Most distinguished participants of the fifth annual session of Kadıköy Anadolu Lisesi Model United Nations Conference,
It is my utmost pleasure to welcome you all as this year’s President of the General Assembly. This year, KALMUN Secretariat has decided to adopt the theme of “Attaining a new sense of mind: Harmony and peace structured by the sublime illuminated.” With the following letter, you’d be able to obtain an opportunity to contemplate how this very theme implies within the General Assembly committees of KALMUN 2017 and most importantly, the current era that encompasses all of us.
Hegel once stated in his work, Lectures on the Philosophy of History that: “No man can surpass his own time, for the spirit of his time is also his spirit.” With such definition of a new concept, which will hereby be referred as zeitgeist, he suggested that a man would never be able to fully detach himself from the zeitgeist of his time, hence we could further argue that we are not surrounded by one particular notion but a large amount of such. Nonetheless, the whole system of thinking we obtain is constructed by that bunch of different yet somehow correlated thoughts and ideals of the zeitgeist of our era. Therefore, despite the fact that we are all individuals and bear separate and independent systems of thought; we are deeply interconnected due to our common ground of what we are exposed to in our life time. That is why if we aim to change ourselves and our perspectives upon various points or arguments, we are not just required to attain a new perspective or outlook focused on one specific event, notion or ideal. Our perspectives regarding distinct occasions and occurrences are structured by the common fashion of thinking that we maintain, our primal approach to such or, finally, our sense of mind in other words our frame or state of mind. The means we analyze new or old events, notions or concepts, are not only in relation with our one specific outlook, but a whole system that provides us with the similar perspectives upon dissimilar occurrences or occasions. Thus we would not be able to entertain a full and an effective change until we alter how we comprehend or sense events or notions and so forth, how we analyze such in the exact manner.
The World is constantly being exposed to catastrophic occurrences that display themselves distinct and dissimilar; however, after evaluating such in the appropriate means, we are able to suggest that such events that are painted as different from root to top, are actually similar inside. Therefore, the humankind is almost always confident to argue that the history does repeat itself. Nevertheless; the approach to resolve such crises and issues remains partially successful or worse, no successful at all. Such conflict and/or problem resolution mechanism is required to be modified and amended yet such change does not only indicate the subjected mechanism. We are responsible for such approaches aiming to enhance, resolve or improve; therefore, we are subjected to a change in our very nature. Due to the aforementioned fact, the solutions of varying issues should never be referred as unattainable but in that context, we are obliged to first interpret what a problem is and its root causes, second what could be the most feasible and effective solution of such and third, in a case where our solution mechanism does not reach the demanded standards, our resolution mechanism should be objected to an alteration. That will be how we would be finally able to maintain the capability of fully acknowledging and recognizing that the humankind as well as its mistakes and successes is in a constant cycle of repetition that actually creates its centuries-old history.
As explained above, the way we sense events and devote meanings and emotions to such is directly connected with how we act or approach towards a problem and/or a conflict. If our fashion of thought is to be amended, then our resolution mechanisms would be altered as well in accordance with such. Thus attaining a new sense of mind is an undiscussable condition to enhance ourselves both individually and as a community. It is something that a person should work for and devote his/her time. Change is indeed inevitable yet it always requires an individual to perform and donate his/her uppermost attention and effort for a change of better final conditions. Therefore, alteration of such a great system of mind should not be undermined in any occasion to ensure that the subjected individual will be able to attain the aimed status of mind.
It is not peculiar that we, a group of individuals that maintain the primary principal of enhancing the dissimilar statuses of the globe as well as improving various conditions and situations for each and every citizen of the World, adopt the ultimate objective of achieving harmony and peace and more importantly dispersing such notions and concepts among all of the nations without any exception at all. Although two of the concepts that are emphasized above could establish a ground to be regarded as rather personal ideals and objectives than globally realistic ones; the fact that should be strongly emphasized is the necessity of both harmony and peace, and the further requirement of such two concepts to be attained and entertained, simultaneously.
Without harmony, peace will never surpass one generation’s era whereas will become continuous if harmony is not attained alongside peace and vice versa; harmony would never be able to embellish and affect our current or future lives if the ideal of peace all around the World is not accomplished in the most splendid fashion. Hence such two political and social ideals should be regarded as an inseparable pair, rather than two distinct aims that were being longed for since the beginning of time. Achievement of such is disclosed as the two being implemented as one.
Bearing the urgency of the need of peace and harmony in our era, in our minds; it is appropriate to argue that only the illuminated ones would be able to fully and truly understand the importance of attaining such but more critically, speak their honest minds upon various issues and situations. Nevertheless, first; the true meaning of the notions of sublime and illumination should be completely interpreted in order for us to further understand what being sublime illuminated actually means.
