On Peace in the Middle East: Setting the Context
Luisa Vasconcellos has sent me an item on a Jewish-Palestinian cooperative effort that led to this series of posts on the subject of peace in the Middle East.
The conflict in the Middle East has been called intractable and has in fact been going on for many centuries.
It’d be very difficult to find out who cast the first stone in the Israel/Palestine region (The twelve tribes of Israel? The Babylonians? Romans? Saracens? Crusaders?) and, even if we did, it wouldn’t bring peace.
Matthew Ward has told us on Sept. 11, 2010 that peace will inevitably come to the Middle East as the energies continue to rise:
“The latest efforts to negotiate a peace treaty between Israel and Palestine ultimately will be successful, but more haranguing, delays and deadly clashes between individuals will precede the satisfying outcome. Tensions throughout the Middle East, considered to be a tinder box by many world leaders, will ease as the light keeps intensifying.
“For a while longer, though, saber rattling, political instability, skirmishes between opposing sides and other outbursts of violence will continue in that region as well as in Afghanistan and countries where citizens want to be free of oppression by despots. All of those situations will gradually ease until peace gently blankets the whole of your world.” (Matthew’s Message, Sept. 11, 2010.)
By way of setting the stage for the posts on peace that follow, I’d like to bring your attention to two things a man I particularly admire, Werner Erhard, said many years ago.
The first is a statement that Werner made at an event called “The Shot Heard Round the World,” which, if I recall correctly, was related to the initiation of the Hunger Project, a project designed to end hunger on the planet by the year 2000 (Werner was a little more than a decade off. He must have sensed that Ascension was coming).
Werner was creating a context for that project. A context is a whole, the entirety, in which the contents fit and which organizes them. Werner was here creating the context of a world that works for everyone, where no one goes hungry, thirsty, or homeless.
Peace is a context because it describes a whole condition, one in which everyone can participate and one which creates a world that works for everyone. Other examples of contexts are health, love, and abundance. Werner said:
“We can choose to be audacious enough to take responsibility for the entire human family.
“We can choose to make our love for the world be what our lives are really about.
“Each of us now has the opportunity, the privilege, to make a difference in creating a world that works for all of us.
“It will require courage, audacity, and heart. It is much more radical than a revolution – it is the beginning of a transformation in the quality of life on our planet.
“You have the power to fire the shot heard ‘round the world.” (Werner Erhard, Graduate Review, February 1980.)
The shot heard round the world, the context, the idea whose time has come, in the case of the next few articles, is peace in the Middle East.
The second item from Werner I want to relate as prelude is a story he told about a train headed for disaster, which I think reveals much about the difference between simply moving pieces around the board, which doesn’t solve anything, and creating a new context which totally reorganizes and transforms the content.
Werner used to say that our situation in the world today, full of conflict and turmoil, is the same as that of the passengers on a train who, by looking out the window on the right side, saw that they were headed for disaster.
They were aware that, if they didn’t do something to solve the problem, they were likely to end up exactly where they were headed.
So, in response to what they discovered, they moved to the left side of the train and looked again. And, yes, indeed they confirmed that they were truly headed for disaster.
To solve their problem, they tried moving all the passengers to the right side of the train, but that did not change the fact that they were headed for disaster. So they tried moving all the passengers to the left side of the train, but that did not change the fact that they remained headed for disaster. So they tried getting everyone into the center, but that still did not alter the fact that the train was headed for disaster.
Taking a point of view on matters from the right, or the left, or the center only shifts the content around. It does not fundamentally alter the situation. Creating a new context alters it. What the passengers on the train need to do is to stop the train, get out in front of it and lay new track.
The people in these next few posts are laying new track.