Selected Quotes on Peace

Edited by Peter Y. Chou

If it be possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.
Saint Paul (d. 67 AD)), Romans 12.18 (64 AD)
    (quoted in Albert Schweitzer's Nobel Peace Lecture, 1954)

Good Morning, Good People! Peace and all Good!
— Saint Francis of Assisi (1181-1226), Two Greetings (circa 1220)

Peace is the highest good to which even the lovers of the world turn all their efforts.
Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536), The Complaint of Peace (1517)
    (30-pages PDF file translated into English by Thomas Paynell, 1559)

The many homes of men shine near and far,
Peace-laden as the tender evening star,
— A.E. (George William Russell) (1867-1935),
    "A Summer Night", Collected Poems (1913)

Datta. Dayadhvam. Damyata.
Shantih shantih shantih
— T.S. Eliot (1888-1965),
The Waste Land (1922), concluding lines (432-433)

The object in war is a better state of peace— even if only from your point of view.
Hence it is essential to conduct war with constant regard to the peace you desire.
B. H. Liddell Hart (1895-1970),
    Strategy: The Indirect Approach (1967), p. 351

Let us thank God for this gift of peace that reminds us
that we have been created to live that peace.
Mother Teresa (1910-1997), Nobel Lecture (1979)

Mankind must remember that peace is not God's gift to his creatures, it is our gift to each other.
Elie Wiesel (born 1928), Nobel Lecture (1986), concluding lines

True peace with oneself and with the world around us can
only be achieved through the development of mental peace.
H.H. Dalai Lama XIV (born 1935), Nobel Lectures, (1989)

The question of real, lasting world peace concerns human beings, so basic human feelings are also at its roots. Through inner peace, genuine world peace can be achieved. In this importance of individual responsiblity is quite clear; atmosphere of peace must first be created within ourselves, then gradually expanded to include our families, our communities, and ultimately the whole planet.
— H.H. Dalai Lama XIV, Address in San Jose, Costa Rica
    Buddhist Peace Fellowship Newsletter (Fall 1989), p. 4

The peace we seek cannot be our personal possession. We need to find an inner peace which makes it possible for us to become one with those who suffer, and to do something to help our brothers and sisters, which is to say ourselves... This peace is not a barricade which separates you from the world. On the contrary, this kind of peace brings you into the world and empowers you to undertake whatever you want to do to try to help.
— Thich Nhat Hanh (b. 1926), The Sun My Heart (1988), pp. 127-128

We mustn't be dualistic even about war and peace, or about warlikeness and peacefulness. Peace contains war, war contains peace. In any situation, in any place, in any condition, even in the battle right in the middle of war, you must appreciate and be grateful for the little bit of nonviolence or a little bit of less harmfulness or intelligent nonharmfulness that might be practiced there. And we must be alert in a parallel way in the realm of peace to the kinds of aggression that takes place.
— Gary Snyder, "The Warrior and the Militarist: A Discussion",
    in The Sun 125 (April 1986), p. 19

Your single sacrifice moved the hearts of countless others. Chi Mai, and made the peace movement swell like waves in a storm. Even friends who had joined the jungle guerrillas and had disappeared for a long time sent back news and asked, "How can we help realize Mai's wish and bring reconciliation.?"
— Cao Ngoc Phuong, "Days and Months,"
    in Fred Eppsteiner (Ed.), The Path of Compassion:
    Writings on Socially Engaged Buddhism
(1988), p. 163

Pasenadi, the king of Kosala, strolls with his queen, Mallika... In an intimate mood, King Pasenadi asks his wife: "Is there anyone who is more dear to you than yourself?" This surely not meant as a philosophical inquiry; the King no doubt expects the Queen to reply, "You, of course, my dear." But the Queen is in a very frank mood, and she answers, "No." Then she returns the question to the King, asking, "Is there anyone who is more dear to you than yourself?" Her candor is disarming; the King has to be frank too. "I also know no one who is more dear to me than myself," he says. Not long after this troubling conversation, the King sought the counsel of the Buddha:

He approached the Blessed One, saluted him, and sat at his side. And when he was sitting at the Blessed One's side, Pasenadi, the king of Kosala, [recounted the conversation with his wife]. Then the Blessed One, understanding the true meaning of this, pronounced these inspired verses: "If you thoroughly search in ten directions with your mind, nowhere will you find anything more dear to you than yourself. In the same way, the self is extremely dear to others. Therefore, one who loves himself should cause no harm to another.
Samyutta Nikaya, PTS 1:75

A true Brahman says or thinks thus: "All living things are not to be harmed." So saying, a Brahman speaks truth, not falsehood. He has no conceit of recluse or brahmin, has no conceit of better am I, equal am I, inferior am I. Moreover, by fully comprehending the truth contained in that saying, he is bent on the practice of mercy and compassion for all living beings.
Anguttara Nikaya, PTS 2:176

Peace is the result of a convergence of measures relating to inner ecology, social ecology, in which the principal theories of the established paradigm are taken into consideration and find their place in an integrated manner. This convergence results in a transpersonal state of consciousness, of which peace is one of the manifestations.
— Pierre Weil, The Art of Living Peace
    Unesco Publishing, Paris, 2002, p. 32

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (12-1-2002)