THE FLAME Summer 2017
LESSONS OF THE PAST
Most people probably assume―If they think about such topics at all― hat our civilization is the last and greatest one that we live in an age that is the culmination of everything that has gone before us.
Toru Nakamura is not one of these people. For Nakamura, there are ancient ruins around the world that prove such assumptions are premature. An international economist who has served in consulting and executive leadership roles for companies around the world, Nakamura has visited many sites―Gobekli Tape, for example, in southeastern Turkey― hat dramatically challenge the view that our civilization is the greatest and will never decline, in his new book Snakes, Birds and Dreams (available in Japanese), Nakamura draws on the lessons of the past in the hope of saving ours from such a fate.
Tapping into the Greek symbol of the caduceus, a wand topped with wings and two entwined snakes, Nakamura’s book searches across fields and disciplines for insights into behavior and answers to problems―an approach that CGU’s Transdisciplinary Studies program would certainly appreciate.
Such a wide-ranging view is critically necessary to our civilizations future, Nakamura explains. In fact, the problem for too many social scientists today, he writes, is that they have become “increasingly specialized, paying little attention to what other disciplines are discovering and are losing the humanist perspective.” In the process, they ignore the imagination and the importance of virtues like love or trust in a healthy society―something that Nakamura addresses in his fascinating new book.Snakes, Birds and Dreams（Kindai Bungeisha）.