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We can get there from here

How do we create world peace?

Einstein advised that we can’t solve our problems with the same thinking we used to create them. He also defined insanity as “doing the same thing and expecting a different result.”

Our human habit is to identify a problem and then try to fix it. That must change. But what’s the alternative? Examining how GPS works gives us some clues.

We enter our destination. The system identifies where we are and begins to guide us. There are three necessary elements here: destination, starting point and guidance.

Let’s say our destination is world peace. Next, let’s acknowledge where we are right now, personally, in our community and globally. This is not always easy because many idealists mistakenly believe that it’s counter-productive to focus on the negative. Yes, getting overwhelmed by what’s wrong is depressing, but it is important to know our starting point.

The third element in this formula is guidance. With GPS, we get voice directions and maps. As humans trying to solve problems, we get ideas from our minds. But this is the same guidance that created a world in conflict, and it can only direct us toward the same destination — more conflict.

The new thinking Einstein referred to requires accessing a different kind of guidance. Again, GPS gives us an enlightening clue — directions come from above, from a signal that transmits up to a satellite and then bounces back with instructions.

As John Lennon sang in “Imagine,” one of the all-time great songs about peace, “above us only sky.” I interpret this as an absence of dogma. There’s no separate god up there, no belief systems with rigid rules and punishment for sinners, just sky. Just the invisible intelligence that fills space (and us), steering the stars and digesting my lunch.

I call it love, and love’s guidance is fundamentally different than what I get from my human mind. My mind produces ideas. Love gives me feelings. And the primary feelings that guide me are gratitude and appreciation.

Isn’t it rather easy to be grateful for this gift of life, regardless of the suffering that comes along with it? What an adventure, to be alive at this time on a planet facing so many challenges. We can feel gratitude just to be here.

Appreciation happens through what we express. While it’s habitual to express appreciation reactively, for instance, “Thank you for ” whatever, we can also express appreciation proactively. “I appreciate you in my life.” Appreciation increases value.

So, love’s guidance is a two-way flow: we receive with gratitude, we give with appreciation, just like breathing, in and out. Gratitude appreciation gratitude appreciation.

It’s easy to tell if someone is being guided this way because they are enjoying life and in service to others and, regardless of misfortune, they refuse to be victims. They are contributors, helping to create what we call “world peace” by ensuring that their own world is peaceful, because love is guiding them in each moment to their chosen destination.

BTW, we’ll get lost if we forget that destination or change it. Following love’s directions takes discipline and requires choices that tend to disrupt familiar habits. For example, the other day I began to tell a joke to friends. But I stopped when I realized that, although it was funny, the joke contained sexist concepts and championed behaviors inconsistent with the destination I’ve chosen (a paradise world filled with loving friends). So, I chose to not tell that joke.

GPS might tell me to “turn right in 600 feet to merge with I-5.” Love told me to shut up.

We can get there (world peace) from here when we choose that destination, acknowledge the way things are now with humility, and follow directions from above. My chosen method is daily meditation.

Will Wilkinson is the author of a dozen books including “Now or Never, A Quantum Guide for Spiritual Activists.” His work can be found at www.willtwilkinson.com. Email 600- to 700-word articles on all aspects of inner peace to Sally McKirgan at innerpeaceforyou@outlook.com.