July 15, 2016

My Favorite Word is Peace

"All we are saying is give peace a chance." - John Lennon, Musician & Peace Activist

Considering every possible word I could choose, without a doubt, peace is my favorite word. For me, peace is not only an efficient, pleasant sounding word; it is the end game, the very purpose of our lives. Peace is the condition and experience we seek most in every situation, circumstance and relationship in our lives.

As we go about the activity of making choices in our lives, we are not really choosing the thing itself. Rather, we are choosing it, because of what we believe it will bring to us to have it. Ultimately, what we believe it will bring us is peace. It is the condition and experience of peace we most deeply desire, not the “form” of the thing that symbolically represents our gateway to peace.

Whether it be a brand new car, new relationship, new job, new iPod, new guitar, or dream vacation, it is our belief that when we have it, peace will be the condition we experience. We are often disturbed to find the “thing” itself does not guarantee peace. In truth, our experience has taught us that nothing outside of us can guarantee peace. Peace is, as they say, an “inside job.”

We Must Go To War To Preserve The Peace! Huh?

The conditions of war are the conditions of war. They are not the conditions of peace.
The conditions of war are not the conditions of peace. To engage in war to preserve the peace is impossible.

Everyone of us have experienced frustrations and disappointments in life that have challenged our peace. The list of potential triggers for most of us is a long one. Lack of money, failing relationships, unemployment and separation from a child have all been major challenges for me in the past. Nowadays, I am mostly peaceful, but it hasn’t always been that way. If you ever want to test me on how my spiritual progress is going, just put me behind the wheel in rush hour traffic. I am likely fail the test.

It always amazes me how quickly I can go from peaceful to reactionary when my safety in traffic has been temporarily threatened by another driver’s unmindfulness. I have learned along the way that anger, in any form, is merely fear projected outward. In traffic, I get angry when I fear for my safety. These days, when I encounter my anger dissipates like a flash of lightning, once safety is restored. Once again, it has not always been this way. 

Back before peace was my favorite word and my life’s goal, traffic was only one of many issues that could trigger my anger. I carried the energy of anger in my body as a normal condition of my life. Most of the issues that create challenges to our peace ultimately prove to be matters of personal responsibility, issues over which we have some measure of control. But, how are we to assume responsibility for our peace when  circumstances beyond our control create the challenge?

For example nations go to war with one another? This is not experienced as a momentary flash that the next moment simply folds over. Wars happen over long periods of time with each day holding the potential to deeply disturb one’s peace. We all grapple with the ethics of war and whether it is necessary for us to forgo peace at one moment of time, perhaps even for an extended period, in order to “fight” for peace at a future point in time.

If you look closely at the premise of a war, any war, you will find this reasoning:

We desire peace, but someone is apparently and intentionally attempting to challenge, limit, impede or outright attack our ability to experience peace. So, we decide to go to war to preserve the peace.

We have to go to war to preserve the peace! How does that work exactly? How can one ever truly “fight for peace?” This is at the very least a strange, logic-defying notion. Some might even consider it insane. How can we make peace with an insane premise?

Peace & The Eternal Present Moment

The only moment in time we can ever experience peace is right now...the eternal present moment.
The only moment in time we can ever experience peace is right now…the eternal present moment.

The obvious flaw in the “logic” of war, whether with ourselves, one another or even other nations, is that we can only experience peace in the present moment. We are either at peace, or we are not. There is no middle ground. There is no future moment we can experience peace. There is only now.

Jesus observed, “there will always be wars and rumors of wars.” He advised that we not be concerned with wars for they are merely the outward signs of the world giving birth to itself. It would appear that Jesus was at peace with war and pointed the way to our own individual capacity to experience peace right now, even with all the conflict and war apparently present in the world.

It is one thing to make my peace with the external conditions of the world that challenge my personal peace. It is quite another to hold an intention “of” peace “for” the world; to envision a world where war and conflict are no longer necessary. Yet, it is absolutely within our own individual power to visualize and manifest a world “of” peace for all people. I am not speaking of a “truce” or temporary cessation of conflict, but rather “creating” a fundamental and lasting peace through our intention, thoughts, words and actions.

Imagine All The People Living Life In Peace

To create a fundamental and lasting peace first requires a sober and thorough examination of the assumptions upon which the concept of war becomes acceptable in and to the world. We receive and experience the world we allow through our choices. If we are experiencing war, rather than peace, it is because we have allowed war to be so in our thoughts, words and actions. We can change our minds at any moment about this experience. Each of us will begin that process right now, later or not at all. However, we will not change our experience until we first change our minds about what experience we wish to create.

Perhaps no other pop icon has spoken for or sung about peace better than John Lennon. How ironic he died violently!
Perhaps no other pop icon has spoken for or sung about peace better than John Lennon. How ironic he died violently!

The only way for us, individually and collectively, to create a world of peace rather than war is to examine the underlying assumptions upon which the condition of war and conflict are maintained. We must first own that we are actually in agreement with the assumptions of war first, before we can replace them with assumptions of peace. Hopefully, once we each see how we are and have been supporting the assumptions for war, we will choose differently.

The first decision we make to begin actively creating the conditions of peace is to be willing to change our mind about war and conflict. As we build momentum through our simple willingness to change our mind, at some point, we will individually begin to withdraw our agreements supporting the intention and inevitability of war. Into the space created by withdrawing our agreement with war, we will make a new decision to support agreements that cultivate a world of peace. But first, we must be able to imagine a world of peace, before we will manifest it. To do that, we must begin to withdraw our agreement with the decision for war. Dreamer? Perhaps! But, I like the dream of peace better than the nightmare of war.

Millions of others, including me, are already actively holding the intention for a world of peace. As others join us in agreement to support the “intention” of peace, the vestiges and institutions of war will begin to recede and ultimately fall away. It has been this way throughout history as nations have risen and fallen, and wars have been fought, won and lost.

While I fervently hope that I may live to experience the external world as one of peace before I die, the truth is this is an evolutionary process and may take more time to unfold than I have remaining on the planet. However, I know without a doubt that I cannot be concerned with this. My choice today to support the intention for a world built on peace, rather than war, is within my power. I have faith there are millions, if not billions, of people on the planet who hold the same intention.

It is the creation of peace as the norm in our experience to which I am most deeply dedicated with all the energy of my life. For me, it is the inevitable evolution of my own soul, and the most important “work” I can ever undertake. I am not alone, and if you choose to join us in this evolutionary quest, know that you are not alone either.

Stay Tuned In…

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