After a swath of personal relationship disputes, and then seeing the air strikes by the US, UK and France over Syria for the use of chemical weapons, it got me thinking about conflict resolution.
One only has to take a brief synopsis of world history to see the extent of destruction that surfaces when two countries cannot reconcile their differences.
What does this have to do with a spider’s web you might ask?
The web is symbolic; a microcosm of our Universe.
I deleted the picture that struck me the most in terms of representing a swirling mass of planets and galaxies, bathed in a plethora of light and life.
As I reflected on the uncanny resemblance, further parallels continued to astound me.
Those fibres of silk link each part to the other parts, and together they create the whole.
Strong, yet thin, invisible threads of connectivity.
Remove one section of the web and the entire structure starts to fold.
The threads provide the tension, the necessary forces for the structure to bloom.
Like the web, every life form on Earth is fundamental to the whole.
And this is precisely where I believe human beings are going wrong.
We fail to see the invisible.
Humans are the only species which have on their hands this issue of conflict resolution to such a large and complex scale.
They keep it simple.
Humans have tried to evolve past this and we just love to differentiate ourselves from the animal kingdom.
We congratulate ourselves on having developed a pre-frontal cortex and exercise it regularly through our innovation and grand designs that display a show of might.
But our inability to deal with one another in a manner different from animal species remains unanswered, at least to me.
We attempt with law systems and morals. Or ideals, like the spiritual community promotes, such as ‘love for all’, but when the heat gets intense enough, these tend to break down and barbaric acts reign.
The spiritual teachers and teachings generally frustrate me.
They do not provide any hard answers as to how we are realistically going to solve the exponentially surmounting environmental and social injustice issues facing our planet in the ‘here and now’, to quote their words.
It often seems like an alternative form of self indulgence to me.
There are people I have met who decided to not watch the news anymore to ‘not allow that negativity into their space’.
And while I agree one needs to protect themselves from the fear endorsement agenda of media outlets, to choose ignorance, is about as responsible as leaving your children in a house a tsunami is headed directly towards. Whilst you get yourself to higher ground.
Nobody in their right mind would ever do that.
And yet we do it daily when we fail to participate in the trajectory our planet is taking.
We choose to not look. We close our eyes.
Because it hurts to look.
To look beyond the shiny marketing brochures thrown around, brandishing the latest new exotic getaway destination and choose instead to see the harm that tourism boom is bringing to that previously unspoiled spot of paradise.
To look beyond the forced smile a person makes who works in a service industry role and choose instead to see the real emotions going on for that person and the pain they are in, compounded through trying to hide them.
To look beyond the conveniences of modern day life and choose instead to see that those discrete and minuscule labels contain the only remaining trail of the true price of our clothes, food and household goods.
Most of us are guilty of critiquing the people in power.
Yet, if we are really honest; if we look at how well we handle conflict in our day to day lives on teeny tiny scale, none of us would want to trade with them.
It seems to me that none of us has this predicament worked out.
The West has one idea about how to efficiently manage the world. Putin has another.
And then there are numerous authoritarian dictatorships just doing their own thing.
Each searching to expand their way of life so as to preserve their version of world order.
We relish in the benefits of individuality and freedom of thought.
Diversity abounds and opportunities to invent, create and move forward.
The flip side;
The inevitable grating, and sometimes, the outright impact and destruction from an opposing movement.
Like tectonic plate movements which brush each other up, grind, and sometimes penetrate straight into their neighbour and uproot the other’s place in the Earth’s mantle.
Whilst destructive and bearers of death, tectonic movements give rise to volcanoes and volcanoes give the very necessary fertility for the reproduction of life.
Cleansing our soils, and replenishing them with nutrients.
Death is always followed by life.
Death is the pre-requisite for life.
An animal dies; its body decomposes and the organic elements that once gave it form, are recycled in the circle of life.
That circle includes death.
Death of friendships, death of who you once were, death of ‘your name’, death of everything which once made sense, death of your reality, death of everything.
Even the death that departs our soul from this planet, will give the space and sustenance for a new soul to enter.
Perhaps the aim then is not to remove and eradicate conflicts?
Maybe they serve a purpose?
A natural and vital purpose.
As the fertile ground for sowing new life.
Perhaps the challenge is to use them well?
Could we even attempt to embrace them?
We are forever connected in conflict, whether we accept it or not.
Despite being fairly certain Putin is not a ‘nice guy’, it does seem to me, his presence in power, serves a very important role.
If nothing else, he delivers an opposing, contra movement to the West.
That in itself is crucial and necessary.
Give too much power to one player and see how crazy they become.
Often blinded by their own vision, those in power need opponents to force them to question what they are doing themselves and why.
The friction is intrinsic to the resulting stability.
Putin once said: ‘Do people not see where the West is leading the rest of the world?’
Not a fan of him, his methods, or ploys, but in this statement, I believe he has a point.
There is much we could do better in the West and the rest of the world is following our example. Just look at the entire of China and India aspiring for their own private cars. If they actually got there, our air pollution situation would no longer be a situation; it would be an absolute death sentence.
He is one of the few world powers, that actually has the audacity and weight to scare the States and the West to some degree and keep us in check from our own corruptibility.
Like the natural world, life grows out of that grating of movements, that turbulent collision.
Are war and destruction to be encouraged then?
I doubt that is where the lesson lies.
But, maybe our fear of conflict can be changed.
Maybe we can learn to understand the value in it.
The larger purpose it serves; if we can be brave enough to look within the fires of hell to find it.
Conflict is dangerous and deadly at times.
Despite all the connectivity I may find in the web, it is also a contraption designed for death.
Like a double edged sword;
The Web of Creation and Connectivity on one hand
& The Web of Deceit and Betrayal on the other
However.... Like the spider’s web, the silk can stretch.
Our connections can be tested, can bend; vibrate back and forwards... and still not break.
The invisible silk which connects us to each other and the Universe is more durable than we know.
Let us not fear conflict therefore.
Let us not be blind to the invisible webs of deceit that wait to catch the bumbling fly.
Let us instead learn to trust the tenacity of the invisible silk & not be afraid to fly.