Home Discussion Forum Your thoughts on peace and pacifism please?

Your thoughts on peace and pacifism please?

In these quiet moments before others rise and the festival of Christmas gets under way, I find myself pondering the nature of peace and pacifism.
I ask this question from a spiritual/philosophical point of view, rather than a political one.
Is pacifism an ideal to which we should aspire, not to fight under any circumstances? (I think of the conscientious objectors who entered the battle fields under enemy fire carrying stretchers and bandages rather than weapons.)
Or are there times when even the most ardent lover of peace must needs take up arms and fight?
In ancient and lawless China, was old Bodhidharma right to teach his monks Kung Fu as well as meditation?
For the record – I’m English.
What wise and beautiful thoughts are here expressed.
The way I have squared this particular circle for myself is by considering the amount of harm I might do in any given circumstances.
If, for example, by violently subduing a violent man I can prevent his victim from being raped, then I would see it as my duty to do so.
And so, when Hitler started his rape Europe, I believe it was right to use force of arms to, (eventually), overcome him.
And now it is my pleasurable duty to choose a best answer.
Pleasurable but not easy. :-))


  1. peace is a universal goal, it is also an unobtainable one.
    Most strive for peace but if we ever fully let our guard down then there will be someone who takes control by force of arms, thats the paradox. If we embrace peace we will be destroyed by inevitable evil but if we arm ourselves with armies and weapons then there will be those who want to use them.

  2. It has been said that bad men can do bad things only when good men stand by and do nothing.
    If you want peace, prepare for war, not just materially, but also psychologically. You should be psychologically prepared for war, and not go around all the time yelling, “When will peace finally come?” The other side wants war? Fine, bring it on! Only then will peace come, only when the other side is convinced that we mean it. We’re not doing anything to convince them. On the contrary, we’re doing precisely the opposite, which is why we are the greatest threat to ourselves.

  3. Phoenix,
    Well it was one of your president’s that said:It is not peace in our time it is Peace For All Time that is our goal. I can’t remember which one you’ll have to find out for yourself.

  4. My dear Phoenix…peace must first be awakened from within…’til then, it finds only those who dwell in the inner space away from the nattering, chattering world of selfish pursuits. May all ones find the spark of Love that animates and drives us all, and bestow it in their outer world as it arises within.
    Peace to you, my brother, and to all (whether they are awake or asleep) who have come here to discover the Truth of their Being. We walk among each other as Light bearers…we must remember this for those whose Light has dimmed. May we all remember…
    i am Sirius

  5. A pacifist apposes war, violence and selfish ambition as a means to settling differences, or achieving ambitions. A sentiment we all share.
    Pacifist Mohandas Gandhi said, An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind. A truer statement is hard to find.
    When we accept God is within us, we realize God is with us. And God is with us, who can be against us. In other words, we are not at odds with one another but with principles and principalities. The mind and heart is the battlefield of the soul.
    The greatest weapon we have is love, and the greatest tool for peace.
    [Brilliant question, thanks for asking.]

  6. You ask a very good question…
    Hmm… I think I have to try and find a balance between pacifism and honoring my inner truth…when I say pacifism I mean ‘keeping the peace’ in a family situation while not contradicting what I feel in my heart. Sometimes I wonder if I am doing this the right way? Peace with my loved ones and honesty within and throughout are both very important to me. When does a contradiction in those terms become so glaring that a definite line has been crossed? I don’t know…I am just praying for love and compassion to show me the way.
    I feel like sometimes in order to keep the peace I have to disrespect who I am…and this surely isn’t the answer “Or are there times when even the most ardent lover of peace must needs take up arms and fight?” I really don’t know the answer to that question….I want to say no…I think we should all do INNER work before we judge others, and especially before we take up arms and fight others.
    Thank you for this thought-provoking question…love and light……and a big Christmas ((((((hug)))))))

  7. Contrary to public opinion peace is attainable. Not unfortunately in my lifetime, nor I suspect yours.
    Conflict is caused by differences of opinion, notably Religion. Greed either for material wealth or power over other people. Envy of other people are or have. Eradication of these problems can only be achieved on an individual level. No amount of legislation, or for that matter, fighting will induce peace. It must come from within each person on the planet.
    It would help to have a fair and just society in every country, but that will take centuries to achieve. In the meantime we would all be advised to watch our backs, without losing sight of the ultimate aim.

  8. ‘Is pacifism an ideal to which we should aspire, not to fight under any circumstances?’
    –Oh, but from where may we ever dredge the ‘should’ for our personal aspirations? There are, clearly, those who believe that people or ideas or objects exist that are worth fighting for, and equally, there are those who do not. Or perhaps those who do not have simply never been in a situation where they might be driven to it. Who knows? I certainly cannot say that what one person is willing to die for (potentially) is worthless, or at least not worth the sacrifice they offer for it, for it would be worth little only to me.
    ‘Or are there times when even the most ardent lover of peace must needs take up arms and fight?’
    –Again, I cannot say that there is any ‘need’, and find it hard to imagine in what sense there could be. Having said that, I suppose it very much depends on how we define a ‘need’. Is there really a difference between killing an animal for food (in the absence of starvation or the prospect of such) and going to war over, for example, a territorial dispute, or an eloping face that launched a thousand ships, or an old treaty with Belgium? I’m not sure that there is, fundamentally. It seems to me that all violence essentially stems from a desire–though I do not think that is quite the right word–to dominate and exploit our environment (oh, and perhaps that is one of our needs?). To live we must be violent–we end lives to sustain our own. The only reason we exist is because over millions of years we have devoured and destroyed effectively enough to persist.
    ‘In ancient and lawless China, was old Bodhidharma right to teach his monks Kung Fu as well as meditation?’
    –We are only here to consider that question by virtue of him doing so. In a sense, at least.
    I have never yet been in a situation where violence has seemed necessary or right, and for that I am most grateful. I honestly cannot say what I would do were it otherwise.

    Once again I have enjoyed thinking about and answering your question. Merry Christmas, Phoenix, and everyone else, unless you do not celebrate or care for that, in which case have a good night.
    Yours with stoic cheer,
    Poppy Seed

  9. Pacifism is the way to go but it will never work within humans…we are all different and that is how the divine being made us. If we want peace, people become insuulted and through this becme angry then agreessive
    It is a Human Trait that cannot be un-done, no matter how many of us commit to Pacifsm….
    Not to fight under any circumstances is wrong….i could not watch my family suffer and not do anything about it…it shows i care and that is another trait that Humans cannot be changed.
    Yes Bodhidharma was right to teach his monks kung-fu…fight or die…there was now laws as you say so we all must arm ourselves to defend our lifes and those that we care about
    Peace is a reward, as with any reward we must facee hardships and pain….all which teach us to accept…then Peace will shine through the clouds of learning.
    Sorry if this doesnt make full sense im a lil tired.

  10. Who in their RIGHT mind doesn’t want World wide peace for all time ?
    But there will always be a few blockheaded cranks that will see no other way out of a situation other than to fight.
    Hence the expression, ‘ fighting fire with fire .’

  11. I believe in self-defense and the defense of my loved ones if I believe they may become victims of a killer and they have done nothing to deserve it.
    I would try not to kill otherwise, but I don’t really know if I’d be capable of it under other circumstances…


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