War and Peace are both mosaics that we build tile by tile. We decide with each thought, word, and action, which of these two mosaics we contribute to. Sometimes we believe we are contributing to peace, but because we are not centered in Peace our thoughts or actions can shift toward contributing to the energy of violence instead. One example would be a Peace demonstration that turns violent. Creating Peace requires us to become aware of even our unconscious contributions, so that we can consciously choose thoughts, words, and actions that reflect our desire for Peace. In this blog I want to bring awareness to the moment-by-moment ways we may be feeding violence when we really want Peace. I also want to unearth the opportunities we might overlook in fulfilling our desire for Peace.
While the idea of Peace has been endemic in humans for centuries, we have as yet, been unable to create it. We have only succeeded in creating remissions of war, which still allows societal violence by individuals to continue unabated. While our consciousness does have the potential to support Peace, we still need to do the work necessary to create it in our lives. Creating Peace will oblige us to work at our relationships with each other. It will necessitate that we heal from all the emotional pain we have repressed. Carrying years, even decades, of our emotional baggage around has caused us to react to situations from our unconscious damage instead of choosing to respond from our humanity.
It is easy to place blame for the state of the world, but when we blame, we are choosing to surrender our power. By using blame we evade responsibility, because if it is someone else’s fault, there is nothing we can do. Without responsibility, we do not have to look at how we might need to change to make the world better. People routinely profess Peace without making a single change in their life. They hope for a better world, but they expect others to change so it can happen. If you are unwilling to be a part of the change you want to see in the world, you diminish the possibility for that change.
Our culture is so saturated with physical violence that we barely notice the subtler mental, emotional, and spiritual forms of violence. We seem to have reached consensus on a planetary level that force and violence are necessary, which makes them seem inevitable. This feeling of inevitability may have prompted us to accept violence like when children are hit. Isn’t it strange that when one person hits another it is considered assault, but when we hit (spank) our children it is deemed for their own good. Some parents even defend this violence as necessary, but it is really about control. Childhood violence is not an isolated example of how we allow violence. Violence has also contaminated our intimate relationships. We carelessly consent to a connection between violence and love. Violence has been a part of our culture for so long we consent to certain forms of violence as acceptable. Accepting violence opens the door to more violence.
I contend that violence always creates more violence, and that violence has no place in raising our children, or in our intimate relationships. The damage done by the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence we inflict on our children and our lovers is not often apparent initially. We repress our emotions, so damage can occur unconsciously. The damage may not surface for years or decades, making it hard to trace its causes. Understanding this is important since we cannot prevent violence until we learn to recognize it in all of its forms.
The only place that violence has in the world is the place we choose to give it. A culture of Peace cannot prevent conflicts. You cannot have 7 billion people, all thinking and believing differently, without conflicts. A culture of Peace will not eliminate all violence. There are still at least a couple of situations where violence may still be necessary. The first situation is using it to defend oneself and one’s loved ones. The other situation is to stop genocide. Peace would require us to stand up for those that are not able defend themselves. Violence may be necessary to prevent others from carrying out their intended violence. The good news is a culture of Peace will make the use of violence more rare because we will find other ways to resolve our differences: by cooperating, sharing, and making sure the concerns of everyone are addressed. When everyone benefits from our interactions, Peace becomes possible. As we become more conscious by choosing Peaceful thoughts, words and actions, we can change our way of “being” in the world. We can become an oasis of Peace, which shifts the world in the direction of Peace.
We have chosen a culture of violence and war by choosing to pursue having control and power over others. Force, violence and war are just the strategies we select to achieve power and control. When our desire for Peace becomes stronger than our ego’s desire for power and control, we will have Peace!