THIS IS THE WAY OF PEACE: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
It is hard for people to understand that all war is bad and self-defeating. People in their immaturity attempt to overcome evil with more evil, and that multiplies the evil. Only good can overcome evil.
My simple peace message is adequate – really just the message that the way of peace is the way of love. Love is the greatest power on earth. It conquers all things. One in harmony with God’s law of love has more strength than an army, for one need not subdue an adversary; an adversary can be transformed.
One day as I was walking along the highway, I began to sing peace words to a familiar tune which I believe sums up the present world situation in a nutshell:
The world is feverishly working to build the things of war,
The world is preparing destruction of a kind unknown before.
I hear much cursing of enemies, and arguments increase,
But, oh, the world is longing, is yearning,
Is praying for peace – for peace!
The nuclear bomb says to us: “Make peace or perish!” We recognise that we can no longer think in terms of military victory, that a nuclear war would mean mutual annihilation. Many face this critical situation with apathy, some with frustration, but only a few face it constructively.
There is such a great need for constructive peace action. We live at a crisis period in human affairs, and those of us who are living today face a very momentous decision: A choice between nuclear war of annihilation and a golden age of peace. All who are living today will help to make this choice, for the tide of world affairs now drifts in the direction of war and destruction. So, all who do nothing in this crisis situation are choosing to let it drift. Those who wish to choose peace must act meaningfully for peace. And become a part of the stirring and awakening which has begun and is accelerating. And help to accelerate it sufficiently to turn the tide. In this crisis situation peace is certainly everybody’s business! The time to work for peace is now.
Ultimate peace begins within; when we find peace within there will be no more conflict, no more occasion for war. If this is the peace you seek, purify your body by sensible living habits, purify your mind by expelling all negative thoughts, purify your motives by casting out any ideas of greed or self-striving and by seeking to serve your fellow human beings, purify your desires by eliminating all wishes for material possessions or self-glorification and by desiring to know and do God’s will for you. Inspire others to do likewise.
Some will prefer to work on an interim peace – a setting up of mechanisms to resolve conflicts in the world where conflicts still exist – so that although there may still be psychological violence there will no longer be physical violence. If this is the peace you seek, work on a world scale for world disarmament and reconstruction, for a world government which will include all people, for world thinking: place the welfare of the human family above the welfare of any nation. Work on a national scale for changing the function of the so-called Defence Department from destruction to construction. So much constructive work is needed among the less fortunate peoples in the world, and for the adjustment for our economy to a peacetime situation. Lots of problems to solve here. Get others to work with you.
We can work on inner peace and world peace at the same time. On one hand, people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centred life into the life centred in the good of the whole. On the other hand, one of the ways of working for world peace is to work for more inner peace, because world peace will never be stable until enough of us find inner peace to stabilize it.