Sunday, May 17, 2015

DAY 7: Understanding conflicts from within: The case of the Armenian Genocide

Recently I came across the Armenian-Turkish historical emotional relationship and, as with any emotionally charged relationship, I am learning that this one is also made of ups and downs, peaceful times of neighborhood followed by fights among enemies, moments of deception and distrust until eventually sides reconcile. However, 100 years have past, the page hasn't flipped yet, and sides are still with their back turned.

This year many events are remembering the violent acts committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire (the land that now belongs to Turkey) during the First World War and that contributed to the death of more than one million Armenians. Each side has its own narrative as to what exactly happened during war times (when decisions are followed blindly and little or no accountability is promoted up the chain of command). Nevertheless, we no longer live in such period, the dust has settled and we should now be able to look back and assess what could have been done differently. More importantly, it is time to learn what this lesson tells us about our species, and about the narratives that we tell to ourselves.

We cannot blame one group or the other. The way History is taught in every nation is constructed in a way that two opposite narratives are imprinted in people's minds and that it is all that people believe in. Despite the Armenian banners that "We will never forget" and the defensive official position of Turkish's government, this year a new message emerged from both sides: on the Turkish side the social media campaign for the "I Apologize" supports a collective apology, and the willingness to forgive by the Armenian side.

The first point that I would like to make is that one doesn't need to know much about history or geography to understand the dynamics at the nation level. In fact, all it takes is to look inside and ask oneself "What would I feel if I were an Armenian and why?", "What would I feel if I were a Turkish and why?" and "How can we all participate in the reconciliation process in solidarity with both nations that are going through this"? These same questions make as much sense today as they did 100 years ago. Not only in this region of the world but in any intergroup conflict that stains the History of humanity - for example, the same is happening to the American Indians in the USA whereby many are destroying themselves with resentment while others try to move on and do what is best for all.

Whenever one group (defined by its own identity) is threatened by the existence of another, emotions will play out, specifically the emotion of fear that is based on the automated response of our brain (the "fight-or-flight" survival mechanism). An emotional fear becomes an existential fear and the opposite group is believed to be the root of the threat. So what happens? One group tries to vanish the other out of the face of the earth in order to stop the experience of fear and insecurity. But the other thing that happens is that new emotions will erupt on the perpetrators side, and these are of shame, fear of retaliation, stress, guilt and denial. Few people come forth post battle to speak about this experience because none of these emotions match the apparent glory that victory represents and that combatants are congratulated for.

Let's say: on one side group A is suppressed as a victim, on the other side group B is suppressed as the perpetrator and, in both cases, the potential progress for society and Humanity gets jeopardised. It goes without saying that these are two faces of the same coin of conflict and that one exists for as long as there is the other. There will always be victims for as long as there are perpetrators and the other way around. This coin becomes a medal that each party adopts to identify themselves as the victims and the perpetrators, the perceived inferior and superior, the losers and the winners. Over 100 years the two sides have grown apart, defining themselves by the differences in their identities instead of what brings them together besides the territorial proximity. Now the status quo is no longer acceptable - the medal has swollen and it will eventually become a sphere without sides.

In international relations, and according to the 1948 UN Convention, when abusive acts are committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group it defined as genocide. In regards to the "G word", if evidence really shows that there has been acts of genocide, calling things by its name is the first step to be treated as it - in this case, victims become officially protected from further suffering or insults, and perpetrators are recalled to never again commit the crime or feed the anti-Armenian discourse. Both sides are equals before the law and a new relationship becomes possible - a new relationship where parties listen to each other, understand the other, communicate with the other and cooperate. These nations have always been linked by land, now they must connect from their people's hearts and minds.

When I first heard about this story I personally did not fully grasp the importance of the legal and official recognition of what happened so long ago. However, traces of this unequal relationship between the victim and perpetrator are still affecting people's lives today whereby Armenians living in Turkey still live in fear and being "an Armenian" is an expression with pejorative mean in Turkey, that is used as an insult.

Group A demands respect, dignity and closure. Why is there resistance on group B to accept a version of the World history that is different from the book and that questions the foundation of the winning side? Well, no none likes to feel lied or misunderstood and any change faces resistance at first. There are however two scenarios to consider:

Scenario One: If I bring this point to myself, I experience cognitive dissonance as the story that I am hearing does not match the narrative that I have been told; my ego gets hurt because my history is questioned; I try to close the eyes to not leave the comfort zone taught by the history books; I fear the change of the status quo. My proud gets damaged and so does the rest of the group, and I fear that a new cycle of the conflict begins, whereby the dynamic is inverted and I become the inferior/the judged/the victim.

