the idea that detrimental environments can contribute towards violent events or situations between human beings is nothing new. although it is argued in a pantheist sense (not religious) that the environment or architecture can potentially consists of elements that can be on a par or akin to adverse behaviour of persons. whilst the environment does not exist consciously in the same way as a sentient human it does possess qualities, form and properties that are viewed as shaping the world around it.
in this context the understanding goes further in describing adverse environments and architecture as not only potentially consisting of workloads or demands but pathogens or prodromals (that which came before), almost as if containing hostile pre-symptoms and that which causes eventual toxicity towards persons. the use of terms such as pathogens and prodromals is purposeful not only in describing what came before adverse events and situations but how the nature of the environment or architecture got to be the way that it is. by understanding how environment and architecture come in to being is to identify both strength and weakness, which is perhaps the information needed to help us avoid or traverse likely adverse situations and places.
in earnest there may even be a deficit in defining human like aspects towards adverse environments or surroundings, when we could argue behaviour is no different to object properties, form and qualities. this is in no way to demean what it is to be human but to question how factors of violence may go beyond traditional dualistic notions of what is to be considered importantly human and what is non-human. whilst Taoism can be full of contrasting thoughts, perceptions of dualism, physicalism, ideas and thinking it arguably can also help identify ways of crossing divides to universally understand or hint at new directions to how the world around us might just work better.
in understanding the wider context of influencing environments in terms of architecture, both natural, man-made or shaped and described as person observable in preference to pertaining form and properties will give useful conceptualisation towards causations of violence beyond the individual. in its own right the environment as architecture can both be a positive, negative and seemingly indifferent influence on how human violence might play out. arguably how the individual can also choose to exist in their surroundings or with existing architecture will inherently shape how persons interact with each other.
however existing long enough within the wrong environment(s) will likely negatively effect how individuals interact with each other and so where able to yet not to significantly improve the surrounding architecture would become baffling. through this understanding the importance of the individual becomes essentially associated with the equal importance of being peacefully harmonious with environments defined as beneficial. relevantly Items of architecture (pertaining form and property) might by incident have prescribed manmade workloads/demands and use, which is either positive, negative, distractive or indifferent to the person involved with them..
a workload/demand is simply one example of an items property, which can by its task frustrate or alleviate and even weaponise (by its form) an action considered to prevent, minimise or promote violence. an example of an item’s workload (or task associated with use) are extensive written commands typed on sizable documents – arguably the priority associated with the words may distract, tire and frustrate. in some sense a relevant factor contributing towards violence could also in part be a byproduct of an item of architecture or the environment as architecture.
in applying or understanding the nature of environment as if possessed of conscious intent (not though in paradoxical actuality) we will inevitably hit metaphysical stumbling blocks. but through this process of perceiving there is the idea that clarity is formed because if we have difficulty in applying what living is beyond us we will examine what does apply in regards of environment (including attempted insight beyond human behavioral contexts) and its potential to have influence on violence and volatile situations. a useful way to think of environment as if possessing conscious intent is through terms such as peaceful or hostile – terms we are not unfamiliar with but in this context gives a grounding of what this is likely to be and what it is not.
the environment in its own right (without or beyond terms of living consciousness) should not inherently be disregarded as a lower order when it comes to how situations of violence and hostility evolve or devolve. in fact and interestingly hierarchies of safety priority when applied to the places we might visit or frequent can recognise well the primary importance of external environments, conditions and setting.
in taoist terms the internal self and external world could in fact on a deeper level be argued as the same or at least more closely interconnected than we would have been led to believe. the association with taoism is integral to this in so much as acknowledging we are a part of the world as much as the world is a part of us and so such thoughts can help to recognise this, but also to imagine what it is to move beyond the boundaries of self and behavior.
extremis*1. or in this understanding of violence is not just the physical onslaught or verbal assault by those considered by any establishment to be deviant in action, but is also inclusive of violence (political oppression) legitimised by official power. yet interpreting from the sociologist Max Weber there is indication that legitimising “rule (Herschaft) of man over man ”is an inescapable fact of human existence. the concern is that if man is inherently violent and/or political (involving the nature of rule), then are we all not involved with a nature that is diabolical*2. in force?
whilst we may confine ourselves to the conjectured forms of understanding rule, legitimacy and deviance, we may overlook the very nature of rational thinking; doxa (in this interpretation to mean right opinion) with gnosis (interpreted in this context as debated knowledge).
*1. in this context extremis is an aggressive restless state, which is externally characterised by destructiveness towards self, objects or/and others.
*2. diabolical forces does not relate to some real or imagined external link to malign intelligent forces outside human consciousness or even nature,but to the destructiveness that exists both within self and nature.
the illusion or reality that taoism is simply a form of psychological thinking or sophistry that can in this instance help interpret or understand violence can belittle the important humility that it doesn’t necessarily possess absolutes in any perspective. in this context of possessing no absolutes what tao can offer instead is its pluralism, which isn’t simply sceptical, but also broadens horizons of thought to what might for example be better understood as natures of violence within nature, rather than simply behavioral symptoms of person-hood.
yet even in all its sophisticated or even simplistic explanation, if this were said to be the case, it can not necessarily change the perspectives of those unwilling to truly listen to its possibilities. the reasons for not listening can be manifold and even taoism or the tao might not go without its relevant justified critique.
thus i consider the first relevant question to ask is what the tao might say about the nature of such a topic?
the serious modern interpretation and understanding of violence upon fellow human beings from thoughts influenced by taoism is felt to be an important endeavour. taoism’s long ancient history demonstrates its had a fair share of warring states and so has foundations that aren’t necessarily unfamiliar to relevant modern understanding. but to go further than this is to say taoism has much more to offer than any one aspect pertaining simply to special martial knowledge.
there is a lot to be said for its tenants on harmony, gentle scepticism and pluralist undertakings in the pursuance of gaining better truths. this is an important distinction to be made in taoism as it doesn’t necessarily declare it self as possessing what the right way/ truth is, nor in its debate of any contrasted views, rather it can open up a myriad of views that have not easily recognised or considered.
moral regard in this context of taoism is no less important, with moral dangers for example identified and indicated by risks of polarisation, problematic discernment, any harm imposed and rigidity of thought and action (or there by lack of) at the ultimate expense of peaceful necessity.