AJ Muste once said, ‘there is no way to peace. Peace is the way.’
I have been contemplating the many meanings of this for a few months.
It seems that there are many who are still looking for a route to global peace through carving a way towards it much like a snow plough fending off an avalanche of its own making.
Instead, peace is ‘the way things are’, ‘the way to be’, ‘the best way’, ‘the natural way’, ‘how things are generally ordered’.
Thich Nhat Hanh says (somewhere) that if you want to campaign for peace you need to write love letters. My own interpretation of his words is that getting angry about violence and militarism only serves to add fuel to the fire of insanity burning in the minds of military people. It props up the illusion they have made for themselves; an illusion about the wisdom of military conflict, an illusion about separateness from the ‘enemy’, an illusion of ego and vital prerogative. Instead, love letters are a bell bringing a deluded mind back into the present moment and inviting that mind to wake up.
Love letters, or any form of nonviolent action that is alive to the present and to spirit.
I guess that’s the difference between being a peacemaker living in the way of peace and using that state of being to mediate a ‘middle path’ between that state of being and the dukkha encountered, and being a peacemaker like a snow plough fending off an avalanche up a mountain.
I can see how easy it is to slip between middle path and snow plough. Both require an intention for peace for onesself and one’s world. Perhaps, sometimes, middle path is snow plough – confusing things even further. Greater mindfulness is needed in separating the two.
There is no peace ‘making’. There is not no peace ‘making’.