On this first anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, let us humbly remember the natural disasters we’ve shared in the past, and rededicate our sacred intention to upgrade human behavior and circumstances in order to avoid future devastation.
What does this prayer mean? The tsunami wave reached the unimaginable height of 133 feet in Miyako in Tohoku’s Iwate Prefecture. Should our brothers and sisters in Japan build a 150-foot-high wall around their entire coast to protect themselves? And what walls can humanity build to protect against devastating interpersonal violence emanating from primordial rupturing embedded in human nature?
You don’t have to be a crime scene investigator to identify the natural disruption that caused the largest number of human deaths from the beginning of the 20th century. It wasn’t the terrifying 1918 flu epidemic, which killed up to 50 million people in one year. It wasn’t the March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, which killed 20,000 innocents. It certainly wasn’t the raging solar storm featured in this week’s headlines, which sounded scary, but killed no one.
Death by Nature
The deadliest natural disruption of the past century was the Second World War. Estimates of deaths caused by World War II range from 62 million to 78 million men, women and children. Interpersonal violence, especially war, is the most dangerous natural disruption threatening humanity. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties.)
Our situation is critical. Interpersonal violence erupts from human nature like molten magma from a volcano’s deepest core. Civilization is like a patient suffering from malignant cancer, praying for a cure. Cancer is a tumor that destroys itself. War is the most devastating cancer known to man. Interpersonal violence continues to play a deadly role in human history.
Interpersonal violence is as natural as earthquakes, tsunamis and solar storms. We’ll learn more about how to control and even eliminate interpersonal violence by accepting its natural origins. Denying the nature of interpersonal violence inhibits rational diagnosis, treatment and cure.
People investigating crimes gather and scientifically verify evidence, test hypotheses, draw conclusions, shut down perpetrators, and devise ways to prevent recurrence. Treating interpersonal violence resembles crime scene investigation. Civilization is accumulating data to measure many categories of interpersonal violence, including infanticide, child abuse, bullying, beating, rape, murder, suicide, and war. The self-inflicted violent behavior we think we’re managing ends up harming and destroying millions and even billions of people.
Managing Human Nature
The treasure of life extension (increasing longevity) is a direct result of the better management of human nature. Reliable supplies of peace and healing have been essential ingredients in civilization’s winning formula since the time of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. It’s obvious that relationships are healthier when violence has no part in them. The healthiest civilization enjoys peaceful coexistence.