Friday, 25 February 2011

Peace: what does it mean?

Peace is often talked about glibly so here are some definitions from WordWeb with my comments in italics:

 1.The state prevailing during absence of war
If people indulge in warlike thoughts and speech this is unlikely to be stable.

2.Harmonious relations; freedom from disputes
Speech helps keep relationships harmonious but  true mutual respect, not just tolerance, is needed for this to last.

3.The absence of mental stress or anxiety
It is desirable to have this state of mind even in war but it will not last unless based on reality. (Believers in God perceive reality as something more than that revealed by the senses and scientific instruments.)

4.The general security of public places
We certainly notice when it is absent, as it is in many towns in Libya at this time.

There is one other definition which is spiritual peace, a kind of harmony with the source of being, which does not seem to be defined directly in the dictionaries I have looked at. Whether this can ever be reached by enough people in the world to prevent war is open to question but it's worth trying for. In 2077 AD it has become clear that our very survival depends on it.

Author, 2077 AD