July 7, 2017

The Commitments of Peace – Part II

In last week’s blog article, The Commitments of Peace, I gave a brief introductory overview to three of the seven commitments we need to make in order to create and experience peace in our lives. This week, I am continuing the series by briefly exploring the 4th and 5th commitments:  Truth and Creation.

The Fourth Commitment: Truth

The fourth commitment we must make in order to create and experience peace in our lives is to Truth. There are many layers to this commitment and we do not have the space here to peel them all back. However, the first thing we need to accept about the Truth is that no one knows the Absolute Truth of all things. At best, in matters of Truth, even the wisest among us, whether living or dead, can only specialize in some areas. No one specializes or masters all the Truth that can be known. It is beyond the range of humankind’s reach, at least at this point in our evolution.

I say this not to disempower you or me, or anyone for that matter. I say it to temper our attachment to pretending that we do or can know the Absolute Truth of all things. It is our attachments to a particular form of truth that agitates our peace. A Course In Miracles teaches that the truth is true and requires no defense. By this line of thinking, anyone defending their version of the truth does so because they perceive it as being vulnerable.

The Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but the Truth cannot be threatened. The Truth is impervious to my belief in it. My disbelief in it cannot change it. Repeating something that I would like to be true over and over and over does not make it become Truth. It doesn’t even make a dent in the Truth.

There is a world of difference between something that is merely factually true and the Absolute Truth of all things. Most of what passes for Truth in the world is merely opinion, a conclusion about truth based on limited perceptions and subjective conclusions. The most obvious way this shows up in the world is in our individual and collective tendency towards confirmation bias. In other words, once we have decided what is true, we only look for information from sources that confirms what we already believe to be the truth.

It is the rare person who is willing to have their worldview challenged without it being a disturbance to their peace. Most everyone will fight to defend the truth they believe in. Anytime we engage in fighting to defend the version of the truth we believe in, we have forfeited our peace. Once again, we cannot fight for peace. We are either at peace, or we are not. There is no middle ground. The Truth does not need us to fight for it, because it cannot be assailed. The Truth is invulnerable to attack. If it is vulnerable, it is not Truth. If we have to fight to defend or protect it, it is not Truth. If it is not Truth, it is illusion. It is not possible to create and experience peace while clinging to illusions. It is a pretty good bet that if you are not experiencing peace, then you are attached to an illusion.

The Fifth Commitment: Creation

The fifth commitment we must make in order to create and experience peace in our lives is to Creation. There are several ideas embodied in making a commitment to Creation and we don’t have the space to dive deeper in this introductory overview. However, there is one key concept that should serve in getting our heart and minds wrapped around this idea of making a commitment to Creation. Before doing that, I want to define what I mean by Creation.

Creation is the totality of the results, effects and consequences of the perpetually active, creative process that animates every aspect of the living universe, including humankind itself. This process has been ongoing before we came into this lifetime, and will continue to be ongoing longer after we have transitioned. In Unity, we teach that there is only one power, one presence active in the Universe and in our lives. We call that one power and presence, God, among other names. We further teach that this one power and presence is all good.

This principle directly challenges any embedded ideas we may be harboring regarding duality and good vs. evil thinking. However, if we consider it closely for even a moment, we will easily see that dualistic thinking has never effectively served the creation and experience of peace in our lives, and certainly not in the world. There is no historical evidence whatsoever to support the idea of world peace as a reality. It has never happened in the past, and given our present circumstances, is not likely to be happening any time soon.

Still, we do not have to wait for the world to be at peace before we can be at peace. However, we are going to have to make a commitment to be at peace with Creation, exactly as it is, if we ever have a hope of experiencing personal peace. Further, we must acknowledge and assume our own personal responsibility in and to Creation. Our personal peace is impossible, unless we do so.

Unity’s second principle teaches that because we are all created in the image and likeness of God, we are also inherently good. If God is the ultimate creator, and we are created in the image and likeness of God, then we are created to be creators. This is our most fundamental spiritual identity. If we do not live our lives in alignment with this truth, then we are acting in opposition to our authentic nature and our lives will become dysfunctional. If our lives are dysfunctional, once again, peace is impossible. We are intended to be co-creators with God. If we resist this truth, we do so at the expense of our own personal peace.

So, to get ourselves moving forward and towards creating and experiencing peace in our lives, we must make the commitment to be a proactive, co-creator in Creation. We are free to ignore this responsibility and even to actively resist it if we choose. However, we will not be able to create and experience peace in our lives if we do. To create an experience of personal peace in a world that will never be at peace, we must be committed to Creation, and to play our part in the co-creation of Creation.

In next week’s blog article, I will conclude this series on The Commitments of Peace by exploring the last two commitments: Connection and UnityUntil then, peace.

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