The New Pythagorean School promoted the World Day for the destruction of all weapons on 10 June.
The event takes place in various cities from 11:00 to 12:30 AM and is also indicated by the partecipation of children.
In Crotone the Day will be held at the Museum and Gardens of Pythagoras.
– Following the comment of Salvatore Mongiardo on the World Day for the destruction of all weapons.
- Historical Introduction
World history shows a continuous stream of wars which seems endless. There are no people, races, ethnicities, nations, or continents that have been spared from war. The damages, deaths and the suffering caused by wars in thousands of years are incalculable. Lots of researchers have tried to analyze the phenomenon of wars without though arriving at preventing or stopping them. Every person desires peace, word that is repeated in all languages as a salutation or good wishes, but peace remains an unattainable desire in the reality of conflicts.
- The current world situation
The great powers of USA, Russia, China, France and England have not been at war with each other anymore for several decades, a novelty in the historic panorama. Grave tensions and wars still happen though especially in the Middle and Far East, fed by political, religious and terrorist extremism. Therefore, entire populations look for refuge in Europe and the USA creating serious immigration and integration problems.
Today we know what happens in every part of the world and we all have the ugly feeling of living on a volcano that is about to explode. The world is full of tensions, created primarily by the huge cost of weapons, by a financial system that devours enormous amounts of money and by the always increasing number of births in the Third World countries.
- A consideration
We would be incredibly amazed if we could calculate all of the expenses made throughout the centuries to finance, prepare, equip and provide armies with weapons. These are unimaginable amounts that could allow everybody to live comfortably. To these, then, the extra expenses from the damages of war, the looting, the reconstructions, the destruction of artwork… should be added.
An example of a serene life, thanks to the absence of wars, comes from Switzerland that welcomes people of different languages and cultures, and for a thousand years has not practiced war thus reaching an enviable level of well-being.
- A simple observation
In all the wars of history, none excluded, a constant emerges. It is always men that make war with weapons, whatever the excuse is: racial, religious, of dominion, of land conquest, of hoarding raw materials, of insanity or of maniacal leaders.
- War and the male chauvinist culture
War is born from the male culture. In the beginning the male, thanks to his physical strength, had to face savage beasts or enemies to survive. The female was prevented from this due to her lesser strength and by the care-taking of the children. During the following millennia, though, that greater strength transformed into religion, politics, social organization, art and myth, molding in this way a world in the image of the domineering male to which the woman had to submit. This was a cultural phenomenon, not a natural one: nature has given the advantage to the woman by giving only her the possibility to give birth to children. The death of the hero on the battlefield, like Achilles in Homer’s poems, the praises and honors to the fallen for the homeland, the pride of weapons and the glory of victory are testimonies to the male origin of wars.
The philosopher Heraclitus, contemporary of Pythagoras, in a famous fragment affirms: War is the father of all things. This sentence is also wrongly translated: War is the mother of all things. In Greek polemos, war, combat, fight is of male gender just like pater, father. Heraclitus’ sentence then indicates that the male has created a culture that always tends towards the predominance on others creating conflicts in all scopes.
The male has used weapons that have become stronger and more dangerous with time. It has been a continuous crescendo: from the flint dagger to the swords of bronze, of iron, to firearms, up to the nuclear and chemical weapons, and to those of mass destruction.
- The dream of a serene life
This is the dream of every human being which has always shattered against the raw reality of violence. Rare periods and few people were spared, and the distinction between winners and losers does not show the many victims fallen on the opposing fronts. A historical example is the Roman Empire, that dominated for many centuries the western world at the expense of an infinite number of Roman soldiers killed. So many of them died, that in the end there weren’t enough to oppose the barbaric invasions, and the empire crumbled. And it shouldn’t be thought that the Romans lived happily, even if the war loots gave them riches. The pain for the fallen children and relatives scarred their existence. In the end, the Roman adage: If you want peace, prepare for war did not save neither their lives nor the empire.
- The dream of a money-free life
Except in rare instances, we have all found ourselves during all eras in economic straits due to a lack of resources, debts, impossibility to buy a house, to study, to travel, to discover the world, to heal from illnesses… In fact it is said: Money is never enough. We can ask ourselves if this is an unchangeable reality, or if it is possible to realize a social system where it would not be necessary to pay for mortgages, studies, trips, thus to live in a comfortable way, to conduct a money-free life. Without a doubt it would be marvelous, but where do we find the resources to realize it? And where to start? In which way, country, and with who’s help?
