Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Return to Peace

 
 

Return to Peace... Turning away from the fighting

May 4, 2021

Saying For Today: To return to yourself is to return to peace; to return to peace is to share peace. And where peace is, love is. Returning to peace, you return to love.


Spring is Here!... in Nothern Maine

Spring is Here!... in Northern Maine

Today's Saying: Peace is not the absence of conflict; peace is a quality inhering in Life Itself. Peace is foremost a presence.

* * *

Sometimes I lay under the moon
And thank God I'm breathin'
Then I pray, "Don't take me soon
'Cause I am here for a reason."

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it'll all turn around because

All my life I've been waitin' for
I've been prayin' for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There'll be no more war
And our children will play

One day, one day, one day, oh
One day, one day, one day, oh

It's not about win or lose, 'cause we all lose
When they feed on the souls of the innocent
Blood-drenched pavement
Keep on movin' though the waters stay ragin'

In this maze
You can lose your way, your way
It might drive you crazy but
Don't let it faze you, no way, no way!

Sometimes in my tears I drown
But I never let it get me down
So when negativity surrounds
I know some day it'll all turn around because

All my life I've been waitin' for
I've been prayin' for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There'll be no more war
And our children will play

One day, one day, one day, oh
One day, one day, one day, oh

One day this all will change, treat people the same
Stop with the violence, down with the hate
One day we'll all be free, and proud to be
Under the same sun, singin' songs of freedom like

Why-ohh! (One day, one day) why-oh, oh, oh!
Why-ohh! (One day, one day) why-oh, oh, oh!

All my life I've been waitin' for
I've been prayin' for
For the people to say
That we don't wanna fight no more
There'll be no more war
And our children will play

One day, one day, one day, oh
One day, one day, one day, oh

* * *

I began reading one of the world Scriptures - I had prior, and I discontinued a second time. I have read the Scriptures of varied world religions. Being a student of world religions, adhering to a worldview of inclusivity, I felt a need to read this Scripture. And since so many millions are devoted to it, I thought it would give me more insight into this faith.

Why did I stop reading it after getting over halfway through? Peace. I was uncomfortable with the violence in it. I read some reviews to see what others thought and felt about this classic. While most other reviewers highly esteemed it, a reviewer wrote, "This is not a book of peace." I kept returning to those words over days. I could not forget, "This is not a book of peace."

I thought of the violence, racism, and injustice in the world. I thought of politicians fussing and fighting. I thought of killings of police persons of blacks. I questioned prayerfully, "Why am I reading a book where the mythological sky-god keeps, over and over ad nauseam, threatening persons who disagree with him, talks of destroying whole populations in the past, and promises a fiery hell to all who do not do as he says? Is that loving? What am I doing reading this?" The insight arose, "This is a book of peace if one complies with this deity. Otherwise, well, hell to everyone else." Oddly, I worship with Quakers, who are pacifists - this inconsistency appeared odd to me.

Then, an inner Message arose in the Silence: "Don't read anything not of peace." I did not open the book back up. Beyond that, I agreed not to read any violent work. And I have lost interest in any media or entertainment that is violent, including what utilizes fear as entertainment.

In discontinuing the book, I was not saying, "By doing this, I am more moral than those who read it?" Or, "Those of that faith are not persons of peace?" I was not saying everyone devoted to that book is violent. I was saying "Yes" to peace, for I want to say "Yes" to peace. I was saying "No" to our justifying violence by appealing to religion or, by the way, to patriotism.

* * *

We each can ask ourselves, "What do I need to do to embody the peace I wish to see in the world?" It is not enough to aspire to peace; instead, we must live in agreement with that aspiration. If we ask this honestly, it will likely lead to changes in our daily life, including how we treat everyone we meet, and it might lead us to changes in values we hold as a person of faith and citizenship. One area of change may be in being more selective of what we give attention to.

During these last weeks, this passage from the Christian Scriptures has come to mind often -

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

*Philippians 4.8 (NRSV)

Simply put, we cannot be persons of peace and yield our minds to unpeace. And, if we yield our minds to aggression, the debris of aggression will overlay the purity of our hearts - our natural selves.

* * *

A moment of decision to choose peace arose in my life when in a marriage. The person I was married to and I had a verbal fight. It was very loud, as we yelled at each other. I was concerned our neighbors heard, especially for I was a pastor, and my behavior was certainly not how a spiritual leader should act. More, I decided this behavior was unacceptable to me as a person, not just as a pastor. I knew I could not change her, and I did not want to, but I could make a change myself. Soon after, coming home from work, I walked into the room where she was sitting. I announced calmly that I would not participate in that kind of behavior anymore. I said I had been raised in it and would not be part of it again. Oddly, after that, the marriage quickly went downhill. Soon after, she falsely accused me of being sexually interested in another woman. One day, she spoke sadly, telling me she knew something was wrong with her. She did not share any about what that might be. I knew nothing I could do to help, the relationship being at the point it was then. Finally, as the tension continued in the home, I began, for the first time, staying late at work to avoid what I would face going home. I came to determine she somehow felt unloved if I would not fight with her and that she enjoyed the fighting. That may sound weird, and it is, but conflict often sustains relationships. And some persons need conflict to feel alive. She moved out, and I began visiting her to try to save the marriage. After several weeks, the last time I saw her, and more anger toward me, I received an inner Message to leave. I loaded up my belongings in the middle of the night and left, returning to the church parsonage. I never saw her again. I chose peace, not conflict, and I am thankful, even though for years my life was significantly complicated by the changes after leaving, including five years of being legally homeless. I live alone and in peace now. Since then, my life has only gotten more joyful. I do not believe anyone has the power to take away our peace or engage us in fighting unless we allow them to. I know living in an unpeaceful environment is not healthy. I know that fighting not only hurts the other but us also. Fighting is not our nature, peace is. You may lose some things by choosing peace, but what is worth losing your peace over?

* * *

Where does peace outside you begin? By striving for world peace? No. Inside you. Your being a being of peace, emanating silently peacefulness, is your beginning of bringing peace to others. And, regardless of the unpeace outside, to live in peace is your birthright and nature.

To return to yourself is to return to peace; to return to peace is to share peace. And where peace is, love is. Returning to peace, you return to love. Hence, is it not reasonable to devote yourself to giving your mind and heart to peace day and night, directing your attention there always, regardless of the fascination with unpeace so prevalent about you? Is it not true that we wish to live peacefully - at peace with Spirit, ourselves, and others? You can... we can. Peace to All!

* * *

*(C) Brian K. Wilcox, 2021

*Brian's book, An Ache for Union: Poems on Oneness with God through Love, can be ordered through major online booksellers or the publisher AuthorHouse. The book is a collection of poems based on wisdom traditions, predominantly Christian, Buddhist, and Sufi, with extensive notes on the poetry's teachings and imagery.

*"One Day," songwriters: Thiam Aliaune / Levine Ari / Miller Matthew / Lawrence Philip Martin / Mars Bruno. Lyrics Wb Music Corp., Universal Music Corp., Bughouse, Bmg Gold Songs, Music Of Windswept, Thou Art The Hunger, Roc Nation Music, Music Famamanem Lp, Mars Force Music, Music Famamanem, Songs Of Razor And Tie, Art For Art's Sake Music, Toy Plane Music, Art For Arts Sake, Moshiach Now, Northside Independent Music Publishing, LLC.

 

Lotus of the Heart > Path of Spirit > Return to Peace

©Brian Wilcox 2021