rn: deep peace resources, cont.


Jan Slakov

Dear rn list,     July 28
Following up on the "deep peace responses" posting, Alex Cambell send us
this description of the National Center for Economic and Security
Alternatives where he works:

Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 08:58:13 -0700 (PDT)
To: •••@••.•••
From: Alex Campbell <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: deep peace reponses

As for the National Center on Economic and Security Alternatives, in a
nutshell, we are:
The National Center for Economic and Security Alternatives was established
in 1977 as a
non-profit corporation providing research, education and consultation on
innovative solutions to problems that face the American economy.  Over the
years the National Center has broadened its work to include global issues
ranging from the capacity of traditional reforms to alter destructive
ecological and other long-term trends, to international security concerns
related to arms control, nuclear weaponry, ethnic violence and the general
tendency of existing political-economic systems to lead to greater conflict
and divisiveness.  Since 1992, the National Center has given increasing
emphasis to the relationship of affirmed values to system-wide problems, as
illustrated in its current lead project, Toward a Sustainable Democratic
Society -- a multi-year integrated initiative which aims to help catalyze a
long-range process of "rethinking" and effective action that can contribute
to the re-energizing of positive social and political change.

The overall effort comprises the following four categories: (I)
institutional innovation; (II) new policy directions; (III) valued-based
political/economic theory; (IV) long term vision.

>Note from Jan: Alex, or anyone who is able to read the above books, if you
>had time to give us some idea of what the most important aspect of their
>message is, from your perspective, I am sure that would be interesting for
>the list.
The abstract of the Oppenheimer article (Int. J. of Behavioral Development,
1996, 19 (1), 201-18):

"The development of the comprehension and verbal articulation of the concept
of war precedes the development of the concept of peace by several years.
The implications of these findings for the norms, values, and attitudes
towards peaceful and non-peaceful behaviour are discussed. It is argues that
a 'state of peace' is not necessarily the baseline or 'normal situation' and
that war and a 'state of war' are not merely social inventions or the result
of cultural deviations, but that war is institutionalised in our culture.
Peaceful and non-peaceful behaviours are products of the interaction between
human propensities (i.e. predispositions) and the contents of sociocultural
structure, and the sociocultural structure itself is the historical product
of the interaction between the same proprensities and the environment. In
any attempt to undermine the institution of war and to permit the emergence
of the institution of peace, these mutual interactions will need to be

As far as Johan Galtung's theories ... I would hesitate to attempt a
condensation as I have read a very small portion of his immense work except
to say, he too is very concerned with cultural formations and examines both
peace and violence at many different scales and levels.

Alex Campbell
Assistant to the President, National Center
for Economic and Security Alternatives
2000 P Street, NW
Suite 330
Washington, DC 20036
202 986 1373 (voice)/ 202 986 7938 (fax)

Responding to yesterday's posting with news of our complicity in war and
violence, Bill Ellis wrote:

Date: Mon, 27 Jul 1998 17:43:10 -0400
To: •••@••.•••
From: Bill Ellis <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: DEEP PEACE

At 10:11 AM -0300 7/27/98, Jan Slakov wrote:
>Dear rn list,   July 27
>As we have been discussing "deep peace" I have been getting more news of
>violence we are, despite our wishes,

Yes, it is easy to get news of violence, and of the FIGHT against violence,
and the fght AGAINST war, and the ATI-nuke campaign.  And they are

But DEEP INNER PEACE is hardly every mentioned even in philosophy books and
certainly not in most religious books.

But, thanks for you inputs.

Bill Ellis
PO BOX 137
Rangeley ME 04970-0137 USA
URL: http://www.nonviolence.org/tranet/

Jan: Well, since you insist.... here are some of my favourite picks!

The Fellowship of Reconciliation, "an association of women and men who have
joined together to explore the power of love and truth for resolving human
conflict", publishes a bimonthly magazine, _Fellowship, which is a steady
source of inspiration for me.

They have a book sale service which includes several titles which would
certainly be qualified as faith-based or philosophical books with a focus on
inner peace, (eg. *Thich Nhat Hanh's _the Miracle of Mindfulness. I have not
read enough of the books they offer to give a decent overview but I cannot
leave off mentioning one I found particularly moving and very pertinent to
our "mission" to reconcile "left" and "right": _Stranger at the Gate: To Be
Gay and Christian in the United States, by Mel White.)

You can find out more about the Fellowship of Reconciliation via the
nonviolence.org web site. FOR, Box 271, Nyack, NY, 10960 (914) 358-4601
<•••@••.•••>. There is also an international FOR, based in Holland

M. Scott Peck is a best-selling author of several books, including _The
Different Drum: Community Making and Peace. Subsequent to the writing of
this book, he and others went on to found the Foundation for Community
Encouragement. Here is their "founding dream": There is a yearning in the
heart for peace. Because of the wounds - the rejections - we have received
in past relationships, we are frightened by the risk of disarming ourselves.
In our fear, we discount the dream of authentic community as merely
visionary. But there are methods by which people can come back together, by
which old wounds are healed. It is the mission of FCE to teach these new and
liberating traditions - to make hope real again - to make the vision
actually manifest in a world which ahs almost forgotten the glory of what it
means to be human."

