About Dr. Paul Briot, Poet, Philosopher and Professor of Comparative Religion

Paul’s latest book reprinted in 2017 and a 2018 mobile friendly edition with music calls on artists to imagine existential art at its height


Dr. Paul Briot, Ph.D. in philosophy and Professor of Comparative Religion, calls for artists to help us experience wisdom.  He works closely with Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka on using crisis to imagine a new Japan.  Paul believes that when art succeeds in evoking both balance and the fullness of existence, the experience of art elevates man and inspires a longing for knowledge, human solidarity and a broad vision of liberty.

Ph.D. in Philosophy.  Professor at the University Center of Charleroi (CUNIC) and at the Faculty of Comparative Religion, Antwerp (F.V.G), Belgium.

He is the author of poetic essays, articles and books on the subject of the utilization of crisis, sincerity, artistic creation, and the clarity of objectives.  Professor at the University Center of Charleroi (CUNIC) and at the Faculty of Comparative Religion, Antwerp (F.V.G), Belgium.

Dr. Paul Briot Longer Bio

paulbriot2Born in Schaerbeek, Belgium, July 1, 1922.  Ph.D. in Philosophy.

Professor at the University Center of Charleroi (CUNIC) and at the Faculty of Comparative Religion, Antwerp (F.V.G), Belgium.

Paul believes that when art succeeds in evoking both balance and the fullness of existence, the experience of art elevates man and inspires a longing for knowledge, human solidarity and a broad vision of liberty.

He is the author of poetic essays, articles and books on the subject of the utilization of crisis, sincerity, artistic creation, and the clarity of objectives.

Today Paul’s work focuses on the use of crisis as a means to elevate ourselves spiritually.  In his poetic essay Le Rayonnant, un art vers l’infini he invites us to imagine existential art at its height, bringing man closer to a form of universal wisdom broad enough to be recognized and accepted both in the East and the West.  Some of his artistic propositions relevant to the Japanese are re-printed on this site.

His interest and respect for many nations and cultures as well as his admiration for Japan, has lead him to work with Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka on using March 11th for individual and societal change.

Paul Briot, Ph.D. in philosophy, lives in Brussels and is a member of the faculty of Comparative Religion, Antwerp (F.V.G).

Beyond Our Best: Knowledge, Compassion, Liberation

Paul’s work focuses on the use of crisis as a means to elevate ourselves spiritually.  He works with individuals on inspiring knowledge, compassion, liberation and realization of what is most noble or beautiful within.

In his 1989 book, The Structure of Existence he uses the following illustration to depict going beyond a previous best equilibrium.  Zone 3 is the area that exceeds our experience of the past at our best.  It can apply to any areas of our life and represents unchartered territory.

Paul Briot Beyond Equilibrium

« From individual crisis it is possible to emerge enriched with a new equilibrium that surpasses in value, in human significance the previous equilibrium that the crisis came to shatter.   A crisis can make of us beings that are less divided, more coherent.  They can push us to create a life far deeper in significance and depth.»

— Dr. Paul Briot

To help us beyond a previous best equilibrium, his book, The Structure of Existence shows his students how they can use a crisis, greater sincerity with themselves, artistic creation, and the clarity of objectives to provide one’s existence with a meaning that is uniquely our own.  He suggests that as we resolve life’s most important questions, we must reflect that we belong to groups far larger than ourselves that engulf all of mankind.

Bibliography of Selected Books & Articles by Dr. Paul Briot


Dr. Paul Briot’s background and personal research has helped him acquire a certain understanding of several great mystics.

In addition to research in historical psychology found in specialized reviews and academic articles in his field, the author has published several essays, including essays of a poetic nature.

A Letter to Japanese Friends, Dr. Paul Briot and Leiko Ishizuka, published in English and Japanese by the chief editor of Sogensha in Osaka in 日本語臨床フォーラム, web journal dealing with psychology psychotherapy and art, 2012.

L’Europe projet d’existence: propositions, Le Soir, 30 Juin 1993; p. 2.

