If you want to really practice peace building, then may I suggest letting go of the habit of making predictions? Few activities are as injurious to peace, love and happiness as our proclivity to gauge the future based on our interpretation fo the past. As everybody from Emily Dickinson to Eckhart Tolle has observed, the relentless emphasis on past and future pretty much obliviates the present, the Now.
Peace-building – the generation of peace, love, happiness and sustainable abundance – might be considered an adjunct (or even another name for) finding and living in the Present. If we are going to create peace in the world, we are going to have to do it now.
The desire to predict is simply another way of looking at our desire to control everything. And control is nothing but the manifestation of fear and guilt. We don’t trust in the goodness of each other, our mutual humanity if you will – or God, if we can say that, that way – and so we have to try and manage it. If we can build a few borders, hoard a few goods, make a few people the enemy (or the “other”) than we’re all set.
And doesn’t that seem reasonable? I mean, we have to eat? And some people really are mean and greedy and nasty and murderous – we’re supposed to build borders and pass laws and arm the military and protect ourselves. It’s not reasonable to do otherwise!
But what if we’re wrong? If there is one thing we can say about the historical Jesus – the man who broke bread with the lost and the forsaken, who stood religious traditions on their head, who called God “papa” instead of “king” or “lord” – it is that he believed that the Kingdom of God was present and at hand but hard to find. To find it, we have to surrender our notion of what is right, what is just.
We have to place our faith somewhere other than in our ability to judge the past and leverage it against the future. One of the cooler aspects of practicing the ACIM daily lessons is that from time to time you actually have that sense of time as unreal, and can experience life less as a bunch of separate forms and more as a dynamic stream or – this is hard to put into words – but something that is sustaining, that doesn’t need our permission or sensibility to make it go. I wrote recently in another context, grace is knowing that you don’t need to do anything. Literally.
So as we direct our energies towards peace, love, joy, grace, etc., we need to realize that we can take a massive step in that direction simply by our willingness to let the past and the future go. The Present is peaceful – it’s enough. It has energy of its own, a bounty of its own that can sustain and nurture us.