Peace is on my mind. Often. In many senses.
One of the too seldom asked questions about it (we need more questions about peace and fewer cocksure theories, answers and assertions) is “Why is peace so relatively unattractive?”
To which one could answer “Is it?”.
Yes, it seems so to me.
Compared with what?
With war, conflict, complication, competition, contention. And also with debate, quarrel, controversy and argumentation.
We forget, don’t even know, or don’t even mind that debate is related to “batre” (to beat, think of battery and drums). To beat somehow seems more interesting than to embrace and hug. And so war remains more “interesting” than peace.
But there is here a very grave and (literally) fatal misunderstanding of peace and harmony. We think that without competition and complication life would be dull and boring. And deep inside we panic at the thought of boredom. “Anything but that…! Any complication is better than boredom.”
However, it might be that we haven’t looked closely enough at harmony. We haven’t yet discovered its fascinating — and at the same time peaceful — nature. We are stuck with the competition-model, the complication-fascination and the war-box. It is SO hard to think outside of it.
And yet, we do have a wonderful example from which we can learn: music making.
Look at how it is done. Two, or four, or even two hundred musicians are playing and singing. They are all different; individuals with their own taste, ideas and philosophy of life. This does not create conflict.
They are performing the same piece, in peace.
They willingly follow the conductor (this does not create conflict), willingly listen to each other, willingly subject themselves to the common goal (Symphony no. 4 by X), they willing serve (without any servility).
Nobody tries to outdo the others or reach the finishing line first. This is not competition, this is concord. This is peace, but of the lovely, harmonious and interesting kind. Nothing boring about it.
This kind of peace is very natural and even taken for granted in music making. It is not so in life in general, not in our collective life, often not on a personal level.
Our motto is: It’s complicated /competitive / messed up. And we often like it that way, again as a refuge from Boredom.
If we but could clearly see the qualities of concord, understand and realize that Harmony and Boredom are different things, we would take important steps towards peace, collective as well as individual. What a wonderful world it would be.