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SituationUpdate 105 December 3, 2012
Principles of Harmony
Bishnu Pathak, PhD
Harmony and peace go hand in hand. When peace comes after chaos and bloodshed, there is the need for harmony. Peace is the process for perfection whereas harmony is a perfect relationship. Peace may be experienced alone by a person whereas harmony is a systematic character between two or more persons or parties; harmony is always a plural condition. Peace may be enjoyed alone; harmony is living together peacefully. Peace implies calmness; harmony requires unity.
Confucianism:Harmonyis the humanistic philosophy of good virtue that is adhered with an essential code of conduct to be followed by a person, a group of people, and the society in all worldly matters. Human beings are imperfect and ever prone to make mistakes, but they also are teachable, improvable, and perfectible through self-cultivation and self-creation. There is a possibility for human error for which a person may be punished for not pursuing the rules. Our society is a community of human beings; the parents have the authority over their children and the employers have the authority over their employees.
Daoism:Harmony hasa naturalistic philosophy which entails the ultimate source of values for human beings. Harmony achieves the values with the Universe for which a human being must act in accordance with the laws of the nature.
Taoism:As in Confucianism, harmonyhas a philosophy to lead a good life. Being the nature, a person must live in accordance with the laws and ways of nature.
Buddhism: Harmony is an accomplishment to imbibe peace in our minds. It is a cultivation of positive emotions, i.e. love and compassion, abandoning anger and negative state of mind, loving one another, and practicing altruism. If harmony begins from home, there will be social order in the nation; if there is social order in the nation, there will be peace in the world. Harmony teachings offer endless reincarnation and spiritual attainment through correct views and actions and transform the soul so as to get rid of all sorts of cravings, sufferings and sorrows. It is a path toward cessation of pain that emphasizes upon all what is right: view, speech, action, livelihood, thought, effort, mindfulness, and concentration.
Hinduism: Harmony is Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (entire world being a single family abandoning all dichotomies and/or divisions). Harmony is not just a unified system of belief encoded in a declaration of faith; it is rather an umbrella comprising the plurality of religious phenomena originating from the Vedic tradition. It includes conglomeration of a wide spectrum of laws and morality based on karma (action), dharma (righteousness or regulatory order in the universe), sanskar (acculturation), and societal norms. All human beings are divine; their unity of existence with love is enriched through satya (truth), ahimsa(nonviolence), asteya (non-stealing), aparighara (non-possession), santosh (contentment), and tapas (control, austerity and penance).
Christianity: Harmony promotes peace through benevolence by sharing the faith with others in addition to pardoning those who break the peace. It is loving God, loving oneself, and loving all others in the course of righteousness.
Islam: Harmony is faith in humanity recognized as one family. It is faith upon one God and having common parents, Adam and Eve, which is a great motivation for all human beings to live together with peace and brotherhood. It is not to hurt anyone whether through words or deeds; it works for the benefit and happiness of God’s creatures.
Baha I Faith: Harmony is a pursuit for world peace embracing collective security for the establishment of permanent peace. Harmony opposes any distinction among the people on the basis of caste/ethnicity, race, color, sex, culture, region, etc.
Third Party: Harmony is not an isolated term; it has often been found compatible with peace as an integral part of the ongoing evolution and development process. It invariably involves a third impartial party in order to alter cognitive and emotional views of the parties in conflict.
Positive Energy: Harmony is a potential and constructive harnessing process toward positive and productive energy; it is not a negative and destructive occurrence. It is a progression which is above being dimensional at micro, meso and macro levels in local, national, and even global conflicts. It promotes the understanding for resilience, optimism, strength, interpersonal interaction and goal.
Lifecycle: Harmony is merely seeking to resolve or transform a conflict by addressing the perceptions of its root cause. It is against a willful conflict that negates deep-rooted protracted violence. It is applicable in the changing nature of conflict dynamism, i.e. pre-and-post violence phases, at any stage of conflict escalation, segregation, destruction and violent climax to transitional peace appearance through mediation, talks-initiation and monitoring of its lifecycle. Besides, it is a period of transmitting different harmonious characters in all generation of human beings. It is a progression throughout the series of development at different stages.
