Larry Decker Responds to "Gut to the Chase."

Making Peace
Making Peace


Larry Decker

“Man must first create peace in himself if he desires to see peace in the world; for lacking peace within, no effort of his can bring any result.” — Hazrat Inayat Khan

After reading Roshi Joe’s excellent blog, “Gut to the Chase,” I queried him wondering what is the next step? He responded by inviting me to answer my own question. Now this is my creation, this question; if I answer this question I will kill my creation. The answer is the destroyer making room for the next step.

I am willing to wager that adherents of dogma experience wonderful feelings of peace and feel pity for those who don’t share their liberating cosmologies. Our existential malaises are easily solved by totally committing to a particular form of understanding. The immense relief gained when finally we find the solution to all of our emotional and mental anguish is a wonderful release from any further discussion or thought.

If I am hoping to improve communication within my country among the many disparate groups I must first of all understand what it would mean to the other to change or modify their belief. They have achieved their peace by finally completely accepting an authority’s direction.

“All beliefs are simply degrees of clearness of vision. All are part of one ocean of truth. The more this is realized the easier is it to see the true relationship between all beliefs, and the wider does the vision of the one great ocean become.” Hazrat Inayat Khan

Is it possible for me to find peace, not in a rigid inflexible model of thought, but in an open freeing understanding? My commitment to my perspective must be flexible. I must be able to understand why another believes what, I see, is so obviously harmful. If I am able to understand the emotional commitment of the other I have made a step towards Buber’s I-Thou. When I realize the relief that the other’s, albeit seemingly narrow, belief has provided I may have begun to expand my own beliefs.

I struggle with high altitudes. The upper atmosphere of vast beliefs is difficult for my sea level acclimatization. I enjoy the rich oxygen of my friends and colleagues. So does the other!

I waste my time when I expect others to be swayed by my arguments/insights. I submit that by simply openly listening with a sense of the Golden Rule as a guide I will begin to move forward into that great high altitude ocean of beliefs.

A pagan told the Rabbi Hillel, “If you can recite the Torah while standing on one leg I will convert.” The Rabbi replied, “What is hateful to yourself do not do to your fellow man. That is the whole of the Torah and the remainder is but commentary. Go and learn it.” (Great Transformation, Karen Armstrong, p.379)

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