One comprehensive definition of the concept of peace was identified by Fischer, Nolte & Oeberg in their book “Winning Peace”:
“(…) all that aims to develop security and secure development of the whole human being, and all human beings, in a permanent process, taking its point of departure in a model of human and social needs based on an ethics of global care and allowing for unity in diversity.”
The phrase “an ethics of global care” is an important reminder that peace is measured not only by human-human relations, but by the quality of human-nature relationships too, namely humanity’s interactions with the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms. Humankind’s desire to dominate the environment with scant regard for the consequences has led to a growing scarcity of natural resources, pollution of the Earth’s waterways, sickness in animals necessitating mass killings, worrying changes in climatic conditions and devastating natural catastrophes, etc. To counteract this negative trend, human beings – at the macro and micro level – have the choice to assume their role as conscious and dedicated guardians of the animal, vegetable and mineral kingdoms; rather than to continue using violence and domination to master the Earth, jeopardising the world heritage of future generations.
Extract from my MA thesis entitled:
A Shared Human Identity – the Foundation of a Peace Culture
Joy’s physical support system had crumbled again, and the way ahead in her life remained blocked. Gino, who shared Joy’s need for a subtle balance between movement and stability, recognised her struggle. “Remember that you can find strength from spiritual sources,” he said to her compassionately in one of her moments of deep disorientation. “You yourself have told me that the physical is transitory. When your exoteric support structures have disappeared, you can access your power from the esoteric.”
Although Gino’s words revealed no new perspective to Joy, they greatly aided her to find a point of balance. Gino was aware of the subtle dimensions of life. His support was crucial to her because he was able to advise and encourage her without dragging her back under the veil of illusion.
Joy found her breakdown hard to accept because she had believed that she’d learned to hold the high ground over her emotions in any situation. Instead, she discovered that the vicissitudes of life were still able to provoke bitterness and depression in her. Maybe breakdowns are always a part of life? Perhaps what’s important is how we respond to them? Joy was aware that even in the depths of this current crisis a feeling of purpose lay just below the surface of her gloom. She recognised that her faith was growing stronger, enabling her to reorient herself more quickly after a breakdown than in her younger years. Continue reading →
I struggled for years with feelings of guilt around being joyful. Although I’ve always felt tremendous gratitude for the life I’ve lived – all the interesting experiences I’ve had and the love I received firstly as a young child, then growing up, and now as an adult – I’ve often been caught in the trap of wondering how I can feel happy when so many children, men, women and animals in the world are suffering, mistreated and in pain. In addition, there’s all the damage inflicted on the plant and mineral kingdoms, often at the hands of ruthless human beings. I’ve come to the conclusion that precisely because of this painful reality it’s part of my life purpose to be joyful – in the sense that it’s not only my right to be filled with joy but rather also my goal. It’s my task to smile, to bring positive energy to my exchanges, to be centred and believe in Love – the Love that is the essence of each human being. Smiling, laughing, enjoying each and every moment is a great gift I can share with the world. Continue reading →
Through numerous, relatively short-lived relationships with men, Joy had been forced to learn detachment and how to stand on her own two feet. She had discovered that relationships referred to something much more encompassing than mere intimate relations with members of the opposite sex. There was the relationship that existed between each man and woman and the rest of the human race, for example. And beyond that, Joy was learning to sense the relationship that existed between her self and the Soul – the human Soul; not her individual soul, which was another illusion created by the limitations of the rational mind. Even more encompassing was the relationship between humanity and the planetary entity, or greater still, the larger cosmos. When she looked up at the stars at night, Joy experienced a sense of revelation. How short-sighted it was of humans to go about their daily lives without due consideration for their place in the universe. This wider cosmic perspective on relationships was paralleled by her contemplation of the smallest aspect of her being – the cells in her body that were, in essence, nothing more or nothing less than energy. Continue reading →
Tantrists and Taoists believe that our physical bodies are intelligent and conscious right down to the cellular level. Consequently, the body is seen to be much more than a set of mechanistic organs and interconnecting physiological systems, which is the standard attitude adopted by Western allopathic medicine. The tantric viewpoint is that: “…the human body is, in the final analysis, not merely unconscious matter but a stepped-down version of superconscious Energy. […] if the body is not merely the sarcophagus of an immaterial soul but a vibrant, living reality suffused with the same Consciousness that also animates the mind, then we must cease to regard the body as an external object radically distinct from our conscious selves.Continue reading →
Nature offered human beings a space where they could more easily align with what might best be referred to as the one Life. By this Joy meant the Life that animates all the kingdoms – mineral, plant, animal and human – making out of their component parts one whole. This Life energy remained a mystery to the human mind. It originated from the non-visible world and surrounded and imbued the four kingdoms. As such, nature offered human beings the opportunity to more easily reach beyond the limits and divisive tendencies of their conscious minds, and thereby gain an intuitive understanding that humanity is a part – although only one part – of a greater existence.
The destruction of the environment by human activity was to Joy an indication of just how far off the spiritual track human beings, controlled by their lower minds, had wandered. Nature was a gateway to an authentic awareness of humanity’s place in the greater scheme. The rational mind, fearing its own annihilation, was driving men and woman to destroy that gateway – the door to their liberation.