Sunday, July 5, 2009

The way of inner change to bring peace

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There are these movements in the world that speak about peace and they are holding big conferences about peace and make public statements to contribute to human rights and personal dignity. Sometimes it is impressive how many dignataries and celebrities they gather and one is tempted to believe that world peace finally is at hand.

Sometimes such conferences are attended by the very same people who in their political functions also contributed to wars, or they made friends with others who started wars and who are out to control and suppress human freedom.

These gathered people enjoying their conferences seem to be in high spirit and the pleasance and excitement of their being together in harmony makes them believe that they are the very figures who are at the center of a movement saving the world. It is as if they almost feel to be messiahs whose lives and thoughts are to be models for everyone else.

But let us inquire how peace really should come about. Peace is the opposite of conflict. Conflict arises whenever people are in disagreement. Conflicts also occur in ourselves, in our minds and in our bodies. When conflicts are present in the body, disease results. Enduring conflicts in the mind may lead to mental illness.

How do we go about in the right way to cure such diseases of mind and body? We can distinguish two different types of therapies. One is to cure the symptoms resulting from the disease or conflict. The other one is to find the core and causes of the disease and to try to solve the problems there, meanwhile also attempting to soothen the pains of the symptoms.

I would always choose for the second option, because when only the symptoms are being treated the causes of the illness remain unnoticed and will eventually burst out in untreatable ailments.

So what are the real causes of conflicts and disturbances of peace in the world? Some would say that the destruction of the family institution is the cause. Others believe that racism and lack of understanding between different religions are to blame.

Although i believe that it is commendable to advance the family institution and good understanding between the races and religions, i still believe that here are being addressed symptoms rather than causes.

Some diseases result from being infected with harmful bacteria or viruses. Other illnesses result from wrong habits of eating or lack of moving the body. Would it be wise to ignore these causes? Something has been done wrong on the level of the behavior of an individual. He or she may not always be responsible for attracting a disease, as it may be difficult to prevent coming in touch with viruses, and some illnesses are inherited from ancestors. Yet even in those cases, the way to go about is to first of all strengthen the body's immune system by eating and living and moving in the right way.

So what are the viruses and wrong habits of living on the level of societies? It may not be easy to track these down and people have different opinions on what are the evils that cause conflicts in society. But surely we can point out some dictatorial individuals and forces that always again have gotten the upperhand in history. So it would not be wise to make friends with such individuals or such kind of ideologies.

Peace cannot be reached by just making friends with everyone. Religion doesn't get better when people of different religions come together and make friends. Religion gets better by going to the core of what religion is. When people of different religions do this, they will automatically come together and recognize each other when they meet.

It is not a process of stating the unity of religions or the desire to not discriminate. Almost all of us know that it is wrong to hate and discriminate. The problem is not that we don't know it, the problem is that we don't know how to overcome hatred in ourselves.

This is why each individual needs to live a true life of religion or spirituality, not the type that is organized from above by great movements, but the kind that is practiced in stillness, in a true desire to be good, in a personal relationship with the Creator and in awareness of the spiritual dimension of life.

Massive peace movements carry in them the danger that their participants believe they are doing so much for peace in the world that they ignore the task to really work on perfection of their own inner self.

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