Practice of Peace in Sweden--A reflection on the Issue

Brendan McKeague mckeague at
Wed Dec 15 05:58:40 PST 2004

  Alex wrote:
>We cause wars. Us people. Something in us, some desires, tendencies, 
>needs, whatever, makes us do the things that start and perpetuate wars. If 
>we didn't have those sides to our nature, there would be no wars. But 
>here's the question: If we didn't have those sides to our natures, what 
>else would we be losing? As Tom Waits sings it: "If I exorcise my devils, 
>well my angels may leave too". Our drive for destruction also drives much 
>in arts, science, music and life in general that would not otherwise be 
>possible. Is it worth the price? I don't know!

G'day folks - I've been scanning the list regularly for a while now 
-  flicking through bits of conversations while doing some reading among 
other things - including a fascinating book by Joseph Chilton Pearce 
(author of the Crack in the Cosmic Egg), called the The Biology of 
.A Blueprint of the Human Spirit (Park Street Press, 
2002.   For further details, see: <>Amazon reference )

I'm quoting at length (below) from the Pearce's introduction to his book - 
it is very insightful in light of our 'quest for peace' - and the need for 
new models of 'evolutionary intelligence' upon which to base our human 
desires to imitate (Rene Girard explains the 'mimetic' dimension of 
behaviour - the need to imitate others in our 'tribe' so as to 'feed the 
need' to belong )

My curiosity, hope and passion combine to posit that, just as the great 
individual icons of nonviolence and peace have presented such models of 
human evolutionary intelligence, so too does Open Space provide an 
expression of evolutionary wisdom in a contemporary shape, a process that 
has the potential to enable humans to 'rise and go beyond' ie to transcend....

I wonder what others think?

“The ability to rise and go beyond” is the definition of transcendence and 
the subject explored in the following pages. While this force constitutes 
our nature and fires our spirit, an honest exploration of it must contend 
with this counterquestion: Why, with a history so rich in noble ideals and 
lofty philosophies that reach for the transcendent, do we exhibit such 
abominable behaviours? Our violence towards ourselves and the planet is an 
issue that overshadows and makes a mockery of all our high aspirations.

.from this background I make two proposals here that are necessarily 
hypothetical: First, the crux of our ever-present crisis hinges on failure 
to develop and employ both the fourth and newest brain in our head (one 
added quite recently in evolutionary history) and its dynamic interactions 
with our heart brain. Second, the great saints and spiritual giants of 
history (even though overlaid with myth and fantasy by cultural 
counterfeits) point towards, represent, or manifest for us our next 
evolutionary step, a transcendent event that nature has been trying to 
unfold for millennia.

Creator and created as a co-inspiring dynamic make imperative a simple 
natural law: intelligence, no matter how innate or genetically encoded, can 
unfold within us only when an actual model for that intelligence is given 
us. All dynamics must have their generative source, even if the source can 
never be factually determined – if there are two mirrors reflecting each 
other in an infinite regress, which one could we say initiates the 
reflection? From the beginning of our life, the characteristics of each new 
possibility must be demonstrated for us by someone, some thing, or an event 
in our immediate environment – but the same chicken-egg paradox will always 
emerge if we try to determine or bring closure to the riddle of an origin.

This need for a model is acutely the case with a new and unknown form of 
intelligence such as that offered by our fourth brain and heart brain. The 
striking contrast between our ordinary human behaviour and the actions of 
the great beings of our history (Jesus, Krishna, Lao-tzu, Buddha, Eckhart, 
George Fox, Peace Pilgrim and a long line of like geniuses) is what makes 
these figures stand out in time even as shifting or warping history 
itself.  Our great beings arise through a natural process that we will 
explore here, though the process unfolds in that infinite regress that 
obscures its origin. They come into being as models of nature’s newest 
possibility, our next evolutionary step manifested by our newest neural 
structure, transcending violence to create a new, viable reality.

In every case, however, rather than developing the capacities these great 
models of history have demonstrated, humankind has projected both the 
capacities and the image of the models demonstrating them. That is, we 
invariably build religions around our spiritual giants or use them to 
support a religion in order to avoid the radical shift of mind and 
disruption of culture these rare people bring about, shifts we interpret, 
ironically, as threats to our survival and thus instinctively 
reject.  Bioculture effects, once initiated, tend to self-generate. 
Projected by us, we perceive the behaviours demonstrated by our great 
models as powers out there to which we are subject, rather than potentials 
within ourselves to be lived.

Our fourth brain is the way by which the intelligence of our heart can 
guide the intellect in our head from its ancient survival strategies to a 
new and greater form of intelligence. But nature’s dilemma – and thus ours 
as we are, in effect, nature herself – has been how to stabilise a new and 
largely undefined intelligence in a powerful neural environment millions of 
years old.  Though nature has provided appropriate models as the 
opportunities have arisen, behaviours encoded in our ancient primary brains 
are thoroughly entrenched, whereas the new ones offered are tentative at 
best. And it is from just this tenuous uncertainty of a higher intelligence 
locked into our firmly entrenched survival systems that our wild contrasts 
of lofty ideals and deadly real behaviours emerge.

The following exploration revolves around the insights gleaned from the 
research of this new cadre of biologists and neuroscientists and from the 
ideals and behaviours modelled for us by the great beings of our history – 
specifically by, in my opinion, the greatest model of all, Jesus.  An odd 
couple to find between the covers of the same book, you might think – Jesus 
and the new biologist.  But if we drop the mythical and/or religious 
projections surrounding Jesus, we will discover a common ground.

As a model of a new evolutionary intelligence, Jesus met, and continually 
meets a grim fate at the hands of this cultural effect. But the cross, the 
instrument of his execution, symbolises both death and transcendence for us 
– our death to culture and our transcendence beyond it. If we lift the 
symbol of the cross from its mythical shroud of state-religion and biblical 
fairy tale – which is to say, if we can rescue Jesus from the Christians – 
then the cross proves to be the “crack” in our cultural cosmic egg.

May this [new one] throw more light and help us to open ourselves to 
nature’s new mind, wherein lies our true survival."

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