Talking of Peace
by Asoka Selvarajah (e-mail: ASelvarajah@liberator.net) [August 6th, 2003]
When Jesus said, "Blessed are the Peacemakers...", it is highly unlikely that he had in mind the kind of cynical, war-mongering, self-serving, untrustworthy imposters we have the misfortune of seeing cast into that role today.
According to today's peacemakers, the surest way to insure peace is to wield a bigger gun than your adversary. How strange that this profound strategy finds little justification in any of the world's major spiritual teachings on peace. How sad that, thanks to this folly, the notion of establishing peace through purely peaceful means has become as outdated as the gramophone record.
“The present destructive thought patterns, political notions, and ideas of racial and religious disunity, have emerged and hardened over time into the fixed habits and patterns of thought of the human race.”
These days, we have swifter, technologically sophisticated, and more "effective" approaches. Thanks to the last Gulf War, when pictures of joyful liberated Iraqis were shown on TV worldwide, those who stood for Peace (which includes the Pope and the Dalai Lama) were made to look "wrong", and those who urged for war were made to look "right".
Yet, real lasting peace in our world seems more elusive than ever. The human race has more complex toys. However, it has yet to attain a commensurate level of maturity. What would the great peacemakers of the past - Gandhi, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Buddha - have made of our present strategies for Peace?
There comes a time in the life of an aging automobile where it has to be conceded that it cannot be patched up any longer, but must be junked instead. It's that way with the world's current political processes and the major players within it. The current tools are hopelessly inadequate to the tasks at hand and can never produce the elusive Utopia they are forever promising. They work with outdated paradigms and old-fashioned self-serving strategies.
Peace is hard enough to achieve when there are long-standing historical issues giving rise to conflict in the first place. How much more impossible then, when the key players have little qualification, and no credibility, to be discussing peace in the first place? This is very often the case.
Let's take the Israel/Palestine conflict as an example. Who are the key players negotiating the peace? On one hand, you have a man who directly caused the deaths of thousands of innocent civilians, and narrowly escaped being tried for war crimes as a result. On the other, you have an "approv*ed" puppet representative; approv*ed more by the USA than by his own people. Meanwhile the various armed groups, whose cooperation is ultimately indispensable to any lasting peace, are not even allowed to come to the table. In the role of international arbiter, you have a man had never left the USA prior to taking office as its President, and who could name hardly any of the main political leaders on the world stage at the time.
How on earth are these people being trusted with creating Peace?!
A famous person once said that "people get the government they deserve". It is precisely because we elect people like the above, for our own self-serving domestic interests, and then let them loose on the world stage, that international stalemates are so common, and the progress of peace is stymied. Ultimately, each of us is responsible for the lack of peace in the world, because we insist on participating in this failed process. We keep hoping on a miracle: namely, that these self-serving politicians will actually deliver on their promises once in a while.
The flaw in modern peace attempts are that they are materialistic in nature and outwardly focused in spirit. We have the wrong people as our peace makers, focusing on the wrong things. The strife in the world seems to be about territory, borders, race, and rights. However, the real causes of dissent lie in the mind: in the ideas and notions that people have developed and held over generations of time. Whilst we all like to say we are the same under the skin, the fact is that people always focus on their historical differences when the chips are down.
It's time for spiritually oriented people to seriously consider dropping support for the current world system as it exists today, How can we support peace processes that are invariably carried out at the point of a gun? Such techniques can never bring lasting Peace.
Instead, spiritually oriented people need to unite and focus on creating a mass change in world consciousness. This can eventually create the momentum for peace throughout the world. In the same way that tens of millions united across the world and marched for peace, so we must all march for peace in the spiritual realms.
Rather than support, directly or indirectly, our governments' covert plans and strategies, we must disengage our minds and wills from all of that, and instead direct them increasingly towards thinking, pondering, meditating upon, and creating a consensus for peace in the minds of all peoples worldwide. We can work at the spiritual level to make this an overriding ambition for the human race. Just as invasion, wealth and power have been the primary motivations of peoples and nations to the present day, so too can peace be driven deep into the human race's spiritual psyche, until it begins to express forcibly in the material world in terms of tangible results.
Lasting change on the physical plane, and in the minds of people, can only come about once there has arisen a change on the spiritual non-material realms first. It is from the non-material that the material emerges and has its being. The present destructive thought patterns, political notions, and ideas of racial and religious disunity, have emerged and hardened over time into the fixed habits and patterns of thought of the human race.
The human race desperately need to develop totally new habit patterns. The old ones are not serving us. This goes beyond Democracy, Communism, Christianity, Islam, Judaism or any of the fixed notions that have created a tremendous weight of historical and psychic baggage that none of us knows how to deal with anymore.
No one cuts out the hearts of living people in order to ensure that the Sun rises tomorrow. And cannibalism is definitely on the decline. Yet, both of these practices were once common, and even the over-riding belief system of the day in certain nations. It can be the same with the outdated political/religious/racial belief systems that currently serve us so very badly. They CAN be replaced by something better.
However, what is essential for this to happen is that a powerful, focused, laser-like consensus develops at the non-material level. Spiritually inclined people need to be working at the levels of Cause, rather than leaving politicians to work at the materialistic levels of Effect.
People could create focus groups that meditate and visualize creating a future world filled with harmony, care for the environment, and spiritual unity. Peace is too important to be left to self-serving political processes. You need to take DIRECT ACTION in the spiritual realms.
Will this process yield fruit in your lifetime? Maybe not. Remember that humanity's problems took thousands of years to evolve to this stage. So it will take time to correct the spiritual mistakes of generations that are imbedded on the non-material planes. However, that should not deter you. It is a good thing to have goals that exceed your lifetime, and even your own small lifetime.
However, it may not take as long as you might think. Jesus began with just twelve disciples and created a spiritual tradition that, despite centuries of persecution, took over the known world. Mohammed did the same. And they didn't even have the internet! The power of "two or three gathering in my name" should never be overlooked. Jesus talked about his followers being salt and a light to the nations. This really is possible: a few people, even just one, can accomplish a tremendous amount. It does not take that many people, focusing upon a clear purpose with laser-beam clarity, to achieve it in the spiritual realms, and consequently in the physical realms too.
Maybe just one person reading this will want to form such a group. Maybe that one group will eventually cause others to come into formation. Little by little, such groups and individuals will chip away at the status quo of humanity's belief structures on the non-physical planes. Piece by piece, the old structure will be worn away until, one day, it just collapses completely and forever.
Let's begin that work today. Will you do it?...
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