Religion as Irrelevant
The way of peace doesn’t claim that God must be a pacifist. The gulf between pacifist and warmonger belongs in our psychology, not in the nature of God. Divine schizophrenia can be overcome by seeing certain spiritual truths and holding on to them.
God isn’t a person. We cannot read his mind. The essence of God is consciousness. Consciousness can be used for either violence or peace; the choice is ours.
When it is expanded, human consciousness chooses non-violence since that is compatible with love.
If these principles are valid, then God doesn’t have to jump into the middle of human affairs. He stands for the pure essence of life and love. For me to solve my personal anguish over war, I must transform my consciousness until violence is no longer an option. By now this is a familiar argument. Millions of people understand it. Why should religion hold back?
It shouldn’t. It doesn’t have to. If any religion would make the same choice to join the way of peace that individuals are making every day, faith would be a living force once again. What kind of changes does this entail? You already know them as they apply to you, but let’s be explicit.
Religion must place the responsibility for violence squarely where it belongs, in the mind of every person. It must stop judging others outside the faith as sinners condemned by God. It must stop defending war in any way. It must stop claiming to be the one and only path to God. It must give up its arrogance and claim to authority. It must renounce its covert greed and desire for power. It must discover how to return love to its true place of primacy.
These changes may not occur in our lifetime, but we cannot pretend that they are merely optional.
Adapted from: Peace Is the Way, by Deepak Chopra (Harmony Books, 2005).