Low in the central brain lies the limbic system (hypothalamus, hippocampus, amygdala), where the aggression seems to start. But there is a higher brain as well. If war originates as an impulse of the lower mind, then peace is an accomplishment of the higher, and the ascent from the brain's basement, where the crocodile lives, to the upper chambers may be the most impressive climb that humans attempt. In 1993 the traffic was heavy in both directions, from the world's lower brain to the upper, and back down again. Gestures of statesmanship, as lately in Northern Ireland, alternated with low-brain savageries:...

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