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Posted: Nov. 17, 2002
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Question of the Week: 72 - 12/24/2001
Is 'Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men' Possible?
Is a workable 'peace on earth' just wishful or spiritual thinking or is it really possible? What would it take to achieve such a goal? Is it even a 'good' thing to attempt to bring about? How are your personal levels of tolerance tested in this world and how well do you think that you respond when someone demonstrates an attitude of intolerance towards you? Where do you draw the line and finally say, "No more!" What do you think about the current and future state of the laws that define 'legal' tolerance? Will they hold up over the years? Do you think that we are making progress as Pagans and as human towards a universal set of human rights guidelines? Should we even go there at all? What role does religion or spirituality- for better or for worse- play in the arena of religious and civil rights and/or the quest for peace?
| Reponses: There are 28 responses posted to this question.
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| I Believe That Peace On Earth And Good Will Twards Men (and... ||Dec 27th. at 10:04:38 pm UTC|
|Phoenix (Emerado, North Dakota US) ||Age: 21 - Email |
I believe that peace on earth and good will twards men (and women) is not really possible. It is ideal, but as long as people keep being individuals, it is not possible. There are too many people out there with differences and the thoughts that they are right. People will always be different and have different thoughts. The same thing that makes this world so great, is the same thing that makes it terrible.
| Peace And Good Will, Try Being A Bicyclist. Out Enjoying Nature As... ||Dec 22nd. at 9:55:48 pm UTC|
|Victor Meek (Hallsville, Missouri US) ||Age: 41 - Email |
Peace and good will, Try being a bicyclist. Out enjoying nature as you ride to have cigarette throwen your way, people swinging fishing poles at you as they pass, and drinks flung on you because you slow them down for a few seconds. Don't ride on Sunday 20 minutes before church or after, be a shame to get to church 2 minutes early or to be slowed down getting away from there. In fareness there is a church that their parishners don't act that, but in general WELL. Looking into these earth based beliefs, some of their ways fit the way I feel.
Thanks for my chance to sound off.
| Is Peace On Earth Possible? Certainly, But I Doubt It Will Occur... ||Dec 22nd. at 6:31:02 pm UTC|
|Les Russell (Akron, Ohio US) ||Age: 44 - Email |
Is Peace on Earth Possible?
Certainly, but I doubt it will occur while humans roam the earth. Entirely to much to compete for, argue about, and generally bitch about. How unfortunate. The below message from 'the catholics' is an outstanding example of this kind of thinking.
Dear Wren Walker,
"LUCIFER"...will WRENCH your beautiful neck with Hatred for all Eternity, if you finally choose to be his forever. Wren Walker, consider carefully the Eternal Torture of Trillion and Trillion centuries to be repeated again and again forever. What is it that you are afraid most (sic)? Now imagine that this most fearful pain of yours will be done to you again and again
Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion times again and again forever. ..Kick out all your Sins and return to God. We have seen your picture and e-mail address in the withches (sic) vox.
Love in Christ from Ruby and Joe (Catholics)
A couple things catch my eye in the above rant.
1. The Lucifer comment seems more like the threat of the boogie man, ideal for terrorizing children into brushing their teeth before bedtime than anything else.
2. Your worst fear? Probably having to share living space with "Ruby and Joe (Catholics)" for all eternity. I shiver just thinking about it.
3. Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion-Trillion- Trillion-Trillion times again and again forever" Seems kind of redundant. How many zeros is that, anyway??
4. "Love in Christ" With love like this, who needs enemies!
On the other hand, at least the catholics are writing, and not flying planes into buildings.
Perhaps Peace on Earth will be more likely if the media didn't take so much joy in reporting it, and the attorneys (and law makers) didn't have so much fun drawing lines in the sand.
In any case, let's take it one person at a time. Remember, a regular person is a happy person.
| I Hate To Say This, But I Highly Doubt That There Will... ||Dec 21st. at 3:21:54 pm UTC|
|Awna (Beaumont, Texas US) ||Age: 18 - Email |
I hate to say this, but I highly doubt that there will ever be peace on Earth OR good will toward men. It all ties in with polarity: good and bad, light and dark, up and down, right and wrong. Without chaos, what is order? Nothing. We can pray, spellcraft, and dance under the Moon all we want to, but unless people are willing to change, nothing will ever get done. Religion/spirituality/philosophy ties in with this greatly, but unless people accept a positive form of religion/spirituality/philosophy and actually follow it, it does no good. Realistically, the only people that we can really change are ourselves - the rest is up to Her.
| Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Log On To The... ||Dec 21st. at 9:17:38 am UTC|
|Amaranth (Cape Canaveral, Florida US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Just when you thought it was safe to log on to the Perspectives Page, I have to go and think again! Sorry, guys -- I usually try to get it together a little more than this, but this is just a fascinating topic for me.
