At peace in a world of conflict

So much drama in the world! The strange thing is that, other than a very strong wish for peace, I’m very unmoved by it. I feel in a way, almost like Ashtavakra: The world and all its swirling storms are illusion, there is only peace. It’s like the posts that I’ve written against “belief” in countries, and “identification” with religions and other distinctions, are starting to take hold here.

Not to long ago, I would’ve rejected a peace like this on principle (interesting how our principles destroy peace, __nicht wahr?__): How dare I not get worked up! The world’s aflame from Israel and Lebanon to Afghanistan, “my” country’s in the thick of it, and Syria and Iran add major fuel to the fire. With that state of affairs, surely I’ve got a _responsibility_ to be disturbed, don’t I?

What about the other side of the coin? Should I dance and sing because a major terrorist plot was foiled? (Yes, I _am_ very glad that more massive suffering was apparently prevented. But I’m not fooled into forgetting where the _real_ battle is.)

So mostly I’m unmoved. I see the dramas that the ego’s identifications, defenses, aggressions, resentments and so forth make on the grand scale, and I can recognize them for what they are. And now, instead of feeling guilty about refusing the invitations to lose focus, I feel more certain that this _detachment_ from the blame game, the “me” game, the “us” game, the “them” game, and all the mess, is a significant key to peace.

Detachment isn’t a lack of love. It’s non-reactive love, or rather, the environment that allows natural love to flourish. Ego-based love falls easily into the karmic traps. (The bastards killed my sister on 9/11 ? I’m going to Afghanistan to pay them back!)? As natural as such a reaction is, it is a reaction. And at least one result is that al-Qaeda has gotten a lot more battle experience as the drama of action and reaction continues.

How to stop the drama? Shall I organize massive protests and marches for peace? Sometimes, and in some places, that seems to work. More often than not, I suspect, it creates more conflict, and hardens people into defending the positions they’ve already taken.

In ??A New World??, Eckhart Tolle discusses how personal awakening contributes to global awakening. One person is at peace, he can dampen the reactivity of others. Presence ? deliberate, calm, presence, extends outward, and not just through natural means, either. The butterfly effect can happen. “(ext)Kitabu Roshi”: writes in his new book, ??Soul to Soul?? that while you enjoy a cup of coffee, you can influence a vote in Congress between your first sip and your last.

Nonduality seems madness to those who haven’t had a glimpse yet. Who is dying in Lebanon, Israel, and Iraq? Me, just me. But even more than that, no one. Nothing has happened. Things are not as they appear. There is no world to disturb my peace. And there is no “my” peace, anyway. Hell, I’m not even here!

Want a non-mystical explanation? Chris Dierkes is back and blogging, and has written an insightful essay on the Integral World website: Dr. Persianlove, or how I learned to stop worrying and love the Iranian bomb.

7 thoughts on “At peace in a world of conflict

  1. Hey. I can relate to that (I’m gonna keep reading, really)… just haven’t been so detached the last couple of weeks… or simultaneously detached and feeling like, shouldn’t I care? Or at least… the world would expect me to care, and I kinda don’t, and I’m not sure that bothers me… and am thus utterly baffled. Where the balance lies depends upon the particular moment.

    Nice post. 🙂

  2. I’m taking this post as a call for me to drink more coffee :). Great post. A lot to take in. I think I’ll have to read it again a few times tonight. If only we could all really realize this. I especially like the part on detachment. So often it seems like detachment comes with a lack of love, but it’s really not the case. Just look at the Buddha. Ah, thanks Jon.

  3. “But I?m not fooled into forgetting where the real battle is.”
    The real battle is in the heart of man. Man’s heart and mind are evil and depraved. All of us. Which is why Jesus Christ had to make a perfect sacrifice for us that we might have the righteousness of God. He was and is the unblemished lamb of God. We will never be right of our own accord. Which is why God said to Isaiah, “‘Come now, let us reason together,’ says the LORD. ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.'” Isaiah 1:18
    The peace of God can only be achieved in the heart of man. Peace will never be in this world. But as Jesus said in John 16:33, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

  4. “Hell, I?m not even here!”

    Me, too!

    Thing is- it all seems so f***ing real; having a rocket blow up your family is about as real as it gets- and yet, how can this be happening?

    No- things are not as they appear, but try selling that one to most folks- it’s OK, though… can’t run around shouting the sky is NOT falling in a war zone, but you can share selfless love from a distance- and it does matter, it does change things.

    It’s not up to us to gauge the measure of change.

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