Can We Find Peace in War?
When in the midst of war, of carnage, of sorrow, of anger and frustration, how does one find the peaceful place inside? And is it reasonable to ask it of a human being in the midst of terror?
If people have never known inner peace as a constant state of being, then when tragedy strikes, it is very likely that they will succumb to all the old habitual responses of anger and revenge. Only the most practiced and experienced peacemakers can both protect their families and not hate.
There is a difference between being in a peaceful situation and being peaceful inside. People who have good living conditions, a job, health and children that are safe and healthy may appear peaceful. But that’s just their outer situation. If they have not cultivated the “peace beyond understanding” then when their circumstances change, the peaceful appearance evaporates.
This situational peace is different than positional peace that remains strong though one may be surrounded by warring people.
What is Inner Peace?
Maybe we should start with a good definition of inner peace. Here’s mine: It is a constant center of love, independent of what is occurring outwardly.
That means I can have constant inner love and be crying out in extreme pain. I can be crying for the loss of family and friends and yet hold an inner joy. The emotions and bodily sensations float lightly on the surface when there is a strong and grounded inner core of peace and love. Sorrow, hurt, anger, frustration are like clouds in a fast moving wind. They can’t be held or harbored; peace doesn’t allow it.
The inner peace I am referring to is not self-hypnosis, where one diverts attention away from the surface reality. It is a state of being, meaning it is there when I sleep, it is there when I am looking into the face of pain and not being distracted from it.
How do we get Peace?
This is perhaps one of the universal and age-old questions that usually arise in people when they are in the most conflict; they cry out, “I want peace. Give me peace.” But give them outer peace, and their motivation for inner peace leaves them.
How then can we inspire people to be vigilant seekers of inner peace? Or, to put in another way, which is inspired of personal experience, “How can we help people to become receptive to inner peace?”
Ah, now we need to take a step away from the surface conditions to look into this; we must take a step away from ideas, strong beliefs, superstitions, and habitual behaviors. And, this stepping away may occur under any surface circumstances, including the renowned “fox hole” where people claim to have found God or to have experienced sudden immense love and protection.
This stepping away is in effect a surrendering of one’s position. That position could be one of ideology, strong emotion or physical habits. It is a surrendering of all of that, a giving up of force of any kind, whether mental, physical or emotional, in order to lay open to the mystical, magical or spiritual realization of your true nature, which has nothing to do with who you think you are as defined by all that you do or think.
This inner peace and love is not something that arrives from outer space; it’s actually the underlying energetic of the entire universe; it’s present all the time whether or not you are conscious of it. The trick is to get all the made-up, conditioned you out of the way, so that you can realize it and be embraced by it.
Another way of saying it is, once you stop being who you are pretending to be, then you are immediately free to be who you really are. And that stopping can occur any time. It’s up to you. It can occur in the midst of battle or in the midst of abundance. It can occur at any time you are willing.
How do we help people to be willing?
We don’t. I can’t say what circumstance will finally make people willing: Too much war and violence? The unconditional love of another? Personal suffering? Personal happiness?
But I can pray for people. I can pray that those special circumstances will arrive, and I can be available to meditate, to love, to know the truth about them and to counsel. That is what I can do for the world. That is what I am doing for you, my friends, and what I encourage you to do for others.
May you surrender to your Self, and may the peace that passes understanding fill your hearts and minds forever.
Love and Light,
Cia Rae Khakaura