Prepare for what you want, not its opposite

1 ₪ Prepare for Peace  Let us start our odyssey by looking at language.

Instead of opposing war and fighting against war (also a war), we can pave the way for peace by removing obstacles to it. This first one in Latin.

Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you want peace, prepare for war.

This is such a sad case of idiocy. I think Latin is a glorious language. I once tried to learn it but my active disinterest in and aversion to grammar stopped me. However, Latin conveys an automatic aura of profundity . Said in Latin, nonsense gets away with being nonsense.

Si vis pacem… this sentence has a nice paradoxical ring to it. People love to quote it. The paradox + the Latin makes this a hip meme; our mouths feels intelligent when mouthing it.

But what is really being said? That if you want peace, prepare for its opposite. In some instances where certain values are to be defended, this is relevant. An okay partial truth but a lousy truth.

For if you want war, you will of course prepare for war, too. Whatever your goal, you will prepare for war. Gosh, how the military-industrial complex loves that logic!

Don't disturb. We are preparing for peace!
Don’t disturb. We are preparing for peace!

So, prepare for war in all cases and what do you get? WAR!

“Prepare” is an interesting word. When we prepare a dinner we are going to eat what we prepared.

We don’t think that we can prepare tomato soup and then eat Wiener-schnitzel. But that’s exactly what we imagine when we prepare for war and expect peace.

So let’s rewrite this. If you want peace, prepare to think hard. Cause the war impulse is so ingrained with us, so sneaky, so manipulative, that it will find all kinds of excuses for itself.

Some of them in fancy Latin.

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Who am I?

On the Internet nobody knows whether you are a dog or a god — or a robot!

Well, I am neither. I started my activity in classical music: as pianist, musical coach, composer. Then I took up philosophy and tried to join music with deep thinking. Wrote the book “Offensiv Nostalgi” in 1993, which is relevant to the Zeitgeist Research here. Fooled around with futurist inspired happening when I stopped a high speed train as a protest against the Sacred Cow of Speed (of course the Futurists loved speed).

A great interest of mine is entertaining with finesse. I arrange musical salons and have also written about the salon. Experiments with philosophical cafes have turned into what I now call Mindfulosophy. Have also made a couple of political explorations — 4 parties to date — trying to understand what makes politics tick (and often explode).

There’s a CV for you. There are more links to the right if you want to see other things I am doing.

But what matters here, and what is the best I can offer the world, are my insights about how music (more specifically music making) holds answers to some of our greatest questions. Questions like “How can we dissolve dissonance?”, “What is a harmonious tempo for life?” and “How can we create harmony that is peaceful, interesting and exiting at the same time?”.

Here you can see that I am not a dog.

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What is Mindfulosophy or Slow thought?

Mindfulosophy (or Slow Thought) is an attempt to better understand, and create more musical harmony, in our communication.

Quality is one aspect of communication. Most of us talk. Sometimes we are engaged in conversation (talking on a higher, more qualitative level than exchanging the usual everyday phrases). Sometimes we have philosophical conversations, aiming to go even deeper into a subject, bringing even more of ourselves into the conversation.

This higher kind of conversation is not just a fun, stimulating kind of exchange. I believe that is it also the way to really solve problems, understand the world and ourselves. Even to arrive at that far off goal PEACE.

It is also slower and more thoughtful, not the kind of fast verbal dueling / semantic mud-slinging that we often engage in.

But this kind of high quality conversation does not happen by itself. If it does, it does not last long, being dependent on winds, luck, chance.

In Mindfulosophy I have tried to make this kind of conversation more repeatable.

Mindfulosophy is a kind of mental room.

Let’s say we live in a big house with lots of rooms. The finest, our favorite, is the Salon. We want to be able to go there as often as we can.

Now imagine that we are dependent on luck to reach it. On some days we find it, on others we don’t. Where did it go…? Not being able to find a certain room would be a frustrating experience in a house!

On the other hand, we most every day have the experience of talk and conversation that doesn’t fly, doesn’t really get anywhere, that just repeats old half-truths and stock phrases. Boring, as Sherlock would say.

But since our orientation in mental rooms is much poorer than in physical rooms we don’t think much of it. We accept boring, bland and repetitive as normal. Ah, well.

But it need not be so. Mindfulosophy is my attempt to clarify this mental room, understand it, map it, and make it more easy to locate.

I believe we could have a lot of deep fun in it, besides it being a tool for moving forward as humans.

We are looking for that Inner Room!

Ladislaus Horatius  >>CONTACT

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1 ₪ Prepare for peace

1 ₪ The first facet of the Venusian Peace Project is about pondering, understanding and creating worthwhile peace. (Not just avoiding bad war.)

NEWS UNDER THE SUN

“Nothing new under the Sun”, so say people who haven’t taken the trouble to really look around.

And I am not now talking about miraculous forgotten cities, old manuscripts in mysterious libraries or as yet uncharted islands. Even within the boundaries of our ordinary lives there are areas that are strangely neglected.

“Strangely”, when you consider how important we say they are to us.Three such areas that I have come across are party life (explored here), listening to music (explored here), and last but not least peace (explored right here!).

Considering how important peace is, or how important we claim it is, its domain seems to be built on old, stale ideas and stock (non)solutions. I actually feel like an explorer into virgin territory here, exploring and trekking the exotic island of Venusian Peace. Sounds like an Edgar Rice Burroughs novel, but this is no fiction.

THE QUEST FOR GOOD QUESTIONS

Unlike most people I do see world peace as possible. The way to it leads through intellectual and emotional paths, paths that are overgrown, unclear, confused. Asking earnest, to the point questions can help us to clear the path.

