Peace - such a sought after state. We pray ‘may there be peace on Earth’ but if we look at global and personal patterns we see that peace comes as ‘a moment of peace’ or a ‘time of peace’. It has a transient quality to it. What does peace truly mean? Is it really our goal? We can understand peace as a most important step to take, such as in the case of the urgent cease-fire agreed upon last Wednesday between the Israeli government and Hamas which, if honored, momentarily ends violence and save lives. This step towards establishing peace is critical, but this is clearly not the finish line or destination, for out of peace, conflict and war can and do arise again. Is it possible that through understanding the limitations of making peace our goal, we support our evolution as human beings? What does it mean when we pacify ourselves, another person, a group or a nation? Here is a standard definition:
1. Quell the anger, agitation, or excitement of.
2. Bring peace to (a country or warring factions), esp. by the use or threatened use of military force.
Synonyms: appease - calm - soothe - placate - mollify – lull
When we further consider the meaning of quell - ‘to suppress, or to put down forcibly,’ to pacify is therefore to suppress or forcibly put down anger and agitation. If we can honestly feel into our own life experience we will instantly know that we have been calmed, soothed, and quelled momentarily over and over again, but has this offered us a lasting true harmony within ourselves, or in our relationships with others? For me the answer is a clear no. In the inner state of pacification, there is no real change in the state of being.. The smallest of triggers can set off the anger and agitation that had been quelled. Is it possible that a significant problem in calling peace the goal is that when we have some semblance of it, we think we have achieved our objective and then cease to seek for complete healing of the momentarily pacified situation? If we clearly and energetically understood peace as a mere stepping stone to our goal, would we be more likely to continue to seek to return to that which brings real change in our state of being? If peace is not our goal, what is?
Our goal is harmony. How is harmony different from peace? Harmony is not merely a pacification of harmful emotions and thoughts towards oneself and others. Harmony is a state of true healing, a true change in the state of our being to one in which there is no conflict within, nor expressed outward.
“Our goal is to be harmonious within, that is, in full harmony with self. If this is achieved, no other can arouse any form of insecurity or fear. The latter two are the ingredients for bigotry, racism and prejudices. To be harmonious, is to find the stillness within and to allow that stillness to impulse forth the life that is to be lived.” ~Serge Benhayon
When we are in harmony, there is no war inside us, or between us. We no longer need to cling to that which separates us from each other, such as nationality, religion, or culture, nor to the many ideals and beliefs that separate us from ourselves. This brings me back to Facebook and two recent posts I saw there. In the first, there was a quote from Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister of Israel. The quote was, “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children…..we will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.” Below it was an image of a young Palestinian child with explosives strapped to his body, suggesting his being ‘prepared’ to be a suicide bomber. While I agree without hesitation that this is certainly not an expression of love towards the child, I can find numerous photos online of Israeli fathers with an arsenal of weapons in front of them, teaching their child how to use these weapons. I state without hesitation that this is also not an expression of love towards the child. One may be arguably ‘defensive’ and the other ‘offensive’, yet in either position, the child can only be at war with himself. On the second Facebook post, this truth was stated beautifully by the Dalai Lama. He was asked why he didn’t fight back against the Chinese, and I conclude with his reply, which reflects a true understanding of inner-harmony:
“Well, war is obsolete, you know ….Of course the mind can rationalize fighting back...but the heart, the heart would never understand. Then you would be divided in yourself, the heart and the mind, and the war would be inside you.”