Han Marie Stiekema Sermes
Q. You have been talking about
many issues now, but none of them seems so crucial as this one. If World Peace cannot be
achieved, then what will be the use of working on the other issues?
A. World Peace is not a
separate phenomenon. You cannot simply say: "we have insecurity, we have violence,
hence, we want peace". Organizing a peace march - however sympathetic - is not
enough. Peace is interconnected to all other aspects of life. Insight in the numerous
mechanisms is a pre-requisite. Only after you have researched "cause and effect"
patterns, then meaningful action will be possible.
Q. I understand. On the other
hand, you as Sermes should be very much in favor of the spiritual approach, bringing
everything back to one major cause: the alienation from the Source. Real Peace, as I have
understood can only be found in the Transcendence...
A. ....which at the same time
could be the excuse of not considering the "worldly" factors involved as well.
You cannot simply transplant the Ultimate to the crowd. Individuals, yes, but the masses
can't become Enlightened. Many spiritual initiatives therefore cannot fulfil their
promises. However deep their approach, they still remain at the surface.
Q. What do you suggest then?
A. My proposal for today is
this. I will elaborate on some seven insights, which all represent a certain view on life.
The purpose is to approach World Peace through different angles, so that in the end a
rather complete picture has been created. I will leave it to the reader, what kind of
conclusions he or she will be drawing out of it. No practical recommendations will be
Q. Starting now?
A. The oldest approach is that
of the time cycles. Hindu's consider time to be running in cosmic cycles, divided in
periods of growth, permanence and decay. Our time is the last part of such a cycle, one of
decay ("kali yuga"), a time in which everything deteriorates. The Buddhists have
a similar notion of time. To many of them, the time cycle of Sakyamuni Buddha has come to
a close, while waiting for the Next Buddha: Maitreya. Surprisingly, "in the earthly
realm", the historian A. Toynbee is coming to similar conclusions with regard to the
rise and fall of civilizations. He says, that in a time of decay (like ours), the existing
"elite" becomes oppressive (militarism, imperialism) in order to safeguard their
privileges, while a creative minority prepares the next cycle of civilization by returning
to the Source, from which a new religion originates as the foundation of A New Era.
Q. This is indeed a good start
for making other approaches more understandable.
A. If the collective effort of
a nation is to enrich itself (as much as possible) at the expense of all others, then you
are really asking for (big) trouble. Here the analysis of thinkers like E.Fromm, R. Bahro,
N.Chomsky, J.Mander, E.Goldsmith and others proves to be very useful. They all blame the
ruthless profit making machine of "capitalism" as the main cause of the misery.
Ever since, capitalist globalization has worsened the situation considerably. The entire
globe is more or less at the mercy of big business, the latter having penetrated all
sectors of society. It has led to a.o. alienation, vulgarization, militarism, imperialism,
individualism and materialism, destroying everything that comes in its way. An
increasingly uprooted and self-addicted society, exploited by the big money makers is not
a very optimistic prospect. Not surprisingly thus, that "the rest" of the world
started resisting this. Exhaustion of non-renewable resources, poverty, the spreading of
infectious diseases, mass-scale refugees, the destruction of the atmosphere, worldwide
electro-magnetic pollution, global warming and water-shortages all posing a concrete
threat to World Peace.
Q. This reflects the situation,
like we can read in the newspaper e.g. watch on the TV daily.
A. The Great Mother of course,
has Her own unique approach in this regard. First of all, there is the idea of the
complementary forces of "dissolution and manifestation". We are subjected to
"being drawn to the Source" on the one hand and further ego-development on the
other. By identifying ourselves with the latter only ("inability to return to the
Origin"), we more and more move in the direction of the periphery. The longer the
distance between us and the Source ("overstretching"), the less we are nurtured
by it. It leads to alienation and finally to degeneration. Secondly, through insight in
Her Essence - Emptiness - we come to know, that if accumulation reaches a certain limit,
Emptiness will not tolerate this, resulting in destruction of the too much. The underlying
"mechanism" is Her Law of the Universe, through which the Mother maintains
Cosmic Balance. The more we live according to Her Law, the more peaceful the world will
Q. The Way of the Mother seems
very promising, because it includes both spiritual and practical steps toward World Peace.
