All peace begins with personal choice.
In 2005, just days after the birth of my 3rd son, with the war in Iraq well into its second year with no end in sight, I reached a point of intense dissonance between my inner and family life and values, and the world at large. Realizing that I had transitioned from being simply an inheritor of a violent world to being responsible for building, nurturing and passing something better on to my children, I felt compelled to act.
I began in earnest to learn about the patterns and structures that lead to global conflict. I started propeace.net as a blog and discussion forum, in response to the ubiquitous false dichotomy at that time of war versus anti-war, and to bolster the idea of peacebuilding and creating a culture of peace. I joined the campaign for a U.S. Department of Peace and became a state coordinator for the Massachusetts chapter. I visited the offices of members of congress at home and in Washington DC to discuss the need for balancing governmental structures which are heavily skewed toward war-making.
In 2007, while sitting at the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors contemplating Alex Grey’s fabulous painting, Cosmic Christ (see this video of the artist’s tour of the painting), I had an epiphany. Everything comes back to the very personal choice of what we think, say and do in our local lives. We cannot legislate this choice, nor argue for it, nor angrily denounce anyone for not choosing as we have. The choice must be realized individually, and repeatedly renewed each and every moment. All collective effects will flow from this. I realized that the most powerful way I can help this flow is to choose peace in exactly who, what and where I am in my individual circumstances as a white male philosopher artist scientist family man living in New England. Indeed, doing this takes the least effort and feels the most harmonious.
I build peace by increasing the signal-to-noise ratio in my life; by being a help to others near me in doing the same; by knowing less, not as in increasing ignorance but as in increasing wonder and mystery; and by making peace with and embracing the fact and inevitability of the mortality of this body that I currently inhabit.
My personal website is http://analogsoul.io/.