- Dream and reality
People with common sense invite us to look at the hard facts, to live life as it is, because anyhow humanity will never change, and thus dismiss these aspirations as utopia, unachievable fantasies, a beautiful dream. And so we must talk about the dream, both of the one that happens when we are asleep and the one when we are awake, the utopia precisely. Heraclitus stated that men during the night dream return to a particular world: you dream of your own mother, of the yard, meeting a friend, all situations tied to your personal life. When awake, instead, all men live in a common world and dream of the same things, in any geographical or social situation they find themselves: health, serenity, love, well-being.
- Closed-eyed dream
Freud wrote: Having understood that the dream is the fulfillment of the desire has largely filled my life. The dream, in fact, has the task to realize a person’s desires, even if the dreams appear masked or veiled as to not upset the dreamer. The dream must be accomplished, otherwise you risk insanity, like it happens in the laboratory when a person’s dreams are interrupted even for a few days. A natural mechanism of desire-dream-accomplishment, thus, exists, that drives humanity towards evolution. Man, thus, is caught in a mechanism of accomplishment of his desires that pushes him, night and day, towards levels of superior knowledge and awareness. This is his destiny.
- Open-eyed dream
It is the common dream, the beautiful dream of a serene, happy, healthy, worry-free life, the dream that everyone has had and still has, but that has never become true. And it doesn’t seem possible to become true in the geopolitical situation of today’s world, so restless and full of contradictions. So, if that dream doesn’t become real, we will live frustrated and we have to ask why we are incapable of living a fulfilled life. The answer is that we all want the common dream to become real, but then we all disagree on how that should be realized. In other words, we all want to reach happiness but in different and contradictory ways: with success, money, sex, drugs, family, penitence, paradise, nirvana.
We have however, indisputable examples of common dreams that have become true, like the victory over many illnesses and human flight. Since man saw birds fly, he has always desired to go free in the air and Icarus, that dies in the attempt to fly, is the mythical representation of that strong desire. Others died attempting to fly, but one day that dream became real with the airplane: today we fly from one continent to another and even to the moon. Also the recent conquests of the internet and the cell phone, that allow us to know, see, and talk with anyone in any part of the world, are things that were unimaginable until recently.
- A testosterone world
Nature creates the nocturnal dream to fulfill the individual desire, and it also gives us the open-eyed dreams so that they can be realized, not to drive us crazy from frustration. Nature doesn’t want bad things for man, it’s not, like the Italian poet Leopardi was afraid, an ugly power that wants to create damage. Another poet, the ancient Greek Bacchylides, wrote a similar concept that emerged from the depth of Greek culture: For mortals the best thing is to never have been born. These two poets, and other important figures and many simple people, were convinced that human life was a sentence without hope. But today we have understood that many evils of the world have originated from the male hormone: the testosterone, word that comes from the Greek ormao, to agitate.
Regarding this, the Italian singer Mina says:
The testosterone, that men possess in much greater amounts compared to women who luckily tend to convert it in estrogen, is at the base, is the origin of almost all of the faults, from the simple fight, to wars, the odysseys, the deaths, the deep sorrows. And not to speak about the strictly sexual side… Man should be something else. Man is who dies with dignity and who with dignity accepts the physical and mental storms of life…
And the American philosopher Ken Wilber states:
Studies conducted on testosterone all point to a simple conclusion. Not to be rude, but it seems that testosterone has practically two, and two only, principal impulses: to mate or to kill. And men live with this biological nightmare from the first day of their life, a nightmare that women can only barely imagine…
Testosterone thus, has flooded beyond its natural goals of procreation and defense creating a never ending fight to dominate over the other men and women.
- Pythagoras and war
In Crotone this philosopher taught that war derived from the killing of the animal and textually stated: Peace is a habit that comes from the respect of animals. If you don’t dare kill an animal, you will never kill a man. In that city he avoided hunters and butchers and to the Gods he offered flour and honey breads or the famous Ox of Bread, symbol of the end of violence. He was also the only philosopher in the whole human history to profess the doctrine of the Greater Dignity of the Woman compared to men. It is thus not accurate to give him the merit of simply establishing the equality between man and woman.
