Many spiritual people believe that conflict is always to be shunned. They disapprove of it morally; in their minds every conflict is a form of violence. Yet inner conflict is present in everyone.
We are driven by contradictory feelings and ideas. At times the contradictions are painful. You want to see yourself as a good person, yet you have impulses that no good person (as you define it) should ever have.
You want to see your country as a good country, but it has impulses no good country should ever have. There is very little difference between those two states.
Most violence in this world isnít committed by bad people. It is committed by people who are expressing whatís inside themselves, and if what is inside is rage and fear, the very effort to keep these feeling down will eventually be the cause of their eruption.
Iíve said that all wars are eruptions from the unconscious. The conflict that gets all the headlines is international war, but the inner war inside each individual is actually more important. It is the seed from which all other conflicts grow.
The way of peace brings us to inner truth by one road or another. You and I may find our truths differently, through depression, sadness, outbursts of anger, a nagging conscience, or sheer courage. Conflict even has a necessary place in the journey of the soul. It serves as the meeting point between two choices, and as long as we are on the path, choice is a constant.
There isnít a single choice you can make once and for all. The journey is too dynamic for that, and the deepest drives return time and again at different stages of life. Hope tells us that every conflict is serving spirit, even in those dark days when we are tempted to believe that conflict is only here to defeat us.
Adapted from: Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).