteristics: respect for nature and environment, promote sustainable use of natural resources. It is a priority of development of an advanced culture. Environmental culture is a centralized conception of ecological civilization. The need for an ecological civilization arose on the basis of the global environmental crisis, formed in an industrial civilization. Spread of environmental science and environmental awareness as well as natural and environmental disasters caused by human activities, make us realize that the accelerated degradation of the biosphere of the Earth could not stop if people did not completely change:

Spirituality, poetry and medicine Whereas medicine, already from Hippocrates, has the mission to protect health and defend the life of the people, independently of their conditions of race, sex, ethnic group, nationality, etc.; Poetry seeks for the elevation of life. Poetry, like other arts, each one with its language, looks for the generation of emotions. It looks for the reaction of our body to the expressions of pain, love, joy, exaltation of the nature, history, or concerning our own identity… Our body reacts with changes in its sanguineous pressure, temperature, brightness of the eyes, muscles of the face, excretion of hormones, production of tears and saliva, tension of the sexual organs, breathing… all the body.  Lately we faced the discovery of the existence of endorphins that are internal substances that produce those corporal emotional reactions. Poetry, music, dance, painting, sculpture… each one, as I said, with a different language of expression, tries to stimulate our emotions and for that they look for to touch the fibers of our more intimate and deep feelings of our life. For those reasons poetry is a key value in life and medicine is a key value in life.