A 21st Century Peace Movement Begins in the Heart

The world will transform from the inside out, or it will not transform at all.

Think of the world as a huge screen onto which are projected our accumulated thoughts and feelings. Just as in a movie theatre, we cannot change the plot of the movie by trying to manipulate the screen.

The turbulent forces we are experiencing in the world are not just reflected in our inner chaos; they are also created by our inner chaos. The internal is the realm of cause, not effect. And the Law of Cause and Effect is inviolable. Only by changing things on the level of cause can we fundamentally and permanently change the world.

That’s why the search for inner peace is key to transforming the world. Gandhi spoke of the “inner light” within every man, woman and child, saying that this light was key to healing not only our personal relationships, but our political and social ones as well. The light we find inside is the light that casts out all forms of darkness both within us and without.

It isn’t a question of whether we work on ourselves or we work on the world. We need to work on both. As Gandhi said “the end is inherent in the means;” everything we do is infused with the consciousness with which we do it. We must be spiritually active, routing out the hatred and fear in our hearts; and politically active, routing out the undemocratic and unjust systems in our society. It’s not either/or. It’s both/and.

Our inner worlds and outer worlds aren’t as separate as they appear to be, and inner wars and outer wars are equally destructive. The mind is where our biggest guns are stored, each of us containing an arsenal of weapons in the nature of unloving thoughts. We might have been calm and peaceful last night, but this morning someone left those toaster crumbs on the counter so all bets are off whether we can hold on to all that harmony til noon.

21st Century transformers are as vigilant for peace in the byways of our brains as on the streets of our neighborhoods. We cannot bring peace to the world that we ourselves aren’t at least trying to achieve.

A 21st Century Peace Movement begins in the heart. Do we really want a peaceful society? Are we willing to proactively help it emerge?

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If you asked yourself those questions and the answer was “Yes,” then ask yourself this: What grievance, anger, prejudice, hatred, resentment, attack thoughts, or negativity am I willing to let go of in order to help create a greater field of loving possibility on the planet? Who am I willing to forgive, who am I willing to bless instead of blame?

I suggest you spend time with those questions. You might want to write down your answers. Admit where you’re holding on to violent thoughts that only add to the unloving energy in the world. Our inner activism is as important as our outer activism, if we really want to change the planet.