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Feb 11, 2008

Peace (Ben Heine © )

Peace (Ben Heine © ), originally uploaded by Ben Heine.

Zoey types quickly as she tries to think peaceful thoughts:
Ben Heine has this text with this piece. We invite you to read's a heckuva day today in the canyon and blogs may be few and far between! So enjoy the video by Beachblogger, the photos we do manage to get up here, and if you need more to read, this is a great place to start!

Ben included this on Peace:

Peace is commonly understood to mean the absence of hostilities. Other definitions include freedom from disputes, harmonious relations and the absence of mental stress or anxiety, as the meaning of the word changes with context. However, there are others who would say that the absence of hostilities would refer to only those hostilities which are evident and that true peace only derives from the mind of each individual.

Peace may refer specifically to an agreement concluded to end a war, or to a lack of external warfare, or to a period when a country's armies are not fighting enemies. It can also refer more generally to quietude, such as that common at night or in remote areas, allowing for sleep or meditation. Peace can be an emotion or internal state. And finally, peace can be any combination of these definitions.

Peace as a selfless act of love

One less conventional definition of peace is peace as a state of perpetual love (see the second paragraph of Love). It comes from the understanding that any and all violence stems from an attachment, whether it be an attachment to a certain kind of truth (religious, political, economic, or otherwise) or an attachment to survival (out of the fear of death). What is born out of the attachment is then, an imposition of an idea upon the world. To believe that something is true for oneself, and therefore, it must be true for everyone else. In the quest for the realization of this self-spawning universal truth, the exceptions, also known as the Other (See the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas) must be done away with at the cost of their lives. This definition can be used to define almost any conflict.

Peace, then, can also be defined as a condition of universal self-abnegation. To let go of the desire for absolute certainty borne out of the consolation of suffering.

See Simone Weil and her book, Gravity and Grace.

Peace as an absence of violence or of evil; presence of justice
Constraining the concept of peace strictly to the absence of international war masks internal genocide, terrorism, and other violence. Few would describe the Congolese genocide of the 1890s as an example of peace, even though it technically occurred within the personal domain of King Léopold of the Belgians. Some, therefore, define "peace" as an absence of violence: not merely the absence of war, but also of evil.

Many believe that peace is more than the absence of certain societal maladies. From this perspective, peace requires not only the absence of violence but also the presence of justice, as articulated by Mahatma Gandhi. In this conception, a society in which one group is oppressed by another lacks peace even in the absence of violence, because the oppression itself constitutes evil.

Plural peaces

Some "peace thinkers" choose to abandon the idea of one definition of peace; rather, they promote the idea of many peaces. They think that no singular, correct definition of peace can exist; peace, therefore, should be seen as a plurality.

For example, in the Great Lakes region of Africa, the word for peace is kindoki, which refers to a harmonious balance between human beings, the rest of the natural world, and the cosmos. This is a much more broad vision of peace than a mere "absence of war" or even a "presence of justice" standard.

Many of these same thinkers also critique the idea of peace as a hopeful or eventual end. They recognize that peace does not necessarily have to be something the humans might achieve "some day." They contend that peace exists, we can create and expand it in small ways in our everyday lives, and peace changes constantly. This view makes peace permeable and imperfect rather than static and utopian.

Peace and quiet

In some contexts, peace refers more generally to a state of quiet or tranquility — an absence of disturbance or agitation.

Those who travel to remote, rural areas often notice the striking difference in the noise level between the cities and the countryside; hence the term "peace and quiet". Conflict that occurs in nature, however, often produces sounds. When animals fight, the surrounding forest can become even more silent, as the non-engaged animals warily await the outcome. After a conflict, the normal sounds and actions of the inhabitants eventually reappear.

Inner peace

One meaning of peace refers to inner peace; a state of mind, body and soul, which is said to take place within ourselves. People that experience inner peace say that the feeling is not dependent on time, people, place, or any external object or situation, asserting that an individual may experience inner peace even in the midst of war. Elizabeth Harley may have put this well when she talked about the peacechain being for both inner peace and world peace.

Some people believe peace is a way to slip through self consciousness, as with hippies in the 1960's. An affirmative definition for the concept of peace, one that expresses the condition as a state unto itself, rather than as the lack of its antithesis, is, "Peace is the state or condition of restfulness, harmony, balance, equilibrium, longevity, justice, resolution, timelessness, contentment, freedom, and fulfillment, either individually or simultaneously present, in such a way that it overcomes, demolishes, banishes, and/or replaces everything that opposes it."

Environmental Peace

Many, if not most, environmentalists consider protecting the environment to be a form of peace, if not the main form, as destroying habitats is quite arguably a form of violence and an "evil". However some of the resistance methods used by environmentalists may not be classified as peaceful, as their interests conflict with other people's interests.

Is violence necessary?

There is a wide spectrum of views about whether, or if so when, violence and war are ever necessary. Followers of Jainism, for example, go to great lengths to avoid harming all living creatures including insects, and pacifists, such as Christian anarchists, see any sort of violence as self-perpetuating. Other groups take a wide variety of stances, with many maintaining a Just War theory.

Source : Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Dr Taylor says: I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world, and the more peaceful our planet will be.


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