Monday, July 20, 2009

Peace, War and Oneness

Indulge me's been a long Monday.

From the Still Speaking Daily Devotional from Sunday July 19th, 2009 of the United Church of Christ (Reflection by Kenneth L. Samuel):

"We are often content to think of peace as a cessation of violence between hostile groups or individuals. But what we call peace is really détente. Détente is not the eradication of hostility or the ultimate end of violence; it is the easing of it, a tenuous cease-fire. Détente is hostility held at bay.
The purpose of God's peace in Christ is far greater than this: it is to completely tear down the barriers that separate us in order to reveal the one true Spirit that created us in diversity and then reconciles us into community. The purpose of God's peace in Christ is not to impose "oneness" upon us. God's peace does not impose oneness, it reveals oneness. It reveals to each of us that we are not only our brother's/sister's keeper; we are our brother's/sister's reflection....


I admit that I do not always read the devotional that my church delivers to my inbox every day. I happened to read this one on Sunday and it spoke to me. The more I practice yoga, the more I find what I learn in that practice supports much of what my religion teaches. The basic principle of yoga is uniting, mind with body, spirit with action, my spirit with yours, me with the One. I love that this reminds us what peace truly is--not hostility at bay, but reconciliation of difference that brings about connectedness and community. Awareness of the oneness of humanity and spirit.

It's "easy" to think of conflict in a global fashion--Palastine/Israel, Sunni/Shia in Iraq and too many others to name. I think it is so good for us to think of peace and war in a more personal fashion. A
yoga teacher I have studied under several times encouraged us to consider our daily lives and become aware of any way that we wage an "interpersonal war" with someone. Continuing conflict that we feel is just, but is really just impairing our judgement, our ability to love and hindering the growth of our person and our spirit. As the devotional says, coming to understand the "oneness" of the human spirit means that we realize that waging a "war" against another, is to wage a war against ourselves.

Often in conflict and in violence we think of it in terms of the "we" and the "they", but really, we are the they. If we had a better awareness of our own thoughts and actions, we would come to know that deep down you and they are really me and we. By injuring the spirit of another, I injure my own. By lifting up the spirit of another, my own is lifted as well.

Personally, I'm finding more awareness just in typing this blog-post about the "war" I am waging with myself (about my abilities as a mother, wife, therapist--you name it) and possibly with other people in my life. Finding love and light within yourself, then within others, then within your "enemy" is only possible when we truly come to understand the oneness of the human spirit. Only then can peace truly be found.

Sounds easy, right?


Anonymous said...

Wow you certainly gave me a lot to think about at 8:00 in the morning. Now if only I can retain all that I read.

Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti

deb said...

I truly enjoyed reading your blog. It is something we all need to think about and to do. I will work on it. Deb