The recent Joan of Arc interviews (or Mademoiselle Jeanne d’Arc “pour les haut-parleurs français”) had several interesting comments, one of which rang the mental doorbell loudly and insistently; “I would focus deeply on learning communication.”
Improve communication? An enormous two word subject, especially against the circumstances of her young, brief, intense and significant life; war, that it should be pursued only where deciders assume similar risks of harm as do soldiers pressed into their service.
I am going to ask Erik and The Committee for whatever help’s necessary however, between the idea occurring to me and taking dictation from Mlle. d’Arc, she’s come forth with many strident ideas on this subject.
ST = substitute teacher JA = Jeanne d’Arc C= The Committee and Erik
ST: Back from between long hikes through the woods, I hope all of you enjoy this intrusion. If I get lost and wander back into civilization once more, could it happen again? Let’s turn to our guest for today’s episode.
Mademoiselle d’Arc, if you do not mind that, I can only thank you for myself for willingness to expand on communication. I hope the sentiment is shared.
JA: I appreciate the gratitude of one or all. Communication, it is your role, so it is logical this grabs your attention, just as it is the role of all who read here; what is communication without consumption of message? It is a voyage without a destination or origin, which is no voyage at all. Thank yourselves, one and all for you light a beacon whose reach you do not yet know, yet you shall.
ST: Mlle. d’Arc, I assume you know of The Committee and about Erik, I don’t believe I need ask.
JA: Yes and also yes.
(What a verbose young woman).
JA: Verbosity will flow as needed, stand ready “professeur remplacez”
ST: (She called me substitute teacher in French) You suggested resolution to conflict would come rapidly where leadership faces death; I anticipate wide agreement but how would leadership be pressed to the front lines of battle?
JA: How have you organized your societies? Each one of you will see your role as insignificant to the greater cause; this is true and false. Each piece is as significant as the next; the sum total is the effect. Which molecule of water in the ocean means more to the sea than the others? Unlike the waters, many of you vote. I suggest for the next election you stand back from the process and cast not one ballot. This will remove authority from leadership accustomed to having it delivered by a majority, and leadership would seize power with force.
ST: They’d probably do this?
JA: Yes, this is possible and likely, only degree is unanswered. How would you react, all of you voting molecules of water?
ST: There would be many rationalizations why this is bad.
JA: Yes, and so be prepared for more war waged on your behalf with your help.
ST: You don’t mean to say our leadership wants war?
JA: Which leadership? All organized conflict begins somewhere, by some decision of the collective commencing it. Which one?
ST: We believe if we had no defensive capability against military action, this would expose us and provoke the aggressor.
JA: What does the aggressor want? Once this is satisfied, aggression will be abandoned.
ST: How do we get leaders to fight?
JA: Leadership will not do this, and so wars are possible in the ways you have had them.
ST: Is massive conflict a lesson and a destiny for Earth? Is war something we have collectively decided to have as part of our life plans and that it must be accepted and endured?
JA: No, it is not a destiny of your life planning; it is an Earth society decision. Each of you has, as did I, a life plan with margin for change, shift, alteration and adjustment. The plan for a role in mass conflict is a small adjustment for you and often a welcome one. Many small adjustments to the life plans of the molecules of water will create a far different pattern of currents in the ocean.
ST: Erik, you there? Quiet, aren’t you?
Erik: Keep paddling, dude, we’re headin’ upstream really good. (Puffs on his cigar)
ST: Erik, do you have a man cave?
Erik: How’d you know that?
ST: Mlle. d’Arc, do you have any comments for our friends here, The Committee?
JA: A great resource, enjoy it.
ST: How does humanity improve its communication? How is conflict solved this way?
JA: Violence is easy; listening is not. Hearing is passive, consideration time consuming. This notion of time elapsed blocks many things, mostly the pattern of thought. Removal of time as a component of process brings far more advantage than detriment yet as you see time marching ever forward, so you shall see it as limited and therefore limiting. The feeling of boredom is but a perception of that which expires, yet it does not. Thought placed into action, contemplation of circumstances without assumption of answers, this will improve communication.
ST: Can you give us an example?
ST: OK, how ‘bout this; the USA right now debates violence and the tools involved (and permanently, it’s hardly a new subject) and this relates to conflict.
JA: A good example you choose; in this discussion as in many of politics, a new approach to debate arises; accusation of intransigence. This is the complainer’s resistance transferred, the concealment of weak persuasion. To accuse disagreement of “blocking” is but an admission the argument could be better.
ST: The listener must also.
JA: The speaker must acknowledge the listener; your speech overrides it and presents great challenge for the convenience it offers.
ST: How does speech override?
JA: You all teach one another to speak simultaneously; as you all know, your words spoken block your ears as you pronounce them. You should focus on outcomes.
ST: How would we do that?
JA: Debate on paper; have each participant write and then have responders read. This forces a consideration of the statement.
ST: There would be complaints this is too slow, too boring.
JA: Just as I said, about time and boredom. Continue speaking at each other when disagreement arises and experience a rise in prominence among yourselves by your ability to disagree.
ST: Could active presentation of agreement and disagreement at a younger age resolve this impasse?
