Of dualities, contradictions and the nonduality II

[ by Charles Cameron — notes towards a pattern language of conflict and conflict resolution: bridging divides in Baghdad 2013, Netherlands 1888 and the Germanies 1961 ]


I’ll be collecting examples of “dualities and the non-dual” here, because they give us a chance to consider the pattern that underlies “conflict and conflict resolution” and much else besides. This post picks up on an earlier post on the same topic: I’ll begin with three tweets that came across my bows this last week…

First, a vivid glimpse of sectarianism in today’s Iraq:

"Two safe zones were set up west of Baghdad… where Sunni drivers can hand goods over to Shiite counterparts safely" http://t.co/ApOY8nAdRE

— Akiko Yoshioka (@Akiko_Yoshioka) July 30, 2013

Second: sectarianism in the Netherlands, 1888:

Graves of a Catholic woman and her Protestant husband, who were not allowed to be buried together. Roermond, NL, 1888 pic.twitter.com/cF9mCAnjGN

— Historical Pictures (@HistoricalPics) July 26, 2013

And last, unexpected but charming, the divided Berlin of 1961:

East German soldier helping a boy cross the new Berlin Wall, to reunite with his family. 1961 pic.twitter.com/g6i8V28kKt

— Historical Pictures (@HistoricalPics) July 30, 2013

It’s obvious once you think about it — thought we don’t always remember, such is the mind’s propensity to distinguish, divide, and argue from just one half of the whole — that human nature embraces both conflict and conflict resolution.

3 comments on this post.
  1. Charles Cameron:

    There’s rich food for thought — and a fascinating new angle on about dualities, paradox and the nondual — in this comment from Afghanistan expert Barnett Rubin:

    Not at all a cheap shot in my book.

  2. Curtis Gale Weeks:

    The Rubin quote reminds me of the cliché that, typically, we only hold peace talks with our enemies.


    However, I don’t think he is always right.  Sometimes peace talks are a formality after both sides are exhausted.  So, success is likely, but the talks are still needed.


    Of the examples from the blog post, I much prefer the NL graves—even though, all said, it involves the dead rather than the living…except that they were once living and the current living see a monument of that.        

  3. Scott:

    I think another thing to take from this is that there is basic humanity on both sides.  In war, we dehumanize the enemy, but of course they love their children and spouses too…