Peace must first start with you and me, as individuals. Then, as a group, we can create, allow, and promote peace to such a degree that it will be contagious. Instead of a negative disease, we can start a peace epidemic that can spread throughout the world. – John-Roger
This article by John-Roger was first published in Rod and Staff, Summer 1986.
Our spiritual heritage as children of God is one of peace. Yet the history of human beings on Earth is one of turbulence. Some might interpret this seeming contradiction as meaning that peace is available only after we leave this physical plane and enter the realms of Spirit. They might say that life on this planet has always been involved with wars and conflicts, and “that’s the way it will always be.”
My point of view is that we can have peace, joy, and abundance in Spirit and, simultaneously, bring this energy to the physical level. Of course, I am aware of the negativity and conflicts people have participated in throughout the ages. Yet I know that peace, in our time on this planet, is possible.
The next thing to consider is how this can be accomplished. There have been historic precedents such as fighting for peace, “the war to end all wars,” treaties of unconditional surrender, boundaries being declared, and agreements made to support the end of conflicts. Although well-intentioned, apparently these have not been effective.
I look at the world and see military conflicts on many continents; I see nations declaring themselves right and other countries wrong; I see religions, sects, races, and creeds in combat over issues ranging from rights of expression to geographical ownership. On a less global level, I’m also aware of conflicts within marriages and families. Usage of mind-altering substances has substantially increased, and there are other manifestations of negativity. Yet I am optimistic. Pollyanna syndrome? I don’t think so. I know that peace and joy are available, in our time, on this earth.
How can this be accomplished? It first must start with each of us. It would be foolish, if not downright hypocritical, to point a finger at a child’s neglectful behavior if there is disharmony between the parents. Similarly, we can’t expect our governmental leaders to solve our problems if we haven’t raised our own consciousness of peace. It does little good to be able to love the world but not have peace with our neighbors. Peace must first start with you and me, as individuals. Then, as a group, we can create, allow, and promote peace to such a degree that it will be contagious. Instead of a negative disease, we can start a peace epidemic that can spread throughout the world.
But, again, before you get carried away with enthusiasm for the possibilities, remind yourself that peace must start at home. In your physical home, yes, but even more important, I’m talking about the home inside of you. You can call it the heart, Spirit, God, the Traveler, awareness, caring, empathy. Those are just words to identify that place of peace within you. I’m asking that you go to the place that responds when you hold a child, the place that awakens when you help someone just for the pleasure of doing it. Connect with the sacred energy that comes alive when you express loving.
We have all experienced moments of peace and joy in our lives. Perhaps now it is time to express that peace more often than in just those precious moments. Maybe the time has come to move into the inner awareness of peace — not for just a moment here and there, but every day, every hour, every minute — and then to give the peace away by sharing it with others. That’s the magic of peace and love. The more you give them away, the more the abundance within you becomes available.
The trick is to continue doing the process that constantly awakens you to the gift of God within you. That process can be as simple as doing spiritual exercises every day; it can be as beautiful as assisting someone in need on a consistent basis; it can be as perfect as supporting someone’s point of view rather than arguing with them; it can be as much fun as playing with a child on their level; it can be as satisfying as completing a difficult assignment, cleaning a room, writing a letter, paying a bill, or making that phone call to someone you love but haven’t talked to in a long time.
Peace is not a static thing. It is an energy that, in order to be kept alive, must be constantly expressed — not agressively, but in a gentle, sharing way that gives the other person room for his or her own expression.
It is a time when we human beings, as individuals and as a group, are becoming aware that not only do we have a fervent yearning for peace, we also have the capability of making it happen. We can put our loving energy into declaring peace instead of war. We have the power to create a peaceful relationship with ourselves, our spouses, our children, our relatives, our entire human family on the planet, regardless of race, creed, color, gender, or nationality.
Here and now is your opportunity to be in peace — first with yourself and then, by sharing it, with others. I join you in claiming our spiritual heritage of peace and loving.