As a member of I would like from time to time (as I am guided via meditation) to enter into dialogue with fellow members. The reason and goal is simple and not difficult to understand. We all crave for peace.

It is said that “The pen is mightier than the sword.”

Thanks to this wonderful technology we now are able to “talk” with each other using our fingers to type out what it is that we want to say to the other; despite the distance between us.

Whilst I understand and appreciate the purpose of this website is focused primarily to the Middle East region of our globe, what attracts me to be a member, is its title.

Through my travels and life experiences, I learn that peace begins with “me”.

Perhaps, if we can open up to each other without fear to share of our “stories” we can arrive at the consensus for Creating A Better World, that is peaceful in its core.

Any takers?

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Inner peace might begin with you, but collective peace requires collective action. When one looks at history one finds that collective action, either violent, or non-violent, is generally the path to peace, or at least a cessation of war.

The Holocaust and WW2 was terminated by violence and military action, and there followed a peaceful era between the former enemies. Mandela ushered in a period of peace between whites and blacks in South Africa partially through military action over decades, and finally via non-violent means with massive international support.

In our little corner of the world Israel has imposed its will on many of the people here and is a mighty military power. Most of us on this forum support non-violent means to change this. However collective action for peace and justice in Israel/Palestine are negligible today and the forces of oppression and Occupation continue to win.
Thank you so much Fred for taking me up on this discussion as it further opens the door for others to enter.
Many years ago I was privileged to conduct a party of 22 people on a five country tour that included your region of the globe. It was unfortunate that one of the party succumbed (heart attack). As part of my duties I had to deal with people from both sides of the division. The experiences were quite enlightening.
While I understand to concur with all you say. I am a survivor of WW2 albeit in the Pacific region.
Personally, I adopt dialogue to solve differences.
I think the first two letters of this website represent "me" i.e. myself, but also M.E. for Middle East. Of course, for me personally, the Middle East is an integral part of who I am.
Gary and Fred,

You have touched on the conundrum. On the one hand, peace, as Rachel and Gary observe, does begin with me. On the other hand, as Fred observes, collective action is required for collective peace. The self and the collectivity feed into each other.

For peace to succeed, some balance has to be achieved between the collectivity and the individual. Where the collectivity dominates, totalitarianism can result. Where the individual dominates, selfishness can result. How do we reach a balance where each can be nourished by the other.

For some, the balance is achieved through prayer. For others, meditation may be a key. For yet others, service becomes pivotal. It is clear that these activities, pursued over time, can heighten such traits as sensitivity, empathy, compassion, and the will to practise lovingkindess.

A durable peace will not be achieved by withdrawing into the self.

Nor will it be achieved at the end of a battery of guns.

It is to be found somewhere in the middle between the two.
Clara Singer et al - thank you for participating in this dialogue to have a beginning to arrive at the balance; to be in that “middle” of which you mention. Very well said to express the point which I had in my own thinking that includes Fred's thinking for the collective consensus necessary; can dialogue achieve it?

At the back of my mind I am also considering the ripple effect when I mention starting with “me”. Which brings me to thank Rachel Abramovitz for her comment; since quite honestly, did not enter my thought, since I am more focused on a Global affect for peace. But of course, I fully understand where you are coming from.

For me, until recently, I felt "homeless", as I have been on the move since knee high to a grasshopper To compensate I thought of myself to be a citizen of the world..
Gary, I totally empathize with the feeling of homelessness. I've moved around more times than I can count on the fingers of both hands...
I think it would be beneficial here to answer the obvious, overlooked question: WHAT IS PEACE (that thing we all want so badly)?

The only reason I ask is that I have a sinking feeling not everyone is really looking for the same thing, although all use the same word to describe it. Hence... conflict:-)

So... what do YOU mean when you say "peace"?
Jeff Millis – First, thank you for participating in this discussion for continuum to the dialogue. The question you pose is of great importance.

My answer cannot be brief, so readers please bear with me.

Thank you (also) Rachel for sharing your own “feelings” with homelessness. It is with this kind of sharing that I envision achieving that peace which I in my own way, work for. That said I reiterate the words from Clara Singer (November 14, 2010):
" • A durable peace will not be achieved by withdrawing into the self.
• Nor will it be achieved at the end of a battery of guns.
• It is to be found somewhere in the middle between the two."

Given that we spend our days living in a world of diversification Acceptance of this fact and working (jointly as a team) with it in mind is a beginning.

"Ignorance is bliss?

Whoever coined that phrase, in my opinion, needs to rethink. Our modern world as we know it can no longer sustain such thoughts.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this writing, my answer to what is Peace for me, cannot be brief. But I pray that the sliver of a crack I open here, will give you (reader) a peek to what my definition (which will evolve) of PEACE is!

Thank you et al for continuing this dialogue.
Yes indeed, Peace is difficult to achieve; I fully agree with you. I thank you Basil for sharing your thoughts with the rest of us in this dialogue for the good.

Even though it is “difficult” I think not impossible. As long as we keep talking about it and sharing our thoughts to see what it is that we each need, and would like to see happen, as you have done here:

I do want understandings between Israelis and Palestinians, Muslims and Jews, but I only see toxicity from the Israeli government. I also consider Hamas' role in the area to be negative, but one must deal with them somehow.”

