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Pearls of Peace - Manuscript

Inner Peace

Home | Front Materials | Introduction | Table of Contents | Inner Peace | Family Peace | World Peace | Bibliography | Appendix | Index | Artwork | Susan, Assoc. Ed.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peace is commonly understood to mean the absence of hostilities. Other definitions include freedom from disputes, harmonious relations and the absence of mental stress or anxiety, as the meaning of the word changes with context. However, there are others who would say that the absence of hostilities would refer to only those hostilities which are evident and that true peace only derives from the mind of each individual.

Peace may refer specifically to an agreement concluded to end a war, or to a lack of external warfare, or to a period when a country's armies are not fighting enemies. It can also refer more generally to quietude, such as that common at night or in remote areas, allowing for sleep or meditation. Peace can be an emotion or internal state. And finally, peace can be any combination of these definitions.

A person's conception of "peace" is often the product of culture and upbringing. People of different cultures sometimes disagree about the meaning of the word, and so do people within any given culture.

1 Peace as an absence of war

2 Peace as a selfless act of love

3 Peace as an absence of violence or of evil; presence of justice

4 Plural peaces

5 Peace and quiet

6 Inner peace

7 Environmental Peace

8 Is violence necessary?

8.1 Historical examples and counter examples

9 International Creed for Peace

10 Peacemakers

10.1 Nobel Peace Prize

10.2 International Peace Award


12 See also

13 References

14 External links

14.1 Organizations

14.2 Campaigns and projects

14.3 Information, publications, and links

Peace as an absence of war

A simple and narrow definition of peace entails the absence of war. (The ancient Romans defined peace, Pax, as Absentia Belli, the absence of war.)

The maintenance of longstanding peace between nations ranks among the few great successes of the United Nations. Peace can be voluntary, where potential agitators choose to abstain from disturbance, or it can be enforced, by suppressing those who might otherwise cause such disturbance. Since 1945 the world has only been 26 days[1] without war.

Although prehistory and history are rife with conflict, some peoples, regions and nations have enjoyed periods of peace that have lasted generations. The following are some examples:

Sweden (1814–present). Sweden is the present-day nation state with the longest history of continuous peace. Since its 1814 invasion of Norway, the Swedish kingdom has not engaged in war.

Switzerland (1848–present). A hard stance on neutrality has given Switzerland fame as a country for its long-lasting peace.

Costa Rica (1949–present). Following a 44-day civil war in 1944, in 1949, Costa Rica abolished its army. Since then, its history has been peaceful, especially relative to those of neighboring Central American states. This has earned the country the nickname, "Switzerland of the Americas."

Pennsylvania (1682–1754). The colony of Pennsylvania enjoyed 72 years of peace, maintaining no army or militia and fighting no wars. Under the proprietorship of William Penn (1644–1718), a member of the Religious Society of Friends, the colony earned a reputation for religious and personal freedom, as well as for respectful dealings with Native Americans. Although somewhat a utopian experiment, the colony was not a utopia, marred with slavery, indentureship and class conflict. In addition, William Penn's heirs dealt less fairly with the Native Americans, especially in the Walking Purchase of 1737. Nevertheless, the colonial experience of Pennsylvania bears study as an example of a peaceful society.

Amish (1693–present). A sect of Anabaptists or Mennonites of predominantly Swiss/German descent, the Amish practice a peaceful lifestyle that includes religious devotion, resistance to the pernicious effects of technology, and nonresistance. They rarely defend themselves physically or even in court; in wartime, they take conscientious objector status. Today over 150,000 Amish live in close-knit communities in 47 states in the United States, as well as Canada and Belize.

