Education & Peace Keeping
“You must prepare for war if you want peace”
My first thoughts are political.
War is a historical issue of power and conflict that necessitates violence. War is often a political manifestation of ignorance, prejudice, greed, and domination. It is a place of the most poisonous aspects of the human condition.
Peace is a historical movement of love and community. It necessitates nonviolence. Peace is a political manifestation of knowledge, diversity, humility, and mutualism. It is a place of the most divine aspects of the human condition.
The relationship between the two appears dualistic but is not.
Indeed, the bringing of peace, of nonviolence, requires a fight.
The escort of knowledge defeats ignorance.
The valuing of diversity deflates prejudice
The cultivation of humility disempowers greed
And mutualism makes domination obsolete.
Peace defeats War.
by fighting to surrender the will to worldly power, and therefore empowering love.
It is not the absence of war. But a active fighting against our worst selves. A reach for enlightenment.
This is a paradox. This is nonduality. This is Godly.
In the quest for peace, we must realize that the goal is not to rid ourselves of war but to use war to create peace. War is mud to the lotus. War is compost to the flower. There is insight in war if we practice peace consistently.
This applies to all human relations. Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Familial/Communal, and political. This is a great sign that it is divine wisdom.
This is not a new idea, indeed, it is ancient. Many peoples, cultures, and societies have discovered this and used to create tools of peace.
Aikido. Ta Chi. Meditation. Warrior Dance. African Drumming. Locking one’s hair. The game of chess. Etc.
Hidden in the relationship of “opposites” is the insight of interbeing and the practice of actively creating our best selves.
Education is peace work.
It is the nonviolent fight against the ignorance that deflates prejudice and cultivates humility. Education is the work of love, an exertion of communal effort, that makes domination obsolete.
In the journey for peace in one’s self, one must be educated in the process.
Our classrooms may be at universities but they also may be in our parent’s living room, in the forest, or underwater.
Indeed, Pushing the institution of schooling to align more precisely with the journey for peace in one’s self is the work of the educator.
The purpose of school is to create peace in society.
An educator is a guide. An educator is someone who has mastered the processes of peacemaking enough to help other’s journey with less suffering. An educator can do this through diverse subject matters. They may teach language, or a sport, or religion. We may call them “professor”, or “coach”, or “pastor”. It is important that we acknowledge that the subject matter is only the medium for the true of an educator. Indeed, the student matters the subject matter when they master themselves. Students possess all they need to understand subject matter; what they are truly learning is a practice of how to find it, use it, manifest it. This is self-refinement. This is education.
The struggle that we endure along the way to self-refinement requires a nonviolent fight. We must realize that our pains, failures, and mistakes, are the substance that is necessary for success. The War makes Peace.
“No mud, No Lotus” -Thich Nhat Hanh