Of course we will not please all of the peoples, all of the time, but we can look at what can be done to at least please some of the people some of the time; at least for the beginning of the process to Global Peace.

I was in living India to witness her peoples’ Independence from the British rule. The process was a difficult one and there were many life lost. Yes, they had to deal with the “political pollution left behind”. That is 63 years ago! However, do we learn from those mistakes, or do we go on pointing the finger and crying the woes for what happened? Everything that happens, and life is in the now.

What is going to be done about it?”

I would like to paraphrase what was once said by a very wise man many years ago. Ask not what the country can do for you, but what can you do for the country?

Mahatma Gandhi always encouraged his fellow mankind to be the change they want.
Mother Theresa would not accept an invitation to a march against war, but voiced that she would be the first there to attend a rally for Peace.

I still say that the collective can only be when the individual starts the rippling effect.

I thank you Basil Keilani for your contribution to this thread of energy to Create A Better World.
As a small-business owner, I've been very busy lately (isn't the root of "business"... busy? :-) ) and haven't had the time to participate on as much as I'd like.

However, since I posed a question, I figure I'd better answer it myself... that's only fair.

True PEACE can only come from true UNITY. Peace is the absence of conflict. Peace happens when people agree to see an issue the same way. It is the result of a universal acknowledgment of the same truth. Only this kind of acknowledgment eliminates conflict forever.

This requires acknowledging a TRUTH... which also requires an acknowledgment of competing falsehoods. I have a feeling that some definitions of peace don't require this, and those are the definitions that don't work!

Some "definers" of peace would do anything to avoid calling one thing TRUE, and everything else FALSE, but that only makes the problem worse. You cannot tell two disagreeing parties that neither is right or wrong, to just pretend the issues don't exist and leave them unresolved, and to just SMILE at each other for crying out loud! This kind of "peace" doesn't last.

Allow me to make this all a little bit more accessible:

In many average households there exists a microcosm of the Middle East conflict. Imagine two brothers, "Israel" and "Ishmael", who each have their own room in their family's suburban three-bedroom house. They both have a bad habit of walking into the other's room uninvited. (Now, we know that brothers should love each other and not resent each other's company, but each brother also has a reasonable expectation of privacy.)

If Israel walks into Ishmael's room uninvited and declares that it is now HIS ROOM (or vice versa), there is now... conflict!

Some peacemakers would just tell the two brothers, "Can't you just appreciate your differences and get along?" Of course we see how this wouldn't work, because... IZZY keeps walking into ISHY'S room and calling it his!

"Izzy's" claim is simply NOT TRUE. There will not be true peace between the brothers until they both acknowledge the same truth: THIS is Ishmael's room, and THAT is Israel's room. After this acknowledgment, the conflict is dissolved and resolved. In this hypothetical, Israel would have to admit that he was wrong in order for peace to happen.

You cannot claim that there is no absolute truth in this situation, to "smooth things over". Clearly, it wouldn't work. The problem is, there IS a truth, and it needs to be recognized.

Sometimes, peace won't happen because one or more disagreeing parties refuse to admit that they're wrong, to the agony of the other(s). If this had happened in our suburban household, it would have required the intervention of someone bigger than them both: the Father (hmmmm.... wonder who he represents?), who could declare the truth: THIS room belongs to you, and THAT room belongs to you. End of discussion, and viola... PEACE has just been accomplished, as both boys trot back to their own (clearly defined) rooms.

I'm not sure if anyone has stopped to consider yet that the same principles that accomplish peace in our personal relationships would work wonders in the Middle East. Because peace is... peace, whether in your household or on an international scale. These principles are: humility, selflessness, love for fellow people, willingness to admit fault, the ability to listen, the ability to talk calmly and clearly, and the willingness to be taught by someone who is more mature (like a Father.... hmmmm, still wonder who he represents...).

This is what I mean when I use the word peace.
Hi Jeff,

For me, peace is a social agreement that one will refrain from violence or other forms of coercion, preferring instead to work out differences through a process of discussion and negotiation.

I do not believe perfect unity or peace is possible or even desirable; indeed, I find the thought terrifying because it contains the seeds of potential intolerance and tyranny. Our differences are purposeful and meaningful. It is far more realistic to learn how to live with them, even when we are forced to acknowledge that sometimes, these differences do not lend themselves to total or satisfying reconciliation.

Just a thought.
Hi Jeff – Despite being “busy”, you make the “time” to participate and take responsibility for: “However, since I posed a question, I figure I'd better answer it myself... that's only fair.”
Thank you.

Coincidentally (... or is it?) This as part of a subscription I signed for arrived in my mailbox this morning. I share it with you dear readers.

5 Steps to Peace
Peace will be attained when we, as human beings...

Permit ourselves to acknowledge that some of our old beliefs about God and about Life are no longer working.

Explore the possibility that there is something we do not understand about God and about Life, the understanding of which could change everything.

Announce that we are willing for new understandings of God and Life to now be brought forth, understandings that could produce a new way of life on this planet.

ourageously examine these new understandings and, if they align with our personal inner truth and knowing, enlarge our belief system to include them.

Express our lives as a demonstration of our highest beliefs, rather than as a denial of them.

Excerpt from The New Revelations: A Conversation with God by Neale Donald Walsch



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