Symptoms of Inner Peace

ram dassThis is a slightly edited version of Saskia Davis’ original Symptoms of Inner Peace ©1984. Saskia has been kind enough to allow me to share it with all of you on my site, which I am happy to do. You can see the original in all its original glory at her website, which is http://symptomsofinnerpeace.net!

Be on the lookout for signs of inner peace. The hearts of a great many have been filled with such peace, and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with this strange virus in an epidemic of some sort. This could pose a serious threat to what has, till now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

  • A tendency to think and act spontaneously, without the influence of fear due to past experiences and consequences.
  • A strange tendency to not over analyse the past
  • A worrying ability to enjoy the present moment
  • An alarming tendency to not stress about the future.
  • A loss of interest in judging people
  • A loss of interest in judging yourself
  • A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others
  • Loss of inner and outer conflict
  • A loss of the ability to worry (this is a serious symptom)
  • Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation
  • Feelings of connectedness with others and nature
  • Frequent attacks of smiling
  • Frequent attacks of laughing with others
  • An increased capacity for loving others and yourself

WARNING

If you have some of the above symptoms seek a doctor’s advice immediately. If you have most of, or all of the above symptoms then it might be too late for cure. If that is the case, the best advice is to stay indoors and eliminate any contact with other humans, as your inner peace is highly contagious and could infect others. Prolonged exposure to the outside world could result in your inner peace turning into outer peace, if you know someone with some of these symptoms, remain exposed at your own risk.

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We Are All One Family: Religion and its Role in Society.

Peace

“The ocean of suffering is immense, but if you turn around, you can see land” - Thich Nhat Hanh

There are something like eighteen billion cells in the brain alone. There are no two brains alike; there are no two hands alike; there are no two human beings alike. You can take your guidance and instruction from others, but you must find your own path.” – Joseph Campbell – Pathways to Bliss

Social stratification is an important term in Sociology; it refers to the universal process of ranking people into categories based on a social hierarchy of traits such as economic status, age, gender and race (Macionis & Plummer  2008, p. 232). Religion is a form of stratification which doesn’t get much attention; however, it is a topic that Weber, Durkheim and Marx saw as an important theme within the sociology of culture. Social stratification centers itself on the topic of inequality and division; this essay will explore the inequalities present in modern day religion and argue the possibility that religion can overcome these inequalities and instead replace them with peace and unity; it will also determine the extent that religion influences society on a personal and collective level. This essay does not focus on any particular religion; instead it deals with modern day religion as a single philosophy which transcends social labels.

Macionis & Plummer (2008, p. 610) define religion as a social institution which is grounded in faith rather than scientific evidence. This makes it very difficult for sociologists to dissect religious beliefs and explain how billions of people across the earth can structure their lives based on profoundly different belief systems. This prompts the question of the importance in having so many religions, which William James’ attempts to answer in his book Varieties of Religious Experience. In this classic text James (1902, p. 487) argues that due to the immense differences between each individual, it makes sense that there are a variety of religions available to accommodate to these differences. He asserts that because no two people have identical difficulties, we shouldn’t be expected to work out identical solutions or beliefs. Brunelli (2001, p. 227) agrees that ‘every human being should be allowed to freely choose the system of values governing [their] life’ and therefore choose a religion that suits their personal values and cultural norms and abandon the ones that don’t.  Brunelli (2001, p. 227) also holds the belief that there is only one truth which is evident in all world religions, a statement which has the power to cause either great religious conflict or create strong unity. In Aldous Huxley’s introduction to the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred text of the Hindu religion, he comments that its message is timeless and its words belong to no language, race or period of time (Huxley, in Prabhavanananda & Isherwood, p.10). With this statement Huxley is outlining the perennial philosophy, a concept which states that all of the world religions share a single universal truth, hidden beneath a narrative of symbolism and culture. This truth is the soil from which all religions have bloomed, with Hinduism being the first to emerge; Huxley asserts that different religions sprouted after Hinduism to accommodate the social and spiritual needs of each respective epoch and culture. Whether the religion is Hinduism, Islam, Tibetan Buddhism, Christianity or Taoism, all of them ‘were attempting to describe the same essentially indescribable fact’ (Huxley, in Prabhavanananda & Isherwood, p.12) thus making all the differences between religions superficial. Huxley inspires one to look beyond the differences of religion and instead notice the similarities in order to find and adopt the deeper spiritual message.

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