Even though violence and war are widespread across our beautiful planet, and no one in their right mind would really want these to continue, let alone proliferate, they do.

The weapons grow more massive, more elaborate and sophisticated with every passing quarter. Threats to use them by implication or explicitly continue as well.

These weapons, the threats and their execution lead to the deaths of many civilians and soldiers, render irreparable harm to person and planet, all the while costing billions of taxpayer dollars that instead of being spent on killing and destruction could be spent on building habitat for millions in need, creating opportunities for jobs, farming, education, holistic healthcare, green, sustainable infrastructure and in short, creating a better world for all.

We have very powerful tools to bring about a peaceful resolution to violence and war and to sustain peace. We also have tools for re-conditioning the mind from reptilian brain dominance to pre-frontal cortex and heart unification, that is, higher level brain functions that would allow for an entirely different kind of world of peace and well-being we all most deeply desire and envision.

Communication paves the way to peace, health & well-being, personal & planetary

Communication is the primary tool, verbal and non-verbal.

When communication is engaged between nations through their respective versions of State Departments, we call it diplomacy. But by the number of wars at any given time across the world, one gets the definite impression that the way it’s being used isn’t so efficient or effective—or at least can greatly benefit from a real new kind of dynamism.

A case could certainly be made that says that diplomacy has certainly been effective and has kept us out of even more wars by settling disputes that never reached the headlines. I surely want to acknowledge those negotiators who have worked long and hard behind-the-scenes for many decades, unrecognized by most, who have helped to avert a world percolating in political leader’s self-interest. It is truly is a delicate art to weave an agreement under such difficult conditions.

However, there is clearly still a long way to go.

Rational communication between adults who have the goal of peace in mind and heart, can come to a reasonable agreement to achieve these desired outcomes. When there are hidden agendas such as achieving some kind of perverse idea of “world dominance” or being “the world super-power” or enriching one’s country’s military industries at any cost we’re in trouble. Another favorite of many Administrations, foreign and domestic, is to start wars to divert attention from failed policies or to appear as a ‘strong man’.

These are all expressions of a pathology that has no place in the leadership of nations.

This is where Dynamic Diplomacy (DD) can play a role to perhaps turn “a hardship into a friendship.”

Since President Reagan and President Gorbachev were in office, I’ve always had a feeling that a bridge could be built between these two Cold War nations that would warm them both up into a hearty bond of friendship.

A draft of my film script to creatively bring about world peace

At that time, I sketched out a film script in which the two leaders met in a beautiful setting, enjoyed both American and Russian entertainment—music, dance and comedy along with samples of food native to each country.

In this convivial atmosphere, prior to sitting down for serious talks about how to settle disputes between them, they took a rest during which soothing, relaxing music was played. Beneath the music, a hypnotherapist was speaking, embedding suggestions which would forever shape their lives.

Each time Reagan heard the name Michael Gorbachev, or “Gorby”, a warm feeling of goodwill and brotherhood would rise up in him. Conversely, every time Gorbachev heard the name “Ron or Ronnie” he too would experience that same, pleasant, brotherly feeling.

Each time they heard each other’s name a feeling of trust and goodwill arose inside them. Through hypnotic suggestion, they engaged each other as friends and brothers, looking out for the good and well-being of each other and each other’s countries.

In this script, after they rested, they looked at each other like “long-lost friends” with the joy of sitting down and planning a future that works for both of their countries and others.

When their closest advisors saw this affinity before their eyes and sought to remind them that they were adversaries, each of the Presidents dismissed such admonitions. “Rubbish!” they were both heard saying. “Don’t stand in the way of progress! We’re on our way to creating a long-lasting peace!”

Both leaders forged ahead in making agreements that would forever bond the countries and their people together as friends, looking out for each other accordingly.

The script didn’t reach Hollywood, it’s true, at least not yet, but these two leaders did bring to bear a breakthrough that did in fact bring the two countries close together for quite some time.

I have the intuitive as well as rational sense that if the leaders of the world were to sit down together long enough today, they could come to consensus that militarism, armament build-up, doing battle, self-interest over collective interest, was a losing and very expensive game that, in the 21st century, should simply be categorically abandoned.

The shift is a psychological, ontological and perceptual one in belief system and in world view from self-interest and distrust to one of collective interest, trust and cooperation.

In a phrase, it is going from “I to We”. This would be remarkable, true enough, and should be thought of as something very feasible and worth building consensus around.

Other important dynamics of Dynamic Diplomacy is goodwill, good cheer, smiling and humor. When one smiles and is being funny, endorphins are released as is oxytocin. With these chemicals abounding, fighting isn’t an option—one wants to continue with what’s making them feel so good.

