Thursday, 23 December 2010

Lives of Quiet Desperation

Source/Copyright: Forest & Kim Starr/Wikimedia

We lead lives of quiet desperation. Even in the self-help and metaphysical industry, in which I have been participating for the last 16 years (yes, I can't believe it's been that long either), there is generally a remarkably insensible approach to peace that defies common sense. Of course that's my opinion.

So how do we find peace? There have been many, many tools that have arisen in the last half century which have helped. Many swear by one or the other. I have my favourites, as readers of this blog no doubt have realised. However, there is a very subtle difference in the many approaches which can make a huge difference in the long run. It is simply this - are you finding "peace" in lieu of freedom?

I don't know what others may think, but it seems to me that if I want peace, I really don't want to lose any freedom with it. Otherwise, I might find being locked up in a padded cell with a straitjacket pretty peaceful. No bills to pay, no one to look after. More commonly, though, that is what happens in the mind with some of the techniques out there. If you are truly at peace, you should find the range of your behaviour widening, being more able to find more joy and adventure in life, being able to participate in it more without feeling threatened all the time (whilst being smart about the risks, of course).

Doesn't every technique do this? Well, actually, no. I am an advocate of a peaceful method of finding peace. If we go out with a technique or method designed to hammer whatever's bugging us in that moment back into place, I'm not really convinced that's really peace. We still have to be a manager, an overseer. And if it gives us peace, then we have to constantly guard and monitor that peace. In short, it's a full time job!

So the only way out is to make peace a way of life, a state of living. And also to incorporate our method of working out the kinks to peace into that way of life. We don't make it a huge effort to "fix" ourselves. The "problem" fixes itself in response to our approach, and life lives itself. Now that's true peace. Fire the manager, thank you very much. I didn't sign up to this lifetime to play manager to peace. Talk about a stressful job!

So whatever the method, live peace, and reflect truth, and if your zone of possibilities expands effortlessly, you're probably on the right path. If you're having to put more and more effort into living some kind of "life" in the hope of finding peace, take the padded cell. You might find it less stressful.

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