I am currently auditing a college class in the Religion and Philosophy department. After 20 years of being on an experiential spiritual path I wanted to experience the study of Religion and though there has been no chanting, praying or ecstatic unions with the Divine, we have had some great discussions. On Tuesday three students gave a presentation about Jainism in which they spoke of the Jain belief that world peace will come from people individually finding inner peace. After their summary of the book they read on Jainism they presented some discussion questions for the class – one of which was “Do you think World Peace is possible?”
Sadly, but maybe expectedly, several students gave the answer that though World Peace is a nice idea it is not realistic and that because of “human nature” they don’t think it could ever be achieved. Finally, I raised my hand and said “Not only do I think World Peace is possible, I think it’s inevitable.” I heard one student in the back yell “Right on!”
Of course as more and more people find inner peace there will be world peace. The idea that the world can change based on individual people changing is so obvious it’s hard for me to understand how anyone can think it’s not realistic. To me, it’s a “duh.” It is simply logical. It’s not even airy fairy or far out in the least– it’s just common sense.
OF COURSE as individual consciousness changes the collective consciousness changes! Collective human consciousness, or “human nature,” is not some separate thing of its own, some detached creature or monster that will always be prone to war and violence and greed. I know we talk about it that way – just like we talk about “the economy” as if it’s a living thing in and of itself with headlines like “Stock Market Panics” or “Wall Street In Pain.” But the economy is made up of individual people. We created it, so we can re-create it and change it in any way we want to. And the same is true for our collective consciousness and the world we live in.
Collective human consciousness is by definition simply the sum total of all of our individual consciousness – it is literally made up of each person’s thoughts and emotions and as each person changes, the collective changes. That isn’t some difficult or far off theory or wishful thinking – it is simply what IS.
So of course as each person evolves and grows and becomes more loving, compassionate, understanding and peaceful, the collective will change also.
Here is a video of the movie director David Lynch and physicist Dr. John Hegelin talking about how people think of Peace as a nice little lady idea, but that there is electromagnetic and quantum physics science behind the creation of Peace from the Unified Field.
In addition to the energetic effects of the collective consciousness, there is the societal effect. When these changes in individual consciousness happen, it affects everyone in that person’s circle of influence. That person will treat their co-workers differently, share their new perspective with their parents, speak differently to their uncles at Thanksgiving. They will raise their children to love their neighbor, to not hate the Other, to respect life and practice compassion. The more and more this is being taught in our schools and to our children, the more and more this will just become a part of normal life – as much a part of any culture as speaking a language or wearing clothes.
Furthermore, just ONE individual consciousness can have a much greater impact than just their one share of the human vote. Look at Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. or Mother Theresa. You can even look at Oprah Winfrey or Angelina Jolie! And these are just our well known historical and societal celebrities. There are also the spiritual celebrities or consciousness heavy weights! My friend Suresh was telling me over dinner how one day he was driving with a friend through Bangalore, India and all of a sudden he felt an immense pulse of Peace come over him. He didn’t know why so he asked his friend what the building was they had just driven by and found out it was Shivayabalayogi‘s ashram and the Swami was holding satsang. And the day I spent at the M.A. Center in San Ramon, CA when Ammachi was there I was completely uplifted into a consciousness of absolute peace beyond time and space! I was aware of the sound and the beat of the music but I was witnessing it from the state of timelessness and the eternity of Stillness and Peace that is behind all things. Ammachi’s being radiates such tremendous love and compassion that it is palpable – it was like I could physically feel a difference in my cells just from being in her presence. She adds much more peace to the collective consciousness than one little jerk can add negativity.
So, for many reasons, it doesn’t have to be 100% of people to change. It’s not like if 75% of people become peaceful there would still be the 25% who remain assholes and run around being violent and warring and carrying on. That is the beauty of collective consciousness – the collective can carry us, it can create a field of peace and calmness that forms our collective reality.
And for those who don’t believe in the power of ashram drive-by’s, there is peer-reviewed scientific studies that show that a small number of people focusing on Peace can have an effect on the greater whole. There are clips of this research on the Meditation and World Peace page, but in essence – for group meditation or prayer to have a scientifically measurable effect of peace on a society, it only takes the square root of 1% of a population. For a city of one million that is only about 100 people coming together in group meditation, creating a state of inner peace inside themselves to decrease the amount of violence for everyone in the whole city. And studies show that it only takes 1% of a population to have a personal practice of meditation or some form of centering prayer to stop the rise of violent crime rates in that society – so even our own individual changes in our personal lives create a scientifically measurable increase in peace for our society as a whole.
Then you look at mainstream culture. Meditation is becoming more and more popular. It has proven health benefits and is being taught in all kinds of yoga classes, stress reduction seminars and success workshops around the world. If only 1% of the population meditating can stop the trend of rising violent crime – imagine what will happen when meditation is as common as exercising or brushing your teeth! When 10% of the population meditates crime rates will decline by large percentages. When 20% meditates there will be greater coherence and peace in the society as a whole. When 40% of the population finds inner peace conflict will cease, peaceful solutions will be the only acceptable reality. Imagine what will happen when 51% of the population finds inner peace!
These are just percentages that I am imagining. As far as I know there isn’t any scientific evidence that shows what exactly will happen as each percentage point of inner peace is reached. And I don’t think that it even needs to reach 51% to have a tipping point. But my point is – World Peace is absolutely possible and achievable. As much as we can look at the news, at what is happening in Israel and Gaza or Syria and Iraq or Sri Lanka and many other places in the world – there is so much change and evolution of consciousness all around us that we just ignore or take for granted. It was only 140 years ago that we had slaves in this country! It was only 140 years ago when one human being could own another human being! As Louis C.K. puts it in the clip on the Video Inspiration page: “That is just two 70 year old ladies living and dying back to back – that is how recently you could buy a guy.” How foreign and distant and unthinkable does that seem to us now? How much has the collective consciousness changed in just 140 years?
How can it be considered so “unrealistic” that in another 140 years the act of war or the act of one human being murdering another human being will be just as unthinkable? When in fact the act of one human being murdering another human being is unthinkable to MOST people already! And for some strange reason, those same people who wouldn’t even punch someone in the face think when nations murder human beings it’s just an inevitable part of “human nature.” As Nehru points out – that is just silly:
“If two men fight in the streets the policeman separates them and everybody thinks how silly they are. But how much sillier and more foolish it is for great countries to fight each other and kill thousands and millions. It is just like two savages fighting in the jungles. And if the savages are called barbarous, how much more barbarous are the countries that behave in that way?” ~ Jawaharlal Nehru
So here is my If and Then: If human nature or the collective consciousness is simply made up of each individual’s consciousness and those individuals are changing and becoming more compassionate and peaceful, then the logical conclusion is a world that is more compassionate and peaceful. So, that is why I say World Peace is possible. World Peace is inevitable. World Peace is logical.
Find your own way of increasing your impact of Peace!
Meditation How To’s
Simple Actions in Daily Life
Join Unity & Peace for our Monthly Peace Meditations in St. Augustine!