Aquarian Conflict Resolution *
by Elsa Glover
In every man there is a king. Speak to the king and the king will
In the Piscean Age, people lived under the rulership of various dictators [kings, priests, et cetera] who laid down laws and proclaimed what was true and right. Because everyone within a given society followed one dictator, there was little internal conflict. If two people within the society did have disagreement, they could go to the dictator, and he would say who was right and who was wrong and what needed to be done to resolve the conflict. Thus things proceeded peacefully and harmoniously.
In the Aquarian Age, there will be no one head who will make all the decisions and do all the thinking. Instead, everyone will do his own thinking. When many people, starting with different perspectives and exercising their creativity in different ways, are all independently generating opinions, a wide variety of opinions will arise, and some of these opinions may be in conflict with one another. The big problem that then arises is to find how to resolve these conflicts. There is no one authority to go to who provides the people with a definitive resolution of their conflicts. Somehow, they must work together to resolve the conflicts themselves.
The Aquarian Age is an age of reason. Thus, reason will be put to use in conflict resolution. Let us take a rational look at the causes and cures of conflicts.
People have needs and desires for physical necessities [food, clothing, shelter], safety, companionship, esteem and self-actualization [independent creativity, attainment of personal goals]. If the needs and desires of one person overlap those of another, then there is conflict.
One situation in which needs and desires will overlap is when there is overpopulation: too many people and not enough food, clothing, and shelter. The remedy for this type of conflict is to decrease the number of people within a given region and/or work to increase the amount of food, clothing, and shelter available.
Another situation in which conflicts occur is when one person oversteps his rightful needs and desires and thus infringes on the needs and desires of others. This occurs when one person steals from another; when one threatens or hurts another without cause; when one tries to force his presence or his ideas on another; when one tries to get ahead of another; or when one tries to dominate another. When this type of conflict occurs, people need to be led to the point where they can see things from the other person's point of view, so that they can recognize that everyone has needs and desires and that if people are to live harmoniously together, one cannot fulfill his needs and desires at the expense of another.
Some people may overstep their rightful needs and desires but may know of no other way to fulfill their own needs and desires. It may be useless to tell a starving man that it is not right to steal. In such cases, the only way to overcome the problem may be to help the person in need find a way to fulfill his needs. Give the starving man some food and a job, and he may not steal any more. If a person feels a need to be listened to and is annoying everyone with his talking, the problem may not be resolved by telling him to "shut up." Rather, someone may need to listen to the talker until his need to be heard has been fulfilled. If a person feels a need for esteem and consequently goes around bragging, the problem is not solved by telling the bragger that he hasn't done half the things which he claims to have done. Rather, the problem may be resolved if the bragger's need for esteem is fulfilled by giving him sufficient praise so that he begins to feel appreciated.
Sometimes the needs and desires of two people may be in conflict because one is overstepping his rights, but the one who is being imposed upon may avoid conflict simply by releasing some of his own desires. This is an especially useful technique in trivial matters that aren't worth fighting over. It may also be done when one person loves another and is willing to take burdens upon himself in order to make things easier for the other. It is dangerous to do this, however, unless one really releases one's own desires. Otherwise, inner tensions may be built up. John Powell notes in "Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?," p. 64, "[If something you do bothers me], I may be tempted to believe that it would be better not to mention it. Our relationship will be more peaceful....So I keep it inside myself, and each time you do your thing my stomach keeps score ...2...3...4 ...5...6...7...8...until one day you do the same thing that you have always done and all hell breaks loose. All the while you were annoying me, I was keeping it inside and somewhere, secretly, learning to hate you. My good thoughts were turning to gall. When it finally erupted in one great emotional avalanche, you didn't understand. You thought that this kind of reaction was totally uncalled for."
Some people have conflicting needs and desires within themselves. They simultaneously want two things that cannot be had at the same time. They may want both to go out and stay at home. They may want both to eat lots of food and to stay slim. They may wany both to get their work done and to play. Such people tend to be in conflict with all their associates because anything anyone does for them is in some way wrong. Such conflicts can only be resolved by helping the person to recognize that he cannot have his cake and eat it too and by encouraging him to clarify for himself his goals and what he needs to do to attain these goals.
Another situation in which conflicts occur is when people think that their needs and desires conflict due to misunderstandings. Note that the needs and desires are not in actual conflict, so that removal of the misunderstanding removes the conflict. Misunderstandings can be removed by communication. The communication needs to be continous, frank, and two-way. Both sides need to listen to one another without prejudice so that resonance can occur and produce sympathy and understanding between the parties. Each party needs to be able to see the other party's point of view. People need to learn to see the thought behind the words used to express the thought, so that two people with the same thought do not continue to argue over words.
Many people are in conflict, not because there is any current overlapping of needs or desires, but because there was some past overlapping, and they hold on to the memory of the past. Such conflicts would readily disappear and cease to plague people if they would just let go of their memories of wrong and forgive their debtors. Some people do not want to forgive their debtors because they feel that justice has not beem carried out. Man, however, is a poor judge of justice, because, although he may have seen certain incidents, he is not able to see the complete picture with all the various debits and credits involved [some of which may have occurred in previous lifetimes on Earth.] Thus, man might better leave justice to the hands of God. Saint Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans [12:19], "Never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God; for it is written, `Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.'"
Conflicts, if they are to be resolved, must be approached with the right attitude. It is important to realisze that people can disagree and still be friends. Disagreements should be kept at the intellectual level and not allowed to degenerate into emotional attacks of one person on another. Calling names never settled a disagreement. But it may be possible to settle a disagreement if each side calmly tells the other side its reasons for its beliefs. If one side sees what they consider to be an error in the reasoning of the other side, they may gently point out what they think is wrong and why. If the other side accepts the correction, then they can modify their opinion. If they see an error in the first side's reasoning, they can gently give a rebuttal. During such a discussion it is highly important that both sides listen to what the other side is saying, remain open to new ideas, and remain flexible and capable of changing if some opinion is shown to be unsupportable.
Also, when trying to resolve conflicts, people should try to view the overall situation and try to determine what will be best for everyone involved, not just look at how they can gain the greatest advantage for themselves. Principles of justice should be applied uniformly to all involved, not just to some and not to others. The human rights of all should be respected.
Lastly, conflicts should be approached with the attitude that they can be resolved. Nothing can be accomplished when people have lost hope. People can do what they think they can do.
-Nye, Robert D. Conflict Among Humans. New York: Springer
Publishing Co., 1973
-Powell, John. Why Am I Afraid to Tell You Who I Am?. Allen, Texas: Argus Communications, 1969.
-Tolstoy, Leo N. Tolstoy's Tales of Courage and Conflict. Garden City, New York: Hanover House, 1958 [Neglect a Fire and It Spreads, pp. 311-22]
* From Aquarian Age by Elsa Glover