Practice of Peace in Sweden--A reflection on the Issue
therese.fitzpatrick at gmail.com
Sun Dec 5 12:51:33 PST 2004
You write, Paul, that "peace will emerge when we emerge in to a
different state of being".
Yes. I just wanted to spend a few moments dreaming of a different
state of being.
I want to ask you, Paul, to share with us how you think we might
encourage evolution into different states of being but I venture to
guess that I already know at least part of your answer. Open space.
I am deeply overwhelmed by the 'state of being' that keeps perpetual
war somewhere on our beautiful planet at all times. I think open
space is a very real and practical response to the irrationality of
war. More and more, I think open space is a radical invitation to
trust. I think open space is a beacon to new ways of being that will
gradually allow humanity to move beyond the need to codify human
interactions, move beyond the need for laws and lawyers and move
It took thousands of years (at least) to get where we are today. Just
as short term profits often inhibit long term gain in the business
world, I believe people enter into wars because they hold truncated
views of human evolution. I believe a reverence for life a thousand
years from now has to inform our choices today. Literally, we must
each of us live our lives with a steady flame of revence and
sacredness. . . truly a diffrerent state of being. Open space is
the best approach I have yet to come across to shift people, to
encourage them to stretch into new ways of being.
I don't suppose OS practitioners talk to clients about the inner work
of open space but open space is really inner work. Humanity has
fallen into a deep trap of materialism, believing the material world
is more powerful than the nonmaterial world. We're going to get where
we need to go. We will get to a place where there is no more war or,
even, poverty. We'll get there step by step. Bird by bird. We can
each of us hold our own inner flame steady as we wait for the rest to
I have been thinking lately of a poem I memorized in high school. It
is either by Alfred North Whitehead or Bertrand Russell. I was
roaming through philosophy in my spare time when the assignment came
up in English class to memorize a poem and I got a low grade because I
chose such a short poem. Just as open space is deceptively simple,
this poem is a deceptively small filter:
"hold fast to dreams
for when dreams die
life is a broken-winged bird
that will not fly"
Hold fast to visions of peace. What else can we do?
On Sun, 5 Dec 2004 14:09:19 EST, everett813 at aol.com <everett813 at aol.com> wrote:
> Thomas: is anyone dealing with the question "If war and violence are so
> horrible and are what we don't want, why are we not already peaceful?" Who
> wants violence? Who wants war? Why do we have war when few people want it?
> Joelle and I have been noodling that question around for a while. We think
> it comes down to an inability to agree on whose 'story' is going to be told
> and lived and our inability to allow someone else to live their story their
> way and for them to allow us the same freedom. We seem to have to have
> forced agreements, codified into laws, which further entangle us (great
> article recently in NY Times about how laws are strangling education in the
> US) in disputes. Lawyers abound. Lawsuits follow.
> Ex: North Ireland. Whose story will be the dominant paradigm. Protestant
> or Catholic? To which country do those counties owe allegiance? Why is
> that a question? What laws and rules will be put in place that reflect the
> different world views? What is the fighting about?
> Ex: Palestine. We could ask many questions of the same order. In fact,
> wherever there is conflict, we can ask the question: whose story is
> striving to be told, agreed on, and lived? Who is resisting the story and
> The issue might become: what does it take for a group of human beings to
> allow and create enough space for freedom of choice (that doesn't compromise
> someone else's freedom of choice) in how they live their lives? What is the
> mental, emotional, spiritual construct necessary? Is it even possible?
> Ex: the dispute between religious fundamentalists and others on what will
> be taught about evolution in the United States. Is Darwin's theory a
> fantasy or do we have scientific proof? (I think we do). What to do then
> about the slippery argument of "Intelligent design" and what will be taught
> in our schools?
> That brings me back to the issue of consciousness, (the role of the ego,
> shadow, etc.), the concepts of selfhood and a mass of other considerations
> which roil our human relationships.
> Which leads me to the despairing question: Is peace even possible?? Are
> we wasting our time talking about it or even trying to practice it? If so,
> what should we be practicing instead? Maybe tolerance with majority power,
> the rule of law, legal structures, prisons for lawbreakers, etc., is the
> best we can do in our current state of conscious evolution and we'd best be
> focusing on raising our own individual consciousness, tolerance level and
> inner beingness and forget about peace as a target. Peace will emerge when
> we emerge into a different state of being. Radical thought.
> These would be my reflections if I were there.
> Paul Everett * * ==========================================================
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