By Phillip Miner
If you don’t know it yet, there is a big event coming that is being hosted by the Art of Living, in Delhi, India: the World Culture Festival. It will combine cultural programs, forums for world leaders in business and government, speeches from VIPs across the globe and of course yoga and meditation. 3.5 million people are slated to attend this mega event.
While this event may not have a personal impact on your life if you are not attending it, its effects will be felt by you, if you are open to receiving them. The theme of this event is global unity, with the leaders attending this event taking concrete steps to promote global unity. It will unite people from across different cultures and offer a united voice for peace and harmony.
I would like to bring to notice here one of my favorite movies, a cult classic action movie called Equilibrium starring Christian Bale. Equilibrium is an action movie about a struggle against a dystopian society, a precursor of sorts to present-day movies about fighting dystopian societies such as the Hunger Games series. The premise of the dystopian society in Equilibrium is that emotions are suppressed via mandatory doses of an emotion-blocking drug – the idea being to prevent thoughts and emotions that lead to crimes, such as fear, hate, anger, aggression, etc. The only problem with this drug is that it suppresses higher level emotions as well, such as love, joy, happiness, and similar. The main character played by Christian Bale accidentally misses a dose of the emotion blocking drug, and as a result he starts to feel emotions and realizes how wrong the society is, becoming instrumental in bringing it down.
But what if it was possible to deal with the negative emotions that lead to violent crimes without resorting to extreme measures like in the movie Equilibrium? Some way to mitigate their effects while still being able to maintain the ability to experience higher level emotions? Essentially, this is the main objective of the teachings of the Art of Living, through their Happiness Programs and other courses. And the WCF 2016 is part of that process. While the courses of the Art of Living seek to help individuals deal with their own negative emotions in positive ways, WCF 2016 seeks to help foster international unity through the simple act of bringing people of different backgrounds together. It’s a two-pronged approach, working on both individual and group levels.
The emotion-blocking drug of the movie Equilibrium could be seen as a reaction to negative emotions in society, by seeking to extinguish emotion altogether. But instead of reacting to negativity, we should seek to prevent it in the first place. By giving individuals and groups the tools to deal with their negative emotions as they come, instead of forcing them out altogether, the Art of Living and its WCF 2016 is preventing negativity instead of reacting to it with a sledgehammer approach. It is better to prevent a dystopia from existing in the first place, instead of fighting to bring one down later. Happiness is always preferable to drugs!
For more information on the World Culture Festival 2016 – a celebration of The Art of Living’s 35 years of service to humanity. The festival will bring together people from different cultures, nations and faiths as a one world family in a resounding message of peace.