The Kitchen

Awakening Peace

"War is the partner of surrender

Peace has no opposite.

In Peace, surrender and war are one."

Georgi Y. Johnson takes a contemporary dive into the non-negotiable omnipresence of peace, unpinning a little of the psychology of war and conflict, and the part peace plays in the reversal of trauma from surviving to thriving.

Peace is a Nondual Quality that is rarely allowed and it’s often misconceived. The power of peace outlives all conflict. Just as conflict is structural to every contraction, peace is inherent to each conflict. Logically, conflict could not occur except out of the perennial backdrop of peace. This means that the invitation to peace can support the opening of all contractions. Contractions themselves are preservative – they are an energetic means to keep the peace in a certain space, for some time. Yet when a contraction begins to unfold and heal, it is through peace that they are released and the sense of peace signals reunion.

When a conflictual situation is apparently resolved, we can often sense the energetic difference between a forced surrender and true release of agenda. Peace knows no borders, and in this can be experienced as descending from outside the psyche. Through this expansion, what previously seemed like a deadlock unlocks itself with solutions that can appear as if from nowhere. Thankfully, the energy of unconditional peace is a facilitator of new possibilities, perspectives, dimensions, relaxation and existential overview. In terms of the human psyche, peace is precisely the supporting presence that allows us to release structures of the psyche into the flow of transformation.

We often associate peace with the arrival of a new baby or with the hours after a non-traumatic death. When the story is born, peace is here. As the story continues, peace underlies the utterance. When the story is closed, peace remains. Happily, we do not need to wait until our inevitable death to rest in peace. We are already resting in peace, being born in peace, living in peace and dying in peace in each moment.

Peace arrives by invitation, and often just the experiential memory of peace is enough to open the way for expansion through and beyond the conflict inherent to every contraction. Peace is so powerful in its effect that it can be threatening to a psyche locked into the belief that it can create or control reality. While binary thought patterns structure reality through duality and through either-or choices, peace brings the overview that both sides of a duality co-depend. Whether we choose to turn left or right, both left and right continue to interdepend, irrespective of our decisions. Mental conditioning feeds the competition within duality through the belief that it can delete or extinguish the unwanted part of any pair. It wants only good not evil, light not darkness, pleasure not pain. To be at peace is to allow the unwanted partner within every duality, something that the conditioned mind will tend to resist.

Peace inherently allows all that is here, and as such, peace can be feared. Where there is fear, we tend to seek control through definition. Hence, peace gets reframed as conditional – a contract involving defined behaviors that can be implemented by force. In terms of experience, peace is often associated with nothingness, lack of life or the end of life. To draw on the eternal resource of peace, we need to undo this conditioning. Peace is not the absence of life, it is the Source of life. Its potency is beyond any ‘thing’ the mind could grasp and beyond the mind itself. It is the Source and backdrop to all mental formations and reformations and to all energetic phenomenon.

The energy of war is extraordinary in that it surpasses ‘normal’ everyday experience and promotes the reversal of norms, breaking both consciously conditioned rules and ethics. In this, all psychological trauma is a kind of war zone. Trauma is an area of experience that we are unable to integrate with "normal" life, including the social field and family arena. As the living experience is left outside of the ‘functioning’ psyche, it forms a sub universe of its own, with its own game-plans and atmospheres. When we are in a trauma tunnel we can feel far away from normal life, and we can experience ourselves in a state of war with "normal" life.

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