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It has been a deep learning experience producing the first ever Kosmos Live podcast series, Preparing for Profound Change. Humanity is waging many wars – the literal ones that cause agonizing pain lasting generations, and figurative ones. We are ‘at war’ with our politicians, with neighbors who do not believe as we do, with the people we fear, with the planet, and even with our own thoughts. Much of the conflict in our lives stems from views and habits we have inherited. Our cultural assumptions are embedded not only in our deeply held opinions, or mindset, but literally in our bodies and our language.
For example, driving home from work I passed familiar homes on the circle of split-level colonials and ranch houses where I live. It occurred to me that the words ‘colonial’ and ‘ranch’ and the physical structures themselves carry collective assumptions related to our history of colonization and notions of westward expansion and ‘manifest destiny’. This never occurred to me before, so ingrained is my mindset about ‘housing’.
In this edition of Kosmos Online, Thomas Hübl and William Ury talk about historic trauma and conflict mediation that must occur at this deeper level and how we can all play a part. I’m looking forward to our podcast with Mr. Ury later this month.
On the relationship between language and conflict, we share an interesting case study from Nepal. It helps shed light on the escalating ethnic strife in Darjeeling between Indians of Nepali origin — known as Gorkhas — and West Bengal. Linguistic intolerance sparked the conflict.
Upcoming podcasts include conversations with global mediator Mark Gerzon, Sufi teacher Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, and local living economy pioneer Judy Wicks. Our very first podcast is included in this edition – a talk with founding member and executive director of /The Rules, Alnoor Ladha. He talks about overcoming our global capitalist mindset before it’s too late. The podcasts are made possible by Kosmos Community.
Warm thanks to many of you who responded so beautifully and joined Kosmos Community in recent weeks. Your gifts are in the mail! And remember, you have special ‘preview’ access to the podcasts starting now.
Rhonda Fabian and the Kosmos Team
Please send all comments and queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By William Ury, Thomas Hübl
In Kosmos Journal, SPRING | SUMMER 2017
Hübl: What are your experiences negotiating with parties that are often severely traumatized, and how do you see the trauma being played out in negotiations versus mediating conflicts that are not based on heavy trauma?
Ury: There’s a deeper emotional layer in conflicts with a lot of collective trauma. Negotiations in the Colombia peace process were taking place in Cuba, removed from the struggle. One innovation that has never taken place before in a peace process, to my knowledge, was the idea of inviting groups of victims to come to Havana to testify to the negotiators on both sides about their experiences and to be heard by the media and Colombian society. The victims were selected carefully by the UN and national universities to reflect the diversity, including victims of the FARC, of the government, of the paramilitaries. The majority of victims, as I recall, were women.
By Julie Jordan Avritt, Thomas Hübl
Kosmos Journal, SPRING | SUMMER 2017
Thomas Hübl, a contemporary mystic and spiritual teacher, often facilitates large groups through a process for the collective integration of trauma. Hübl uses an allegorical image, illustrating the collective unconscious as a dark subterranean lake, and believes its contents are essential to both individual and cultural healing. Instances of personal and multi-generational suffering create dislocation, dissociation, and separation from the essential self and from one another. If the memories and emotions we carry around our struggles and traumas—the experiences that created our dislocations—are not healed, Hübl believes they will be passed down to successive generations.
This podcast series, Preparing for Profound Change, explores the shifting global landscape. Economic turmoil, climate chaos, political upheaval – these may seem like forces to fear, but in fact offer us deep opportunities for transformation. A post-carbon, post-capitalist world calls for deep awakening and action at all levels – by individuals, communities and societies.
“This current system is essentially anti-life. And we cannot go on in this way, dependent on 3% global GDP growth, and the extraction of all our resources, and taking ancient fossils from the ground to prop up a Ponzi Scheme economy.” – Alnoor Ladha
By Mark Turin | Excerpts from a study by the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
The death of a language marks the loss of yet another piece of cultural uniqueness from the mosaic of our diverse planet, and is therefore a tragedy for the heritage of all humanity. Language death is often compared to species extinction, and the same metaphors of preservation and diversity can be invoked to canvas support for biodiversity and language preservation programs. The present article addresses language endangerment in the Himalayas, with a focus on Nepal, [and links linguistic intolerance to ecological peril and regional conflict].
By Scilla Elworthy, PhD
In Kosmos Journal, SPRING | SUMMER 2017
This article shows how in response to thuggish forces the qualities of feminine intelligence—available to men as to women—can enable us to take a significant leap in consciousness and demonstrate what anyone can do to build a beautiful future.
What we encounter now—in Europe and the Middle East, as in the US—is an upsurge of primitive, brutish forces employing threat, superior power, trickery, punishment, and information manipulation. It is as if permission has been given for thuggish behaviour.
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