Der transdisziplinäre transkulturelle Forschungsstandpunkt:
Reintegration der kulturellen Babylonisierung
A CRITICAL REVIEW OF THE GLOBAL CULTURAL PARADIGM
Scio, ut nescio!
Nosce te ipsum - Γνῶθι σεαυτόν - Conócete a ti mismo! - Know thyself!
The State of the Intercultural Art and Science
On human relativity in intercultural research
NATO has contributed its share to the liberation of Libya. It is not yet sure, whether, from the western standpoint, that is liberation into the past or into the future, as the introduction of a form of Islamic law has also been announced. Culture and religion are important components of culture indeed and seem to be stronger than presumed attractiveness of western ideology. Exactly a fortnight ago media have been reporting about an escalating demonstration by Coptic Christians in Cairo which has caused a considerable number of victims, which has, however, been trivialized by some media by presenting it as business as usual in this part of the world. And as if I was not enough, the seismic changes of the Arab spring, which also involves Syria and other nations of the Maghreb and the Mashreg, culminates so far in a strong physical earthquake today in Turkey. The Euro crisis and the sword of Damocles of a global financial crisis are again threatening to strike and “Boycott Wall Street” movements in culturally diverse forms question the legitimacy of the global financial system. The gaps between the haves and the have-nots as well as the cultural gaps between players are seemingly widening to such an extent that the geological earth drifts apart as much as the social world. And this fragmentation and antagonizing atomization seems to have its cause in a divisive force in the human psyche which should be looked at in search of a remedy for the ongoing externalization of division with its logic of conflict. It raises the questions of integrative forces in man to counterbalance divisive forces. The spirit of division in many shapes and forms seems to prevail over the spirit of unity, from the local to the global, from the personal to a worldwide scale. Is that the shadow of today’s technologically feasible global integration? However, conditioned separation and division as well as a priori given essential unity of man are both aspects of man. When this complementary reality is lost out of sight dysfunctionalities occur in the organism of humanity. So the question seems to arise how this lopsided prioritization of human anthropological reality can be rebalanced, how the game of the perennial centrifugal and centripetal forces in many garbs can be harmonized and reintegrated. More culturally and abstractly speaking the question arises, how the integration and reconciliation of myriads of singular forms and shapes and types of human diversity on the one hand and their essential unity as members of humanity on the other hand can be realized. The realization of the complementary synergetic function of both aspects of man’s constitution has a naturally conflict preventative impact, because the natural divisive forces are contained by the natural integrative forces. The perception of the whole has a controlling function, an integrative and pacifying impact within and as a consequence also without. Deficits with regard to the perception of this reality as an interdependent whole, which results from socialization as much as cultural conditioning - in fact it is part of fundamental overall human conditioning of man across cultures and civilizations - lead to a structural and functional imbalance of man that is counterproductive to the development of humanity from a diverse human species to a solidary human family with all its diversity. In the following we want to focus our attention on the contribution of intercultural research to the correction of this state of affairs in order to complement presumable deficits in intercultural theory and practice in view of enhanced global management. Not presumptuousness moves and motivates such a lofty perspective but rather the need to address a presumed core issue of human affairs. And unity is not a form of vague idealism but rather a functional aspect of the human.
A parabolic story in which an individual is looking for an object in the light of a lantern can be considered symbolic of mainstream intercultural research. When a passer-by asks the searching individual where exactly he has lost the object, the latter answers that it must have been a little further away, whereupon the puzzled passer- by further asks why he was not looking where he assumes he has lost the object in question. The searcher answered that he was looking here in the light of the lantern because the visibility was better in the light of the lantern.
Some intercultural research does not seem unlike the search of the lost item in our didactic, parabolic anecdote, as there seems to be a tendency to enquire within the known, rather than exploring new horizons that might cast a new, creative light on the object the research. While, for example, quantified sophistication is certainly legitimate and may provide precious insights and meet a human need for formula- like certainty based on specific numbers without ambiguity it does not necessarily mean that the researcher leaves the already charted territory of the known and comes closer to the destination aimed at by the pioneers of true intercultural research, which consists, so to speak, in the realization of a form of cultural Eldorado in the sense that man may reach masterhood in the control of the ambivalence of the culture variable with its divisive as well as its integrative and synergistic potentiality alike in this era of globalization with its increasing cultural challenges across the world as we have seen and said in the few introductory examples that epitomize the state of the world.
A quantum-cultural reading of cultural and intercultural reality suggests that specific data of cultures need to be complemented by the complementary momentum of cultures. It fulfills the metaphorical imperative of the complementarity principle Niels Bohr’s as well as of the insight gained from Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Both together allow us to view culture from two complementary angles and to state about the integration of the two optics: On the one hand there is the specific world of cultures with specific cultural data and coordinates based on empirical intercultural research, while the complementary optic is that of their wave dynamic and momentum. In order to integrate the two and to describe culture and its dynamics holistically, one has to leverage a neurophysiological analogy of twofold structural and functional integration. Not doing so means lagging behind scientific paradigms in the sense that the particle approach to cultures, where each culture is attributed a particular numerical position needs to be complemented by its dynamic momentum. The former tends to be more static, is classificatory and divisive per se, while the latter is dynamic and integrative. Both together constitute the more complete cultural reality that performs better globally in business management and politics alike and therefore needs to be leveraged in our time of increasing globalization challenges.
Quantum physics has not only allowed outer space conquest but it can also enable inner space conquest with the totality of its cultural conditioning. In other words the intercultural acquis (research output), as I shall try to show, needs to be complemented by the transcultural approach, which is a metaphorical application of the microphysics paradigm that has been inaugurated as long as a century ago already. Therefore it is high time to translate this epistemological breakthrough discovery as far as possible to the sociocultural domain as well.
The hope that global business, global communications and transportation infrastructure against the backdrop of an even wider scaled space research, in short, that advanced technology would also bring about the cultural integration of the planet and would complete the technically feasible global village socioculturally as well remained unfulfilled so far. On the contrary, rather than peacefully and solidarily, as in olden days but in new forms, draw the vital resources from the common wellsprings of the one village, in a spirit of worldwide interdependence and therefore solidary unity, we are in a process of technological convergence paralleled by cultural divergence. Some indicators for the drifting apart of the world, albeit coupled with the quest for the realization of synergy potentials in transnational management are, for example, that the perceived multicultural threat to the integrity of cultural identity in transnational organizational environments can lead to defensive, ethnocentric attitudes and behaviours that are humanly divisive rather than integrative. In some urban environments there is, in addition to the understandable need of cultural solidarity within foreign cultural environments, a trend to cultural ghettoization, which again is divisive rather than integrative. And in geopolitics and the economy, as one can deduce...