COMBINING INNER AND OUTER PEACE

Peace in the sense of the absence of war, is of little value to someone who is dying of hunger or cold. …Peace can only last where human rights are respected, where people are fed, and where individuals and nations are free.

         —The Dalai Lama, Science and Spirituality, page 177

 

During the Culture of Peace Series, which began in January 2013 and ended in April 2014, the series started with Inner Peace and ended with Social Justice and Human Rights.  This design was based on the Peace Wheel, which contains twelve sectors and four quadrants.  Peace is at the center of the Wheel, which means that it necessarily contains an inner and an outer dimension.

Until recently, peace has tended to be only outer, and oftentimes it becomes caught in social issues where people hold polarizing points of view that then lead to hostility and sometimes violent clashes.  Many examples could be given today where such opposite perspectives are leading toward misunderstanding and hostility.  The idea of diplomatic solutions to these hostile positions is found to be difficult to achieve.

The Peace Wheel was designed with the idea of helping people to have a more holisitic understanding of life, which means that they are trained to meditate and thus to be more centered in their life outlook.  Instead of reacting to first opinions and perspectives, they would evaluate both sides of an issue and seek to resolve any disputes through dialog and nonviolent decision-making.

The theme of the International Day of Peace this year is: People Have the Right to Peace.  In particular, children have the right to grow up in a safe and respectful home, where they can be encouraged to respect others and to go on to a higher education, which is not likely to happen if they are forced to go out and earn money at an early age to help support their families.

The religions of the world generally have a moral and a spiritual aspect.  While not all religions are based on a personal God, they usually proclaim a Universal Spirit, an Ultimate Reality, or a Life Force.  A simplified form of a universal ethic is the Golden Rule proclaimed in some form by virtually all religions, which is Treat others as you would have others treat you.

One of the projects of UDC through its World Interfaith Network is that of developing A Global Code of Living.  A global ethic would focus largely on the ethical side of the code, where a code of living would recognize both the moral and spiritual dimensions of conduct.  The Golden Rule is a good place to start, but there is much more to say.  If you are interested in being part of this project, please contact UDC.

 

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!

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