Wednesday, April 18, 2007

It's Hairy Krishna.

Following the ESLly thread from yesterday, Krishna Gopal on LinkedIn asks, "How Inner peace can bring world peace.[?]" An innocent and pure question.

I think you have it backwards though. It is well established that one of the things that the human brain does under stress is to manufacture large amounts of the hormone cortisol. There is a mounting body of evidence to suggest that during cerebral development high levels of cortisol impede development of parts of the human brain that are active when people are feeling empathy. This seems to be an psychobiological basis for the long-observed phenomenon that people that grow up in particularly stressful environments are less caring and tougher.

I think inner peace comes from world peace, and not so much vice-versa. World peace comes from economic interdependence and the rule of law. In the end, it is technology that has provided the infrastructure and knowledge that has increased productivity, which has in turn increased trade and therefore our dependence on each other. This has reduced the amount of conflict in the world and will continue to do so for the forseeable future. It is easier for people that grow up in times of peace to be peaceful internally.

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