As I was putting my Son to bed and he was turning my peace-sign pendant over in his fingers, as he usually does, now that he's learned not to tug violently at it, a thought occurred to me. An imagined conversation. I played out the obvious questions he might ask me when he is able.
"What does this mean?"
"It's a symbol for peace."
"What is peace?"
The simple answer came pretty quickly. Then took a second to take hold...
"Peace is the absence of conflict."
I thought about it for a while (I would like to say I meditated on it but, isn't that kind of the same thing? If it's not, I'm not sure the difference. Maybe that will come to me one day too...maybe while I'm meditating...or not.), and it really held true, for me. The notion that really rang, when this thought struck, was the one about peace being within; About peace not being something to attain but, something we innately have. By this definition, it was obvious to me that peace is something we come with; Our natural state. Because, what conflict is there, before we start analyzing? It brought me to the idea about enlightenment being a destructive process. A process of tearing down all of the things we've built up in our minds. All of the conflicts we perceive, and create, in ourselves and in the world, with others. I see how difficult it can be to be at peace with the world, in this context. I see how many things are actually working against us. But, I also understood, on some deeper level than before, that the internal conflict really can be completely done away with. That there is a way to just let there not be internal strife. Now, I'm not saying I have resolved or dissolved all of my internal duals. But, I have experienced peace. The not fighting myself practice continues....
Along these lines, before I started typing, I did some searching of the interwebs, and found a few quotes saying "Peace is NOT the absence of conflict...", it is some more complicated blar blar... So, I started to wonder if I was wrong. I even thought about not typing this. But, I went back to the practice, and re-experienced what I felt when I had this insight. It was real. So, here is this.
It'd been quite a while since I wrote anything. I'm glad I did.