January, 2006
Vol. 5, Number 1
The SNS Press E–Zine presents new perspectives for a better future in society, politics, religion, education, self-awareness and human relations.

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A hopeful approach for the future of international relations.

Redirect teen rebellion towards idealism and self improvement.

Read excerpts from unpublished book: Science, Religion and the Search for God —Bridging the Gap.

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Our student activities and curriculum materials instill an environmental, cultural, and global perspective, and integrate various academic disciplines.


This Month's Article


Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity

The dynamic of our universe is built upon pairs of opposites, or more precisely, polarity. We inhale and exhale to pump life through our bodies. Atoms build matter and infuse it with energy with protons and electrons. We reproduce through the attraction and fusion of male and female. The rhythm of night and day marks our time. The polarity of positive and negative produce electrical energy. The north and south poles create the axis upon which the world rotates.

When pairs of opposites are in balance there is harmony. They are always seeking balance like the wings of a bird or airplane in flight. Imbalance produces progress as all in our universe seeks harmony. Thus we walk by creating imbalance as we strive for balance. We row a boat, we charge a motor to revolve, and we create revolutions of new ideas to move society to its next step.

Universal symbols attest to this principle of the balance of opposites. In many cultures the cross symbolizes the harmonious dynamic, while in the orient it is symbolized by the unified balance of yin and yang -- matter and spirit, dark and light, together creating unity and harmony.

The dynamic of progress was explained philosophically by Hegel as the continuum of thesis-antithesis-synthesis/thesis-antithesis-synthesis, etc., etc. Synthesis is beyond unity. It is the next step, something new, to become the foundation and motivating force of the next revolution or the next creation.

Imbalance or conflict in the universe is the motor of creative energy seeking integration. Integration, equilibrium and harmony are the bases for morality and health. We say that a person or a system is moral or healthy when there is integrity. Our symbol for justice is balance.  The pairs of opposites are in essence good. However “good” is not static. It is the act of creating equilibrium, of reconciling opposites, of creative actions. Opposition is not in itself bad; it is “bad” when isolated from the progressive social dynamic of reconciliation and synthesis – of Justice.

 “Evil” is the force that resists integration: it is the element in the universe that produces degeneration, illness, cruelty and suffering, resisting natural harmonious development. On a human level “evil” has been created by those who thrive on perpetuating imbalance rather than creating progress. Human “evil” is either apathetic or forceful, it is hopeless, it resists positive change, or it tries to force its own selfish will. “Evil” is the psychology of pessimism and fear, sources of hatred and destructive conflict in our world, by those who resist the natural course of human evolution and expansion of consciousness.

The forces of history are moving humanity toward greater synthesis and understanding of how to live in our world harmoniously in diversity. Those who are out of step with this natural progression are those who are putting our survival at risk. They lack spiritual and human integrity. They are the hypocrites who say their intentions are honorable but use methods that are dishonorable. They infect people with their own fears and desires in order to manipulate them for their own personal or ideological interests.

When conflict is managed against the greater ideal of sustaining life with integrity, humanity will develop politics of peace and sustainable economics that are just, and lead humanity as a whole to greater fulfillment, health and security. In human history only Mahatma Gandhi actually demonstrated this in a political context. The non-violent movement based on Satyagraha that he developed was an example of striving for political change with integrity. Polarity and conflict are inherent in our universe. How we use them creatively for progress will determine our future.

Next Month: How may the principles of Satyagraha be applied to modern political systems to create a politics relevant to current needs and futures hopes?

Read last month's article: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"

© 2006 Richard Sidy

Contact me with your comments about this topic

Related Articles:

Series on Leadership
Series on Global Consciousness
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?


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Archives 2005
Volumn 4
January: "Standing up for Humanity"
February: "The Wake of Disaster" – a poem
March: "Unity in Diversity
April: "Life is Calling"
May: "Entertainment" – a poem
June: "Thought and Imagination" part 1
July: "Thought and Imagination" part 2
August: "Imagination and Healing"
September: "Malice or Neglect? – Lessons of Katrina"
October: "Protecting Children"
November: "Intelligent Design or Evolution?"
December: "Building with one hand, destroying with the other"
Archives 2006
Volumn 5

January: "Conflict, Harmony, and Integrity"
February: "Satyagraha or Soul-force and Political Change"
March: "I Know I'm Not Alone - Wisdom of Michael Franti"
April: "Human Programming and Conflict Part I"
May: "Human Programming and Conflict Part II"
June: "Soccer Diplomacy"
July: "Sustainable Development is Nature's Way
August: "Parallel Universes"
September: "The News is not New"
October: "Legalizing Torture"
November: "Living Without an Enemy"
December: "Fast Food is really Slow Food"

Archives 2007
Volumn 6

January: "State of Fear"
February: Criminal Justice - "The Powerful Over the Weak"
March: "Culture Shock: The Good Life and Survival"
April: "March Madness"
May: "No Child Left Behind" Leaves Many Teachers Behind
June: "Personal Ecology"
July: Criminal Justice - "The Ethic of Custodianship"
August: "Exploring the Mind - part 1"
September: "Exploring the Mind - part 2: The Poetic Mind
October: "How Much Pain Can We Stand?"
November: "When Languages Disappear"
December: "Is it Enough to be Tolerant?"

Archives 2008
Volumn 7

January: "Beyond Ideology: Politics of the Future "
February: "Beyond the Bush Years"
March: "The Imaginary Economy - Part I
April: "The Imaginary Economy - Part II
May: Questions from Prison
June: "iGods and Connectivity"
July: "Energy Independence"
August: "Tribalism and the 2008 Elections
September: "Guilt, Shame and U.S. Justice"
October: "Have We Been Willing Slaves?"
November: "Are We Ready for the Future?"
December: "Are we done learning from pain?"

Archives 2009
Volumn 8

January: "Awakening"
February: "When Sacrifice is no Sacrifice"
March: "The Good New Days"
April: "The Power of Metaphor"
May: "The Conflict of Mythologies"
June: "The Time is Right"
July: "The New Anarchy"
August: "The Art of Living"
September: "Outrage"
October: "Are Women Becoming More Unhappy?

November: "Effect of the manufacturing culture on the American Psyche"
December: Who are the Real Game Changers?

Archives 2010
Volumn 9

January: The Music of Place
February: Earthquakes and Other Awakenings
March: Sense of Place, Sense of Self, Sense of Humanity
April: Why Do People Serve?
May: Decentralizing Food and Energy
June: Beyond Reading and Writing — Ecological literacy
July: Organization or Organism?
August: Fear and Cynicism = “Inter-fear-ance”
September: Are we afraid of our "Better Angels?"
October: Choosing Our Battles
November: Meeting the Need
December: A Living Canvas

Archives 2002: Vol. 1, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Hope for the Future
Six Part Series on Science and Religion
First Three Parts of the Series on Leadership
Archives 2003: Vol. 2, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Series on Leadership continued
Avoiding Dictatorship in a Free Society

Art and Politics
Living the Good Life

Teaching Teens
World Peace in Less Than a Month?
Archives 2004: Vol. 3, Numbers 1-12
Read past articles including:
Seven Part Series on Global Consciousness
Is "Liberal" a Dirty Word?
Can Idealism Solve Problems?
Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All
Poetry Diplomacy Science and Religion  Teen Help
Archives 2002 Archives 2003 Archives 2004
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