Ask Steve – How to Resolve Global Conflicts

How do we resolve the Middle East conflict between Israel and Palestine? More generally, how do we stop violence in the world and create lasting peace?

This question was submitted before the recent outbreak of fighting between Israel and Lebanon, but that won’t change my answer.

At the lower levels of consciousness, violence is actually a correct response to certain conditions. It’s a means of asserting control, which serves to temporarily reduce feelings of fear and insecurity. Also at these levels, counter-violence is the correct response to violence. As strange as it may seem, violence can raise your level of consciousness from fear to anger. It can even take you as far as pride if your side claims victory in the conflict. Consequently, as long as there are human beings at those lower levels, there will always be violence. People who commit violent acts aren’t stupid. They’re simply at a level of consciousness where violence makes sense.

There are a fair number of people on earth today who resonate at levels like fear and anger. As long as that situation continues, we’ll have violence in the world. Violence is a natural consequence of these levels of consciousness. The only true cure to violence is to help these people raise their consciousness, at least to the levels of courage and neutrality.

As you raise your consciousness and release your fear, the desire for violence dissipates, then eventually disappears. If you had no fear and felt unconditionally safe, you’d have no need for violence. Violence is a way of asserting control to make yourself feel safer, but if you’re already unconditionally safe no matter what, then violence becomes pointless. It ceases to become the correct response to any situation.

The only practical and lasting solution to global violence is that we must raise the global level of consciousness. Only when that occurs will violence cease to be part of the human experience. Until that happens violence will always be with us.

A totally ineffective strategy is to respond to violence with more resistance. Verbally condemning attacks is pointless, as is fighting back. All that does is perpetuate the level of consciousness that spawned the violence in the first place. Yet this is what world leaders continue doing. It will never work though because it’s an inherently flawed strategy. It’s far more likely to have the opposite effect and keep the violence percolating indefinitely. Also, the frustration that results will probably drive some of the people involved to lower their consciousness ever further, down to the levels of shame, guilt, apathy, and grief. All this will do is delay the violence, which will be destined to erupt again later. We’re seeing this happen in Iraq right now. The current Middle East peace process was doomed from the get-go though. The process itself exists at too low a level of consciousness to be effective. And that’s because the people involved aren’t yet conscious enough for it to work. Their current approach effectively guarantees failure.

The most viable long-term strategy is actually forgiveness. At the lower levels of consciousness, this strategy will appear utterly foolish. Forgive an attack? No way! That’s crazy! That’s why it’s not being applied. However, at the higher levels of consciousness (unconditional love and beyond), it becomes clear that unconditional forgiveness is the only thing that can work, and the wisdom of this approach becomes apparent. However, this solution cannot be applied en masse until enough key people reach the level of unconditional love, thereby serving to counterbalance the ones that still remain in a state of fear.

Achieving peace in the Middle East today would require a team of highly conscious peacemakers. I think the people on that team would need to at least be at the level of peace themselves, but I suspect even that wouldn’t be enough right now and that true enlightenment would be necessary (for at least one team member). Their goal would be to raise the consciousness of the leaders involved, and those leaders in turn could help to raise the consciousness of their own people. The leaders would need to stop preaching condemnation and violence and instead teach forgiveness and unconditional love. This would take considerable time and effort, but it would eventually work.

I don’t think this solution is practical today, but we’ll eventually get there. This is a wonderful time to be alive because more and more people are awakening to higher levels of consciousness, especially the levels of unconditional love and higher where violence is transcended.

The best thing you as an individual can do to reduce violence in the world is to raise your own level of consciousness. As you move away from fear and towards unconditional love, you reduce and then eliminate your own violent tendencies. You stop competing and start cooperating. You shift from scarcity to abundance. You stop worrying and start contributing.

The more conscious you become, the more people at lower levels you counterbalance, and the more brightly you shine as a beacon to others, inspiring them to become more conscious as well. Once enough people make this shift, the rest of the world will follow suit, and violence will cease to be with us.

This will take some time, but there are many people consciously working towards this goal already.

This entry is part of the “Ask Steve” series. See the original Ask Steve post for details, or view the Archives (July 2006) to peruse the entire series.