This is the space of Dynamic Diplomacy. It is the space in which the diplomats transform themselves. They become kinder, gentler, more understanding, empathetic and interested in another’s well-being as much as in their own. It is a humanizing and personalizing process. It is both experiential and it is evolutionary.

You could even think of it if you’d like as “enlightened self-interest”. It is in my self-interest that you are very satisfied and happy. This is an old adage with many brilliant tributaries but the underlying idea remains the same. The simple and cute phrase that so many can relate to that expresses this same meme is: “Happy wife, happy life!”

Occam’s Razor, in effect, states that the simple solution is likely the best solution.

My letter to President Bill Clinton, aired on A Better World TV

In January, 1993, Bill Clinton was sworn in as President of the U.S. Within weeks, I wrote a letter to the new President with a few suggestions.

The first episode of A Better World TV in NYC consisted of my reading to the public my letter to President Clinton, which included these points:

1) To make the U.S. a truly great nation, its profound errors needed to be humbly redressed. This was to start with a public apology to the Native Americans whose land and culture were stolen from them, raped and pillaged.

Then a public apology to the African-Americans who were stolen from their home countries and sold into slavery and many oppressed since.

Then to the Chinese who were enslaved by the major railroad companies to build them. Then to the Japanese for interring them during WWII.

Then to the Latinos who were oppressed and marginalized from the beginning.

The list goes on to include the Jews, Irish, Poles and Italians and Asians. Few were exempt from the Anglo’s fiery bias and judgment. It is remarkable the suffering the immigrant has suffered through U.S. culture and by law.

2) Assuming acceptance of the sincere apologies, request of each of these groups a representative to serve on a Wisdom Board at the Cabinet level to provide guidance to each Administration. This would uplift the status of each group in the eyes of the public, while providing guidance to the Presidents, always in need of perennial, wise counsel from a diverse array of sources.

3) Convene a meeting of the nations with the largest economies, in effect, the G-20.

As the “super-power” of the planet, the U.S. facilitates a conversation for the possibility of “declaring lasting world peace.”

Come to an understanding that undermining each other, and building up militaries against each other is so “last century”, so “passe”, with no place in a civilized world, that it is high time to trust each other and together, cooperatively, build a better world. The meme, theme and archetype of “The Competitor” is relegated to sports and removed from the world of economics and politics. Yes, economic growth can occur through collaboration and cooperation instead of competition. Again, competition is just “so last century”.

The underlying assumption and expectation is that if the super-power nation agrees to set down its arms, step-by-step, others would follow. Those that didn’t would be pressured by the collective to do so.

If the super-power nation sets the top-down tone of collaboration instead of competition, so it becomes.

Dynamic Diplomacy enters here to be utilized to the max to assure compliance with the principles of peace, cooperation and collective well-being. It’s just like a family because it is a family: the human family, the human species.

This would release trillions of dollars into the world economy for providing housing for all, food, livelihood, education, personal, cultural development, character-building and emotional intelligence. In short, the U.N.’s SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals).

Competition would be replaced with cooperation, not just on paper but truly heartfelt based on intent, and a new paradigm in education: holistic, mind-body-soul education or macro-systems thinking.

I heard that Clinton actually did apologize to the indigenous people of Turtle Island, but not directly to the others. Nor did he convene the G-20 to have that conversation for disarmament and peace that could have led the way to a new world, but instead opted for the usual military stances and policies the U.S. has been upholding for decades. Clinton, as a young, smart, idealistic, draft-dodger/pot-smoker saxophone player at the time, I thought would be the one to usher in Dynamic Diplomacy to create a New-Paradigm World. Alas, I was wrong. Who will? So, come 2022, we don’t have that ‘leg up’ and some 27 wars are occurring as you read this. We have to start fresh.

Dynamic Diplomacy in action: Biden, Putin and Zelenskyy meet and have a cultural evening together of good food, a swig of vodka, dance, music and comedians from each country. All feel the comradery with their own country’s culture and appreciation of the others.

In this spirit of goodwill and good cheer, they engage a conversation that is designed to create good and helpful relations between their nations. Lay down the swords, help each other prosper and come to a new place of mutual respect, trust and appreciation.

How? Each apologizes for their trespasses. Each is guilty, and each asks for forgiveness.

It sounds so easy because it can be. It is made complicated for any number of political and economic reasons, but it doesn’t have to be.