Vers la plénitude de la vie, essai, Larcier, Bruxelles, 1966 ; 2e éd., 1983 ; 3e et 4eéd., 1984 ; traduction néerlandaise, F.V.G., Anvers, 1985 ; 2e éd. 1990 ; 8e éd. 1994

Futur 1. Que vouloir ?, poème dramatique, Caractères, Paris, 1982 ; 2e éd., 1983 ; 3e éd., 1985

La structuration de l’existence, essai, Presses du CUNIC, Charleroi, 1989

Un art au service de l’Esprit, Acta Comparanda, XIII, 2002, pp.125-131.

Le rayonnant.  Un art de nos aspirations, Le journal des poètes, 2, 2003, pp. 4-5.

Le rayonnant… un art vers l’Infini… , essai, Caractères, Paris, 2004, 2017.

L’artiste des soleils, L’arbre à paroles, 129, 2005, pp. 23-33.

Contact Publisher Caractères, Paris, France

For English, Japanese, or other language translation rights to Paul Briot’s essay Le Rayonnant, un art vers l’infini contact his publisher Caractères in Paris.

Paul Briot’s work is published under the Cahiers & Cahier collection and the most recent edition in 2017 includes calligraphy works of Saiso Shimada. Contact Publisher: Editions Caractères, Collection: Cahiers & Cahiers, 7, rue de l’Arbaléte, 75005 Paris, France.  Tel: (++33)   Fax: (++33)   Email: Contact@editions-caracteres.fr

Founded in 1950 this publisher has published many reknown writers, poets, mystics, and artists (to illustrate texts), including Rainer Maria Rilke, Pablo Neruda, Sri Aurobindo, and Pablo Picasso.

To Buy Dr. Paul Briot’s Book From Editor Press Link (Ships Internationally):


Paul Briot Le Rayonnant…un art vers l’Infini… 2004, 2017. Published by Caracteres, France.

To Buy Le Rayonnant…un art vers l’Infini From Editor Press Link:


Paul’s Movement in Japan began with a Letter to Japanese Friends he wrote with Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka

Japanese Version of Letter Below (scroll down)
French Version of Letter Below (scroll down)

Emerging Above Natural and Man-Made Crisis

A letter to Japanese friends contains a poetic vision of how artists, citizens and decision makers could together define a new Japan.

This letter has been published in 2012 both in English and Japanese by the chief editor of Sogensha in Osaka Japan in 日本語臨床フォーラム, a web journal dealing with psychology psychotherapy and art.  It has also been since re-published in Belgium in 2013 in the philosophy and theology journal Acta Comparanda XXIV, FVG, Faculty for Comparative Study of Religions, pp. 137-138, 2610 Antwerpen Belgium.

For other venues interested in publishing it, please Contact Us.

A Letter to Japanese Friends

Leiko Ishizuka, MBA, MALD, Keio University exchange, a Franco-Japanese from New York

Paul Briot, Ph.D. in Philosophy, Professor at the Antwerp Faculty of Comparative Religion


understanding, heart of sun,


Nations, just like individuals, often ask crucial questions in times of crisis.  It is only when things become really difficult that we have the courage to consider transformational change.  After the 2011 tragedy, Japan set about recovering with a dignity and courage that moved the world.  Just as in 1945, the Japanese will recover and rebuild.  The question is: can a new Japan emerge?

Some Japanese realize that in the face of increasing natural and man-made disasters, the country has to equip itself with a new moral drive that enlightens and inspires.  To rebuild an old Japan in the current international context is not enough.  To write a glorious page of its history, Japan will need to emerge from this crisis far beyond its previous best.

Let us imagine how Japan can conceive and bring about a sublime nobility, a beauty capable of projecting its inhabitants beyond what they ever were, even at the height of their culture and past.

Japan needs This, a moral drive rich in comprehension and compassion.  The country requires an enlightened spirit of fraternity, open to all those in the world who in this period of adversity have shown their sympathy and respect for Japan’s courage, dignity and solidarity.

In order to mold a new heart for themselves, a heart of sun, one that ignites the sparks that live within them, the Japanese launch into the sky the arrows of their imagination.  In a country that experiences a tremendous range of human emotions and feelings, poets suggest a Japanese This, an element of value and meaning that resides in the very spirit of the Japanese people.

Painters, sculptors, architects and all artists envision faces that gradually rise towards This, a moral sun that is stronger and undoubtedly nobler than unbridled nature.

