Last year I wrote about ‘An Authentic Christmas’, this year upon Christmas Eve I thought I’d write again about one of my favourite topics Peace.
Peace is the freedom from disturbance; tranquillity.
Peace is seldom in vogue, in fact Peace is just not considered ‘sexy’. The reason for that is probably because Peace requires us to stop, shut up and just be, something humans in our news and social media driven age are not very good at, if we ever were.
Peace as most of us think of it is an absence of noise, for me peace done well is an absence of us. In true peace we fade into a state of unknowing and unthinking. It could be described as a moment when the Divine steps centre stage and we slide back to simply observe from the 3rd row.
Anyone that has tried to meditate or contemplate will know the mind full of it’s chatter can not tolerate this space for long, as soon as you are ‘at peace’ the mind shatters the moment, even if it’s with something as simple as, ‘wow I’m at peace’
Though it may sound contradictory peace has many levels. There is the peace from the sounds of the human world, what some may call the peace of nature. As someone who has be lucky enough to live ‘in the middle of nowhere’ I know only too well how noisy that can be. The cacophony of night creatures kept me awake many a night until my suburban ears got used to the ’noise’. If you take all of the creatures out of the mix, rivers, rain, wind and thunder will step up to fill the void. If we could rid our hearing of all that what next? Would we hear the creaking and cracking of the very planet beneath out feet? So Peace is not silence in fact beyond the class room or library where a form of silence is demanded, silence really doesn’t exist.
Peace however is a thing, a thing that we can over time tune ourselves into more and more, if we wish. That’s my point in a world that is obsessed with reaction and interaction peace is seldom desired and is often actively discouraged. That is until finally one day the mind snaps under the weight of all the ’not peace’.
Everything from that last tweet to the news headlines, even the rubbish blowing outside your window is vying for your attention and usually getting it. Hopes, nightmares, even that thing someone said to you years ago is still circling in your brain From the most random sexual fantasies to even that album of whale calls that was meant to get you to sleep is being analysed and assessed for its value. When you really start to think about it, it can become mentally suffocating.
For me and I concede maybe just me, Peace is the place where all this is still going on, but for a short time, sometimes a very, very short time you cease to engage with it. While above I said ‘Peace is a freedom from disturbance’ in truth peace is the freedom from being disturbed by the disturbance, as it is my believe a disturbance free Nirvana does not exist, at least not in the earthly realm.
For me over the years Christmas Eve has always been a time of peace when no matter what is going on I have been able to just zone out, staring at a candle or a twinkling light, even as a child I would look out the window in silent wonder. The next day Christmas Day the spell is broken. The EVE is magical, the DAY feels more like cold reality. Yes the mind is hard at work at both times but I can feel the difference in the stress levels. When at peace the world could fall off its access and this would be excepted without question or fear.
That is the peace I wish you this Christmas, the peace where you are at one with whatever predicament you find yourself in and just surrender to it.
Many people could see this as a failing, personally I see it as bliss. I’m sure most of us have observed over this covid-19 year that no matter what we do, sometimes, something bigger than us will just force us to stop trying to figure it all out and just except the unacceptable, in that moment we surrender to what is, at the same time we find true peace. In that moment the divine nature of all things holds our hand and whispers it’s OK, everything is all right.
Thank you my friend for reading and no matter your beliefs I wish you a very peaceful and safe Festive season