HARMONY RENAISSANCE AND THE NECESSITY OF REINVENTION
By Francis C. W. Fung, PH.D.
Necessity is the mother of invention. This well known axiom is as applicable in all human activities and the scientific and technological world as well as in our ideologies or common values development. The three great cultural inventions of mankind : religion, harmony and democracy are leading examples. From their early inception at the beginning of human civil societies they have played dominant roles as cultural pillars of human civilization. From historical perspective, their eternal evolvement and interactions will be never ending. Extremism resulting from religion and democracy confrontations was largely due to consequences of claims to supremacy by different schools and the determined drive of human corruption and promotion.
Truism in important discoveries is bound to be rediscovered or reinvented at times of need also. Not to speak of the countless religious rebirths even to the modern day, the rebirth of democracy is one of the most meritorious human reinvention. Heralded by events of the European Age of Enlightenment, following the dire need for order after the European Dark Ages, democracy led to America’s own declaration of independence. In conjuncture with European Renaissance the ideal of democracy released the human creative energy that led to today’s modern scientific world.
The need of harmony as universal human value for order and stability came to being in China approximately 3000 years ago through the Spring and Autumn and Warring States period. It climaxed in Laotze’s Dao De Jing approximately 2500 years ago. The continuity of the 5000 years of Chinese history in part was due to Laotze and his follower’s harmony teaching. In his Dao De Jing, Laotze believed that the universe was created from the dark energy of the infinite firmament. He attributed harmony as the underlying operating principle of the universe. The order of the universe is harmony that is why it existed eternally. The order of nature is also the order of the universe thus nature’s order is also to seek harmony.
Laotze’s teaching can be summed up in one of Daoism’s famous sayings, “Tien Ren He Yi”. This means the universe and human are harmonious as one. This deep philosophical thought has provided the Chinese and Eastern civilization the spiritual fruit and peace of mind for centuries. This explains in part why China did not feel the strong drive to develop its own major religion; instead she accepted most major religions of the world. When one is at peace with the infinite power of the universe where all the creative dark energy came from one is at peace with oneself and the creator of the universe. There is no need to be overly dependent on humanized all mighty creator in most institutional religions. It is well known that major religious wars were notably absent despite many civil struggles in Chinese history. This relatively tolerant attitude of the Chinese was well demonstrated by Confucius. When asked by his students on the importance of religion, his reply was “Respect the Gods but stay detached”.
In times of difficulties China had at times resorted to civil and ideological struggles. Fortunately the ancient teachings of harmony, embracing the truth of forgiveness, tolerance and humility, eventually returned and triumphed over extremism. In the last 200 years of upheaval, China was at a loss facing the onslaught of an aggressive Western materialistic culture. For generations Confucius teaching had placed the merchant class at the lowest ladder of Chinese civil society. During the last 30 years of reform and opening up the break neck speed of development in China was unprecedented in human history. With its positive economic benefits it also brought conflicts between the rich and poor, the old and new and the powerful and the powerless. In short, rapid progress brings major societal disharmony, especially in the most populous nation of the world of 1.3 billion.
Harmony belief has been in the background in China and the world for too long. For the last two Western dominated centuries religion and democracy were in center stage. It is a good sign that China beginning in 2004, rediscovered harmony when the strong need was felt by her leaders. At the same time the need for world harmony through its renaissance is acute in today’s conflicting world, burdened with undue extremism and unilateralism. Harmony is a universal common value and renaissance is action. Together harmony comes to life. At the end of this essay is a draft world harmony preamble and declaration to call for world support and consensus. This call for harmony renaissance is the inevitable tide of reinvention by necessity. In rediscovering harmony, China also rediscovers its own roots. No nation can stand up unless it can grow on its own roots.
There have been numerous essays by the present author and others written on the need for harmony renaissance. The author’s experience in West to East technology transfer highlights the importance of East and West exchange, with particular significance in harmony renaissance. To illustrate the importance of a multilateral world and the future tide, we now venture to disclose the benefits of multilateral cultural exchange. America is very proud of its creativity and American know how. It is true that America, as a new nation has been very successful in technology commercialization. The rapid growth of commercial airliners, space ships, computers and the worldwide web, all great modern technologies, owe a great deal to America’s entrepreneur spirit and creativity. Actually in the thousands of years of accumulated human wisdom and experience there is little new useful discovery today but more of applications of ancient trial and proven technologies to the modern setting.