Reculturation:Harmony is a reculturation process that has been undertaken in various post-conflict countries through 2D6R, viz. Disarmament (D), Demobilization (D), Reinsertion (R), Repatriation (R), Resettlement (R), Rehabilitation (R), Reconciliation (R) and Reintegration (R). Reculturation is a spiritual, social, cross-cutting and personal complementary and cooperative process.
Knowledge: Harmony is an openness of intuitive and cognitive mind, which is autonomous and independent from science and the known knowledge. Harmony acquires knowledge of tolerance either through experience, skill, belief and education (theory and practice) or socialization.
Co-existence: Harmony is an existence of social justice through equality/equity and dignity. It attains respect of integrity and sovereignty and mutual benefit through non-aggression and non-interference with one another.
Gradual process: Harmony is a long term, gradual process of change sustained through engagement and interaction; it is not a short or medium-term initiative. It contends with the asymmetric, complex and protracted nature of human mind enriched with contemporary skills and approaches.
Nonviolence: Harmony is a set of techniques toward contemplating over abstention of violence with due regard to moral, socio-cultural and religious behavioral differences. It is a non-violent modus operandi which includes a set of prognosis, diagnosis and therapy.
Dialogue: Harmony is a conversation between two or more people respecting harmonious civilization, harmonic education and cross-cultural dialogues across the world at local, regional, national and international levels.
Consensus: Harmony is compatibility in nature on consensus and decision-making among the parties’ vision, mission, objectives, goals and needs by minimizing their conflicting interests and by rejecting unilateral decisions for one’s own victory. Harmony requires and so it strives for consent from all participants.
Mutual Relationship: Harmony is a bridge between human beings and universal truth, between matter and energy, and between human beings and the creator. Harmony involves a true relationship to exchange and share everything and anything with each other; there are no secrets, no deceptions.
ABC Triangle: Harmony is a principal tool for transcending tension between the conflicting parties by conforming to the ABC Triangle of attitude, behavior and context peacefully and by resolving an issue on the basis of why and what should be transformed and how.
Inbuilt: Harmony is inbuilt in nature, similar to a balanced human body. But physical and socio-cultural limitations affect the body and mind severally owing to unlimited and lost truth. It requires access to a higher level of consciousness to re-establish the lost harmony freeing the limitations of senses.
Freedom: Harmony is a paradigm shift in human thought from utopian attitude on love, kindness, happiness, compassion, rights and enthusiasm to modern interactions (modernity) in respect of freedom, freedom seekers and free thinkers. It articulates the relationship of individuals in a society in different social contracts and (co)existences.
Unity: Harmony is a unity in diversity and inter-connectedness in the contemporary world. Harmony is inseparable from non-harmony which is the state of being one, singleness despite all differences. It confluences the civilization of human beings with propagation for a benevolent world to attain egalitarian society.
Problem-Solving: Harmony is beyond the visible issues that are characterized with creative problem-solving. It includes considering the actors’ perspectives in a broad array, even if a person or community is marginalized or vulnerable.
Seeds ofpeace must be sown in the soil of universal harmony, which sprout up when like-minded individuals and/or institutions work together on a common platform of 4Ps of purpose, program, policy and priority. Fruits of harmony may vegetate in a civilized world with the concept of tolerance for peace and non-acceptance toward conflict, tension and war. **** Dr. Bishnu Pathak, a PhD holder in Conflict management and Human Rights, is the President and Director of Peace and Conflict Studies Center. He is the Convener of South Asia; TRANSCEND International and Board Member of TRANSCEND Peace University. Besides penning of the book entitled “Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal”, he has published a number of research articles on issues related to Human Rights, UN, Security, Peace, Civil-Military Relations, Community Policing, and Federalism. The author highly appreciates the editing of copy editor Mr. J. K Tater.