Let's face it, humanity has a lousy definition, accompanying practice, and analysis of peace.
Many readers might take issue with the suggestion that music, art and literature (short stories, novels, poetry, etc.,) are bad for humanity, because such themes have developed into singular as well as inter-mixed cultures embodied in the livelihoods of nations. And it is no doubt that any representative example used for supplying information to explain such a perspective, would be met with assultive forms of denial. Because of this, it may be of only marginal value to trek this reading of the road sign we are on and instead begin by presenting a short illustration of what is meant by "poetic imagery", as a continuation and application of the previous mention of "imagery"... even if those who are poets often find their poems "flow" without any conscious effort to construct an idea as if it were a piece of to-be-assembled furniture.
(Poetic imagery is) the sensory and figurative language used in poetry.
The object or experience that a poet is contemplating is usually perceived by that poet in a relationship to some second object or event, person, or thing. The poet may be thought to transfer from this second object certain qualities, which are then perceived as attributes of the original object, the poet's intention being to decorate, illuminate, emphasize, or renew by such transferences the original character of that which is contemplated. The making or finding of the image is an activity by which the poet invites the reader to establish certain relationships, which in turn involve value judgments.
Image and symbol are, in one sense, the outcome of the poet's impulse to perceive unity in diversity or to draw together a number of apparently unrelated experiences or to communicate through their submerged or penumbral statements meanings that are beyond the resources of direct language. Images also differ in the depth or profundity or complexity of the meanings implied, as well as in their purpose and origin, and they may derive additional force and vitality from their contextual relation to other images in the poem.
The following is a simile from The Exequy (1624) by the English poet and bishop Henry King on the death of his young wife:
Beats my approach, tells thee I come...
The "soft drum," in conjunction with the "approach," suggests both the advance party of the army nearing the billets for the night and the poet's slow, inexorable, and welcome progress to death and reunion.
If the same image is used consistently throughout a poem, it may be appropriate to call it a symbol. It may be thought of also in terms of correspondences; a person, event, object, or myth is perceived by the poet to embody a number of significances, to which the reader's attention is therefore directed. Religious symbols offer some of the most familiar examples. Other symbols frequently used in poetry include birds, beasts, and reptiles, heavenly bodies, sea and desert, forest and river, music and dance, and artifacts of many kinds.
Certain metaphors and symbols, because they can be identified throughout world literature, have been called archetypal. Their continued use has suggested to some literary scholars that they correspond to profound and perennial aspects of the human situation. Among them are many myths, such as the descent into the underworld, the slaying of the dragon, and the rescue from the enchanted castle; flowers of all kinds, often symbolizing womanhood or its virtues; tower, tree, cave; the sea voyage; and fountain or well.Source: "Poetic Imagery." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
(From Greek archetypos, "original pattern"), in literary criticism, a primordial image, character, or pattern of circumstances that recurs throughout literature and thought consistently enough to be considered a universal concept or situation.
The term was adopted and popularized by literary critics from the writings of the psychologist Carl Jung, who formulated a theory of a "collective unconscious." For Jung, the varieties of human experience have somehow been genetically coded and transferred to successive generations. These primordial image patterns and situations evoke startlingly similar feelings in both reader and author. The Canadian literary critic and theorist Northrop Frye was influential in extending the use of the term archetype to specifically literary contexts. Archetypal criticism has been connected with another group of thinkers more closely allied to its Jungian roots, including Maud Bodkin and James Hillman.Source: "Archetype." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
With respect to "peace" (and war), we do not know if they are "original patterns" or are symbols... that is, images of something more basic. While we can might want to link all dichotomies to some origin such as the night/day sequence, and all biological/mental constructs as representative metaphors, it is best that we consider the many different interpretations that can be established, though being on Earth limits the list we might otherwise develop if we weren't subjected to its incrementally deteriorating demands for establishing some relative equilibrium.
