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Domination or Partnership, Absencing or Presencing: Creating Lasting Peace in Ukraine and The World


Two years in the past we realized about just a few individuals dying in a far-off land and shortly have been engulfed in a world-wide pandemic that has killed greater than 6 million individuals world-wide and practically 1 million individuals within the U.S. alone. Now we’re seeing individuals die on daily basis in Ukraine and ponder whether the violence will engulf the entire world and kill hundreds of thousands, and even precipitate a nuclear conflict that might wipe out humanity.

            How we view the occasions on this planet, the story we inform ourselves, has lots to do with the actions we take and whether or not there’s a peaceable resolution or an infinite battle. I just lately wrote an article, “Past the Delusion of David and Goliath: How We Can All Assist Ukraine in Bringing About Lasting Peace,” highlighting the dominant story that we see within the information media and the way it might blind us to discovering a peaceable resolution to the invasion that’s now in its fourth week.

            I discover myself going out and in of three completely different inner emotional states. Some days I really feel completely depressed, engulfed by the lack of humanity to unravel the life and loss of life issues we create for ourselves. After I develop into depressed I really feel powerless to even think about a method out that doesn’t make the issue even worse. I really feel insufficient and despair fascinated about the world my 5 kids, seventeen grandchildren, and two nice grandchildren will inherit.

            However on different days, really most different days, I really feel energized and hopeful. I do not forget that the world has seen darkish instances and in previous and humanity has discovered methods to return by means of to the sunshine. I consider the tip of apartheid in South Africa, the success of the Civil Rights motion, the #MeTwo motion, Black Lives Matter, and the election of the primary Black president of the USA. I keep in mind the ladies’s motion and the way it has freed each men and women from the restrictions that advised every intercourse how we should act and the way we should not act and gave us all permission to be who we actually are.

            And on some days I simply wish to overlook the world of violence and conflict and simply rejoice St. Patrick’s Day on the pub with my family and friends as we did the opposite night time. I wish to escape from the human world of battle and ache to hang around with the bushes and hearken to the sound of the birds. I wish to hearken to the whisperings of the traditional redwood tree in my again yard that speaks of a distinct form of knowledge and invitations humanity to pay attention.  I lengthy to fall asleep and be reborn right into a world the place all our issues are fastened and I’d have the right life I used to be promised in fairytales.

            However I’m a author. So no matter form of day I’m having–depressed, hopeful, or simply having enjoyable in a now second–I write.  As we speak I’m impressed by my neighborhood of buddies and colleagues doing “males’s work” and two individuals and organizations who’ve offered me inspiration and steerage for a few years. I’ve identified and labored with Riane Eisler, writer of The Chalice & The Blade and plenty of different books, and her Heart for Partnership Programs, for practically thirty-five years. I’ve been impressed by her easy, but clear, distinction between two programs. In The Chalice & The Blade she says,

“The primary, which I name the dominator mannequin, is what’s popularly termed both patriarchy or matriarchy—the rating of 1 a part of humanity over the opposite. The second, during which social relations are based on the precept linking, moderately than rating, might greatest be described as a partnership mannequin. On this mannequin—starting with essentially the most basic distinction in our species, between female and male—range isn’t equated with both inferiority or superiority.”

            In Ukraine we see a conflict between two completely different programs, one based mostly totally on domination. The opposite based mostly totally on partnership. We additionally see a distinction in two sorts of masculinity, one exemplified by Russia’s Vladimir Putin is clearly one among domination and the opposite by Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky is primarily one among partnership.

            One other colleague who’s work provides two contrasting programs is Otto Scharmer. Scharmer is a Senior Lecturer within the MIT Sloan Faculty of Administration and co-founder of the Presencing Institute. He chairs the MIT IDEAS program for cross-sector innovation and launched the idea of “presencing”—studying from the rising future—in his bestselling books Concept U and Presence, the latter co-authored with Peter Senge and others.

            Scharmer has just lately written two vital essays that distinction two programs, which have nice similarities to those Eisler presents, one he calls absencing, the opposite presencing. Within the first essay, “Putin and the Energy of Collective Motion from Shared Consciousness: A ten-Level Meditation on Our Present Second,” he says,

“I invite you to hitch me in a meditative journey on the present second. We begin with Putin’s conflict in Ukraine, unpack among the deeper systemic forces at play, take a look at the rising panorama of conflicting social fields, and conclude with what could be the rising superpower of Twenty first-century politics: our capability to activate collective motion from a shared consciousness of the entire.”

