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Are Humans Inherently Violent?

Celtic Spirituality

Civilisational Decline

Emergence of a Matristic Order


English Translation of the Heart Sutra

From the Essential James Hillman - Anima Mundi ©

Islam may learn from the Christian Reformation


Iyenga Standing Poses (Yoga)

Jung's contribution to Know Thyself.©

Order Out Of Chaos

Rank and Privilege

The End of Globalism - Ralston Saul ©

The Geese Teach Me a Lesson

The Origins of Violence

The Spirit of Martial Arts

The Tao of Green - ©William Douglas Horden

The Rhetoric of Scientific Method

Transition - a time of structural change/social upheaval

Water of Life

What is Human Ecology

What can I do about the urgent environmental problems?

Why Educational Research has been so uneducational.Willian Torbert ©

The Wolf


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Shorts -

* The best image of process...

* Evolution -

* A new tower of Babel

* The origins of the word education...

* Time and space ...

* The Systems view ...


Another conversation.

"I'd like to ask what is meant by 'a way of being' (from 'What is human ecology?'').

"We live in an expert based society but knowledge is not the answer to what we are facing. In many ways we are all drowning in data and anyone can gain content in a moment via a search engine.

For a long time it was assumed that where-ever there was a problem all that was needed was research, more knowledge but that assumption no longer holds. It particularly held during the great age of Industrialism when indeed progress did proceed by solving problems with more technical know-how.Today however knowledge is freely available yet at same time the earth is in such a state of imbalance environmentally, politically (rogue State threat) and socially with the imbalance of haves and have nots. So what is needed is not more data, more research ... our libraries are full of unread doctoral theses. What is needed is a way of being which facilitates a means to co-operation, a way to get along with others, to resolve conflict, a means to unify groups for common action and perhaps most importantly a means to begin to return some balance to all spheres of human life.

"But surely some sort of knowledge is necessary in this co-operative way of being?"

"Yes, there are many relevant skills and competencies but first and foremost there is a recognition that there is no 'us and them' there is only 'us'. Therefore the first important competency is the ability to be empty so that listening and perceiving can occur. Then awareness of privilege and rank so that authority is used wisely instead of the might is right approach which has been largely responsible for bringing the world to this state of in-balance.

All the knowledge in the world does not stop a rogue State from using the bomb, or enable the Middle East to find a peaceful settlement, or bring about a sustainable means of producing the goods we need. All these require a willingness to meet, to be genuine to be prepared to work toward resolution. And these steps do not require more research, they require a shift in our way of being, they require relationship."


"All right, that makes sense, so tell me how duality or polarity fits into all this?"

"Dichotomy, or seeing things in black or white, suited the Industrial Age. It allowed for the development of the steam engines and technologies which required exactitude. And social institutions reflected this; Government operated on a bi-cameral, two party system and we called the non governing party, the opposition. Also Law proceeded on an adversarial basis of two parties competing before a judge or jury. So this idea forcing situations to be either-or, this or that, black or white became deeply embedded. Remember that infamous statement by President Bush that nations were either 'with us' or 'against us'? Look what happened!

What is needed now is a shift in understanding towards the Oriental world view in which everything is a balance of yin and yang (negative and positve pole). These are not opposites but complements in one continuum.

"So are you saying that things aren't opposites but different phases of one unity?"

"Yes, exactly. Over the last 300 years we have come to confuse dichotomy with opposition."

"But it works doesn't it ... don't oppositions makes the Government stronger and the adversarial means gets to the truth doesn't it?"

"Now you sound like 19th century man. Who does it work for? Show me a Government which is respected by the people, or is prepared to put sustainability ahead of economic growth. Try using the Law as a person without money, or as a maginalised person and you'll soon find that the Law, while claiming to be blind, is for those within the establishment, those with the means to lubricate its insatiable actors."

"Isn't this human nature, how can it change?."

"Well no it's not; human nature is cooperative, in fact if it weren't so we would not be here. It is now well documented how homo sapiens survived climatic and other events only through cooperative behaviour.

Change requires that we stop thinking in terms of this or that, of opposites and begin to recognise that what we are actually dealing with are continuums. There is no division between day and night, they flow seamlessly as one continuous event. Likewise 'up' has no meaning except in relation to 'down' and 'black' has no meaning except in relation to 'white'. They cannot be separated, they are a continuum.

Once we really understand this we will also be able to recognise that the dynamic of life seeks balance in all spheres. Take for instance the extremism of radical Islam as exemplified by the Taliban. That reaction seeks to balance the extremism on the other side. Torture, bombing, an improper war in Iraq and extradition on the military side and on the social side a collapse of morality; sex openly displayed in dress, for sale in every city and widely used in advertising. There is no judgment of these as such, we are simply considering balance and how systems will act to restore balance. If women in the West returned to public modesty then the pressure would be eased on the other side where currently there appears an extreme and controversial standards of dress and behaviour."

"All right, so we could begin to see continuous processes where at present we view opposition and we might start to recognise that all systems tend to self-correct, or find balance. Does this apply to something like climate change?"