When living through times of upheaval, conflict and war, it might be tempting to ask: “What is the way to peace?” After all, hardly anyone wants to experience conflicts and war, so it is an obvious and natural question to ask. But is there really a ‘way to peace’? As if we believe that if we only knew what to do and how to do it, there would be peace. So to answer my own question, I would say that there is no way to peace, because peace is the way. Peace will never be the final result of some kind of negotiation process or ‘battle plan’. It can only ever come about when enough of us realise that we need to make peace a living, tangible reality in our own personal lives.
Peace on Earth can become a reality only when we live in a state of inner peace and harmony, because unless we do, all our efforts at stopping war and achieving peace will be in vain. Before anything else, we need to put our own house in order, because if we don’t, we will only continue to feed into the conflicts and wars currently manifesting themselves in the world. We may not have any direct or active involvement in current conflicts, but if we are in an inner state of conflict, however subtle it may be, we are still contributing to whatever conflicts we might be a witness to. Nobody exists in isolation, and regardless of what we do or don’t do, we will always continue to be co-creators of whatever dramas are played out on the world stage.
While it certainly is very important to realise that we need to be free of conflict ourselves, we also need to understand where conflict comes from. How is it generated in the first place? What is the root cause of conflicts? What is the original seed from which they spring? To answer these questions, it will be necessary to look at how the human mind operates. Does it tend to function from a state of division or from a state of oneness? It seems obvious that, for quite some time, the default setting for the human mind has been that of division, and where there is division, there will be some degree of conflict. But why is there division within the human mind? Where does this division come from? And can this division be dissolved into a state of oneness?
The root cause of division is quite simply the idea, belief or feeling that we exist as separate egos, or distinct entities somehow detached from the world around us and from other people. This idea or belief that we are all separate, a ‘me’ on the inside, looking at and interacting with a ‘world’ on the outside, and relating to ‘other’ ego identities, is so deeply ingrained in most of us that it’s hardly ever questioned by anyone. It’s mostly taken for granted that ‘I’ am a distinct and unique entity that by its very nature is separate from other entities, and that our innermost essence is something that is of a personal nature. But is this really the case? Isn’t this just another assumption we have been conditioned to accept as fact?
What is so sorely missing in our self-satisfied and affluent lives is true self-knowledge. We may feel that we have accomplished a lot in our individual lives and even as a species, but even if that might be the case, do we truly know who we are? Do we know what we are in essence, and what our real identity is? Isn’t it rather obvious that for the vast majority of humanity, the answer to those questions is quite simply ‘no’? Authentic self-knowledge may for most of us seem like a kind of unnecessary luxury for only a small minority of people, or even as something relatively irrelevant, so consequently it’s something that most people have never really been very interested in.
To find peace and thus contribute to peace on Earth we need to heal the division within the mind, and realise the oneness of all life. A reliable and time-tested approach to accomplish this is to find the answer to the question “Who am I?” This doesn’t mean finding out who you are in relation to somebody else, or in terms of your current role in society, and has nothing whatsoever to do with your ancestral, social or personal background, nor does it have anything to do with the circumstances into which you were born, and the political, social or cultural climate in which you happen to live.
It relates directly to the essence of your true nature and life itself, which are identical. What you are isn’t something that comes and goes, nor does it change over time. It does not depend on any kind of external or internal circumstances, nor is it affected by anything that might happen to you during the course of your life. The essence of who you are, your very being, is something that never changes. It is eternally present, and completely independent of what we think of as life and death. It is the formless, eternal and universal presence of being, which was never born and never dies. It does not depend on anything else, and is utterly unaffected by whatever might be happening on the level of form.
It is that which is aware of these words and their meaning, as well as anything else that comes and goes on your journey through life. We might think of it as consciousness, awareness, spirit, being, the formless, or the ever-present knowing within which all phenomena of life, including time and space, come and go, appear and disappear. It depends on nothing else, yet everything on the level of form, including time and space, depends on it, and can even be seen as modulations or expressions of it. It is everywhere, yet nowhere, and without it, no existence, world or experience could ever be possible. That is what you are, what I am, what everything is. It is universal, impersonal and beyond anything we can ever define, describe, compartmentalise or categorise.
The realisation of who you are is essentially a transformation that is spiritual in nature. However, it is important to understand that spiritual transformation isn’t something that you can ‘do’. It’s not on the level of doing. Nobody can predict or force it to happen, and when it does happen, it happens not because of anything that you do, but in spite of whatever you might be doing. It’s a mystery, yet we can still put certain conditions in place for a spiritual transformation to happen. What is required is a deep passion for truth; for knowing the truth of what you are. That is for most of us the necessary fuel for it, yet it can also happen completely out of the blue, without any prior interest in spiritual matters.