Scenario Two: If I bring this point to myself, I experience cognitive dissonance as the story that I am hearing does not match the narrative; I start to sympathise with the other group because I can now see through their experience; I recognise that there was suffering done in the name of my nation and that this same discourse does not make sense anymore. I am humble enough to offer my help to begin the healing process of another of my own.

In self-honesty, for 100 years that none of the sides has lived in peace. Honestly, no one has. Humanity has never existed in peace and justice since its parts have never existed as one. We all have blood in our hands as we are a continuation of the past. Only by stopping repeating the errors of the past we are showing that we are not the same as those that committed the crimes before us.  With or without the G word, respect, dignity and equality must be guaranteed to Armenians and to any other group that is psychologically or physically being suppressed by another. Perceptions of power are not worthy because they blind common sense and responsibility. Perceptions of victimized are not valid either because they disempower people and suppress change.  

In a discussion with friends about this subject there were many interesting points that came up and we agreed on the following:
On the Armenian side, it is time to forgive the past, let the resentment go and focus on creating a future as equals. On the Turkish side this can be an opportunity to stand as an example of compassion and responsibility. As we all know, the past cannot be changed, we can only focus on preventing this from happening again in the future, and the Turks, Armenians and everyone in the international community is responsible for what happens from now on. With or without the recognition of genocide, until there is common vocabulary and a shared historical memory there is no peace in any society, only an absence of an open war. Additionally, more importantly and fundamental at this stage is not so much a symbolic gesture but rather giving to all Armenian effective living conditions to stop feeding separation and discrimination even further.

Finally, this is NOT about one nation, group or individual. It is not about taking conflict personally either on one side or the other. It is about everyone of us that is sharing this moment in time. It is about leaving our perceived comfort zones and seeing that we can be better outside of it; seeing that we can understand the other side even when the history imprinted in our minds tells us to do the opposite; and that changing the status quo can truly benefit all.

Further reading:

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, United Nations General Assembly, 9 December 1948 Accessed on 24 April 2015

Image; Artwork by pupils from the Rose & Alex Pilibos Armenian school in Los Angeles commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Saturday, February 21, 2015

DAY 6: Are We Ever Ready? My experience at the negotiations table in the Model United Nations programme

When I received the invite to join the  Model United Nations at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office I experienced both curiosity and fear. On one hand I wanted to get involved in such an interactive learning experience to expand myself, but on the other hand there was this thought bugging me saying "I am not ready, I need more time to prepare myself".

Well, time is always against us so I can't really use that excuse - I could indeed had more time to prepare myself but the reality was that I didn't and that should not be the final reason to not participate. In self-honesty, behind this thought there were other excuses, such as the fear of not being good enough to participate in such an event, or that I would be judged as not knowledgeable enough, or as not having prior experience to fit in.

As part of my process of getting to know myself, I knew that I wanted to do this and that this was an excellent opportunity to be close to the real-life processes of conflict resolution - so why postpone it? When there is self-will, there is direction and creation. So I asked for a day off at work (luckily I didn't have any major meetings that day) and I decided to accept. The next day I joined 30 other young people at the FCO to discuss and reach an agreement for the scenario crisis in Ruritania (fictional country).

In this blog the main point that I want to express is my (our) relationship with the idea of not being ready for something - the idea that others are more ready than us, or that readiness is never actually felt. Regardless of how I felt about being ready or not, I knew in this specific instance that I would only know how ready I was if I tried. And in the end of the day, I wasn't that unready for such a task.

I would obviously not be ready if this was a real-life scenario where people were actually affected as a result of the negotiations in the room, but this was not the point. I was ready to sit at the table, to listen to what other people were saying, to evaluate their arguments, to express my position, to consider the  dynamics in the ecossistema of negotiations and, most importantly, I was aware of myself in this situation. What I mean by self-awareness is that I was aware of me in that moment, I could also see why I was nervous when I introduced myself and I was then able to stop the self-judgments to bring me back here to the task. It is interesting how my communication was a little bit shaky when I was telling my name, where I was coming from and describing an event that I was proud of (as part of the breaking-the-ice exercise). After that, I took a deep breath, I reminded myself why I was there, I also reminded me that the self-judgments are not real and I restarted as fresh. From that moment, I was able to communicate myself efficiently, to listen to another without the backchat of "what is the other thinking of me", and I allowed myself to be creative in the process of drafting our resolution.

