We are seeing some interesting thoughts role around these days. Too bad we
don't have an up-and-running DKR to collect all this stuff and analyze it...
>From: Paul Werbos <email@example.com>
>Subject: Re: [announce] horror
> >The concept of "prayer" includes the notion of the ability to appeal to an
> >absolute authority. It implies an exclusive, or privileged relationship
> >with that authority, which in turn implies special approval of the behavior
> >of the individual who enjoys such a relationship. Whether one is praying
> >for jihad, or for the end to jihad, one is participating in the same
> >systemic behavior that has a divisive effect, and bolsters, with the
> >feeling of special access to authoritative approval, the us-against-them
> >attitude that perpetuates conflict everywhere on our planet.
> >I plead with the systems community to move our discourse into a more
> >neutral context. Each of us may pray as we will, in the privacy of our own
> >minds. But in our public utterances, let us leverage the adaptive power of
>The real horror in this situation (in my personal opinion) is not with what
>happened but with
>what may happen. A critical role of systems theory, in the broadest sense,
>is to evaluate the
>larger future implications and possibilities -- and solutions, in some sense.
>In the past, many people have proposed, as a possible solution, that all
>more than one person should exclude all reference to any dimension of life
>or emotion which cannot
>be formulated in operational terms -- objective, value free propositions
>which clearly do not invoke any sort of controversial
>concept such as religion, prayer, meditation, intuition, and so on.
>I would argue that the intense support of this possible solution is one of
>the many important causes behind what we are
>seeing in the Middle East. More precisely, there are many people in that
>area who fear that the driving economic power of the West
>is committed to imposing that sort of tyrannical rule on the entire culture
>of the world -- gradually and gently, for the most part,
>but in a relentless, inexorable way. They fear that the tides of history
>will wash over them and destroy them completely, if they do not
>invoke some sort of desperate response, based on some combination of
>catharsis and violence which comes from outside
>the world of the trends which are threatening them.
>There is some real irony here. George Bush himself comes from an
>assertively pastoral state, Texas (OK, it's cows instead of sheep, but big
>which has asserted its own independence in many ways for many years...
>which has a staunchly religious culture.. and was himself elected in great
>as a reaction against a culture viewed as too cosmpolitan, secular and
>corrupt... As with Aghanistan, the rest of the world views his pastoral
>origins with skepticism because of fear that they have sold out too much to
>oil millionaires.. and it is curious to see people on TV interviews
>proposing that the people of such a pastoral land should be eradicated
>because of how much they have sold out to the wrong
>Yet... what CAN be done? What scenarios exist for things not to become
>It may well be that greater clarity WITHIN the spiritual consciousness of
>the Islamic world is the only
>hope that exists for a scenario in which the human race continues to exist
>beyond a relatively limited time
>interval. At least, that is my personal view. Should such views be
>inherently nondiscussable? Should there
>be no place at all where one can discuss dynamic models of human evolution
>in which vector variables
>like "spiritual consciousness" can have an important causal role? If
>everyone agrees that such models are absurd,
>then there would be a basis for their being absolutely nondiscussable. But
>what is there is a chance that
>understanding such dynamics is in fact central to our survival, after the
>In any case, my intuition suggests that there are realistic scenarios or
>paths to Armageddon here both on the left and on the right --
>either by allowing the Osama bin Laden phenomenon to grow unchecked, like a
>cancer, or by provoking much greater conflict between
>the Islamic world and the West. Either one would take us to a kind of
>"stage 4" dynamical system, where the rules change and
>the probability of total human extinction is much greater than at present.
>If the Islamic world itself takes a leadership role
>in truly appreciating the level of evil which has taken hold here, and the
>need to root it out by themselves becoming
>true forceful spiritual leaders... maybe calling on US airpower or
>forensic science on occasion, but always in a subordinate role...
>then perhaps we can avoid those extremes. It is regrettable that we in the
>West have not engaged in so much deep dialogue with
>Pakistan and Iran as we should have, in recent years... and one may argue
>that the need for such a dialogue, with
>recognition of the spiritual dimensions of that dialogue, is one of the
>real needs here.
>I am often a strong advocate and developer of technology... but there are
>times when technology is not the prime
>Again, these are just personal opinions. But somehow there should be some
>place for discussion of such issues...
>Best of luck... to us all...
> Paul W.
>P.S. Of course there are also many causal variables which we cannot change
>at this time. I still remember the moment,
>during the Presidentiual debates, when Gore suddenly said "Make no
>mistake... we stand by Israel." Maybe that was
>when we went from stage 1 to stage 2. I do hope that I have not made such
>an unintended misleading statement myself'
>here in this email... but c'est la vie. I just hope it won't become a case
>of "c'etait la vie."
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This archive was generated by hypermail 2.0.0 : Thu Sep 13 2001 - 08:18:19 PDT