[edit] Peace as a selfless act of love

One less conventional definition of peace is peace as a state of perpetual love (see the second paragraph of Love). It comes from the understanding that any and all violence stems from an attachment, whether it be an attachment to a certain kind of truth (religious, political, economic, or otherwise) or an attachment to survival (out of the fear of death). What is born out of the attachment is then, an imposition of an idea upon the world. To believe that something is true for oneself, and therefore, it must be true for everyone else. In the quest for the realization of this self-spawning universal truth, the exceptions, also known as the Other (See the ethics of Emmanuel Levinas) must be done away with at the cost of their lives. This definition can be used to define almost any conflict.

Peace, then, can also be defined as a condition of universal self-abnegation. To let go of the desire for absolute certainty borne out of the consolation of suffering.

See Simone Weil and her book, Gravity and Grace.

[edit] Peace as an absence of violence or of evil; presence of justice

Constraining the concept of peace strictly to the absence of international war masks internal genocide, terrorism, and other violence. Few would describe the Congolese genocide of the 1890s as an example of peace, even though it technically occurred within the personal domain of King Léopold of the Belgians. Some, therefore, define "peace" as an absence of violence: not merely the absence of war, but also of evil.

Many believe that peace is more than the absence of certain societal maladies. From this perspective, peace requires not only the absence of violence but also the presence of justice, as articulated by Mahatma Gandhi. In this conception, a society in which one group is oppressed by another lacks peace even in the absence of violence, because the oppression itself constitutes evil.

[edit] Plural peaces

Some "peace thinkers" choose to abandon the idea of one definition of peace; rather, they promote the idea of many peaces. They think that no singular, correct definition of peace can exist; peace, therefore, should be seen as a plurality.

For example, in the Great Lakes region of Africa, the word for peace is kindoki, which refers to a harmonious balance between human beings, the rest of the natural world, and the cosmos. This is a much more broad vision of peace than a mere "absence of war" or even a "presence of justice" standard.

Many of these same thinkers also critique the idea of peace as a hopeful or eventual end. They recognize that peace does not necessarily have to be something the humans might achieve "some day." They contend that peace exists, we can create and expand it in small ways in our everyday lives, and peace changes constantly. This view makes peace permeable and imperfect rather than static and utopian.

[edit] Peace and quiet

In some contexts, peace refers more generally to a state of quiet or tranquility — an absence of disturbance or agitation.

Those who travel to remote, rural areas often notice the striking difference in the noise level between the cities and the countryside; hence the term "peace and quiet". Conflict that occurs in nature, however, often produces sounds. When animals fight, the surrounding forest can become even more silent, as the non-engaged animals warily await the outcome. After a conflict, the normal sounds and actions of the inhabitants eventually reappear.

[edit] Inner peace

One meaning of peace refers to inner peace; a state of mind, body and soul, which is said to take place within ourselves. People that experience inner peace say that the feeling is not dependent on time, people, place, or any external object or situation, asserting that an individual may experience inner peace even in the midst of war. Elizabeth Harley may have put this well when she talked about the peacechain being for both inner peace and world peace.

Some people believe peace is a way to slip through self consciousness, as with hippies in the 1960's. An affirmative definition for the concept of peace, one that expresses the condition as a state unto itself, rather than as the lack of its antithesis, is, "Peace is the state or condition of restfulness, harmony, balance, equilibrium, longevity, justice, resolution, timelessness, contentment, freedom, and fulfillment, either individually or simultaneously present, in such a way that it overcomes, demolishes, banishes, and/or replaces everything that opposes it." (by Sevi Regis)

[edit] Environmental Peace

Many, if not most, environmentalists consider protecting the environment to be a form of peace, if not the main form, as destroying habitats is quite arguably a form of violence and an "evil". However some of the resistance methods used by environmentalists may not be classified as peaceful, as their interests conflict with other people's interests.

[edit] Is violence necessary?

There is a wide spectrum of views about whether, or if so when, violence and war are ever necessary. Followers of Jainism, for example, go to great lengths to avoid harming all living creatures including insects, and pacifists, such as Christian anarchists, see any sort of violence as self-perpetuating. Other groups take a wide variety of stances, with many maintaining a Just War theory.

