The World Philosophical Forum sees ancient Greece as the bright dawn of Western civilization and an infinite historical source of knowledge; inspired and inspiring, an eternal flame. Philosophy provides wisdom and wisdom provides a vision, which without vision, the people perish.

As humanity stands in the shadow of a nuclear nightmare in front of the gates of Armageddon, doing nothing is not an option; not for government, not for the international community and not for high profile citizens and politicians. We have the tools to close the gates and to pull mankind way back from the brink. So what says philosophers in Greece today?

John Masefield wrote I have seen flowers come in stony places, kind things done by men with ugly faces, the gold cup won by the worst horse at the races, So I trust too.

We need trust, which can come through philosophy! We also need a trustworthy model of reality and a humanitarian corridor and compass to take us to a meaningful future.

So what is to be done?

First without the wisdom of philosophy there will be no retreat from the brink as it was described by the Secretary General of the United Nations Antonio Gutierrez in his moral indictment of the state of our world and a reference to the abyss moving in the wrong direction. Earlier with Ban Ki Moon, in the UN, philosophy came close to application, it came as close as the Doomsday Clock comes to midnight, today. Once, UNESCO saw itself then as a philosophical institution standing against confrontational logic within the so called clash of cultures. Since then, neither UNESCO, nor the UN, have been in touch with classical philosophy. Indeed, it seems that our several appeals have been deep-sixed and they have fallen by the wayside. One proposal is that the WPF take over where he left off.

Once again the World Philosophical Forum cries out for philosophy first and first in Greece which is failing in its support and recognition of classical philosophy. Once again it made a great effort for support but found little. Indeed it almost found no place at the inn.

Socrates whose presence was felt once again in Athens would have applauded our efforts and those of all who seek to unite humankind through global citizenship. Once again I suggest to Greece to symbolically proclaim Socrates, the Father of Life-Long-Learning. Surely, Greece can present its Hellenic past much better than its belligerent neighbor.

One question is how can humanity bypass what Austrian philosopher Günther Anders calls apocalypse-blindness in Western society and deal with the rapidly growing mindset of concern telling us that there is little, or no time left to look back and that we must expand our efforts to reshape the future.

Can the Hellenic olive branch and Goethe’s gingko leaf rekindle their symbolism and the dying dove of peace of Picasso be resurrected?

Greece also faces a deficit in public health, a troubled demography of falling life expectancy and rising infant mortality. Anxiety is on the rise, children see little being done to benefit their future while experts predict an avalanche of mental health problems. Philosophers may fall short of a civic-social role and academies of their social agendas. Meanwhile scholars all over the world are at risk.

Of course paradoxical dualities unfold, one the Amazon forest being eaten alive, on a route to earthly lunacy and towards greater social dementia while Greece honors Daniel Barenboim, a genius, a philosopher, to lift us out of the gloom and away from brink. His celebration reflects an earlier celebration in 2019 at the Barenboim-Said Akademie in Berlin, 2019 and orchestrated by Andrea Kidd. It featured a poetic re-examination of Germany 3 decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall as well as the status of East-West relations at a time of rising right wing politics across Europe. It too was accompanied by the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, a project uniting Israeli and Arab musicians, which first got underway in Weimar in 1999. Nothing was said of long overdue WWII debt to Greece.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe gave us the West–Eastern Divan or collection of lyrical poems inspired by the Persian poet Hafez in 1819. It was considered as indescribable magic and a peace be with you message to the East saying we are all made of the same clay by potters with universal roots. It was a brake on hate , fear of the Other and on racism. What we should retain today is Goethe’s Koranic expression: “to god belongs the Orient, to god belongs the Occident. Northern and Southern lands rest in the His hands”.

One reported success story of the of World Philosophical Forum and that of the Malaysian branch is the project Eurasian Bridges for Peace, which I co-direct and which will produce its first batch of students of Philosophy and the Al Quran held up to the mirror of classical philosophy and Hellenism (2020-22). It will be celebrated within the context of World philosophy Day UNESCO, 17 November 2022 and in Kuala Lumpur. Another is the publication of several books and many articles and a few appeals. In November a digital version of University facing world problems by Fidel Gutierrez Vivanco will be released.

One Urgent statement found on the platform-webpage of the World Philosophical Forum reads: Inhabitants of the Earth, get ready! Humanity is going mad and ready to die for nothing as it comes closer than ever to overall self-annihilation. Will it be Heaven or Hell? It was Dag Hammarskjold who aptly told us that the United Nations was not created to take mankind to heaven but to save humanity from hell on earth a now failing function.

Escalation of drought and famine in Somalia and war in the Ukraine is likely. Threat of nuclear mishap was brought home to the Greek Foreign Minister as he was forced to take shelter as Russian missiles fell too close for comfort to an already vulnerable nuclear installation. At the same time Crete suffered horrendous flooding.

People worry about speaking out knowing that they can become an endangered species in the eyes of their own authorities. Twenty years or so ago Kofi Anan fought hard to promote human security and was fought hard against it. human security is a social function and its mindset must be joined with disaster management within a framework of philosophy.

One proposal of the World Philosophical Forum and once again is that a symbolic Peace be negotiated in the sacred place of Delphi, Greece, and an agreement and a Universal Peace Treaty signed in the Old Hellenic Parliament, Athens of modern Greece.

Our hope still runs high and remains eternal, as eternal as the glorious classical Greek past. Philosophers may fall scholastic and short of a social-civic role but not philosophy. Greece falls short in its promotion and support of classical philosophy.

Classical philosophy that placed its seal on the cradle of European civilization seems abandoned in UNESCO, is not considered in the elaboration of the World Health Organization’s evolving committees on the origins of COVID-19 and its expertise is now not even present in the UN. In advocating the revival and practical use of classical philosophy to the societal decision making agenda, the WPF together with all other organizations focusing on human rights, peace and democracy, equality and solidarity add a unique dimension in their uphill fight for survival and their attempts to create a viable alternative to the world as it is. A world where Spring may vanish with the Rose, Youth's sweet-scented manuscript may close! Where is the Nightingale that in the branches sang?

An ancient Greek song tells us: While we live shine, have no grief at all, for life exists a short while, and time demands it’s due. Greece should invest in Philosophy! Europe desperately needs it!