From Conflict to Creation
How does one create? Isn’t it in chaos that creation happens? What does it even mean to create? Doesn’t creating something stems from a desire to solve a conflict, and then the new solution leads to further conflict?
Consider how we created social structures of class, caste, creed, religion to manage humans better. How each of these divisions is now a cause for conflict. We created nations, there are wars. We created family, there’s the conflict for the property. We created businesses, there’s a conflict for who can accumulate the largest profits.
In short, all of us deal with conflict all the time, and no matter what we do, conflict is never fully gone from our lives. We are in conflict at home, we’re in conflict at places of work, we are in conflict within ourselves. There’s constantly something that we want to change, that we do not like, that we don’t want to accept. There’s always some aspect of the reality that we do not like, and that we want to change. There’s always some imaginary future that we want to reach. So, there’s always something that we do to change our future.
However, no matter what we do, no matter how much knowledge we acquire, how many problems we try to solve, we only create more struggle, more conflict. We are perpetually trying to bridge the gap between the existing reality and the desired future, the cherished fantasy. It is this gap between the reality and the fantasy, where all conflict is rooted in.
Does that mean there is no end to conflict? Irrespective of what type of conflict you are dealing with, no matter what solutions you create, there is absolutely no way to end conflict using our existing methods?
When we negotiate, mediate, compromise, adjust, we haven’t really gotten rid of the conflict. We have only at best postponed it to a time in future. We have at best only created a fragile, tranquil situation where the conflict doesn’t overshadow our entire life. However, that isn’t the end of conflict. Then, how do you end conflict? Perhaps, here’s how.
1. Examining conflict for what it is. No matter what the type of conflict is, it cannot be solved standalone. It is not about whether two countries want a piece of land, or whether a husband and wife want more love, or whether you want to get into a relationship to deal with your loneliness. You can solve each of these problems standalone, and they will create another conflict elsewhere in life.
Hence, one has to see conflict as a whole movement. It is in the fact that ‘there is’ something, and we want it ‘to become’ something. This quest from ‘is’ to ‘be’ is conflict.
2. Staying with what ‘is’. Now that we have seen what conflict is, can we accept the reality for what it is? Can we stop trying to ‘focus’ on the aspect of reality that we do not like? Instead, can we free up our energy from ‘trying to change this reality’? When this is achieved, the free energy can now be used up to deal with conflict as a whole.
3. Paying Attention to the whole and give up on personal relevance. It is not easy to stay with reality, as messy as it is. As a result, we are never able to actually attend to it. We are constantly focussing on one aspect of the whole reality, the aspect that concerns us, is relevant to us and we only try to resolve that much part. When we give up our unnecessary relevance, we can look at conflict holistically. Otherwise, we are only constantly struggling to change just our tiny, petty reality.
On the other hand, when we pay attention to the whole, to the nature of the conflict as a single movement, rather than focus on just our own personal conflict, we are able to stop wasting and spending energy on the resistance. As a result, a lot of energy is freed up.
4. Using this energy to act on the insight thus gained. Now, that we are no longer looking at the situation from our petty relevance alone, it is possible to have holistic insights that we can act upon. We will also have freed up our energy to act upon that insight. That allows us to rise and create a new beginning.
5. Creating something new. When we can act on an insight based on the fact that we are not the centre of the world, then we are able to create. We can then create something that is not in conflict with anyone or anything else, something that is not driven by the desire to change any reality. Instead, it is a new beginning, a new perception which is the end of the perception of the conflict itself.
The magic of conflicts is not in the fact that there be no sadness, or desire, in your life. The magic happens when we are able to see conflict for what it is, rather than what we want our reality to be. In the process we are able to make a new beginning and create something new!