The good news is that I'm relaying my husband's thoughts here, with his permission. He is very interested in magickal theory, and seems to have an innate understanding of many things I struggle to understand. His viewpoint is that our opinions and expectations mold the world we see around us: our perceptions create the universe we live in. Therefore, if you imagine and expect a world where peace is possible, it becomes more possible, and that part of the world closest to you actually reflects your expectation; if you imagine a bleak and hostile environment, your world actually becomes more bleak and hostile.
This is actually borne out by recent experiments in physics where observers were asked to predict the behavior of subatomic particles, and then told to check their expectations by observation. The observers saw a better-than-chance occurrence of whatever they expected, no matter how much "expectations" varied from observer to observer. (I'll try to find the academic cite if anyone requests it.)
Looked at from this vantage point, our every thought is a magickal act, in that it alters the actual fabric of universal events around us. If we allow the acts of ben Ladin and small-minded people like those who tortured JourneyWalker's friend and Joe and Ruby (Catholic) (I didn't have the heart to tell the good Catholic people I know about this) to change our perception of humanity and the world for the worse, we are lending their thoughts power, granting them magickal strength they would not otherwise have had. If instead we view them through a set of beliefs based on our magickal intent, we are not only changing the world for the better, but even, through tolerance and understanding, changing those we view for the better (it's a lot easier to place someone who's done a bad thing for an understandable reason into a peaceful mindset than it is a "bad" person). That doesn't mean not speaking out or fighting back, it means waiting to do so until we can act out of the purest motivations and with balanced goals.
I always assume that someone behaving badly is missing something essential to their survival or development. This makes it a lot easier to set up a dialog where one or both of us can learn something. It changes harm into a positive bond, and I know of no one who has enough of those.
My husband refuses to listen to anything bin Laden has to say, because he feels listening to him (bin L) gives him credibility he should not have at this point. As far as I'm concerned, bin Laden is out there somewhere, but no matter what he as one individual masterminds, the nature of humanity as a whole is still good and still capable of greater things than we have accomplished in the past - maybe even world peace, who knows? (I'll settle for no children fighting at the dinner table tonight, because that's my little world. :) )
Blessed Be, again!
| It Is Very Hard If Not Out Right Impossible To Imagine Peace... ||Dec 21st. at 12:48:29 am UTC|
|Brianna (La Mesa, California US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
It is very hard if not out right impossible to imagine peace on earth. I think that over the years we sa people are making more and more progress with explaining what paganism is and isnt while at the same time stepping out and making ourselves heard.
The Reason I say that peace on earth is an almost impossiblty is because every single person has a differant view of what is peaceful and what is not. I hope that I am wrong and that in time silly little differances like race and religon will be overlooked. However look at things that are happening now in today's world. Some pagans are being taunted for celibrating and worshipping a differant path than the majority while in other places it is agenst the law to practice a differant faith from the majority.
I hope to the Goddess that I am wrong and that some day in the future our children will be able overlook the small differances and be friends and kin to each other while being tolerant of their friend and kins religon and personal beliefs.
| No. As Long As Humans Are Not All Brainwashed, We Will Always... ||Dec 19th. at 10:06:08 pm UTC|
|9;2;2 (Derby, Kansas US) ||Age: 17 - Email |
No. As long as humans are not all brainwashed, we will always find something to fight about. There can be no order without chaos, they are in a fluctuating and constant balance and imbalance with each other.
Order without chaos is absurd. It is a fantasy where people only see the beauty of order, and not the ugly side. The ugly side of order is oppression. If you have no idea why I think order can be bad, read up on Benito Mussolini, Ferdinand Marcos, Augusto Pinochet, Jean Bedel Bokassa, Nicolae Ceausescu, Mao Zedong, and all of those fun people. If I recall correctly, Mussolini and Hitler were sort of butt-buddies in the political way, with Mussolini establishing himself as a fascist dictator of Italy after collapsing all political enemies around him. Order is corrupting, but so is chaos.
Hmm... some people on the chaotic side...
Osama bin Laden (of course), Earth Liberation, and most extremist animal-rights activists who fire-bomb hunting ranges.
