The spider web that was inserted in the pyramid served Lederach to indicate the multidimensionality of the different actors, alluding to the systemic vein of this approach, as well as to the holistic principle that in each level we also find the attributes of all other levels. For instance, on the grassroots level, there are heads of families, village elders, groups’ spokespersons and municipal executives, who – in their small world – are the top leaders. Likewise, in the level of top leadership there are also the high level officials and the vast majority of the elite is comprised of paper pushes and followers, who are the grassroots at the high level. Thus, when thought holistically, the pyramid would not be a two-dimensional triangle, but closer to a full structure in which each contains all components of the whole. 


Because a hexagon shape limits the spider web, in the Transrational Peace philosophy we use the symbol of Sri-Yantra to mirror the systemic character more accurately. Let us draw it here step by step:

a) b)  c) 
Original Pyramid Non-duality pyramid Floor plan Sri-Yantra

In figure a) we find the original pyramid

b) Shows the two triangles pointing in the opposite direction, symbolizing non-duality, in this case the tantric principle of ‘as above, so below’. Their mutual conditioning and the middle range leadership acting as a mediator between them characterize the relationship between top leader and grassroots. This figure already shows us the geometrical basis of the Sri-Yantra, which is simultaneously an inclusion and composition of triangles in triangles.

The c) floor plan of the Sri-Yantra alludes to more and smaller triangles. If we interpret it in light of Lederach’s pyramid, each of these small triangles represents for itself the side view of the original two-dimensional pyramid (see above figure a), containing also top leader, middle range and grassroots leadership. At the same time, each small triangle is a small part of a bigger triangle, which at the same time is embedded in a bigger one, which gives the pattern a manageable and seemingly conceivable significance, yet also is complex and points to an endless or extensible division. 

In Sri-Yantra we find then the holistic principle represented more clearly. Since the figure is three-dimensional, it allows seeing the vertical feedback between the levels of the conflict episode, and it furthermore shows its validity on all layers also for the horizontal connections among the individual layers themselves, all the way up until the epicenter.

Transrational Peaces

When we see the Sri-Yantra as symbol also for the complexity of the themes, levels and layers, it shatters any representation of a definitive conflict resolution or prescriptive conflict transformation. This is not surprising, since elicitive conflict transformation embraces such complexity without the expectation of providing definitive solutions to problems. Elicitive Conflict Transformation seeks to restore the dynamic equilibrium in concrete social systems, in the here and now, for whose application a detailed and analytical knowledge of the world and all its problems is not necessary. The complexity of the world brings along an obligation to select, to reduce and to decide. In a dysfunctional social system, the decision is risky for the parties as well as for the conflict worker, since each decision brings along a series of possibilities that have remained unconsidered or at least have not been put into practice so far. Thus, in the subjective obligation to decide lies the core of the conflict, when the relationship field affects the communication. As soon as we recognize this, guidelines for orientation that facilitate the selection of the different possible courses of action for the parties and that encourage the equilibrium of the relationships, are welcome. These are the guidelines for orientation that elicitive conflict transformation aims at providing.