He, in fact, taught that the woman came first in dignity before the man because she shared equally her things according to the criterion of justness, the substantial justice that came before the law, an attitude that was unknown to man’s nature.
Pythagoras also acknowledged that the female gender has a deep inclination toward religious piety, so much so that the answers of the oracles of Delphi and Dodona were revealed by a woman. And he urged women to prepare, with their own hands, what they intended to offer the Gods, flat breads, combs of honey and incense, placing them on altars not stained by the blood of the victims.
- Plato and war
Plato frequented the School of Crotone because of the influence of his mother Perictione, philosopher who wrote lost Pythagorean works. Plato committed himself deeply to pacify the world of his era, and clashed against the tyrants of Syracuse, the two Dionysus, the Older and the Younger. Twice he risked his life and was saved by Taranto and by Athens, which sent a ship to Syracuse to pick him up. At the end of his life, Plato recalled those events and came to the conclusion that to change the world there was a need of a complete change of mentality expressed in his famous sentence:
Either kings become philosophers or philosophers become kings.
- Kant and the universal peace
In 1795, whilst Europe was agitated by wars following the French Revolution, the philosopher Kant wrote his essay: Perpetual peace. In it he was looking for the solution to the problem of war in a world that he saw dominated by injustice, where the poor were oppressed by the excessive arrogance of the rich and the loss of loyalty and trust was widespread.
Kant suggested that permanent armies should be abolished, because they instigated war since this was their only end. Also, a permanent army was very expensive and the solution to get rid of it was to create war, which was always an expense, never an investment.
Doubting that his tips would be heard, Kant added to his essay the famous secret article as the last possibility to avoid war:
The principles of the philosophers on the possible conditions for peace must be considered by those countries that are armed for war.
That article could seem a naivety, but instead it brings us back to Plato’s dilemma according to which a high, philosophical reasoning had to guide the rulers.
On Kant’s tombstone was etched his famous phrase:
Two things fill my mind with growing admiration: the starry sky above me and the moral law inside of me.
That phrase restated the teaching of Pythagoras, who claimed that he could hear the stars’ music and who tried to recreate the cosmic harmony within man through ethical and moral rules.
Even Jesus, admiring the beauty of the night sky in Palestine, wanted to bring order in the world and said: The kingdom of heaven is within you.
- Aristotle and hope
Aristotle was asked what hope was, elpis in Greek, and his answer was: Hope is the dream of an awakened man. Aristotle recalled Heraclitus’ doctrine of the common dream of all humanity and indicated also that hope had to be actualized by people that applied themselves with intelligence and determination. The dream would never be fulfilled by itself.
In 2005 I visited the ancient roman city of Sufetula, today a deserted area in Tunisia. On a mosaic on the floor of the ancient baths, was written:
En seauto’ tas elpidas eche
Place all hope in yourself.
That stone phrase corresponds to what Kant stated: Only with hope man is happy because he follows with his desire the natural inclination toward happiness. To wish, meaning to desire, is a natural law. An old proverb says: Who lives with hope, dies desperately. That proverb is missing a no: Who lives with no hope, dies desperately.
- My father and the war
My father had been traumatized by the death of his father, who came back from the First World War with a frozen shoulder from being in the Alps. He died leaving wife and eight children without an income. When afterwards Mussolini decided to invade Greece, my father was obligated to leave as a volunteer, but he rebelled risking a trial and a serious sentence: he was sent back home instead.
In 1950, when I was nine, I saw a man coming into his workshop, the forge, who gave him a revolver that had to be checked. My father asked the man what he needed it for, and he replied that he wanted to shoot someone he had argued with. My father took the gun, put it on the anvil and with a mallet smashed the barrel of the weapon making it useless. After that, on two other occasions, he did the same thing.
In 1961, a monument to honor those fallen in the wars was brought to my hometown, a winged victory made of bronze, that was holding a crown of flowers inside which was a sword. My father cut off that sword and threw it away, saying: Enough wars, enough weapons!
