What did the Phoenicians think and how did they act when the Egyptians eventually set out to expand their empire in 1500 BC? Or, what did they do when other cultures like the Assyrians, Babylonians, or Persians set out to conquer them on their own soil between 900 and 500 BC? For centuries they had lived peaceful lives; so war was not an option.
With the Egyptians, they negotiated a contract not to be attacked so that they could retain their status as trading partners and friends. The Egyptians received a more lucrative trading agreement. With other outside forces, they developed an innovative strategy for each culture that wanted to invade. Then taking a pro-active approach, they would first offer them lavish gifts and then begin to negotiate a deal equally advantageous for both sides. For example, with the Hebrews they first offered them glittering gifts and then offered to build Solomon’s Temple, a place of cedars. This strategy allowed them to retain their independence and freedom and to continue leading peaceful and prosperous lives.
Over a period of 3000 years they excelled in using negotiation and diplomacy to defuse confrontation instead of going to war. They were not interested in struggling, fighting or conquering others since they valued freedom, family and relationships. For the Phoenicians, diplomacy and the peaceful negotiation of conflicts would be wired into their brains rather than war. Neuroscience has discovered that both war and peace are culturally conditioned; since our brains are flexible and have high plasticity, anyone can re-wire his/her brain to be peaceful.
What is fascinating is that the Phoenicians lived completely differently from other societies in their day. Not living by force of arms, they did not subject the people in the countries around them to slavery. Wanting to connect with, rather than dominate and conquer others, they did not attempt to control or hold down their own people by force. Partnership being a major value, there were no servants or no masters. Being ruled by fear or by deference to a man of power was out of the question. Instead, people were encouraged to take control of their own lives and destiny, develop their potential and prosper instead of competing against each other. As a society, they stood together to survive larger, powerful, and frequently warlike neighbors. Clearly, they had a vision of the world greater than the world they were surrounded by or the world in which we live in today.
The new science demonstrates how the feeling in our heart influences our world and the Phoenicians realized this. They expressed positive emotions by embracing each of the Seven Principles—by being “for something” rather than by being “against something” and spreading negative energy. Choosing to experience peace in their hearts rather than conflict in their minds, they operated as a coherent emotional, unified force field aligning body, mind, heart and spirit to achieve astounding results. This emotional heart force field connected them regardless of where they lived in the Eastern and Western Mediterranean. Heart breathed life into attracting new opportunities and creating endless possibilities for the Phoenicians as other civilizations became extinct or weakened.
By avoiding and resolving conflicts, they were teaching non-violence as a way of life. One generation after another learned to value harmony and this was hardwired into their brains. If we choose peace in our hearts, our decision makes it happen.
What type of world would we experience if differences were settled peacefully and people would respond to each other from peaceful memories rather than violence, hatred and anger?
This is the seventh article in a series on the Ancient Wisdom of the Phoenicians. Article 8 is: The Fourth Principle: Religious Tolerance