June 9, 2008, Co-creating a Peaceful World

June 9, 2008 Aaron to Barbara, On Co-creating a Peaceful World

Barbara: We've been reading the transcript 070926 about co-responsibility for peace or violence in the world. You have spoken about this before. In 4 months we have a presidential election. Of course all of us want world peace, but we differ on our views of how to attain peace, and thus, on which candidate can best lead us there. I certainly am not asking you to endorse a candidate, but can you give us some suggestions of how to best invite this elusive peace we wish to see.


Aaron: I am Aaron. My blessings and love to you. Do you remember years ago, on personal retreat, you stayed at a house with large woods just down the road? There was a troublesome dog who ran out to the road snarling and snapping every time you walked past his house. You wanted to walk in the woods but were afraid of and angry about the dog. So there was desire for the lovely refuge of the woods, and also ambivalence because the dog threatened.  You did not know how best to approach the situation. Should you forget about walking in the woods and avoid the dog? Should you walk past and ignore the dog, hoping he would not attack? Should you confront the dog with angry voice or stick? In the end, you offered statements of metta (loving-kindness) to the dog and yourself as you walked past, knowing that would not guarantee he would not attack. It would only serve to open your heart so you did not have an attitude of self-identity with the fear and anger that arose. This open heart would change your energy so the dog might perceive you differently. And he did. He still snarled at you, but not nearly as fiercely. It also freed you from the unwholesome karma of your antagonism to the dog.

As you practiced metta with the dog, you became increasingly conscious of his fear, and of his conditioned reaction to protect his home. In his mind, that home extended far out into the road. You ceased to blame him, and rather, felt compassion for his predicament, for you were a dilemma to him every time you walked past, and he had only one mode with which to react to that dilemma. For you the decision was, first, if you would meet his challenge with belligerence or loving-kindness; for you, it had to be loving-kindness. The next question was how to resolve your own fear. You were aware that the dog reflected your own attitude back to you, at least in part.

Everywhere in your world, there are snarling dogs. These are humans or nations that have been so steeped in the conditioning of fear and reactivity to fear as a show of power and attack, that they have not been able to see any other course of action. Your human history shows that hatred only engenders hatred. Disrespect of others invites fear and hatred. Greed stimulates fear and hatred. Thus, also, does the illusion of separation. If you want world peace, you must explore your reactions to these snarling dogs, each of you personally and as a nation.

It is not necessary or even useful to begin the investigation on a worldwide level, but is more easily done on a personal level. When there is a snarling dog in your vicinity, how do you relate to it?  Certainly the snarl will bring up fear and the question, “Will I be hurt?” Mindfulness attends to the physiological and emotional arisings, seeing how they arose out of the conditions of fear and feelings of threat. That which is aware of fear is not afraid. You train yourself to respond from Awareness, to respond with compassion.

Please remember that compassion is strong, and not afraid to say, “No,” but it says it with love, not hatred. There is a vast difference in the energy. There is no intention to harm, only to prevent harm on both sides. It is not kind to allow someone to attack you. For the attacker, it creates unwholesome karma too. So the practice begins in a thousand moments of personal discomfort, watching contraction, watching alarm, and watching the arising impulse to attack or defend, which means to shut down. What is asked of you instead is to stay open, heart open to the opposition so you can truly hear him. When catalyst is met with compassion, there is a different energy and intention, which promotes unity and invites resolution rather than conflict.

Remember that this learning is what has brought you into the incarnation. You are not here to “win” or even to stop all conflict, but to learn to use that conflict as a teacher of compassion and unity. Until you understand this personally and as a nation, you will continue to invite conflict. You as a world are inviting it now, but then not doing the needed practice with it so you must invite it again and again. You are like the child in school doing endless multiplication table drills; they are unpleasant but you have not studied the tables, and will not, so the teacher repeats the drills.  Your inattention calls forth the repetition. If you wish the drills to cease, learn the tables.

Each human is involved in this learning. Each has a part to play. One is the angry one, a state grown from karma and conditioning. Another is the one who wishes to avoid all conflict and hides the head in the sand. A third is the one who believes he can fix everything if given control and power. A fourth is the martyr who would martyr also all who accompany her. It goes on and on; there are many roles. Somewhere along the line, there come the ones who see the big picture and have the wisdom, skill and compassion to point it out to others, and to refuse to follow the previously open, but dead-ended paths.

Refusal to follow these dead-end paths and refusal to elect a leader who follows them is the start of healing. It is the opening to higher consciousness for which all of you humans are incarnate. Ask yourself, which of the candidates is more likely to be able to lead from a place of compassion and wisdom? Which is less caught in fear and reactivity to fear?  Which has the greater capacity to say “No” to violence and fear with compassion rather than in a mode that will catalyze further fear and hatred?

Remember that you are not incarnate to create a perfect world. You are not here for comfort and convenience. You are not even here to live out a long and easy life. You are all here to learn and life's challenges are the catalyst for learning. The catalyst is not to be feared, any more than the prepared schoolchild fears the examinations. It is to be met with love and even with gratitude for the growth that it stimulates. Peace, comfort and happiness will follow as all beings better learn what they came to learn.

You fear there is no potential leader who is not invested in power. Look not to that leader, but watch for the places where you falter, where you believe, “Here we must use great aggression,” or “I am not willing to live with less so others may live, so I will hold on to what I have at all costs.” Watch these beliefs and invite the openings in yourself in which the beliefs dissolve. When enough of you are ready to hold the real vision of a world at peace, where beings do not manipulate, steal, kill or otherwise harm each other, the capacity to hold that vision will emerge in world leaders. You will call them forth. They do not lead you so much as you invite them! The effective leader can only walk where some are ready to follow.

Which present candidate do you feel has the best potential to follow if enough beings are holders of the vision? Vote for that candidate, and do your own work to support the consciousness from which you ask this leader to lead. In this way, you co-create peace.