At the end of the exercise I wondered...
How people in real-life deal with their own minds (or if they deal with it at all!), especially when the outcome of a discussion will determine the life of other human beings that are unable to express their views at the table?
How decision-makers deal with their own self-judgments and if they manage to put them aside to focus on this physical reality?
In common sense, people should be self-honest to see wheather or not they are ready to decide upon other people's lives; and if not, to get serious about investigating one's mind...

We are speaking about humans like you and I, that have an inner mind, that have memories, that have concerns, fears, addictions, beliefs and bias. It is essential to at least be aware of these in order to change the future. As the Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman wrote in his bestseller "Thinking, Fast and Slow", there are cognitive factors that we may or may not be aware of that will influence our behaviour and decisions in real life. One example is the influence of food breaks in one's judgement, where experiments on judges have shown that tired and hungry judges tend to change their behaviour and disapprove more cases than during the time just after breaks, in which the proportion of approved cases spikes after each meal and starts decreasing during the two hours until the next feeding break (Kahneman, 2011, p. 43-44). Perhaps the idea of having a break when we saw the food coming in may have assisted opening the communication with a colleague, and during the lunch break we were all more talkative than before. It is not by coincidence that it is during the food break that leaders have the opportunity to speak off the record and reach certain agreements before the final round of votes. Regardless of the time of the day, in such moments one's motivation should not be the next lunch but to be assertive and consistent in one's behaviour (but obviously make sure the body is fed regularly!)

Back to the subject on readiness, I am now realising that the idea of being ready has two dimensions to consider: one is to be ready within oneself to deal with the various internal conflicts that may arise, to deal with another's views, to be able to put aside beliefs and to be honestly available to reach an outcome that is best for all. The other side of "readiness" is the amount of information or knowledge that one has prepared to bring along, to communicate and to influence the discussions. No matter how many books one reads, knowledge and information without common-sense or self-integrity can be fatal. The other way around will not work either, as one must be equiped with the necessary intelectual tools in order to share the information in a clear and contextual way.
On this topic, it is relevant to point out the incredibly importance of vocabulary in a specific environment. The more vocabulary one has, including the understanding of the words and its meanings, the better one will be able to make sense of another's speech and be understood. In certain cases, using very complex language may demonstrate knowledge but if it is actually expressing a self-interested view or even a personal interest that disregards the right to life of certain peoples for example, then it is clear that knowledge is in misalignment with our readiness to decide upon the future of the whole humanity. There is a long way to walk in this area of cognitive disalignment with that which Humanity has in common (especially because diplomacy is still very much nation-centred).

To conclude this post, was I ready to write about this topic? Well, ready or not I just did - the fact that I had an initial realisation about "readiness" and then the discipline to sit down and writ about it is all it needed to make it happen. Nevertheless, this is also the result of the process that I have been walking over the last six years of writing, of slowing down the mind, of investigating my mind, of rewiring my mind through self-forgiveness and changing my acceptances and allowances, both inside me and in my relationship to the world.

It would have been unnaceptable if I had decided to not be ready when I have been studying, reading and having access to resources that enable me to become an active and empowered citizen. Attending and participating in such a scenario-project (or any kind of simulation) has certainly assisted me to test my skills, my self-awareness, my correction in real-time, my self-stability and communication skills in a safe environment. Finally, it was also a great opportunity to do a reality-check as to what skills I need to develop and practice more in order to be prepared for real-life decision making.

For more information about the Model United Nations at the FCO: 

Reference: Kahneman, D. (2011), Thinking, Fast and Slow, Penguin Books Ltd: London

Sunday, July 27, 2014

DAY 5: Politics of Evil

Politics and evil seem to go hand in hand. If we look at the manifested consequences of politics in today's world, we find wars, killings, death of civilians and increased distrust among people and countries; if we look at the word Evil, we see Live spelled backward. So in essence, both politics and evil have the potential to exist against human life and any form of life in our planet. I have deliberately written the word "potential" to remind ourselves that whatever exists in this world can be redirected and redefined towards what is the best for all and not necessarily accepted and allowed to exist as it is - meaning, by analysing the consequences of politics and evil as we know it we can/must take responsibility to assess what is it we can learn from and finally change.

