Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

<< Buddhist Psychology: A Transcultural Bridge to Innovation and Reproduction

Upayakausika: Transforming Conflicts by Skilful Means through Gathering and Using Knowledge fit for Purpose

Hilde Rapp (London)



Human beings are complex and except for the enlightened, our minds are modular, our knowledge contents are grounded in different paradigms, and our methods of enquiry use different strategies, privilege different modalities, and favour different processes of perceiving, noting and interpreting. We may make different maps, even of the same territory, but in our global communities of enquiry, meaning and practice, we do seem to agree on some common principles regarding what distinguishes a 'good', 'useful' or 'accurate' map from an unhelpful or even dangerous one. The focus of this contribution is in how we might use a four quadrant mandala in our analysis of conflict situations with a view to working skilfully and productively with all major stakeholders. It is argued that we need to accept, understand and respect the personal qualities, values and practices of all players (field one), as well as the cultural and historical context of meaning making and praxis (field two) of all stakeholder groups. Further, we need to bring to bear our scientific understanding of the bio-psycho-social basis of human consciousness, emotion and behaviour (field three) and of our socio-political, economic and environmental understanding of systems of collective organization. Different paradigms help differentially to formulate sensitive methods, fit for purpose, capable of answering key questions relating to particular aspects or factors of a given conflict. Just as mindfulness (smrti) and empty or no-mind (vipasana) are complementary functions so the four fields of this mandala also designate complementary epistemologies on the path towards a more whole and enlightened way of apprehending and understanding the human condition. A mandala approach allows us to expand our knowledge base by focusing on all fields in turn as part of a holistic and integrative living systems approach, while at the same time allowing us to privilege a particular field as most relevant to a particular stage or aspect of our enquiry into the determinants of a particular conflict, its likely prognosis, and our opportunities for transforming violent outcomes through appropriate preventive and interventive actions (skilful means). Conflicts are inevitable, but we must work to find skilful means for dealing with them in non violent ways if we are to relieve suffering.

Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-08-28