The great success of computer technology relies heavily on the world common heritage of Boolean algebra, logic programming, transistor technologies, and integrated circuits as well as mundane repeated photographic applications. Some of these technologies go back thousands of years and were discovered by ancient cultures. They are reinvented or rediscovered to apply to the great achievement of modern computer. Without the collective efforts of common human experience it may be safe to say that our computerized world may never have been realized. There lies the beauty of a multilateral world. Since the beginning of human interactions, diverse human wisdoms and inventions are continuously propagated by harmony through the spread of commerce.
With the advent of the most modern nano construction materials, time has come to build appropriate power turbine towers for rural and isolated regional electricity generation by utilizing solar energy, waste heat, biogas and geothermal energy. This low cost power generation technology using locally available fuel and energy is economically feasible because of the new MPC cement with high fly ash content. It is light weight, high strength, high temperature resistant at the same time easy to form and process. Its short setting time and strong bounding properties allows onsite construction with ease. The present vertical power turbine design can also easily team up with available VAT wind turbine technology for electricity generation. When applied in large scale this type of design, can be widely used to rapidly electrify the developing world for modern conveniences such as lights, radios, computers, microwave ovens and other small appliances. This reinvention of the power turbine for green electricity generation has a long human heritage that further illustrates the essential spirit of East and West cultural exchange.
The vertical simple power turbine in the form of a rotating lantern was first observed as early as two thousand years ago at the period of Three Kingdoms in China. Legend has it that it was invented by the famous military strategist and prime minister of Han Kingdom. Hence it was called Kung Ming lantern in honor of him. The idea of the Kung Ming lantern has a lit candle at the bottom and a turbine on top. The convection current driven by the buoyancy of the heated air turns the inner lantern that casts rotating human shadows on the wall. The military value of the lantern was said to deceive the enemy. The idea of the air driven power turbine resurfaced immediately after Second World War when Rolls Royce perfected the gas turbine engine for jet aircrafts. The design was made possible by the high strength and heat resistant properties of the titanium alloy power turbine. This heralded the jet airplane and the subsequent continental jet air travel. U.S. manufacturers Pratt and Whitney and General Electric again were quick to follow Rolls Royce in commercialization. Just as after the first Russian Sputnik, America was quick to commercialize the space and satellite communication age.
During the 1980’s the author was instrumental in assisting Cooper Rolls (a joint venture of U.S. Cooper Industries and British Rolls Royce) to convert China’s moth balled Spey aircraft gas turbine engines for oil field and off shore platform electricity generation, by using power turbine technology. The current low cost power turbine design patent for appropriate electricity comes in full circle by reinventing the power turbine technology first observed in China as Kung Ming lantern 2000 years ago. The present patent embodies the Bernoulli principle, buoyancy, atmospheric pressure difference and ideal gas law for power generation. If China commercializes this application because of strong need to provide low cost electricity to its rural and vast remote areas it could be a wind fall for most of the developing world. This is the beauty of a multilateral world cultural and technology exchange. Of more significance, the eventual world harmony renaissance initiated by China, can be the most meritorious cultural reinvention of human kind.
Harmony is a great human discovery that begs to be rediscovered. It embraces our common values of tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, equity and humility. In the developed world today some of these virtues are in short supply. There lies in the importance of East and West cultural exchange. The world is not sustainable by thriving only on Western transfer of technology and ideology to the East. Harmony is an ancient Eastern philosophy that will prove to be the greatest Eastern cultural contribution to world civilization. It is the new wave of civil society that will release the world from the current burden of extremism and unilateralism. It will release the new innovative energy that the world has been waiting for to bring us to the next level of human accomplishment beyond European Renaissance.
In the East harmony as a social science theory was evolved from natural science observation by Laotze. Human in harmony with the universe is called Tien Ren He Yi. Einstein was also quoted as saying the order of nature is not accidental. Harmony is the order of nature. Harmony belongs to the World and to the Universe.
WORLD HARMONY ORGANIZATION "HARMONY DECLARATION"
Harmony is the highest common value. Renaissance is action. Together they have life.
Harmony is the order of natural science and the fundamental law of the universe.
Harmony is dynamic energy balance and is also the principle of universe creation.
From the very beginning, the Universe is created by the infinite invisible energy in the firmament.
The invisible energy that created the universe can also be called DAO.
Laotze said "Dao created one, one created two, two created three, three created all things. All things carry Ying and embrace Yang. Dynamic balance creates harmony."
Laotze's harmony theory of universe is in unison with modern quantum physics.
Harmony renaissance is the guiding principle to be applied to natural and social sciences. It is the break through that will take us to the next level of human creativity and accomplishment beyond European Renaissance.
World Harmony Organization Signers
Francis C. W. Fung PH.D.
World Harmony Organization