It just recently occurred to me, as a result of the visual combination of a christmas card wishing peace for me, and a violent action film in front of my eyes, that within the human realm of experience, peace is not the opposite of war, but the product, or end result.
You see, if peace is desired, a conflict must first be tackled in order to produce peace.

As we live within a universe that is in constant flux, change occurs on many levels all around us at every moment of every day, therefore peace is not something that can be maintained. A change WILL occur in a supporting pillar of peace that will cause a conflict somewhere down the line.
Within modern society, we exist within an illusion of peace, but there are daily conflicts occurring all the time, and they are dealt with by the relevent authorities to maintain the illusion of peace – out of sight, out of mind.
Peace can only exist in a static universe, but a static universe cannot be experienced as it is change that is noticed and experienced. Therefore peace cannot exist in our universe!

Many times have we seen demonstrators outside of places like Parliment carrying boards that say, in various ways, ‘PEACE NOT WAR’, yet I would argue that they are, at that point in time, at war with the establishment. Their conflict, not yet violent, is demanding that a different action should be carried out to that which they are protesting about.
What these protestors are doing is to be warriors to a cause. They are fighting against actions that they do not agree with.
They are FIGHTING. (…do they realise…?)
They are creating a new ‘war’ which, paradoxically, is trying to put an end to a war.

Wars are the result of change.
Change is driven by another force, or forces. Politics, beliefs, basic survival needs.

The forces within politics are driven by aspirations of power, and / or the accumuation of money, and the need to ensure the support of it’s public come the next election. (This is not to say that it isn’t done in the best interests of Joe Public… although history has shown that it can go out of control.)
To gain power (no government wants to lose power), money is required, therefore the accumulation of money must be the prime driver in all things political.
I don’t wish to get too political in this post, but by following this path of logic, it now becomes more obvious if there is any change in the world that means a reduction to the financial means of a government, then a further self-defensive change driven by the government is required.
Sometimes this means violence is needed.

We all have beliefs in things, and at times these beliefs can be in direct conflict with the beliefs of another.
Depending upon the nature of the individual, one can either simply agree to disagree, be persuaded that this other belief is the correct one, or conversely, be determined to show the other person / group that they are wrong.
As we can see in today’s media, there is an apparent rise in terrorist acts around the world (although, any religious act that is extreme is a terrorist act, and this method of religious conversion has been around for a very long time – the Christian crusades anyone…?) and the wars that they create are justified as Holy Wars (Jihad) that are in the interest of their God.

So back to the point of this post; it seems to me that the idea of peace is not something that can be obtained within the modern world. It is merely an idea, an illusion that can be pursued… an invention of the human mind.

Perhaps the closest we could ever get to true peace is for mankind to work towards living in harmony with the natural world.
An analogy might be the balance of nature on the Serengeti. There is an illusion of peace. But you ask the mother Zebra who had just had her baby taken by lions if she thinks there is peace in the world… she may agree that there is balance… but peace?

It seems to me that war and conflict is in our nature… not humans’ nature, but the nature of life on Earth.
The struggle of life creates death. The struggle to avoid death generates the need to fight.

True peace cannot exist on Earth quite simply because life cannot exist in that way!