East and West
[P. J.] [RU] [FR]

East and West

In the XX century, the oriental line became most popular in the arts, in philosophy, and even in science. European artists explored the traditional and professional art of the East, oriental elements became popular in fashions, foods and architecture, there was a real boom around the martial arts, and various oriental philosophies captured the minds and imagination of Europeans as if they brought them some entirely new ideas and a different view of the world.

But are those oriental elements so unusual to Europe? Well, they have developed to a greater degree in the East, but their analogs existed in the European tradition as well, and one cannot expect any revelations from the Eastern arts and philosophies, beyond mere shift of attention. The Universe is integrity, and human spirituality, being a part of the world, reflects its integrity despite all the apparent heterogeneity.

Many Western thinkers spoke of the integrity of the world in the XX century, with a reference to various Eastern philosophies. However, there is nothing in the philosophic tradition of the East that could not be found in early European philosophers, and the centuries-old ideas of India, China and Japan were also expressed by Europeans, nearly at the same time, though in a different form and in another context. The ancient Greek myths already pictured the world as a syncretic whole; of the later times, I could mention, for example, the great figures of Pierre Gassendi and Dom Deschamps. I might also refer to the classical universalism of Goethe, and to the romantic philosophy of Hegel. Many interesting ideas can be found in Marxism; unfortunately, they have mostly been expressed as mere side remarks scattered over tons of text, and I don't know any compilation that would agree with the spirit of the originals.

Recent discoveries in the theory of scale formation indicate that all the arts follow the same sequence of stages in their development, which can be described in a universal way comprising both the European and non-European lines.

[Assorted Notes] [Unism]