What is Peace?
Peace can be defined as ‘freedom from disturbance; tranquillity.’ Inner peace is when we have tranquillity within, and external peace is when our external environments are free from conflict and war.
Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a deliberate state of psychological or spiritual calm despite the potential presence of stressors. Being "at peace" is considered by many to be healthy (homeostasis) and the opposite of being stressed or anxious, and is considered to be a state where our mind performs at an optimal level with a positive outcome. Peace of mind is thus generally associated with bliss, happiness and contentment.
Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict (such as war) and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups.
Concepts for reflection:
What should come first- global peace or inner peace? We find that on one hand someone may be able to remain calm and at peace within themselves while around them is war and conflict- on the other hand we may find that despite being in a calm and tranquil environment a soul struggles to find rest within.
What is the difference between a peaceful heart, peaceful mind and peaceful soul?
How can we have external peace without freedom of expression? How can we have freedom of expression in a peaceful way without respect for diversity and without inner peace? Surely without being at peace within ourself, mankind will be unable to take responsibility for their freedom of expression and let envy and greed and the pursuit of physical gain take over- leading to speech and behaviour that will result in conflict and war?
Why is Peace Important?
Inner Peace is important because the more at peace we are with ourselves, the more at peace we are likely to become with our environment and others within it. The more at peace we are with others, the less war and conflict there will be on a community and global level and the more likely we become to be able live in unity, harmony and Oneness while successfully maintaining respect for life and diversity.
How can Peace help us?
When we seek Inner Peace, we seek to unite ourselves with the Spirit of The Divine, allowing the Light to shine through us unto others- and we become more fit for the purpose of acting like vessels of love and light.
The feeling of Inner Peace is a Healing in itself. It strips us of our worries and anxieties which bring about ill health in the mental, emotional and physical sense. Our sense of spiritual peace and wellbeing can help to heal our physical bodies, our minds, and help to give us Life. The more we are at peace within ourselves, the more likely we become to be able to live in each and every moment to the best of our abilities, becoming more mindful of those around us, engaging better with those of our families and friends and others in our communities who need and want our attention. This way we are more likely to have satisfying relationships with our loved ones, and help them too to feel listened to, loved and cherished- helping to heal them with our positive energies. When our loved ones are happier, this then reflects back to us as well, and our environments are more likely to evolve into happier more peaceful surroundings for us to live in peace and harmony.
With the feeling of peace, comes tranquility, a sense of security and safety, freedom, humility, gratitude, contentment, happiness, joy, hope, patience, love, forgiveness, and all other positive emotions which help to light us up from within so that we can share that light with others. When we achieve a sense of inner peace, it is as if we have 'surrendered' ourselves to that which is beyond our understanding and have been able 'let got' of all of our anxieties and fears which keep us trapped in our past and worries about the future. By surrendering ourselves to Peace, we can learn to let go of the need to 'control', but instead learn how to live in each moment using the blessings we have to serve a greater purpose.
How can Peace help others?
How many of us feel happier around those who are peaceful, smiling, calm, happy, hopeful, patient, humble, grateful, and joyful? Do we not pick up on their energy? How does it make us feel when a stranger smiles at us, or says a few words of kindness during our time of need? On the other hand- how do we feel being in the presence of those who are depressed, anxious, always complaining, giving out negative energy? Humans, just like other creatures and the nature around us have an ability generally to pick up on the vibrations and energies around us. Therefore when we are at peace within ourselves, we give out vibrations of peace to those around us, including other human beings, creatures and all of nature. Our positive energy becomes as if it were a lamp or a light in the darkness, The Light from Above and from within -helping to guide both ourselves and others through our journeys in life to the Divine.
So the more we all take responsibility of ourselves, fighting our own battles within, seeking inner Truth, Spiritual Peace, the more we can learn how to make a positive difference to the physical world in which we live.
