Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part I

In response to Brad’s #PeaceChallenge, I will make a series of 4 posts. Hope you find them of value. Blessings, Sam 🙂

Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part I

In the midst of the innumerable, intractable global conflicts of today and the existence of nuclear weapons capable of destroying the world many times over, it is arguable that world governance can no longer be left solely to political decision-makers. At a microcosmic level, each and every aware individual can begin to assume greater responsibility for the state of the world by taking up the challenge of embodying the peace (microcosm) that he/she hopes to see mirrored in the world community (macrocosm). In order to embrace peace, it is helpful to understand some of the underlying reasons for the manifestation of its antithesis i.e. violence. Why do individuals resort to violence?

Individual acts of physical violence can be considered a response to physical, emotional, mental and/or spiritual disharmony. For example: a difficult childhood can lead to feelings of frustration and aggression in an adult human being, who then uses violence as a mental-emotional outlet; the resort to violence could also be an action taken to protect physical basic needs such as safety and access to food; or on a spiritual level, historical antecedents such as the fact that a distant past has been characterised by war could hold violence in the collective subconscious, making it the line of least resistance. Moreover, direct aggression can have its cause in more than one instigating factor.

In full recognition of the huge challenges faced by the human race as a whole (macrocosm) and by some individual men and women (microcosm), a culture of peace would nevertheless reject direct violence as a means of resolving conflict and would instead require that countries and citizens of those countries use conflict transformation skills that deal comprehensively with the root causes of physical aggression. This rejection of the use of violence would be based on a respect for the One Life that we are all a part of.

ConnectivityAn inherent respect for all manifestations of Life is more easily achievable if human beings can extend their range of identifications i.e. each individual has the responsibility as a member of the human family to find ways of expressing right human relations within his/her own being, family unit, local, national and global community, as well as in relation to the natural environment.

This expanded identification could be instrumental in building a culture of peace as defined by Professor Emerita, Elise Boulding, “A mosaic of identities, attitudes, values, beliefs, and institutional patterns that lead people to live nurturantly with one another, deal with their differences, share their resources, solve their problems, and give each other space so no one is harmed and everyone’s basic needs are met.”[1]

Extract from my MA thesis entitled: A Shared Human Identity – the Foundation of a Peace Culture

Photo c/o giesje on Pixabay

[1] Prof Emerita, Elise Boulding, interview with Peace Work, January 1996, Cambridge, USA.

4 thoughts on “Microcosmic and Macrocosmic Aspects of Peace – Part I

  1. Thank you so much for joining the #PeaceChallenge Sam. This is a very thoughtful and deep look at what contributes to both discord and peace. May we expand our identities to build an inclusive culture that fosters peace. Meanwhile, back to the peace parade! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: What the World Needs Now – Peace | writing to freedom

  3. I loved Part II of these series so much I went back to read Part I (which I had missed somehow when it was released). As I shared in Part II, I really appreciated these series of posts (and all of your posts). They are apt reminders during the current election cycle with all manner of, at best, meaningless and, at worst, disrespectful and inaccurate rhetoric and–what will most likely prove–empty promises of real reform if one relies on the track records of those making them. This at a time when the entire planet–every being, encounter and situation is desperately in need of an unconditionally loving, respectful and compassionate transformation. I will stay the course in following Ghandi’s wise counsel to do what I can in the microcosm to impact the macrocosm. I will keep being the change I wish to see in the world. Because there’s plenty of self-aggression to be found in how often I show up judgmentally toward myself, utterly devoid of unconditional love, respect, curiosity, compassion and gratitude. Your message resonates with the core one I share in my book “Choose Your Energy: Change Your Life!” What follows is an aligned excerpt from Chapter 4.

    It all starts with embracing the amazing and liberating possibility that the love of your life just might be you. Many people tell me it feels selfish to think in those terms and that we are supposed to love and care for “our neighbor.” I remind them we are also supposed to “love our neighbor as ourselves.” Many of us would end up in court or prison if we treated our neighbors the way we treat ourselves.

