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Changing conciousness

Please do read this excellent speech by Eileen Caddy, co-founder of Findhorne

"How easy it is,

for each of us to say of course I want universal peace, but there's nothing I can do about it. After all I am only one person. I'll leave it to the politicians. So what do we do? We hide in our little shells and allow the issue of the peace of the world to fade into the background because we feel powerless.

What can I as one individual do about it? Where does my responsibility lie? I can talk about universal peace, but that won't bring it about. I can write about it, send out pamphlets and go on protest marches, but that does not create peace. We can even have large conferences among nations about peace, but they don't make it happen.

We all long for peace and yet we go about it in the wrong way. Instead of starting at the top, we need to start at the foundations. As we think, so we are. As a nation of people thinks, so it is. If its outlook is aggressive or defensive, it will surely create war. When there is jealousy, greed, hatred at the heart of a nation, no amount of talking about peace will bring it about. Change the thinking, the consciousness of a whole nation and you will see its foreign policy change too. The world can only be saved from destroying itself by a change of consciousness. This cannot be brought about by lecturing people, or criticising governments. It is not other people who need to change, it is we ourselves.

Universal peace starts within each individual. It starts within me and you. It is like a stone thrown into a pool of water. The ripples spread out and out, but they start at the very centre.

We can start doing something about it right now. Let's look within our hearts. What is happening in our own lives? In the family? With the people we work with? What will happen as a result of the angry row I had yesterday with my husband? What about the person you met last week whom you swore never to speak to again because she refused to see your point of view? This is where peace breaks down, how wars begin. Until we can bring harmony into our everyday lives and learn to love the people around us, how can we hope to bring universal peace into the world? It's love and understanding and tolerance that bring peace.

We can each become part of the disease or part of the cure. It is up to us. There is so much negativity in the world. All you have to do is pick up a newspaper or turn on the television to be bombarded with negative and destructive thoughts. Your reaction to these is vitally important. You can absorb them and allow them to weigh you down until you become part of the negativity around you, or you can fill the situation with your love and help to transmute it.

Negativity is like a dark cloud that can envelop you unless the light within you is strong enough to dissolve it. Let your light shine forth at all times. The more of us who do this and see its importance, the more quickly will all negativity and darkness disappear, and peace reign on earth. So let there be light and more light within each one of us.

A person of peace does not resist war, but practises peace. If we take sides, we practise attack. Defensive retaliation is responsible for war, for we are at war in our minds. We cannot fight for peace. We cannot know the nature of peace until we have arrived at peace in our own hearts. And the way to do this is by ceaseless prayer. It is what I call the 'inner work' which all of us need to do, not just now and again, but constantly. That is what will bring peace.

To understand the true meaning of peace, look away from outer appearances - close your eyes and be still. Still your senses, breathe deeply. Allow peaceful thoughts to flow into your consciousness. Allow your heart to fill with love and gratitude. Pour your love out into your world, visualising it whole and joyful and peaceful. Let us practise peace by starting the day in a peaceful frame of mind, awakening with peaceful thoughts that we carry into our daily lives.

There can be no unity without love. Love is the key that opens all doors. Love is the balm that heals all wounds. Love is the Light that lightens the darkness. Love draws together, makes whole, creates oneness. Love makes us want to give and give - of our talents, out service, our lives. Love makes life worth living.

Where there is love there is peace. When we love one another we will no longer stand back and criticise other people's way of life, their religion, rituals, beliefs, traditions. When we are at peace within ourselves, we will no longer try to change others, and we will no longer be frightened of our differences.

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As we relax and allow peace to fill our hearts and minds and we feel the oneness of all, we go beyond the outer to the very heart where there is no separation at all. And as we make these changes in ourselves, we will find they have taken place in those around us as well.

When we are at perfect peace within, all conflict will disappear and we will see humanity through the eyes of love. We will know that we are indeed all one in God's sight. For God is Love. Let us remember that as we think so we are; as we think so we create."

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