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Practical Wisdom for Enjoying Life’s Journey

Practical Wisdom for Enjoying Life’s Journey

Practical Wisdom for Enjoying Life’s Journey

This morning we will talk about peace – peace in your soul and peace in the world. The key to peace is surrender. It is not a surprise that that word has very different connotations in the spiritual and physical worlds, and yet surrender is essential to the achievement of peace in either.

To surrender is to allow. To allow is to accept. As we have discussed so many times, your acceptance of your good is essential to your ability to experience it. You have come to have a general understanding of the concept of surrender as it applies to your spiritual life, and you are making progress toward living it.

To “surrender” in the physical world has a very different connotation, however. It implies defeat, being vanquished, having dreams shattered, giving up. And each of these interpretations implies that a person’s (or a country’s) individual will is paramount.

Part of your challenge is to gain a new and more positive understanding of the word “surrender.” As you know, peace is ever-present, and it is eternal. It is essential to your ability to maintain your beingness as an open, unobstructed channel through which your good can flow. It is the absence of peace, which by its very nature implies tumult of one kind or degree or another, that impedes the flow.

And as you also know, peace and joy and love are the perfect triangle of goodness. None can exist without the other two. When you can feel yourself being truly in the flow, you can almost physically feel their presence.

But to get to that state, you must surrender. And that means letting go, gently and lovingly, of your human, individual need to be in control, and understanding and totally accepting the perfection of the Universe.

The connection to peace in the world is becoming apparent to you. Just as it has been a lifelong struggle for you (and, interestingly, “struggle” implies a fight or battle) to let go of your need to feel as if you were in control of your own destiny, it is an exponentially more difficult task for nations to let go of their collective need to show their strength and prove their worth.

Two thoughts have come to your mind (which means, of course, that you are allowing the concepts to flow). The first is that nations typically are led by individuals and groups of individuals who have had a particularly difficult time learning the lesson of personal surrender ? if, in fact, they were able to even begin to comprehend the concept. So their personal, individual human need to prove themselves to be right and to be able to control not only their personal lives, but the collective life of their country, creates a collective national consciousness of a need to prevail.

And the strength and fervor of this collective will to “succeed” is what gives the term “surrender” such a negative context. If it can be a lifetime struggle for one individual who has committed her or his life to spiritual growth to understand and practice surrender, it is easy to see how the process of changing a nation’s collective need to prove itself will be that much more difficult.

Your other thought was that those nations that might be considered most “humble” and that feel the least need to impose their will on others seem to have the most peaceful existence. The immediate human response to this, of course, is to think of them as being impoverished or unadvanced or underprivileged. But those interpretations come from a very self-centered perspective of comparing oneself (or one’s nation) to another in order to verify their own feeling of superiority.

Now this does not imply, of course, that those nations are immune to leadership by individuals whose personal human wills are strong and overpowering, but their collective consciousness is not one of a need to control or prove superiority.

The phrase that has come to your mind is “the meek shall inherit the earth.” Here is another word, “meek,” that has a human context of weakness or unwillingness to prove its own merit. But the essence of meekness is peacefulness. And it is true that, in the cultures of those countries that would be considered to be meek, the qualities of joy and love often play a much more integral role in defining the culture than in those nations where there is a collective need to succeed.

World peace must be inspired by, and patterned on, those societies in which it is inherent. And their collective consciousness of peace and joy and love is a natural outgrowth of the individual world views of their citizens.

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© Jack Armstrong 2010

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