Peace is governed by order. Peace does not last forever, it will eventually be followed by adversity. Think about the Earth herself: she may seem still, but she is in constant movement. During peace, there is little growth. Peace is more of a nap-time for humanity, and chaos is when we wake up.
So, no, there will never be peace on Earth until every last life-form dies and Earth becomes a static mudball. There are always little pockets of peace, but not in totality.
A quote to keep in mind.
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely."
| That Depends On Your Definition Of Peace. If You Mean No War... ||Dec 19th. at 10:01:11 pm UTC|
|Drekfletch (Wolfeboro, New Hampshire US) ||Age: 19 - Email |
That depends on your definition of peace. If you mean no war, then it is possible. But like all change, it will cost us. It will cost us the hardship of accepting absolute knowledge. I have a book, _The Light of Other Days_ by Arthur C. Clarke, that tells of how a technology is developed that can reach anywhere back into time (including the present) anywhere in space. As this technology spreads, it virtually eliminates all possibility of crime, unpunished violence, holding secrets, telling lies. And as this unadultered truth pounds at mankind, the face of society changes.
But, if you mean where all are content, then it is a definite NO. We, as a race, have discontent in our genes. It gives us the incentive to grow, to evolve. To resonate with Amaranth's idea, we need something to strive for. I found an ad in the paper once that said: "If you want something done...dangle the undoable in front of the world. Then, consider it done." It continues on telling many things done that were "impossible." If anyone wants to read it, I still have a copy I can e-mail.
As for me personaly, I dread the time when we get to the level of "eternal" peace. I am afraid of what we will evolve to next.
| This Is Where I "draw The Line.." An Open Letter To Ruby... ||Dec 19th. at 9:22:07 pm UTC|
|little red man with pitchfork (yourtown, Pennsylvania US) ||Age: 86 - Email |
This is where I "draw the line.."
AN OPEN LETTER TO RUBY AND JOE (CATATONICS)
Since You seem to have nothing better to do than monitor this website, monitor this--It's your kind of feeble-minded, fanatic, fundamentalism that We've been fighting in Afghanistan. Do bin Laden and Taliban ring a bell? Because You're more like them than your weak little minds know. Your obvious psychotic ramblings are pathetic. This is the kindest thing I can say to You - SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP IMMEDIATELY. Oh and, one other little bit of friendly advice: "for anybody will wrench your beautiful neck with hatred for all eternity..."? Sounds like a not-so-cleverly veiled threat to me. Over the Internet, no less. Not too bright at all. Some might even call it inciting a hate crime. I bet You also send this kind of terroristic filth to women's clinics as well. Just like Waagner did. But he was caught too wasn't he losers? Let's just say if any harm should come to Wren's neck (which You have a creepy obsession with) or any other part of her, I and thousands of others will know where the authorities should look first.
| Unfortunately, 'peace On Earth' Will Not Be Possible Until We (including All... ||Dec 19th. at 5:17:01 pm UTC|
|MoonSong (Montreal, Quebec CA) ||Age: 23 - Email |
Unfortunately, 'peace on earth' will not be possible until we (including all the people in this plane of existance) stop fearing the unknown. Not knowing and not understanding each other's religions/cultures/customs is what has been the basis for many conflicts on so many levels in the past, and will be the basis for many more to come. Educating people would be all it should take to acheve this goal, however we all know how thick-skulled some people are, especially if they have heard the same misconceptions all their lives and had them drilled into their minds, so educating people may prove to be difficult. Personal levels of tolerance are actually usually tested when someone of a certain culture/religion/nationality does something extremely shocking (i.e. the attacks on the WTC), which causes for people to put all people of the same culture/religion/nationality under the same category of so-called bad people, and this should not be the case. I usually ignore people when they are being intolerant towards myself, because it is not my problem, it's their own... That would be all I would have to say on the subject for right now, but I think that covers all I can really say on this. Brightest Blessings.
| Of Course Peace On Earth And Good Will Towards Men Is Possible... ||Dec 19th. at 11:52:56 am UTC|
|Raven Prince (Fort Lauderdale, Florida US) ||Age: 20 |
of course peace on earth and good will towards men is possible. i for one have refused to sit back and act as if i don't have control over my own feelings and behavior. i could blame my moments of personal weakness on almost anything and not really do anything about them, but i have developed an honest image of myself with a strong inner critic to keep me in check, and i don't allow myself to think' well i'm only human'. i used to be a person i was not very proud of, but finally i just told myself that i was going to simply be a better person always. i'm not perfect, but i no longer get into arguments, i no longer hang around with thugs, i no longer get turned into a ball of stress by driving or by the artificial tensions imposed by other people, i always eat well, i rarely drink, i no longer smoke, i don't do drugs, i'm going through college and starting my new career and nothing much gets me upset anymore. i have even been able to tolerate and forgive those who have caused me difficulties and harm, without returning their negativity. i have even discovered that by simply accepting the total level of control i have over myself i never have to consciously shield against bad energy because it just natural bounces off of me. and best of all is i have escaped the pendulum swing of my mental, emotional, and spiritual states by rising to a higher plane of stability.
