Peace and War LO29996

Date: 03/13/03

Replying to LO29991 --

Dear reader, LO-listener, hello At,

In my view, it is even worse: it began one afternoon, ages ago, when some
being noticed a voice in his or her head.

As human beings - the other day my daughter asked me why we call our own
race - <b>human</b> - beings and not humans. Or should we call a dog a
canine being? I answered that we - in English that is, not in Dutch, and -
i want to stress this - i do assume that language reflects, or better
projects, our conscious thinking and nothing else, and that use of
language doesn't imply that the things we speak of either exist or not nor
that we can only "see"or "hear"what we can phrase - we sometimes seem to
assume that human is an adjective to being and that this type of being is
something special. Being human - or being John Malkovich, what ever comes
first - does feel special, but it might, just imagine, also be an
unplanned, unscheduled, coincedental side-effect of ..... living in
groups. The "human" in being might be evolutionary collateral damage of
the same symptom we're trying to fight: "peace and war".

The other day i - or we - was discussing interventions in groups - a
master class interventions based on theories by Watzlawick, Weick and
Nietzsche - and i couldn't help notice that partcipants slipped from
refering to themselves as "I" to "you" whenever they seemed to feel
pressurized. When asked to explain certain behaviour (or intervention,
what ever comes second) my fellow learners started out with "I" and after
some times moved over to a partly self-referential, generalized "I" they
called "you". I myself did the same, i also tend to switch from me to you
- while implicitely refering to myself. Sometimes the other answers as if
he or she was meant - and you (!) have no other option than to play along.
I noticed that i felt an urge to do - shifting to you-phrases - so when a
certain amount of emotional pressure had been build up. The bare fact that
you have to speak up in a group larger than five human beings, means
you're under a psychological pressure you cannot cope with - so i've been
told. When you're in agroup with five people means you have to manage at
least 20 relations.

It then occured to me - or to my mind - that the pressure of a group of
the same beings, the need to survive extended families, might lead to
behaviour like worrying, mumbling, grumbling, chattering. A kind of
"monologue interieur" might develop. This kind of talking inside ones head
might become noticed. Perhaps over the ages, the pressure, the peer
pressure, might have led to reinforcment of these inner voices i assume
you all have and that we - in English - call conscious, or even soul, a
kind of being. Group pressure has many forms, like: to conform or not to
conform, to create or not to create, to speak or not to speak, to depend
or not to depend, to be or not to be. Handling these conflicting - i might
have said paradoxical, but i assume that you can think of this yourself -
tensions creates great strains on a limitted brain. Surviving in groups
has advantages and disadvantages. To the disadvantages belong the
paradoxes or power, perception and scarcity. Having to deal with this
perhaps forced the inner noice, the continuous singing, humming of the
mind, the being's voice to split: into a conscious being, a human being.
Because in order to have self-awareness we need to be able to split
between a self and a not-self (altough they were, remain and will be one

Now - and i'm starting a closing remark - peace and war, which are almost
always between peoples, - an exception being the Dutch, who have choosen,
or were forced to choose, the water as their lifelong enemy, their nemesis
-, peace and war, i've said it twice, have both "created" our consious
human being and therefor the weapons with which we can destruct anyothers
too. Peace and war - in the theatre, the book, the movies and in a real
life near you, perhaps very near you, perhaps inside you - are just images
produced by a mind split in two, a conscious and its sub-conscious (or the
other way around) splitted in two, to be able to deal with questions of
peace and war. We cannot have one pair without the other.

This doens't mean that i personally think we have had to carry it to the
extremes, like the WOI, WOII and the future WOIII case, but, as a
phenomena, these things seems to have to happen. Gradually, some of us
will start to understand the nature (! pun intended) of paradoxical
thinking (like: the UN ordering, commanding the US to attack Iraq as a -
did i say a? i should have said THE - solution for peace. Make war and
(inclusive or) peace at the same time. Sometimes the weak have to suffer
under the strong and not the other way around), start to raise families
were it is alright to be right and wrong, introduce fourth loop learning
(creative forgetting, constructive destruction, functional disbehaving,
interesting boredom, etc) and were "peace and war" return to the place it
all started: the human mind. Please work out the details for yourself.

Kind regards,

Jan Lelie


Perhaps at first only the kings, the masters, the lords, De Here, the
pharao's, the gods could control these voices and thereby command the
other beings. I once read that some people assume that in Egypte the men
thought that only Pharao had an immortal soul. Later the important
generals, clergy men and administrators builded tombs (the reason they
build a tomb seems to be the "need" to conserve the soul). Newer religions
promissed souls, immortal souls, everlasting life, to all of us. Yeah,
sure. The only fate our inner voices fears is death, the return to the
unconsiousness of nature, the mother that gave birth to our beings.
Perhaps we should start to refer to ourselves as natural beings - in
English, that is. The Dutch "mens" will do perfecly ;-).


>Greetings dear Jan,
>I wanted to draw similarities between the what&why about to happen in
>Iraq with the British-Boer War (1899-1902) and the what&why which
>happened then in South Africa. Now it is about oil involving both Britain
>and the US, but in those days it was about gold and diamonds involving
>only Britain.


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