Philosophy and Metapsychology of Peace

Peace is essential for social harmony, economic equity, and political justice, but wars and violent conflict frequently disrupt it. From the Buddha and Jesus to Gandhi and the Dalai Lama, spiritual and religious leaders have tended to equate peace and love, both in their internal dimensions and in the way that those who have attained spiritual maturity engage with others, most keenly with those who may hate and envy them.

Being at Peace: Toward a Metapsychology of Peace

The metapsychology of peace studies the psychological and emotional components of peace and how they affect individuals and society. It entails examining the psychological dynamics and mechanisms at play in the experience of peace and the social and cultural elements that shape and sustain it. A condition of inner balance and harmony between various facets of the self, such as the conscious and unconscious mind, emotions, and thoughts, is viewed as peace from a meta-psychological perspective. It is also considered the outcome of satisfying interpersonal interactions and a sense of meaning and purpose in life. The metapsychology of peace is interested in examining the various routes and tactics people can use to attain peace and potential roadblocks.

Additionally, it aims to comprehend how various therapeutic modalities—such as mindfulness, meditation, and cognitive-behavioural therapy—can help to foster peace. In the end, the metapsychology of peace aims to advance knowledge of the intricate and diverse nature of peace and how it can be fostered and maintained in individuals and societies. With this understanding, we can endeavour to make the world a more peaceful and harmonious place where people may live more happily and healthily and in harmony with one another.

Freud's views on Peace

According to Freud, the unconscious conflicts and wants that influence individual and group behaviour can be investigated to understand better what leads to conflict and violence. He believed that people could only find peace if they could reconcile their unconscious wants and end their internal conflicts. He thought psychoanalysis, which tried to bring hidden conflicts to light, helped this reconciliation process. However, Freud also understood that conflicts between individuals and communities must be resolved to attain enduring peace. Freud, therefore, advocated for the resolution of these conflicts as well. He felt that forming social and political institutions that supported justice and equality may aid in the slow and ongoing process of civilization's growth, which tried to resolve conflicts between individuals and groups.

Being at Peace: Toward a Philosophy of Peace

Philosophy defines peace as a condition marked by the absence of conflict, violence, and suffering. Philosophers have extensively analyzed and argued about this idea throughout history to comprehend its nature and circumstances. Some define peace as a condition of harmony in which people and communities live with respect and cooperation. Others view it as a nebulous idea that necessitates eliminating institutional violence and advancing justice. Philosophers have also examined how peace relates to other ideals like freedom, equality, and human rights. While some contend that pursuing peace may necessitate the restriction of certain rights, others claim peace cannot exist without certain principles. A philosophy of peace ultimately seeks to advance a world devoid of violence and conflict and improve the well-being and happiness of all people.

Gandhi's Philosophy of Peace

Mahatma Gandhi's philosophy of peace's core principles was his commitment to truth, compassion, and nonviolence. He felt that nonviolent measures could bring about political and social change and saw nonviolence as a means of struggle against oppression and injustice. His solid spiritual beliefs informed Gandhi's idea of peace, and he believed that nonviolence could change people and society and be a useful political tactic. Many people worldwide were inspired by his nonviolent campaigns, such as the Salt March, which demonstrated that change could be brought about without violence. Gandhi's approach to peace is still inspiring for people who fight for justice and peace around the globe today.

The ultimate objective of every young person's emotions and behaviours should be to achieve serenity. Once their minds are at ease, they may focus on spreading the message of peace. Youth should understand that social harmony is an indicator of peace. They should work quietly to make their own and other people's social life joyful and uninterrupted, as is the goal of any society. Gandhi also advised young people not to mistake religion. All religions, including Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Jainism, have taught peace and harmony for society to have a happy and peaceful existence.

Truth − Gandhi committed his life to the larger goal of finding the truth or Satya. He attempted to do this by learning from his failures and performing experiments on himself. Gandhi believed overcoming his demons, anxieties, and insecurities was the most crucial war to fight. Gandhi described his ideas initially when he declared, "God is Truth". He would eventually amend this remark to "Truth is God". Thus, Satya (Truth) is "God" in Gandhi's worldview. The truth was Gandhi's favourite human virtue, and his book "My Experiments with Truth" was influenced by it. Satya Meva Jayate was his campaign motto. Gandhi desired that every individual and community practise truth at all costs. He emphasised that all faiths, philosophies, and communities have unequivocally espoused truth.

Non-violence − Gandhian philosophy is based on non-violence and truth. Change in a violent, exploitative culture by nonviolent persuasive means has never been seen in history. We have been led to believe that non-violence is primarily a tool of timidity, but this is not the case. Gandhi saw it as a weapon for daring and dedicated individuals to a specific cause. Gandhi was the first to use non-violence on a large scale in politics. Gandhi drew the concept of non-violence from the concepts 'Ahimsa Paramodharma' and 'Vasudeva Kutumbakam,' which imply achieving total freedom from ill-will, wrath, and hatred, as well as cultivating love for everybody. Gandhi recognised that this degree of non-violence demanded tremendous faith and bravery, which he recognised not everyone possessed. As a result, he warned that non-violence should not be adhered to, primarily if it is used as a cover for cowardice. Gandhi asserted that non-violence is the norm of behaviour for a society if it wants to live following human dignity and achieve comprehensive progress towards peace.

Types of Peace

The majority of peace researchers categorize the existence of peace into two groups. First, what is known as negative peace is the perception that there is no fighting. It has historically denoted the 'absence of war' and other forms of large-scale violent human conflict. Second, what is referred to as positive peace is the existence of justice, harmony, equality, etc. Positive peace, in which a centralized authority not only forbids aggression between individuals or groups but enforces justice, is more consistent with the intra-state order, even though negative peace (the absence of conflict) looks fitter for international relations. However, it is indisputable that internal and external relations are constantly interacting. As a result, to create lasting peace, positive peace must be built both internationally and within the nation.

According to Johan Galtung, "structural violence" is mostly to blame for a human society's lack of positive peace. Structural violence is the cause of obstacles to creating positive peace, even though it may contain instances of negative peace. It is important to remember that peace goes beyond pacification. A person does not have to stop fighting just because they want peace. While opposed to aggressiveness, physical conflict, or war, those who want peace are not the passive kind. In other words, pacifists are active people who reject injustice, whereas passive people typically merely hope or pray for peace.


A nonviolent, compassionate philosophy of peace can motivate people and groups to act for peace and build a more fair and just society. On the other side, others may object to this strategy as overly idealistic and naive and claim that it neglects to address the root causes of conflict and violence. Likewise, the metapsychology of peace, which investigates the psychological and emotional facets of peace, is an essential instrument for comprehending the human components of peace and conflict. Some may counter that this strategy has limitations when addressing systemic problems and may need to understand the role that power and structural injustice play in causing and sustaining conflict.

Updated on: 20-Feb-2023


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