By Aruneshwar Gupta
The fine distinction between Meditation and Mediation is the presence and absence of the letter ‘T’. In meditation, the Self itself acts as the Third Party or the Teacher and guides Self to realise the true nature of Self. ‘T’ in mediation is the mediator. Mediator is a person who acts as an intellectual obstetrician, helping people to give birth to the key that resolves the dispute between the parties. Mediator is not a person who helps in conception or existence of the solution. The correct answer already exists within us all. Aid, help and assistance of a third party is essential and imperative to enable surfacing of the resolution. Mediator helps disputing parties see the truth and resolve the existing conflict.
As a law of nature there exists fundamental similarities and characteristic differences amongst us. This dualism helps each individual to understand the commonality and have a multidimensional view of life, events, relationships and other things. The commonality between all human beings is to valuehuman equality. All beings are created equal dehors gender, colour, caste, religion, family backdrop, social statues, IQ, EQ, SQ, and HQ. Differences exit to enable us to appreciate and respect the significance of meaningful co-existence and sustained harmonious relationship. All relationships are based on trust. Breach of trust gives rise to conflict.
Whenever the will of one person or a group of persons is supressed by another person or group of persons, for any reason what-so-ever, conflicts arises. There is no conflict till the suppression of will does not takes place. We all can all harmoniously co-exist happily, peacefully and perpetually enjoy the bliss of togetherness, without suppression or suppressing of will of another, that is being human.
However, time and time again, people continue to exhibit their superiority and power. Some people are ruthlessly ambitious, not for their own development, but for claiming being victorious and dominating others. Classic examples are Alexander, Arabs, Mughals, Julius Cesare, Napoleon, Hitler, European colonization and the like. They plunder and loot others who have worked hard and created more resources for themselves. Their army rape women and girls who have no way to defend themselves as war booty and they are called great. Sad but true.
All technological development and marketing products, need basic raw materials. Countries with technological advancement create ways to get these resources at minimal costs or by illegal means. Gold dore, blood diamond, oil and minerals, wood and coal and also human resources are sought to be won or obtained at tiniest price. Some people have deep desire to dictate and control others and use them free or just for food, clothing and shelter, for their own comfortable and luxurious existence. This leads to economic exploitation, corruption, slavery, poverty, domestic violence, suicides and all forms of conflicts.
Generation after generation, people who exploit call themselves rich, educated, developed, strong and powerful. Those who were exploited are called poor, uneducated, underdeveloped, weak and fragile. This leads to insecurity, diffidence and a perception of inequality and bias, based on the barometer of money. As basic needs, which continue to ladder up, are never met and there is always deep pain and trauma within as contradistinguished from bliss and ecstasy.
The real conflicts are created by those who continuously perpetrate criticism, competition and comparison arising out of egoism, arrogance, lust and greed. On the other side are those who believe in co-existentialism, caring and creativity and make their best efforts to resolve the conflicts by gentleness, modesty and deep understanding of truth, which when does not find respect and reverence leads to disruptive encounters.
Communication is the greatest strength of human being. That is why we are called evolved. We can converse, talk and chat 24 x 7. We can tell others what we feel and think. Every conflict is capable of resolution, if people are reasonable, objective and are able to communicate and address their real issues, clearly, expressly and unambiguously. But people restrain as they feel and understand that there the communication will likely lead to escalation of conflicts than sorting them out. Inability to resolve conflicts gives rise to dispute. Unresolved conflicts gives rise to disputes and unsettled disputes gives rise to litigation, fights and wars.
As human being civilized it shifted from violent ways of dispute resolution by dual, ring fights, battles and wars to civil way of using the office of family head, tribe head, panchaayat or king, a neutral third party – Legal Revolution 1.0. With proclamation of Magna Carta (1273) the power to resolve disputes and pass decrees moved to Parliament – Legal Revolution 2.0. Independent Judiciary became the repository of dispute resolution from Trial Court to Supreme Court and that marked the advent of Legal Revolution 3.0.
As several issues arose in court litigation, people moved to arbitration, conciliation and mediation (ADR) – Legal Revolution 4.0. Riding on the fourth wave as the human being has moved to the Fourth Dimension and Globalization 4.0, Fourth Industrial Revolution and Fourth Education Revolution are already in place, we also see peace mediation marking the Legal Revolution 5.0.
Mediator uses specialized communication techniques during the dynamic, structured, interactive process and assists disputing parties in resolving the dispute between them. All participants are encouraged to actively participate in the process, vent out their grievances to enable mediator to reach to the bottom of the issue. Mediator focuses upon the needs, rights and long term interests of the parties during this party-centered process. Grievances relates to past conflicts. It’s like rear view mirror driving. Interests are futuristic, looking forward 2022, 2023, 2025. Mediation is to help parties change the whole outlook of dispute.
Mediator uses a wide variety of techniques as s/he guides the process in a constructive direction and to help the parties find their optimal solution. A mediator is facilitative and manages the interaction between parties and facilitates open communication without any baggage and perceptions. He helps in breaking new grounds to have better relationship, live a better and happy life. Mediation is also evaluative as the mediator analyzes issues and relevant norms ‘reality-testing’, while refraining from providing prescriptive advice to the parties ‘You should do…’ or ‘This may be better…’
Peace mediation as contra distinguished from mediation simpliciter, is not a process of merely deciding a dispute or disposing of a litigation by bringing about a settlement between the parties for the present. Peace mediation is a process of eliminating and eradicating the conflict itself, forever. The process entails exploring and exposing the error in understanding and perception, which formed the very basis of the disagreement that brought about the clash of interests. Quality Peace Agreement must result in combusting and resolving the base or substratum of the conflict forever.
The purpose of both meditation and peace mediation is to become conflict free by understanding the basis and true nature of the issues agitating deep in us all. Bring about in existence a conflict free individual, family, society, state, nation and the world.
The Author is Senior Advocate, Supreme Court of India.