Towards inner-outer peace: Cultivating spirituality and relationship – by Maureen Goodman
From Maureen Goodman’s chapter in Peacefulness – Towards inner-outer peace: Cultivating spirituality and relationship.
Asked to consider the connection between inner and outer peacefulness, I have reflected on that which I know best – my own work within the Brahma Kumaris and the work of my sisters and brothers. What I wish to show, by reflection and reference to practical work, is that outer peacefulness arises from peace within. They are intertwined. This relationship is based on the spiritual principle that whatever is within is reflected without – the inner state of human beings creates the outer state of the world.
During my most recent visit to India, I witnessed a project showing spir- ituality in action. I visited the site of India One,40 a thermal solar power plant that had just become operational. It had been completed, against all odds, by people who learned their expertise as they went along. They had purpose, vision, will and, above all else, they had community. They gained the support of the Indian and German governments and are now supplying electricity to thousands of people. The site has also been designated a Training Centre on Concentrating Solar Thermal Technologies under the United Nations Development Programme. I had made several visits over the six years that it took to build, and I reflected on how I saw a commu- nity of people coming together both for an immediate task, and also to do something for the world. Now that the plant is operational, I cannot describe the light in their faces. Their ‘power of community’ made what could have been an arduous task into a joy.
There is a principle at work here – the sense of purpose among the initia- tors of this project brought them an inner tranquillity and certainty that created an atmosphere which engendered cooperation. Inner peace is felt as a vibration that gently overpowers the resistance of negativity. Inner peace is not just related to having peaceful thoughts and feelings, but also to an inner knowing that I am fulfilling my purpose and allowing the inner voice of my conscience to guide me.
In the quest for peacefulness, we are looking here at a paradigm for transformation that is rooted in a spiritual awareness and works from the inside out. It has several aspects: an awareness of the original state of peace of our being; an awareness of a greater source than ourselves upon which we can draw; an awareness of being part of the greater whole, and a vision of a future without suffering. These aspects are completely interconnected and necessary for us to move forward. They are based on what my colleague, Sister Jayanti, has called, “The spiritual truth which is a basic principle, that whatever is within is reflected without. The inner state of human beings creates the outer state of the world.”41
When we consider the problems our planet is facing right now, it is clear that the power of the human spirit must lead in healing and transformation. The Earth Charter, recognises that, “peace is the wholeness created by right relationships with oneself, other persons, other cultures, other life, Earth, and the larger whole of which all are a part.”42 These ‘right relationships’ are, in turn, a reflection of our connection with the Source, the Divine.
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