“If we want to know the possibilities
for spiritual growth, value growth, or
moral development in human beings,
then I maintain that we can learn most
by studying our most moral, ethical,
or saintly people (Maslow, 1976).”
CONFLICT RESOLUTION (ACR)
&
SPIRITUALITY 3/18/05
NANCY ERBE
[email protected] | @NancyErbe
HOW CAN OUR SOCIETIES NURTURE
MORE SPIRITUAL INSPIRATIONS WITH
CONFLICT RESOLUTION LIKE GANDHI,
DR. KING, DESMOND TUTU..?
“It now quite clear that the actualization of
the highest human potentials is possible
on a mass basis---only under
conditions…that society is good which
fosters the fullest development of human
potentials, of the fullest degree of
humanness.” (Id)
Self Actualized & Transcendent
Human Beings
Transcendence As Mysticism (Maslow)
Transcendence As Beyond Dichotomies:
“To Rise From Dichotomies to
Superordinate Wholes (Politics Fused
With Spirituality)/Integration”
LEARNING TO OPEN & EMBRACE
COMPLEXITY: Transcending Nation,
Race, Class, Culture, Religion, Gender,
Political Party… to Be Inclusive and
Integrative.
TRANSCENDING NORMAL
DICHOTOMIES (MASLOW):
PREJUDICE, WIN/LOSE…
Gandhi & Conflict Resolution
If you need to build a
nation you must start
with the village.



TOP DOWN
MIDDLE LEVEL
BOTTOM
GRASSROOTS

“My joy was boundless. I had learnt the true
practice of law. I had learnt to find out the
better side of human nature and to enter
men’s hearts. I realized the true function of a
lawyer was to unite parties riven asunder.
The lesson was so indelibly burnt into me that
a large part of my time during the twenty
years of my practice as a lawyer was occupied
in bringing about private compromises of
hundreds of cases. I lost nothing thereby--not even money, certainly not my soul
(Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) quoted by
Samadhan Delhi High Court Mediation and
MEDIATION & CONFLICT
RESOLUTION AS SPIRITUALITY
(GANDHI’S PRINCIPLES)

