Why peace work rarely gets anywhere

My ego asks, ‘What is the point in living if I can not control the world?’, ‘What is the point in life if I cannot leave some kind of indelible mark which says clearly to all who live after me – Trevor lived, Trevor was great, Trevor made the world greater, He is immortal! Worship him!’

That is what my ego asks.

In truth, trying to control the world in any way can only create suffering because it is illusory. A greater understanding of life and a greater impact for good of all can only come through admitting to myself that these things are impossible if I try to make them real. If it try to make the good of all, I will fail. If I try to understand the meaning of life, I will fail. If I do not try, I am more likely to succeed.

We are angry with the military control paradigm – full of people having a certain determination to impose their own control mechanisms on the world. But we do not see so clearly that peace work is quite often a diametric opposite of this. Peace makers still want to have a determination on the world, and this comes from ego. Grabbing, wanting, demanding a different reality to what is – even if the motive is pure in wanting military people to desist, or wanting less innocent civilians killed by armed UAV’s.

An endless cycle of wanting to control the controllers ensues. We end up chasing our own tails like mad dogs.

It’s illusory. There is not peace making, only peace being.

There are no training courses, no seminars, no field work, no political uprisings, and no books or blogs that can grasp this reality about peace.

Peace is as simple as being a whole person, being just what I am, doing what I do mindfully. Mindfulness is very hard, but it is also very simple; and the most natural thing in the world.

We will never know peace as a species unless we can overcome our egos. Without ego, there is no peace work to do.

IN the end, peace work is just another way of wanting to control the world, and peace being manifests an apparently different reality. It seems otherworldly, miraculous. But really being peace is nothing more than life without illusion. The kingdom of heaven is always near, just like this.

Try to make peace, and you will make temporary gains. But you will not cure the cause of conflict, which starts as a dis-ease of the human psyche; a sickness of the heart. Sooner or later there will be another despot, another secret cabinet, another piece of warfare technology.

We can pamphleteer, campaign, march, lobby, rise up, revolt. These things must go hand in hand with living out a different way.

Being the very peace we want in the world is the best way to bring more peace into the world. That is not ‘peace as I see it’, so much as life without illusion, and without ego.

Discipline and persistence are needed. Overcoming ego is extremely difficult to do. But possible.

I have a shaman friend who said one night that our species is probably still a thousand years away from evolving out of our sensed need for conflict with each other. He may be right.


One thought on “Why peace work rarely gets anywhere”

  1. It’s funny – on contemplative days (not whole days of contemplation, but those days when i manage a few moments without my mind thinking about tea…) I often look at the gravestones in the graveyard at church. Such Victorian stabs at immortality. “Surely my name will last if I carve it in stone.” Of course most of them are now growing to be illegible, many are already crumbling and breaking down. One day they will all be star dust.

    Someone once said about living for today and not worrying about tomorrow – which just ends up losing the present.

    Maybe it’ll take us longer than 1000 years to get it sussed…..what is certain, we’ll have been forgotten by then.



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