There is an ancient adage: “If you want peace, make peace.” Mitchell Rabin

And another one: “Where there is a will, there is a way.” George Herbert

What stands in the way?

  • Mind.
  • Ego.
  • Habit.
  • Subconscious patterns.
  • The assumption, a result of consensus thinking that it’s not possible.
  • The fear of success, joy and well-being.
  • War is a damn good business for the military-industrial complex.

Could it be that easy? Maybe not easy, but fundamentally simple. With patience and tenacity for the purpose at hand, it can be done.

Yes, Putin attacked Ukraine, a horrific thing to do. Previously however, Putin had also urged the U.S. and NATO to stop building military bases close to Russia’s borders.

U.S. and NATO broke promises to Russia repeatedly. The bear was being routinely poked. What do you think is going to eventually happen?

Presidents are only people, with all of the strengths, frailties, flaws and weaknesses, with the emotions, ego, anger, and sadness of everyone else. Same with captains of industry including military contractors. Good to remember. Eventually, they can be reached, and touched.

At base, everyone most deeply wants peace. Dynamic Diplomacy keeps that at the very top of mind in every communique. Each side needs to make reparations to restore the well-being of neighboring nations.

Yes, they would be changing the world and the way business is done between nations.

It needs to be changed and it may as well be changed in the breadbasket of the world, how appropriate. Ukraine is also one of the oldest cultures in the world as well.

If you want to call this naïve, go ahead! Remember that a Presidential candidate in the Democratic Party, Dennis Kucinich, years ago, called for the establishment of a Dept. of Peace.

The long-term investment in violence and war

This is arguably the most entrenched and the most challenging aspect of creating a world with sustained peace. One wouldn’t want to think that profit would be the main driver of war but reality shows that it is, despite all the rhetoric about freedom and Democracy.

Even if leaders and heads of State were to come to terms for a sustained peace, the defense contractors will, like a heroin addict, do everything they can to persuade them that those with whom they’ve settled affairs are not to be trusted to keep funds flowing.

The brain has an organic negative bias, part of its survival modus operandi so it’s easier to sow distrust, and harder to build its opposite. We overcome it all the time.

To engage the reptilian brain is as easy: incite a little fear—just ask any authoritarian leader. People are willing to back war, pay billions for munitions and keep the economics of violence and war alive if they are afraid. Or trust institutions that have track records to prove that they are untrustworthy. At the moment people are experiencing fear, and untrustworthy institutions are suddenly trusted!

Since the inception of the war in Afghanistan, the Pentagon has spent 14 trillion dollars, up to one-half paid to military contractors. To access the level of consciousness and conscience needed to detach these contractors from their profiteering could take a while, but with the right approach, could be expedited. It is akin to kicking a drug or alcohol addiction.

Overcoming this obstacle, which we can do as citizens and taxpayers by massive and persistent letter and phone call campaigns, is probably the biggest challenge to peace we face.

If one looks at the macro-view from the micro, all becomes much more manageable. A husband and wife disagree, argue, then drop the ego and listen to each other. Through listening they empathize, come to terms, kiss, make up and make peace. Wouldn’t you love to see Putin, Biden and Zelenskyy kiss, make up and make peace?

Through using Spiraldynamics, a system of understanding different memes of personal and cultural development among people, Professor Don Beck assisted President Nelson Mandela transition from Apartheid to a more Democratic, civilized nation peacefully. The Truth & Reconciliation Commission, all about listening and communication, honest, personal admission/confession, allowed this to happen.

There are historical precedents. We are not reinventing the wheel.

It always seems impossible until it’s done.

(Nelson Mandela)

The macro-level is just a reflection of the micro. If we can create a new consensus around peace, recognizing the wasted money, which is energy and recognizing the destructiveness of war, we stand a real chance of stepping out of this muck and mire.

A new consensus needs to be established about the priority of peace.

If one calls this Pollyanna-ish, it’s because they have been so entrenched in the habituated state of fear and negativity that even in the light of day it can hardly be seen. And indeed, to varying extents, we all are habituated. To the extent that we can see our habituation from a ‘metaposition’, see ourselves more objectively, to that extent we are freer and more conscious.

But how are we to get out of this vicious circle of violence and war? By something audacious, outstanding, courageous and bold, like calling for military disarmament and for world peace, disarmament of aggression as well including economic and political and cyber war and aggression.

This is what I call Dynamic Diplomacy, which addresses the personal, transpersonal and collective needs of people and planet at the same time including the looming economic interests in perpetuating a world at war. It requires discipline and commitment, but indeed, collectively, the power of the people is so great, we can make sustained peace happen.