THE QUEST FOR INNER PEACE

PLW

"What is important is that we must first discover peace within our own

hearts, and live by that inner peace." (PLW)

 

"I think this is a very, very important goal, Paul. How would you define

inner peace? I have talked with people about this, and they have asked

me how I define it, how it can be identified, and I do not know what to

tell them." (Karen Chastain)

 

"And how does one embark on a journey to find his or her inner peace?

What do you suggest?" (Karen Chastain)

____________________________________________________________

PLW's Response to Karyl

I

In response to my essay THE POWER OF LOVE, Karen Chastain, one of WAVE’s

founding members has asked me "How does one embark on a journey to find

his or her inner peace? What do I suggest?"

 

These are important questions and highly relevant to our own time. If

we, as members of WAVE, who are working to discover the root causes of

violence in the human condition, both individually and collectively,

cannot find peace within ourselves, how can we help bring peace to our

communities and to the world? To put this simply, Peace is the opposite

to violence, and hence war. Or we may say that Peace is the antithesis

of violence.

 

To completely eradicate violence from the human condition is virtually

impossible. As long as there exists people in various stages of

personal development, there will always be some impulse to violence.

Violence cannot be avoided in cases where someone else’s life is

threatened. What is incumbent on each individual is to search

themselves for any tendencies toward violence and learn to channel those

impulses into positive actions. Very difficult to do. Fortunately

there are technique in many of the world’s cultures to help people

along.

 

How do we each find peace within ourselves? An inner peace? Ah, these

are age-old questions. Whatever the case, it involves the individual to

work upon themselves to achieve the long sought after goal to free

themselves of the very conditions which prevent one from finding and

accepting an inner peace.

 

The answer will fall into two categories. One of a spiritual nature,

and the other of a mental or intellectual nature. Both involve the

so-called "heart" and a depth of feeling. Both will be interwoven into

the response offered here.

 

First the spiritual. Please do not confuse this with "religious" which

refers to a specific religion. Spiritual in this case, means one’s

soul, one’s inner life, that inner conscience. A place within the mind

where one’s spirit dwells while we are alive in the world and going

about our business every day. We all must find a way to cultivate our

spiritual nature, our inmost being, that place of refuge where our soul

resides.

 

First we have to admit that it exists. That we possess an inner self,

an inner life. If the person reading this does not accept the existence

of the soul, that is fine, please to the Second category. To continue

on, we must pose the question to ourselves: Are we alone? Are we

entirely alone, perhaps in the existential sense of the term? Or are we

connected to a whole? In the spiritual sense, we may say that since our

existence is a proven fact, than our existence exists within the Whole,

the universe, and all there is.

 

The fundamental question is then, can we find a relationship between our

self and the cosmos? Since the Sun was created from the cosmic cloud,

and the Earth was created from the Sun, and all life evolved on Earth as

a result of the Earth’s environment, we can conclude that we are evolved

from the Earth which was created by the forces of the Universe. Thus we

are part and parcel of the Universal stuff which created us. What is

the universal stuff? The answer is all creation, everything which

exists, not only in the stars, but in all dimensions, conceived of, or

unconceived.

 

Just to know, for absolute surety, that we are made of cosmic stuff is

potent medicine for personal contemplation. Some people will name this

God and give God a human form and tendency, and others will not name it,

but will accept that there is a universal substance which pervades all

things. Again, we must not confuse "religion" with spirituality. To

some the two go together, and to others, they are apart. One does not

have to follow a particular religion to be spiritual. On the other

hand, others believe in a specific religion and discover their concept

of God within it, and become spiritually aware.

 

So, this essay is not about God. It is about spirituality, and our

inner life. To put this another way, one can say that it takes only a

few square inches in the cerebral cortex to think and ponder about these

great questions? And yet within these few square inches within the

brain, we are capable of conceiving the Universe on the vastest scales,

beyond imagination. Yet there exists a connection between this tiny

part of our brain and the great whole which is the universe in all its

manifestations and dimensions. In this relationship between the self

and the universal whole, one can find the beginnings of inner peace.

 

 

 

Inner peace, then, is of a spiritual nature, or of a mental and feeling

nature, or both, or all, or some, according to the individual

contemplating and experiencing it. Inner peace may be found in the fact

that as part of the Universe, we, as individuals, are bound by its laws,

the physical laws of the Cosmos. The laws of light, for example,

physics, mathematics, science are all laws of a universal nature. Our

spectrometers are capable of isolating the same atoms billions of

light-years away from us as found on Earth. Mathematics is a universal

language.

