When contemplating peace, inner peace must be in the picture as well. Enjoyment of beauty is an important source of peace.
Beauty can be found in many places but we often miss it when in haste.
Human voices is one source, but sometimes we need to close our eyes to realize this. The voice of a loved one, a child, a singer, a funny stranger…
Personally I feel like a voice fetishist at times. Here is a great ballad with Donna Summer but it is her partner, Matthew Ward, that really thrills me. A partner who sings like a panther, that’s the picture I get in my head and heart.
The mind of love must be a cousin to the mind of peace.
Music plays an important role, if not the central role for peace. It is obviously not always “peaceful”, can be the very opposite. Just witness what has happened in modern 20th century music (Rite of Spring, Allegro Barbaro and so on), and also what goes on today in diverse popular genres like death metal or techno.
But music making (and this is an important insight) is practically always peaceful.
Even the most violent band or orchestra plays together. They might dislike each other intensely, arrive in separate taxis to the concert, but take note that when they go onstage they play the SAME piece, in the SAME key, in the SAME tempo, together.
In music making harmony reigns. That is why it is such a great model for positive peace.
Of course music can be used as a tool of dissent, protesting war and violence. Protest is of many kinds; it can be (and make others) angry, indignant, or just make you laugh. Anger I see as protowar, so I lean towards laughter, towards that which inspires, that which indicates where to go instead of where not to go.
Here is a satirical viewpoint — warpoint, soundpoint — from Country Joe and the Fish.
Lyrics below. Sing along!
Give me an F. Give me an I. Give me an S. Give me an H.
What’s that spell?
F I S H !!!
Well, come on all of you, big strong men,
Uncle Sam needs your help again.
He’s got himself in a terrible jam
Way down yonder in Vietnam
So put down your books and pick up a gun,
We’re gonna have a whole lotta fun.
REFRAIN: And it’s one, two, three,
What are we fighting for?
Don’t ask me, I don’t give a damn,
Next stop is Vietnam;
And it’s five, six, seven,
Open up the pearly gates,
Well there ain’t no time to wonder why,
Whoopee! we’re all gonna die.
Well, come on generals, let’s move fast,
Your big chance has come at last.
Gotta go out and get those reds
The only good commie is the one that’s dead
And you know that peace can only be won
When we’ve blown ’em all to kingdom come.
Come on Wall Street, don’t be slow,
Why man, this is war a go-go
There’s plenty good money to be made
By supplying the Army with the tools of the trade,
But just hope and pray that if they drop the bomb,
They drop it on the Viet Cong.
Come on mothers throughout the land,
Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
Come on fathers, don’t hesitate
Send them off before it’s too late.
Be the first one on the block
To have your boy come home in a box.
I just learned a for me new word: prepper. And it reminds me of, of all non-people, Gladstone Gander (Alexander Lukas).
Let’s hear what Wikimama has to say about preppers. Note my underlining.
“Survivalism is a movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. The words prepper and prep are derived from the word prepare.”
But why Gladstone, this lazy and infuriatingly lucky goose? Because when he finds money on the street, typically a big note (a hundred dollar note or so) he says “Typical!”. He is a lucky guy.
We less lucky folks say “typical” when we LOSE money. One could say we are less optimistic than Gladstone, but the situation is much more interesting than so: — If “prepper” comes from prepare, what do preppers prepare for? Well, disaster, of course. Emergencies, disruptions, the bad, the worst.
That can be a wise thing — sometimes.
But there’s another thing to consider. What said the epitaph on the grave of the hypochondriac?
“I told you I was sick!”
Funny and revealing. It shows how we humans love to be right. It matters not so much what we are right about, only THAT we are.
I suspect some members of sects and religions that predicted the end of the world would have personally detonated the Big Final Bomb themselves if they could — when their prediction didn’t come true. Rather kill all, than live with the shame of BEING WRONG!!!
I wonder how much these preppers court disaster themselves, imagining it, dreaming about it, almost longing for it…. I mean, if it doesn’t come, and come soon, all their prep was in vain, for naught.