Making Peace from my understanding from Scripture is about Unifying, not dividing. Peacemakers become those who like to make peace between others, repay evil with good, extinguish fire with water. But how can we do this in our external environments if we cannot do it within ourselves first?
How do we attain Inner Peace?
We see that much of the world’s struggle and suffering and poverty is either a direct or indirect result of the behaviour of the human being. War and conflict is often a result of pursuit of mutual envy and greed in pursuit of materialistic wealth (financial or possessions) and power/control. People divide themselves into different labels of religion, sects, groups- each claiming that they are right and others wrong- sometimes out of ignorance, and at other times in pursuit of world pleasures. Vengefulness causes further division, leads to the use of weapons to cause fear amongst the different groups, which then leads to people putting up defences and building up walls around them which causes further division. So surely we can conclude that ‘envy’ and ‘greed’ and 'arrogance' and 'vengefulness' are enemies of peace? So now let us ask- what is the opposite to envy and greed and arrogance and vengefulness? Is it not ‘gratitude’ and ‘love’ and 'humility' and 'forgiveness'? Surely the more grateful we are for our own blessings, the less likely we will be to want what has been given to another? And surely the more we love for others what we would love for ourselves- the more likely it will be that we will want to ‘share’ our blessings with those around us rather than just ‘take take take’ for ourselves? Surely the more humble we are, the less likely we are to assume that we are right and others wrong?- and therefore be more open to learning from others? Surely the more forgiving and pardoning we are of the mistakes and faults of others, the more open we become to receiving forgiveness and mercy ourselves?
But how do we become grateful without remembering God- The Source of our Provision?
And how do we love others and want for others what we want for ourselves without loving God and Remembering Him- Surely He is the Source of Love and Provision - so only through Remembering Him and His beautiful Attributes can one truly attain inner peace?
How does one become more humble without the realisation that we humans are not self sufficient? Must disaster strike us and must we suffer hardship and affliction in order to remain humble?
How do we learn how to forgive others without empathy and love?
Much of the anxieties and worries that humans struggle with are due to our minds living in past experience and allowing the negative emotions of the past to frighten us into being true to our purpose in life. Feelings of guilt, anger, hurt, loss, failure, low self esteem, sadness, loneliness etc due to our past experiences can sometimes make us feel like a 'victim' and prevent us from taking responsibility of our lives in the present. However, through reflection about our past experience we can learn to 'learn' from our negative experiences so that instead of becoming a 'victim' of the past- we gain 'wisdom' so that we can use this to help create a better 'now' and 'future.' Some of us might feel 'not worthy' of forgiveness for our past mistakes- which can lead us away from feeling worthy of the Presence of The Divine Light within us. Shame can prevent us from taking responsibility. That is why for those who believe in God, it is important to remember that He is Most Forgiving, and is able to Forgive all sins. Scripture teaches us that anyone that turns to God, in sincere repentance, God is Most Compassionate and Most Forgiving- as long as we take responsibility and do not repeat the same mistakes over and over again. For those who do not feel worthy, Scripture tells us that good deeds cancel out bad deeds, and that through engaging in acts of loving kindness, forgiving others, acts of charity and helping each other- we too can become purified from within- which will help us to achieve a sense of inner peace.
There is something amazing about 'letting go' of our anxieties- and giving them to God in humble submission. Anxieties about our past, or about the future- which we cannot control. Surrendering to The Creator- The Source of Provision, The Giver of Peace, The Divine, and letting Him guide us on our individual journeys back to Him.
God is the Giver of Peace. In His Hands are the keys to The Heavens. So why not turn to Him and ask Him for Forgiveness, and for Guidance?
Some guidance for Peace Seekers:
Establish regular prayer and meditation- set aside time to reflect and contemplate and remember God within. The more we remember God within ourselves in all that we do and say, the more at peace we will be- if our hearts desire is to seek His Pleasure and Know Him- turning to Him in repentance, gratitude and with humble hearts.
