Peace and Silence – A Mystical Journey Within

 Rashmi Chandran, peace and silence, global education magazine, international day of peace,Rashmi Chandran

Naturalist & Creative Artist. Founder & Director at Natural Health and Environmental Research. Coimbatore, Tamilnadu, India.

e-mail: rashmichandran@gmail.comweb: http://rashmichandran.wordpress.com

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Abstract: Violence, discrimination and exclusion cause suffering for millions of people across the world today, affect people in every corner of the globe, endangering health, lives and livelihoods and limiting human potential. Changing a culture of violence into a culture of peace requires a transformation of problems into creative and constructive solutions that answer the needs of the individuals involved. We need a values-based transformation of human behavior We need to start with ourselves. We all carry bias and prejudice. Awareness, questioning and critical self-reflection can help break conditioning, or correct bias, learned through schooling, media and upbringing. Peace is a common desire for peoples throughout the world. To commemorate and strengthen the ideals of peace both within and among all nations of the world, the United Nations General Assembly in 1981 proclaimed the opening day of its regular session as the International Day of Peace (September 21st) – a day dedicated to create a sustainable future, a goal cannot be achieved without sustainable peace. Its each of our duty to practice, feel, experience and to travel through a silent journey to get enlightened with self awareness to maintain and balance the natural peace within and all around.

Keywords: Peace, Silence, Divine, Natural, Non-violence, Society, Culture, Mind.

“Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding.” – Albert Einstein

PEACE – A natural state of mind

Everyone’s natural state is one of peace, compassion and joy. However, many things in life can interfere with being in touch with that state, such as mental and emotional patterns or the distractions of our modern lifestyles. Each of our daily routine should reconnect and experience with our natural state, with the spirit and the natural world. Live our daily life which is a time of renewal and rejuvenation, with a sense of peace and well-being. Spirituality should starts within along with moral values and the importance of connecting to nature and the world around us. This oneness of nature and natural world, in honouring the duality in everything with mindfulness and discipline is the way of mystical journey within. It is the principle that we must give and take in equal exchange with our surrounding environment, and balance the masculine and feminine within us so as to exemplify this balanced wholeness in everything through words and deeds. The key to feeling real peace is being able to accept what is. Acceptance simply means recognizing your ego’s voice and rejecting it. Knowing that the only person we can change is ourselves enables us to do this [1]. There is a lot of negative energy and craziness in this world, but we can all have peace naturally within each of us, the need is to understand and learn to live with inner peace to accept, feel and experience regardless of what challenges life brings.

SILENCE – The need to accept the divine peace within

The practice of silence, in other way, nonviolence is particularly vital to human service organizations because their exposure to violence and the risks involved with caring for chronically traumatized, often violent people is so high. Individual workers and entire organizations are frequently exposed to collective trauma when tragedy strike as when a suicide occurs in an inpatient unit or a child dies who has been connected with child protective services. All too frequently, the response to such events is a “silencing response” and a chronically “blaming” culture which helps no one but hurts everyone involved. Trust is necessary for any social relationships to be effective so we see the maintenance of trustworthy environments and the repair of broken trust as an essential part of creating a safety culture. Violent environments tend to create a pervasive mistrust of the organization. The result is that in many helping organizations, neither the staff nor the administrators feel particularly safe with their clients or even with each other – and in many cases there is a good deal to fear because of the rate of assaults in human service organizations. Cultural safety does not just happen. To create, maintain and sustain a safe environment we must understand violence as a group phenomenon and learn how to collectively keep our “social immune system” healthy.

The struggle to understand the concept of “nonviolence has been going on for a very long time, but many of the people who command the most respect – and awe – are those who have actively practiced nonviolence – Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama. But the very awe that these men evoke can be off-putting to “regular” people who deny their own nonviolent practice in the face of these mighty religious figures. But practicing nonviolence isn’t difficult for most of us, except under particular circumstances which we will describe in a minute. Actually, if you are reading this, you are practicing nonviolence. When you are playing with your kids, working on a project, dining with friends, repairing something in your house (if it is going well), doing your laundry, typing your email – doing most of the tasks of your daily life, every day and month and year of your life – religious motif and that is – most people are non-violent most of the time. Nonviolence is the norm of our existence, at least if we live in a relatively safe home, community, and country. But because you are nonviolent today, does not necessarily mean that you won’t engage in violence tomorrow. To be truly committed to nonviolence means objecting to violence principle, not just in today’s practice, even though you may have the reason, means courage, and physical and emotional strength to be violent. Gandhi called this the “nonviolence of the strong”[6].

