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Today’s section from Descending into War, Descending into Contempt, pp. 17-19:
The Equation of Conflict
The possibility of conflict floats. It floats on the interactions of people, and changes course as posturing and understanding moves back and forth.
Each conflict has its variables and relations. They change over time and resolve. Separate from some conflicts is humility. Without humility, conflicts fester and widen. Resolution requires drastic changes in environmental conditions, being united by a common goal, or magnanimous acts of generosity.
The breadth of conflict is dimensional. Small conflicts between a few people are possible. Each conflict has its participants and its issues. The issues are dimensional too, because each participant’s view of the issues is different. Resolving “small” conflicts can be as difficult as resolving larger ones. The smallness is relative and depends on the willingness of the participants to negotiate the conflict.
Dimensional too are the emotional states of each conflict participant. Emotional feelings fluctuate and are influenced by the destructive feelings that incite contemptuous eruptions. Conflict resolution is influenced by emotions that play leading roles in resolution outcome.
The equation of conflict and conflict resolution is indiscriminate. Conflict isn’t present when people want the amount that quenches their natural hungers. It isn’t present when people objectively assess their needs and notice the needs of others. But, when people covet or want more than they need, the equation begins to form, and it pulls in the people who create the conflict and all others who directly participate or indirectly become involved.
The equation of conflict is built into some social networks, such as in religions and cultures. The religions and cultures that diminish the status of the “other” codify conflict, which then forces perpetual conflict on its members and believers. Built-in conflict negates spiritual ascension so that practitioners of conflict-ridden religions and members of conflict-encouraged societies cannot have spiritual access—no matter how much they desire it. Only by rejecting the superiority espoused by their religion or social group can they achieve spiritual ascension.
The sources and circumstances of conflict—so many and so easily started! A person could admit defeat in trying to resolve conflict. Accepting conflict as being beyond change is short-sighted. Staying in continuous conflict is actually more effort than working to harmoniously coexist.
Sources of conflict pervade the human condition and they encourage destruction or repair, depending on each person’s viewpoint. Repair is the better choice.
Next section: “The Desire for Power”
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