Ending the War

Ending the War

So many of us long for peace in the world, but we approach this yearning from a place of opposition, of pushing away from what we don’t like or can’t accept.  In effect, we take the energy of war into our bodies and our beings and somehow expect that peace will arise from the fighting.  We harden our hearts against those who we feel have hardened their hearts against us (or against Truth, or against some Ideal we hold sacred).  We place the hardening over there, in those people who are doing it wrong, and fail to notice that we ourselves are also hardened . . . frightened, closed, and at war.

I notice this warring in my Facebook newsfeed.  Folks I don’t necessarily agree with point their fingers at folks I may (in principle) agree with; then the folks I may (in principle) agree with point their fingers back.  Only these days the finger pointing includes a bevy of insults, derision, and personal attack.  No ideas are exchanged.  No one is listening.  No one is holding the space of open-hearted presence.  Everyone is so busy fighting each other . . . even the folks who claim they want to create a more peaceful world . . . even the folks who don’t outwardly claim to want this, but probably do want it on the inside.  Everyone is so busy fighting each other that no peace is possible.

If I’m honest, I also notice the warring sometimes in my internal “newsfeed.”  While I may not be one to engage in online conflict, being at war internally is not a more holy path, it is simply a quieter one.

We live in the atmosphere of whatever we rehearse.  This is a challenging practice to truly grok and really must be experienced rather than conceptualized.  If we wish for peace in the world, we must practice engaging from a place of peace.  We must learn to find peace in our own bodies, hearts, and minds, so that we can engage the outer world through the vehicle of that peace.  We must begin to recognize the war we are fighting inside our own minds, and choose to put down our weapons.  This doesn’t mean becoming passive.  It doesn’t mean stuffing our strong emotions.  But it does mean shifting our focus toward the kind of world we wish to live in, and moving from that place of peace, rather than perpetuating the energies of the world as it suffers and keeping the war going.  Because if we continue to believe that we are on the side of Good, and that the other is truly Other, we remain at war and miss the call to peace completely.

♥ ♥ ♥

Rafia Rebeck, MEd, MA, LPCC, is trained in the Hakomi Method of Psychotherapy. She offers a warm, sincere, and safe approach for those who seek personal transformation through mindfulness. Please feel welcome to get in touch by contacting rafiarebeck@gmail.com.  If this blog postcard was meaningful for you, I invite you to share it with others who may benefit.

What would it be like . . . ?

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“All the wars, all the hatred, all the ignorance in the world come out of being so invested in our opinions. And at bottom, those opinions are merely our efforts to escape the underlying uneasiness of being human, the uneasiness of feeling like we can’t get ground under our feet. So we hold on to our fixed ideas of this is how it is and disparage any opposing views. But imagine what the world would be like if we could come to see our likes and dislikes as merely likes and dislikes, and what we take to be intrinsically true as just our personal viewpoint.”  ~Pema Chodron

The War Withall

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“All truth passes through three stages.  First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”  ~ Arthur Shoepenhauer

This month I will wander into the realm of Belief and Nonbelief.  There has been a battle brewing on the internet.  I dare not, care not, to name it, because its content is irrelevant.  It is the same argument at the root of every war ever waged ~ internal and external.   “I am right.  You are wrong.  And I believe this so fervently, vehemently, that I will deny your very humanity.”

This battle is older than words and is so woven into the fabric of our defenses that we barely notice we are wearing it, warring it, willing it into being.  The trouble is that when we stick our heels into the thick mud of our own beliefs, we fail to be curious about the landscape before us.  We forget to wonder, to question, to imagine.  As Einstein hummed, “I have no special talents.  I am only passionately curious.”  Insight, innovation, and clarity arise only from the muck of Not Knowing.

I am not suggesting that there is no truth, only that the perception of truth is relative, relational, and deeply dependent on our perspective.  If I could have tea with Arthur Shoepenhauer, I would posit this idea . . . that perhaps truth wanders through an infinity of stages, ever unfurling and hurling itself against the walls of our beliefs, shattering itself, shifting shapes, if only to keep us in intimate contact with the value of the unknown.

And then I would shrug my shoulders, because the truth is, I have no idea.

If you need a smile to weather the war . . .  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sKdDyyanGk