More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars.
I love the Maori creation myth which tells how heaven and earth were once joined. Ranginui, the Sky Father, and Papatuanuku, the Earth Mother, lay together in a tight embrace. They had many children who lived in the darkness between them. The children wished to live in the light and so separated their unwilling parents. Ranginui and Papatuanuku continue to grieve for each other to this day. Rangi’s tears fall as rain towards Papatuanuku to show how much he loves her. When mist rises from the forests, these are Papa’s sighs as the warmth of her body yearns for him and continues to nurture mankind.
As I walked in the pre-dawn dark this morning Rangi’s tears fell upon me, the interloper. Gravity pulled the rivulets of moisture down my face, some finding their way to the earth mother, to Papatuanuku. I felt caught in their embrace, the Sky Father and the Earth Mother, a lone man moving step by step through the dark, feeling the love of creation. At such times one feels the stillness and I chanted a short song of peace as I walked. A pin prick of light bobbed towards me from down the hill. Only as they passed could I make out the forms of two ladies and a dog enjoying their equally early sojourn. “We must be crazy,” one called out, laughing. They too felt the joy of the moment, caught in the arms of the mother and the tears of the father.
“Peace. It does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. It means to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart.”
Peace. Our primordial state. Anything other than peace is but a reflection of the misguided flailings of the ego. As my saturated shoes began to squish on the asphalt, I reflected on the progress we’ve made in the world towards peace and justice. It’s not so very long ago that Sammy Davis Jr. had to go through the service entrance to headline on stage. It’s not so very long ago that entire families in Berlin were separated by a huge wall of stone and concrete. It’s not so very long ago that Nelson Mandela was released after 28 years of imprisonment, heralding the end of apartheid and announcing the beginning of positive change in South Africa. Today one small country, Costa Rica, is home to a peace university and chooses not to have a military. Would this have been possible a century ago?
Transcendental Meditators (from TM) have proven that a group of sufficient size meditating together regularly can help bring peace to the area in which they live. Similarly, a late dear friend of mine, Dr. John Ray, led another group in a town in Virginia and also found reductions in crime.
A critical experimental test of the peace-creating effect of large meditating groups was conducted during the peak of the Lebanon war. A day-by-day study of a two-month TM meditation assembly in Israel in 1983 showed that, on days when the number of participants (“TM Group Size,” right) was high, war deaths in neighboring Lebanon dropped by 76% (p < 10-7). In addition, crime, traffic accidents, fires, and other indicators of social stress in Israel (combined into a Composite Index) all correlated strongly with changes in the size of the peace-creating group. Other possible causes (weekends, holidays, weather, etc.) were statistically controlled for.*
* Orme-Johnson, D.W., Alexander, C.N., Davies, J.L., Chandler, H.M., & Larimore, W.E. (1988). International peace project in the Middle East: The effect of the Maharishi Technology of the Unified Field. Journal of Conflict Resolution, 32(4), 776–812.
Jeannie Whyte recently made a short post titled Are We Going to Make It or Not? Which I received from her on Facebook.
The first words of this post are printed below:
Dear wonderful friends,
It is said that if just 1% (or some other very small number) of the ENTIRE world population were to meditate for just 5 minutes a day, world peace could be attained.
Will you join me in AFFIRMING that this has already happened?
In a world that is rapidly becoming a global village, a world without borders, what percentage of people is required to affect change? At the risk of repeating a quote you’ve all already heard I’d still like to refer to what Margaret Mead, that wonderful anthropologist said, ####. We do make a difference with every breath we take, with every word we speak. Again I encourage you to use the following affirmation I made for myself a few years ago. It was inspired by some lyrics of Sting:
Every step I make, every breath I take, every thought I have,
every word I speak brings me peace.
So I encourage you to not lose heart. This peace we all long for is not only possible, it is inevitable. All each of us need do is find one (or more) area in which to focus our peace efforts. For some this may take the form of political action, for others it may mean resolving some long standing conflict within their family. Each of us needs to take time to reclaim our own innate peaceful state of mind. Do join with others for regular meditations. If there is no group in your area consider sting with others at a distance at a prescribed time. One such technique in place around the world is termed Triangle Meditation whereby you choose to sit with two other people who can live anywhere. For information on this, click here.
Peace in ourselves, in our families, in our communities, in our countries and in the world is not only possible, it is inevitable.
Another enjoyable way to share with others is to perform Dances of Universal Peace. I will be joining a group of dance teachers at a beautiful retreat centre, Tauhara, in the middle of the North Island in late May to share Dances of Universal Peace.
The first light of dawn appeared on the horizon as I reached the beach, the last star visible under the overhanging cloud. The rain slowed. My heart sang. Nothing more is needed. Just the realization that all is well in the world and always has been. The dream may appear to be flawed, but it is just a dream.
Peace is not just the absence of war. It is the absence of negativity.
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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.