We could introduce a term here: self-prepared disaster. A variant of self-fulfilling prophecy.
The attitude of The Venusian Peace project is of course the the opposite.
We say: Prepare for what you want not what you don’t want. If you prepare meat-balls, don’t expect strawberry pie for dinner. Meat-balls it will be.
Enemy is a war-word, but I wanted to make the statement strong. We can say “obstacle” but I believe it’s more than that.
The frustration I am thinking of is aligned with fatalism. (Frustration is more active while fatalism moves towards coma.)
“The world is in a mess, people are disagreeing, quarreling, shouting, shooting and killing each other. Everything if going down the drain… and… there’s just nothing I can do about it… How frustrating it all is!”
If it really were so — that you could do nothing — it would be bad indeed. But there are things we can do. The situation can be changed.
-How? And whence your optimism?
I am optimistic because we are the situation. We are inside of it, not outside. That’s reason for hope.
So there is reason for hope. Very importantly, we don’t really KNOW what is possible until we have tried. Surmising will not do.
The danger of frustration/fatalism is that it makes us resign and give up at the very first step. We lose before even entering the contest. The best, certainly the cheapest, way to win a war is making your opponent think he has no chance of winning.
He will surrender without even having collected himself and his forces. Just listen to Mr Fatalist.
Since frustration and fatalism are so strong it is VERY IMPORTANT to get them out of the way and regain hope, restore faith in our ability to change things.
I mean, look at me. Who am I? A musician, a pianist who got into his head that he could perhaps make a BIG difference with these thoughts about peace and Venus.
A cardinal aspect of the question is doing. Action is needed. But not just muscular effort fueled by strong emotions, not just shouting slogans in a protest march. That is not enough.
Thinking is needed, but that also is not enough. Intelligent thinking needs be aligned with action.
When we actually DO something we immediately feel less frustrated. That also goes for shouting in a protest march, but I personally distrust slogans and emotion-based shouting. Yes, it is good to shout away, as Sally Bowles did in Cabaret under a railway bridge. But shouting and marching will just get rid of surplus energy; it will not create harmony.
You can hear the paradox and dissonance of that. Harmony is not born from disharmony.
So we need to act but also think carefully about WHAT to do. Sometimes this is not hard at all. A very simple, but still often not performed action is SHARING.
Instead of sharing fun videos and pictures of cute animals we can share important thoughts with our friends and acquaintances. If they also realize the “Power of Now Share” the rings on the water can grow into substantial proportions. What was mere marginal intellectual effort can turn into intelligent heat wave, which in turn waters the soil for a harmonious future.
There are other things one can do, like meeting with friends and arrange occasions for discussing peace and unite in activities such as music making, philosophical/paxological cafes, etc.
If possible, try to meet in the real broadband of the IRL world (= all the senses are online, as opposed to the ridiculously low (but admittedly fast) bandwidth of the digital world). In the digital domain it is soo easy to just sit and sit, click here and there, but not do much more.
And more is needed for peace.
So give Venusian peace a chance and watch out for the frustration virus. You could start by sharing this article.
Welcome to Prepare for Peace, one third of the Venusian Peace Project.
The subject here is obviously peace, but not in an obvious way. When we say the word “peace” certain associations pop up, but they are not very relevant here.
Venusian peace is a different animal. Fortunately. Because the usual kind of peace is neither very interesting, enjoyable, or even peaceful. Some think of balance of power as peace, while weapon-based peace does not strike us as being peaceful.
That’s why this is called the Venusian Peace Project.
If the word “peace” is a container, we suggest that the content be harmony, art, music, balance, beauty and love.
Those Venusian qualities makes peace capable of withstanding and balancing the competition, which is war and foremost crypto-war (= milder forms of war-related activities like debates, tournaments, contests, action movies, computer games, and generally most things built on the win-lose model. As in the motto for the movie The Highlander: THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE.)
What is today called peace we call proto-peace — not yet real peace.
Venusian peace is peace in bloom.
Here is a video presentation:
[The painting: Portrait d’une jeune femme by Alfred Stevens]