Ed and I did a similar episode in 2019. The issues of war and potentially a world war were on us then and, sadly, very little seems to have changed. Over the last few months the people visiting my consulting room have been more and more concerned about the potential for another world war. The problems coming out of the Israel Palestine conflict and the involvement of Iran and the related issues on Yemen and the attacks on shipping in the Red Sea. On top of that there is now the suggestion that the UK should return to conscription to prepare our population for a potential future war with Russia. On the basis that what you feed grows and what you starve dies we could easily be talking ourselves into another world war. However, we do not need to.
The theory of war is, for me, like the theory of evolution. If you believe In the idea of ‘survival of the fittest’, then, war makes sense. If, on the other hand you believe in evolution through cooperation then, war becomes a meaningless act of stupidity. The human dilemma seems to be cooperation versus competition. When football players take to the pitch, each team with their own followers, it is like a mini war with the victors and the vanquished. The creation of the United Nations, the European Community, the Pan African Congress and so on are examples of people coming together in cooperation to avoid conflict. The same is true about our families that are either at war or in cooperation. This is also true for corporations, companies, public utilities, institutions etc, not to mention religions.
It seems that there are always wars or rumours of wars at any time somewhere in the world. Can we say that war is a natural state of being for human kind? Well it is once we abandon the concept of cooperation. Currently their are conflicts in Palestine, Israel, Iran, Syria, North Korea, Iraq, Russia, China, Hong Kong, Yemen, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Ukraine and they are only those that I am aware of at the moment. It would seem that us humans are potentially a violent and warlike lot.
Of course other animals do have conflicts and fights. Troops of chimpanzees, our nearest relatives, live in territories that they will defend. They may also attempt to take away territory from a neighbouring troop and create a conflict between the troops. Primates steal, attack, mug, rape and assault just like humans. When do such acts, fights, conflicts, or battles become a war?
War, as opposed to a conflict, involves an extended period of fighting between, ethnic or territorial groups, regions, countries or other groups of people. A war generally involves the use of serious weapons, with organised military or militia with planned intent and goals. This may include terrorist or guerrilla actions or the intended annihilation of another group. War is when a nation, or a belief group, be they political or religious enforces its rights, beliefs or demands on others by the use of force. The force or threat maybe implied or actual, just like in all forms of bullying or coercion.
Sometime war is well intentioned. I am sure that when the Christian knights of the crusade went off to fight in the ‘Holy Land’ they believed that they were enacting the will of God and that is was a ‘good’ thing to do. The same is probably true for the members of ISIS or conflicts such as those between the Protestants and Catholics in Northern Island. When Britain declared war on the Nazis it was done to stop something not to gain something. Wars of liberation seem to be different to wars of conflict, demand, colonisation, greed or psychopathy.
War, to me, is a stupid waste of life, time, money and energy that creates pain torment and suffering. However, war has also driven great inventions and scientific breakthroughs that would never have happened otherwise. The drive to discover the science that created the atomic bomb led to power stations providing energy and radioactive treatments in medical science that are becoming ever more refined.
To me it is all about awake-ness. When people lack awareness and are consciously deep asleep conflict, war and violence make sense to them. That is how they get what they want. When people are more aware and awake communication and cooperation leading to resolution makes sense. I experience that the deep asleep people to go for evolution through conflict and the survival of the fittest. The more awake people go for evolution through cooperation. Therefore the deep asleep people attempt to resolve their challenges through conflict while the more awake people attempt to resolve their conflicts through communication.
When people come together in cooperation and communication they create peace, harmony and wellbeing. When people move apart in disagreement or an inability to communicate and compromise they create instability, insecurity and distrust. Doesn’t say a lot for our deep asleep politicians generally unable to communicate and find resolutions. Perhaps the current conflicts, prevailing in what can be seen as a disintegrating world, will takes us back to the conditions that created the First and Second World Wars and every other conflict since. I am left with the idea that until human beings wake up enough to realise that mutual cooperation, happiness and prosperity are available to all of us, if we choose to accept it, then conflict and war will be our natural default position.
Remember: If we all look after each other we will all be okay. There would be no suffering, no hunger, no loneliness, no conflict and only resolution.
Take care, be happy and make love not war