If we view poetry and art as archetypes, it might also be of value to view them in terms of primivity... in that they represent types of early human grunts, snorts and barks... or other characteristic early behavior. As such, the retention of them is the perpetuation of an antiquated life- style... like a child's favorite toy or blanket they refuse to let go of, and the nation... as a parental figure... does not have the appropriate knowledge or skills to adequately ween the children from them. The nation, in effect, persists in encouraging the retention of an old umbilical cord that needs to be severed, so that humanity can move away from the archetypes of peace and war.
With the mention of the words "simile" (literally/figurative similarity to) and metaphor (non-literal/figurative similarity to), let's provide some short referencing for those who may be unfamiliar with the terms or need a bit of assistance to recall previous knowledge:
(A simile is a) figure of speech involving a comparison between two unlike entities. In the simile, unlike the metaphor, the resemblance is explicitly indicated by the words "like" or "as." The common heritage of similes in everyday speech usually reflects simple comparisons based on the natural world or familiar domestic objects, as in "He eats like a bird," "He is as smart as a whip," or "He is as slow as molasses." In some cases the original aptness of the comparison is lost, as in the expression "dead as a doornail."
A simile in literature may be specific and direct or more lengthy and complex, as in the following lines of Othello:
Whose icy current and compulsive course
Ne'er feels retiring ebb, but keeps due on
To the Propontic and the Hellespont;
Even so my bloody thoughts, with violent pace,
Shall ne'er look back...
The simile does more than merely assert that Othello's urge for vengeance cannot now be turned aside; it suggests huge natural forces. The proper names also suggest an exotic, remote world, with mythological and historical associations, reminiscent of Othello's foreign culture and adventurous past.
The Homeric, or epic, simile is a descriptive comparison of greater length usually containing some digressive reflections, as in the following:
As one who would water his garden leads a stream from some fountain over his plants, and all his ground—spade in hand he clears away the dams to free the channels, and the little stones run rolling round and round with the water as it goes merrily down the bank faster than the man can follow— even so did the river keep catching up with Achilles albeit he was a fleet runner, for the gods are stronger than men.
Source: "Simile." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
(A metaphor is a) figure of speech that implies comparison between two unlike entities, as distinguished from simile, an explicit comparison signalled by the words "like" or "as."
The distinction is not simple. The metaphor makes a qualitative leap from a reasonable, perhaps prosaic comparison, to an identification or fusion of two objects, to make one new entity partaking of the characteristics of both. Many critics regard the making of metaphors as a system of thought antedating or bypassing logic.
Metaphor is the fundamental language of poetry, although it is common on all levels and in all kinds of language. Many words were originally vivid
images, although they exist now as dead metaphors whose original aptness has been lost—for example, "daisy" (day's eye). Other words, such as
"nightfall," are dormant images. In addition to single words, everyday language abounds in phrases and expressions that once were metaphors. "Time
flies" is an ancient metaphorical expression. When a poet says "The Bird of Time has but a little way / To flutter—and the Bird is on the Wing"
(The Rubáyát of Omar Khayyam), he is constructing a new metaphor on the foundations of an older, stock metaphor. When Tennessee Williams
In poetry a metaphor may perform varied functions from the mere noting of a likeness to the evocation of a swarm of associations; it may exist as a minor beauty or it may be the central concept and controlling image of the poem. The familiar metaphor "Iron Horse," for train, for example, becomes the elaborate central concept of one of Emily Dickinson's poems, which begins:
And lick the Valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at Tanks;
And then prodigious step . . .
A mixed metaphor is the linking of two or more disparate elements, which often results in an unintentionally comic effect produced by the writer's insensitivity to the literal meaning of words or by the falseness of the comparison. A mixed metaphor may also be used with great effectiveness, however, as in Hamlet's:
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles . . .
in which "sea" should be replaced by "host" for the strictly correct completion of the metaphor.Source: "Metaphor." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
Actually, the words "host" and "sea" are incorrect if we are to keep in accord with the idea of armaments. The usage of the word "sea" permits the reader to interpret the meaning as having nothing to do with an actual embattlement scene, but a larger "theatre" of human experience. This snippet from Hamlet can be used to illustrate current social conditions about people enduring much suffering and only thinking about taking up arms against a sea of trouble-makers in the government and corporate business community.