I will take M. Scott Peck's definition of evil "as the use of political power to destroy others for the purpose of defending or preserving the integrity of one's sick self" (Peck, 1990, p.277) which allow us to have a framework to analyse the current world events in international politics. Simultaneously, if we are to look at politics from a psychological point of view, we must not ignore the psyche behind the political machine which is, and has always been, the human mind. Therefore, acts of evil are found in the individual relationships and among nations - as within so without.

The world events that have been taking place since the crash of the Malaysian airplane in Ukraine on the 17th July are another example of the extent of evil that must exist within human beings to then be manifested in the outer world - I am not only referring to whoever pushed the button to launch the missile that supposedly destroyed the plane, but to the growing antagonism that exists between people, and therefore nations, that consider doing such actions in first place. For example, the fact that in the Western world we know so little about the East and even about Asia is an indicator that there is a gap that should be unacceptable if we are to coexist in mutual understanding and support. Obviously, the reality is that in political theory a key tool to move the chess-game in a certain direction is the "enemy creation" or hatred of a specific out-group, in order to legitimise the actions against that predesignated enemy (Peck, 1990, p.258). Therefore, the lack of knowledge and the fear of another is actually a strategy to keep people against each other and fearing the "other side". If we bring this point into our daily lives, in self-honesty we can see that we fear that which we don't understand. However, once we are aware of this human weakness, we can and must transform it into a potential - what I mean by that is, if we fear something that we don't understand, the solution will be to ask questions, to investigate, to get to know the fear and in common sense let the fear go so that a new relationship can begin. Such potential also exist in politics, whereby we should educate and be educated to understand the other, to close the gap and to find solutions that would benefit both peoples.

Another dimension in the politics of evil is the role of fear. Nowadays, fear is the perfect Trojan Horse to manipulate people's behaviour, which eventually also supports governments to take certain decisions in the name of the public opinion. Using fear to convince people about a certain claim should not be valid because people have voted for the heads of government in a vote of trust, trusting that the decisions would be transparent without a hidden agenda from the people, but curiously enough we are not educated to think critically, read critically and listen critically. If we are automated beings that respond to fear and emotions so well, aren't we likely to be controlled and manipulated? Once again, by bringing this point to myself I see how some reactions I had in love relationships were done to get a specific outcome from the other - This is manipulation in a smaller scale but nonetheless it is a pattern of self-dishonesty. What I am realising is that whatever happens in the world "out there" is a mirror of our own acceptances and allowances accumulated throughout time; the lies in the world are a reflection of the lies we keep telling to ourselves; this also means that we will only see  the truth of this world when we see the truth of ourselves, no matter how tough it is to face oneself and one's self-dishonesties.

There is indeed actions of evil leading many decisions in this world. Isn't war the best example of evil at a worldwide scale that is still running the show? The reality is that we as a whole are still accepting and allowing such evil to rule in diplomacy, in the world economy, in the production of goods, in the innovation and technology and in the mindset of so many youngsters that can't find a job. Other questions that come up now is Why is there profit in evil? Why haven't we found a way to profit from creation rather than destruction? By bringing this point to the current state of the world, would there be an airplane being crashed if missiles weren't built in first place? Obviously No. There would be no reasons to start or feed a war if war was out of option.

One exercise that each one can do within oneself is to see where one is being evil to oneself, and to others - How is one using power to destroy others for the purpose of defending or preserving the integrity of one's sick self, to defend one's own image, ego and mind? And thus one is able to see where one can change from evil to living one's utmost potential of integrity of a self-honest self.

World history is a mirror of all humanity's acceptances and allowances and many examples show the extend of dishonesty that people in the name of countries or self-interest are willing to go to simply defend a reputation and an image. As part of the process of covering the truth with lies, we will find the snowball of misunderstanding, miscommunication and separation that eventually escalates and has the power to destroy people's lives globally, just like it ends up with marriages at a personal level. The devastating consequences of these inner-outer dishonest relationships would be avoided if one was to stop, look at oneself and investigate the origins of the evil narcissistic, egocentric and self-image starting point. This is the inevitable journey of life that each one of us is responsible for starting if we are to change the direction of this world and our humanity as a whole. The price of covering up our dishonesty, both within and in the world (e.g. through destroying evidences), is not worthy compared to the potential of living in this world if we were to put down the weapons and decide together the best ways to manage resources, peoples and our lives in coexistence.

