the way of peace

Posted on July 3, 2010

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Over the past months, the full meaning of peace is beginning to awaken and stir my soul. As a culture, we want peace in the sense of “personal peace and affluence” (as Francis Schaffer described the gods of our age). I see the gods of this age as comfort and certainty. Sometimes we confuse these false gods with peace. Even though we know all of this is a self-deluding illusion that we create and hide behind. Nothing is permanent and yet we keep wondering why our walls continue to crumble.

True peace begins with wholeness and authenticity. Walls cannot stand in a life that is lived from the heart in peace. Authentic peace emulates from an authentic person in both an external peace and an internal peace.

External peace means much much more than living without fighting and war. It is living at peace with all people. This begins by honoring and respecting the soul of others; their journey, their values, their beliefs; never violating the integrity of another. Whenever we put down, disregard, dishonor, or disrespect the journey, values, and beliefs of others, we commit a subtle form of violence that is the most prevalent form of violence on earth. We build governments, cultures, and religions on this form of violence. We build systems, human constructs, that make us right and “them” wrong. We then begin with mental violence against those that do not agree. This moves to verbal violence. Then often physical violence between cultures, countries, and religions. We humans, of all creatures, are quite pitiful in our pride; committing violence day by day, moment by moment. If you don’t believe it, just listen more deeply to the news, politics, staff meetings, conversations between neighbors, siblings, spouses, parents with their children.

This external peace comes from within. We must first cultivate an internal peace with our own soul. Do we listen to our inner light, or do we divide ourselves? Do we let culture dictate our values and beliefs? Or are they second-hand? Do we intentionally and intently listen to that “still small voice” within?. It is when we are transformed by inner truth, coming directly from the Ground of Being, our Source of Life, that we become whole. Our “soul” and “role” become one. The life people see is a mirror of the life within. This is wholeness.

At peace, we learn that we are exactly where we are meant to be on our journey. We become fully present and aware so that we can learn each lesson along the way.

At peace, we realize that others are also exactly where they are meant to be on their journey. And our role is to help them look within to discover what their inner teacher is showing them.

Wholeness is not threatened by differences and disagreement, it embraces diversity. It listens intently to diversity, honoring and respecting differences. It does not build itself up and lord it over others. It meets other people in humility, heart to heart, realizing that we all are equal. We see “that of God” in everyone. We learn that it is not our place to be “fixing, saving, advising, and setting each other straight” (from A Hidden Wholeness, by Parker Palmer). In peace, we love.

Shalom

A PEACE that is Rooted and Grounded in WHOLENESS

A right relationship

With all things: money, possessions, work, and play

With all people: family, friends, strangers, community (local & global)

With nature

With the earth

With the universe

With the Source of all life and love.

Shalom has a much richer meaning that the English word “peace” can convey.

“Wholeness, health, completeness, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.”

So in essence, when you speak out the word SHALOM – you are not only proclaiming peace, but all the above meanings of the word over that person – that’s a mighty blessing!!!” (David Silver, Jewish Scholar)

Outline of uses throughout the Bible:

1) completeness, soundness, welfare, peace

…a) completeness (in number)

…b) safety, soundness (in body)

…c) welfare, health, prosperity

…d) peace, quiet, tranquility, contentment

…e) peace, friendship

……1) of human relationships

……2) with God especially in covenant relationship

…f) peace (from war)

…g) peace (as adjective)

(Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon)

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)

See also,

Violence: https://ronirvine.wordpress.com/2008/10/24/violence/

Gentleness: https://ronirvine.wordpress.com/2009/08/04/gentleness/

Honoring the soul: https://ronirvine.wordpress.com/2008/12/07/honoring-the-soul/

The Cost: https://ronirvine.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/the-cost/

No longer immune: https://ronirvine.wordpress.com/2009/06/19/no-longer-immune/

The progression toward compassion: https://ronirvine.wordpress.com/2010/03/23/the-progression-toward-compassion/

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