by    /  August 30, 2013  / No comments

“Philactosophy” is Günersel’s neologism that means “love of action related to wisdom.” After the Declaration of Earth Civilization Project, he thinks about further steps.

nightmare of a labyrinth

Visual poem by Tarık Günersel.

As an umbrella project, Earth Civilization is a maximalist goal, so a minimalist approach might be more feasible. How can we proceed efficiently in the midst of dynamic complexities and uncertainty? A simpler plan, as it is more error-proof, is more likely to work with such a project. “A formula should be as simple as possible, but not simpler,” Einstein remarked. With this in mind, here is a draft formula:

  1. Wor(l)ds in Danger, a
column by Tarik Günersel
  2. Life is words in action, literature is action in words.
    Humans are about to destroy their spaceship Earth. Some of them are aware of this and they try to change the course of events. Will they succeed? Will more humans be alarmed and do something?
    Literature is vital and translators are messengers of world peace.
    Though I shall focus on the literary scene in Turkey and its problems regarding freedom of expression, I shall not omit the other parts of our planet. Today local is global and vice versa.
  3. Tarik Günersel
  4. Tarık Günersel is a poet, playwright, aphorist, librettist and short story writer. He is the president of PEN Turkey and an ex-member of the PEN International Board. He studied English Literature at Istanbul University. A self-exile after the military coup in 1980, he spent four years in Saudi Arabia with his wife Füsun and their daughter Barış, teaching English. A dramaturg at Istanbul City Theater since 1991, he has acted on stage and screen and directed some of his plays. He proposed World Poetry Day in 1997 which was accepted by PEN International and declared by UNESCO as the 21st of March. His translations into Turkish include works by Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Arthur Miller. His works include The Nightmare of a Labyrinth (mosaic of poems and stories), and How’s your slavery goin’? His Oluşmak (To Become), a “life guide for myself,” includes ideas from world wisdom of the past four millennia.

“Earth Civilization-in-Progress” includes the self-civilization of interacting volunteers with a multidisciplinary approach based on goals, values, and means that are in harmony with the Declaration, which is open to revision and improvement.

George Bernard Shaw once commented: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”

Humans not only try to answer questions and solve problems, they also ask risky questions and pose problems. That is why some authorities send thinkers, scientists, writers, translators, publishers, and journalists to prison. Life and politics are not mutually exclusive. Hence, politics is too important to be left only to politicians.

Following this, the international federations of various fields, such as human rights, animal rights, healthcare, philosophy, natural sciences, social sciences, technology, legal affairs, education, environmental issues, city planning, journalism, literature, arts, translation, publication, sports etc. are cordially invited to join the interaction for Earth Civilization, which can remain in progress as long as we contribute to it. The alternative is a chain of misery, wars, and exploitation that leads to self-destruction.

Wisdom is also a process, and no self-critical person would claim to be wise. Belief or faith is not proof, and a habitual pattern of thinking may seem reasonable just because we are accustomed to it. Mental freedom as part of the liberation process is hardly possible without doubt, philosophical inquiry, scientific thinking, contradictions, and a fruitful crisis.

About the Author

Poet, playwright, actor, and director Tarık Günersel worked at Istanbul City Theater as a dramaturg. His works include Breaths of Infinity (a mosaic of poems) and My 300th Birthday Speech (short stories). His Becoming consists of his aphorisms and various ideas from world wisdom. His plays include Billennium, Nero and Agrippina, Sociology of Shit, Threat and Virtually Yours. He has written four libretti for the composer Selman Ada: Ali Baba & 40, Blue Dot, Forbidden Love, and Another Planet. His translations into Turkish include works by Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Vaclav Havel and Savyon Liebrecht. His presentation of World Poetry Day to PEN International in 1997 led to its adoption by UNESCO. As the former president of PEN Turkey Center he was elected to PEN International Board in Tokyo from 2010 to 2012. In 2013 he initiated the Earth Civilization Project with the collaboration of several intellectuals from around the planet.

View all articles by

Fearless, Ink.