War and Peace
It’s a great honor and privilege to talk about something that is so fundamental to each human being. Usually, we talk about things that are good for society or for a country. Very seldom do we actually come across something that addresses each human being specifically — not what a human being could create or achieve but the potential that every human being has within to be content and to be in peace.
What kind of peace am I talking about? I’m talking about the peace that is innate to every human being. Now, what good is it? This is the big question. The formulas that we are using in the world today for war — economic formulas, solutions, ideas about what war means — have been tried for many, many years. We come up with a slight variation, and we all become happy, “Yes, yes. This is the solution.”
A long time ago, Socrates said, “Know thyself.” This, we have not pursued. We have pursued going to the moon. We thought, “Going to the moon will do everything.” Well, it made wristwatches cheaper, little LEDs possible, and a lot of technology. But, peace? No.
There are two words that have been used in parallel throughout history. And they are: Peace and prosperity. “Peace and prosperity,” not “Peace or…” This formula has some importance. That’s why it was placed there so long ago. We have pursued prosperity. Peace? No. And what do we end up with? No peace and no prosperity. Prosperity seems to come and go. One day, you are a millionaire. The next day, the stock market is down and you are nobody, because you have not identified who you really are.
What I am looking for is not outside of me. What I have, I do not acknowledge. I acknowledge my friends, everybody that I meet, but do I acknowledge me?
There is great significance to knowing who you are. What you are looking for — the solutions you seek, your most fundamental needs — are based upon you being a human being.
It is no accident that you want to be happy. Nobody taught you to be happy. There is a fundamental reason that, again and again, you choose joy over pain, light over darkness, happiness over sadness, clarity over doubt.
Nobody goes to a temple to pray, “God, you have given me too much happiness. Please take a little bit away.” Never. There is no limit.
The desire to be happy is immortal within you. The desire of peace is immortal, and it has been steadily marching with every generation on the face of this earth.
It is a great credit to humanity that there are people in the middle of the war hoping for peace, that they have not given up. For me, they are the heroes. They might be people who have no tools, no authority, no microphone, no audiences. They might live in a little village on top of a mountain in Afghanistan or in the middle of a desert in Iraq, hoping against all odds that there will be peace.
War isn’t just the tank kind. There is another war. This is an incredibly powerful war, and it is devastating. Its bombs are much more powerful, and its bullets are relentless. This war can rage day and night. No cease-fire. It goes, and it goes, and it goes. And even then, there is something inside every single human being that wants peace. The real dignity of a human being is preserved when a human being not only listens to their mind but to their heart, and there is a balance between the two.
Make that heart your friend — that heart that even in the middle of war wants peace. Make that heart your ally, and you will have a friend for life. You will have a friend that is real, a friend that is true.