Chapter 39 - Peace - Strength for the Journey
Perceptions vs. Reality
While having no professional qualifications in the field of Peace or Conflict Resolution, I can testify as one who has experienced a life (rather unfortuitously) saturated by a mixture of force and/or violence. While there are many things to be said against such an approach to life in general, let us here focus on common misconceptions, that we may obtain a fuller picture of how something so obviously detrimental and destructive is, as yet, spread worldwide, 'in every clime & place', as it were.
This phenomenon is closely-linked to a seemingly unstoppable urge on the part of many to be 'helpful'. Violence is often caused by a do-gooder, zealous spirit. We are herein seeking deeper expectations than are typically postulated, as such, some of our conclusions may appear counter-intuitive. Bear with me, please.
True Peace is not Pacifism. Peace is living without force, diametrically opposed to Conflict. A genuinely Peaceful individual cannot, in good conscience, attempt to end violence directly, for this goes against his/her very nature. There is a bittersweet irony in attempting to legislate or employ combat to bring about a peaceful resolution. Should violence or force find a Peaceful person, and attempt to disturb him/her, this individual will be able to redirect or reshape any energy forced toward him/her into a more creative, productive or healing form. This process may, in severe cases, result in the mortal end of the combative party, but this is never due to a desire on the part of the Peaceful.
Energy transformation is practiced with daily constancy in an internal process, taking inner conflict and learning to resolve it while still in a purely energetic state. It is far easier to manipulate a subtle energy than to modify its physical, emotional or mental manifestations. This is, of course, only a true statement regarding one who is well-versed or trained in the art of energy transmutation. Elsewise, in an untrained state, one is often unaware of the subtle energy altogether, but this clears up with time & practice.
Any instance of violence or extreme conflict is evidence of an energy that traveled far from its more surreptitious origins. The most efficient practice is to stem the tide at its source, which is an inner state of discontentment. One must logically feel something is quite wrong with the world if one is determined or resigned to the necessity of such drastic measures. The long-term solution is the elimination of all manner of extremism of thought, emotion or behavior, manifested as this is in daily life circumstances.
Temperance (Moderation) is the Mother of Peace. If we were to examine our lives closely, we would gain much clarity, and begin to observe that each time a chaotic or destructive event occurs, we have held onto at least a 'minor' portion of extreme, 'black & white' thinking, or polarized emotional involvement (all Dualism at its finest).
A Peaceful world is not necessarily a 'Happy' one, but rather a fundamentally contented one. 'What's the difference?', one might ask. I'm glad you asked! Happiness, as our contemporary society has come to view the term, is an emotional feeling of satisfaction with the subject emoted on/about/towards. Contentment, however, is an inner state of suspended acceptance, where one has ceased to create (and create we do!) an emotional response/reaction to the situation at hand.
Peace comes with Acceptance. While we cannot generate happiness about those things which we find disagreeable, we can learn to accept the basic fact that such things do exist. Desire (emotions & thoughts) truly causes all our Suffering. What we create, we can likewise un-create.
We have the potential for total control over how we choose to handle our thoughts & emotions, although at first, our control in these matters is quite tenuous. As we come to exert greater disciple in our lives, we will naturally begin to influence those around us. In witnessing our way of life, others will begin to feel the option of emotional acceptance as being not only possible, but highly desirable. One becomes a living breath of fresh air, a cool well of water in the deserts of this mortal life.
You can probably appreciate that to act in a more activistic manner would represent an unnatural anathema to the man/woman of Peace. Peace, as with all Divine attributes, slowly overtakes the world, through a lovingly convincing factor, never with any glint of free-will violation.
In accepting the paths of those enjoying less serene lifestyles, we need not endorse them. This lack of endorsement is a primarily passive state. It is best to refrain from offering unsolicited advice/opinions, no matter how wise, or seemingly destitute another may be. Our world is saturated with advice already, so much so that it is perhaps more noticeable when we remain uninvolved! If someone wants to know what you have in the way of Wisdom, let them ask you. In this way, your time, energy & attention will rarely be wasted or disrespected. This approach is the most natural, and therefore the healthiest one.
While we may feel strongly that some problems are too big to be left untouched, if you can manage to leave things alone, Nature will provide Her own solution. In many instances, this takes the form of someone who is themselves not completely finished with conflict yet.
Things have a tendency to work themselves out (and usually much smoother) without our personal involvement. We are not nearly as vital/crucial to the process as we would like to assume. This is in fact liberating, in the final analysis. Like any good mother, Nature leaves us free to pursue our own growth. She does not NEED our help, and when we are meant to be Her instrument, She will provide a natural situation for us to be ourselves in.
Nature is above all natural (obviously), reasonable, and peaceful. Our choicest course of action is to emulate Her Wisdom, for once we come to do so, we will find ourselves well on the path back to our eternal rest.