Whereas in the foregoing the example "nightfall" is used and may have once referred to a perception of someone thinking that night falls... and the person using such a description was influential enough to get others to use the same expression; the fact that night does not "fall" and that the expression was adopted to the extent of being kept alive in language though its initial usage is lost in time... can suggest that the person having made the interpretation was perceiving the world in a distorted manner... but that the expression... because no one came up with one to compete with it, was adopted— even if its incorrectness was seen by some during the inception of the idea. Perpetuation of false ideas can occur when words are establish to permit them to continue because dominant speakers in or out of institutions may label them with some reference to be interpreted as having some special quality. In other words, by calling something "art" or science, or poetry, or metaphor, or simile, etc., there is an inclination to view representations as having value... even if they are false... because the word "false" can likewise be turned into either a positive or negative connotation to serve some authoritative perception... even though it is incorrect. Humanity becomes so burdened with "colorful" language they create a false reality that is difficult to remove oneself from.
Similarly, when thinking in terms of geophysical events, it was once thought that the Sun went "across" or over the sky, when in actuality it travels a triangular path... or at least produces this impression as the Earth rotates, and can be seen in time-elapsed photography which is focused on the Sun or Moon from dawn till dusk. Indeed, the Earth also is not "round" but a triaxial ellipsoid. It is by unraveling the falsehoods which enables us to get a clearer picture, a more sober picture than the very many intoxications created by metaphors and similes... though they can have value so long as they are not used to create an imaginative world one lives in like a psychotic who lives in the imaginative castles created by neurotics.
If peace and war are similes or metaphors, what are they standing-in for? Something that can not be easily articulated or for which no word yet exists to accurately describe? Are they states of mind, emotion or mere crude references to an involuntary physiological twitch? Are they what is generally defined or are such definitions the result of distortions dictated by and and dedicated to some pecuniary interest? For example, when we take the word "imagery" and associate it with "intelligence", we might want to ascribe the notion of creativity, giftedness or even genius. Such references may then be interpreted to automatically be part of behavior involving those engaged in the process of making and processing images to be used in military applications. Indeed, by using the word "intelligence", some of those involved actually believe themselves to be intelligent and that a usage of the term "imagery" to denote pictures... or images taken satellite imaging mechanisms, construes a situation that is, if all the electronic gadetry is removed, little more than the "artistic" behavior seen in elementary classes. It actually is pretty simple-minded stuff.
Yet, those engaged in such behavior, like so many others in different efforts which rely on electronic gadgetry; are inclined to interpret their activity as representing some exceptional level of intelligence and creativity. In other words, we witness electronic assisted egotistical expressions of mediocrity. Take away the electronics and you find a lack of intelligence and creativity which is not so easily obscured, even by a sleight-of-hand language ensemble which is used to distort perceptions. For example, if you take away all electronic media from those engaged in electronic-assisted art renderings, you will find that they actually lack the means of expressing any artistic skill with the tools used by pre-electronic age artists. The computer and its software arts programs help to conceal deficiencies... just as does a spell checker for those of us who are atrociously bad at spelling, though their vocabulary may be two to three times larger than conventional speakers or writers. Likewise for those harboring a repertoire of ideas from multiple subject areas.
Using conventional models of interpreting and defining (as well as applying) the typical ideas associated with peace and war, does not necessarily help us to resolve instances referred to as being problematic. Again, because peace is not well-understood and actually is inaccurately identified as a phenomena which precedes or follows some conflict or war, the arbitrariness of its definition lends itself to being arbitrarily applied. Hence, it reflects a psychological state of instability... just as does those conflicts defined as wars... even though they alternatively may be defined as a "police action" in order to circumvent some established government rule or regulation... such that in order for a conflict to be defined a war, the U.S. Congress must vote on it. But if it is defined as a "police action", the President can nonetheless engage in military activity which enables some to prosper while others are deprived. In other words, progress for some is interpreted by way of confiscation of resources of one to give to another... since all resources on an incrementally deteriorating planet are finite. Shifting resources can give the image of progress for a given time and place, just like alternations in situations defined as peace or war. The pendulum swing is gotten used to by adopting accommodations... like sleep and wakefulness.
