Self-Transformation Series:
Issue No. 24

Attaining Inner and Outer Peace

Table of Contents

  1. Why Important
  2. Components of Peace
  3. Relationship Between Inner and Outer Peace
  4. Inner Peace
  5. Interpersonal Peace
  6. Social and National Peace
  7. Global Peace

I. Why Important

All of us seek peace in society, in the world, in our surroundings. We blame governments and other people for the violent state of the world. What we fail to realize is that there is an intimate connection between inner peace and outer peace. Outer peace is rooted in inner harmony. Without the latter, there cannot be interpersonal harmony, which results in social conflict and to global problems.

Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice. -- Benedict Spinoza

II. Components of Peace

  1. Inner Peace -- Harmony within oneself; a minimum of stress, irritability, worry, anxiety, inner conflict.
  2. Interpersonal Peace -- Harmonious relationship with other people in spite of differences and disagreement; capable of peace conflict resolution.
  3. Social and National Peace -- Concord among groups or sectors of society; minimal crime and violation of rights of others.
  4. Global Peace -- Harmony among nations, peoples, cultures and religions.

III. Relationship between Inner and Outer Peace

So-called peace brought about by treaties or agreements or laws are but temporary states of non-violence, because if the people involved are still inclined towards belligerence, then sooner or later, conflict, violence and wars will start once again. Without a feeling of goodwill and benevolence towards others, there cannot be lasting peace. Without a mature realization that we must help promote public order and welfare, then there will be no lasting social order.

First keep the peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others -- Thomas A Kempis

IV. Inner Peace

We must start with inner peace, which includes:

There never was a war that was not inward. I must fight till I have conquered in myself what causes war. -- Marianne Moore

V. Interpersonal Peace

Harmonious relationships emanate from a few simple principles:

An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth -- that way everyone in the world will soon be blind and toothless. -- Fiddler on the Roof

VI. Social and National Peace

This derives from:

If someone with courage and vision can rise to lead in nonviolent action, the winter of despair can in the twinkling of an eye be turned into the summer of hope. -- Mahatma Gandhi
Peace is not only better than war, but infinitely more arduous. -- George Bernard Shaw
If you want peace, work for justice. -- Pope Paul VI

VII. Global Peace

From the previous qualities, the following will help achieve global peace:

Internationalism does not mean the end of individual nations. Orchestras don't mean the end of violins. -- Golda Meir
Patriots always talk of dying for their country, and never of killing for their country. Bertrand Russell
The love of one's country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border? -- Pablo Casals

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Copyright 1995. Permission to reprint is granted provided acknowledgment is made to:
Peace Center
Theosophical Society in the Philippines, 1 Iba St., Quezon City, Philippines

"If five percent of the people work for peace, there will be peace."