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Old 01-20-2010, 03:51 PM   #36
Erick Mead
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Dojo: Big Green Drum (W. Florida Aikikai)
Location: West Florida
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,618
Re: Hormonal & Psychological Responses to Combat

William Hazen wrote: View Post
Well at one point you quoted Christ the Buddha and Gandhi...How many people did they personally kill?
None I know of, but that is beside the point -- the question is WHAT aspect of their humanity enabled their restraint. Some particular statements are suggestive:

Mohandas Gandhi wrote:
It is better to be violent, if there is violence in our hearts, than to put on the cloak of nonviolence to cover impotence.

We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word and deed. But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.

A coward is incapable of exhibiting love; it is the prerogative of the brave.

It is easy enough to be friendly to one's friends. But to befriend the one who regards himself as your enemy is the quintessence of true religion. The other is mere business.
The Christian message, while similar, is more than a little complex:
Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. St. Matt., 10:34

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. St. John, 14:27

"Put your sword back into its place; for all who take the sword will perish by the sword." St. Matt., 26:51-52.

'When I sent you out without purse or haversack or sandals, were you short of anything?' 'No, nothing,' they said. He said to them, 'But now if you have a purse, take it, and the same with a haversack; if you have no sword, sell your cloak and buy one, because I tell you these words of scripture are destined to be fulfilled in me: He was counted as one of the rebellious. St. Luke, 22: 35-36
William Hazen wrote: View Post
Protection of the "self" and protection of the "other" are one and the same. It is only when there is a separation between me and you and you're something other than human (or 'one of us").Only then do the conditions for killing human beings exist...Aikido emphasizes this on a physical plane.
No, I find that they are not, although to be fair, I also took this approach for awhile -- looking at the enlargement of "Self" to encompass the "Other" within the "zone of self-protection." But it is not so.

The enlargement of love of the Other is not merely an enlargement of love of self. Between me and thee, I do not diminish me or thee by sacrificing to protect thee -- I enlarge BOTH -- I make you more significant if I defend you, and I magnify my own self-significance by sacrificing to do it -- without subsuming you into my self-perception. And the body and the mind know the difference -- because protection of one's mate, or young, or kin provokes the release of oxytocin, whereas protecting oneself does not. Wherefore, this thread ...

William Hazen wrote: View Post
Again you simply disagree with me on one simple point...Human Beings are inherently NON-violent towards other Human Beings.
Now as to your modern prophets (Hoffer, Skinner, Pavlov, Jung, (Gould ? Gould who? Stephen to my Darwin? )) I have read them -- but your point from their writings was not explicit and so I did not attempt to respond to it. If you mean that they assert that human beings are basically not inherently capable of violence towards one another, I disagree with them and with you.

Skinner I simply disregard -- behaviorism is simply (IMO) among the worst efforts at an understanding of the human condition yet attempted. The mind is more fundamentally word than act and self- reflexive in a way that language (and mathematics) can capture but linear-sequenced objective behavior events cannot encompass. Dunne destroys that perspective with the example of a scene regression in the first chapter of "A Serial Universe" -- any "behavior" to be objectively observed is self-reflexive in a way that has no non-arbitrary temporal limits -- other than those the mind sets by the relative significance of the event -- That is an attribution of meaning as a primary -- not a secondary -- aspect of human existence.

Pavlov? Are you proposing that the dogs really did hunger for the dinner bell? Burgess provided the best logical and rhetorical rebuttal to violence seen as a primarily conditioned response in "A Clockwork Orange." Alex quit his violence sprees not because of forced conditioning, not because he was at last adequately provided for (he never lacked materially), nor on account of any "moral cause" but because he was bored, lonely and wanted someone to care for -- essentially, the same reason he was violent to begin with.

As to Hoffer, I have always liked him (I do not think he means what you think he means) He castigated the SDS witnesses in the Violence Commission in the sixties for their "hoodlum" behavior and took them to task for trying to justify it by the government's supposed "greater violence" in Vietnam. I am unsure how you read his attribution of a powerful human tendency to nihilist self-negating abyss-gazing and mass movement violence as supporting your claim.

I think Jung also does not support any simplistic assertion of a nonviolent human nature, though he makes its source somewhat reflexive: "If people can be educated to see the lowly side of their own natures, it may be hoped that they will also learn to understand and to love their fellow men better. A little less hypocrisy and a little more tolerance towards oneself can only have good results in respect for our neighbor; for we are all too prone to transfer to our fellows the injustice and violence we inflict upon our own natures."

But apart from that I think we are in complete agreement

Last edited by Erick Mead : 01-20-2010 at 03:57 PM.


Erick Mead
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