That title is just good Christian click bait and I’m feeling frisky. I couldn’t resist. Read on.
Peace. It’s easy to conceptualize at arms length. Embrace it, though and it becomes abstract pretty quickly. At this point I’m not sure I can even say exactly what it is. Is peace relief? Sure. Is it rest. Yes. Is it quiet? It can be. It’s so much more though. It’s like asking which part of your body houses your consciousness.
There is an old way of talking about God that I had never heard of until earlier this year. We are used to hearing things like God is good and God is Love. God is a good father, God is our healer, our redeemer, etc. those are all positive statements about God. Those are cataphatic statements. Positive statements about God. The opposite of cataphatic statements are apophatic or negative statements. People have been talking about God like this for thousands of years. They say things like God is not good. God is not love. God is not our father. The idea is that those words, all words in fact, limit who or what God actually is. Sure God is love, but he’s more than just our understanding of love. My favorite is God does not exist. How could God exist? He created existence, so He has to more than exist. That one will take you to some beautifully weird places if you let it.
I’d like to talk about peace through some apophatic statements because I think it’s similar. Peace is a part of so many other ideas but it is more than the sum of putting all the pieces together. For now it’s easier to talk around it than directly about it. Use these statements as a meditation. I’m not going to say anything about them today. See where they take you.
Peace is rest. Peace is not rest
Peace is relief. Peace is not relief
Peace is absolute. Peace is not absolute.
Peace is fought for. Peace is not fought for.
Peace is easy. Peace is not easy.
Peace is a state of being. Peace is not a state of being.