If I refrain from killing you because I think it is immoral, is that peaceful?
Now, is peace a thing of the mind? If you have a reason, a motive for peace, will that bring about peace? Do you understand what I mean? If I refrain from killing you because I think it is immoral, is that peaceful? If for economic reasons I do not destroy, if I do not join the army because I think it is unprofitable, is that peaceful? If I base my peace on a motive, on a reason, can that bring about peace? If I love you because you are beautiful, because you please me bodily, is that love? Sirs, please pay a little attention to it, because it is very important. Most of us have so cultivated our minds, we are so intellectual, that we want to find reasons for not killing, the reasons being the appalling destructiveness of the atomic bomb, the moral and economic arguments for peace, and so on; and we think that the more reasons we have for not killing, the more there will be peace. But can you have peace through a reason, can peace be made into a cause? Is not the very cause part of the conflict? Is non-violence, is peace an ideal to be pursued and attained eventually through a gradual process of evolution? These are all reasons, rationalizations, are they not? So, if we are at all thoughtful, our question really is, is it not? whether peace is a result, the outcome of a cause, or whether peace is a state of being, not in the future or in the past, but now. If peace, if non-violence is an ideal, surely it indicates that actually you are violent, you are not peaceful. You wish to be peaceful, and you give reasons why you should be peaceful; and being satisfied with the reasons, you remain violent. Actually, a man who wants peace, who sees the necessity of being peaceful, has no ideal about peace. He does not make an effort to become peaceful, but sees the necessity, the truth of being peaceful. It is only the man who does not see the importance, the necessity, the truth of being peaceful, who makes non-violence an ideal - which is really only a postponement of peace. And that is what you are doing: you are all worshipping the ideal of peace, and in the meantime enjoying violence. (Laughter.) Sirs, you laugh; you are easily amused, aren't you? It is another entertainment; and when you leave this meeting, you will go on exactly as before. Do you expect to have peace by your facile arguments, your casual talk? You will not have peace because you do not want peace, you are not interested in it, you do not see the importance, the necessity of having peace now, not tomorrow. It is only when you have no reason for being peaceful that you will have peace.
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