Today is Monday, January 27, 2014.
When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person that lives in peace with others. –Peace Pilgrim
To many of us, inner peace seems elusive, hard to achieve. We have responsibilities, burdens, worries, deadlines, and conflicts. How can we find peace with all that going on?
The first thing to realize is that nothing is going to give you peace. Peace is not something you passively receive from outside of yourself. Rather, it's something that you create from within. It is something you can achieve when you proactively connect and identify with All That Is, and act in harmony with all Life.
You start by realizing that the physical world around you is not all there is, no matter what science tells you, because science has chosen to limit itself to the physical world. The world of spirit can only be accessed from within. This is what meditation and contemplation are for. When we quiet our minds, which are driven by ego, we find that we are Soul, a being of Light and Energy. We are here to learn as we interact with the physical world around us. Other beings are Soul, too, here for the same purpose.
When we begin to access our Inner Worlds, there is a temptation to want outer proof, to believe that what we are experiencing isn't real, because it can't be proven physically. The problem with this is that when you let science tell you something is not "real" unless it is physically measurable or observable by more than one person, you are limiting yourself to only part of what exists. See, that's what they tell us – you and me – because they can't really explain the rest of Creation.
Actually, scientists have fairly recently realized that about 74% of the universe is dark energy (dark meaning that we can't really measure it, but we think it must be there because it helps scientists account for the "mass" of the universe), about 22% dark matter (matter we think is there, but it's still hypothetical) and only 4% matter as we are familiar with the term. This stuff is not really taught much in schools, yet, so chances are you never heard of it. In fact, some of us celebrated our 30th high school reunion before scientists started talking about this stuff in public.
In other words, when science tells you that the physical world we can measure is all there is, they are really only talking about 4% of the totality of Creation. The other 96% they can't explain. So, why are you listening to them, anyway?
The fact is, so-called "objective" reality is chancy, at best, even with the 4% of physical reality we can agree on. If you put 100 people together in a room and something happens, you will get 100 different stories about what happened, depending on how far away from the event the people were standing when it happened, whether they were a participant of the event or an observer, and how much they had to drink. Seriously, folks, objective reality isn't all it's cracked up to be. I'm not saying it's stupid to come to some agreement about the physical world. It's actually necessary, or chaos would reign, and that would be nasty. It's just that so-called objective reality is the totality of life.
That leaves subjective reality, and that's really the only way you can experience the inner worlds, the 96% of Creation that science hasn't got a clue about. That means, among other things, that you can't really depend on a priest, pastor, rabbi, imam or guru to tell you everything. Sure, they can point the way – that's what they're for. But ultimately, you are the one who will have to have your own inner experience. And that takes practice, some trial and error.
Find a way to learn meditation or contemplation, and set aside a time to do it regularly. Journal your inner experiences, if you like. You may wish to draw, paint, or sculpt, write poetry, sing, play an instrument, or express what you learn in dance form. Don't let anybody tell you it isn't true. Learn what you can from the spiritual teachers, but learn to interpret your own inner experiences without help. So what if you interpret them wrong once in a while? You will learn something from the experience.
When you have a direct inner experience of All That Is, you will eventually get a sense of who you are and what your place is in Creation at this time. This is Inner Peace.
Once you achieve this, you will be able to live in peace with others. That's because in order to achieve this peace I'm talking about, you also have to give some things up.
You will give up the need to be right. You will give up the need to express your opinions to others. You will give up the need to judge things and people. You will give up the need to force others to agree with you and do things your way. You will give up the need to measure yourself against others, and to get ahead at all costs. You will give up the need to acquire land and possessions at all costs. You will give up the need to hoard things out of a sense of lack. You will give up the need for approval or corroboration from other people. That's just some of what you will give up, but you get the idea.
Once you've given these things up, there will be no other way to live with others than in peace. You won't have to argue about who is right. You won't have to argue about who is the leader and who should follow whom. You won't have to argue about the right way to do something. You won't have to fight for land or possessions or food. You won't have to depend on other people to be OK. See what I mean? When there's nothing to argue about, peace results.
Find inner peace, and outer peace will follow. :-)