"We Build the Temple of Universal Humanity"

When we contemplate Pieter Bruegel's renowned painting, "The Tower of Babel," and simultaneously consider concepts like "Europe" and the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights," various aspects become evident. Firstly, there's an immense structure that literally overshadows everything in its vicinity. Myriad unconnected activities render this colossal, seemingly chaotic ziggurat as somewhat aimless and disorganized.

Beyond the apparent prevailing confusion, we're dealing with an extremely vulnerable system architecture. The authorities, upon inspection, benignly acknowledge the submissive reports of success from both advisors and craftsmen, failing to notice the glaring discrepancy between reporting and reality.

It seems we are witnessing a grand symphony of self-overestimation and megalomania. Each detail appears autonomous, disconnected from its surroundings, contributing to the overall failure. Thus, the moral of this story emerges:

Pride goes before a fall.
Love triumphs.
Let's remain humble.
And obediently follow the rules given by those above us to avoid blame.

Indeed, this monumental project seems doomed due to people's selfishness, megalomania, envy, fundamentalism, and foolishness. With such traits, realizing grand ideas or objectives like "Europe" or "Human Rights" seems unattainable.

But what if the Tower, Europe, or human rights represent an ideal, a directional beacon rather than an achievable destination? We're essentially talking about ourselves! We discuss how we should interact dynamically but haven't quite mastered it. We talk about unifying diverse thoughts and possibilities into a growing unity of relationships. Then, we cannot go wrong because a relationship can never be "wrong." It may head in an unwanted direction, develop unexpectedly, or grow slower than hoped, but it is always alive.

A relationship is always a cause in motion, every movement has a direction, every direction aims at a goal, and behind every goal lies an unreachable, ideal destiny. The real trouble begins when I expect these unattainable ideals to be fully realized. I think I must have arrived before even starting the journey! This approach is doomed to fail because I replace the relationship (with an ideal) with a verifiable set of rules to highlight others' mistakes. Since rules can never be alive, they breed the very enemies of the ideal: selfishness, envy, fundamentalism, and foolishness (as I must be right).

I mistakenly believe that the ideal can be achieved actively and separately from others. I think I can achieve a perfect ideal by strengthening its exact opposite. However, in the real world, these opposites are irreconcilable! Humanity, growth, love, vitality – hence, relationships – can only flourish collectively.

Relationships grow as all involved joyfully contribute their part, learning and growing from within. Learning and growth as increasing awareness, as a learning relationship! Thus, Bruegel's painting shows us how to approach an ideal: through the growth of internal relationships rather than external, visible, real-world growth. Just as our brain grows through learning, manifested not by getting bigger in the real world but through new relationships between brain cells, so too the Tower's real-world dimensions have been reached, and further development occurs in the growing relationships between individual elements.

By halting the attempt to achieve the impossible, humans are shown the path of continuous, perpetual improvement. And they can understand this because their focus is suddenly on solving the emerging problems. Only now can they care for relationships BECAUSE their languages were confused, BECAUSE they became aware of planning deficits, BECAUSE they must abandon the vulnerable external system architecture, and BECAUSE they now need to improve lacking process organization.

The complete (impossible) ideal must draw us towards it through the allure of its fascination, motivating us so that the enemy within does not. By letting go of both extremes, we are now free to decide our direction. This decision unites the opposites! We must continually make this decision at all levels. This is the challenge of our lives!

We don't need external heroes. We don't need founding myths or personified extreme viewpoints in the real world! And in our real world, we don't need saviors to fight this battle for us, thus relieving us of responsibility for our own relationships. It's always about ourselves! It's about taking responsibility for our relationships and actively working on their growth.

But it's also about knowing that every ideal/perfection is a vision (not a utopia) and must always remain so for us to draw strength from it! That we can continuously and endlessly approach this unattainable ideal, even - or especially "because" - we will never reach it. By doing so, we can confidently let go of the greatest enemies within ourselves and can joyfully "…walk hand in hand into a better land" (to quote Mozart's Magic Flute)!

There is no way to Europe – Europe is the way!

Pieter Bruegel - Turmbau zu Babel
Pieter Bruegel - Turmbau zu Babel