[edit] Historical examples and counter examples

Allied propaganda billed the Great War in Europe as the "war to end all wars." Although the Allies won the war, the resulting "peace" Treaty of Versailles only set the stage for the even bloodier World War II. Before the Allied victory, the Bolsheviks promised the Russian people "peace, land, and bread." Although Vladimir Lenin ended the disastrous war against the Central Powers, the ensuing civil war resulted in a loss of over a million people. These failures illustrate the problems of using war in an effort to attain peace.

Proponents of the democratic peace theory claim that strong empirical evidence exists that democracies rarely make war against each other. An increasing number of nations have become democratic since the industrial revolution, and thus, they claim world peace may thus become possible if this trend continues. However, it can also be argued that this could equally be explained by a number of other factors related to the wealth, power, and stability of nations that tend to become democracies, ranging from becoming reliant on strong global trade connections to Mutually Assured Destruction. Another possible counter-argument would be to point out that there has never been a war between two fascist states, and although there have been some limited conflicts and border clashes, there has never been a major war between two "communist" states.International Creed for Peace

In the International creed for peace, an initiative of the International Peace Institute, war is defined as "a natural reaction to the absence of peace" and "temporary peace until peace is achieved or restored". The creed suggests that based on realisation that independence, freedom and justice is inherent to all nations, peace is achieved when a nation fulfills its duty to choose, live and respect others.International Creed for Peace

the realisation of independence, freedom and justice inherent to all nations is the origin for peace

war among nations is a natural reaction to the absence of peace

war among nations is temporary peace until peace is achieved or restored

nations who are able to restore peace conquer war

nations who are not able to conquer war remain in war

the identification to the origin for peace and the role of war among nations will help build a world of peace and progress

the commitment to the solution for peace has provided every nation with the International creed for peace:

"We are Independent,
We are free,
We are just,
We have a duty to choose our belief,
We have a duty to be alive,
We have a duty to respect others."

Peace is presented as a universal struggle when at calm and when in war, older arguments similar to this is that “nations prefer peace rather than war though they engage in war ” however the difference is based on the crusade of Chika Sylva-Olejeme founder of the International Peace Institute and the International Creed for Peace, which suggests that the acceptance of Independence: dependence on self, Freedom: non subjection by others and Justice: knowledge of good and evil yet judging nations not by what they do but by whom they are, will ultimately restore Peace: satisfaction with self and others and naturally conquer War: condition with self and others when peace is not present .

[edit] Peacemakers

Peacemakers are people who have overcome entrenched violence and conflict through their leadership and vision to achieve peace.

Nobel Peace Prize

Main article: Nobel Peace Prize

The Nobel Peace Prize is awarded annually to notable persons, generally peacemakers and visionaries who have overcome notorious cycles in violence, conflict or oppression through their moral leadership, but also controversially former warmongers and former terrorists who it was believed had helped bring the world closer to ending such situations through exceptional concessions in the attempt to achieve peace.

Here is a partial list of Nobel Peace Prize laureates.

Theodore Roosevelt ( 1906 laureate);

Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. ( 1964 laureate);

Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho ( joint 1973 laureates);

Mohamed Anwar Al-Sadat ( 1978 laureate);

Mother Teresa ( 1979 laureate);

Oscar Arias Sánchez ( 1987 laureate);

Aung San Suu Kyi ( 1991 laureate);

Nelson Mandela and Former President Frederik Willem de Klerk (joint 1993 laureates);

Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin ( 1994 laureates);

John Hume and David Trimble (joint 1998 laureates);

Wangari Maathai ( 2004 laureate).

[edit] International Peace Award

Main article: Community of Christ International Peace Award

The Community of Christ International Peace Award was established to honour and bring attention to the work of peacemaking and peacemakers in the world.Quotes

From Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Letter from Birmingham Jail:

"True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice."

