What ever happened to peace and love?
What ever happened to peace and love? The answer is nothing has ever happened to peace and love. Peace and love are constants of the nature of all mankind. Peace and love are the spiritual essence of humanity.
Then how do we explain the murderous rage, the boiling resentment, the hatred of “others” spreading across the world? Those things have nothing to do with our spiritual nature. They are the products of insecure thinking unrestrained, misleading multitudes into vortices of fear.
It looks hopeless to many that mankind will ever live at peace, that people who don’t see eye to eye will work together constructively to find common ground, that “others” will be appreciated for their differences and understood as part of the family of man. It doesn’t look hopeless to me. Yes, it is painful to be a witness to widespread human suffering. But it only strengthens my determination to keep on working to share the underlying logic of the human psyche, the simple Principles that explain the creation of both peace and war and describe the power each person on earth has to choose a new direction.
Let’s look at a simple chart of the spectrum of states of mind:
The words could be different, but pick up on the feelings implied. Above the red line, people are in relatively calm states, with wisdom and insight accessible to them. The higher their level of calm, the more they are at peace and their minds are free and clear. Below the line, people are in relatively stressed states, increasingly caught up in personal, habitual thinking. The deeper they fall into distress, the more they cling to their thinking and lash out in self-protection.
We are always in some state of mind, but we are oblivious to it. Whatever our state of mind, our thinking looks like reality to us. If we are living in a chronic state of anger and upset, we are feeling insecure, off-balance, and fearful of protecting ourselves and our own view of things. When we are living in a constant state of ease and calm, we are feeling secure, confident within ourselves, and able to access insight and creative solutions to problems.
The ups and downs of our states of minds play out in the worldly realm, like weather on the surface of the ocean. But below the active, ever-changing surface is the steady flow of the current of life. The Principles describe that current. The current is not the weather; but without the current, the weather would not have a way to play itself out. The current brings the ocean to life. The Principles of Mind, Consciousness and Thought describe how experience enters our awareness. Mind is the intelligent energy, the breath of life, that infuses our spirit. Thought is the way we use that energy to create ideas and images within our own heads. Consciousness is the way we become aware of what we have created and have a sensory experience of it.
Most people have no recognition that this process is constantly at work, generating our experience. When we awaken to how our thinking and our states of mind work, we understand our present experience and we know that if we do not like it, we can change it as we find deeper calm and wisdom. When we innocently believe that the thoughts we are having and our reactions to them are being caused by things outside ourselves, we are at war with the circumstances of life. We can never win because we cannot force others to fit our thinking about how life should be. We can only come to the realization that everyone is the same, and just like us, they are looking at life through their own thoughts. When we all realize that our own thinking is creating our experience of what is happening, the power to change is ours, and we are one insight away from a completely different experience of the same world.
Pain arises from all our “if-then” thinking: If this changes, then I’ll feel better. If that group would go away, I could enjoy my community more. If those people weren’t bothering me, I wouldn’t have to kill them. Peace arises from the insight that each one of us is looking at the same circumstances through their own unique thinking and states of mind. One person’s good outcome is another person’s nightmare.
How would understanding this help? We would stop fighting each other’s insecure thinking and instead look to generate calm and security before we took action. There are examples of this in the world. One of the most touching in recent history is the Forgiveness Project. All of us have had moments in which a healing insight has transcended resentments or anger, and given us a fresh start with someone or something. Large or small, those are the moments which turn us towards the light of our spiritual nature, the capacity to be at peace
Love and understanding harmonize the mind of humanity to its true inner nature.
What you give in life is what you receive.
To give love is to receive love.
A mind full of love and good feelings can never go wrong.
Love and forgiveness go hand-in-hand. Without them, life is encumbered by ill feelings and unhappiness.
Judging your own faults or the faults of others leads to unhappiness. A mind that dwells in non-judgment is a contented mind.
A heart full of love is void of all judgment and is filled with divine spirit.
Sydney Banks, The Missing Link