by Rene Wadlow
One of the first signs of tension and antagonism is the break in meaningful communications. Negotiations are stopped; ambassadors are recalled; journalists are expelled or not given visas; acquaintances no longer talk. The less communication, the more tensions grow.
We see this cycle within the lives of couples, of organizations, within national life, and in world politics. The answer to this negative cycle is easy in principle but difficult in practice: there is a need to create a strong positive cycle of communication. We all know the principle of harmony and balance as expressed by the Chinese Taoist symbol of Yin and Yang. When one element is too strong, imbalance follows. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the other element for the conscious restoration of harmony. The law of harmony is that of equilibrium.
The quality and consistency of the energy needed to restore the equilibrium is of particular importance. When tensions and antagonisms are great, often rooted in a long history, when tensions take the form of open violence, we must make the real effort of creating an equally powerful flow of positive energies.
The Summer of 2006 manifested in a way evident to all the tensions and antagonisms of the wider Middle East: the month-long violence between Israel and Lebanon, the continuing violence between Israel and Palestine, the violence in Iraq, the continuing destruction in Darfur, Sudan and the growing tensions concerning the policies of Iran.
What we did not see as obviously was the outpouring of compassion and bridgebuilding that is necessary to create balance. A UN-sponsored cease-fire took time to be put in place followed by an increase of UN troops on the frontier of Lebanon. This material aspect is necessary and useful, but there is also a need for intense spiritual energies. UN troops on the frontier represent separation ― necessary for the ceasefire ― but inadequate for reconciliation.
We must find ways of bridgebuilding, even if we live at a distance from the wider Middle East. We need to work for reconciliation in different ways and at different levels. On this Peace Page, there is a brief text "Light for Iraq" indicating the need for a steady stream of Light to be directed through creative visualization, meditation, and prayer toward Iraq ― where as Americans we have direct karmic responsibilities. The same Light needs to be shared with the whole Middle East. Just as the waves of tension flow outward toward neighboring countries, so the energies of reconciliation and harmony must flow outward.
Some persons may wish to focus their meditation and energy upon Israel-Palestine, often called the Holy Land, and which could be a symbol of self-sacrifice and peace. Again the energy and the Light must flow outward to englobe the whole area.
Working with the power of visualization is a powerful tool but must be followed up with activities of a more material nature for those who also work at physical levels. Art has often been stressed by the TOS Peace Department as an important vehicle of communication and bridegebuilding. Art raises the mind and the emotions above the momentary toward the longer-lasting. Art is creative and so breaks the pattern of constant repetition which is often a pattern of negative emotions.
We need to develop many forms of communication, first for ourselves through correspondence, visits, talks with people from the Middle East working or in education in the US. Then we need to facilitate communication among the peoples of the Middle East themselves.
It is likely that we, using the TOS website, do not have the same impact as those who own television networks or media empires. But our lack can also be our strength. We need to be as creative as possible, to use to the fullest the tools and the contacts that we have. The Discussion Board of this site is open to exchanges of views and experiences on peace bridgebuilding. The Book Reviews section has reviews of books useful for peacework, especially through the efforts on Non-Governmental Organizations.
We see in the press and on television the ongoing tensions. We should not react with fear but with courage. We need to be channels for the energies of peace.