Peck, M.S. (1990) People of The Lie, The hope for healing human evil, London: Arrow Books Limited

Monday, February 10, 2014

DAY 4: AID and the belief that we are doing the right thing

"I came to the understanding that most of those men believed they were doing the right thing" (John Perkin, 2004)

Over the past couple of weeks I have been reading John Perkin's book Confessions of an Economic Hitman and I am surprise to find a brutal transparency about the manoeuvrs of the system that isn't so out there. I was not totally amazed with the reality of the international system when I read the paragraphs on the motivations behind aid but I noticed within me a sense of relief  based on "it is OK to tell the truth", and "it is OK to question the system",  and "there is something fishy in all of this", and "I don't have to agree with that which is against the principles of equality and justice", and that "there must exist another way for countries and people to coexist on this planet".
According to John's conclusion, at some point in his career his economic projections were being taken seriously by people in/with power, not so much due to his expertise but thanks to his confidence, his title and successes in the game. Is it not scary to know that our world is being led by individuals that trust more in a title rather than the common-sensical analysis of the consequences of a decision? Is it not ridiculous that we come to the conclusion that we are always and constantly desiring to trust in someone who seems to be more knowledgeable and experienced than us? And finally, have we ever really considered that people in power and the people that advise those in power DO LIE.
His confession was clear: "In truth, my expertise was extremely limited, but what I lacked in training and knowledge I made up for in audacity". By definition, audacity is boldness or daring, especially with confident or arrogant disregard for personal safety, and I can relate to my own idea of the type of people I would trust, which often fits the image of external confidence, courage and apparent fearlessness. It is not a coincidence that many heads of government and CEOs represent such personality, because those are the people that we tend to look out for answers - once again, we trust in certain people out of complete brainwashing, perception of our own powerlessness and self-irresponsibility. In the end, the consequence of allowing a very few minority to decide for the rest is faced by all of us, individually and collectively, manifested in our dysfunctional lives and world.

The mental control exists to avoid seeing that which is just in front of our eyes. I speak for myself, who used to believe that things were alright because my immediate reality was as good as it could be and I was too busy dealing with self-judgments and wanting to fit in. By the time this book was published I was on my third year of International Relations and I was far from even being curious about the harsh reality behind the UN Millennium Development Goals - I was more enthusiastic about the personal reward of "doing the right thing" rather than asking myself "why such goals need to exist in first place?" - "how disillusioned must the system be that postpones the basic human needs for a period of 10 years, while at the same time the corporatism manages to reach yearly profits that all together could well eradicate world poverty completely?". This book unveils some of the reasons why the money gets accumulated in one side of the world and how aid is just another business that keeps the system running as it is.
It is a matter of changing our priorities and see what is here, as within so without. The same with this blog: it took me almost one year to embrace my process of becoming a diplomat and correcting myself as a diplomat, inside and in my actions/decisions.

For those that have read this book already, I wonder which points opened up within you and what is that you are doing in your own process to deal with it, both at a personal and professional levels. Also, how can we change the definition of trust and audacity in this world in order to manifest an agreement among the Humanity for us to do the "right thing", this time being that which is the best for All.

Illustration: Global Research, Predatory Capitalism and the Rise of the “Global Corporatocracy”. The Lifestyles of an “Economic Hit Man”

Saturday, May 18, 2013

DAY 3: Understanding the System as Ourselves (and The Cancer of World Politics)

In this Journey to Life, one thing that I am becoming more and more aware of is the relationships that exist between all the different systems that constitute the world system as a whole. By systems, these are the interrelations, the networks, the platforms, the way things work based on what has been accepted to command/dictate our lives.

When bringing these relationships to myself, I start to understand the system as myself, and the patterns "outside" of me (that my eyes see in this world) can also be found within me in thoughts, feelings, personal decisions, ideas, resistances, manias, and the relationships between the different organs in my body, for example.

