Peace is a living concept and men and women’s understanding of what constitutes peace, and what is comprised by its antithesis i.e. violence, is evolving as the human race itself evolves.
Violence is more than direct aggression; there are also structural and cultural dimensions to violence like poverty, unemployment (structural), censorship and sexual discrimination (cultural). If governments, educators, the media and every aware individual were to label these additional categories of violence as such, more men and women would come to understand how far we still are from creating a culture of peace and how important it is to create new structures, or to reform the existing ones, in order to guarantee a more peaceful future for the present world community and future generations. Continue reading →
In response to Brad’s #PeaceChallenge, I will make a series of 4 posts. Hope you find them of value. Blessings, Sam 🙂
Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part I
In the midst of the innumerable, intractable global conflicts of today and the existence of nuclear weapons capable of destroying the world many times over, it is arguable that world governance can no longer be left solely to political decision-makers. At a microcosmic level, each and every aware individual can begin to assume greater responsibility for the state of the world by taking up the challenge of embodying the peace (microcosm) that he/she hopes to see mirrored in the world community (macrocosm). In order to embrace peace, it is helpful to understand some of the underlying reasons for the manifestation of its antithesis i.e. violence. Why do individuals resort to violence?
Individual acts of physical violence can be considered a response to physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual disharmony. For example: a difficult childhood can lead to feelings of frustration and aggression in an adult human being, who then uses violence as a mental-emotional outlet; the resort to violence could also be an action taken to protect physical basic needs such as safety and access to food; or on a spiritual level, historical antecedents such as the fact that a distant past has been characterised by war could hold violence in the collective subconscious, making it the line of least resistance. Moreover, direct aggression can have its cause in more than one instigating factor. Continue reading →
From a tantric perspective, our present-day patriarchal society is flawed because the male-female balance has been lost. Leonardo Boff, although not a Tantrist, points to the unhealthy knock-on effect on society of the repression of the feminine principle: “The predominance of the masculine principle, which is historically expressed through the domination of men over women, and over everything else around it, has impoverished the human condition. […] the predominance of the masculine principle has exacerbated power, reason and violent means and it has weakened the feminine principle, sensitivity, emotional intelligence, being caring and caring for, the symbolic perception of reality and spirituality.”
In his book “Interpretations of Peace in History and Culture”, Wolfgang Dietrich charts a comprehensive history of the evolution of societal worldviews. He places Tantra in the category of pre-moral, energetic interpretations of peace i.e. having come into existence and been prevalent before the introduction of the monotheistic religions, and points to “the increasing institutionalization of society and religion” as the main reason for the loss of the understanding of opposites – particularly male and female – as harmonious sides of one whole. “The adoption of the principle of matter, order, or form into the male sphere […] relegates the energy interpreted as female from a primal and inseparable complementary towards a secondary position.”Continue reading →