MIRROR NEURONS AND THE MISSING MIDDLE
Mimicry, the compulsion of humans to mirror their postures, facial expressions, and enemy war cries. Hence, many recent posts on FB and Twitter.
Wisdom says welcome criticism, but thin skin cracks and bleeds. The
violent one has a thin skin, which is why he needs steel, but the
nonviolent one has no need of steel. His skin is strong but steel is
always piercing it. This is a paradox. It evokes prayer in some.
Warriors carry the sins of violence, of killing the innocent, intentionally and by negligence. But the nonviolent carry sins too, because war is a collective crime and must be understood in its totality as an anti-civilization human phenomenon. The nonviolent play their role. Their sin is the sin of negativity, divestment, emotional distance, bifurcation, polarization, demonization. Divestment and hate are easy but more cowardly. It is the same everywhere. Arabs and muslims walk away from Syria if they are nonviolent, even fellow Syrians. They don’t support. Violent people are guilty of their own crimes but nonviolent are guilty of the sin of negativity, emotional cowardice and selfishness. …
THE POETRY OF NONVIOLENCE
Religion is poetry. But some mistake it for photography, and then proceed to smash all the other pictures.
In war in an age of war the act of ultimate defiance is to make another human being feel wonderful.
TESTOSTERONE, OR ALTERNATIVES TO WAR
Gestures of kindness are semen seeds. Men get busy, it will make you inherently happy and bear you many children.
(Photo: Words of Martin Luther King Jr.)
This song is written by a young German woman, please watch. It made me weep.
Ahava – Concentration Camp (Song)
The Honorable Thing to Do Is Kill Someone: Defeating Men’s Culture of Honor to Overcome the Syrian Catastrophe
“It is time for honor to die, so that the people may live.”
Here’s my latest on the Huffington Post. Please click here to read the full article.
First the bad news: a fracture in the Middle East is looming. There is a fracturing of states along sectarian lines that has been funded and instigated by a variety of men around the Middle East and beyond. There is a radicalization both of dictators and their violence, on one side, (Sisi far worse than Mubarak, and Assad the ophthalmologist committing massive war crimes), and religious extremists on the other, with their crucifixions and intent on destroying states and kingdoms as such. This has made for impossible choices to most innocent Middle Easterners who may retreat into sectarian safe havens that only guarantee more fracturing and violence.
There is a hidden root to this negative spiral, and that root is men’s
Democratic experiments are capable of evolution, as long as adherents to a religion or citizens of shared societies never stop evolving, growing, recognizing the responsibility they have to use their minds constantly to interpret, to exercise their conscience, and to negotiate the best path forward to sacred and social peace.
Here is my latest from Huffington Post:
Imagine a violent world in which all means to defend yourself with violence is out of the question. No matter which way you turn the people with guns just suck. They are dangerous, unreliable, and are killing or getting killed all the time. What would you do? Especially if you were a guy, like most who do the killing in conflict. What if you were surrounded with corrupt and dangerous military on the one side and extremist rebels on the other?
No one likes to think about this reality, even though it is the more common reality of war faced by millions of people since the dawn of time. It does not fit our neat brain patterns for simplistic gut reactions. Some gut reactions always side with government and military, others side with those who are defiant and willing to fight. Everyone …
Political Realism Needs to Discover Nonviolent Social Change
When I start to hear in forums around Washington in the last few months that the people of Syria might have been better off without a violent revolution then we are witnessing a slow learning curve of the political realists. From Afghanistan to Iraq to Syria they are beginning to see the absurdity of embracing guns that give rise to everything they fear the most from the Middle East. The horror of the present makes the courageous crowds in Syria of 2011 something of a wondrous miracle, a proud pluralistic mass movement of social change, without the insanity of ideological extremism.
The lesson is simple. We activists must be much more prepared to massively support every nonviolent turn in social history across the world, but we also must be accompanied by policy makers who at the very least stay out of the …
Nonviolence and Violence, the Shocking Difference
For decades, there was hardly any opening in this strong police state to train and plan for creative and steadfast nonviolent social change. Some of us as peace activists did our best to introduce even the mildest ideas of social change at great personal risk to our Syrian friends. For over ten years I had been working steadily in Syria with Syrian partners on interfaith diplomacy and peacebuilding. We built bridges between both average people and between influential people across the spectrum from Alewite, Sunni, Shiite, Catholic, Protestant, and atheist. We engaged in what nonviolence practitioners refer to as exercises in solidarity.
We built a cadre of students in conflict resolution from young to old, inside and outside the government. We did this work with the grudging permission of the regime, through clever strategies of diplomacy. We also enjoyed the friendship of some Western …