For some time now I have been associating wars to a cancer that destroys everything around it, in a battle between the "good" and the "bad" cells, taking place in our physical bodies/in this world. The Cancer (ANGER) that is manifested in wars between human beings is inside of us, because we are not OK with ourselves and we don't even know where our thoughts come from, where the images from the mind come from, where the repetitions from the past come from, how judgments are created and how emotions limit us. Consequently, all the rest mirrors the Creators: politics are not OK, the economic systems are not OK, the education system is not OK, the diplomatic system is not OK, the family system is not OK, the religious systems are not OK, and the world is in a KO state.

Recently, I heard G. Edward Griffin explaining Cancer and what is wrong with the body that causes the cancer, in a speech away from the orthodox treatment. While this alternative approach looks at finding the cause of the cancer, the orthodox looks at removing the organ affected by it. As it is explained, in a tumor a typical ratio is 80/20 of non-cancer cells and the cancer-cells. Killing the body tissue through radiation is committing a massacre because both the "bad" cells and the "good" cells will be affected - in fact, the cancer cells become more resistant to the radiation and the non-cancer part is eliminated. As a result, when a patient receives the "thrilling" news that the tumor was reduced by 80%, all that happened was that the tumor got rid of the non-cancer part, not the 20% that is pure cancer, and it spreads.

I immediately saw the parallel of the ratio 80/20 from the Pareto principle, that applied to international politics describes poverty, whereby 80% of the world resources are owned by 20% of the population. Just like in medicine, we need a new approach to the phenomena of poverty that looks at its causes, rather than justifying war to keep the status quo.

Still using the explanation given by the Doctor, it is understood that Cancer is not caused by something, but is caused by the lack of something. This deficiency in the body system is creating a breakdown in the electrical/chemical systems that consequently is having interference in the natural replacement of the body cells. (If you want to know more about the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that cause Cancer, listen to his speech)
When looking at poverty, a similar pattern is unveiled: Poverty is the Lack of Something in the World System that is creating a Breakdown in the Economic system that consequently is having interference in meeting the natural needs that all human beings require to live. In this case, we don't need to be doctors to know what this "Something" is. If there wasn't a lack of Money, or a lack of Equality in the world systems, the management of the resources would be done in a way that guarantees that no system causes the death of a fellow human being.
I am not saying that the systems are the problem, because we need these systems: just like in Cancer, both cancer-cells and non-cancer cells are required in the healing process! So all the systems in the world, including the Economic system, have the potential to be part of the healing process, as long as they work OK in the name of Every Body.
The same way that we expect that modern doctors to not ignore the chemical deficiencies behind Cancer, it is also expected that modern diplomats look at what is causing the failure of negotiations, what is really causing wars, what are the psychological patterns and what are the economic forces behind the political faces.

Thinking of the world systems as something separated from ourselves does not help either. Speaking for myself, when looking at the immensity of the diplomatic system there is still a "feeling" of overwhelmingess within me that I have explained in my previous post. However, when bringing the systems to myself, I start understanding how I am actually participating in the exact same patterns of anger, of fear, of inner-conflict, of conflict towards another, of reactions, of competition, of impatience, of selfishness, of greed and of blame. From here, the solutions start to come to light: in common sense I see that if I created such a mess inside me, then I am the only one responsible to help myself. Also, in self-honesty I see that I do have the power/responsibility to change myself. 
How would the world change for a better place for ALL if decisions were made in common sense, in equality, in all-win-situations, in cooperation and unconditionally?

The apparent idea that world politics are separated from us is an illusion and a lie. Believing that we are not responsible for the wars that exist (despite the fact that these are shown on TV as being "too far away") it's an indicator of brainwashing, ignorance and human blindness. Interestingly, this belief has been used (and abused) by all of us: firstly, the idea that world politics are just "too complex" has allowed the majority of the people to give their power away believing was not capable of such a "higher" task of governing  themselves; as a consequence, those that are educated about the system and know how to manoeuvre it, accepted the power with a price, because apparently they are doing the job that the majority is not willing or capable of doing! From here, we can ask ourselves why is that not even the technological progresses have helped to change such inequality of power and responsibility, when it is clear that none of the "parties" (majority and minority) are doing a good job? Is it possible that the human mind of separation, self-interest and survival, just like a cancer, has contaminated all the man-made systems?
When Humanity realises this, the separation that exists become pathetic and we see that there is no workaround rather than changing our minds/world systems and becoming One-Unity.