Human beings, by our very learned nature, are selfish creatures which is not at all compatible with the true nature. Those who are naturally selfless get walked all over and typically spend their lives being used and abused because they don’t understand that everybody else doesn’t operate in the same fashion. The rest of us have to make conscious decisions not be selfish and greedy. It’s not our fault. We’re programmed for self-preservation. We’re animals going on instinct. In Romans, it says that Jesus never pleased himself. He always lived for others. Our learned nature includes, selfishness, ego and materialistic. Without planning, we default to thinking of ourselves and our own needs all day long… And often times, when we do think of others, it is because it is directly connected back to ourselves in some way. War can be seen as a disturbance of the moral order, a situation in which ordinary people who would otherwise have nothing against each other try to kill each other.

Society consists of innumerable individuals having a common bond. That bond is mutuality. We live as part of society and the unit of society is the individual. Like individuals-like society and vice versa. The above relationship is both ways true but relatively so. In modern times, society is conceived in terms of economic conditions and their management. It is assumed that if the latter are good the individual will be good too. Behind this assumption is the belief that the external cause can explain everything and that an individual’s own quality and competence do not matter. Its converse is equally one-sided. It holds that the individual’s own quality and competence constitute the basic or material cause of virtue and vice-versa and that economic management and social circumstances act only as external causes. Neither proposition encompasses totality which can be represented only by the formula –individual, economic management and social order. A relative and balanced transformation of all these three constituents can alone establish a healthy and non-violent society. Both democratic and socialist systems have in them the seeds of violence. There is a need for a third system to usher in world peace. The Jain philosophy has an important principle called ‘anekantavada’ (the doctrine of manifold aspects). It considers the third alternative faultless–neither ‘this’ nor ‘that’ but ‘this as well as that’. In philosophy both eternalism and non eternalism are acceptable. Anekanta will consider neither blameless. When both are integrated as ‘eternalism-cum-noneternalism’ we get the third alternative which is blameless. In the same manner it is possible to find a lasting solution to the problem of world peace by integrating the socialist economic system requiring a definite limit to individual proprietorship with the democratic individual freedom [3].

The famous historian Toynbee talked of the twin questions of bread and faith. Neither in isolation can be faultless. Only that system can be conducive to world peace which ensures both in the right proportion. We are inhabitants of the same planet and share a common solar system. Differences of race, colour and religion constitute an unholy trinity that has so divided humanity as to make hostility among men appear more real than friendship. It is this hostility which has vitiated the natural concept of coexistence. How ironical that we have to make strenuous efforts to make people understand the principle of world peace and friendship, whereas no effort whatsoever is required to make them understand strife and unrest! Man’s ego prompts him to be more and more ambitious. It is this ambition which lies at the back of materialism. He has sensations too and he always wants pleasant sensations. It is again this hedonism and love of comfort that props up materialism. And a materially successful person looks down upon all those who are less privileged. As a result of all this, the entire energy of the individual is being spent in indulging his ego and his pleasures [3].

How can we then think of world peace and non-violence and of the ways of bringing them about? Peace and non-violence are no more subjects of philosophy; they are essentially human conduct. It is common knowledge that practice is much more difficult than precept and since a major part of society is motivated in its activities by ambition and the pleasure principle, the inevitable consequence is violence and unrest. How can we successfully change the situation? This question agitates our mind again and again. We do talk of non-violence but do not know how to break the cycle of violence. The question naturally arises whether it is so easy to give up ambition that one can do so merely on the basis of discussion and deliberation or whether one can give up the pleasure principle merely by reading about non-violence. Undoubtedly without saying goodbye to hedonism and materialism there can be no end to the cycle of arms race, wars, unrest and violence. Non-violence is an eternal religion but we do not accept it as such. It is only when humanity is threatened with destruction that we start thinking of non-violence and of the ways of spreading it. It is thus clear that the reason why non-violence is not developing independently, is our habit of treating it merely as a method of crisis management. Though violence is a negative tendency and non-violence a positive one, for all practical purposes we have changed their places. As a matter of fact a serious misunderstanding has arisen because of the word non-violence, since it is taken to mean the negation of violence. By this reasoning, violence has become primary and non-violence secondary. It has led people to believe that violence and not non-violence is an unavoidable part of life. The rigmarole of violence automatically comes to an end once non-violence is understood to be an inevitable part of life.

