Proven Solutions to Terrorism and Conflict
Tony Nader, MD, PhD
It is the responsibility of all leaders to consider with a calm, peaceful and settled mind, all the consequences of their decisions, and the serious implications of the events happening today. And the steps taken to address them. The potential dangers go very far. The evolving situation with extremism and radicalization threatens to destabilize the very fabrics of our modern, progressive societies which have been evolving in the direction of greater unity, and a wiser, gentler humanity.
There is a scientific solution to the challenges of terrorism and the threat of conflict and polarization of our world along cultural and belief lines.
We strongly condemn the attacks against innocents, and express our heart-felt deep sympathy and condolences to those who are experiencing loss, fear and suffering.
Isolated and misguided individuals, as well as small groups, carry out crimes. The world expects the communities harboring the fundamental beliefs of those criminals to come out with harsh and massive condemnations and cries of outrage.
A destructive and more-ignorant-than-medieval interpretation of scriptures is high-jacking an entire belief-system and tarnishing the image of a religion with about one and a half billion believers. Yet, the approaches used and being proposed to deal with the overall situation fall short of addressing the underlying problems.
We see today two broad categories of reactions and responses to such threats and challenges. The first one results in eliminating the aggressor: Destroy or deter the enemy by using force and war, or by fear, isolation, punishment, and imprisonment.
This approach aims at stopping conflicts by eliminating or subduing those who are a threat to society: Make everyone abide by the law; enforce the law with the goal to create uniformity of behaviour on the basis of fundamental shared values. These shared values are usually based on some conviction or belief, —be it religious, economic, philosophical, or cultural. The values themselves have been evolving and adapting to change throughout history. They remain today different from culture to culture and nation to nation.
With modern fast communication, relocation and mixing of people, we see different and sometimes antagonistic values and value-systems face to face in the same community, the same city, and nation. This has often lead to clashes between religious belief and secular life; between freedom and precepts, or the perceived divine law; between different interpretation even within the same faith; and between science and religion.
As experience in history has shown, the use of force can give some immediate relief and temporary protection. This however does not solve the overall problem, and certainly not on a long-term or permanent basis.
Under the present circumstances, for example, you cannot tell in which quiet corner hides a dormant wolf. Or where or when an unassuming young man or woman suddenly gets inspired by someone to become a hero for their friends and starts killing others in the name of, and in service, to their God.
Expanding the use of forces such as in large conflicts and war, leads to endless struggles, suffering to innocent people, and waste of energy and resources. Look at the civil wars, the One Hundred Years’ War, the Thirty Years’ religious wars in Europe; the war for values, ethnicities, ideas and beliefs; the many centuries of bickering, suffering, and conflict in the Middle East, and Northern Ireland, different places. And all the World Wars.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The consequences of destructive power can be devastating, particularly when the use of force is undertaken and planned under anger and fear.
If the present conflict keeps widening and takes the wrong turn, it threatens to destabilize and polarize the world and could make about a billion and a half people feel somewhat marginalized or misunderstood. While the very large silent majority among them will feel misunderstood or offended, some will feel a religious fervor and a few even a divine duty, thus creating an endless supply of radicals and terrorists.
Real power can still be effective, and that is one aspect of what I want to propose as a solution. A true and complete solution on the level of power, however, must be able to use maximum, indomitable strength, that protects from the need to engage in conflict and war and prevents any damage to innocent people or the environment.
The real solution on the basis of power and strengths, that we will discuss, is able to destroy the birth of an enemy. And if an enemy is already there, destroy the enmity in the enemy. This is the only real power. Partial power means endless struggle and loss on every level and for everyone, including those who might, after the fight, declare themselves as winners.
I will be describing where real power resides, and how it can be harnessed.
Before that, let’s look at other approaches that do not use force, do not use power.
The second category of ways to deal with the situation we can call, in general, non-destructive. Such as resort to educating, culturing, inspiring for the good, de-indoctrinating. These are very necessary and useful. Education, however, happens not only in the schools, but also at home, in the streets, in military service, through the media, and in the places of worship. The superficial education, based on giving information, positive and negative conditioning, is limited in scope and inefficient. It can even lead to revolt and frustration in some individuals, and it’s a life-process that certainly doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a long-term, life-process. Proper education should fully develop the awareness and consciousness of the individual. This is also part of the solution we will be considering. And there is a simple and efficient way to achieve the highest goals of true education.
Facing terror and challenge to one’s values, there can be reactions of defiance which can momentarily help the group’s psychology and sense of cohesion, reinforcing some of the common beliefs of a particular society. This defiance is certainly not a fundamental solution to the overall problem. Or, on the more inclusive side of defiance, and a more constructive side, is the call for freedom. One might say, “Let us allow everyone to believe what they like. And let everyone do what they like. This is freedom, this is fairness.” There will, however, always be some who see the display of one aspect or another of freedom as an aggression.