So, as described above, the human is the systems, we are the systems inside-out: the human created the systems, the human participates in the systems and the human has the responsibility to recreate the systems. 
I have been realising that only when we look at things as what they really are, free from self-interest, we are capable of looking at real practical solutions. This means that in my Journey to Life blog I must not look at things in the Mind (in its positive and negative polarities, judgments, perceptions, beliefs) because at trying to solve things in the Mind, one never realises that one is not directing one's actual real world and working on/with solutions in the real world, as Sunette Spies illustrates across her blog. The Mind is capable of making things look better than what they are, or making things look bigger than what they really are, and this is how we have been manipulating and sabotaging our existence and all the systems that enable our presence on Earth. 

In the Cancer case, it is frustrating for all those that have lost someone dear due to Cancer to know that there is a solution OUT HERE that could have cured their beloved, but that such solution is being ignored because it is not profitable. The same happens in the international scene. Therefore, by understanding the causes of wars and conflict it is common sense to realise that we all must dedicate ourselves to implement solutions at a local and international levels. But firstly, for such solutions to be even considered at a personal level, each and every single one of us needs to know oneself, see the self-dishonesties of self-interest and be willing to forgive oneself, to change oneself and to free oneself, as within so without.

Illustration: "Politics: The Cancer of the Earth", Inside My Fred Wordpress

Saturday, May 11, 2013

DAY 2: The diplomatic career is not something out of this world

Where does this resistance to study diplomacy come from? I realise that I have been using the excuse and justification that I am tired from my daily job and thus it is legitimate to procrastinate my study, thinking that I will do it tomorrow  when I am not "tired". However, by being aware of the fact that I have been using a justification to make me feel better about myself, I see that this does not work and the consequence is bigger than the actually self-willingness to push myself to study regularly. The consequence has been this constant weight within me when I am doing something else, thinking that I should be studying, which means that I am not fully clear within me and completely stable in whatever I am doing.

In my 7 year journey to life I am going to address all these points, considering what I am doing Here with the time that I have. I bring once again the question: where does the procrastination to study come from?
To start with, I see this as a self-sabotage to my decision of giving direction in my Life, my choice to develop myself in this field and career, my resistance to actually live my decisions and become the best of me within/as it. I also see the separation that I have created in me, between the dream of a career in diplomacy and the actual-real-physical steps to make it happen, whereby this idea of a career is a distraction that puts the career itself on a pedestal without critical thinking, without question it and without considering the real change that must occur within me to become a diplomat for Life. Interestingly, my body reacts while I am writing these sentences into overwhelming sensation as if this is just a too big mission for me and that I should simply give up, stop my studies and keep on with my current idea of how things should change in the world without actually changing the relationship with myself first and my relationship with the world systems as a whole.
Isn't my relationship to the world also based on this superficial idea of how things should be better, in peace, stable, green, clean, but as soon as I see the systems within it I get scared and so it seems apparently easy to leave things as it is, until someone gets the courage to clean up the rot systems that are contaminating everything and everyone? But again, isn't this hope in the future just another manifestation of procrastination, believing that "someone" can do something that I cannot, when in fact the same process of self-development must be walked by everyone the same way; even though you may see intellectuals  politicians, Doctors, knowledgeable people that you may trust, that does not necessarily mean that we are in safe hands, because there is something that no one can escape from facing: that is the human mind. Within this, we all will and are facing specific patterns that may condition our self-direction, self-honest and common sense, unless a decision within each one is made as a commitment to life and humanity, to abdicate the ego, the separation, the blame, the fear, the inequality and the polarity that exists within each one of us and that is manifested in this world (between countries for example).

So, if diplomacy was a perfect system would there be still wars in this world, or is diplomacy being sabotaged the same way that we humans sabotage ourselves? Isn't diplomacy a man-made system and thus dependent on the human beings running the system? Why have we thus left the main systems of the world being run/ruined by the minds of egocentricity, inequality, elitism, irresponsibility,of hope and procrastination, starting by each one of us living and participating (directly or indirectly) in all the systems in the world? And finally, are we actually motivated by an idea of a world in peace, or motivated by the money that wars will bring to the pockets of those taking the decisions in the name of the "powerless majority"? But aren't we all motivated by money in our minds, regardless of the scale of the consequence (either a local competition or a global dispute)?

So I start by looking at the patterns/thoughts within my mind, forgiving/forgifting myself and changing myself, to then take the solutions to another level and bring common sense to the problems contaminating this world/Humanity.