This kind of transformation seems to be fairly uncommon, but maybe that’s got something to do with the conditioning that we have all been exposed to. This conditioning has made us into unquestioning consumers who will in most cases just accept whatever we’re told without even thinking about whether it makes any sense or not. Consequently, many of us have unfortunately become the hapless and unknowing victims of cleverly executed propaganda. If we allow ourselves to steadily slide down this slippery slope of ‘dumbing down’, we will be less and less likely to ever question whatever explanations and answers that are presented to us. Living in a state of inner turmoil, conflict, fear, misery and unhappiness has become so common it could even be considered normal. To put it simply, most of us have become so distracted by the dramas of the world and our own inner confusion that in practice it’s not that easy to realise the plain and simple truth of who and what we are.
We may think and feel that we are entities, persons, separate from everything and everybody else, but isn’t this just a mental construct, the inevitable result of a mind divided by relentless propaganda and conditioning right from the very start of one’s life? The false ego identity operates from the illusion of being somebody in particular, and that it can do all sorts of things to become happy and find fulfilment. A common attitude in this kind of scenario is the belief that life is a struggle, an endless fight for survival in a largely hostile world full of adversity, obstacles and problems. However, the ego is in actual fact nothing more than a bundle of thought patterns, emotional reactions and ingrained habits. It is a psychological and mental construct without any true reality. Unfortunately, we tend to identify with this egoistic self. The ego may go through all kinds of changes and develop in many ways, but it is forever destined to move solely within its own narrowly defined boundaries.
Now you might well ask what any of this has to do with creating peace on Earth, and that is a fair question. After all, it may all come across as somewhat philosophical and abstract, without much relevance to the stark reality of our lives and whatever might be going on in the world. Yet it is only through self-knowledge that an inner revolution can take place. This inner revolution is now an urgent necessity on a global level, in that it has become essential for the survival of humanity in our natural form.
For peace on Earth to become a reality, internal division in the human mind must be dissolved into oneness. That means rising above the belief in a separate ego entity and the resulting expressions of selfishness. It means realising the oneness of all life, that life is an indivisible unity, and that we are but temporary expressions of that one indivisible life. The most fundamental obstacle to this is the belief in separation, the notion of being somebody in particular. That is what creates the division that inevitably leads to conflict. It is the belief in the ego identity that leads to selfishness, primarily expressed as fear, greed or both. That’s what gives rise to all conflict and all wars. It starts on that level. Letting go of this belief in separation, the belief in ‘I, me, and mine’ as a distinct entity is the only revolution. It’s quite simply what’s required to change the sad state of affairs that’s making the world into a madhouse. It’s on the verge of destroying life on Earth. It is on this inner level that the change needs to take place, and without this fundamental change, we may not even survive the current crisis.
How many people are aware of this? How many people can see this? So far, it seems like a fairly uncommon realisation, although that will hopefully soon change. Most people seem to think we’re up against something ‘out there’, some threat coming at us from the outside, that it’s all the fault of the ‘bad guys’, whoever they might be. However, what we’re really up against, more than anything else, is our own inner division, our own inner conflicts, our own belief in separation and our belief in being distinct entities, living in a world that exists independently of consciousness itself.
At the end of the day, all the conflicts and problems in the world spring from this source; the belief in ‘me’ as a separate entity. This solidifies into a hard core which projects the source of the world’s problems to be ‘out there’ somewhere, and then fights against it. That source, whether it’s a person, a group of people, a country or whatever, will inevitably fight back. And there it is; the conflicts that are destroying the world. Peace will come only through the dissolution of division, through the melting away of this hard core of ego into oneness. It is the realisation that all is one and that life is an indivisible unity. In this way, the ‘I’ becomes less and less important, almost insignificant; just something that’s hardly more than a functional entity for practical purposes.
The inner revolution is gathering pace and will eventually burst forth into full flowering. That will also be the birth of a new human inhabiting a new Earth, and once that happens, peace on Earth will be a living reality for all. It will be the dawn of a new era in human history, unlike anything we have ever experienced before. Peace on Earth will be a reality only when we are manifesting peace in our own lives. Once we are at peace, the world is at peace, and love, creativity, abundance and harmony will effortlessly flower.