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The Vision Statement of the Peace Foundation

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1 The Vision Statement of the Peace Foundation on Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:20 pm


The Vision Statement of the Peace Foundation
2012 October 12

Posted by Steve Beckow

time ago, either in 1982 or 1991 – I no longer remember which – Iris
Hone of Vancouver, Canada, established the Peace Foundation, whose
object was the securing of world peace by the year 2000. After Iris,
Gordon Scott took over the foundation until his death a few years later.

They asked me to write the Vision Statement for the
Peace Foundation, which I did. Iris and Gordon were out in their target
date for world peace by twelve years. Who would have known back then?
Here is the
Vision Statement for the Peace Foundation. (Who knows who wrote it?)

The Vision Statement of the Peace Foundation

Achieving World Peace Now! Oct. 10, 2012

In the course of a maturing social relationship, human beings have
seen and faced problematic social conditions like hunger, plague,
slavery and poverty. Though still present or possible in human affairs,
these conditions disappeared as an everyday feature of the lives of
enough people that the idea arose that they need not be a feature of the
lives of any.

As each was recognized as a condition rather than a principle of
life, an artifact rather than a fact, attention was freed for human
beings to look for other conditions presented as principles. Problems
not totally resolved were brought from the background of human
consciousness to the foreground, where human choice resides.

The Peace Foundation is a response to the challenge of seeing war as a
condition rather than a principle of life, an artifact rather than a
fact. Holding war as an intentional human creation, the Peace Foundation
is the stand that war shall end on this planet by the year 2000.

People who see war as an artifact, rather than a fact, are enabled to
examine new questions. For example, if war is neither necessary nor
inevitable, why does it persist? What ends does it serve? What fact of
life breeds war as a condition?

Or, given that human beings have no need to turn on one another, what
are the principles of a life lived outside the condition of war? How
might people behave without resort to arms? How might civilization be
conducted? How might consensus be built? What would be the condition of
satisfaction in a world without triumph and defeat?

If the human community addresses war in the same way it addressed
slavery, then ideological camps or poles of opinion will likely arise on
these questions around different value-orientations. Academic schools
of thought will develop, emphasizing one or another causal factor.
Paradigms will arise as individuals glimpse more and more of the way
things are for the human community.

The clash of opinion need not be seen as an invalidation of the
principles of peace. Opinion will shift with each to and fro of events,
but the whole will be gradually forwarded as each distinction comes to
light, so that to hunger and plague, slavery and poverty will be added
war as something no longer to be humanly tolerated. A humanity bent on
maturation can come to notice and formulate ways to live in a world
without war.

There is a word that is widely used today, whose common usage
obscures a common misunderstanding of its referrent. That word is
“peace.” What we mean by that word is surely an event so transforming
that any verbal description of it has neither the breadth to envelop it
nor the power to convey it. In the past we have conceived of peace as
being that which is when war is not, Only interimly can it be conceived
that way.

Now we have the opportunity to see peace as being capacious enough to
hold war within it without being invalidated or destroyed by war.
Clearly, a cessation of war goes on within peace; not so clearly, war
goes on within peace as well.

Peace is the land on which weeds as well as crops grow. Peace is the
cloud which spews forth hail as well as rain. Peace cannot be captured
in a web of words any more than love can. It is more basic to human life
than language.

As a fact, rather than an artifact, of human life, peace has not even
been noticed by many until recently, while language has been developed
and studied for millennia. Peace having been recently noticed, people
have begun to establish some metaphors and identities so that they can
point in the direction of peace and be pointing at more than just the
absence of war. An opportunity now arises to discover and align with the
laws and principles of peace.

The Peace Foundation holds forth the vision of a world without war, a
world fully expressing peace. The Peace Foundation is designed to be a
potent force in the work of shifting the order of human affairs from
skill at war to availability to peace.

Many of its goals and methods are not yet determined and will take
form as an expression of its members’ will. Nonetheless, all the
activities of the Peace Foundation will derive from this stand: that the
year 2000 shall see war renounced as an instrument of policy in favour
of peace on Earth and an Earth at peace.
Thanks to:

  I became insane, with long intervals of horrible sanity ~ Edgar Allan Poe

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