The problem of attaining peace or inner harmony in these modern times is becoming increasingly difficult.
People are exposed to the impact of distressing news, much of which is fraught with danger.
Many of the statements of commentators, news analysts, editors and the like, even if not always deliberately so, can still keep us apprehensive, unnecessarily.
Sadly, sections of the modern media use, or rather, abuse, the well-known psychological principle of suspense, in order to sustain public interest in a story (and hence sales!) through dramatisation and exaggeration of every incident that could conceivably have some importance.
They know how deeply the average person is concerned with the state of world affairs, and on this genuine concern they capitalise by isolating some otherwise casual incident in the day’s news and then embellishing it with focus analysis designed to touch the emotions or a raw nerve.
It is difficult for anyone to find refuge from such influences.
The usual channels of escape from the turbulence of the day, such as television, the internet and social media are saturated with disquieting headlines, comments, pictures and editorials.
It is not that the average intelligent man or woman does not want to be well informed. We do not want to retreat from reality; yet we do wish to realise our own selves occasionally.
We desire to meditate upon the impressions rushing in upon us so that we may put our minds in order.
We do not feel that all life’s activities are trenchant and vile. We believe that there are some noble things that can and should be done to lessen the world’s tensions.
We also know that a progressive society must permit its members to think, believe and act individually. And it is this individuality of self that we want to preserve.
If individuals abandon all hope for social improvement or become despondent, then the agencies of society, its various activities, come to reflect this attitude.
However, a certain amount of idealism exists in everyone.
Normal people know instinctively the best procedure to follow, providing they are is given the opportunity to meditate without being influenced adversely.
In the market places of Athens, Socrates revealed that virtually all people can decide wisely upon important matters if the issues at hand are fairly presented to their better judgment.
The Common Problem
The problem which confronts the majority is where to find that environment which will arouse the inner sentiments of spiritual yearning after truth.
The present appeals lean too heavily on the passions and materialism, and on a stark preservation of the economic order at the cost of humanitarian idealism.
It is regrettable that some places of worship today do not afford sanctuary for peace with one’s self.
From these holy places we can sometimes hear rhetoric aimed at some sections of society or nations which trample on the rights and privileges of those concerned for the sake of religious dominance.
Strong people are guided by well-disciplined minds inspired by the highest dictation of self. While they can make mistakes in their decisions, they can more readily adjust their minds to each changing event and make corrections.
Those who faithfully and conscientiously maintain a sanctum in their homes, a place consecrated to that which they hold to be sacred, will find it to be the foundation of their own rehabilitation.
In devoting even a few minutes to being alone each day, they can weigh spiritual motives against all that has crowded in upon them objectively during the day.
The circumstances of the day will then appear in a new light. The true from the false will be easily distinguished, and the latter just as easily dispelled.
That which we need most is the opportunity for personal thought and the free exercise of self.
The Substitute Sanctum
Those who are not able to establish such a place for quiet reflection in their homes must find a substitute for it outside.
The great out-doors was humanity’s first temple; there is still none better. A walk down a woodland path, even in all sorts of weather, is inspiring; and so is a slow, meditative stroll across open fields with a pet dog trotting along; or an isolated perch upon a jutting rock underneath a windswept sky overlooking sea or bay.
All of these provide a suitable place for contact with the Cosmic, an occasion for sensing that peace within.
Those who reside in large cities and have no home sanctum, need not feel that they are deprived of this opportunity to be alone.
If they will use the same initiative and thought to find a place for meditation as they do to secure worldly possessions, they will succeed. It is not too difficult to locate a bench that is more or less secluded in a public park in a city, or to stroll to the end of a pier or wharf at some seaside town.
We must consider the importance of finding this sanctuary of self and use our own initiative to recapture our intimate feelings and thoughts and find the peace which follows from them.
Adaptation of “Finding Personal Peace” by Affectator from the Rosicrucian Beacon, June 2017