 

Universal laws also affect the inner life of humankind. For example

there is the universal law of Love. How is love construed to be a

universal law? By the fact that almost all creatures experience it in

one way or another. Certainly the human species. Love has a universal

power that pervades our being, touches us, ignites our feelings, whether

toward passion, or toward a depth of feeling that is indescribable. The

love for a mother toward her child. Here is primary love. What is

deeper? The love for one human toward another. Real love, not just

sexual love, but that love which springs from the heart, from the inner

feelings, that place where love blossoms in a friendship, in a profound

love, in a love for beauty, for nature, for the sunset, for a beautiful

mountain, in a gorgeous flower, in a love for humankind, for the

indomitable human spirit and its creative potential to bring into

existence a Michaelangelo, or a Beethoven, or a Rembrandt.

 

And in a universal sense, a love for the stars, for the galaxies, for

space, for the beautiful planets imagined to exist, for life elsewhere,

for the fact that we know we are an emerging species in the Universe,

stuck in our territorial battles, individually and collectively. We are

a race of Human Beings who are just beginning to form a global

consciousness and realize we are linked together just by our existence

here on Earth. With the advent of telecommunications, satellites,

computers and the Internet, we have quickly become aware that we all

reside on Planet Earth together, with many of us trying to solve the

world’s myriad problems, the issue of war, of geopolitical disputes, of

nationhood, of pollution, of human rights, of economic power, of

justice, etc. etc.

 

Inner peace, may then be found in our own relationship to the Universe,

to the World, to our Friends, Families, and ultimately to our own

living, breathing selves.

 

We may find inner peace in knowing that we are also universal in

nature. We may find it in nature, in art, in beauty, literature, music,

in our own spiritual awakening. We can meditate, close our eyes, and

quiet the mind and heart. Or we can meditate by contemplating the stars

and all there is. If we believe in God as a concept that humans can

approach, then we can meditate into a supreme essence. If we do not

accept God, then we can still meditate into the Whole Reality which is

universal consciousness. That is plenty big enough. It doesn’t matter

if we believe in God or not. What does matter is that we accept the

fact we are gifted with Life at this moment. That we have the power to

think as we choose. We have the right to change our thinking if we do

not like the results of our thinking. We have the right to exchange

negative thinking patterns into positive ones either through our own

inner will, or through training in any number of disciplines.

 

This is the Key. To exchange any negative thinking pattern with a

positive one. Very easy to say, and much harder to do. How is this

done? By first identifying the negative thinking pattern, and then not

admitting it into our consciousness once it returns. Just like learning

how to dance, in the beginning it is awkward. When the negative thought

returns, we simply say to ourselves something like "OUT - Go Away, I do

not admit you into my consciousness." Eventually it will go away if we

take care to work on it.

 

If we have multiple areas of negative thinking, then write them down and

work on each one individually. Really difficult modes of thought like

jealousy, eating disorders, low self esteem, take a great deal of work.

Often it is helpful to go into a group setting and discuss these

issues. Sometimes it requires professional care. However, we have the

power within our own minds to work out our problems if we wish to, and

choose to do so.

 

Inner peace comes when we have resolved our inner conflicts and have

exchanged them for an inner dialogue with the self. When we have

accepted ourselves in all the magnificence we are. There is a light

within the mind, and it IS magnificent, regardless of the nay-sayers.

There is, without a doubt, a conscience, an inner knowingness, a place

where self resides within this life of ours. Inner peace is that well

within our inmost mind. Where the heart is at peace, knowing we have

the power to think constructively, creatively, and positively. All we

have is our minds and we can train our minds to think to its highest

levels.

 

Finally, it must be remembered that we are always human and subject to

the unexpected. Things happen, We get flat tires, our engines blow up.

All we need remember is that there is a place where we can live from, a

place where we are at peace with ourselves, knowing we have the infinite

power of the universe at our disposal. All we need to do is learn how

to use this infinite power, this creative principle - and it goes to

work for us in every way. Sometimes life takes us down from this place

and we must deal with the "real stuff". When we have dealt with it,

then we must remember that there is a universal consciousness which is

always there, call it universal love, call it whatever you wish, there

is a power of love that is always there to remember and claim as our

own. Once we remember that it is there, we can always return to it.

 

Inner peace resides within us at all times. It has been said the only

thing that prevents the human mind from finding peace -

IS THE HUMAN MIND ITSELF.

 

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