From Henry Timrod, known as The Poet Laureate of the Confederacy, who wrote passionate poems that caused many young men to enlist in the Confederate Army of the American Civil War. But after seeing for himself the horrors of war, he wrote this poignant prayer for peace:

"Not all the darkness of the land, can hide the lifted eye and hand; Nor need the clanging conflict cease, to make Thee hear our cries for peace."

From Lajos Kossuth, Hungarian statesman and democratic activist, in an address to the Plymouth Church in Brooklyn, December 18, 1851:

"I am told that some who call themselves 'men of peace' cry out for peace at any price. But is the present condition peace? Is the scaffold peace? -- that scaffold, on which in Lombardy during the 'peaceful' years the blood of 3,742 patriots has been shed. When the prisons of Austria are filled with patriots, is that peace? or is the discontent of all the nations peace? I do not believe that the Lord created the world for such a kind of peace as that, to be a prison, to be a volcano, boiling up and ready to break out. No: but with justice and liberty there will be contentment, and with contentment, peace -- lasting peace, consistent peace: while from the tyrants of the world there is oppression, and with oppression the breaking forth of war."

For more peace quotes, see [1]


Peace camp: form of nonviolent protest.

Peace churches: Christian groups in the pacifist tradition.

Peace movement: social movement that seeks achieve ideals such as the ending of a particular war (or all wars), minimize inter-human violence in a particular place or type of situation, often linked to the goal of achieving world peace.

Peace Pilgrim: pacifist and peace activist

Peace process: describes efforts by interested parties to effect a lasting solution to long-running conflicts.

#HYPERLINK "/wiki/Peace_symbol"Peace symbol: representation or object that has come to symbolize peace.

Peace treaty: agreement (a peace treaty) between two hostile parties, usually countries or governments, that formally ends a war or armed conflict.

United States Department of Peace: A proposed cabinet-level department of the executive branch of the U.S. government.

World peace: future ideal of freedom, peace and happiness among and within all nations.

Human condition and beliefs


Christian anarchism: belief that there is only one source of authority to which Christians are ultimately answerable, the authority of God as embodied in the teachings of Jesus.

Democratic peace theory: theory in politics and political science which holds that democracies — specifically, liberal democracies — never or almost never go to war with one another.

Inner peace (or peace of mind): colloquialism that refers to a state of being mentally or spiritually at peace, with enough knowledge and understanding to keep onself strong in the face of discord or stress.

Libertarianism: philosophy believing in non-aggression

Nonviolence: set of assumptions about morality, power and conflict that leads its proponents to reject the use of violence in efforts to attain social or political goals.

Pacifism: opposition to the use of force to settle disagreements, specifically the taking up of arms in war.

Peace and Conflict Studies: interdisciplinary inquiry into war as human condition and peace as human potential, as an alternative to the traditional Polemology and the strategies taught at Military academies.

Satyagraha: philosophy of non-violent resistance most famously employed by Mahatma Gandhi.

Utopia: hypothetical perfect society.

Article 9: "No War" clause in the constitution of Japan.


Children's Peace Pavilion: children's peace museum in Independence, Missouri.

Japanese Peace Bell: gift of the people of Japan ("People of Nippon") to the United Nations on June 8, 1954.

Nobel Peace Prize: one of five Nobel Prizes requested by the Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel.

Peace (novel): a 1975 novel by Gene Wolfe.


United Nations (offical site,peace)

Amnesty International

US Peace Memorial Foundation

Pax Christi International: Lay Catholic peace movement, started in 1945 by Catholics devoted to promote reconciliation. It is made up of over 60,000 members in national sections, associated groups and affiliated organizations spread over 30 countries & 5 continents. The field of work include demilitarisation and security, justice, human rights, ecology, development, non-violence, economic justice and reconciliation.

American Friends Service Committee: religious Society of Friends (Quaker) affiliated organization which works for social justice, peace and reconciliation, abolition of the death penalty, and human rights, and provides humanitarian relief.

