Peace Resulting from Good Works and Noble Character
There are two kinds of peace. The first is peace that results from good works and from living a life in harmony with the Earth and with one’s fellow beings. Country friends came to stay for four days recently bringing this gift of peace. For almost thirty years they have lived in an old tumbledown farmhouse in Ontario where they grow organic vegetables and fruit both for themselves and others. Living financially below the poverty line they are living well above it in all other ways for they are rich in emotional and spiritual health. There are many things that they have learned which would work for all of us to restore inner peace to our lives.
The first lesson they offer is to grow only as many crops as you can harvest. By doing this there is no waste and stress accompanying the ‘too much’ that faces many of us. My friends have no greed to have more. Instead, they work steadily at the amount that they need in order to work in joy. Because they are living in the present moment time seems to expand around them. There is no rush, nor hurry. What doesn’t get done, doesn’t get done. Living in harmony with the seasons they rest during the winter, read books and feed their wood stove.
An idyllic life, you might say, but how is this practical for those of us with nine to five jobs, with kids to support, with mortgages to pay? For many of us caught in a never ending circle of work and more work, it is hard to believe that we have chosen to do that work and that we make that choice every day to continue in the same pattern. Ah, you say, is she recommending that I quit it all and do what I really want to do? That thought will raise immediate fear of change in some of you and immediate anger in others, which if you examine closely is really the same as fear. Just like caged animals who cannot cope in the wild when given their freedom, we often prefer to stay caged in our thoughts and old outmoded patterns rather than to risk true freedom.
What is True Freedom?
Ultimately, true freedom and peace are found neither in working nor not working. Neither does it lie in any specific activity not in good works, nor being compassionate to others, nor developing a noble character. These may be a start in the right direction towards freedom, but they are not the ultimate goal. Along the path as we refine our personality we discover that we must let go of all cultural norms that define us, the roles that we cling too, and the comforts—often attained through much pain and hardship—which we grasp. And then do we finally have freedom and inner peace? No, we do not. What we have is a refined and noble personality that is capable of much good in the world. This, it may be argued, is a desirable goal in itself and in fact, I lean towards that opinion myself.
When we have achieved a refined personality we are now spiritually ripe and ready for our next step, which is to give up all we have attained in both external ‘things’ such as money, houses, jobs, relations, and in learned internal qualities such as being nice, patient, loving or spiritual. Oh my God, all that work for nothing, you might think. Actually, it was not for nothing. Firstly, you have more inner peace than when you started the journey. Secondly, it is rare that without having first done your preparatory work of digging up your weeds and fertilizing yourself with positive thoughts and actions that you would find yourself in the position of being spiritually ripe.
The Next Step is No Step
So what can you ‘do’ next? There is nothing that you can do that will bring you lasting peace, “the peace that passeth all understanding,” of which Jesus speaks. There is no recipe, no guarantee and as Jesus said you cannot figure this out intellectually. That said there is a loose approach in which we can engage that is supportive of this ultimately organic and inevitable result. Simply watch your thoughts, feelings and actions and realize they are not the essential you. Create a space and slow down in order to see and hear your true being. Have no attachments to what you see or hear about yourselves or others. This is a simplifying process and an inner as well as outer journey and one of contemplation even if we are still engaged in the world’s activities. There is no right nor wrong on this journey to ‘what is’ and impeccability and both outer and inner honesty are our only values.
Every day on rising we can focus on what is calling us most that day balancing our inner life with the needs of the outer world. As we engage in this process there comes a time when the peace of good works and noble character dissolves into the limitless ocean of peace that is no longer earned and conditional. This is true freedom. Meantime, let our work and life in the world be devoted to both inner and outer peace. That is my wish for you.
Tanis Helliwell, a mystic in the modern world, has brought spiritual consciousness into the mainstream for over 30 years. Since childhood, she has seen and heard elementals, angels, and master teachers in higher dimensions. Tanis is the founder of the International Institute for Transformation (IIT), which offers programs to assist individuals to become conscious creators to work with the spiritual laws that govern our world.
Tanis is the author of Summer with the Leprechauns, Pilgrimage with the Leprechauns, Embraced by Love, Manifest Your Soul’s Purpose, Decoding Your Destiny and Take Your Soul to Work.
For information on our courses and meditation retreats please visit www. iitransform.com