Viewing peace and war as metaphors, the Nobel Prize Committee thus becomes like a literary institution giving grades for the best application thereof, with the word "best" defined by context and content of a specific genre that can change from place to place and person to person, within one context or another which prevails for a particular consideration. In other words, despite any and all good intentions to assist in a peace activity through recognition of efforts made by peace mediators; peace is not sustained... irrespective of all the excuses, reasons, justification and rationale applied to defend the committee's activities according to some guidelines interpreted by those who are selected to preside over the interpretation in a given era. In essence, the Nobel Peace Prize, recognition by the United Nations and similar "official" merits, have become part of the peace and war metaphor... like an embellishment featured by ceremony.
Because the notion of a "Collective unconscious" has become a familiarized idea related to the "archetype" label, it is of value to provide a brief definition:
(The "collective unconscious" is a) term introduced by psychiatrist Carl Jung to represent a form of the unconscious (that part of the mind containing memories and impulses of which the individual is not aware) common to mankind as a whole and originating in the inherited structure of the brain. It is distinct from the personal unconscious, which arises from the experience of the individual. According to Jung, the collective unconscious contains archetypes, or universal primordial images and ideas.
Source: "Collective Unconscious." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
The problem with this definition is that in defining the existence of a collective unconscious, we have thus become aware of it. Perhaps not all of them (if there is more than one), but some. A word such as "collective" suggests more than one, whereas they may only be one and an assumed multiplicity derived from individualized interpretations of the same thing. Like peace and war being different perspectives of the same thing seen from different vantage points and further obscured by the terms "peace" and "war"... which are camouflage techniques that conceal underlying motives to accomplish or acquire by the types of "persuasions" aligned with the activities assigned to the ideas of peace or war. If such could be accomplished without peace or war, there would be no need for either... and the memory of peace and war would fall by the wayside without need for recurring moments of recital.
If peace and/or war are types of recurring memory such as a dream or nightmare that are reproduced because of institutional (business, government, religion) uses thereof, does the collective unconscious have a tiered system of differing kinds? In as much as we might care to indulge this line of thinking, and further assume it follows a tripartite functionality like many other intellectualized themes (see: Threesology Research Journal), this present essay must stay on its present course of speculation which introduced the topics of dreams and nightmares. While dreams are characteristically assigned to the hallucinatory phenomena during sleep, the term "sleep" does not always have a singularly distinct or agreed upon yes/no, on/off categorization when compared to wakefulness, as indicated in the following excerpt:
There is no single, perfectly reliable criterion for defining sleep. It is typically described by the convergence of observations satisfying several different behavioral, motor, sensory, and physiological criteria. Occasionally, one or more of these criteria may be absent during sleep (e.g., in sleepwalking) or present during wakefulness (e.g., when sitting calmly), but even in such cases there usually is little difficulty in achieving agreement among observers in the discrimination between the two behavioral states.
Source: "Sleep." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
Because many of us have personally witnessed different levels of both sleep and wakefulness in ourselves and those of others, it is not far-fetched to consider the possibility that an entire culture, nation or species such as humanity, might well be experiencing a type of sleep or wakefulness that is taken for granted. For example, the idea of shared states of sleep and/or wakefulness amongst an entire group or species is not an idea typically considered... or is thought of in ways such as being described as a Nationalism, shared madness, or sheared interest. While most of us may not want to describe those attending a football game to be sharing in the same "wakeful dream", it nonetheless can be the case if we accept the fact that a crowd can exhibit the same level of ignorance or "mob mentality" such as during a lynching or protest. In such a case, the collective group wants one or more others to "wake up" to the reality that they are causing distress, but those who are being protested against don't want their world-view to be disturbed... or wrested from their slumber of conventionalized activity.
