Jewel (s), of awareness, 8, ARTICLE ON from Warriors' Journeys

  • Jewel (s), of awareness, 8, ARTICLE ON

The jewel 8 is represented by the sword and the scales - or harmony through conflict; trouble then peace, trouble then peace, and that does seem to be a pattern in my life.

I seem to attract trouble at times and then have to deal with it, even though I don't like it at all. So it seems that, with the jewel 8, I have the ability to resolve conflict - that is the gift within the jewel - and so I will inevitably attract it, in a way, so that issues in the world can get dealt with!

Partly to do with my passivity, I often attract trouble and conflict without knowing I am doing it - for instance, often by not listening and not including other people. Then I upset others (they are basically being ignored), and conflict arises. What a gift! Literally as I write this, a drunk on a train is trying to talk to me and I am ignoring him. The tension is rising as I ignore him and conflict is in the air.

It's me and the jewel attracting it - and my skill in handling it is there, but I do not like it. I feel fear.

The drunken man is getting angry and I will need skill to detach from fear and just be here in the moment.

I once heard that conflict is 'something interesting trying to happen,' and I can see this is true, since I use conflict with some volition in my work as a facilitator and a business consultant. When I work with conflict well (in an objective way), then new learning arises so that the conflict lifts repetitive cycles and leads to new learning. Circles become spirals. You could call this mapping out the Unknown.

I was recently in a Workshop where we had a really big disagreement, with five clients literally shouting at each other. Because of the anger, I could feel the desire to stop it all, or to reach for a quick and lightweight consensus.

2 hours later we reached agreement and a new way forward. Only by holding the tension between opposing points of view were we able to break through. I had to be confident in the battle that we would get somewhere, even though I didn't know where! At the moment my client is unhappy that the conflict happened, but very happy with the outcome, and I suppose this is typical of the common view of conflict in the world.

Conflict comes from tension and a difference between feeling or vision, and reality (as far as I can perceive it). It often comes from a difference of perception. Any difference can be suppressed - when the tension stays inside; or expressed - when the tension happens outside and results in outer conflict, which everyone can see, hear and feel.

I have found that, if I suppress the tension, it will leak out later in an irrational manner, or burst out when the pressure gets too much - again irrationally. So it does seem better to express and have the conflict early and outside, even though I personally don't like that because of my fear of anger. At least you can see it on the outside.

The figure 8, representing harmony through conflict, looks like 2 worlds, or two circles, meeting - the Nagal and the Tonal - and conflict is needed to evolve the 2, leading to a higher level of harmony. Conflict happens at the zero point between these 2 worlds.