    I am reminded of the adage, “Charity begins at home.” If, according to Merriam-Webster’s 2011 dictionary, charity is “benevolent goodwill toward or love of humanity” or at a minimum “lenient judgment of others,” then I suggest it has to begin at home; it has to begin with me. My ability to love others unconditionally is directly dependent on whether I love myself unconditionally. While, as a good actor, I can fake it by keeping all the judgmental voices inside my head, as with many things in life, there is a vast difference between faking it and the real thing.
    So what does this kind of love look like? According to a well-known treatise on the subject found in 1 Corinthians 13:4–8 of the Bible (New International Version),

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

    Imagine applying these to yourself. Being patient with and kind to yourself. Not being envious, believing you deserve the best of everything. Always honoring and trusting your personal truth. Respecting your abilities and the decisions you have made. Always nurturing and protecting yourself. Persevering with loyalty to yourself no matter what. Paying attention to and demonstrating compassion for whatever you are feeling. Recognizing and being grateful for your many gifts and talents. Pierre Tielhard de Chardin captured the importance of this way of living when he wrote, “Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, [we] will have discovered fire.”

    This is the very heart of the personal transformation I’ve experienced in my own life and the lives of my clients. With the compassionate guidance of the spiritual elders listed in the appendix and many more, I am learning to harness the energy of love and approach myself, every being, encounter, and experience with love.

    This way of living is a path, a journey, not a destination. It is not about self-improvement. It is about becoming aware and awakening my heart, moment by moment, day by day. This path to deep peace, lasting joy, and meaningful relationships begins with a three-part commitment to myself:

    1. I matter.
    2. I fuel myself with optimal constructive energy.
    3. I am powerful.

    It is interesting that those who learn to fall in love with themselves are actually less likely to behave selfishly. Their joy and peace are contagious. They show up in their families, friendships, and workplaces with a spring in their step and a zest for living that carries them, and those around them, forward in new and exciting directions.

    My clients are men and women; young and not so young; single, divorced, or married. What they have in common is an unflinching commitment to knowing themselves better and doing the deep and rewarding work necessary to make the lives they dream of a reality.
    Their real-life stories and mine send a clear, consistent message: when we spend our lives not taking care of ourselves, eventually we are no good to ourselves or anyone else. We cannot share anything of lasting value with others by giving from an empty well. When we learn to treat ourselves with love in every moment, then—and only then—will we find ourselves able to be of genuine service to others.

    My clients inspire me every day with the certainty that all of us can make this Journey to Wholeness. If you are ready to take life-changing action, then you have been led to a place where you will find the answers you seek. As my clients learn to love themselves unconditionally, they are transforming their lives. You can too.

    The bottom line? It’s not just okay to fall in love with yourself. It’s essential. When you fall in love with yourself, everything else finally falls into place. This transformation arises from a fundamental shift in your head and heart. Once love transforms your relationship with yourself, it can’t help but transform your personal life and work in ways that will exhilarate you. Your more constructive personal energy will automatically transform every being and situation you encounter. You will, by your very presence, quite literally transform the world. The Discovery Framework provides a useful model for making this way of being a reality in your life too.
    Love, respect, curiosity, compassion, and gratitude are not just five woo-woo, New Age words I pulled out of thin air because they sounded Zen and cool. They were revealed to me individually, real-time as I lived through the phases of my own dramatic and highly personal transformation.

    The formula for making them a way of life is simple to explain. In every situation, love yourself enough to pay attention to every aspect of your life. Respect everything you are experiencing—what you are thinking, feeling, deciding, saying, and doing. Determine whether the energy underneath is love or fear. If it’s love, you are probably on your authentic path. If it’s fear, demonstrate compassion for yourself. Foster gratitude by reminding yourself that everything is an opportunity. Then further neutralize the fear by bringing curiosity to bear. Explore every aspect of the situation, especially your internal landscape, and identify all of the opportunities available to you through this unique experience. As with any new skill, practice will help this way of being become a healthy new habit—your automatic response to every situation.

    In summary, figure out what you want, understand whether it’s fueled by fear, transform any fear into love, set your intention, and then get ready to receive it, because it will happen.

    THANKS AGAIN SAM FOR ANOTHER INSPIRING SERIES OF POSTS.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Many thanks, Deborah, for your kind words of support. It makes me very glad to know you find value in my posts. And thanks for your comprehensive feedback, which provides a huge amount of food for thought. Love & blessings, Sam 🙂

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