If we say peace is a type of slumber and that war is a means of waking people up from the slumber, this is not to say that the slumber is bad and the waking state is more desirable, it is simply a means of labeling differences which can be shared widely by numerous people at the same time. If we offer the view that both peace and war are differing types of sleep, one must wonder if they are self-induced as a mechanism which guards an unprepared psyche from experiencing actual reality for too long of a period of time. Whereas we say that there is a transition between sleep and wakefulness, it is difficult for some to imagine that both may be types of sleep (or minimal states of wakefulness)... because humanity's evolutionary development remains in a womb or experiencing a prolonged period of hibernation between evolutionary changes. Transitions between sleep and wakefulness suggest a type of stepped fashion found in hibernation... just as does the "transitions" between peace and war... particularly indicated by changes in brain activity, similarly found in sleep and wakefulness.
Entrance into hibernation
Hibernating mammals can be divided into four major groups according to the way they enter hibernation. One group is exemplified by the golden hamster; it waits a variable time of from one to three months in the cold and then enters hibernation in one major temperature reduction. This is accomplished when the biochemical and physiological preparations have been sufficient to lower the animal to a level at which it is receptive to the hibernating stimulus, which causes the abandonment of the temperature differential between ambient and body temperatures.
A second group, of which the pocket mouse (Perognathus) is an example, prepares for hibernation relatively rapidly, waiting only a few days before becoming torpid in one major temperature decline. The third group, which constitutes most of the mammalian hibernators, includes ground squirrels and marmots. These animals wait only a few days before entering hibernation and then go through a series of steps of torpor and arousal, each one at successively lower body temperatures, until the level dictated by the stage of preparation for hibernation is reached.
The fourth group, which includes most of the bats, becomes inactive in the poikilothermous manner; that is, the body temperature follows the ambient temperature. Even though the bat seems ready to hibernate at any season, survival during hibernation depends upon more adequate preparation than is necessary for the transitory periods of torpor. Bats not only exhibit true hibernation during the winter but also have natural periods of hypothermia (subnormal temperature), which are unrelated to hibernation, during the remainder of the year.
The woodchuck, the dormouse, and the California ground squirrel enter hibernation in successive stages, with a complete or nearly complete awakening between each one. In the woodchuck, an initial decline in temperature is followed by an arousal. During the second decline there is a lower and more pronounced fall in body temperature, followed by a less pronounced rise. This process continues until the body temperature is essentially the same as that of the environment.
Protection from disease and radiation
Hibernating organisms have a certain degree of resistance to infectious diseases that appears to be attributable to at least three factors, all of which are related to temperature. One is the fact that the lowered temperature of the host and the commensurate slowing of its metabolic processes prevent the multiplication of parasites to a greater extent than they affect the host's defensive mechanisms. Second, lower temperatures are more harmful to the development of a disease organism than to the host, as has been shown with the parasite Trichinella spiralis. In bats hibernating at 5 °C (41 °F), only larvae have been recovered from the intestines; but mature adult worms have been recovered from the intestines of bats kept at 35 °C (95 °r;F). The third factor is that the influence of low temperature on the chemical composition of the host tissues may also affect infectious organisms.
Hibernation also seems to protect animals from radiation. When ground squirrels are irradiated with radioactive cobalt while hibernating, they are found to be more resistant to the effects of the radiation than are squirrels irradiated while warm and active. This resistance, which is apparent over a wide range of doses, suggests that protective mechanisms function in the hibernating animal. In both hibernating and non-hibernating animals, repair processes within cells occur the first day after irradiation; however, when the metabolic requirements of cells are small, as in hibernation, the injured cells seem to be more capable of repair, and survival is greater. The large metabolic requirements imposed on injured cells of warm and active animals appear to render them incapable of an adequate repair response.Source: "Dormancy." Encyclopædia Britannica Ultimate Reference Suite, 2013.
If hibernation can afford some protections, we should consider that the states of peace and war also do so, even if we have difficulty understanding larger definitions thereof related to the survival of the species... particularly when large groups of people may be killed during a period of war. No less, in terms of protection, reduced brain activity brought on by a lack of protest may be a way of hibernating which can afford a survival value if the period during which a social hibernation takes place, changes will occur that will enable a greater wakefulness afterwards. Both environmental and social stresses can induce "hibernation" and wakefulness, as they no doubt do to instances of peace and war.