Do you want peace?
“Of course I want peace!,” says the conditioned mind.
The conditioned mind knows the right answers to just about everything. It knows that peace is the right answer.
But the conditioned mind is a fraud. You are a fraud.
And if you don’t believe me, just watch what is happening within yourself. You say you want peace, but what are you doing right now? Are you at peace? Or are you at war?
You’re at war. Tell the truth. You love war. You’re so in love with war, you don’t even recognize peace. You are so in love with war that you call war peace and you call peace war.
You have it all inverted.
And just watch what is happening. You’re getting agitated. You don’t like what you think are accusations coming from me. Accusations such as “you don’t want peace” and “you’re a liar”. You don’t like it.
But these aren’t accusations. These are truth. And the truth will set you free if you allow it.
Now, hear this. If you really allow this truth to seep in, you discover the truth of peace. You discover it now.
But you have to surrender. You have to allow the truth of peace to take you over.
Here’s a story. Once upon a time there was a large extended family that lived together near a lake. Like all families, they had disagreements. But they depended upon the lake. They needed the lake for life. So they did the intelligent thing. They recognized the greater truth and did not worry about disagreements.
Now, among the people there was a man who began to speak out loudly. And here is what he said, “This lake is a holy lake. And only those who are holy should be allowed to approach it. There are some among us who are unholy. And they should not be allowed access to the lake. Those of us who are on the side of what is holy must do our duty and chase away the unholy. We must keep the lake clean and pure and holy as it should be.”
At first most of the people thought he was crazy. But little by little they began to be persuaded by his arguments. And soon enough there was a large enough group that they began to make war on the others.
First they protested. They put up signs. They chanted “Unclean people go away from the holy lake!”
Then they began to form barriers. Human barriers at first. Then a great wall that they guarded so as to allow only the “holy” access to the lake.
Well it didn’t take long for this to come to blows. Hitting and kicking started. Then someone threw a rock. Then the first arrow flew.
And once the first person was murdered, both sides felt justified in continuing. One side would murder someone on the other side for retribution.
Both sides were certain they were right.
One side was certain they were holy, doing the work of God. The other side was certain they were acting only in self-defense and therefore it was justified.
Both sides said they wanted peace.
But both sides continued to make war.
This continued for many generations. And so it was that children grew up knowing nothing but war.
Eventually there was a child who grew up seeing war day in and day out, but this child did something no one else had done before. He sincerely wanted peace.
When he got to be old enough that he was expected to fight, he simply would not.
He had grown up on the “holy side”. Those who considered him to be their brother first tried to “bring him to his senses” by talking to him. They tried to persuade him to do his duty, to fight for a just cause.
When that did not work, they locked him up in prison to teach him a lesson. They forced him to undergo therapy to correct his way of seeing life.
None of that worked.
It came to pass that the “unholy side” heard rumors of this man, and they began to talk among themselves. “Maybe he will fight for our side!”
So they worked hard and broke the man out of prison. They stole him away. And they treated him like a king.
They had a great feast for him. They gave him all the best things they had. And then they demanded, “Now fight for us!”
But he would not.
And so they turned on him. They beat him. They imprisoned him. They tortured him.
But still he would not fight.
Because he wanted peace. And he knew the secret to peace which none of the others knew.
Everyone else wrongly thought that peace could only be had in the future…once the conditions they had invented were fulfilled. They all believed that peace was only possible in the absence of conflict, in the absence of unpleasantness, in the absence of discomfort, in the absence of fear, in the absence of doubt. They all wrongly believed that peace could only be when their side was victorious.
But he knew the true secret to peace. Which is this: peace is now. Peace is unconditional. Peace is this.
And he did what almost nobody does. Because most people talk about peace but don’t choose it. He chose peace. He remained with the truth of peace.
Choosing peace is a radical act. To the world – the violent, warring world both inner and outer – the truth of peace looks insane.
But the truth is that the violent warring world (both inner and outer) is insane. And if you take that to be truth, you are insane.
The good news is there is a remedy. And the remedy is peace. And the remedy is available to all who sincerely choose it now.
Choose peace. And don’t betray it.
Now, let me spell this out even more clearly. Because I know the doubts that creep in that try to persuade you to keep making war. And I want to be clear about this so you don’t make the mistake of furthering warfare in the name of peace.
You will have doubts. You will believe that you have a special exception to the Cosmic Rule. You will believe that you must just fight this one last battle before you can choose peace.
And the “one last battle” will never be enough. There will be endless “one last battles”. Every one will seem justified.
You will think that you must defeat this feeling, this pain, this circumstance, this disrespect, this injustice, whatever, on and on.
You will find endless exceptions. You will say that you have to because you must be responsible and good. You will lie to yourself over and over.
Don’t believe the lies. If you want peace, choose peace now.
If you want war, choose war…and be honest about it. Tell the truth that you are choosing war and that it is only war and not peace. Tell the truth that war only begets war and never peace.
And in this way, by telling the truth of your violent, reactive, hostile, fearful, LYING conditioning, you start to see the truth of it more and more deeply. You start to see that truly peace cannot be had through war.
You start to see that war only begets war. And you start to see all the lies that you’d believed until now.
You start to see that you cannot be responsible or good. You don’t even know what it means to be responsible or good. You only have your conditioned ideas about responsibility and goodness, and those ideas were inherited from a sick and warring society. They lead only to war. They are nothing more than propaganda. You start to see how everyone is walking around lying to one another.
You start to see just how sick you have been. And you see the complete hopelessness of ever fixing the problem…because you ARE the problem. Everything you can come up with to fix the problem is only more of your conditioning – all of which was inherited from this sick and warring society.
Now you start to see how radical peace truly is.
This world – this warring sick world (both inner and outer) – will not tolerate peace. It will attack you.
You must know that every attack is a lie. Every attack is war, which is not what is true.
If you want truth, peace, you must see this and HAVE FAITH. Faith is to remain still so as to reveal the dream-like illusory nature of war.
It was only a bad dream. But only living faith can prove it.
Allow the so-called attacks. Allow the so-called rage, terror, depression, hatred, squeezing, crushing, disrespect, humiliation, failure, and all the rest of it. Allow your fearful imagination.
Make no effort to fix any of it. To fix is to make war. Which is to continue the lies, the bad dream.
To wake up, you must recognize the dream as a dream. You can only do this if you make no effort to defend, protect, or offend. Only then can you have truly living faith in which you know the true nature of reality. Only then can you know that the dream is a dream. When the dream attack does not harm you EVEN THOUGH the dream may insist otherwise…when you find that you remain despite losing everything…you know the dream is a dream.
That is peace.