i'm not bragging and saying all people should model themselves after me, that i am a guru or prophet or god or philosopher, that i'm perfect or any other high and arrogant thing like that. i'm saying that like most people i never used to believe i could find peace with myself, and though i don't claim i will ever achieve total inner peace i have found the peace to strive to keep myself on a higher level of being at all times, to shrug off the anchors of the superficial world that try to ground us in material reality and lower nature. this is how peace is achieved. everyone must reflect, consider, question, and ultimately we must be prepared time and time again to tear down our entire basis of belief and ideology and rebuild from scratch, keeping the best from the old and adding the best of the new. peace can never be achieved if people act without contemplating, or ground themselves in lower being without balancing their lower being with their higher being, or if they do not accept their absolute total control over themselves, and in particular there can never be peace if we as a species refuse to maintain our childlike innocence and be able to see the world without a million trillion ingrained perceptions because the fact that can be proven by history is that nearly every single belief we may hold no matter unquestionable it may seem is nonetheless wrong, so we should stick with things we know can't be wrong, like be good to the planet, love thy neighbors, follow the path of goodness, etc...
peace is possible, because it is proven even by medical science that our aggressions and predjudices are more learned than inherited. but we must find peace one person at a time.
| Okay, Everyone. I Have A Few Questions. (i Know, I've Been Thinking... ||Dec 19th. at 9:39:21 am UTC|
|Amaranth (Cape Canaveral, Florida US) ||Age: 34 - Email |
Okay, everyone. I have a few questions. (I know, I've been THINKING again, and I really need to stop that!) I am trying to incorporate balance and tolerance into my philosophy and practice of daily life. I have spoken to a few people who have attained - though not permanently - a state of "oneness" called different things by different religions. In that state, they felt guided at all times and in all ways by their own inner/outer (depending on the religion) divinity. They had guidance in recognizing the "line in the sand" and the necessary actions to defend it, and acknowledged others' forays past that line as inadvertent and/or "not personal." They acted truly in peace, and I was in awe. In theory, are we not all capable of this state? If we are, isn't world peace a natural extension of that individual state (albeit a lo-o-o-ong extension)?
The next question is this. Balance is an overall equality of the forces of "dark" and "light", to grab hold of a paradigm recently used on this page. But "dark" and "light" each have a positive, constructive application and a negative, destructive one. Even that choice of terminology is confusing, because there are times when construction can be positive OR negative, and destruction can be either as well. Doesn't Balance then refer (perhaps) to making the choice which is more appropriate (and less harmful) to the beings involved? And simply trusting that others are doing their best to do the same?
Next: I read here several beautifully expressed pieces in the past two weeks about the Zen practice of "disconnecting" from the karmic wheel (please forgive me if that is a poor term), of experiencing without labelling or reacting as a means to achieve balance. In my understanding, it is from experiencing our lives and our reactions that we learn our "life lessons" and work out some of the karmic obligations from our past lives. In disconnecting from these experiences, do we negatively impact our spiritual development? Or does reaction and balancing occur in spite of us somehow? Please forgive my ignorance - if this feels too off-topic for you, I would welcome an off-line response.
I bring up these things because as so many writers on this page have pointed out, world peace is not possible without the personal peace of the citizens of the world - at least not without a horrible Orwellian overtone. So in my mind, personal peace is definitely relevant to a discussion of world peace.
Finally, there's one thing I just can't keep quiet about, and that's the relevance of history to a discussion of this nature. History is important, and it has been too much neglected in the past fifty years. History does tell us that we haven't been able to accomplish peace. However, until Edison, history also told us that the indoor electric lighting was impossible. Until recently, cloning was impossible. World peace will also remain impossible UNTIL IT EXISTS. History teaches us our past, but not our potential, so it is extremely important not to let what we have done or not done limit what we try to accomplish. Keep hoping, keep loving, and maybe enough of us will create pleasant microcosms to have a positive effect on the macrocosm. As within, so without.
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