JA: This is one way; it would create a pattern of improved communication yet there is great danger in this also, never can assertion or decisiveness be set aside. Too often this is automatically assumed to be needed. Never set aside your belief; this is NOT necessary for effective communication.
ST: There is a vigorous anti-war movement in the stronger military nations, and some within these nations suggest no military force is necessary; full stop.
JA: When you who would disband your military capability convince all adversaries of the same, you will have advanced a great distance. As with all communication, how much convincing and how much acceptance of it might there be? It is far too easy to see components of the world as better and less so, especially from this point-of-view. Nobility of war versus vicious aggression of war; this idea is for observers; participants see it not this way.
ST: If all the peoples of a sovereign nation simply stood back on election day and not one vote were cast, what would the leadership do?
JA: They would declare an emergency and assume powers previously granted by the former constituents.
ST What if the former constituents, these new non-voters, declared themselves independent of such powers, not subject to them?
JA: A new equilibrium would be achieved, where the “new” leadership in a vacuum of illegitimacy of the older system’s requirements would move forward where no resistance is encountered. Where individual or collective resistance stands up to the ability of “vacuum leaders” and most importantly, willingness to use the ability, a new way forward will begin to be forged. The risk in this is a repeat of the known pattern; this “ability” is force and the resistance is not mere disagreement, it is defense, force applied as protection. This pattern is well established and is the pattern you all wish to change. Who will change first and at what risk?
ST: It sounds like a dire, helpless conundrum. S/he who stands down and refuses violence is exposed to attack.
JA: What is gained from attack? Pride must be pocketed. It is more usually displayed.
ST: Why did you refuse your captors’ offer to have you end your own life?
JA: It was possible they would not follow through, and I did not want to provide them such convenience.
ST: Did you understand they intended to end your life?
ST: Why are condemned people often calm – at least outwardly – when led to execution?
JA: In many ways, they are comforted in their subconscious and in their dreams, that they are going home, understanding that what will be lost is more the completion of a phase and the commencement of a better one. These acts, the executions of the condemned are done but to serve two purposes; as an example to observers and reinforcement of power in the hands of the executioners. My captors cared not that I lived in captivity or died; they wished to display the power of torture as deterrence.
ST: How is communication to be improved?
JA: Teach yourselves to listen, not watch. Teach yourselves to think when you feel. Teach yourselves to embrace when you kick. To say I would never kick another person when I could, I say likely you have not been given sufficient motivation? It is easier to consider this when great loss you have suffered at the evil hand of a wrongdoer you can identify. Much conflict we teach one another on Earth.
ST: Has internet and other quick communication, easy and fast, helped or hindered humanity?
JA: Helped enormously, yet volume is a challenge. Sifting through the offerings and choosing the beneficial is a task of organization new to mass communications. You will all do very well with this challenge.
ST: How about learning languages? It is popular in the Western world to suggest English speakers, especially in the USA, resist learning other languages to the detriment of somebody. Is there value in this?
JA: Less as each day passes; the idea some nations have less willingness to pursue languages of others is a complaint of a culture’s esteem and opinion of itself. Bad ideas in French, such as bad cheese in Holland, do not improve when translated or exported. This is not a consideration; learn and use your own language well. This is the function of language in communication.
ST: You mentioned pockets of the world that do not know of each other (I’m paraphrasing) why is this negative and how can it be helped?
JA: This is bad where an incorrect idea becomes easy to spread; forming one’s own idea – or being willing to say one has not formed an idea – is, by habit and custom, less acceptable. Expressing opinions in the absence of information to construct the opinion gives easy satisfaction; a well prepared meal you only consume yet do not make is a pleasure. Is it always to be? As your meal affects only you, does an easy opinion also affect only you? The more prominent a position, the larger an audience for an equally easy opinion, prominence or otherwise. Do you accept – or recognize – the easily offered view or require its substance for simultaneous examination?
ST: I must say, Mlle. d’Arc, you were not kidding me when you said you would speak more when needed.
ST: From your view, what awaits humanity and how does the improved communication fit in?
JA: Large is this question; succinct an answer I will try. Circumstances will apply forces of change and enormous opportunity for advancement will arrive. It is easy to abandon a dilapidated house for a new one yet habits of the old migrate with the residents; so will humanity’s patterns be mixed with the challenges now upon your societies and those soon to rise. Understanding among you is the way forward, offerings of it should be sought. Seek disagreement and listen closely; look for the motivation in what seems wrong, not your reaction to it. Little – if any – of what you feel matters beyond you. As this habit forms, so will greater understanding.
ST: I’d say that was brief and to-the-point. Erik, you agree?
Erik: Yup. Watch Fox News I say, you can hate it, too!
ST: Esteemed Committee, we have not asked you any questions.
C: Correct and you believe you should?
ST: Yeah, sure since I mentioned it in the beginning.
C: Not necessary, your guest this visit is an honor for all.
ST: Mlle. d’Arc, is there anything you wish to tell us in closing?
JA: Assume there is a blueprint for a life before yours; and there awaits one for the life to be constructed after this one. What should your house of this life owe to its older schematic and what from now do you wish to include in the plan-to-be-built? This is a good way to think.
ST: Mademoiselle d’Arc, our thanks.
JA: Au revoir et être bien!