Dealing with Conflicts of Life

I meditate today on the idea, “Light and joy and peace abide in me.”  It’s from the Course in Miracles, lesson 112.  It reminds me also of the words of John’s gospel in which Jesus says, “Peace I leave you….let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”  How is this really possible in this world of conflict, anger, hatred and death?  Do we just go away to an island, enter a monastery, shut ourselves off from as much news and community sorrows as possible?  I don’t think so.

Jesus is portrayed in John as saying these words shortly before his death, and I would assume he was well aware of the hatred of people toward himself.  Although this letter was written around 70 years after his death and most of the words no doubt were not spoken directly by Jesus, the idea is valid that we can live with peace and joy and light amid this world of darkness. 

Again, I remind myself that this world around me, the physical earth and universe, are not the Spirit Reality of God, the Force, the Creator, the Energy.  I remind myself also that I came to this world experience by my own choice, my own dream of being independent, out on my own to become the master of my own fate.  I remind myself I am as the Prodigal Son, wanting my inheritance all to myself and my own personal use.  And like the Prodigal Son, after eating with the pigs for a few years, I decided it wasn’t worth it and chose to return back to my Father.  Here I was welcomed and received as if nothing ever happened!  A party was even thrown for my return to sanity and Oneness.  Now are my troubles over?

Well, yes and no.  Until we finish this “dream journey” and get beyond the concepts of time and space, beyond our ego centered bodies, we still live here but not of it, as the Bible verse goes.  We learn the lessons of forgiveness, detachment and peace by facing whatever is thrown our way, including physical disease and death.  We learn to face them with a certain degree of humor, expectation, equanimity and remembrance that it’s all just a dream to be ended in Eternity which in actuality, has already occurred. 

I think of the analogy of the Yogi who described living in this world as flying on an airplane or riding on a train, or even an auto.  As we ride along at 500 miles per hour, our bodies are still, unmoving, quietly in place, even at times asleep. This is analogous to living our lives as bodies in this world.  The Spirit, of which we are One, is the Quiet Center, the Immovable Place which we are in reality, but in our body states, surrounded by the torrid pace of the world.  We can see this world with our body’s eyes and imaginations, yet watch it as the observer, choosing not to be identified with it anymore than we would try to step outside an airplane and ride on the wing.

How then do we respond to death, rejection, and crisis around us?  We do what we can without being caught up in the anger and emotional investments we would once have, or at least never able to let go.  We learn to commit dying loved ones to the Eternal Creator and feel the Oneness of All, while working for what we perceive to be a more fair, humane and loving world without becoming angry, ruthless, or demeaning toward others who may hate us for our actions.  As the Dalia Lama follower said of his 15 years in prison being held by Chinese captors, “My worse fear was that I would hate my guards!” 

I think of a loving mother caring for her child or children.  They share with patience and forgiveness their child’s natural self-centeredness, wanting their world to revolve strictly around them.  The mother can see beyond to a time of more maturity, of sharing and love for others.  She isn’t bothered by their littleness and mistakes, believing in something beyond and yet to come.  In our lives here, filled with daily judgments, decisions, hurts and disappointments, with deep sadness at times, a part of us stays as the observer without judgment and condemnation.  “I cry, I hurt, I even feel hate and anger, I make some major mistakes but I realize this is not Me, the True Self of which I am.” 

In one of Daniel Nahmod’s songs, “Water,” he expresses some of this as wanting to be like water, flowing down the mountain.

I wanna be like water, coming down the mountain, into shadowy canyons, flowing from pool to stream,

Wanna be like water, head up hill no more, I am bound for the Sea.

Have you ever seen an eagle, head straight into the wind? 

He never picks a fight, spreads his wings and just gives in

And in the end, he always makes it home just fine,

I guess he knows that every storm subsides!

In the ancient Bhagavad Gita it says, “Seeing, hearing, touching, smelling, eating, walking, sleeping, breathing, the disciplined one who knows reality should think, ‘I do nothing at all.’  When talking, giving, taking, opening and closing his eyes, he keeps thinking, ‘It is the senses that engage in sense objects.’”

This is my aim in living this short, transitory, dream life.  Don’t run from storms of crisis, loss and disappointment but spread my wings of faith, head straight into the wind, and win or lose, know I will always make it back home.  Indeed, my Real part is always there anyway.  I have never left Home.   Today, I thus meditate on the thought, “Light, Joy, and Peace abide in me.”

About David Persons

Retired minister who still writes, speaks some, hikes less, and golfs.
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