Peacekeeping: personnel units of the United Nations deployed as a way to help countries torn by conflict create conditions for sustainable peace.

Peaceworkers UK: British NGO providing training for potential peaceworkers in nonviolent, civilian techniques of conflict transformation


University for Peace: created in 1980 by the United Nations “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.”

Other meanings

used in some circles as a term for being homosexual [citation needed].

a street name for cocaine.

used as a request, greeting, or farewell, much in the same way and meaning as Shalom aleichemis

a last name "Peace"


List of places named after peace

Projects working for peace among Israelis and Arabs: many projects that work to create a peaceful and productive co-existence between Israelis and Arabs including the Palestinians.

Other Languages




^ Robert J. Jackson (1997-06-30). Nato And Peacekeeping. Retrieved on August 31, 2006.

Letter from Birmingham Jail by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr..

"Pennsylvania, A History of the Commonwealth," esp. pg. 109, edited by Randall M. Miller and William Pencak, The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2002.

Peaceful Societies, Alternatives to Violence and War Short profiles on 25 peaceful societies.

[edit] External links

[edit] Organizations

A.J. Muste Memorial Institute

American Friends Service Committee

Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace

Conciliation Resources An international conflict transformation service

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Foundation for P.E.A.C.E.

Mesoamerican Peace Project

Pax Christi International - International lay Catholic grassroots peace network.

Peace Action

Peaceworkers UK - UK NGO offering trainings for potential peaceworkers

Seeds of Peace International Youth Organization

United States Institute of Peace

University for Peace (United Nations-mandated university in Costa Rica)

[edit] Campaigns and projects

1,000,000 for Universal Peace Meditation

Canadian Culture of Peace Program * US Peace Memorial - Planning a peace memorial in Washington, DC

Indialogue Foundation- Intercultural dialogue and peace foundation in India

Campaign for a US Department of Peace

International People's Initiative for Departments of Peace

Peace Quilt Project in Boise, Idaho

10,000 Kites - A peace project aimed at Israelis and Palestinians.

The Peace Tents Project - A peace promotion arts project in Jerusalem (15/25 May 2005)

Cry For Peace - Promoting peace through art and music

University of Innsbruck: Masters Program in peace, pevelopment, security and international conflict transformation

Information, publications, and links

The ACTivist Magazine Islam and peace Better World list of links - thousands of links for peace and justice (ad free) peace activism in Cyprus Resources Website contains; quotations, definitions, etymology, stories, discussions, cartoons, art and more about peace.



Quotations - Quotes related to peace.

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List Servers - Email list servers that are on peace.

News Groups - Discussion Groups that talk about peace.

Newsletter - A weekly or monthly newsletter.


Definitions - Antonyms, Dictionary, Synonyms, Thesaurus, etc.

Encyclopedias - Check for peace in the Encyclopedia.

Etymology - The origin of the word peace in English.

Languages -The Translation, Meaning, Etymology, Arts of peace explored in other languages.

Search Resources - Search the Internet for peace. Also find and post miscellaneous resource links to this section.

Books - Books on the topic with reviews.

Articles - Find articles about peace.

Maps - Are there any Places or Locations called peace?

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FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions about peace.

The Arts

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Care and Feeding of Your peace. How to take care of your peace.

Types of peace.

The peace Web Ring

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TOWARDS A TECHNOLOGY OF PEACE Copyright © 1972 by Theo. F. Lentz
Director, St. Louis Peace Research Laboratory[REWRITE] - 14 Parts

Filename: Peace Technology by Theo. F. Lentz.wps

Peace Technology

by Prof. Fani B. Das[REWRITE]

Here’s the first principle of being a peacemaker.