In aesthetics, sublime is the quality of greatness whether; physical, moral, intellectual, metaphysical, aesthetic, spiritual, or artistic. The term primarily refers to and emphasizes a greatness beyond all possibility of calculation, measurement, or imitation. German philosopher Immanuel Kant made the following statement in accordance with the explanation of the exact mean of the sublime concept:
“Whereas the beautiful is limited, the sublime is limitless, so that the mind in the presence of the sublime, attempting to imagine what it cannot, has pain in the failure but pleasure in contemplating the immensity of the attempt”.
In accordance with Kant’s work, Beobachtungen über das Gefühl des Schönen und Erhabenen (Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime); sublime is to be found in a formless object that is boundless in any mean thus, it is distinguished from beautiful in such a term. Nonetheless, it has been specified that both beautiful and sublime are two indefinite concepts yet beauty relates to one’s understanding meanwhile sublime directly belongs to one’s reason hence sublime shows a faculty of the mind surpassing every standard of sense. Moreover; he further argued that the dynamically sublime, which is one of the two forms of the sublime, is simply an object that can create a fearfulness without the individual, being afraid of it. To epitomize above; for I. Kant, one’s inability to grasp the magnitude of a sublime event such as an earthquake demonstrates inadequacy of one’s sensibility and imagination. Simultaneously, one’s ability to subsequently identify such an event as singular and whole indicates the superiority of one’s cognitive, supersensible powers. Ultimately, it is this “supersensible substrate,” underlying both nature and thought, on which true sublimity is located.
Many philosophers of both past and today, suggested that an individual bears the ability of becoming a sublime being given to the fact; a human is able to enhance and improve himself/herself in any mean, thus become sublime. As mentioned above, sublimity of one is directly related to the fashion one uses his/her senses hence it is argued that someone sublime is the ideal human being in accordance with the principals of aesthetics. An ideal person in the aforementioned context, is a person that is able to sense and consequently devote the most applicable meaning to events and situations, and ultimately the person that would be able to contemplate an issue and provide the others with the most efficient and feasible solution, attainable. That’s why, becoming an illuminated person of sublimity possesses utmost importance for the chaotic environment, the World is currently in.
Sublimity comes when the most feared, is resolved in the greatest manner. Despite the fact that the horrific and grave events and occasions make us fear for our future, when the solution exposes itself through today’s illuminated ones; sublimity will follow after. It should never be forgot that the more catastrophic a situation seems, the more sublime its solution would be as a result if the ones that are aiming to change and to be changed remain as one to solve such.
Furthermore, Merriam-Webster Dictionary made the following definition on the word, illuminate:
- archaic: brightened with light
- archaic: intellectually or spiritually enlightened”
For centuries, light was a symbol for knowledge; hence light has been tried to be eradicated since then. Nonetheless, people always did have a faith in light because light did not only symbolize knowledge but also faith and hope. Being enlightened, and accordingly illuminated imply that an individual is not specifically entitled to another person’s light to be able to see but an individual is his/her own source of light. The ones that would bear the ability of understanding exactly what peace and harmony signifies for the sake of the world is the ones that are illuminated. The ones that are not afraid to speak out against unjustness and dishonesty of so-called power bearers, and actually understand why they are against such attempt to circulate darkness; are the ones that are illuminated. The ones that are courageous enough to change their means of thought and their senses of mind as well as welcoming such change warm-heartedly are the ones that are illuminated. Being illuminated is not only restricted to knowledge, but more importantly illumination is a form of managing such infinite concept as knowledge. Knowledge is never powerful enough when it is only disclosed to oneself, but when it is shared. Light flourishes when it is passed on, and most importantly darkness has no existence of its own, it’s only the absence of light. Therefore, the ones that would have the World and its people to be encompassed with peace and harmony would be the illuminated ones.
Through this very theme, KALMUN Secretariat has decided to challenge its participants to think out of the box and understand how seemingly minimal issues are actually directly affecting a larger whole. Thus with the agenda items adopted in our each and every committee, we would like to have you act as one and more importantly have you leave our conference as an illuminated individual of sublimity, and finally as a part of our world of colours.
We have the uppermost hope and faith in the notion that today’s sublime illuminated ones would be the individuals to structure peace and harmony, together and ultimately stronger for the future we want. Now be a part of our world of colours to let the light in.
Nur Ayça Demir
President of the General Assembly
Kadıköy Anadolu Lisesi Model United Nations Conference 2017