The Asian civilisational dialogue appears to be propitious on three accounts. In the first place, it indicates the present level of civilisation which is marked by the recognition of dialogue as a means of interchange, expansion of consciousness and even of conflict resolution. Secondly, it provides an opportunity to our Asian continent to identify civilisational issues that must be resolved, not only for forging Asian unity but also for contributing the right atmosphere and materials that will secure to the entire humanity lasting peace and unity. And thirdly, it opens up new avenues to absorb in the Asian tradition useful lessons that need to be learned and assimilated from the historical experiences of all the other continents of the world. As this is the first Conference, it would be useful to reflect on, among many other important issues, a theme of deeper significance centred on the study of human consciousness, its urge towards unity, and how a useful dialogue can be instituted between Asian nations so as to promote the growth of the human consciousness towards human unity.
At the outset, it may be observed that human consciousness can best be understood in terms of an evolutionary process, which has an underlying law of gradual development and, as it appears, a cyclical or spiral method of advancement. It may further be observed that human consciousness at the present point of its advancement has reached a critical point, considering that in various domains of human life, we confront dilemmas, conflicts and disequilibria that are acute in their intensity and in their apparent insolubility. Globality is being imposed upon the whole world, even when our consciousness lags far behind from globality