In this passionate dialogue, Rabbi Gafni, who is talking to us by phone from Israel, sets the context by relating the fact thatthree of his young son’s friends have recently been killed in “the mother of all conflicts”: the horribly sad and impossible situation that is the Middle East today.

Rabbi Marc and Ken outline numerous dimensions of the conflict. On what might be called a “horizontal” level, there are what Samuel Huntington called “the clash of civilizations,” or the conflicting cultures with th eir disparate histories. On a vertical level, there are the different stages, waves, or levels ofdevelopment that also seem to be involved. The capture of Saddam Hussein highlights,but does not change, these fundamental issues.

Of the many different and legitimate scales of vertical development, Marc and Ken make reference to Spiral Dynamics and a few of its colorterms, including: red (egocentric, power drives), blue (mythic orders, fundamentalist religion, traditionalist), orange (modern, rational-scientific), green (postmodern, sensitive self, cultural creatives, multicultural), and yellow (beginning of integral or comprehensive and inclusive). It is not necessary to know all the details of any of these developmental models in order to appreciate this dialogue, but if you would like a short introduction to Spiral Dynamics, please see “What Is Spiral Dynamics Integral.”

After discussing the impact of all of these dimensions on the Mid-East conflict, Rabbi Marc suggests a simple but profound gesture: a political pilgrimage from Ur to Jerusalem, sponsored by Integral Institute and Bayit Chadash, that would both represent, and call attention to, the radical necessity of an integral approach to this incredibly complex and difficult conflict.

A useless gesture, or the beginning of a new way toapproach a conflict where all other approaches have dramatically failed? Listen to this moving dialogue and see what you think. But one thing is certain: this is indeed the mother of all conflicts, and if we cannot find a way to gain insights into its deepest contours, then the future not just of the region, but the world, is in doubt.

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