rn: cont. on deep peace and violence


Jan Slakov

Dear rn list,  July 28

In this message are two comments from readers, one on the theme of "deep
peace", the other on the imperative to abolish war (not just go after the
"war crriminals").

Date: Thu, 23 Jul 1998 22:28:31 -0300
To: •••@••.•••
From: David Cameron/Nancy Sherwood <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: "deep peace" and other comments

>I also urge any of you who would like to comment on how we can move society
>towards "deep peace" to do so. I think these questions are central to doing
>what needs doing: build a livable world (including vibrant democracy) by
>living it now. As Richard has pointed out, our means are to embody our ends.

>Dear Jan & Bill [Ellis],

An essential element of deep peace seems to be the ability to be personally
detached from issues & outcomes & the rain that falls on one as a result of
engagement in life. Ones internal life is ones own. Ones external
circumstances are just external. Understanding a certain impartiality in
the way experience comes to us helps foster detachment.Detachment leads to
centeredness & flexibility, not apathy.

Having a spiritual path where peace is high on the agenda as a personal and
societal value helps to foster deep peace as well. I think that is what
Bill is seeing in Quakers. I sense it in practising Buddhists, TM people &
many other paths.

>From the Bear River perspective, helping empower individuals could include
helping them to find a path with heart & peace. Helping people understand &
then FEEL the ability to be engaged and detached simultaneously is also


Jan's comment: You might find interesting this excerpt from a neat little
book which I should have listed in the "deep peace" resources of my previous
rn message: _The Power of One: Authentic Leadership in Turbulent Times, by
Sharif M. Abdullah (available from New Society Publishers).

"In Chinese, the character for "power" has three elements. One part is
forward motion; the second part is heart; the third part is goal. Therefore,
the Chinese definition of power is moving forward, with heart, to achieve a
goal. When you have all three elements, heart, forward motion, and a goal,
you are beginning to achieve authentic power. If you do something without
heart, without love, it lacks power. If you act without a goal, you act
without power." (p. 30)

Yesterday's posting solicited this response from 

From: Frank Scott <•••@••.•••>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 20:26:36 -0700 (PDT)
cc: •••@••.•••
Subject: Re: rn:Lest we forget: we ARE at war

There has probably not been a minute during our life times - accounting for
the fact that we represent a series of lifetimes -that war and murder have
not been taking place, with our direct or indirect involvement. This is not
to contradict Jan, but to second his sentiment, and add...

As long as we sanction the idea that war itself is a serious and acceptable
way to solve differences among nation states, we will face the present and
future horror. Even the idea of "war crimes", somehow separated from the
larger crime of war itself, serves to humor, if not befuddle those among us
who would somehow strive for a gentlemanly, civilized way of conducting war.

I see no essential difference between alleged war criminals in the former
Yugoslavia and war makers here and in the rest of the world. I think it's
time we confront the concept and reality of nonsense like the Geneva
Convention, which gives a veneer of civility to barbaric practices that are
nothing more than mass murder. It will help us to stop this horror if,
instead of reacting to the individual, short term slaughter and barbarity of
the moment, we could also deal with that long term foundation for

It is conventional, allegedly non-criminal war that kills most, while bloody
crimes highlighted as committed by war criminals simply aid in the mind
management that accepts the ultimate exploitation and oppression of entire
peoples and states and nations when they are engulfed and victimized by war.

frank scott

Jan's comment: I'm with you on the idea that humanity needs to abolish war.
And YES, we need to object to all war, not just the violence of "the other
side" or those who have been depicted as most brutal. However, until war is
abolished, I think there is a point to things such as the Geneva Convention.
In a world where people are, as it were, drowning in a sea of psychic
numbing and becoming desensitized to violence, these international standards
provide us with flotsam to hang onto.

all the best, jan