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ZEGG's 12 Steps to a Non-violent Society

From Dieter Duhm's book Political Texts for a Non-violent Earth Via Zentrum für Experimentelle Gesellschafts Gestaltung (ZEGG) (Center for Experimental Cultural Design), Germany

A world of love, free of fear and violence, can only be created by individuals dedicated to discovering their own uniqueness, power, and self-worth -- people striving to know what they think, say what's on their mind, and share what touches them.

Self-responsible and committed individuals use the full capabilities of their spirit, mind, and heart to fulfill their own potential. They act, instead of re-acting. They do not depend on others to provide their happiness or success. They are not subordinate to any authority, but obey their own knowledge and consciousness.

The more an individual can transform the fear and violence inherited from their past, their parents, and their social structures to live according to their own Truth, the more valuable they are to themselves and to all humanity.

True spirituality has nothing to do with religion. It is the recognition that "you" are not your "body," but an eternal consciousness gaining maturity through experience to enhance your contribution to the evolution of the Whole. Everything we are and everything surrounding us has its roots in the spiritual universe. We are not separate from, but intimately connected to, the spiritual Whole. Therefore, we no longer need religion, dogma, or predetermined answers handed down by any authority -- be it a person, a church, or a government. Our answers will come by removing the self-erected barriers standing in the way of the full realization of our true spirituality.

I am, therefore I think. The reflecting intellect is a young and powerful fruit on the tree of evolution, still in infancy, its potential hardly touched.

It is the creed and dogma of scientific and political systems that stifle thought and creativity. It is the fear and violence of ideologies that make the cognitive processes of the mind impossible. It is the inaccurate decisions and faulty premises of "group-think" that result in war and destruction. The mind must be free to fully explore and experience the true consequences of its thoughts and desires. The basic questions of our existence must be experienced anew, without religious or philosophical assumptions or preconceived ideas.

Love is an energy, not an emotion -- an energy that binds the universe together, manifesting as gravity between matter and affinity between individuals.

Love is the opposite of fear. Where fear exists, love cannot; and love is the only source of humane thinking and non-violent acting. Love has always been a question of emotions and unreflected instincts, rather than something to be thought about and considered intellectually. The heart must become an organ of insight just like the brain.

The symptoms of fear are judgment, control, separation, jealousy, possessiveness, boredom, and dishonesty. The symptoms of the heart are acceptance, allowance, inclusion, sharing, excitement, and truth. Only the heart can know "compersion."

Sexuality is an elemental force of life and of the joy of existence. Sexuality can not be confined by marriage pledges or restrictive moral code. Instead, it needs truth and trust.

Sexuality has been arbitrarily split into a "moral" part and an "immoral" part -- into tenderness and violence, into love and lust. For life to be sensually and intellectually fulfilling, and for true love and respect to grow between the sexes, this split must be repaired.

Love free of fear, free of violence, and free of lies is a healing love. Free love does not eliminate a "couple relationship," but it is also not fixated on a single partnership. Free sexuality is simply a fact of life.

True partnership is a radical model for a relationship free of fear and violence. In no way is a partnership in opposition to free sexuality, because it itself is free of jealousy and possessiveness.

Falling in love and sharing sexual and sensual joys together are wonderful things, but they do not equal partnership. Growing old together is a remarkable phenomenon, but it is not necessarily a partnership. If two people are together because they are afraid of being alone, that, of course, is not a partnership, either. Nor is a relationship that requires sexual exclusivity and isolation to sustain itself.

Partnership begins when two people -- in addition to their sexual attraction -- build a common spiritual, mental, and emotional base of understanding which make true communication possible under all circumstances. Partnership requires two self-responsible individuals who are equal in each other's eyes.

The natural environment for human beings is a community. The mature community is a grassroots democracy of free individuals. It is a human collective, but is is not led collectively in the name of any leader or any ideology. The importance of the individual and the community are equal and complementary in a non-violent world.

In a true community, the most varied kinds of human questions are presented publicly and receive the attention of the whole group; personal issues can be discussed without private shame or embarrassment; and the individual is never required to sacrifice or compromise for the greater good of the group. The main principles of a community are individual self-responsibility, mutual support, and "transparency" -- which means that all political, economic, and human processes important to the whole community are honestly and openly visible to all.

Parents should play a major role in the lives of their children; but a parent can no longer look upon their child as a possession. A child is an asset for the future of the entire planet and belongs to humanity as a whole. A childhood of distrust, fear, and violence cannot result in humane beings. In a non-violent community, children grow up in confidence and trust, with the entire community for their family and their social living space.

The children deserve an environment of continuity, love, warmth, and stability. Children should not be raised or educated in a dogmatic manner. Instead, they need attention and support to develop their own unique personalities. for this, they must have a center of their own to live and study, nurtured with love full-time by those who care and recognize their potential.

The secrets of human existence are part of the secrets of Nature. Whatever we do in Nature, we do to ourselves. The inner mental and emotional behavior of the human being is currently reflected in the outer destruction of our environment.

The construction of a factory chimney is different from that of a stalk of wheat. The force with which a blade of grass penetrates a layer of asphalt is not the same used by a jackhammer. The process that produces a seedling which gradually grows into a mature plant follows a different logic than that currently used by homo sapiens.

Earth can only awaken from its nightmare if we develop a society free of the structural violence currently found in mechanistic science, dogmatic religions, ideological ecology, and industrial technology based on overcoming resistance rather than establishing resonance with Nature.

Animals are part of the living organism of the biosphere. Like us, they are animated beings, only at a different level of evolution. We cannot develop an overall concept of non-violence as long as we walk around in fur coats. We cannot feed the universal biocomputer with credible information on peace as long as we send out information of violence from every slaughterhouse. We cannot work towards the idea of universal healing as long as we dissect, cripple, and kill our co-creatures in so-called scientific laboratories.

The human body is a self-regulating, self-healing system. It does not break down from outside intervention, but from internal conflict. It will not be healed by outside intervention, either, but from the spiritual, mental, and emotional processes that result in resonance with the universal circulation of matter, energy, and information. The healing force from an experience of love is different from that of an injection.

Our mental and emotional structures -- our thoughts and feelings -- directly affect the health of the earth. Future medical technologies and ecological solutions will only result in healing if they are non-violent and resonate with the principles of nature and the patterns of movement and vibration on which the entire universe is based.

The crises of our time will not be solved by traditional methods or reform programs. If we want to end the daily massacre of nature and her beings, of animals and of children, of tribes and of cultures, and of the life force itself, we need a concrete overall plan for peace -- a new concept for a non- violent society and technology, a new concept for our spiritual and mental development, and above all a new concept for love between the sexes.

Within all countries and races on earth there are people who have irrevocably understood the necessity of a positive inner and outer (r)evolution. They can all contribute certain things, certain convictions, certain ideas to the overall view of the tasks at hand. It is not science or religion or government, but people who will build a future worth living.

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