ERIC Number: ED336764
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Apr
Reference Count: N/A
Conflict and Tao.
What can philosophical Taoism teach us about interpersonal conflict and effective approaches for dealing with it? Examination of selected portions of the R. Hendricks translation of the "Lao-Tzu" or "Te-Tao Ching," and experiences recorded in fieldnotes while a member of a Taoist commune suggest a four-point protocol for managing interpersonal conflict based on the counsel of philosophical Taoism. One point is essentially prescriptive, and the others are essentially cognitive schemata for locating one's "self" while fighting and for informing one's actions accordingly. First, don't fight: if a person is not contentious, no one will be able to be contentious with him. Second, recognize conflict as merely a part of a larger whole, and don't become identified just with it alone. Assume a wider, more relativistic perspective. Third, realize that "fighting to get closer" is a conceivable way of creating solidarity with another person or within the context of a group. Conflict viewed this way becomes a potential vehicle for strengthening interpersonal relationships and promoting continuity. Fourth, acknowledge "exhausting the yang to return to the yin" as a viable frame of reference for construing conflict. The idea is to exaggerate conflict as a way of experiencing harmony (its opposite) and becoming peaceful. (Sixteen references are attached.) (SR)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Conflict Management
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Communication Association (Pittsburgh, PA, April 25-28, 1991).