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HOW TO BE PART OF THE TREND TO PEACE

The outbreak of conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East makes it hard not to feel powerless as onlookers. Scenes of violence present inescapable evidence of inhumanity and standing by passively only makes the impression worse. But there’s an invisible force at work that needs to be noticed, the force of consciousness. Hot spots around the globe can’t erase the trend toward peace that has been mounting for two generations after the end of the last global conflict, World War II.

Peace is the prevailing mood accepted by the vast majority of people. Now we are looking for ways to make our will and desire more powerful than war. Fortunately, this is both possible and practical. According to the ancient Vedic tradition in India, you will know you are living the way of peace when three things are present:

1. Seva: Your actions harm no one and benefit everyone.
2. Simran: You remember your true nature and your purpose for being here.
3. Satsang: You join the community of peace and wisdom.

These three “S” words come from Sanskrit. They describe the ideal life of any spiritual person at any time in history, but just as crucially, they unlock the power of consciousness, which external events can’t defeat, as a rock can’t defeat the rain even though one is hard and the other soft, or defeat the wind even though it is invisible. Consciousness can sound abstract, but with each “S” word comes a satisfaction that war will never be able to match.

Seva brings the joy of knowing that your daily actions support life as a whole. You live in peace with your conscience because you have fulfilled your duty to be a steward of every aspect of Nature, down to the most sacred level.

Simran brings the satisfaction of expanded possibilities. You are not limited to being one individual lost in a sea of humanity. You find your authentic self and your authentic truth. A unique path is opened for you and you alone.

Satsang brings the satisfaction of having no enemies. You are at home in the world. The rest of the human family is part of you. Older and younger generations are no longer separated by a gap but work together toward the vision of a world without poverty, ignorance, and violence.

The prime reason that peace is the trend of the future is that all three of these things are already strong trends in themselves. By some estimates between a third and half of Americans accept some form of New Age values, a broad enough spectrum so that it’s no longer useful to even use that label New Age—we are talking about a consensus in collective consciousness.

Moreover, this shift in awareness means that you matter and are not alone. A German housewife walking in the rain to get bread in the shadow of the Berlin Wall might have had no idea that her suppressed will to be free was more potent than the wall. It overcame bricks, machine gun towers, and barbed wire. Will is an aspect of consciousness, and the trend of time must obey consciousness when human awareness decides to change.

Your will to peace, I believe, is already shaping the future, even though you are only engaged in everyday things like buying bread. Here is just a sample of beliefs that support a transformed future.

  • Do you believe the world needs to unite around global warming?
  • Do you want to see a major effort to end pandemics worldwide?
  • Do you want to see the oceans free of pollution?
  • Do you think America should lead the way to achieve sustainable economies?
  • Do you defend freedom of religion and an end to religious fanaticism in all its forms?
  • Do you want full equality of rights for immigrants?
  • Do you want to see an end to all nuclear stockpiles?
  • Do you want to see America become less militarized?
  • Do you want to see an alternative to fossil fuels developed as quickly as possible?
  • Do you believe in the equality of women in every society?

Decades of striving may lie ahead before these goals become reality, but as accepted beliefs, they are already alive and vital. Millions of people who have no identification with the New Age, who have never marched in a demonstration for equal rights or against corporate pollution, who regard themselves as centrists in social policy, are in fact part of a majority waiting to recognize itself.

The way of peace includes all these objectives, since each one falls under the category of service for the common good (Seva), a shift in self-image to a higher level (Simran), and erasing differences to bring about a new human community (Satsang). Without a doubt, the way of peace, despite the violence of conflicts that dominate the news, is silently exerting power that will only increase in the future.

HE VIEWS EXPRESSED BY THE AUTHOR ARE PERSONAL

DEEPAK CHOPRA The writer is MD, FACP, FRCP founder of the Chopra Foundation, a non-profit entity for research on well-being and humanitarianism, and Chopra Global

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