            Scharmer goes on to supply an historic perspective on Vladimir Putin, how his rising isolation from different individuals makes him extra harmful, and its relevance to the current second. He describes Putin’s blind spot as his failure to foretell the diploma of Ukrainian resistance or the unified assist he has obtained from the West.  After Russia’s occupation of Crimea in 2014, Angela Merkel, the then Chancellor of Germany, talked to President Putin and reported to President Obama that, in her view, Mr. Putin “had misplaced contact with actuality.” He was, she mentioned, “dwelling in one other world.” This mindset of fragmentation, isolation, and separation is nowhere extra strikingly visualized than within the current footage of Putin alone at one finish of an enormous desk and his workforce (or sometimes a head of state), on the different finish.

“This isolation (out of your workforce, from individuals who suppose in another way, and ultimately from actuality), is clearly at odds with the more and more risky complexity of our real-world challenges as we speak,”

says Scharmer.

“Despite the fact that Putin, Commander-In-Chief of one of the crucial highly effective armies in world historical past, might proceed to win all of the navy battles for some time, it feels as if this separation from actuality — that’s, the truth of his personal blind spots — have already sown the seeds of his demise. His blind spots appear to be the power of civil society and the facility of collective motion from shared consciousness.”

            Within the David and Goliath delusion one aspect is perceived as virtuous and trustworthy, whereas the opposite aspect is seen as treacherous and evil. On this view solely the “dangerous man” has blind spots. However Scharmer additionally describes the blind spots of the West. “Let me be extra particular,” says Scharmer.  

“IF it was that clear that Putin deliberate to invade Ukraine (as US intelligence had predicted for a lot of months), and IF it was equally clear that NATO may by no means instantly step in (with out risking an all-out nuclear conflict), then WHY was it so inconceivable for the West to easily conform to Putin’s usually repeated major request: a assure that Ukraine wouldn’t be allowed to hitch NATO (identical to Finland, Sweden, Austria, and Eire, all of whom are members of the EU however not of NATO)?”

            Scharmer goes on to focus on the blind spot of President Biden and the U.S. response to the invasion.

“What have been Western — significantly US — leaders pondering? What was the rationality of the Western two-point technique in opposition to Russia: (1) a long time of ignoring and discounting Russian objections to the assorted waves of the eastward growth of NATO, and (2) betting that Putin would change his habits when threatened with financial sanctions?”

            Within the second essay, “Putin and the Energy of Collective Motion from Shared Consciousness,” Scharmer continues by describing the contrasting programs and the way we would transfer from absencing to presencing.

“I invite you to have a look at the present scenario by means of the lens of rising future risk — the lens of a social discipline formed by the grammar of transformative co-creation,”

says Scharmer.

One of many major risks of a seeing the world as a battle between Goliath and David is that we neglect vital elements of historical past and fail to notice our personal blind spots or see alternatives for actually listening to different factors of view. As Scharmer’s mannequin suggests, we get locked right into a mindset the place:

  • Our minds develop into frozen in ignorance.
  • Our hearts develop into frozen in hate.
  • Our will is frozen in worry.

            Seeing the world by means of the lens of presencing, against this:

  • Our minds develop into open and curious.
  • Our hearts develop into open to compassion for the struggling of everybody on all sides of the battle.
  • Our will turns into open to internal braveness and a willingness to seek out true partnership, to rebuild belief, and discover widespread floor.

            Otto Scharmer concludes with these inspiring phrases:

 “On this exploration of two completely different social grammars, we realized that the longer term doesn’t simply rely on what different individuals do. The longer term on this planet depends upon every and all of us and our capability to realign consideration and intention on the extent of the entire. As Noongar Elder, cultural information, and scientist, Dr Noel Nannup reminds us: ‘All we have to do is to have a bit of the trail to the longer term that’s ours; and we polish that and we hone that.’ Co-holding and co-creating that rising path to the longer term places us in a really private relationship with our planet and with our shared future.”

            All of us have a alternative about which of those two methods of seeing the world we wish to embrace. I’ve realized over time that the place we place our consideration drastically influences what we create. If we deal with our fears, our view of actuality tends in the direction of domination and absencing. If we attend extra to our care, compassion, and love, our view of actuality tends in the direction of partnership and presencing.

            Humanity actually is at a tipping level. None of us know the end result, however every of us can select which aspect of the steadiness we put our minds, our hearts, our will, and our motion, on.

            I stay up for your feedback and figuring out what you might be doing within the phrases of my colleague Charles Eisenstein to convey in regards to the “world our hearts know is feasible.” Come go to me at MenAlive.com and take a look at our Moonshot Mission for Mankind and Humanity.       



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