Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part II

Peace is a living concept and men and women’s understanding of what constitutes peace, and what is comprised by its antithesis i.e. violence, is evolving as the human race itself evolves.

Violence is more than direct aggression; there are also structural and cultural dimensions to violence like poverty, unemployment (structural), censorship and sexual discrimination (cultural). If governments, educators, the media and every aware individual were to label these additional categories of violence as such, more men and women would come to understand how far we still are from creating a culture of peace and how important it is to create new structures, or to reform the existing ones, in order to guarantee a more peaceful future for the present world community and future generations. Culture of Violence

Present day societies, particularly in so-called “developed” states, are characterised by a vast network of information technology, which has brought people into vivid contact with the day-to-day reality of life in almost every corner of the globe. This fact together with the high value placed on intelligence, that is the ability to think and reason, is giving greater prominence to the issues of morality and ethics in human attitudes and behaviour, be this is at the macrocosmic level in such fields as politics and trade, or on a community and individual basis. Therefore, the concept of peace can no longer be understood simply as the absence of war, but rather needs to be seen as the transformation of violence on all four of its levels.

Extract from my MA thesis entitled: A Shared Human Identity – the Foundation of a Peace Culture

 

10 thoughts on “Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part II

  1. I believe there will never be peace as long as there is ‘want’ and ‘need’. These traits only truly dissipate upon our demise. This is probably a more simplistic summation of your own words though. Sorry to be so melancholic in my viewpoint.

    Excellent article.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much Steward for your feedback and kind words. You make a very important point about the relationship between the inner and outer world in which human beings live, which is why – despite what the majority of academics think – you cannot exclude the topic of psychology from a peace studies curriculum. However, our Western world – at least at the political and social level – tends to dislike qualitative things (like states of mind and being) and would rather ignore them, unfortunately, focusing instead on quantitative aspects like signing a peace accord, holding elections, reconstructing damaged housing and building missing infrastructure, all of which is critically important of course. Yet, after a genocide (large scale direct violence) or violent political dictatorship (direct/structural/cultural violence), the inner world of human beings can be so damaged that focusing only on quantitative post-conflict peacebuilding measures can be like walking on thin ice. Emphasis needs to be given to things like healing deep trauma, forgiveness, deconstructing the deep cultural narratives that continue to simmer below the surface and easily refuel the hatred and resort to physical violence.
      Moreover, focused consideration around human wants/needs and desires/will form the basis of all personal development / spiritual work i.e. they are aspects of our human constitution that we have to understand and master so that we can move beyond being mere victims of our unchecked emotional turmoil, never-ending mental chatter, inherited attitudes and social constructs.
      Just some thoughts… Blessings, Sam 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

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