A. The fourth approach is the
Communitarian one. It shows some similarities to the approach of the Mother. It is about
the central value of the community with regard to World Peace. While the Mother is the
Origin of the "Web of Life", the communitarian concept is more political.
Especially since the rediscovery of the work of J.Althusius (1557-1638) this has gained
more momentum*. In order to empower the concept, the spiritual and the political angles
have to be combined. It results in the idea of a society, that is built bottom-up,
according to the various layers of a self-governing community. In practice it means, that
the individual decides, which responsibilities he or she will take upon him or herself.
Those he/she cannot take, are delegated to the family/group. The latter deciding, which
responsibilities it will take. The one it cannot take, are delegated to the street. The
street decides (in consensus), which responsibilities it will take. The ones it cannot
take, are delegated to the neighborhood (district). The same procedure extended to the
commune, the county, the greater region and the Commonwealth. The result is a reflection
of the Mother's Web of Life, based on "being your Self connected". Not too much
fantasy is needed to realize, that such a concept would be "a conditio sine qua
non" for a truly Peaceful World.
* See the "Vision
Quest" file in chapter "A New Community".
Q. Yes, very convincing indeed.
Where could I read more about it?*
* Click "The Great
Learning" section in the index. There you will find links to literature.
"matriarchy"-feminist approach poses a challenge to the current patriarchal
dominance of society. It reveals connections, which otherwise would remain hidden. It
states, that World Peace has been undermined, since aggressive Indo-European tribes
destroyed the peaceful matrilineal- agricultural societies of the South. Another theory
(which we support) says, that violence originates from the time (approx. 10.000 BCE), in
which private property (as the consequence of increasing wealth!) had to be protected
against others. It was the chance for men to become dominating. It resulted in the
formation of warrior tribes, warlords and armies. Men also took the opportunity of passing
birth rights to their sons, which may be considered the beginning of patriarchy. While
extreme feminists are simply blaming men for all the miseries (which we don't), others try
to present a more elaborate picture. They are analyzing the development of the female and
male psyche, stating that the former is by nature dominant. Males therefore have a
inferiority-complex, resulting in overcompensation, "macho-behavior", the need
to dominate etc. Moreover, females are more integrated in life, while males depend more on
their position, status and power in society. While this was all true only a short while
ago, the disintegration of society has turned the dominance of males into its opposite. It
is the men, who are increasingly uprooted now. This poses one of the greatest threats to
Q. It is something to deeply
A. The sixth angle underlines
the importance of the spiritual. Combined with the above mentioned, it could contribute a
great deal to the efforts. In fact, we don't have to "establish" peace, because
Peace is There from Eternity. The Divine IS Peace. Rather than searching for peace in the
outside world, turn within and you will find IT. This is the way of self-effort. It can be
attained by the practice of meditation. To achieve lasting inner Peace though,
surrendering to the Mother is the Supreme Way. In meditation there is every danger, that
ego-ambition continues to play a major role, while in Mother Worship this may be more
easily overcome. Anyway, in surrendering to the Mother, She is going to grant you all the
Peace you need, including Enlightenment. However, this doesn't come as the result of your
own striving, but as a Gift of the Mother, granting you Her Light Body. The result is an
attitude of joy and gratefulness, indeed a truly shining one, to the benefit of
(countless) others. World Peace through sharing your inner Peace, is the cornerstone of
The New Era.
Q. Which leads to the seventh
and last approach?
A. As I have promised in the
beginning, there would be no recommendations in the end. This to give everybody the
opportunity to come to his or her own interpretations, conclusions and way of action.
Therefore, I make the rest of the page available to those who want to write their own
comments. I would very much appreciate, if you would write your text as an E-mail to me. I
will then publish it in our Newsletter.
(Sumerian greeting, 2300 years
BCE, meaning "Peace" or "May you return to the Great
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