Questions like

  • What IS actually peace?
  • What is it not?
  • What is its relation to war?
  • Is there a larger spectrum, can we draw a map where war and peace (and stations in between) are placed in intelligent fashion?
  • Who’s “table” is peace? Are there other groups than politicians, diplomats and historians etc. who might give better answers, find better solutions to peace?
  • How can peace become as interesting, enjoyable, fun, exiting and enthusiasm-creating as war, or rather crypto-war (fighting, contests, debates, action movies and violent computer games)? Crypto-war is the competition, so let’s not fool ourselves into thinking that peace “has a chance” if it remains lofty but boring.
  • How can music, art and other “venusian” activities help to make peace more substantial and truly attractive?

These are just a few non-traditional questions that could help us move forward. In short:

Ask better questions and ye shall receive better answers.

Repeating / ruminating the same old peace questions does not lead us forward. We need to open new doors. Let us think outside the board and explore really new (or long forgotten) paths.

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Seven obstacles to peace

What stands in the way of peace? Here are seven obstacles. Actually there should be one more, let’s give it number zero.

0) “If you want peace, prepare for war” (Si vis pacem, para bellum, no less idiotic for being said in Latin). And if you want war, prepare for war (!?).

Seems we are always preparing for war. How on Earth is that going to give us peace? We get to eat the food we prepare, in the same way we get (often in the neck) the war we prepare for.



Now the seven obstacles.

1) We don’t know what peace is.

2) The word is empty, or negative, or filled with explosives.

3) We are blind to the seeds of war and inspiration to war all around us.

4) We don’t desire it enough.

5) We don’t really believe that peace is possible.

6) We think that we peace-lovers are a weak minority.

7) We turn to the wrong people for peace.



1) We don’t know what peace is.

Even a small child can tell you, in a simple, basic sense, what war is. Most everybody understands war.

Ask even intelligent grownups to define peace, and they will have problems. Can you define it?

If we don’t really know what peace means, how then can we work for it, find it, make it manifest?

2) The word is empty, or negative, or filled with explosives.

The word “peace” is either a nicely wrapped Christmas present that turns out to be empty, devoid of clear meaning.

Or it is mainly defined negatively, as absence. “We have peace when we don’t have war.” This could be logical if you live in a country at war, but not if you live in a country not at war.

Finally, some people talk about “balance of power” as an aspect of, or means to, peace. If every party has enough (same amount) nuclear weapons then we will have balance = peace.

Such weapon-based or war-based peace doesn’t sound particularly peaceful to us.

3) We are blind to the seeds of war and the inspiration to war all around us.

We think that only soldiers and politician are making war. At the same time we ourselves are busy doing microwar and protowar. How? Where? In our quarrels, debates (battere = hit, beat), discussions (dis= apart), war of words, “flame wars” on the Net. (All of these manifestations are a kind of ritualized “battles”.)

Mass media inspires us in this same direction, with all these competitions and contests based on elimination, reporting political debates as if they were boxing matches. Of course we see life and society as mainly a win-lose affair, however much we mouth the cliche of win-win.

4) We don’t desire it enough.

There are so many more interesting things than peace. Adventure movies, computer games, sports, Facebook, sex, hot gadgets and cool apps, Pokemon go…

Besides, it is quite logical NOT to give our energy to something that we don’t really grasp and cannot define. If peace at least had some of the excitement of sports, or politics, or even opera… But it seems to be a static, sterile phenomenon. Yes, sure, fine and high and lofty, but somehow still unable to catch our actual interest.

5) We don’t really believe that peace is possible.

Fatalism is major disease with mankind. Our scientists have not only dethroned God (and made themselves our new gods) but also informed us that we are “mere specks of dust in the Universe”. Hardly pep talk for taking our, and mankind’s, destiny into our hands.

The forces working in the opposite direction (war) seem overwhelmingly strong, our mass media constantly shows us examples of war (their logic is “good news is no news”), hordes of people around us say that voting is meaningless, “you cannot really change anything”.

Is it any wonder that one turns fatalist?

6) We think that we peace-lovers are a weak minority.

Actually we are a majority but the “hawks” and the winners of war (those who profit by it) are strong, well organized, well financed, and armed to the teeth. They project a scary image — and we let ourselves be scared.

Some like to say that man is evil, but behind war and strife stand only a small evil minority. Why don’t we send these guys and gals off to a small planet where they can act out their war games, without dragging the rest of humanity along with them?

However, for this we also need better citizens. Being a “voter” who votes every other year, maybe follows politics on TV and complains about political decisions that don’t please him is not enough. Enough to sustain status quo, and war, yes, but not enough for creating peace.

7) We turn to the wrong people for peace.

Peace work needs to be separated from politics. Peace is apolitical, utopian, win-win. Politics is win-lose, separatist, based on elimination.

Think about it. The repeatedly demonstrated talents of politicians and presidents is 1) rhetoric (including dishonesty and downright lying), 2) putting part-, party-, partisan interest (or just ego) above the common good, 3) more or less common corruption and even criminality, and 4) war (direct and indirect).

Hoping that somehow peace will flower from such a mold, such a questionable domain, is like entrusting a village of picturesque wooden houses to a pyromaniac. Wrong tool, wrong person for the job.

So who is right for it? A peace pilot, a Jedi of peace, someone who understands harmony, found in abundant measure in music.

(All this will be more fully explained in a later text. This is just a first sketch, but it is at least a step in a new, fresh direction.)

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