The 5 Scott Peck books I have read, including _The Road Less Travelled and
_A World Waiting to be Born have all been worthwhile reading.

More recently I was given a copy of David Suzuki's _The Sacred Balance,
which includes a chapter on "the law of love". Here is a quote from Gandhi I
particularly like from that chapter:

"The law of love will work, just as the law of gravity will work, whether we
accept it or not....a man who applies the law of love with scientific
precision can work great wonders....The men who discovered for us the law of
love were greater scientists than any of our modern scientists...The more I
work with this law, the more I feel delight in life, the delight in the
scheme of this universe. It gives me a peace and a meaning of the mysteries
of nature that I have no power to describe."

Mahatma Gandhi, quoted by P. Crean & P. Kome, eds., _Peace, A Dream Unfolding.

*Note: I once copied out a poem and a good part of an article by Thich Nhat
Hanh published in the Dec. '83 issue of _Fellowship for another list. I
could forward that to anyone who requests it.

My most recent "find" on this topic sounds mighty interesting. Yesterday I
went to the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom international
congress (on globalization) site: www.goucher.edu/library/wilpf.

And found this on "creating a culture of peace":

                      Theatre of the Oppressed ("TO") was developed by Brazilian
 theatre director Augusto Boal during the 1950's and 1960's. In an effort to
transform theatre from the "monologue" of traditional performance into a
"dialogue" between audience and stage, Boal experimented with many kinds of
interactive theatre. His explorations were based on the assumption that
dialogue is the common, healthy dynamic between all humans, that all human
beings desire and are capable of dialogue, and that when a dialogue becomes
a monologue, oppression ensues. Theatre then becomes an extraordinary tool
for transforming monologue into dialogue. "While some people make theatre,"
says Boal, "we all are theatre." 

There is also a brief biography of Boal, which is too long to reproduce
here, so I will only copy some excerpts:

                      A Brief Biography 

                      Brazilian Augusto Boal was raised in Rio de Janeiro.
He was formally trained in chemical engineering and attended Columbia
University in the late 1940's and early 1950's. Although his interest and
participation in theatre began at an early age, it was just after he
finished his doctorate at Columbia that he was asked to return to Brazil to
work with the Arena Theatre in Sao Paulo. His work at the Arena Theatre led
to his experimentation with new forms of theatre that would have an
extraordinary impact on traditional practice. 

                      Because of Boal's work, he drew attention as a
cultural activist. But the military coups in Brazil during the 1960's looked
upon such activity as a threat. Shortly after the publication of Boal's
first book, The Theatre of the Oppressed, in 1971, Boal was arrested,
tortured, and eventual exiled to Argenta, then self-exiled to Europe. While
in Paris, Boal continued for a dozen years to teach his revolutionary
approach to theatre, establishing several Centers for the Theatre of the
Oppressed. In 1981 he organized the first International Festival of the
Theatre of the Oppressed in Paris. 

                      Following the removal of the military junta in Brazil,
Boal returned to Rio de Janeiro in 1986 where he continues to reside....

                      In the fall of 1992, Boal ran as an at-large candidate
for the position of Vereador of Rio, a position similar to a City Council
seat in this country. Over one thousand candidates ran for forty-five seats;
Boal was one of those elected. Because of the increased visibility brought
about by his winning a seat, he was able to obtain funding to hold an
international festival for the first time in Brazil in July, 1993. The
Seventh International Festival of the Theatre of the Oppressed attracted one
hundred, fifty Theatre of the Oppressed practitioners from around the world
in an extraordinary confluence of languages, theatre styles, and social issues. 

 At this same time, [1995] Boal's third major book, The Rainbow of Desire
(Routledge Press), was published, which elaborates a psycho-therapeutic
application of the Boal techniques, especially Image Theatre. 

.... Typical of Boal, he is not interested in the central story but in the
characters who are usually cut from the play, and is thus thinking of a text
of the marginal characters, the ones without much power. He says it is
similar to the national dish of Brazil which is based on a stew made by
slaves of the leavings from the masters table. 

              ....     Traveling extensively between Rio, Europe, Africa
(recently South Africa), Asia, Australia, and now North America, Boal works
tirelessly to make his processes available to as many people as he can
reach. The objective is always to leave behind at least a core of people who
can offer Boal-style workshops and analysis. Hopefully there are developing
hundreds and even thousands of people carrying out this liberatory approach
to community animation. 


Well, friends, I hope this keeps you satisfied for a while!

all the best, Jan