Some expressions of freedom can be perceived to attack the deeply rooted beliefs of others. What complicates the situation is, it can be in the simplest things of daily life: – a dress code, food, and drink, partying, even images and photographs, cartoons…Let alone fundamental differences of perceptions of what human rights are. What animal rights are. What environmental rights are. Or what they should be. And on the more extreme level, the perception of what happens to you after death. And why. Overcoming the most basic survival instincts by promises of what happens after life.
Yes, comparisons between some willing to kill because of a cartoon, and others promoting and promising freedom to all, are outrageous. But the issue here is not about right and wrong, or fairness and unfairness. It is about finding true solutions to complex problems in the context of different people living in the same place, yet as if in apparently different universes of values and beliefs.
Freedom is a great asset! And a fundamental part of any progressive and tolerant society. It is a pride of developed nations, and certainly an essential and vital part of any solution. Freedom itself, however, should not become a radical belief system or a concealed religion. We see today believers in all kinds of things and faiths, and even atheists themselves who believe in nothing. But they might have, without knowing, hidden gods: – it could be the god of money, the god of power, or even the god of freedom. When we do not want any god to radicalize its believers, then let the gods of money and power and even the god of freedom itself, also be non-radical.
Another important and useful approach is the call for tolerance, compassion, and caring. These are essential in social cohesion. These are ways to express love. And love, let it be stronger than hatred. No drop of love is ever wasting in promoting a more integrated, peaceful, and harmonious human society
However, under stress, peoples’ confused actions and decisions based on emotions and feelings can lead to danger. For example, facing a disturbed psychopath, a brainwashed individual, or a ferocious wild animal in the jungle, with some sort of idealistic, emotional sense of tolerance and love, most likely results in great disappointment, to say the least. For blind and disturbed individuals, or an animal in the jungle, can’t care less about your philosophical thoughts or psychological emotions. Particularly when they are bent on attacking you with whatever motive, be it basic survival instincts, automaton robot-like conditioning, or belief.
There have been, however, stories and many examples where true inner peace, and the genuine power of nonviolence and love pacified and even defeated the aggressor or the beast. True infinite love should be able to reconcile all opposites and allow them to exist together in a harmonious wholeness. Fortunate are those who feel and care about the misfortune of others. More fortunate are those who can truly relieve the misfortune of others, while they, themselves, are at peace and remain undisturbed.
It is not enough to be emotionally moved, and sincerely feel compassionate. The kind of love that makes a difference necessitates an awakening on the level of inner being, and a fundamental transformation in individual and collective consciousness. In the same way as true and complete power should be able to destroy the enemy before he is born, true and complete love should be able to give birth to friends, even where the seeds of enmity had previous been sown.
Under circumstances of fear and anger, instincts take the upper hand. And the fight-or-flight responses operate in the nervous system. When under stress, the human nervous system does not use all of its resources, and likewise, the collection of individuals which we call society, city, or nation. The actual power used under these conditions is rather chaotic and inefficient. Similarly, emotions, sentiments, and even high ideals, are also strained and muddled by fear and resentment. They could also be contrived, because one’s usual beliefs in justice, higher values, humanness, and even divine fairness, are shaken by gruesome, cruel aggressions, and the deaths of innocent people.
While force and love both have their limitations, and even dangers, there is nonetheless a true and complete solution that allows both force and love to be most effective. It’s a solution that uses simultaneously the maximum potential of indomitable power and the infinitely unifying force that we are calling true love. To understand how this can be, we have to understand the nature of life, the nature of things, and the very fabrics that weave society, people, environment, and objects.
We are not any more in,—and certainly do not want to go back, or be brought back,—to medieval times in our concepts, values, and ways of acting and reacting. In the same way, we should rise above the ignorance and limitations of the today-commonly-accepted classical perspectives on reality. There was a time when erroneous beliefs saw the Earth as a fixed flat plane, and sitting at the center of the universe was the Sun and planets rotating around it. We see as fools those who were punishing and killing the observers or scientists, who said the contrary.
Today, it is an erroneous understanding that our world is made out of separate and completely unrelated objects and phenomena, that independently from each other appear and disappear in time and space. Let us today not be seen as fools by the next generations. Let us look at reality as science reveals it, and use a technology that is in accordance with the most advanced knowledge of our time.
…We see the range of what we call manifest existence. At the surface, on the surface, more expressed level, we have a society, which is made up of individuals. The individuals are made up of organ systems. Organ systems made out of organs and tissues. Those, like everything else in the universe, are made out of molecules; which are made out of atoms; themselves made out of elementary particles. The elementary particles are expressions of fields of energy that have been gradually unified by modern science into a grand unification field, ultimately reaching one Unified Field of all the laws of nature.
The use of power can be on all these levels. On the surface level, you can have mechanical power. Deeper, you can have biological power; even deeper, chemical power. Then you have molecular power, such as genetic level of manipulation and war. Or the atomic level, such as the atomic bomb. Deeper yet, are field levels, that have been gradually unified into a grand unification, and ultimately theories of one Unified Field of all forces and matter fields. On these deeper levels lie true power, and the forces that weave together and maintain the entire universe. The Unified Field is the home of all the laws that structure and maintain the infinite diversity of all that is manifest. The deeper the levels of power, the more penetrating and far-reaching are their effects.