Rashmi Chandran, peace education, global education magazinePEACE – The fundamental moral universality of spirituality and all religions.

World peace is not only possible but inevitable. It is the next stage in the evolution of this planet–in the words of one great thinker, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin “the planetization of mankind”. We hold firmly the conviction that all human beings have been created “to carry forward an ever-advancing civilization”; that “to act like the beasts of the field is unworthy of man”; that the virtues that befit human dignity are trustworthiness, forbearance, mercy, compassion and loving-kindness towards all peoples. We reaffirm the belief that the “potentialities inherent in the station of man, the full measure of his destiny on earth, the innate excellence of his reality, must all be manifested in this promised Day of God.” These are the motivations for our unshakeable faith that unity and peace are the attainable goal towards which humanity is striving. A very important strand of Christian thinking urges us to forgive our enemies. The thought naturally arises as to whether this is the key to peace. Consider these words about Jesus, our perfect example [2]:

Selfless savior, murmerless master

Simply a servant, lovingly last

Father’s faithful, a generous giver

Only for others, always alive

Always alive, always asking

Hoping and seeking

Vessels to break, vessels to fill

Fruit to abide

This truly is the Father’s desire for us, that we would be changed more and more so that we would act and think the same way that Jesus did. He came to earth as a servant, and he lived his life, and even the death he died, was for others. Christianity was understood by the earlier followers of Jesus as a definitively nonviolent practice [8]. The thinking on nonviolence spans thousands of years and many different cultures. Nonviolence has roots in Judaism as well, going back at least to Palestinian Talmudic sources of the middle third century. Truth, justice, and peace are the three tools, according to Jewish thought, for the preservation of the world. “While Judaism does not appear to require a commitment to nonviolence in order to fulfill its precepts, it so sharply curtails the use of violence that nonviolence becomes more often than not the only meaningful way to fulfill a life dedicated to truth, justice and peace” [7]. Islamic scholars have an active discourse around nonviolence and according to Chaiwat Satha-Anand (Qader Mohideen) co-editor of a book addressing Islam and nonviolence, “a practicing Muslim should possess the potential for disobedience, discipline, social concern and action, patience and willingness to suffer for a cause, and the idea of unity—all of which are crucial for successful nonviolent action. It remains to be seen how Muslim intellectuals will attempt to tap the fertile resources of nonviolent thought within their own tradition and resolve the paradox of living as a true Muslim in the contemporary world” [9]. Buddhism is fundamentally nonviolent. According to Buddhism, for a man to be perfect there are two qualities that he should develop equally: compassion and wisdom. Right Action aims at promoting moral, honorable and peaceful conduct, admonishing us to abstain from destroying life, stealing, dealing dishonestly with each other, engaging in illegitimate intercourse, and encouraging us to lead a peaceful life in every way [10].

The Bhagavad-Gita had a major influence on Thoreau and through him, Tolstoy, and King. It also was the single most influential work in forming Gandhi’s thought. Gandhi said “I object to violence, because, when it appears to do well, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent”. In his letter from the Birmingham Jail [11], Martin Luther King wrote, “I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood”. As per Frank Roby, silence is not peace.Peace does not mean universal agreement. Peace means mutual respect, and it is the pinnacle of a four-stage process. Peace begins with liberty — the escape from tyranny. It moves to justice, which begins with revenge but matures into fairness. The process then transitions to freedom — the practice of living a just life. And only then can true peace be realized. Peace is the byproduct of honing our decisions through the friction of deciding what is just and the healthy tension of protecting the freedoms of opposing thinkers (Frank Roby, CEO at Empower African Children, based in Dallas, Texas [5].

Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it, writes Thich Nhat Hanh, a Buddhist monk and author. We’ve all had those eureka moments of feeling that everything is right and good in our world. But we need to make a conscious choice to emphasize those feelings in our lives. Learning to stay balanced is a lifelong endeavor. And yet, making small changes to your daily routine can help you reap big benefits. The essential point is that, except in an ideal world, forgiveness is rarely possible without acknowledgement of the harm done by the oppressor, and a commitment not to continue with the harming. The universal declaration of human rights is supposedly the world community’s response to the problem of cultural diversity. What it purports to say is: ‘Cultural diversity is wonderful, so long as certain universally agreed principles are adhered to. Lasting peace will requires much more such open-hearted honesty of the same kind. Conflicts and war are not the flow from outside, it’s the journey of each mind of living being who fails to understand the true nature with self awareness and enlightment which is the real need for inner peace.

Let us hear and listen the words of Dr. Rod Pezeshki [4], a Reiki Master/ Spiritual Healer, “I’d like to take you on a mystic journey in these very few lines. As I’m sitting right here listening to my meditation music, I’m tuned into the energy that’s beating my heart. My breathing is really slow and deep. I can follow the path of each oxygen molecules entering and exiting my body. Please take a conscious deep breath right now, you are now connected to my consciousness which is intentionally rising your vibration from a lower frequencies into higher. I’d like you to read this post couple of times allowing the words taking over your subconscious mind. There is so much love in this space, the only energy I feel is love, surrounding the spaces in each atom, molecule, cells, and tissue of my body. I see and feel a brilliant light passing through these space and emanating inward like a spiral and outward beyond my local space. When you close your eyes and have read this few times, focus on the center point between your eyebrows. Take a deep breath and allow your attention fall to the peripheral (side) of your visual field. Like a diver whose going to jump off of the diving board backwards in an infinity pool of beauty and peace, step to the edge of the board, take a deep breath and dive energetically backward into oceanic space of your kindness. Feel the love energy washing over your entire body, cleansing the dense fear and worry frequencies surrounding you. the ocean of eternal love you released yourself into is pure awareness. you just shifted the content of your awareness to absolute bliss. we are one body, one mind, one soul traveling into infinity together, now, forever, expanding. Feel your greatness and trust yourself. Enjoy the journey my friend. Namaste.”

Proverb 1: A 400 year old Japanese image for a 2,500 year old Chinese code of conduct. From the East, a noble moral code to follow, avoid evil in all forms. “Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.”

Proverb 2: Professor Archer Taylor (1890-1973), a folklorist, writes about a Roman proverb. He traced it’s early origins to a sermon in Paris about 1300 AD and to Gesta Romanorum, a Latin collection of folklore and legends in the late 14th century. “Audi, vide, tace, si vis vivere in pace.” “Hear, see, be silent, if you want to live in peace.

Proverb 3: A Proverb in the making for the 21st century. “Hear all, see all and speak out for freedom and liberty, if you want to live in peace.”

As a naturalist and creative artist, my life is always at oneness with nature along with spirituality and morals to get balanced with. The need of the hour is to understand that, nature is always peaceful naturally, if human kind fails to understand his/her true nature and implement the warlike situation by himself, who can take responsibility? The reflection from my lifestyle and life on peace is “silence”. The way to refine and balance ourself with spirituality and morals. Here is some thoughts on Divine Silence.

PEACE AND SILENCE – A Mystical Journey Within

The divinity within to explore

The rhythm of life to exist

To live and to stay alive!

Divine silence in life

The grace within to illuminate

To glow and to spread

To spread the rays in and around!

Dutiful silence in life

The gift from nature to live

To feel the consciousness

To gain knowledge and power!

Non-violent silence in life

The need for peace and integrity

The need for spiritual balance

To be silent and to live life..