You can’t be a peacemaker if you don’t have peace. You can’t give away something that you don’t have. I’d like to give each of you 5 tickets to the Red Sox game this afternoon - that would be about 500 tickets - but I don’t have any, so how could I give them to you? I’d like to give the church $25,000 for a new parking lot; but I don’t have $25,000. As a matter of fact I don’t even have my wallet with me today because it’s empty.

Peace is the gift of God. There is no peace until you have made peace with God. You can’t manufacture it; You can’t work it up; you can’t will it into existence; you can’t fake it. Some people stare into crystal balls looking for it - others smoke dope, pop pills, drink booze, trying to find it. But the bottom line is, there is no peace without God. Peace is the byproduct of a right relationship with the Lord.

"The fruit of the Spirit is peace.

"My peace I give unto you.

If you want peace, you must be born again, you must come to the cross and be washed in the blood of the Lamb, you must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. When you receive Christ as your Savior, when you are saved, forgiven and given eternal life, then you can have peace.Principle 2 - A peacemaker leads others to make peace with God. If there is only 1 place to find true peace - in Jesus Christ - then the gospel of Jesus Christ must be given out.

A little dog had more sense than many Christians. The dog had been struck by a car. A lady brought him to her house, took care of his cuts and bruises and fed him. When she opened the door, he ran away. "Why you ungrateful little cur!" She said.

But she was surprised a few minutes later when she heard scratches at the door. There was the dog ... and he had brought another scrawny looking stray with him to her door.

Many Christians have never brought a lamb to the Shepherd of the sheep, who has come to seek and to save that which was lost, who has come to bind up our wounds and bring balm for our bruises, who has come not to condemn but to save.Principle 3 - A peacemaker is a meddler - you can’t be a peacemaker and mind your own business - you can’t stay out of it - you must get involved. And you need to plan your meddling


If you contact God within yourself, you will know that He is in everyone, that He has become the children of all races. Then you cannot be an enemy to anyone. If the whole world could love with that universal love, there would be no need for men to arm themselves against one another. By our own Christlike example we must bring unity among all religions, all nations, all races.

— Paramahansa Yogananda in Man’s Eternal Quest

Wherever different minds meet in the spirit of fellowship, there we find a great harmony, peace, happiness, understanding, and cooperation in life’s activities. With so many troubles plaguing this earth of ours...never before was there a greater necessity for peace than now.

I believe there will always be wars, until perchance we all become so spiritual that by the evolution of our individual natures we will make war unnecessary. No matter what their differences, if great minds such as Jesus, Krishna, Buddha, Mohammed, sat together, they would never use the engines of science to try to destroy each other. Where there is understanding, peace reigns. Why must people feel it necessary to fight? The power of guns evokes no wisdom, nor has it ever accomplished lasting peace.

War is like poison in the system. When we have toxins in our body, that impurity has to get out somehow. So we suffer from disease. Likewise, when there is too much selfishness in the international system, that poison breaks out in the world as the disease of war. Many people are killed, and then for a little while there is a lull. But war comes again — and will come again and again — so long as there will be ignorance, and so long as the individual man has not become a perfect citizen of the world.

God gave us intelligence, and He placed us in an environment where we must use that intelligence. The universe is like a shell, and we are like little chicks moving about within it. But what is beyond this shell of matter?...

We should use our intelligence to analyze the mysteries of life and to explore the secrets the Heavenly Father has hidden behind nature. How much better use of intelligence this would be, than the creation of bigger and more destructive instruments of war. We must use our intelligence to have peace among ourselves....

Love the World as You Love Your Nation and Family

International understanding is much clouded by lack of realization that individual happiness is included in family happiness, family happiness in community happiness, community happiness in national happiness, and national happiness in international happiness.

Love of family is inherently strong. Through family love, God became the father to love you through wisdom, and He became the mother because He wanted to give you unconditional love. God became the lover and the beloved to unite souls in an expanded love. He became the friend to unite souls in a pure, impersonal love that makes no demands. In friendship there is no compulsion; it comes through the choice of the heart. Such friendship should exist between husband and wife, child and parent, in all human relations. Friendship is a great factor in bringing peace in the international family of the world.