Intellectuals, historians, writers, journalists, major broadcasters evoke the past.  Throughout its history Japan has been influenced at times by China at times by the West.  But today those lands are also in search of meaning, of their own existential journey.  Fortunately, Japan itself can devise its own audacious future.

The spiritual, the wise and those who meditate propose their experience.  This will signify according to each individual: spiritual faith, moral force or beauty.  These three aspects are indeed compatible.  Imagining meanings, choosing one’s own specificity, committing oneself to the essential Adventure.

Individual citizens ask important questions of themselves and of their country.  They move, they engage, they act to rebuild Japan from within.

Finally an appeal is launched, a solemn appeal to those in charge, including leaders and decision-makers, to contribute to a new Japan.

The Japanese envisage the sun in full freedom, as their inspiration dictates.  They question it in all possible ways.  They imagine poetically its responses, its enigmas, its allusions.  Meaning starts to live, it deepens, it spreads freely.  Value blossoms, sparkles, becomes light, a measureless light that sublimates all things.

The Japanese are capable of This and the world context requires nothing less: comprehension, compassion, liberation, realization.


understanding, heart of sun,





Nathalie Leiko Ishizuka(ナタリー 玲子 石塚) パリHECでMBA、慶応大学に留学、「ベストを超えて:日本を元気にするクリエーター達」ディレクター

Paul Briot(ポール・ブリオ) 哲学博士、アントワープ比較宗教学講座教授




個人と同様に、国家も、危機に直面すると重要な問いを発するものです。本当に困難な状況に陥ったときに初めて、根本的な変化へと踏み出そうとする勇 気が出 てきます。2011年3月の悲劇的な災害から、日本は尊厳と勇気を持って復興への道を歩みだし、世界を感動させました。第二次世界大戦から復興したときと 同じように、日本はまた復興と再建を成し遂げることでしょう。問題は、「日本は新しく生まれ変われるのだろうか?」ということです。

自然 と人為、二種類の災害の頻度がますます高まっている昨今、日本人の中にも、道を照らし、人々を勇気づけるような新しい精神力を身につける必要があることに 気付きはじめた人々がいます。現代の国際情勢においては、以前と同じ日本をもう一度再建するだけでは十分ではありません。日本がこの苦難の時を乗り越えた とき、これまでの日本をはるかに上回る素晴らしい国として生まれ変わった姿を示すことができれば、その歴史に輝かしい1ページを書き加えることができるで しょう。



日本の人々は、新しい心、すなわち内なる輝きに火をともす太陽の心をかたち作っていくために、想像力の矢を空高く放ちます。詩人たちは、数えきれな いほど さまざまな感情や思いを今まさに経験しているこの国において、日本人本来の精神性の中にもともと備わっているこの価値観、この意味を訴えかけます。


知識人、歴史家、作家、ジャーナリスト、ニュースキャスターなどは、過去の歴史を呼び起こさせます。日本はその歴史上、中国から、そしてまた西洋か らも影 響を受け続けてきました。しかし今日では、それらの国々もまた意味を求め、自らの存在を問い直す旅のなかにあります。幸いなことに日本は今、自分たちの未 来を自らの手で大胆につくり出していくことができるのです。

宗教家や賢人、瞑想家たちは、自らの経験を言葉にして伝えます。信仰、精神 力、そして美――これが日本人ひとりひとりにとって重要な意味を持ちます。これら3つは共存可能です。意味を想像すること、自分だけの特質を自ら選び取る こと、そして意義深い「冒険」へと踏み出していくこと。



霊感の指し示すところにしたがって、日本人はその心の中に自由に太陽を描き出します。日本人は可能な限りのあらゆる方法で太陽に問いを投げかけま す。太陽 が返す答え、太陽がかける謎、太陽が暗示するものを、日本人は詩的に想像します。意味が命を得て、深まり、そして自由に広がっていきます。価値は花開き、 輝き、光となります。それは、すべての存在を至高の高みへと導く、計り知れない光です。

