Practice of Peace in Sweden--A reflection on the Issue--somewhat long
EVERETT813 at aol.com
EVERETT813 at aol.com
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.
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