Peace is earned. The only harmony we have in this universe is amidst chaos, it is a natural state. We are all built to fight each other for reproduction and food and in the human this has become so warped that it has become a highly evolved and barely noticeable part of our media, games and politics. The only way as a human that we can find peace is amidst this chaos. Our body is ‘balanced’ by continuous wars of huge armies of bacteria and microbes fighting each other for us to aspire to a good balanced healthy condition. The entire natural world consumes itself for food often hunting and killing mercilessly out of hunger and fighting often to the death to mate and breed, these are natural urges.
Firstly, we have to accept that as a natural state, many people become horrified by it and are unable to cope with normal life and it’s natural horror. The Tao Te Ching states –
Heaven and Earth are impartial;
They see the ten thousand things as straw dogs.
The wise are impartial;
They see the people as straw dogs.
This is saying that the rise and fall of all matter and it’s self consumption and reproduction is a fact and that the wise person widens their perspective to see that we are all born out of this world and are interdependent within it, we all come and go and the bottom line is that we live to natural laws and only attempt to place human justice temporarily on top of it. This results in the ‘why me?’ syndrome where fate plays what we think is a cruel hand to us and we don’t understand why bad people aren’t suffering more than us. They haven’t realised that we are all ‘straw dogs’. The Tao Te Ching goes on to say-
The space between heaven and Earth is like a bellows.
The shape changes but not the form;
The more it moves, the more it yields.
More words count less.
Hold fast to the center.
So the more we ‘quicken’ the pace of life, the more this process happens, when we find internal stillness, the more peace we have. So meditation, widening our perspective on life and becoming wise to how it functions is the first step to finding peace. We can’t just be averse to it and try to ignore it. The ‘love and peace’ people found that they only suffered more because they couldn’t deal with the horror of everyday life and the more they tried to ignore it, the more it followed them around and bothered them – a bit like the school bully.
Peace is earned through balance and this requires consistent effort. The Martial Arts are the perfect vehicle for doing this, we work on a healthy body, through posture and breathing, creating an aware, focused, sensitive and intense mind, turning it to balance through emotional intelligence, working on patience, tolerance, kindness and compassion and also courage, resolve and determination so that we are able develop an emotional toolbox and mental strategies to cope with what goes on around us.
This is then tested and validated in Martial Arts training, producing a ‘Peacekeeper’ – someone that is able to rise above the warped and twisted politics, fundamentalist religion and media fear and control that is prevalent around us every day. A ‘Peacekeeper’ that is able to bring situations to a state of harmony amidst chaos, who doesn’t over or under react to anything, with a vision and perspective that is broad enough to see from a timeless perspective the way things really are. To forge friendships and conduct business on an everyday level with integrity without being drawn to others through fear or insecurity, able to think from an independent or ‘universal’ view and realise that natural laws underlay everything we do and that human ‘justice’ doesn’t work when it bumps into it.
Wisdom is gained through the right experience coupled with a strong, independent and intelligent mind. If you train with an Instructor and in a Club that has that base – you’re in a good place!