Tuesday, January 25, 2011


In the dualistic perspective, peace feels a certain way and peaceful people look and act a certain way.

This is a trap. It keeps us striving to achieve this thing we think of as peace. But by this very definition, peace, in this sense, must have an opposite. This opposite would be any state or action that we would think of as not peaceful (such as agitation, restlessness, upset, anger, annoyance, violence, war, etc.).

Since this "peaceful" state is held up by many as a sign of enlightenment or as a path to enlightenment, we see it as desirable, worthy of our effort, worthy of our striving. The common supposition is that if we strive to achieve a state of peace, we will be closer to enlightenment. What most people don't see is the contradiction inherent in that. Strive for peace. Hmmm...

So, in this dualistic perspective, what happens to us when "non-peaceful" states arise? We are compelled to change them. We must fight against them. We must strive to remain or return to a state of peacefulness. In other words, we must become less peaceful. We are trapped. Trapped by our lack of understanding about what true peace is.

The way out of this trap is to realize the limitations of our imagined idea of peace. For many, the imagined idea of peace is that when we achieve it, we will no longer feel any of those "opposite" qualities of peace. In other words, we will no longer experience feelings of agitation, distress or anxiety--any state that could be thought of as "not peace."

And THAT, that belief that peace feels and looks one way, but not another, is what keeps us trapped. True peace is an understanding that ALL states of mind, ALL thoughts, ALL feelings and ALL behaviors, are simply forms of the One/the Absolute--including agitation, distress, and anxiety. True peace is realizing that nothing about these states of being needs to change (including the desire to change them). Nothing needs to be made to be other than what it is.

This is the peace we are striving for, and it is already here.

1 comment:

  1. i had this enlightenment a couple years ago. it was great. peace is random moments of bliss. i still absolutely experience other states of being, when i have peace. the that essential peaceness remains in place under, or around, or behind, the secondary feeling. like a ghost image. it's funny, but for me, that underlying feeling of peace has always felt a bit like the smile of a buddha, or perhaps the mona lisa... just a little, internal quirk of the lips.