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Defining Peace

January 7, 2011

In my entire life, I don’t think I’ve ever felt something even remotely resembling peace; to be honest, I don’t think I want to; it seems so mundane and unproductive and boring. But nevertheless, peace is something I’m curious about, because of its spiritual benefits; I am after all quite interested in anything spiritual; that being the case, I must somehow at least define peace– what is peace? Is it a state of mind, a spiritual consummation, the positive counterpart of despair, or perhaps the unexcited form of happiness? Or is peace something far more instinctive, like the principle of homeostasis so influential in Freudian psychoanalysis? Out of every explanation, homeostasis seemed to me to make the most sense; after all, I have always identified to some extent with the necessity of status quo.

If peace is to return to the original state of things (homeostasis), then it can be best understood as the psychological manifestation of a basic instinct, likely evolved to help ensure self-preservation. This especially helps in making sense of despair, peace’s counter part; whereas despair is tranquility achieved through giving up (Thanatos), peace is tranquility achieved through fulfilling one’s needs / desires (Eros); in both cases, the principle of homeostasis holds true– with Eros, gratification restores the balance leading to peace, while with Thanatos, giving up on one’s desires brings an anti-balance leading to comparable tranquility. In both cases, homeostasis becomes the standard for the given ends, and so also serves to better define peace.

Because I refuse to give up (despair), but also refuse to lower my expectations (which is prerequisite to the gratification of desires), I cannot be at peace; I have designated things as such because I don’t want to be at peace, as I see it as a meaningless instinct suitable only for one bound by their fate (which I am not); in other words, for one who is “master of their own destiny”, there can be no peace. I deliberately strike against the flow, because I know that in the flow I as an individual will end, becoming absorbed in it; ironically, I am in the end still bound to the principle of homeostasis, in that I am adhering to an anti-homeostasis with the interest of self-preservation; I know this, and yet I continue in this direction, because I know that only through such an opposition (futile or not) will I be me. I guess you could say I define myself through anti-peace.

For most people, it would seem that peace is a necessity, or at least something to be desired; the vast majority of religions, both major and minor, advocate values that encourage peace and harmony, and oppose all which causes discord and strife. There is one religion that supports disharmony and discord: Discordianism. I myself am a discordian.

I see no value in peace or harmony, and would for this reason alone choose hell over heaven as my dwelling any day; heaven is too boring and pure for me– hell is by contrast the only dwelling with enough pain, corruption, and strife to satisfy me. All of the qualities Christians use to describe how terrible of a place “Hell” is are qualities I prefer. I want to be alone, want to suffer, want to fight, be f*cked with, and to be completely corrupted. I want that raw brutality, and people just don’t seem to understand that. They think I just don’t know what I’m talking about, that if I *really* knew what hell was like, I would take back those words. I guess most people can’t even imagine why anyone would, if they had the choice, choose an eternity of torment over immortal peace. They’ll probably never figure it out, because very few people can accept the raw truth, as I have. The bitter truth that in the end, we’re all alone!

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