The presence of peace

World peace is possible. Just do things my way.

Frequently, I make the mistake of listening to the news. I occasionally read the news magazines.

Neither is full of sunshine.

Both are overflowing with violence towards ourselves.

My limited scientific knowledge of how we are all interconnected speaks to the truth that we are One. When we attack and harm another, we are essentially waging war against ourselves. If I commit an act of violence against another person, it is my own internal angst that makes me lash out. Something has disturbed my sense of peace and well-being. Self-defense and sociopathy aside, it is the fundamental lack of peace within each one of us that is a prime motivator to violence against ourselves.

I test this constantly. Anytime I feel anger and a desire to lash out at another, I find it is rooted in fear, a disruption of my internal sense of peace. As I listen to the news and hear about the inability of people to resolve their problems without harming another, I feel scared, helpless, and alone.

I wonder: What if each person found their peace within themselves? If we stay centered in our peace, perhaps we would lose our fear. In its place would be trust in oneself and the greater One that we are all motivated from our sense of personal peace. Of course, that fantasy fills me with peace. The problem is that it relies upon the actions of others. It is dependent upon how others are in the world, not how I am in the world. The real test is whether I can maintain my peace even within the greatest of fears. My honest self-assessment acknowledges that I would commit violence to defend the lives of myself and those I love. That includes fighting for food, water, shelter, and safety (first and second in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs). And when I think about our world situation, I get the feeling that our violent behavior is born because we don’t feel safe. We want to assure ourselves that we will have enough food and water. There are people who will put up with atrocious acts committed against them just so they can maintain their food and water supply.

The reality is that there is enough food and water in the world to take care of everyone. That we misuse our water supply and grow food to capitalize wealth is our shame.

We created the games and rules of societal living. We created the system of money and wealth. We created the root of our fear.

Maybe it is time to create something else.

©2011 by Barbara L. Kass

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8 Responses to “The presence of peace”

  1. jeffstroud Says:

    Barbara,

    You have begun sharing peace with this post. Yes we feel or fear lack because of the illusion of not that there is not enough. That someone will take what we have, instead of sharing it.
    If we following the premise that “everything we need is already present” there would be no fear, no violence, no hate. Sharing love is Peace in action!
    Love You, Love your for being who you are, in all your imperfect perfection! (((Hugs)))

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      ((laughing)) — thank YOU, Jeff! You are right on target with my imperfect perfection. I used to believe fully (and still believe slightly), that if I were perfect to others under all circumstances, I would survive, find happiness, no one would hurt me, everyone would be happy with me, and on and on. I took a journey this morning to ask my spirit guides to help me find out what it is I really want. Self-awareness and self-expression were my answers. The awareness comes first and the expression is honoring who I find.

  2. holessence Says:

    Oh boy, howdy — do I ever resonate with this exceptionally well-stated post, Barbara!

    1. Self-defense and sociopathy aside, it is the fundamental lack of peace within each one of us that is a prime motivator to violence against ourselves.

    2. That we misuse our water supply and grow food to capitalize wealth is our shame.

    3. We created the root of our fear.

    • Barbara Kass Says:

      Hi, Laurie! Given that I live so close to our Congress, Senate, and President, and every 10-minute news brief is full of concern about our debt ceiling and who will agree to what, what happens if no one agrees, blah blah blah, I have to wonder at the thinking process. We CREATED our economic system, yet we act like it is a beast apart and that we are subject to its whims. If we don’t like the way it is working, create something ELSE!

  3. passionatepresenceBen Says:

    We are the changeless presence and one in consciousness. That is verifiable. We are aware of one another although we are taught to see each other as separate. It couldn’t be more obvious.

    What wants peace cannot consistently have it. Why? It is a dual universe of appearance with peace, war, wealth, poverty, etc. Trying to hold a changeless state of peace in what was designed to change, appear, drop away, and arise again is a set up for failure. It is a beautiful and most magnificent failure I will add.

