Whether you are reading the Bible, the Quran, the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the books and teachings of Buddhism, or if you are googling different Native American and African Proverbs, there is one common theme throughout all these faiths: finding peace. Whether you call the Higher Power God, Allah, Waheguru, Taiowa, the Creator, the Universe, Karma or Father, finding peace is a key virtue with many different ways on finding peace.
With so many ways in finding this peace, many different faiths have the same end goal; however, the ways are vastly different. For example, Catholicism advises we must find peace through confession and reconciliation with the Higher Power of God, practicing Yoga allows a path to find peace, deep meditation through different stones and candles, practicing spells in a variety of different languages and so on. In this path to finding peace with the Higher Power and yourself, there have also been conflicts on other roads to peace.
If we take the Inquisition of 12th Century France, the way of Christianity was forced onto those who had their own ways of finding peace. If we look at the Ancient Aztecs in their path to finding peace with the Higher Power, they resorted to sacrifice. Many of the world’s major religions find their way to peace is the only way and; therefore, must be the way for others – even if those they wish to convert do not believe in their way. Here is where the Pythagorean Theorem comes into play again such as in our talk about Money Not being God: My way is right + their way is wrong = conversion to my way no matter the cost.
There are many things wrong with conversion that history can tell us throughout the world; however, some key questions has been asked very little: were those enforcing conversion on others truly at peace themselves? Did they find the balance in themselves to truly preach their religion to others? Are those subject to the conversion truly at peace with the new way they must follow in finding peace?
These leads to question what is peace in it’s true form.
What is Peace?
There are many different definitions, dependent on who you ask, what peace is. Yogis may claim it is the balance of mind, heart, body and spirit. Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Sikhs may have their peace definition including a strong connection and observance of God/The Higher Power. New Age religions may have it as “being one with the universe”. Buddhism may have it as reaching Nirvana – transcendent state in which there is no suffering, desire, or a sense of self, and the being is released from the effects of karma and the cycle of death and rebirth.
In some faiths, defining what is peace may include conversion of other people or sacrificing others in the attempt to please the higher power. With so many definitions and routes on finding peace, it is understandable why peace can be hard to find for the world. Too many ways + too many definitions = too much confusion. This thought process may have been thought of back in the days of the inquisition; however, forcing those to follow one way and abandoning their previous faiths may render the path to peace paved with glass rather than stone.
Peace is also attainable in many ways and in one way at the same time. There is no one road to heaven/nirvana/being one with the universe. Take, for example, Heaven in Christianity. It is a renown Christian view that the path of Christ is the only way to peace and heaven. Let’s now think of Heaven as the physical Jerusalem. A Christian Family in Calcutta is taking a flight to the city and, at the same time, a Muslim family in Jakarta is taking a flight and a Jewish Family in New York City is flying to Jerusalem as well. Are they all on the same flight, to the same destination? They are all in different areas of the world with different ways of life, so they are not on the same flight; however, their destination is the same and the process to board the plane, land at the plane, and go through security similarly as well.
Peace is many things and one thing at the same time. You can be at peace with the tree, with the dogs, and with the birds. You could have a mutually symbiotic relationship with mother earth. You could find your self finding the balance in downward facing dog when practicing Yoga. Peace may be going down on your knees and praying to the Higher Power through Confession and Reconciliation. Above all else, Peace is a seed that can grow freely within ourselves with our connection to the Higher Power, The Earth and each other.
With understanding the similarities in different ways to finding peace, peace can be defined as followed: Peace is the balance of the Self, Higher Power, Earth, and Life around them all at once.
What is The Balance?
The definition of balance can be subjective to the eyes of the beholder, or a scientific definition, or the state of being when in Soldier 3 position in yoga. Balance is part of peace. Balance allows us to find ourselves, the connection to the Higher Power, the connection to the Earth, and the connection with all life around us individually. Peace is the state of balance between all four at once. In finding peace, balance is more than finding the right posture to have your energy flow, more than the stones and crystals collection at your alter, more than the goal of finding peace. Balance starts with a few understandings:
We Are The Connection: humanity is a collection of different races with the same principle creeds. We all share faith in a higher power, all walk on the same planet earth, and we all interact between different life forms. We are caretakers of the world around us from the seeds we sow to birds we feed. Humanity is the connection between each other, the Higher Power, and the Earth.
We Are Individuals Part of the Whole: The wolf pack cannot survive without the Alpha and Omega and the lone wolf cannot survive without the pack. A town cannot survive without the townsfolk and a person cannot survive peacefully without the community that offers food, shelter, and water. We must find balance in ourselves in order to further better and maintain the balance with those around us.
No Life is Truly Above Another: The blood of a ruler runs just as red as the blood of a cashier at the store. A shade of skin is not better than another. An apartment in New York City is not above a ranch house in The Philippines. The size of a diamond ring is not above the size of someone’s heart. The wolf is not braver than the bear. The Hawk is not more majestic than the owl. Humans are on a similar, but different, path of life than animals, but all start and end at the same destinations: birth and death.
The Balance Starts with You
Finding peace is not about how many followers your religion may have, either by conversion or by cultural upbringing. Finding peace is not about who’s way is right or wrong. Finding peace is beyond confessing on a Sunday, then committing the same sin on Monday. Finding peace is beyond the creeds we were born in, the skin tone we have, and the sins of nations’ pasts. Finding peace is more than just the self – it involves all life, the Higher Power God, and the Earth we live on.
The balance starts with you: how are you at peace with the world around you? How do you see yourself as a connection between a higher power and the earth? How do you see yourself as an individual while also part of a greater whole at the same time? How do you see yourself as on equal ways as the wolf, the birds, and the trees? In order to find true peace between ourselves, The Higher Power, and The Earth, we must self reflect and start balancing ourselves so we are stronger and more connected to live mutually symbiotic with the world we have.
A forest may start with one tree, but that one tree plants roots so other forms of life can grow around it. As more life grows, so too does the tree’s way of life. As the forest grows and sees the roots of the trees are growing, so too does their connection with the earth and the sky. As we allow peace to grow within ourselves, our roots become firmer with the earth and are branches extend higher to the Higher Power.
As we continue to grow this balance, we can stand taller and allow others to be more at peace with us and themselves as well, then we can find true peace and build a better world. Our peace could grow to be a forest in spirit. We must grow our peace and grow beyond the hate that has been taught to all people since an early age – we are beyond this. We are beyond the feud between Black and White. We are beyond the feud between Capitalism vs. Communism. We are beyond the feud between Islam and Judaism – we are all humans sharing the same world all on the same path for peace.
More to come on this.
Be well and be safe & healthy.