Stoking The Fires Of Conflict

antietam-80541_640 (1)Last night as I watched the news with its litany of conflict ridden areas in the world, I felt a tiredness come over me. Why do we persist in this sheer waste of life and this idiotic way of trying to solve our issues?

Sometime ago I read A C Grayling‘s  “The Reason Of Things.” I noted some of his words. He said:

“It would be encouraging to think that when conflicts cannot end in outright victory for one side, they tend to end in weariness and a growing sickness at the waste they cause. If this were so, conflict would be self-limiting, dying down as a fire does when it has consumed its fuel. But human conflicts seem to defy this hope. They pause, and for a time there is a simulacrum of peace, but grudges are passed like heritable diseases from one generation to the next, and there is always dry tinder in the human stock ready to catch alight when friction is renewed.”

Reading these words again, I suddenly found myself wondering about some of the dry, vulnerable tinder within me and the kind of friction that would stoke and set it alight. It’s always a good place to begin.

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About Don

I love life. Sometimes it makes sense, other times not. Discerning its underlying patterns and beauty always provides great reward and meaning and is a passion I ineptly follow. I feel deeply attached to nature and love the sea with its distinct moods and colour and find walking along its beaches wonderfully inspiring. Writing, sketching and photography is a sheer joy for me and the blog is one of the places I am able to express these pursuits.
This entry was posted in Letting go of Ego, Life, Politics, Warfare, wisdom and insight and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to Stoking The Fires Of Conflict

  1. I think introspection is certainly it’s the best place to begin. I do not have any answers. I also think that we are the negativity, hatred and conflict are somehow more visible. louder and more memorable. Love, human goodness and harmony are much quieter but not less powerful. I also like what Krishnamurti says about violence: http://www.jkrishnamurti.org/krishnamurti-teachings/view-daily-quote/20110627.php
    Another cause of violence is separation, be it religious, racial, of opinions…

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Monika. A lot of sense in that link. I like the whole insight of projection. The seeds of war are projected from within on to the world around us. I think that’s why peace has to begin with each one of us.

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  2. nrhatch says:

    War . . . what is it good for?
    Absolutely NOTHING.

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  3. I agree it is so disheartening to see news of war night after night. We seem unable to learn. What is it about some humans that makes them keep on stoking the fire?

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  4. tomsimard says:

    Don, it might just be me, but I’m not getting anything when I click the A C Grayling’s link.

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  5. I am reminded of the person who keeps banging his head over and over again because it feels so good when he stops.
    I have no understanding of war or its place in history until I look at my own life and find I’ve made the same mistake more than once – and knew better.

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  6. Forest So Green says:

    I recently heard an interview with an astronaut that was on the space station. He talked about looking at earth and circling it over and over again and how all of humanity become one to him. Maybe more people need to think this way, Annie

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    • Don says:

      Thanks Annie. Strange you should say that. I was reading something similar that was said by a number of astronauts. Seems they all have this experience of unity and oneness. One of them said if only it was possible for every person to see the earth from this perspective, we would have a far better world. Interesting. Thank you for your comment.

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  7. Don, how true and wise that we need to start within our own hearts. Instantly I could spot ‘dry tinder’ in my own thoughts of past hurts. Forgiveness is both a fire retardant and extinguisher that I need to keep in stock at all times.

    Blessings ~ Wendy

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    • Don says:

      Thank you Wendy. What you say is so true. True forgiveness lies at the heart of all peace. It’ s the kind of forgiveness that is also prepared to go as far as possible to put things right as well.

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  8. Shweta says:

    It is indeed ironical to see some of ‘us’ trying to find a resolution to a conflict created by some of ‘us’ only. Mankind creating a vicious circle for itself… Coming to the last lines in the post- I was just wondering! how is the effort of finding about some of ‘dry, vulnerable tinder & friction’ within me going to help me as a person?

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    • Don says:

      I like the way you describe it as a vicious circle, Shweta. In a way that’s what it is and we can’t get out of it. Perhaps the last part of your comment is something only you can answer. Thank you for sharing.

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  9. Powerful post, Don, and overwhelmingly true. One phrase of Grayling’s “The Reason of Things” summed it up for me: “…grudges are passed like heritable diseases from one generation to the next…” Thanks for an excellent link.

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  10. Don says:

    Thanks Marylin. Yes, I found that phrase rather poignant as well. It expresses such a universal truth. Glad you enjoyed the link.

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