A SURVEY OF CONFLICT
by David Eide .

The underlying reality I perceived was conflict. Adventure vs. Security for instance or Play vs Authority.

It appears conflict originates in human psychology and is resolved by law or reason or exhaustion. In the realm of ideas, it is the integration of one truth into a new developing truth that brings on conflict.

Conflict seems as natural as breathing. If someone is not abuting against you, then it is you fighting with yourself because we are made up of conflicting energy.

There is ideological conflict carried out with the threat of mutual destruction. That was the largest conflict although one could say, no, the fact that the Earth will be destroyed in some future presents a larger conflict.

There is political conflict in the realm of political parties and what they represent to themselves and to the opposing party. That conflict is carried on by individuals who identify with one of the parties and is carried through on issues that are raised. This conflict originates out of regions and ambition. It is certainly a field of relation.

There is conflict between social philosophies. For instance, between the philosophy of growth and the philosophy of conservation. There are conflicts between individuals whose causes are taken up by representatives of the law and brought before the rational disposition of the court.

There are conflicts between people in the same organization, in the same community or neighborhood and in the same family. Most of these conflicts are resolved by talking or rationalizing the act and so forth.

There is conflict with the same mind over means and ends, over ambition and ethics, over what is singularly important for the individual. What he has heard and what he has inherited; conflict over different values offered by the society and the like.

Conflict is "something" in the mind. It is emotion that is felt or imagery that clashes in a struggle for dominance. All of this conflict is somehow structured in the mind and laid out as it were when the nature of the conflict confronts the mind, in the "other" or in the "event" and so on.

The ideological conflict is between states, between large collections of people who are organized into power units. One power unit casting aspersion on the rival power unit. Enormous intelligence and energy is directed in trying to interpret the acts and words of the state. What are the power units holding that make them so powerful? Authority for one. Resource beyond the means of any other collective group for another. The time necessary to give attention to the other state for a third.

This ideological conflict is historical and can be placed in the continuum although the weaponry that undergirds the state are ahistorical and change the context.

Conflict occurs over the integration of acts and the judgment of acts. Emotions rise up in an attempt to interpret and judge the acts of the rival. This apparent conflict has been around since I can remember and determined other important conflicts. Sometimes it is very difficult to see the precise nature of the conflict since they do not have territorial disputes, they do not have aggressive religions and even nationalistic movements that are threatening the other.

Certainly a part of the political conflict rests with the ideological conflict. One rival party tries to accommodate an ideological foe and the other party demands that the doe be treated as an irreducible enemy. The political rivals call each other names as a result of these different attitudes and attempt to enlist as many of the citizens behind their attitude as is possible.

So, enormous energy is spent in rhetoric and propaganda from both sides of the conflict. And, obviously, political conflict does not end with the attitude toward ideological foes. It ends itself in conflict over just about every phenomena available to the senses.

Sometimes conflict arise out of social philosophies. They arise out of the grass roots or a coherent minority like African-Americans or college students. These conflicts attempt to enlist large constituencies so that the cause will be taken up and integrated by one of the political parties.

Personal conflict arises out of a perceived threat to one's well-being, happiness and so forth.

There is conflict in the reality that we consciously inhabit from day to day.

There are conflicts in ideas that never reach the common reality.

And that brings us to an interesting conflict in itself. Is reality that which we perceive outside of ourselves; the objects, events, processes and so on that are self-apparent and which we read about and think about and so forth?

Or, is reality the macro and micro-cosmos of nature? The relations between the unseen miniscule and the unseen force as described by mathematics?

It is not an either/or proposition but one of attention and intention. Choice implies not-choice and not-choice has a life too.

Whether conflict is the underlying reality moves against the idea that conflict emerged out of a state of perfection where the energies of conflict were one and the same.

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1987


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