All the particles at these deep, deep levels making all the objects on the surface level, are intimately interconnected. Quantum scientists call them “entangled”: when you tickle it here, it laughs or cries there. Also, time and space are relative. What you see as happening at this moment in your life and around you, depends on how fast you are moving. If you could fly at speeds such as greater than rocket speeds, the time and the space you will be in will be different. What you would call the present will be much different that what you thought when you were stationary. Now, the present could include, based on your speed, elements of what otherwise could have been the past or the future.
It is not my intention to explain the discoveries of quantum physics, and the relativity and elusive nature of time and space. For those who are interested, please ask the specialized physicists in your area, or even check them out on the internet. Suffice it to say, that reality is not as hard and fast as the sensory aspects of our human nervous system are able to experience.
Reality, however, seems somewhat amenable to our understanding on a deeper level than the surface sensory experience. This is what we call the mind, or even deeper, intelligence. When our senses say the Sun is moving around the Earth, our intellect says, the Earth is moving around the Sun. When our senses say time and space are absolute, and objects have an independent existence, as separate entities in this absolute time and space, our intellect says, time and space are relative. And all objects are fundamentally entangled.
The ultimate level of understanding, intelligence, and power, is in the Unified Field, from where all intelligence, all energy, all matter, and the entire universe, emerge. This field is not far from us. Actually, it is the nearest thing to us. It is us.
In the same way as our nervous system has levels and layers of apprehending reality, such as the sensory level, the intellectual level, it has also the ability to directly go to the level of the Unified Field. This is available through a technology of consciousness, that has been passed on in the long corridor of time, thanks to a tradition, the Vedic Tradition of teachers. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi called it Vedic Science and Technology when he introduced it to the West. One of its aspects is Transcendental Meditation. This technology allows the awareness to directly experience the Unified Field, enliven that field in one’s awareness, and realize that this is what the true Self is. This is who were are.
About seven hundred scientific research studies conducted in the most prestigious research centers in the world have proven the effectiveness of these technologies for the individual and society. Conflicts and crime have been reduced and eliminated. Greater harmony and peace have been shown to result from the collective performance of these techniques. As little as the square root of one per cent of the population of a city or a nation can produce the effect. About 800 people, for example, can do it for France or the UK; less than 2,000 for the USA; less than 4,000 for China or India; and less than 8,000 for the whole world.
The effectiveness of this technology of consciousness is because it enlivens and harnesses the indomitable source of all power and energy. It creates an invincible shield for the nation and the whole world. In terms of love, compassion, and unity in diversity, the Unified Field is like the sap of a tree or a flower. The one sap appears as the many aspects of the leaves, branches, stem, and flowers. We are all expressions of the Unified Field.
It is not, however, enough to know that on the intellectual level, and try to inspire people to love each other, when they are fundamentally afraid of each other. People are attached to their outer reality of culture, nationality, belief, race, gender, and all which makes us who we are on the surface level of existence.
Still, love is the most powerful unifying force. True love can do miracles. Two very different individuals can find common grounds as humans living on the same planet, looking at the same stars, sharing similar hopes, and principles and breathing the same air, bathing in the same sun and environment. There are so many values in our lives that we share with everyone and everything. It is all about where our attention falls, and how we see ourselves. Do we have our attention on the unifying values, or the differences?
Fundamental existential problems will never find a complete solution by trying to intellectually convince people of the unity of life. When we ask a man who he is, we get answers related to name, origin, profession, nationality, belief, etc. This is what the man has experienced, and has known about himself. When trapped in these outer definitions of the self, we are isolated within the boundaries of a family, a group, a society, and a belief system. We can justifiably have fear of all others who might attack or damage who we understand ourselves to be. True love cannot be full under this understanding and concept of the self.
On the other hand, the direct experience in one’s awareness of pure Being, the Unified Field, enlivens the sense of self as pure being, pure consciousness. To directly experience the Unified Field means to become acquainted with one’s Self as being the Unified Field. This is the true and complete meaning of “Know thyself.”
Because the Unified Field is the source of everything and everyone, we begin to know on a most fundamental level of direct experience that we are one with everything. This is not intellectual analysis or conviction; it is direct experience, an awakening in one’s innermost level of being. This is supreme fulfillment in education, where the knower knows himself or herself to be pure Being, and becomes established in the field of infinite creativity and real freedom, yet in tune with total natural law.
In this awakened and enlightened state, the individual spontaneously upholds the most evolutionary values in his or her culture and belief systems. They enjoy being different on the outside, yet know through direct experience the underlying unity that upholds all diversity. This is the basis of true tolerance, true compassion, and true love, which are full and non-contrived. Enlivening this through a group of individuals practicing this technology of consciousness enlivens it in the whole society. Differences remain on the surface, but life is lived in a fundamental sense of profound peace and unity.
Let us apply this knowledge for maximum power to prevent the birth of enemies, and maximum love to allow life to continue to blossom in unity within diversity.