No, we don’t need to look beyond the world to find peace. The world is not the one filled with desires and fears. Your mind is the one filled with desires and fears. Or more precisely…your thoughts. For, when there is no thought, we can look around in our world and find there are no desires or fears…there is only peace.
Awakening/enlightenment nor nonduality are about getting or seeing beyond the world. What I am talking about is not escapism. Trying to get beyond is never the answer. Trying to get beyond implies a denial and resisting. There is no peace because we are fighting (denial, resisting, etc.). Cease fighting and automatically there is peace.
One who is awake (in the realization of nonduality) does not see anything wrong with the world. Such a one is at peace in the world. The world is pure and innocent.
There are only thoughts that say “this is good”, “this is bad”, “this should not be so”, “this is a problem”, “I want this”, “I don’t want this”, etc. Of course, all of these statements are inherently self-referential. That is to say, they involve an obvious or implied “me” or “I”.
I want this or I don’t want this…it is easy to see the “I” in these statements. However, this is good, this is bad, and this is a problem…all have an implied “me”. This is not good to me…this is bad to me…and this is a problem for me. This should not be so…this has implied “I”…I think this should not be so. Of course, it is so…and it is our resistance and denial to what is that originates the thought, “this should not be so.”
If one awakens and deeply realizes there is no “me” or “I”…that these too are just thoughts, then what happens to self-referential thinking? Often it ceases, or it appears like jokes the mind makes. Referring to a fake “I” becomes humorous. The thoughts can not be believed.
If one awakens, desire and fear also are no more. Both desire and fear are self-referential.
Desire can simply be stated as “I want this” and “I don’t want this”, but desire is more than want (a verb used in a sentence)…it is a feeling of need (in order to be happy). I may want to watch another TV episode of Buddha on Netflix today, but I will not be sad or unhappy if I do not watch it. I don’t need to watch the TV show in order to be happy. You could say there is a lack of attachment to the want. Or you could say that in seeing through the “I”, there is a feeling and recognition of being complete and without lack…and so there really are no “needs”…but there might be wants. Like children playing, one might say I want to play hide and seek and another might say I want to play catch…but whatever is done is play either way and still fun.
Fear can simply be stated as “what could happen to me or my possessions.” Fear includes anxiety, worry, etc. If one realizes there is no “I” or “me”, then there is also no “my” or “mine”. We do not possess anything. Everything changes and one day leaves us…and we have no control over how and when things change. I could be in a car crash today. It is within the realm of possibilities. No one knows when another car may run a red light and crash right into the car being driven (some might identify with this and say “crash into me”)…killing this body/mind (some might identify with this and say “kill me”). For me, there is no fear, worry, or anxiety over this possibility. I will do what I can…using wisdom and having respect for the dangers and damage other cars could cause…and most likely everything will be fine. Just like the many other times I have driven my car.
As you can see, neither desire nor fear are attributes of the world. The world is not filled with desire or fear. It is our minds and thoughts that are filled with desire and fear. It is our minds and thoughts that have destroyed peace. There is no need to look beyond the world to find peace…just see through this figment of imagination called “me”. As long as there is a “me” that is believed and identified with…desires and fears will follow “you” wherever you go and wherever you look. As long as there is a “me” that is believed and identified with…there is no peace…no matter where you go.