Wells, The War Within, p. 396; John Herb, “250,000 War Protesters Stage Peaceful Rally in Washington; Militants Stir Clashes Later,” New York Times, November 16, 1969, p. 1.
Barbara L. Tischler, “Antiwar Activism and Emerging Feminism in the Late 1960s: The Times They Were A’Changing,” Against the Current, January 3, 2000, ; and Swerdlow, Women Strike for Peace, pp. 227-28.
It is also interesting that while the traditional, exoteric religious path requires learning about different practices and beliefs, the mystical, esoteric path often involves unlearning or using various meditative techniques to clear the mind of thoughts about the external world, so that it is possible to come to a place of inner stillness or emptiness of the external world--what Zen Buddhists call "No Mind." This still, inner state enables individuals to experience the godforce, spirit, or pregnant void within, without the distortions of everyday needs, beliefs, and limited consciousness intervening, and thus to go beyond the limited self or ego so that spirit can make itself manifest in their lives. Thus many mystical traditions focus on ways to quiet the overactive mind in meditation, and thus bring one's inner self to a state of peace.
In such spiritual traditions, only true inner peace within the hearts of people can bring about true outer peace in the world, because if individuals are plagued by inner conflicts, doubts, fears, and insecurities, they will tend to project them outwardly onto others, blaming others for their problems, without even realizing what they are doing. It is thus necessary for all of us as individuals to 'wake up' and become increasingly conscious of our own thoughts and feelings, and how these are creating certain results or consequences in the world, so that we may each become increasingly responsible for the type of world that we are creating--including whether this world is a peaceful one or not.
The old, Newtonian paradigm in physics saw reality as a clockwork universe made up of separate parts, existing within a static or equilibrium model of reality, which operated by fixed laws that could in theory predict how A effected B. This paradigm sought the ultimate physical building blocs of matter and was based upon the assumption that science, in principle, could arrive at total truth or understanding of reality within its' materialistic, reductionist, mechanistic worldview. In contrast, the New Physics has a totally new worldview, based on Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and then later his General Theory of Relativity, followed by Quantum or Subatomic physics. With regard to quantum physics, however, it is interesting that Einstein himself could not totally accept Heisenberg's "uncertainty principle," expressed in Einstein's famous saying: "God does not play dice with the universe" or allow unpredictability. Thus Einstein himself only accepted part of what has come to be called "the New Physics."
a. If one focuses only on outer peace and creating social justice in the world, but not inner peace, then people's unresolved inner conflicts can be projected out onto the world, creating scapegoating, prejudices, and conflicts, therefore making it difficult to create social justice and peace in the world (the ostensible goal).
In summary it can be said that Eastern religions and cultures, including Hinduism and Buddhism, have a 'tendency'--because of their focus more (though not exclusively) on the esoteric aspects of their religions--to focus more on inner peace as a precondition for peace in the world. They also have less of a tradition historically of concern with social justice questions, which are so important to the West. Nonetheless, it is noteworthy that the link between inner peace (based on a spiritual life) and outer peace (or action in the world for social justice) was most clearly made for the first time in the world in any collective societal way by Mahatma Gandhi, who was born in India and came out of a Hindu background, but who also studied in England.
Western religions and cultures, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam,--have had a tendency--because of their focus more (though not exclusively) on the exoteric aspects of their religions, at least in their everyday activities--to focus more on aspects of outer peace, including social justice questions, as a precondition for peace in the world. There are nonetheless esoteric traditions in the West, which though less dominant, were nonetheless the foundation for the original spiritual enlightenment experienced by the founders of all the world's great religions, including the three dominant Western religions--Judaism, Christianity and Islam. These can take the form of the Kaballah (in Judaism), Gnostic Christianity (in Christianity) and Sufism (in Islam), as examples, although there have always been some mystics in the mainstream forms of all the Western religions as well.
Two other fundamental linkages between inner and outer peace are obviously prayer and meditation. Indeed, prayer is often seen as asking God or spirit for something, i.e., thus going from our outer lives in the world to our inner life of the spirit, while meditation is listening to God or spirit for an answer, i.e., thus going from our inner life to our outer life in the world. While this sounds like a clear cut distinction, in reality the two things--prayer and meditation--are often interconnected and part of a larger whole. In any case, both prayer and meditation are important dimensions of the inner-outer peace relationship, as noted in the above diagram.
While various aspects of inner and outer peace have been explored in this paper (especially outer peace, which is a more developed concept in Western peace research), it is also useful to ask (and to summarize) what the possible linkages or bridges are between inner and outer peace in our lives. At least two suggestions have been made in this paper. First, in the section on "Mythology," it was noted by Joseph Campbell and Jean Houston that the myths and archetypal hero figures of different cultures can provide road maps for individuals showing how their everyday life in the world can be linked to the inner life of the spirit. Likewise, in the section on "Nonviolence", it was noted that spiritually-based nonviolence, such as that practiced by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King (i.e., nonviolence which is part of a whole philosophical way of life, based on spiritual principles, as opposed to nonviolence as a temporary tactic when it is expedient) provides a model of how one can turn to inner spiritual guidance--through meditation or prayer--to seek inner help and confirmation before embarking on action for social justice and social change in the world. Combining these two suggestions, we can thus see two distinct ways to connect inner and outer peace--one (mythology) leading from outer to inner peace, and the other (spiritually-based nonviolence) leading from inner to outer peace in the world. This is not meant to suggest that mythology and nonviolence are the only ways to connect or bridge inner and outer peace, but certainly they are two important ways to do so.
b. If one focuses only on inner peace, then social injustices and structural violence in the world, which are not addressed by society and people, will tend to make it difficult for most people to transcend their outer conditions of life, thus making it difficult for them to attain inner peace (the ostensible goal).