Engage in acts of loving kindness- the more we engage in acts of selflessness, giving of what we love to help others- the more we confirm with our actions that we love God with our hearts minds and souls and love for others what we love for ourselves. God puts peace into the hearts of those who show kindness and love to His other Creatures.
Trust in God- and never lose Hope. The more we trust in God during times of hardship and rely on Him- the stronger the relationship becomes between ourselves and God. Like any relationship- what is it if not built on trust? In order to maintain trust however it is important that we stick to our part of any covenant that we have made with God- and turn not away from guidance after it has been shown to us and after the knowledge has come to us. God reminds us in Scripture to put our trust in Him at all times, not to fear any other than Him, and to obey Him- once the knowledge and guidance has come to us. He assures the believers that He will never let the works of those who do good go to waste- and that in Him those who rely should rely. The more we trust in God, the more at spiritual peace we can feel within ourselves, even through the most testing times, even through the physical pain of loss and grief and being broken over and over again in the physical sense.
Truthfulness- truthful hearts are more able to attain inner spiritual peace- because they are being true to their purpose- even if they do not fully understand what their purpose is. Being true to ourselves, and to Our Creator at all times in our intentions, speech and behaviour- allows our physical self to express the 'Truth' (God) to others around us. How can we truly seek Truth if we are not truthful ourselves? How can we accept Truth if we cannot express it? The more we are able to give and receive truth, the more we are able to give and receive peace, and love and light, and all of the other beautiful attributes of God- in order to help create a more peaceful world according to the Divine Will of Our Creator.
Gratitude- in both speech and behaviour. The more we share of our blessings with others, the more we confirm our gratitude to God for our blessings and the more we allow ourselves to become vessels of his Light and Love and Peace to those around us.
Humility- The less we depend on our own intellect and the less we assume ourselves to be self sufficient- the more likely we become to be humble and open to Truth and Love and Peace and Light, and the softer our hearts become, and more likely our hearts become to endure with strength and patience the rivers which flow from within. Humility allows us to feel closer to God, and the more humble our hearts, the more able we are to fully 'surrender' to 'Peace' andHis Divine will- the more likely we are to willingly accept whatever He gives us, and live according to His Will rather than our own. The more we surrender to His Divine will, the less likely we are to spend time worrying about the future- as we know that all we can do is try our best according to the best of our abilities and understanding- and leave the rest for God- for He is the Best of Planners- and ultimately it is His Will we seek to fulfil- not our own.
Obedience- God Consciousness or God Fear- is about living in a way that we obey God according to the best of our understanding and ability- once His commandments are written upon our hearts. To follow that subtle voice within which encourages good and forbids evil, and encourages us to treat one another how we ourselves would like to be treated- in everything that we say and do to the best of our abilities.
Forgiveness- The more we forgive and pardon the faults of others, the more open our hearts become to receiving and accepting forgiveness for ourselves from the Most Forgiving One, The Most Merciful. Once we believe that we are forgiven for our past errors- the easier we can let go of our past and feelings of guilt and shame which surround us- which hold us back from living in each and every moment. So the more we forgive, the more we are forgiven, and the more at 'peace' we are able to feel within ourselves.
How do we attain World Peace?
From my understanding from Scripture- If we want to make a positive peaceful change in our environments- we must first change what is within ourselves. This way the peace that we invite to is 'truthful' and pure. If our intentions are purified, then this will reflect in a trustworthy way through our speech and behaviour. The more we reflect on the beautiful attributes of God, and try to incorporate these into our own lives in everything that we say and do, the more likely it will become that others in our communities will feel inspired to do the same. This way we become like vessels of Light through which rivers of love can flow from one heart to another. We unite in good words, and deeds, and sing together the song of Love and Unity. The waters of Life flow from a spring within, and fill the empty caves and spaces around it. The light shines forth as if from a blessed tree neither of the east or the west, light upon light, planting seeds of light in darkness which then grow themselves into fruitful trees which provide fruit in abidance to those around it.
