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If one has any sensitivity, then one must ask: Why is there so much hatred everywhere? What has happened that human beings are so willing to destroy each other, and at the same time feel so justified for the terror they champion? How is it that fear rules the day and drives the world to an edge that it manages to extend with each passing hour? Why can’t there be peace on earth?
But to these same questions we must add one more — a probing inquiry not so easy to entertain because it begins with turning around one’s outwardly pointed finger of judgment. We must ask: What is my role in this madness? Am I really just the spectator I imagine myself to be, innocent of the sickness I see everywhere — or am I part of the ignorance whose pain seeks to destroy peace?
The truth is, and always has been (in its simplest spiritual equation), that we are the world we see; we are each, within, microcosmic versions of the global conflict going on around us. We despise the day that deprives us of our happiness, mentally crushing anyone blamed for our loss. And we are never wrong in our judgment.
So we see, the Wise teach truly: The inner does determine the outer. There cannot be peace (on earth) until one’s heart is at peace. A mind at peace punishes neither itself nor anyone else. The work to understand these truths begins with no longer trying to create an imagined peace, but with awakening to what it is within us that believes it already knows the true nature of peace.
We cannot make ourselves peaceful, any more than we can make silence. Silence already exists in any space once we stop making noises in it. The same holds true of peace. Real peace is already in place, and we need only stop creating conflict to realize its grace.