No one can love his nation without learning the first lesson in love, which is to love his family. The baby’s initial cries are for milk, but soon it invests its love in the mother and father. Then, as it grows older, it learns to love its country. When that soul becomes Christlike, it begins to love the world.

You are a member of the worldwide human race. Don’t forget it. You must love the world as you love your nation and your family. This is difficult to learn, but the task of Self-Realization Fellowship is to show you how. We teach that it is by fellowship with God that fellowship with man must be established; because only when you know God and see Him in all can you love the Jew and Christian, Muslim and Hindu, with the same spirit. I was taught this as a child, but it was more or less a forced intellectual concept. It wasn’t an understanding from within. I tried to love the whole world, but it was not easy. As soon as I looked at my family, my love lost itself there. But one by one, many of those dearest to me died. I thought that nature was very cruel. Then I began to realize that my love was undergoing discipline; that I was to expand my love, not limit it to my family. God showed me that it was He whom I loved in my loved ones. Then, from within, my love began to expand to all. I could no longer feel partiality toward family. When I returned to India in 1935, I saw that this was true....

Therefore, through family life and then through national life, God is schooling every individual to understand his international family, that we may have a United States of the World with Truth as our guide.

International Understanding Dissolves Divisive Boundaries

We are all aliens here. No territory belongs permanently to any country. The hand of time eventually erases all nations. Their boundaries don’t last, because they represent divisions that have been carved out by force. I believe a time will come when in greater understanding we shall have no boundaries anymore. We shall call the earth our country; and we shall, by a process of justice and international assembly, distribute unselfishly the goods of the world according to the needs of the people. But equality cannot be established by force; it must come from the heart. The greatest blessing would be to develop international understanding by which we may realize this truth.

These ideals should be taught in all the schools. Just as it would be a sin to teach everyone to "love your family; it doesn’t matter what happens to your country," so it is a sin to teach love of country that militates against your greater world family. When in every school love of country is overemphasized, it sows the seeds of misunderstanding and even hatred toward other nations. How dare we spoil children by teaching them the kind of patriotism in which there are seeds of hatred! Unless you love your country, you cannot love the world; but children should be taught also to love other countries as they love their own. That is the principle of God.

Peace Will Come When We Learn to See God in All

So you see, we must dissociate our wisdom from all environmental influences. If we can learn to understand others, and to free our minds from all prejudices born of environment, we begin to express the perfect image of God within us and to find it in all. "But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God." The light of the sun falls equally on the diamond and the charcoal; but the diamond, by its transparency, reflects the sun more. Bhagavan Krishna taught that because the wisdom in man is covered by ignorance, and because man chooses to misuse his independence to nurture that ignorance, he doesn’t reflect the true image of God that is within him. But in all those who use the power of the mind to be good, the power of Spirit will manifest. If we can receive that power of Spirit, then we become true sons of God. And we must learn to see the light of God falling on both His good and bad children. Peace will come when we discipline our hearts to see God in all, not just in those who love us or whom we think of as our own.

Peace is not something that you and I or a few great souls can create at once, by command. Even a million Christs or Krishnas could not do it. Try as he would, Lord Krishna could not prevent the great war between the Pandavas and Kauravas, which is described in the Mahabharata. All humanity has to become Christlike to bring peace on earth. When each one of us shapes his life according to the wisdom and example of a Christ, a Krishna, a Buddha, we can have peace here; not before. We must start now, with ourselves. We should try to be like the divine ones who have come on earth again and again to show us the way. By our loving each other and keeping our understanding clear, as they taught and exemplified, peace can come.