But can we have world peace without Justice? At what point should one take a stand against the physical actions of others in our societies who are causing war and conflict and corruption and oppression to those we love? Surely if we all just sat back and watched and allowed injustice to take place, then evil and corruption would take over the world?
Being able to control our anger is a very important and positive trait during conflict. Repaying evil with good is encouraged in scripture as a method of turning enemies into allies but not many of us have the ability and strength to do this. Eye for an eye is acceptable, but forgiveness and the overlooking of bad deeds is better. Turning away from the ignorant- instead of addressing words of harshness with words of harshness is encouraged, and migration for the cause of God is also encouraged if one is able to do so.
According to Scripture there must be the establishment of societal Justice in order for our communities to be able to live in peace with one another. Scripture encourages Peacemaking as much as possible amongst those who are fighting and arguing, and even encourages migration if possible for those who are able to do so in order to avoid conflict- but for those that cannot- it allows fighting and standing up against oppression until the oppressor stops fighting- at which point we too must stand back and make peace.
Scripture Quotes about Peace
God does not change the condition of a nation unless it changes what is in its heart. Quran 13:11
O believers! Enter into Peace wholeheartedly and do not follow Satan’s footsteps. Surely he is your sworn enemy. Quran 2:208
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy peace and prosperity. Psalm 37:11
A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones. Proverbs 14:30
“Peace be upon you for what you patiently endured. And excellent is the final home.” Quran, 13:24
How good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity! Psalm 133:1
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Mathew 5:9
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; But turn away from the ignorant. Quran 7:199
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8
But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Psalm 131:2
Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you. Psalm 116:7
I will listen to what God the Lord says; he promises peace to his people. Psalm 85:8
Deceit is in the hearts of those who plot evil, but those who promote peace have joy. Proverbs 12:20
God enlarges the livelihood of whom He will, and straitens (it for whom He will); and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of the world is but brief comfort as compared with the Hereafter. Quran 13:26
And when he goes away, he strives throughout the land to cause corruption therein and destroy crops and animals. And God does not like corruption. Quran, 2:205
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honoured by every nation. I will be honoured throughout the world." Psalm 46:10
He is God, besides whom there is no God, the King, the Holy One, Peace, the Giver of Security..." Quran 59:23
Not equal are the good deed and the bad deed. Repel evil by that which is better, and then the one who is hostile to you will become as a devoted friend. But none is granted it except those who are patient and none is granted it except one having a great fortune. Quran 41: 34-35
Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honour depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5-8
When the LORD takes pleasure in anyone’s way, he causes their enemies to make peace with them. Proverbs 16:7
It was He who made His tranquillity descend into the hearts of the believers, to add faith to their faith––the forces of the heavens and earth belong to God; He is all knowing and all wise. Quran 48:4
The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11
If two parties among the believers start to fight against each other, restore peace among them. If one party rebels against the other, fight against the rebellious one until he surrenders to the command of God. When he does so, restore peace among them with justice and equality; God loves those who maintain justice. Quran 49:9
Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. Hebrew 12:14
Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34:14
Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18
Those who are patient, seeking the countenance of their Lord, and establish prayer and spend from what We have provided for them, secretly and publicly, and repel evil with good, for those will have the good end.
Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; they must seek peace and pursue it. Peter 3:9-11
Consider the blameless, observe the upright; a future awaits those who seek peace. Psalm 37:37
I will listen to what God the LORD says; he promises peace to his people, his faithful servants— but let them not turn to folly. Psalm 85:8
Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble. Psalm 119:165
You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3
Verily! Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians, and Sabians, whoever believes in God and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord, on them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve . Quran 2:62
LORD, you establish peace for us; all that we have accomplished you have done for us. Isaiah 26:12
Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10
You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Isaiah 55:12
They are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for God loves those who are good. Quran 3:134
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone. James 2:14-24
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mathew 11:28-30
..Surely, good deeds erase bad deeds. That is a reminder for the mindful.” Quran 11:114
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