Service & Sacrifice

Unconditional Love

Recognition of
All
Empathetic
Listening
Unconditional
Regard
(Suspending
Judgment)
Impartiality
(Inclusive Power
Balancing)
“Hate The
Sin & Not
The Sinner”
Separate the People
From
Their Problems:
“Attack
The Problem; Not
People (Fisher)”
Studied
Reframing Hostile
Christ’s
Party Language to
Teachings:
“Pull Out” the
“Love Your
Positive Need
Enemies…”
CONFLICT RESOLUTION AS
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Challenge
Injustice
with
Love
Moral
Disarmament
That Cannot
Be Moved
Teaches Parties in
Conflict
Generous Tit
for Tat
(Forgiveness Math)
& Other
Collaborative
“Win-Win”
“The more
Good faith
required
truthful we
including honest
are the closer
information
sharing.
we are to God”.
“My life is
my message”.
“Walking our talk”:
moral congruence
(essential for
trustbuilding &
influence)
“Justice is often
not to be had
without
some show of
strength.”
Party selfdetermination/
capacity
(to negotiate
on one’s own
behalf)/
empowerment
“BATNA”
Power of Persuasion
Negotiating &
Asserting
Process, Relationship
& Communication
NO HARM
Parameters
(“Ground Rules”):
No Personal Attack
“no human being
is so bad as to
be beyond
redemption”
Victim offender
mediation &
restorative
justice
HUMANIZE THE DEHUMANIZED
OPPRESSED: THE
TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF
HUMAN ENCOUNTER
“To Yield To One’s Destiny
Or Fate and To Fuse With
It….To Embrace Lovingly”
(Maslow)
TRANSCENDENCE AS
DESTINY
STUDYING LIFE NARRATIVE; DISCOVERING
PATTERNS
RECOGNIZING GIVEN TALENTS
ASKING HOW TO HEAR THEIR OWN “INNER
VOICE”?
HELPING STUDENTS SEEK &
DISCOVER THEIR DESTINY
NOTICING & FRAMING:
TRANSFORMATIVE
EVENTS/OPPORTUNITIES
SHAPING OF PURPOSE,
CONTRIBUTION
GREATEST MEANING
APPRECIATIVE INQUIRY
Valuing the best of what is:
moments of excellence, high
points, proud moments…
Reframing the hardships…to
find the gold within
Transcendence as “Being Peace”
American Youth Hunger
National
Inter
Intra
Systems (Complex Dynamics, Relationships…)
Group
Inter
Intra
Person(al)
Inter
Intra
LEVELS OF CONFLICT/PEACE
(UNESCO & ELISE BOULDING)
“Nonviolence is not merely a tactic
but a strategy…(My) inquiry into
nonviolent social change turned into
a quest for truth and the meaning of
life.” (Cortwright)
HOW DO WE BEST NURTURE
AND ENCOURAGE OUR
QUEST FOR TRUTH, THE
MEANING OF LIFE?
HOW TO PROMOTE IN THE
MIDST OF CRAZY
MATERIALISM, DISTRACTION
& COMPETITION:
PLACE OF DEEP
LISTENING/KNOWING/PEACE
MODERN BONDAGE?
OPPRESSION?
GOES BEYOND NATION STATE TO
INCLUDE TRANSNATIONAL
CORPORATIONS,
INTERNATIONAL FINANCE, OIL
INDUSTRY, CORRUPT GOVT
SYSTEMS KEEPING CITIZENS
HOSTAGE…ONLY MODELING A
MATERIALIST EXAMPLE FOR
YOUTH?
DURING REPEATED HUMILIATION IN SOUTH
AFRICA?
NEVER SEEMS TO OCCUR WITH
WEALTHIEST, MOST PRIVILEGED &
POWERFUL UNLESS THEY LEAVE THEIR
WEALTH & PRIVILEGE BEHIND: BUDDHA,
JESUS CHRIST, ST. FRANCIS…
GANDHI, TOO, EVOLVED INTO MORE &
MORE SIMPLICITY
WHEN & HOW DID GANDHI’S
CONSCIOUS AWARENESS, OR
HEARING HIS “INNER
See conquering anger with
forgiveness & ego with humility
BUT WHERE IS
conquering greed with
contentment?
STUDENTS WANT TO HEAR
PERSONAL SPIRITUAL
STORY/SEEKING

FOUR YEARS AGO UNDERGRADUATES
ASKED ME TO TEACH THEM HOW TO
DEVELOP THEIR INTUITIVE
INTELLIGENCE
18 YEARS AGO AN
AMERICAN INDIAN
COLLEAGUE ASKED ME TO
“PUT INTO WORDS”
WHAT I DO IN CONFLICT
RESOLUTION: THE ANSWER
IS SPIRITUALITY OR
INTUITIVE INTELLIGENCE
Passionate Christian childhood
Married to Buddhist priest & meditated
in Buddhist community for decade
Left Law Practice for Own Spiritual
Seeking: Contemplative Franciscan
Community, Kripalu Ashram with Yoga
Practice & Birth of Mediation-Teaching
Current husband a Sikh who teaches
Breath Yoga
HOW TO HELP
STUDENTS/CLIENTS WITH
OWN SPIRITUAL INQUIRY &
GROWTH?
INTUITIVE INTELLIGENCE?
REFLECTIVE PRACTICE
WITH SCRIPTURE IS A GOOD
START IF SELF CRITIQUE
(TRUTH), HUMILITY & OPEN
MINDEDNESS RESULT
(SUSPENDING JUDGMENT)
Cognitive/Perceptual Distortions &
Trained Incapacities Like Many
Human Beings: Blame, Attribution
Error/Self Serving Bias, In/Out
Group Scapegoating
“THE LOG IN ONE’S OWN
EYE”
TOOLS OF CRE EDUCATION


PROCESS OBSERVATION: NOTICING
THE SIGNS; PAYING ATTENTION
EXCELLENT INFO GATHERING:



GREAT QUESTIONS
CURIOSITY
“THE GREAT MYSTERY”
DEEP LISTENING:
OTHERS
SELF
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