Peace is More than the Absence of War

It is a dynamic state filled with positive, dynamic creativity and growing capacity. If war is destruction, peace is creation. If war is the limiting of human options and freedoms, peace is the increasing of our options. If war is the trampling of the human spirit, peace is the ennobling and celebration of our spirit and spirituality.

On a continuum from war to peace, what is beyond “peace”? The following chart is intended to make visible the progression from war to peace and beyond— to what I call “Deep Peace.”

As we move from war to peace, and then on to a deeper, richer, stronger peace, the amount of contact and then connection, tolerance, trust, interconnection and interdependence between people, countries, and cultures increase. Conversely, as we go from a state of peace to one of increasing conflict and war, the amount of interconnection, trust, tolerance, connection and contact decreases.

In the ongoing process of building peace on Earth, it is not enough to just be against war. What are we for? What is our vision of peace and an ever strengthening, deepening peace? We all know what war looks like. What does peace look like? (By this I don’t mean a bucolic scene without tanks and soldiers in it, or cute pictures of children or cats frolicking in nature. What is peace that is more than the absence of the telltale signs of war and conflict?)

If it is true that “nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”—that an idea is more powerful than the armies and war machines and machinations that permeate our global society, then what is our idea, our vision, of peace? Of deep peace?