The ultimate goal is to keep my peace of mind as much as possible. And that does require different responses.
Peace of mind is not a something that can be a goal and it is not the result of some responses. Peace of mind arises from the satisfaction with who you are. It's the same with other seemingly outward qualities. Take fame, for example: it is the side-effect of being exceptionally good at something. You can become famous overnight by, for example, killing John Lennon, but we all know the value of this kind of fame. Confidence: when you know you have the shit together, not when you hold your chin up and say cool phrases.
Peace of mind is not the result of response, rather response produced is the result of the state of your mind. Some guy's peace of mind cannot be shaken by almost anything, that's, I think, is something to think of.
Your argument has a flaw:
If A (peace of mind) can come from B (satisfaction with who you are), then pursuing B can cause A. And ultimately peace of mind can be achieved from pursuing the goal of self-satisfaction. Whether you get there directly or indirectly shouldn't be important, right?
As an aside, because I am assuming you have read my journal which contains my lengthy and often-modified mantra, I focused for a month purely on "forgiveness." I forgave people who were mean as a kid, as a young adult, etc. I chose to forgive a family member who said some horrible things to me, and now we have quite a good relationship. Not just me and him, but me and his wife, me and his son. His son and my cousins as well.
I didn't tell myself "peace of mind," but by telling myself "forgiveness" I created a greater peace of mind. I don't have the answers or I wouldn't have started this thread, but a different attitude could lead to better interactions. Thanks for getting me thinking!
Bram, it is not an argument, just my opinion. Also - my opinion - logic as we know it does not apply to things of this kind. The kind that is hard to define. Satisfaction, happiness, suffering etc. Long time ago one Nagarjuna came up with tetralemma, something that drives Western minds bananas, but I think his approach makes way more sense than Aristotelian logic.
I have not read your journal, but you explained your meditations in your previous posts. As far as forgiveness is concerned, I think about it the same way as peace of mind: it comes from change of perspective. One way - to start treating things equally. An example: you are walking across the field in dusk. The ground is uneven, and in the descending dark you trip over a rock, fall down and hit your forehead against another rock. Fucking hurts for couple of minutes. Then the pain subsides and you forgive the field, the sunset and both stones... Sounds stupid, doesn't it, you can only forgive another human being, right? But then if you think about it our free will is very limited at best, and our actions are determined by many factors, the multitude of causes and effects, intertwined in complicated and unpredictable ways. In other words the person that did some shit that hurt you is not that different from a rock that was poorly visible in the dim light of the sunset. What I am getting at (poorly) is that we get caught in the context, even though the result is the same. What's the difference if I got wet in the rain as opposed to someone emptying a bucket of water out of their window? You cannot get angry (or forgive) an inanimate object. But then when you start treating both in the same way forgiveness becomes meaningless.
Eloquence is not my strongest quality, and these things are not easy to talk about. Long time ago one guy - the Buddha - figured out a lot of things for us. The Four Noble Truths pretty much explain the state of affairs and the Eightfold Path is a pretty clear blueprint for achieving the peace of mind. Anything else - artificial additions. I think large part of the blame for the proliferation quasi Buddhist practices lies with the popularity of Tibetan Buddhism in the last decades. But that's another topic for the heated debate altogether.