    It may also have to get violent and tragic for the lesson of failure to sink in. By not caring or requiring their to be peace, peace can finally be seen as with us always anyway. We don’t have to go somewhere to get it. Everything arises in it. The changeless presence is the peace beyond understanding. Emphasis on “beyond understanding”.

    Humanity was designed with survival instincts and the qualities of humanity and inhumanity. Desiring and wanting go on for a lifetime… so far. There is no need to perfect that. Just seeing that it is so is a start.

    What is a bigger realization than that is that everything, and I mean everything a human sees or points to in the world is an internal projection outward. Everything! I cannot see violence without having the reference point of violence within.

    Deeply getting this, means the war is over. I am no better or worse than anyone else. I may act like I am on the outside, and believe it in surface level thought, but I can see the mirror of non peace inside quite easily. So instead of pushing it away, I see it is so.

    It humbles my humanity, and in this humility I have peace. Not because I have arrived anywhere, fixed anything, or I have an expectation that the world will change around me. Expectations and requirements are absolutely deadly. They are Kali the Destroyer. AND it is o.k. They teach and are hopefully seen to be what they really are.

    I accept the lowest position is me as well as the highest if authentically felt and embraced. If not, that’s o.k., but it is just an intellectual position. I have had plenty of those. I am the champ of them. My heart is hardened when I live through the prisms and filters of my head alone sometimes in the most beautifully painted pictures of peace.

    Why? Because it is my expected peace, my required peace, and not my unconditional peace. Real peace is seeing that everything is allowed. Everything! The best and the worst. Peace is in seeing that. Don’t like it? No Problem. Not liking is part of it too. How do I know this? Because that is what is actually happening. Missed it for decades.

    Unconditional does not mean it looks the way I think it should. If I expect that I have just smacked myself one good wack with the teaching stick of expectations and conditions. Built in to the moment. Wonderful! I have been slapped around for a lifetime with those two.

    So, seeing that I am truly failing is grounding. I am meekness. I inherit the world in those moments AND they do not last. Humbled again.

    Transcendence here isn’t about changing a single thing. It is seeing I am all of it the most beautiful and the most horrible as well as everything in between. Really groking this and its humbling implications, The Supreme Ultimate can come forward and show itself as who we really are not just flawed human beings in an imperfect world. I can throw stones. It is good that I do. Then I can see, allow, and invite that darkness inside into the light of awareness. Certainly not because I am better than the world. I can begin to see with clarity.

    So, today, I deeply ask forgiveness for creating a world that includes violence within projected without! I Thank it for breaking me open past what I thought I knew was good for the world or anyone for that matter.

    We Live from Transcendence.and just don’t see it, therefore we can embrace the world and it is seen to be here already.
    Whoa!

    Beautiful Topic! Made my day Barbara.You are a most wonderful muse!
    Deep Bow!

  4. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Ben! So good to hear from you again. Your reference to the “changeless presence” caught my attention big time. I am only at the starting point of understanding — I have a glimmer of insight and nothing more. I am wondering, wondering to the end of my imagination, if there is something else that we can do (i.e., project) that would give us the duality that is ever-present without the violence. What if we did? What would happen is we did something else — anything else — except harm each other? What does that presence look, feel, taste, hear, and smell like?

    I get that the nature of survival on our planet is eat or be eaten. We are at the top of the food chain feasting upon each other. The earth will eventually win, consume our bodies, giving space for another to follow. I hear environmentalists worry about how we are destroying the earth — what they are really worried about is how we are destroying the life that inhabits the earth. I have witnessed, as others have documented, that the earth will change to accommodate whatever we have done, and it will still be the earth. When humans abandon a place, the earth immediately moves in and reclaims its territory. We are but a temporary nuisance.

    The duality of peace/nonpeace, liking/disliking, accepting/denying — yes, these are all a part of the package. The presence is changeless: it has been and will always be the presence but I sense in me a vista that goes on forever, an eternity waiting to be written, that there is a place beyond THIS duality.

    Or it could be desire in my own humble journey, questing its way through self-definition and self-evaluation. Meanwhile, I chop wood and carry water. I do my best to project beauty and kindness, but I embrace the heart of a warrior. Can there be a warrior of peace? Like spiritual warriors, it sounds like an oxymoron. After all, who would we conquer?