Personally I feel, it’s not the unity, but the diversity is our strength which happens due to the acceptance of each individual nature with maturity and egoless mind. Unity is the feel to experience but diversity is the acceptance. We have to promote a culture on non-violence and peace through silence. With mindful respect and value to all religions, at the same time, as a free thinker I can define peace as “The fundamental moral universality of spirituality and all religions. The various levels of this culture should focus on the interdependency, integrity and independency. The three I’s should start with each individual, within family, community and society. Starting with inner change within each mind of human need self-awareness and development. The lifestyle to value and respect mutually and equally accepting the true nature of each individual by themselves to get interconnected with each other’s nature and culture. Think Globally, Act Locally is the way to share and care with basic and common humanitarian attitude. Let each of us act, not just merely talk or preach! Let each of us practice to feel and experience the silence within! Let each of us travel through that mysterious spiritual journey of silence to refine ourself! Let each of us get enlightened with self awareness and development to maintain natural peace to tranform and liberate within and all around.

References

  1. http://tinybuddha.com/blog/creating-an-inner-peace-that-endures/

  2. http://garritymusic.com/music-2/human-frailty-divine-strength/

  3. Ganadhipati Tulsi. Non Voilence & World Peace. www.jainworld.com

  4. Dr. Rod Pezeshki. Live a Purposeful Life with Passion.http://www.livewithpassion.me/

  5. Frank Roby. Silence Is Not Peace. Frank@EmpowerAfricanChildren.org; http://www.empowerafricanchildren.org/silence-is-not-peace/

  6. Chernus, I., American Nonviolence: The History of an Idea. 2004, New York: Maryknoll.

  7. Solomonow, A., Living truth: A Jewish perspective, in Nonviolence in Theory and Practice, R.L. Holmes, Editor. 1990, Wadsworth Publishing: Belmont, CA. p. 153-154.

  8. Apsey, L.S., How transforming power has been used in the past by early Christians, in Nonviolence in Theory and Practice, R.L. Holmes, Editor. 1990, Wadsorth Publishing: Belmont, CA. p. 27-28.

  9. Satha-Anand, C., The Nonviolent Crescent: Eight Theses on Muslim Nonviolent Actions, in Islam and Nonviolence, G.D. Paige, C. Satha-Anand, and S. Gilliatt, Editor. 2001, Center for Global Nonviolence, Inc: Honolulu, Hawai’i. p. 7-26.

  10. Rahula, W., What the Buddha Taught. 1959, New York: Grove Press

  11. King, M.L., Letter from the Birmingham Jail, in Nonviolence in Theory and Practice, R.L. Holmes, Editor. 1990, Wadsworth Publishing: Belmont, CA. p. 68-77.

Suggested Readings

  • Rashmi Chandran (2011). Natural Life – The Path towards Happiness and Prosperity. In: Vakdevatha (A Bilingual magazine publishing from Nigdi, Pune, India). Pp. 69-70.

  • Dr. Rashmi Chandran 2013. A HAND BOOK ON NATURAL HEALTH IN TODAY’S LIFESTYLE SCENARIO. International E – Publication, International Science Congress Association. (ISBN: 978-93-83520-20-6). Doi: http://www.isca.co.in/FAM_COM/fam-com-book.php

  • Rashmi Chandran 2013. The Art of Compassion in Natural Life. GLOBAL EDUCATION MAGAZINE (inscribed in bibliographic database of the Ministry of Culture of Spain with ISSN 2255-033X). Global Education section, Pg. 62 – 64. This article was published on 10th December: Human Right’s Day. http://www.globaleducationmagazine.com/art-compassion-natural-life/

  • Rashmi Chandran 2014. The Divine Nature of Women Naturally – A Challenge of 21st Century. GLOBAL EDUCATION MAGAZINE (inscribed in bibliographic database of the Ministry of Culture of Spain with ISSN 2255-033X). Global Education section, Pg. 48 – 52. This article was published on March 8th: International Woman’s Day (issue nº 7). http://www.globaleducationmagazine.com/divine-nature-women-naturally-challenge-21st-century/

  • The Red Cross Red Crescent approach to promoting a culture of non-violence and peace. © International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, Geneva, 2011. Saving lives, changing minds. www.ifrc.org

This article was published on 21stSeptember International Day of Peace, in Global Education Magazine.

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