I continue to be drawn to documentaries of that ultimate breakdown in human civilization – the Second World War.
I endlessly ask myself: What could have caused such a human catastrophe? What explains the dictators?
It it isn’t enough to say greed, vanity, insecurity, lust, etc. We all have moments of those. But none of us became a dictator.
It’s the willingness to go to extremes that characterizes the dictators. They want to dictate to others, to command completely. At the cost of millions of human lives if need be.
Hitler assassinated the leaders of his own private army in the Night of the Long Knives. Stalin murdered probably around 20 million of his own citizens in purges and other actions of his own making.
All major armies allowed hundreds of thousands of prisoners-of-war to die of starvation, exposed in makeshift camps, with no sanitation. The Allies joined the Nazis in indiscriminately bombing cities to rubble. (1)
Under that kind of pressure and with survival at stake, everyone went to extremes.
Is that not the best argument for committing oneself to whatever it takes to remain in the middle, the center, the heart? The Buddha called that “the Middle Way.”
Practicing the extreme path of the ascetic, the Buddha one day heard a passing boatman say to his companion, the strings of the vina – a stringed instrument – must not be too loose or too tight. If too loose, the instrument will not play. If too tight, the strings will break.
Hearing that, the Buddha realized that the extreme nature of his path was inhibiting the enlightenment process. He therefore broke his fast, accepted a bowl of milk rice offered to him, and, avoiding both extremes of craving and aversion, followed a middle path thereafter. The Middle Way was at the heart of his Noble Eightfold Path.
Whatever one does, remain in the center. The rest is up to one’s conscience, is it not?
So often we talk about getting to the bottom of our greed and vanity by processing the vasana or core issue at the heart of them. But we don’t talk as much about reducing extremity or extremism.
We have to begin a long march as a global society, back from the precipice. Perhaps some financial wayshowers can create prizes to reward people who take a creative and significant step back from a state of mutual antagonism.
We’ve been shown that conditions of hostility can grow to engulf the whole world. Twice it’s happened.
This generation needs conflict-resolution folks to write … well, write what? A Galactic Conflict-Resolution Manual? Or an Interdimensional Guide to Resolving Conflict?
Only we could be conflicted. There’s no conflict to speak of in the higher dimensions that I know of.
So no. A Guide for Terrestrials on Resolving Conflict. That’s the book that needs to be written. And that’s the course that needs to be taught.
Somebody fund it. Somebody do it. Somebody bring the two together. I think we won’t find a shortage of people or money. We’ll find a shortage of ideas, of things to fund.
Former management was not interested in conflict resolution. They profited from it. The only usefulness the past has is to show us what happened and what to avoid.
We of this new wave of lightworkers can’t afford to let conflict take root in us and defeat our efforts to build a new world.
I predict that, for us, conflict-resolution tools will prove to be a pressing necessity.
(1) Actually it was very discriminating.