February 4, 2007

Real peace - a matter of will

Peace is part of any agenda here, at least according to what one may say. What kind of peace do you have in mind? Peace of mind, world peace, peace with your partner, peace with your past, peace with yourself, the peace of "me alone", of "just us", of "we rule", of "we, we, we..." etc. "Visions" of peace may be triggered by significant moments in the lives of individuals, groups and nations. It is always experiential. It is always about experience. You are looking for a certain kind of experience. Yet you think that this experience is associated with a certain thing or state. And so you try to get this thing or achieve this state as the bringer of the desired experience. You associate things with fulfillment of your hopes, often the most absurd things and states with your deepest hopes. Yet it never seems to work out. You are still looking, aren't you? You try harder, try to accumulate more of that thing, spend more of your powers on achieving that state. Since thousands of years you loop in this strategy of outer searching.

How much pain are you willing to suffer? What does it take to let you see the pain of your actions, the inconvenient truth that it never has worked out, because obviously you are still looking. Is it not common place, that you find yourself in more and more chaotic, more and more absurd conflicts in this world, everyone trying more and more insanely to achieve a better result by the same old means that always failed to bring him what he was looking for?

David A. Bell reconsiders today in The New York Times the question of peace. He refers to a political idea of peace, world peace if you like, and the observation that political ideals and hopes of peace in history had unleashed exactly the opposite, more conflict and more hurt. The more promising the "vision", the more the "vision" seemed to be within easy or near reach, the more devastating the battles fought for it, because it seemed to justify any means. Ironically he refers to it as the "peace paradox".

Is it not true that whatever we come up with as a solution, the problem does get more complicated and fragmented? A problem cannot be solved within its own framework. The real solution has to come from outside. That means for fact that we cannot solve the problem. We find ourselves in an unsolvable dilemma.

So what do we need to do? If we remember that we always look for an experience, our questioning would have to begin with an admission that our ways obviously did not bring us the desired result of peace. Is the experience of peace for which we look really linked to any thing in this world? Aren't we always excited, stimulated, inspired, made happy by ideas, insights, revelations, by a singleness of purpose that lifts us, for a moment, out of our condition of conflict, and to a lasting and reassuring effect especially, if we share it? Does it matter with whom we share? Do the distinctions we make teach us anything but the relevance and reality of our fears and judgments? There can be no peace in a condition of fear?

If there is peace, it has to be all-inclusive. Everything else would still be conflict. A Course in Miracles gives us the idea that there is no peace except the peace of God. We always ask for things, states, always striving for something. If we experience exactly what we asked for, we need to make a new decision for something else. We would have to want peace, in order to experience peace. Do you really want peace?

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