Mental-Societal Layers

In these layers we find the heart and the mind. While at first sight this may appear as a contradiction, on closer inspection it is quite conclusive:

The intrapersonal, mental aspect provides the persona with the potential for reason and consciousness. The intrapersonal and mental as well as the interpersonal and societal layers comprise all the previously mentioned ones, and enable the persona and societies, precisely through this potential, to become conscious of the previously mentioned layers. The heartbeat causes and symbolizes the life of the persona. And life transforms transrational qualities like love, compassion, and devotion, by bringing them into the episode in ways that can be grasped by the senses, and by rendering them conscious experiences. Thus, it is mental awareness that balances the sexual, family, and social energies in an episode.

The principle of correspondence is expressed in these mental-societal layers in both their constructive and destructive capacities for abstraction. Rationality is not only a possible means for conflict resolution, but more often than not it is the capacity for rational abstraction that constitutes the cause and trigger of conflicts. Whether it is ideological or religious, material or idealist, competitive or cooperative ideas about the correct form of organization for people and societies, it seems that at the beginning there is always a rational idea that is created and, in its career with other competing ideas, can turn into an extreme functional and justifiable use of violence. From an elicitive perspective, it is clear that such conflict cannot be transformed with the same poison that created it.

A conflict, whose episode is primarily an idea of the parties, tends to become an even more destructive clash of arguments when third parties feed even more reason into it. Here, a reorientation towards other layers is highly recommendable.

As much as reason serves the conflict worker to recognize and to balance possible blockages in the equilibrium in all layers, it can equally be obstructive if it turns into a self-referential storyteller that reduces all dynamic aspects of a conflict to its own mono-dimension. Elicitive conflict transformation is aware of this danger and tries to keep it in check through supervision and repeated reality checks. Contrary to prescriptive models that follow the abstract resolution model of reason, elicitive methods use reason for working in all layers on the different impulses that they receive from the parties when acting in resonance. Such impulses are filtered by reason and are fed back into the system, yet without a pre-conceived resolution model. For conflict workers to be able to feed this back without creating more distortions, they need mental clarity, whose precondition is a dynamic equilibrium for the worker him/herself at these very same mental and societal layers.