Sunday, November 04, 2012

CCCXCIX - Pax Non Verisimilis



Imaginary Garden with Real Toads invites us to write ‘Poetry for Peace’.
I’m afraid my view of the prospect of peace for mankind is not a hopeful one.


Pax Non Verisimilis.

The lion shall lie down with the lamb 
but the lamb will not get much sleep. 
– Woody Allen.

There are no Neanderthals living now.

They were different.    

So we killed them.

We don’t like difference.  

◊◊◊

Our history is a catalogue of fighting differences:

Racial differences, 
Religious differences
Ideological differences

The same depressing folly.

Our sports teams play out surrogate wars for our respective tribes.  
Victors gloat.  The vanquished rail in dismay.  
The result is meaningless but the hurt is real.  
The defeat is personal.

The religious, our self appointed moral custodians, fight each other.
The winners claim god’s endorsement. 
Who can argue?

We are intensely tribal, 
deeply suspicious of outsiders 
and driven by greed, envy 
and revenge for long held grievances.  
We cannot be trusted.

Can mankind live in peace?  

I suspect not.
.
---
© J Cosmo Newbery 2012
---
Print this post

37 comments:

  1. As is often the case, your thoughts, whether expressed in poetry or prose, echo my own. I don't hold out much hope for our species either. We can't seem to remember or put long into practice the very things we preach... compassion, kindness, inclusion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The trouble is compassion, kindness and inclusion are not necessarily survival attributes.

      Delete
  2. My best friend feels this way too. It is a place to meet, this argument. You express it beautifully and convincingly, and I may admit that it is unlikely while asserting it is necessary. It is not a matter of instinct, it is a matter of choice. We can read the failures or the successes or both together. Weigh Gandhi with Stalin in forming a nation. It would be nice if Peace meant that no one died, but that hope is a long way off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Stalin died in his sleep, Gandhi was assassinated. What does that tell you?

      Delete
  3. I hope you're wrong though - about not being able to live in peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too. But the empirical evidence points elsewhere.

      Delete
  4. I agree with you 100%. Conflict is very much a part of our animal instincts, our fierce protection of territory whatever we perceive it to be. All that gives me hope is the very human part of our make-up: the ability to imagine a different way. We are both artists and warriors, creators and destroyers. Peace is a destination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we can just find enough people who believe in peace to beat the violent ones into submission... :-)

      Delete
  5. Ooh, Kerry, I so love your comment here. Peace is a destination. J Cosmo - you have nailed the problem: humans see and fear perceived "differences" in religion or ideology, and forget to see the samenesses - we are all human beings. God must gnash his teeth wondering why it is taking us so long to "get it".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If there was a god, perhaps we would be in this position.

      Delete
  6. Until peace is seen as profitable...

    ReplyDelete
  7. J Cosmo, I agree with you. Since the beginning of time there were wars. They will exist until the end of time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If we can't run a football match without trashing the surrounding town then there is little hope for the 'big picture' of humanity.

      Delete
  8. It may be that your thoughts on peace aren't hopeful, Kerry, but they are thought provoking, and as long as people are thinking and talking about peace, the ideas are in the open. It is when people stop that it becomes more worrying.

    Can mankind live in peace?

    I suspect not.


    Maybe not, but we can try...a little at the time.

    Peace to you and yours!

    (Though not directly a BlogBlast4Peace post, it was inspired by the idea, and therefore a link to your post will be on "Peace Bloggers Unite" later)




    ReplyDelete
  9. Conflict seems to be in the DNA of life...for me my mind is the battlefield where peace will one day raise its flag.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I would like to think that you are wrong, but I don't. And the almost teenage me didn't either:
    Man, you make the same mistakes time after time,
    Reaching,
    grasping with insatiable greed,
    until you over-reach yourself.
    and are humble for a while.
    Then it starts again,
    and again till you die

    ReplyDelete
  11. There will never be peace as long as mankind is around; mankind won't allow peace; mankind is incapable of living in peace.

    And I get no peace from saying that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Certainly there is little evidence to refute the idea. And far too much to support it.

      Delete
  12. I also suspect not, even as I hope that you and I are wrong.
    K

    ReplyDelete
  13. Peace is a choice. It happens to be one of those choices we must make, personally, every day ...

    xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Personally, individual, we make better choices than we do as groups. Tribal belligerence is cruel and far too predictable.

      Delete
  14. I hope you are wrong, nice poem by the way. It did get your point across.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, subtle as a 4" howitzer! :-)

      Delete
  15. There is a dichotomy here-it is our tribal and aggressive nature that has spurred humankind to become the dominant force in the world today. But now that we are so populous and prevalent, we have little choice but to try and work harmoniously together. But really, would the planet miss if the worst happened? I think not. We may be the dominant species present at this point, but there have been others before us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very true. People talk of the 'end of the world' but really it is the end of mankind they think of. The world will turn on, new species evolve. We have been truly lucky to be thinking, loving, creative animals. But we are not a necessity for the planet. Will we work harmoniously together? Time will tell.

      Delete
    2. I'm in agreement here. 'Mother' earth and her species were born long before we homo sapiens ... our time on earth barely spans a drop in her history. She'll live on and life will continue to evolve after mankind has eradicated itself.

      We need our earth more than our earth needs us. Humbling .... xxx

      Delete
  16. Wow... this cuts deep b/c it's so true.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I suspect that you're right!

    ReplyDelete
  18. We're our own worst nemesis...it seems. Great write for the challenge.

    ReplyDelete
  19. There will never be peace. It is not in our killer nature. But, considering all things, it is miraculous that we can go to work or walk to the corner shop without being murdered...thanks to the creative ingenuity of man , creating laws, a thin veneer of socialisation and religion ...necessary shackles to contain the beast.

    I hope this comment does not result in my n ticket being revoked.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not revoked, no. It does flag it with a watching brief, that's all.

      Delete

You've come this far - thank you.
Take your time, look around,
There is lots to see.