Peace here and now

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What do the suttas say about peace, in the sense of “freedom from disturbance” or “freedom from dispute or dissension between individuals or groups”? We often see violence and antagonism in our surroundings (or at least I do sometimes). Do you believe, as merely a human being, that we should strive for peaceful coexistence in our daily lives? Why or why not? (Yes, I’m aware that the message of the Buddha is mainly about inner peace and its development. Here, I’m specifically asking about peace in an outer, social sense. Assuming most people aren’t enlightened yet, myself included, this seems to still be a relevant concern.)


Asking for external peace seems to be a shortcut for suffering :smiley: .

I voted a few days ago (European elections), but I didn’t vote for anyone. I just couldn’t take part of it… not because it’s bad, aweful or something other related to politics in general (it is what people make it).

But rather I couldn’t engage in wanting my vote to contribute. Because whatever I want (and that would edge toward peace and compassion) is not going to be something that will come out of my bulletin…


In terms of inner peace, we would have:

paying homage to whom my mind might find peace?

In terms of social peace, SN56.75 quite blandly states the problem and implies the solution:

“… the sentient beings who refrain from divisive speech are few, while those who don’t refrain are many. …”

Sadly, refraining from divisive speech is quite difficult without relinquishing identity view, which takes us back to the personal and internal.


Why do you think this?


Why do you think this? There are some who feel that we can build peace through individual effort in the world… saving trees… building homes… feeding people… such things.


Well. If two people think “this is mine, this is myself, etc.” and they are looking at the same thing, then all manner of divisive speech arises. The Middle East would be a large social example of identity bound to geography and fiercely held individually.

And if two people think “this is not mine, this is not my self”, I would say that rational conversation might arise.

MN1 goes on about this at length:

A mendicant who is a trainee, who hasn’t achieved their heart’s desire, but lives aspiring to the supreme sanctuary, directly knows earth as earth. But they shouldn’t identify with earth, they shouldn’t identify regarding earth, they shouldn’t identify as earth, they shouldn’t identify that ‘earth is mine’, they shouldn’t take pleasure in earth. Why is that? So that they may completely understand it, I say.


Can identity views be non-obstructive? (talking about the world of the non-arahants, by necessity)


“Non-obstructive” is a pretty high bar, considering that societies are based on a shared delusion. Notice that the citizens of Australia were all cast out from the UK.


Can you define “delusion”?


In terms of the UK example of expelling undesirables, delusion would be:

And so they obstinately stick to what they have known, seen, and understood for themselves, insisting that: ‘This is the only truth, other ideas are silly.’

Clearly, Australians have been able to evolve a fine social system of their own, despite the historical UK view that they were unfit for historical UK society.


I have seen, known, and understood the dhamma for myself. I think worshiping lasagna is silly. Am I deluded? (on that basis, I mean; certainly, I’m not a perfected being)


Depends on what you and the lasagna do. And I’d have to live with you for a long time to be sure.


Leave it to this place to somehow bring out the subject of lasagna worship. We need a new emoji.


So as far as peace goes, one thought that’s been going through my head is that a peaceful environment could act as a more favorable conduit to the practice of the dhamma than a non-peaceful one. When you’re too busy stabbing and stealing and harming people and looking over your shoulder to read suttas and meditate, chances are you won’t accomplish much under the Buddhist worldview. So in this sense, there can be a connection between an environment that is not unnecessarily harmful (i.e. “peace”) and dhamma practice. There are some who say even things like environmental protection can reduce unnecessary harm, and therefore create an environment more conducive to detachment. Of course, there is the question of how much harm can be reduced theoretically in an environment, how to reduce it, who should reduce it, etc.


Right, this is building peace.

And this is a great gift we can all share with the world.

But I guess I was looking at your question from the place of finding peace in the world - i.e. in external things.

So we probably agree here :sunglasses::+1::bulb:.


I am rejoicing in our shared wavelengths! So how do we do it? How do we build peace?


Sure. Behaving like a :poop: -head is rude and inconsiderate. Why cause pain for those around me if it can be avoided?


@Nadine Yes, I agree. Poop-heads are not nice. But I think this goes beyond the realm of poop-heads. In terms of what I’m touching on here, we have to generate more anti-poop. More of an active cultivation of harmonious potential and growth.


Until everyone voluntarily stops being :poop:-heads then, I think, mitigating negative, harmful actions is a worthy course.


@Nadine There are definitely rolls of toilet paper hanging around. Also wet wipes.