“We have electricity and sewage throughout most of the world because we agreed as a collective group that this was a minimum standard of living. Peace will be possible on earth when everyone decides collectively that this is how we wish to live. “
My teacher said this recently and it really hit home. It made me realize that anything we want to be collectively as a human race is possible.
Could you imagine in this day and age, going into the Four Seasons Hotel and having them inform you that there are no toilets, only chamber pots or worse, nothing at all? It’s because we’ve established that as a standard of living.
We simply haven’t collectively decided that we want peace in the world yet and that’s the only reason we’re not having that experience.
By the same token if everyone honestly believed in the golden rule: “Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you.” The world would truly and unequivocally be a better place. I know the reaction that comes from this… “it’s impossible.” Is it really impossible? When an individual decides to go after and maintain inner peace, then his or her outward world also becomes peaceful.
All conflict comes out of fear. Try and slice it up– in any conflict you’ll always be able to find the seeds of fear. Fear of being attacked prompts pre-emptive strikes. Fear of death will make you protect you and yours to an irrational degree. Fear is an irrational projection of the mind into the future. The truth has to be what is going on in the present moment. In this present moment you can then decide to act out of fear of the future, or have a positive sense of peace in your heart and make the harder, higher choice. This isn’t just some bleeding heart liberal stuff either. What I was taught at West Point was, “Choose the harder right over the easier wrong.” Let me tell you, it is harder at first and there’s great resistance. When you do the right thing, it seems as though the whole world turns against you. It’s simply a test, though. With perseverance in doing the right thing you become like steel tested in fire. There was a time when we honored these sentiments. We had heroes who exemplified the best in humanity, but now we look to Brittany Spears as a diversion from a hectic life.
Stopping suffering in the world is an individual decision. You must decide to make yourself the best you can be, and find peace for yourself, then everything around you will evolve. That’s why Joseph Campbell’s mantra was, “Follow your bliss.” A person who is living from their heart, following what’s dearest to them will uplift all those they come into contact with. Happiness is truly contagious. Yogi Bhajan says, “Your presence must work.” This means the same thing. Uplift yourself and your presence will affect all of those around you.
This is the essence of the hero’s journey. Nobody says following your bliss will be easy, but it’s better than just taking what life throws at you. Being the best you can be by following what’s in your heart leads to inner peace. When someone has peace in their own heart, they’re not operating out of fear, and so conflict rarely arises. When conflict does arise, then the person at peace looks inside and makes the higher decision not to react out of fear, even if it is the harder decision.
When we all decide individually that we want to be at peace then it will become a collective reality.