Beware the aliens who claim to come in peace, say the movies, it’s a Trojan horse of a lie. But what about when humans say it? Humans living through a vision of separate selves, agendas unknown, the checklist of common fears?
If you say you are peaceful, you are not peaceful in the way you mean it. You want to say that you are Peace, that glorious, timeless place beyond proclamations. But being peaceful carries with it the opposite. It is a word from the realm of unrest, a state you can slip in and out of. It’s not who you are, it’s what you’re doing. S/he who can be filled with peace can be emptied of it, too.
This is worth mentioning because one point we’ve examined here and elsewhere is that as long as you allow yourself to be trapped in, identified with-and-as duality, it is better to love thy neighbor than club thy neighbor and steal thy neighbor’s shiny new junk. It is better to be peaceful than warful. But this is not an escape from the fact that you are making a choice. Even those of you who have buried the choice in smiles and kindness. Even those of you who find the pull of the choice eased to a barely perceptible tug, because you come from heart and understand yourself as a part of a larger, interconnecting whole. The choice may lie dormant, but that volcano can go off when provoked.
Many of us stick to the idea that if we remain aware of those moments when we want to be more furrowed brow than flashing peace sign, remain mindful of our feelings and behaviors, we will walk a steady beat upon that long staircase to self-actualization. Believing this makes us feel good inside. It makes us feel protected. It makes us feel in control, because we’ve got a plan and we’re sticking to it and it doesn’t even matter if we get there, because I’m good right now. If you say that to yourself—if you notice how good you are right now—then there is still a division between you, the one who notices, and the good. The good is a set of clothes you’re wearing right now and you like how they feel. They fit for a while, but eventually they begin to stink and you outgrow them. What happens when you keep wearing stinky, tattered clothes?
The peaceful warrior dresses an awful lot like the raging Incredible Hulk, dontcha think?