Give Peace a Real Chance
Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18, King James Version
At this moment in history, there are 10 wars in progress, 1 billion people have no job, 3 billion people live in poverty, 800 million don’t have enough to eat, 100 million don’t have a home, 93 people per day are killed by guns in the U.S., and the world’s supply of nuclear weapons exceeds 15,000.
Peace remains an elusive and quixotic goal, something for religious and political leaders to now and then mention, but a concept with no real place in the world agenda.
But we are too limited in our vision. Too scared to reach higher. Too intimated by tough-talkers to even consider something that points toward peace instead of confrontation.
This blog goes out on a limb and presents an option that remains faint over the horizon, but offers hope of a lasting peace. It is based upon the belief that at some point we will have to start avoiding the topic and give peace a real chance.
There is a humanitarian way to unite the world, but also a scientific way. The humanitarian way is for all the nations of the world to recognize that peace is better than war, that we have more in common – family, food, shelter, raising children, having a decent job, belief in a higher power – than now divides us. This message is true and should be persuasive. But conveyors of this message are too often labeled as weak, disloyal, and naïve. Not worth listening to. We see strength in the size of a gun, not in moral courage. We are too busy feeding our families, protecting our turf, and defending our borders to pay much attention to some bright-eyed goal like world peace. Come on. Stop talking nonsense!
But maybe science can tackle the problem. Science is prejudice-free, and writes the most objective instruction manual for life. The speed of light, the strength of gravity, the mass of the electron, and a host of other constants and laws are the same for every nationality, religion, and race.
Unfortunately, even a brief look at the best-selling science books finds that modern science has no moral lessons to convey. Rather, “Nature” remains “red in tooth and claw,” and life, “nasty, brutish and short.” Worse, many leading scientists go out of their way proclaiming the hopelessness of life. Nobel prize–winning physicist Stephen Weinberg proudly calls the universe “absurd,” and Stephen Hawking concludes that the human race is “chemical scum,” as if announcing the hopelessness of life is necessary for membership into the scientific fraternity. These are the leaders of science; thought-leaders for the world. Combined with our political leaders, it is no wonder most people are pessimistic about the future. Our leaders have failed to deliver a vision to the people.
But luckily, as odd as it may seem, there is a scientific way to unite the world.
Our current worldview is based upon a machine-model in which the world at large, other people, and our own bodies are viewed as independent machines. We are separate from the world and other people. Jews and Muslims, Russians and Americans, Indians and Pakistanis are separate from each other: what separates them, religion, political systems, economics, and culture, is viewed as more powerful than what possibly unites them.
And this thought of separateness is drilled deeply in our minds and culture.
But for a moment, take a leap of the imagination and suppose that world is not a machine. Suppose the talk of there being a cosmic consciousness, a unified source of being, a united mind, is true. Suppose what appears to be a physical world of separateness is actually a “tree of life” stemming from the same trunk. Suppose we all see the same sky because we are united at our core and are participating in a story written by a Being who resides within, not because there is one sky overhead. The world is a virtual reality but we are players in the reality, so the world is real to us. It is like a hologram, but the projecting source is our inner being, a common dreaming power.
Strange thoughts indeed.
Yes, strange, except that modern science has known for almost a century that the world is not a machine and that what appears as separate things are in some way intertwined. Quantum theory, for example, the leading theory of the physical world, denies that the world is a machine, and points to an “entangled” universe where particles instantaneously communicate faster than the speed of light. The fine-tuning of the universe is increasingly suggesting an intelligence behind the scene; near-death experiences hint at a deeper reality; the ubiquitous concept of God permeates our consciousness; scientists continue to ponder the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics in explaining the world.
This is the deep truth: we are one creature who has forgotten who it is.
An infinitely creative Mind in the midst of an evolving dream.
This truth is deeper than gravity, more firmly entrenched than electromagnetism, and more certain than death or taxes.
These thoughts are outliers in today’s hardened, mechanistic worldview. Blogs like this one can be found only in “consciousness” or “spirituality” journals and websites; like the freak show in a circus, these ideas are pushed to the fringes away from the “Big Top,” as we pay homage to a dying mechanistic world.
If this new scientific worldview takes hold, however, there is a chance it will join with a humanitarian uprising, and solidify not just into a movement, but into a way of life, a scientific revolution that becomes a moral revolution.
Here, we seek peace not because it is a good idea, or “touchy-feely,” but because it aligns our own destinies with the fundamental law of the universe: do unto others as you would have them do unto you; “live your life as though your every act were to become a universal law.”
When science eventually changes paradigms and discards the machine model, what will rise up in its place can only be a world destined for unity. A world where peace is the natural state of mankind, in the same sense as falling is the natural outcome of gravity.
It is this deeper form of peace that we need to strive for.
By the look of things, only when we begin to appreciate the deep power of this truth — that we are one Being riding the crest of the imagination — will peace really have a chance. How much longer should we wait?