I forgive myself for having accepted and allowed myself to believe that this resistance to study diplomacy is real.
I forgive myself for having accepted and allowed myself to justify the resistance to study by thinking that other diplomats have had parents or family members in the systems to guide them and thus it was easier for them than it is for me.
I forgive myself for having accepted and allowed myself to perceive diplomacy as a higher career and a superior activity separated from me and from my reality, and thus, I forgive myself for having accepted and allowed myself to think of the interactions/systems in this world as separated from me.
I forgive myself for having accepted and allowed myself to feed this idea of superiority of diplomacy so that I could feel superior when saying that I am studying diplomacy!
I forgive myself for having accepted and allowed myself to have resistance to actually see the systems within diplomacy/between the countries and the money system, which I see is a way of trying to avoid to see the rottenness of the systems and to put down the illusion that I could have about a magical world peace.
I forgive myself for having accepted and allowed myself to deliberately participate in the superficiality of wanting to be seen as superior/intellectual to others, without establishing a consistent/solid relationship with myself of working out my fears, questions, concerns, motivations, resistances, my ego and my separation towards others and towards the world.

In this, I realise that the diplomatic career is not something out of this world. Quite the opposite, all the systems that exist in this world are of this world and must be addressed as such. That does not mean that we must become as rot as the systems, but we must become the systems to change it from within, just like we change from the inside. As Sunette says, to be in this world but not of this world, so that we can see the problems without becoming the problem, but rather to become the solution to the problem.
When and as I see myself participating in the resistance to calm down, sit and study, I stop the justifications of the mind and I breathe. I remind myself that this is my process and that I am responsible for my direction which implies to physically move myself to live my decision to develop myself in the diplomatic studies (even though this can be applied to every resistance that I may have towards other situations in my Life).
When and as I see myself participating in the justification that is too late and that I have been working all day and that I "need" to rest, I stop and I breathe. I realise that I am the one lying to myself and being the only one responsible for feeding the laziness and procrastination patterns within me.
When and as I see myself thinking of diplomacy/diplomatic systems as something too big for me, I stop and I breathe. I see, realise and understand that the overwhelming feeling is an energy of the mind and thus not real, unless I allow myself to become that energy and live that energy. Thus, I commit myself to be aware of such energy of the mind and to physically bring me back to myself out of the mind, to push through the resistance, and to stand equal and one to the diplomatic career.
Based on the principle of compassion and self-honesty of Giving as I Would Like to Receive, I realise that I am giving this opportunity to walk  my Journey To Become Life to then be able to give/dedicate myself to the World/Humanity/Life.
The responsibility of changing myself to the best of me, as Life, is equal and one to the responsibility of changing the world to the best of All, as Life.

Illustration from the blog:

Monday, May 06, 2013

DAY 1: My Relationship with Diplomacy

Being aware of how millions of dead in the world are/had been also the consequence of failures in diplomacy, I notice the fear of failure manifested within me, as if this career is a big mission to take on. In this, I also see how I have been trying to avoid to understand my Responsibility in this world towards Life on Earth.

At the moment, I realise that there is a long way to walk in writing and in educating myself before I actually live and apply the talk. I am now starting to seeing the programming of the mind of wanting to have a positive global impact and recognition, such as the Nobel Peace prize, without first looking at each and every single structure that are the foundation of the world system. There is this self-motivation to participate in global solutions and sometimes I find my current daily job as not reaching that humanitarian support. However, every single activity that I take onboard are part of my preparation for future situations, developing important best practices in project management, time management, common sense, solution mind-set and team work.  Over the last four years I have been working on knowing myself, understanding where do my thoughts come from, how to deal with my emotions, how to give up from my ego to stand equal to another fellow human being, and I finally realised how the world interactions are a mirror of what happens inside of human beings - human relations manifested in the international relations; personal politics manifested in world affairs; personal secrets manifested in conspiracies; human cancers manifested as the plague of wars that destroys all around; personal fears manifested in military attacks.

In the diplomatic arena, considering that some of the decisions may have a Life or death outcome, such power is quite scary when the human minds are not yet a stable platform free of emotions/reactions/ego. My Journey in my diplomatic career is thus an opportunity that I give to myself to study myself while studying the diplomatic systems, as a living commitment to stand for the potential within and as this world of a peaceful place for every living being.

Illustration: "The Tree of Life seen from above".