- How many armies in Italy
Let’s talk about the First Italy, today’s Calabria, born around 2000 b.C. between the gulf of Squillace and Lamezia, and let’s try to count how many foreign armies have invaded it: Alexander the Molossian of Epirus; Pyrrhus; Hannibal; the Romans; Alaric, king of the Visigoths; the Lombards; the Arabs; the Byzantines; the Normans; the Swabians; the Angevins; the Aragonese; the Spanish; the Bourbons; the French and in the end the Piedmontese. That Italy though, has never been at war with anyone; it has always suffered the foreign invasions similar to a meadow in bloom that, without reacting, lets the bees and insects suck the nectar of its flowers.
Those invasions have brought about the decadence of the Italic populations, dispersed by emigration around the whole world and only in part still residing in Calabria, today the most problematic area of the European Union because of unrest and public order. But, the coming into awareness of those invasions and the damages caused drives Calabria today to start a worldwide campaign for the destruction of all weapons thus eliminating wars at the origin.
- Living all wealthy
In all the studies of the economists, starting from the famous Adam Smith, all analyses are based on the limitations of resources. The more serious hypothesis is never considered: that resources are enough to allow everybody to live a free life if the enormous amounts of money spent on weapons were given to the people. The conventional weapons of land; the navy with aircraft carriers, cruisers, nuclear submarines; the air force with combat air crafts and military transport; the batteries of conventional and nuclear missiles; nuclear, neutron, hydrogen bombs; the chemical weapons of mass destruction… Nobody knows the exact number of the nuclear warheads that are estimated to be in the tens of thousands in the whole world, nor the amount of the military balance sheets, often hidden by the secrecy of the government.
All the meetings between countries to reach the disarmament haven’t achieved any results. Rather, it’s recent the decision of the USA to start a program of reinforcement of the nuclear potential, thus unleashing an escalation of weapons that might take away resources from the American population and could destabilize world safety.
To reach disarmament would just be enough a signature on a document, shared by the governments, a trivial thing in form but impossible in substance, because the governments are ruled by men who do not want to give up control.
- Women, weapons, governments and religions
Women have never been part of armies, and only recently were allowed because of a misunderstood sense of equality with men. It’s something profoundly contrary to nature, which has made women to create life, not to take it away. Another proof of her maternal nature is that no executioner woman is known in the whole human history.
Maybe it will be essential to have women at the head of governments and of countries, to arrive at the destruction of all weapons and to abolish the tragic farce of wars. The scant examples of women in power, like Cleopatra of Egypt, Elizabeth I of England, and Catherine of Russia, show us women who have solely followed the logic and the behavior of men.
The great religions, then, preach peace and invoke it in all their prayers, but history shows that it is exactly them that have unleashed the religious wars, which are the worse and bloodiest ones. This stems from the fact that all religions are creations of males who have poured into them their unhappy charge of testosterone. Despite everything, we want to hope that finally religions understand the contradiction in which they find themselves, and open themselves up to women to arrive at the pacification of the human spirit and the rejection of all violence.
- The impossible becomes true
The starry universe is governed by only one law, the law of gravity. Even for the spirit world there is only one law, the law of desire, formulated by Heraclitus, who invited men to desire beyond every reasonable limit with his Doctrine of the not to be hoped for:
The not to be hoped for is hard to reach and no road takes you there. If you don’t hope the not to be hoped for, you will never discover it.
The philosopher invited us to hope for the impossible because more a dream seems impossible, more it is destined to become true. It’s what happens in miracles. A miracle is a desire that is accomplished by having a desire: having faith means to desire. Often though we don’t have faith, because fear has castrated our desire, the only force that can change our existence.
The rediscovery of the ancient Sofia, the wisdom of life, can finally resolve Plato’s dilemma on philosophers and rulers. In fact, today historical evidence offers rulers, actually offers every person, the possibility of becoming philosophers to implement the Great Change.
From Crotone starts the torch to ignite in the depth of ourselves the hope that is dead. A divine courage brings us to break the chains that for millennia have kept prisoners the biggest of human desires: to live fully every day in friendship, harmony and prosperity, to be free from daily anguish and to walk toward the divine horizons that have been waiting for us for thousands of years.
Salvatore Mongiardo, May 5, 2017