The Institute of Oriental Philosophy
Lecture: “The Relationships Among Life, Art, Scientific Technique”Dr. Cassim is from Sri Lanka. He is a specialist in architectonics and urban engineering and obtained his MA from the University of Tokyo. He has served as a dean at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and as vice president of Ritsumeikan University. Currently, he is a director of Kyoto Museum for World Peace, and is actively engaged in issues related to peace, education and the environment.
Dr. Cassim started off the lecture by saying that life is the most essential theme of which the Institute of Oriental Philosophy has dealt with. He then questioned why human beings hate and avoid each other rather than trying to support each other. As a scientist, Dr. Cassim has examined many forms of life starting with microorganisms. Through those experiences, he learned that life itself is vigorous and always does its best to survive in the circumstances it finds itself in, he said.
Dr. Cassim also said that during 12 years of serving as a staff member of the United Nations, he recognized the necessity of wisdom. He then remarked that true wisdom is something that has an artistic aspect. It is a compound of rational thinking and sensitivity. Wisdom is necessary to discern what’s right and wrong in reality. He also stressed the importance of gathering all wisdom not only from science but also from different study areas in order to find the way to enable a sustainable future.
Lastly, he said that the act of cherishing life, the source of the earth, transforms society and becomes the foundation for of creating peace. Peace is not the absence of war, but the birth of a society which celebrates and respects life itself.