Send Them Peace

Send Them Peace

An Introduction: Just Another Prayer Group, or Something Else? ( Part I )

For centuries, humans have been gathering in groups to pray.


When a group's "world" seems to be at a distance from the collective desires of the members of the group, among several available options for action, one or more can be selected. Sometimes only one option appears to be present, but this is rather rare.


Such options included working together communally to literally build what the group desires. One can think of examples: The Barn Building process of the Amish comes quickly to mind.

Another example in today's world would be an individual who decides to join a group, either a group just getting started, or a well-established group, to contribute to that group's ends, while getting something in return: A payment, a salary, a payback, a reward, a trophy, a job. Groups - Strength in Numbers.jpg
Perhaps a personal sense of belonging to something larger than self. This "group" might be a multi-national corporation. An individual seeks to join such a group which as a whole, seeks to obtain a monetary reward for an idea, a service, a product, or several, that it develops and commercializes. The individual joins the group because he or she finds assurance in numbers: a large task can more likely be accomplished if many people are involved, and one is not just going it alone. The benefits to the individual and to the group, of his or her joining up, could be reviewed. But there are at base, some similarities that exist between Barn Building, and Mobil Oil. A need for raw material, a method for flow of work, and a team for converting that to finished product.


For centuries, humans have been gathering in groups to do other things.


Another item on my non-exhaustive list of ways for a group, viewed as a collection of individuals with a common desire, to get what it wants, is to start a war.


There the goal seems straight forward, but rarely is. Others have something that the group wants: so let's take it.  And involvement by the group on the other side of a war, consists in individuals coming together to strengthen the counter argument: "no, it's ours, and you can't have it." Notice that the idea of some form of sharing is not included in the present example. This grouping for war, once again of course, requires preparation: a need for raw material, a method (including evolving and refining perceptions about the need for war), and a team for converting that to finished product: in this case victory in war, and all that a victory is supposed to bring. More land, spoils, more team members converted to the group's cause, often an imposed cause lived with resentment.


Been There. Done That.


Perhaps a "War To End All Wars," or a declaration one day that finally, through War, as some of us heard before the 'Christmas Bombings' at the end of the war in Vietnam:  "Peace Is At Hand."


And like all work engaged in by humans, with work being the process of getting desired things done, making war has its difficulties, flaws, and failures or learning experiences. And war comes to feel like work, and is usually not all that gay. But possibly in historical retrospect one can come to say, perhaps with the aid of body counts, weights of raw material gained, and changes on the world map: this side won, and the other side lost.


History teaches clearly, that War is not a method for bringing lasting Peace. But it does bring individuals together in groups. It also helps to underscore the differences between groups: not their similarities.


And at the start of war, wrong peceptions are a key ingredient. Side One can clearly see that side Two's perceptions in the current situation, are clearly wrong. Side Two thinks that of Side One's perceptions as well. The distance between these perceptions are presented as huge. As irreconcilable ideologies. As incomprehensible. At that point, all that is missing is firing off the first shot to signal the start of the effort to Bring Peace. How a bullet can clarify a perception is a mystery to me. But by the end, at the armistice signing table, the distance between these wrong perceptions has been greatly reduced. Not without suffering at the abandonment of these two-sided perceptions, but perhaps at least some wrong perceptions have been laid to rest.


Why not before the first bullet? Because behind all the perceptions, ideology, and accounting of pre-war insults and anger, lies that much simpler human thing: "Others have something that the group wants: so let's take it." But there is often no need perceived to say that openly.


One could segue here if desired, into a historical and sociological analysis of all the reasons that contributed in order, to the socialization of the human species. Groups - ants do it.jpg


If one chooses, one can start the study before the human species. Apes seem pretty close: bacteria less so. Ants form groups to get things done. They attack and respond to attack.


One can succeed in tracing that movement from individual, free and vulnerable, to groups of individuals, less vulnerable, and less free.

Some call this evolution.


Not to be left out are larger forces than human forces. Things like an Ice Age over time, has convincingly confirmed humans of their vulnerability at some level. Certainly, death has an effect to level the playing field as well.


So here I elect to place an end to these introductory musings.

This also out of respect for my anti-diatribe promise made on this site's Home Page.


Rather than embarking on an attempt at an all inclusive review of why people form groups to get their work done, sociologists have that pretty well covered, let's return to a closer look at prayer :  


Individuals, come together in groups, to pray. 

What does that look like?


Groups - With What Shall We Fill These Hands.jpg


With what shall we fill these hands? 

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