Painting Peace

Hope springs eternal but actual accomplishments grow out of reality. The desire for peace must be based on more than philosophical ideas or political expediency. Romantic (and childish) notions of how peace will come about is reflected in the painting entitled Venus and Mars by Sandro Botticelli (c. 1480) and another with the same title painted c. 1498 by Piero di Cosimo. Religious precepts and prayer have failed to alter basic human behavior nor will the eloquent exhortations of the most profound philosophers. Peace without begins with peace within.

The all-important context must first support peace as a realistic goal. The worldview of Oneness celebrating the interwoven, mutually dependent nature of all of creation will make conflict literally obsolete. Exposing violence as madness, P-A will transform the identity of human beings which will result in fundamental changes in behavior. Only the ability to stop identifying with the body, mind and emotions with a practice that empowers response instead of reaction will lead to authentic peace—not the futile yearnings depicted in the paintings of the early Renaissance. This will be the most profound rebirth ever experienced by the inhabitants of the global village.


ILLUSTRATIONS in Masterpieces of Western Art by Ingo F. Walther (1996).  


References and notes are available for this essay.
Find a much more in-depth discussion in books by Roy Charles Henry.


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