Friday, January 3, 2014

Meditations on Life: Peace, Boredom & Excitement; Short Note by Payman Akhlaghi (2013)

Meditations on Life: Peace, Boredom & Excitement
By Payman Akhlaghi
(A Short Note, Draft 2)

(*) First published at on December 7th, 2013, under:
Meditations on Live: Peace, Boredom & Excitement.

Peace, that most desirable state, could soon become boring without physical excitement. The Greeks understood this basic principle; hence, the Olympics. But physical excitement ought not be confused with harming, let alone eliminating, another life, as the Romans did in the arena. There are some fundamental differences between "athletic competition" and "violent entanglement". The first affirms health and life in everyone, while the latter bagatellizes them in others. The first validates the necessity of flourishing each individual's natural ambitions and physical potentials, which ordinarily may be suppressed by the requirements of the social life. In contrast, the latter aims at establishing and sustaining one's superiority of power by all means necessary. The former integrates individual power into the social fabric; the latter isolates it as a threatening force against the rest of the society.

The athletic spirit helps converge and merge the softness of empathy with the roughness of reality, the mellow with the wild, making the wolverine into a whole human. The attitude of war, however, encourages the savage, the blind wolf within, at the cost of the whole human. Games help vent out excess aggression, sublimating the survival energy into a thriving factor of civilization. Wars destroy the long and hard earned products of that civilization.

Even as individuals may satisfy their need to physical and psychological assertion within the safety of individual exercise or competitive games, nations too may avoid the pitfalls of prolonged tranquility by increasingly organizing scientific races, artistic competitions, international athletic events, and other cooperative projects with a competitive element. Such activities could help secure lasting peace, even heal the wounds between nations formerly against each other, faster than volumes of binding contracts or the threat of force. Peoples in constant competition within a matrix of life and human dignity would jointly aim for excellence, and embrace the peace that allows it all in the first place, rather than taking it for granted and getting bored with it.

© 2013, Payman Akhlaghi. All rights reserved.

(*) Payman Akhlaghi is a composer, pianist and piano teacher based in Los Angeles. His repertoire covers Classical music, as well as Persian (Iranian) Music, Pop Music, and Film Music. For information on the lessons in the Greater Los Angeles area, including Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Encino, Brentwood, etc. please call: 310-208-2927. Thank you.

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