Peaceful Fighting – New Investment for Leaders
This morning during meditation I was contemplating war. I was trying not to, and to sit in inner silence. The thoughts about war kept coming back. They were actually stirred by my thoughts about peace.
Sometimes in meditation it helps to dedicate your meditation to a higher cause. Such a cause could be peace. As I was trying to dedicate my meditation to peace, I realised that peace has many faces.
1. There’s peace that is genuine – we feel harmonious, we agree with one another, and all is quiet.
2. There’s peace that is fake – we act peacefully whilst underneath the surface of peacefulness there are unsolved problems. There are suppressed emotions (like anger and frustration) about certain disagreements, and it will only take time for these emotions to be stirred hard enough to surface and explode.
3. There’s peace that is fragile – we disagree and have various emotions attached to our disagreement like fear, anger, pride or even grief. We have expressed our feelings in a conversation that at times became emotional, but overall went well. We are aware of each other’s opinions, and we have respect for each other, although we don’t agree.
Genuine peace feels wonderful. We can relax, trust and feel safe.
Fake peace is dangerous. We know it isn’t genuine, so we remain alert, tense and ‘armed’ – ready to defend ourselves whenever the situation ‘explodes’.
Fragile peace is hard. It is honest, and at least we can feel safe in the truth of the differences between us. But it’s hard to keep the balance – it requires we are mature, we respect ourselves and others, and we keep communicating. We must keep an open mind, and more important still: keep an open heart. We must allow ourselves to reach out to the different other, to continuously create the bridge between us – the bridge of peace.
Genuine peace often doesn’t last long. We somehow aren’t very well capable of living truly peacefully. Because of all our differences in preference, opinion and purpose in life, we have contrast. So we disagree. And too often our disagreements end up in fighting. On a world scale we end up being at war with each other.
Fake peace may seem nice from the outside but is unhealthy and sickening. Sometimes in spiritual circles where people practice fake peace (without knowing of course – they really believe they are peaceful), they are strongly suppressing feelings of frustration, resentment and anger. These ‘negative’ emotions are unwelcome because they are not beautiful. They are not heavenly. So they are being suppressed and pushed aside, in order for people to feel at peace. Harmony is wanted so badly that every disharmony is neglected.
Fragile peace is most sustainable. It takes effort from all parties involved, but when all parties are willing to make this effort, the peace can be a status quo that is maintained. In fragile peace fighting is allowed. Disagreement, disharmony, dispute, conflict, resentment, disappointment, fear, hurt, anger and pride are all accepted. Here fighting, however, doesn’t include using weapons – it doesn’t even include violence. Neither physical violence nor verbal violence are tolerated. Fighting may happen in words, and simply means that we can have heated discussions and disagreements. The aim is always to bridge the differences with mutual respect. When people feel the need to express their anger and frustration physically, or feel like cursing and acting destructively, they go to places where they can’t harm anyone. They do martial arts or yell in soundproof rooms, or throw sticks in the forest. In fragile peace we don’t suppress anything and welcome everything – we are aware of the impact of our behaviour and take full responsibility by removing ourselves from the ‘fight’ (the discussion) until we are feeling constructive again.
Fragile peace can be maintained in a highly developed society where we learn how to disagree harmoniously from a young age. Respectful communication is being taught at schools. We learn how to respect ourselves and each other. We learn about the value of respect. We learn about love for ourselves, and for others. We learn that anger is okay. We understand that anger is just another emotion that wants to be dealt with, and we know how to deal with it without hurting others.
Peaceful fighting is something we can learn. It will satisfy our desire to be one with the others, as well as our need for being different to them, at the same time. Peaceful fighting allows both sides of who we are: loving on one hand, and competitive on the other. We don’t have to change our nature. All we have to do is understand our nature better, and stop telling the one side that it’s good, while judging the other side as bad. We have to acknowledge our polarities and then ascend these. We have to be the parent of our contrasting emotions and let them work together. When we master peaceful fighting we don’t need to go to war anymore. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?
I know that in democracies this is what our politicians do – they agree to disagree and to bridge their differences with mutual respect. However, it’s not enough. Some world leaders out there obviously are not yet familiar with peaceful fighting. I would say they need education. How do you educate best? By setting an example. So if you don’t want to go to war, don’t. With all our current mind blowing technologies there must be ways to teach peaceful fighting to the most destructively violent person. If I were a world leader this is something I would invest my nation’s money in!
All those people that are currently earning a living in the war industry (weapon -, military -, pharmaceutical -, mental health industries, et cetera) will be taught peaceful fighting skills which they will pass on to nations at schools, in training seminars and workshops. Countries will save so much money by not spending it on war and defense forces, that taxes will decrease, motivating even those who don’t believe in this change.
What a little morning meditation can do! I already feel better. I’m beginning by practicing peaceful fighting at home. I reckon if everyone will do so, we’ll soon have a peaceful world.
To peaceful fighting,