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Accommodating Aggression

Ancient Principles



 
Integrated Systems
Aggressive and violent people who conquer by dividing and who live by aggressive, violent metaphors are almost invariably more highly specialized for conflict than for conflict resolution. A scholar who suggests that such people adapt to an accommodating gentle strategy and integrate with sensitive, creative people is pretty much like a bunny rabbit trying to convince foxes and lions to become vegetarians. But like the pride and arrogance of foxes and lions make them exceedingly vulnerable to bunny rabbits with rabies, their aggressive and violent human counterparts are exceedingly vulnerable to scholars with integrated systems. The principles governing survival of living systems are scientific but the consequences seem quite ethical. Like AIDS and the bird influenza viruses, the rabies virus is an integrated system with a lethal capacity to neutralize maladapted attacking systems. As far as we know today, avoidance, luck and immunity make the difference between those that survive conflict with an integrated dynamic system and those who do not. Not a surprise, the animal and human immune systems that oppose virus invaders are integrated dynamic systems.
 
Long Boxing
When attacks by aggressive and violent people forced ancient Chinese scholars to developed defensive systems they turned to Nature as a model. The problem was to develop efficient counters to aggressive, violent attacks without becoming like the attackers. Their answer for personal defense was to turn their dance like morning and evening meditation exercises into potentially lethal systems that used special acupuncture points to disable or kill an adversary. For teaching purposes the fighting movements of the snake and the crane were integrated into a common metaphor. The result reminded them of the powerful, flow of a river. So they called their art "long boxing". Fearing that long boxing could become a nightmare in the hands of the aggressive and violent people it was created to defend against, the art was kept secret from the public for over four hundred years.
 
It surfaced again in the hands of martial artist Yang Lu-Shan, who was undefeated after many challenges by kung fu masters in Peking. He became the bodyguard and teacher of kung fu for Duke Pai. Yang Lu-Shan was so skillful that he easily demonstrated his superiority without hurting his opponents, but his eldest son Yang Pan-Hou was to prove the ancient Chinese scholars' worst nightmare. Pan-Hou challenged anyone who insulted him to a fight. He was called "Yang the invincible" because, like his father, he was undefeated; but he fought far more opponents than his father. He injured and/or killed many. He eventually became kung fu master to the imperial garrison and died in the Boxer Rebellion. The long boxing practiced by the Yang family is known today as T'ai Chi Ch'üan to some United States and Tai Wan Chinese and Taijiquan to Chinese of the People's Republic of China.
 
The Art of War
For defense of their region and empire the scholars studied a very sophisticated strategy, "The Art of War" formulated by warrior-philosopher Sun-tzu. Even today it is the basis of many successful Chinese, Japanese and Korean business and political strategies. Sinologist Thomas Cleary explains the psychological advantages of combining the profound calmness produced by meditative arts with deep strategies to achieve a special type of sensitivity. The result is an ability to respond instantly and affectively to catastrophic situations without having to ponder. Applying the same principles to both institutional and individual defense has the added psychological advantage of continuity.
 
Still, unlike T'ai Chi Ch'üan, a personal art that can be taught and learned directly, The Art of War often applies, simultaneously, to large numbers of individuals organized in diverse groups. To develop the required intuitive administrative skills Far Eastern business and military personnel have found the game wei-chi (Japanese and English GO) a very useful metaphor. Though the oldest and probably most sophisticated known strategic game, GO principles have also proved very useful to modern Information Technology, to theoretical biological and psychology. Elements). Mathematics and games make modern connections between the Natural defenses against viruses and other catastrophes GO principles quite evident. Both emulate what 20th Century science discovered is Nature's defenses against viruses. When the attacker is constantly generating new forms, the defense has to evolve and transform itself in order to adapt.
 
The Shadow Theorem Applied
The principles used by the Chinese and the virus are as old as life itself, but like the viruses and the human immune system they have to be constantly updated. The nerds who founded Information Technology industries have used mathematics and programming to develop methods that give 21st Century individuals and small groups the knowledge to develop integrated systems that are determining the evolution of governments, industries and education on a global level. In addition to introducing dynamic network organization, technology has greatly altered the methods used by aggressive and violent people. But the principles of attack and defense have evolved surprisingly little. Whether it is organization vs. organization, individual vs. group or individual vs. organization, the principles have remained essentially the same. Avoidance, luck and immunity make the difference between those that survive an integrated system and those who do not.
 
Technical details as to how aggressive and violent people are confused and to what extent they are psychologically vulnerable to counter attack are reviewed in (Elements). For 21st Century scholars, the fundamental principle is summarized by a mathematical theorem called, the "shadow theorem". Humorist Petere De Vries book title, "Deep Down He's Shallow", is a simple way of describing why the shadow theorem works, and why aggressive and violent people are so vulnerable to its consequences. Chaos and complexity are the keys. By following simple rules you can create a very orderly, dynamic, complex system that unsophisticated aggressors experience as either chaos or catastrophe or both. Fundamental tactics are the same as those applied in Taijiquan and GO and can be described in simple words. When attacked adhere and extend. Generative integrated strategies based on this principle exploit aggressive and violent people's reliance on dominance as a primary strategy. For Silverington the Shadow Theorem helps mathematical psychologists exploit the fact that there are only two options for dominance strategies, but there are seven options for integrated systems. This reasoning, its global and local strategies and tactics plus applications are the focus in (Taiji) and (Wei-ch'I).
 

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