Peace Begins at Home and in the Schools

Each individual in a family and community should strive to live peacefully with others. Peace must begin in the home and in the schools. In the classrooms we must teach international patriotism — to love the world as Jesus, Krishna, and the great masters have taught, and not to do anything that would lead to international discomfort. It is not our nationality or our color that we should be proud of, but our understanding. We should cultivate our understanding and use it to determine what is truly best for family happiness, national happiness, and international happiness. International happiness should include the well-being of the nation, the community, and the family. The standard of legislation should be merit, not color of skin or any other class distinction. These are the ideals to be taught to children.

So long as God’s children differentiate, "We are Indians and you are Americans; we are Germans, you are English," so long will they be bound by delusion and the world divided. Much war and suffering and destruction will be prevented if we cease to emphasize differences and learn to love all without distinction or prejudice. Be more proud that you are made in the image of God than that you are of a certain nationality; for "American" and "Indian" and all the other nationalities are just outer coats, which in time will be discarded. But you are a child of God throughout eternity. Isn’t it better to teach that ideal to your children? It is the only way to peace: Establish the true ideals of peace in the schools, and live peace in your own life....

Yoga Meditation Reveals Our Divine Nature

Out of the cosmic tomes of truth, India developed the Yoga system, the science of oneness — oneness of the soul with God; oneness with the principles of eternal righteousness; with the universe; and with all mankind. The sage Patanjali formulated the Yoga system into eight steps for achieving the goal:

1. Avoid unrighteous behavior — yama.
2. Follow certain moral and spiritual precepts — niyama.
3. Learn to be still in body and mind, for where motion ceases, there begins the perception of God — asana.
4. While concentrating on the state of peace, practice control of the life force in the body — pranayama.
5. When your mind is your own, that is, under your control through pranayama, then you can give it to God — pratyahara.
6. Then begins meditation: first, concentrate on one of God’s cosmic manifestations such as love, wisdom, joy — dharana.
7. What follows in meditation is an expansion of the realization of God’s infinite omnipresent nature — dhyana.
8. When the soul merges as one with God, who is ever-existing, ever-conscious, ever-new Bliss, that is the goal — samadhi.

The joy of God can never be exhausted. He is sufficient; the purpose and the aim of existence. True understanding comes when we feel God as the great bliss of meditation. And peace is the first proof of His presence.

To have peace we must love more, but we cannot love people unconditionally unless we know God. The soul is absolutely perfect, but when identified with the body as ego, its expression becomes distorted by human imperfections. If human beings were only these imperfect bodies and minds, there would be some justification for prejudices and divisions. But we are all souls, made in God’s image. So Yoga teaches us to know the divine nature in ourselves and others. Through yoga meditation we can know that we are gods.

If Everyone Learns God-Communion, Peace Will Reign

I believe that if every citizen in the world is taught to commune with God (not merely to know Him intellectually), then peace can reign; not before. When by persistence in meditation you realize God through communion with Him, your heart is prepared to embrace all humanity.

I am neither a Hindu nor an American. Humanity is my race, and no one on earth can make me feel otherwise. Prejudice and exclusiveness are so childish. We are here for just a little while and then whisked away. We must remember only that we are children of God. I love all countries as I love my India. And my prayer to you is that you love all nations as you love America. God created a diverse world to teach you to forget your physical differences with other races; and, from the debris of misunderstanding and prejudice, to salvage your understanding and use it to make an effort to know Him as our one Father.

Therefore, my friends, resolve that you will love the world as your own nation, and that you will love your nation as you love your family. Through this understanding you will help to establish a world family on the indestructible foundation of wisdom.

Follow the ways of God. Set a time apart each day to meditate on Him. When you commune with God, you shall feel toward everyone as toward your own. No one can ever make me feel he is not mine. All human beings are God’s children, and He is my Father.


The selection featured here is from A World in Transition. The complete talk, given in Los Angeles, February 26, 1939, is published in The Divine Romance (Collected Talks and Essays on Realizing God in Daily Life, Vol. II) by Paramahansa Yogananda (Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship).

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