Practice of Peace in Sweden--A reflection on the Issue--somewhat long

Fri Dec 10 12:10:34 PST 2004

<<Therese wrote:   I want to ask you, Paul, to share with us how you think we 
might encourage evolution into different states of being but I venture to 
guess that I already know at least part of your answer.   Open space.>>

First, I want to say there were many fine, even eloquent, responses to my 
little epistle.   Each expressed a heartfelt world view that mostly centered 
around the issue of individual consciousness and being peaceful within ourselves.  
 I fully agree that such increased consciousness is what is needed.   How to 
achieve that, aye, there’s the rub.

All the great teachers of this world---Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tzu, the 
Upanishad and Bhagavad-gita writings (Hindu), and Jesus---have said that the way out 
of pain, slavery, war and disease is through “knowing thyself”.   Ah, such a 
task.   Narrow that gate, few there are that find it.   There are wonderful 
teachings about the Way to consciousness in each of the above.   The core 
problem seems to be that we are caught in this world, the maya (illusion) of this 
reality.   Which is real, more or less.

For me, personally, at 67 years, the journey has been uneven, sort of two 
steps forward, 1 1/2 steps back (a mind/spirit once stretched by a new idea or 
experience never returns to its old dimension).   I think OS is certainly one of 
the better ways of experiencing what we need in order to discover what leads 
to purposeful peace and what leads to difference, disagreement and war.   
There are, of course, many more such avenues of inner work.   Meditation, 
communities of like-minded souls, psychological analysis (with a good analyst), 
keeping a journal for self-discovery, being stretched by numinous experiences, 
keeping a dream journal, living a non-violent life, observing our own violent 
thoughts, etc.   There are schools, events, seminars, guru’s, ‘ism’s’, aplenty.   
Some good, some will also trap you into thinking he/she/it is the only way.   
Don’t you believe it.

Jung postulated that each human being must ground themselves thoroughly in 
this reality, this earth, in the first forty years or so of life so they will 
have the base and strength to wrestle with their own psyches during the next 40 
years or so.   I think he is right.   The huge trick is to not get caught in 
materialism and all the other ‘ism’s’ that are out there.   Stay on your own 
path.   Jesus taught, as did most other sages, that all you need is already 
inside you, the indwelling Spirit (Jesus called it the “Kingdom of God” because 
that would be understood in his day).   Two excellent references to this are 
Luke 17, 21-24 and the lost Gospel of Thomas, v. 3.   There is one other 
element in the wrestle, should you engage in it, and that is not to get caught in 
your own expanded abilities that come from increased consciousness.   The ego is 
a slippery beast.   Fair warning.

P. D. Ouspensky, in his book, “On The Possible Psychological Evolution of Man”
 put the problem most succinctly.   He postulated three states of 
consciousness.   First, sleeping sleep---when we lie down and sleep.   Then ‘waking sleep’
---when we get up and act in our world.   Third, enlightened consciousness, 
where we see the world as emanate spirit, which I think is where Jesus, Buddha, 
etc., lived their lives.   Unfortunately, Ouspensky says, a person will not 
seek to become what they believe they already are---conscious.   So, they stay 
in ‘waking sleep’, trapped by the reality of this world, and few there are 
that seek to become conscious.   The narrow way, as Jesus taught, is hard work.  
 You know, all that ‘woo woo’ stuff.  J   

Because this state of being is so unusual, (we think of Gandhi, Mother 
Teresa, the Dalai Lama, etc., at being very special folks) I have little real hope 
of a purposefully peaceful world anytime soon, meaning centuries, if not 
millennia.   Thus, I see the practice of peace as something that encourages my own 
inner development and the creation of whatever I can about my own reality that 
I can influence---as Peggy recently did in South America, Harrison in Italy 
and others of this list do in their own lives and concentric circles of 
influence---and don’t get too fussed about the larger environment which I can’t 
really change.   I can change only me.   I, perhaps, can influence others.   That’s 
my task, I believe, to come to know and love myself so I can learn to love my 
neighbor and thereby be a beacon of the way for others (maybe).   

Those are my thoughts on our discussion.   Blessings on you all this rainy 
morning in the Pacific Northwest.

Paul Everett

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