One might consider today that the foundations of pure right-thinking, upon which modernism is based, are breaking apart and are in danger of collapse.
Surprisingly, rationalism left to its own devices seems to have woven together over time an extraordinarily inventive technology, a strange totalitarianism that’s all the more efficient because it’s invisible. At least since the recent economic crisis, we speak more and more freely about financial dictatorship of which the effects are felt daily, without us truly understanding how to control it.
People are less and less disposed to consider that these events are fate, also called globalisation. Politics itself must accept it is part of globalisation, with no hope of mastering it.
And this fate is not just economic. It has social, cultural and human consequences of which we can no longer be unaware.
To re-enchant the world is to catch a glimpse of the possibilities of a new relationship where the inevitable and, therefore, the dictatorship of the fait accompli, are no longer valid. Re-enchantment is a means of refuting the current process of collapse and of reinstating mankind, culture and spirituality; of escaping from the all-encompassing economic diktat and rediscovering the freedom of the spirit. This could perhaps be the result of indignation at all that has gone before.
Here poetry, the quest for beauty, the art of living, all that we can consider as necessary for life and for living together – like an intangible richness that really does exist – must be reinstated as the right of all. How can we rise to such a challenge which is both personal and collective, while avoiding the numerous traps presented by yearnings for individual power, be they materialist or idealist, political or fundamental?
There are fragments of teachings that we can take from a remarkable man, Omar Al Khayyam: poet, man of science, philosopher, a spiritual man who lived more than ten centuries ago. The quatrains of his Rubiyat are poetic gems, and have much to tell us.
Director General, Fes Festival of World Sacred Music