    Take care.

  5. passionatepresence Says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I would say presence contains this duality is untouched by all this we discuss. It is not beyond it. It actually contains everything which is why I say it is unconditional.

    Clearly everything is allowed even how we harm each other and therefore our selves. How do I know? That is what is happening. And it is just happenings. For now, it has to be that way in appearance evidently.

    The good news in this I say is that the harm creates suffering, and the suffering indicates that it doesn’t work. We are slow to realize that, and I can say that has been very true here as well. Very slow I have been to let go of my preferred perceptions of how life.

    The presence that contains it all couldn’t care less. We get nothing out of it. And at the same time it is the most wonderful nothing.

    As soon as I write this, I suspect it sounds cold. Actually though, because it could care less, it cares immeasurably. So, perhaps that is what you sense??

    When I write sense, I don’t mean sense as with the 5 senses. It is kind of a priorness or beforeness to all that appears. Maybe what you see in the potential is the potential within your self? What you want to see and desire to see in the world is that self realization?

    Only you can know and not intellectually in my experience. That certainly was true here. I looked for the potential out there to satisfy. What I was seeking out there is my very self that is already here with no requirements to fill. Yet, the human very much will strive for a better world. No problem with that or the vision of it. Our humanness is not something to reject.

    In fact, when I became willing to see the struggle of the human being, and stop expecting something other than that, I opened to the humanity here in me. The failings of the humanity here is what opened me to the compassion for it out there in the world.

    On a side note…

    So, speaking strictly from human thought, I was listening to a neuro scientist interviewed who wrote the book Brain Bugs… I think that is the name of the book.

    One interesting thing he said and that they tested is that brains and thought is associative. So, if I am exposed to a lot of negativity, or negative words, concepts, and viewpoints, my brain will entrain to that, and it will tend to associate experiences with those perspectives. As a friend used to say. It is tough to live in a sewer and not get a little stinky.

    On the other side of the fence, if I am exposed to peace, beauty, love or more importantly I am giving that in mind, body, and thought, I will in my humanness entrain to that. That has happened here. I dove into those states to the point of having amazingly ecstatic experiences. I cultivated those experiences and they did have a positive impact on myself and others.

    Problem is these are just states, and states change. Seeing this, and willing to say o.k. I can’t stop here, opened up the scene to something beyond any vision or expectation. I was totally surprised by presence. What I was yearning for in a changeless state was finally seen as here all along. I couldn’t have been more wrong, and more surprised!

    And you know what was initially maddening about that? Is the states continued to arise and fall positive, negative and all in between. Over time, the difference was, I stopped trying to get something out of it. Instead of sitting on the mountain top above it all. I discovered I was very much in it all… just like everyone else.

    Don’t know if I added anything here, but felt compelled to respond.

    Thanks for listening!
    Ben

  6. Barbara Kass Says:

    Hi, Ben,

    I feel an incredible sadness at times when I witness what goes on in the world. I actually cried when I heard the new report that the US had killed Bin Laden, not because he was dead, but because we were cheering and throwing parties in celebration of our own violence against ourselves. We are still very much barbaric and self-serving (the self being our ego in this case). People like Bin Laden are instrumental in their own emise. He could have made a dozen different choices. Would that have stopped him from dying in that moment? Maybe not. He might have come to earth with the intent to learn just exactly what he experienced.
    I project a lot into the presence that we all are. If I am feeling something, then so is the universe, and I believe the universe responds. Like you point out, these states are transient. I feel incredible joy about my granddaughter and I know the universal presence feels that, too.
    The part about being willing to witness the struggle of humans (and accept that we struggle) is what I feel I am learning right now. I need to accept my own struggles to become and respect others’ struggles. Presence accepts and perhaps knows that all our struggles are necessary . . . at least in this iteration of our existence.
    I may have to look up the book about Brain Bugs! Interestingly, even in the most beautiful places on earth, life and death struggle are continuing.
    Thanks for an insightful response.
    Barbara

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