理解、思いやり、解放 ――日本人にはこれらを成し遂げる力があります。そして、世界の状況も今それを求めているのです。






ポール・ブリオは哲学博士、アントワープ(ベルギー)の比較宗教学講座教授。危機の活用、誠実さ、芸術的創造、目標の明確化などをテーマとした詩的随想や記事、著書を発表。近著(Le rayonnant…un art vers l’Infini…?  2004, Editions Caractères, Collections : Cahiers & Cahiers)では、すべてを超越し、人々を高みへと導く内なる芸術について論じている。

ナタリー 玲子 石塚

石 塚ナタリー玲子は慶応大学で日本語を学び、フレッチャー法律外交大学院でMALD(法律と外交に関する修士号、ハーバード大学との共同学位)を、パリの HECではMBAを取得。学位論文では1946年に制定された日本国憲法と国連平和維持活動について論じ、憲法起草者の一人から称賛の手紙が贈られた。危 機を国家や個人を変革するためのチャンスとして捉えることをテーマに執筆活動を行っており、「日本の友人への手紙」に、日本の昔話「鶴の恩返し」を重ね合 せた寓話「きずな(KIZUNA)」を発表している。



Leiko Ishizuka, M.B.A. HEC, M.A.L.D. Fletcher School, a Franco-Japanese from New York

Paul Briot, Docteur en philosophie, Professeur à la Faculté des religions comparées d’Anvers


comprendre, cœur de soleil,


En 1945, les Japonais ont réparé les dommages de la guerre et développé une économie particulièrement brillante.  Après le drame de 2011, ils se redressent une fois encore avec une dignité et un courage qui touchent le monde entier.  Mais certains Japonais comprennent que, face à des désastres naturels et d’autres créés par l’homme, le pays doit se doter maintenant d’une force morale qui éclaire l’existence et l’inspire.  De cette crise actuelle le Japon peut écrire une page glorieuse de son histoire.

Imaginons comment le pays conçoit et réalise une noblesse, une beauté qui projette ses habitants au delà de ce qu’ils étaient avant cette épreuve terrible.

Il faut au Japon Ceci, une force morale riche de compréhension et de compassion.  Il faut au pays un esprit  éclairé, fraternel, ouvert à tous ses amis du monde qui, dans cette épreuve, ont manifesté au pays sympathie et respect pour son courage, sa dignité, l’aide que chacun a apportée aux autres.

Pour se forger un nouveau cœur, un cœur de soleil, pour faire jaillir ces étincelles qui déjà vivent en eux, les Japonais lancent vers les hauts les flèches de leur imagination. Dans ce pays qui a reconnu l’immense gamme des émotions et des sentiments humains, les poètes suggèrent ce quelque chose qui vaut, ce quelque chose lourd de sens qui réside dans l’esprit même du peuple.

Peintres, sculpteurs, architectes, tous les artistes imaginent des visages qui peu à peu s’élèvent vers Ceci, soleil moral plus fort en fin de compte, plus noble assurément que la nature déchaînée.

Compositeurs et chorégraphes évoquent une sagesse où volonté et courage s’unissent à l’amour.

Penseurs, historiens, écrivains, journalistes, grands diffuseurs évoquent le passé.  Au cours de son histoire, le Japon fut influencé tantôt par la Chine, tantôt par l’Occident.  Mais aujourd’hui ces lieux se trouvent eux aussi à la recherche d’un sens, d’une formule d’existence.  Par bonheur, le Japon lui-même peut concevoir des plans d’audace, un Ceci japonais.

Les spirituels, les sages, ceux qui méditent proposent leur expérience.  Ceci signifiera selon chacun destinée spirituelle, force morale ou encore beauté, ces trois aspects étant, bien entendu, compatibles.  Imaginer des sens, choisir un sens particulier, s’engager dans l’Aventure essentielle.

Enfin un appel est lancé, un appel solennel qui s’adresse aux responsables, aux dirigeants, aux décideurs pour apporter leur aide à un nouveau Japon.

Les Japonais considèrent le soleil librement, selon leur inspiration.  Ils le questionnent de toutes les manières. Ils imaginent poétiquement ses réponses, ses énigmes, ses allusions.  Du sens se met à vivre, il se creuse, s’étend librement.  La valeur s’épanouit, lance des feux, devient lumière, lumière immense qui sublime toutes choses.



comprendre, cœur de soleil,