Peace is not some state to be achieved. Peace is sort of like silence. As long as you are making noise, there is no silence. But if you stop making noise, there is silence. But who created the silence? Actually, silence wasn’t created. You can only cease doing things that make noise and then silence is already there.
Peace is there when you cease fighting and creating conflict. This is the case internally (within yourself) as well as externally (in the world). If everyone in the whole world just ceased fighting and creating conflict, war would cease. If you ceased fighting and creating conflict, you would be at peace.
In the case of in the world (externally) we create conflicts all the time. However, we really have more in common with those we fight with than we care to admit. We all want to live happily. We all don’t want to suffer. We all don’t want to live in fear. However, when one group wants what another group has…this is the basis for conflict or war. Since ancient times, humans have taken from others what they want…and rationalize it as something justified or admirable. How many really question this belief that it is OK to take or try to get what others have…to deprive another for your own benefit? How many really question the belief that it is OK to fight for things by harming others?
Now, I intend to focus on internal peace instead of external/world peace – so let use move on.
In the case of being at peace (internal peace), how can one be at peace if one is fighting all of the time? I am not just talking about fighting with organizations or individuals, but also fighting with our thoughts and reality itself.
The internal war that takes up most of our individual time is the fight against what-is. We deny what-is. We resist what-is. We are not at peace with what-is. It should be other than this. This is the basis of all our problems. The only problem we really have is that life is not going the way we think it should. This results in suffering.
Thoughts and ideas are only about the past, the future, or pure imaginations. Thoughts are never about the now…the now is what-is. So, if we were 100% devoted to the experience of now…and so present that thought stops (even for a while), we would find we don’t have any problems right now…in this moment. But we then think (about past, future, or imagination) and we don’t accept the now as it is…we deny it and fight it.
Also, we deny and fight the certainties of life. Every thing is temporary and ever changing. But we hold ideas of possession and that we should be able to keep things indefinitely. We forget, overlook, and deny that whatever is in our life…this too shall pass. Also, we have little to no control over when and how things pass. Your favorite mug is bumped, falls to the floor, and shatters. You didn’t plan on this or chose this. Even if you managed to have it until the end of your life, you would pass eventually and leave it behind. The end of your life may not be due to old age, it could be an unforeseen car accident tomorrow. You just don’t know and you don’t really control it.
Now, what happens when the here and now is unconditionally accepted? What happens when the what-is is accepted totally and without reservation? What happens when the now is un-resisted…and we refuse to fight with it?
This means (in part) that you see so clearly that every thing is temporary and changing…and you don’t control how or when it passes…and so you cease trying to hold on. So if your favorite mug falls and shatters, it is all right…all is still OK. You are still at peace, because you are not fighting what-is (the mug is in pieces). And a new mug becomes the new favorite mug.
It is possible to so unconditionally accept yourself, the world…what-is…that you no longer fight against it. You might work with it, but not fight it. In this way, instead of using two oars and a lot of effort to go against the stream in a river…you use one oar to steer effortlessly and work with river to get somewhere. This makes the strength of the river your own.
When you are no longer internally fighting with yourself, the world, what-is, etc. – you are at peace automatically. In order to lose inner peace, you have start fighting again. The world is not fighting you…the what-is does not fight you…so it is you that has to start the fight again. If you refuse to fight, peace continues.