Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Letter to Norwegian Nobel Committee

Attached is a long letter I wrote to the Norwegian Nobel Committe in the early hours of today (15/11/2006) together with a few amendments and additions. Something I have contemplated for a very long time, but didn't take any concrete action in fulfilling it. I pray it is read with open minds and hearts.

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I wish to make some comments regarding the winners of the Nobel prizes for the present and past years, across the board for some of the fields your organisation has looked into, e.g. Literature, Peace, Economics.

While the Peace Prize is awarded to person(s) or institutions with much deserve or breadth in working for the world, the same cannot be said for other prizes, which include the Literature.

Allow me to quote what your good organisation said regarding the works of Orhan Pamuk, winner of this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures." Or perhaps last year's winner Harold Pinter, "who in his plays uncovers the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed rooms."

These words, in the very least, do not stir a slightest ripple in any reader's heart. Most to most they cause some reactions within the minds of some intellects, who by and large, live in their own intellectual world, elusive and perhaps even oblivious to what is happening around the world.

What exactly does your good org. means when it says 'discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing cultures'? Or 'the precipice under everyday prattle and forces entry into oppression's closed room'? How would one be able to grasp the words made by your org's panel if there seems to a hint of 'word-play' here? Something along the line of 'I speak of what I think; regardless of your understanding'.

Perhaps this is what exactly happens to all our fields - the humanity's fields. From Economics to Physics to Literature to Peace, everything is lost in this wilderness and emptiness. No longer can human beings connect themselves with these mundane elements anymore; they have become distant and unfamiliar to them for a long time. Thus we see human beings unable to act and behave peacefully, because peace has left their minds and hearts, and transferred to other mediums like Hollywood shows, fictional books, or at best, news journals reporting faraway genocides and bombings.

We also see human beings unable to derive genuine happiness from books anymore. As much as they would like to emulate their forefathers gaining a deep insight into life, and the realisation of 'How to live as a human being, and living it to the fullest', they find their efforts becoming futile and their paths lost. The reason is identical with the above: no longer can Literature, or books in general, carry the torch of truth, words of courage and the light of enlightenment to lead anyone out of today's miseries anymore. Whatever 'new symbols' or 'precipice' found or discovered certainly hold no value at all in providing the slightest hint of how one should face this turbulent world.

In a nutshell and sad to say, the Nobel Prize for Literature has lost its original spirit and true value. This is simply because not many are, apart from the small group of intellects, able to derive any concrete ideals from within the pages and between the lines and transform these ideals into actual, tangible actions for undertaking the gigantic task of 'living one's life correctly in this incorrect society and confused era.'

May I propose to you one name - Daisaku Ikeda. He is one who fuses his own life-force, together with his unsurpassed wisdom, to weave a monumental web of connectedness with the Eastern and Western intellects for over 30 years. Since the first dialogue with British historian Arnold Toynbee in 1974, he has relentlessly, without resting for even a single day, fought with his might in 1) reverting the trend and tide of humanity, from toward self-destruction to self-mastery; 2) building a just society whereby societal elements like economics, sciences, and all other fields including finances, agricultures and even environmental protection, come under one Single umbrella he calls 'human happiness'. In short, he gives new lives and directions to the seemingly lost societies around the world; 3) giving hope and courage to humanity without ever losing sight of his primal objective - to eliminate sufferings from the face of Earth. With a long visual perspective stretching over the next few centuries, nuclear disarmament and even abolitions of armies are found in his agenda. This bold yet firm determination is coupled with his patient yet all-encompassing wellspring of wisdom and compassion in replacing these negative cultures of violence with positive, dynamic ones such as human-intellect exchanges, cross-cultural collaborations and a rennaissance of education for the sake of human happiness. Such a breadth and scope can't be matched by anyone in this world presently.

Therefore, I urge your good organisation to 1) re-examine the basis and evaluations you have been holding on for the past decades or even century; 2) to re-consider, based on the revised evaluation and requirements for awarding a winner, taking into account the true values one has created and impacted on this world, and more importantly on humanity-at-large. It is only by re-setting one's eyes on the most fundamental objective of our lives - to live life to the fullest by drawing forth one's greatest innate potential for the welfare of fellow human beings, and working with other complimenting elements in building a truly peaceful world, that one's true purpose in this world is fulfilled.

I wish your good organisation's prizes to be a fresh source of hope, courage and direction for the entire humanity for the next millennium to come, with the evey announcement you will be making in all future instances. Thank you for reading this long mail.

Regards,

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