The Way to Peace Profound

 

 

It was common practice in the days of Christ for the people of the Middle East to greet each other in Aramaic with the words “Shlomo Amokh,” meaning “Peace be with you”.  In fact, even to this day Aramaic- speaking people use that expression to greet each other. As they depart each other’s company, they say to each other in Aramaic, “Foosh Bashlomo” meaning “Abide in Peace”.  Arabic- speaking people use the identical phrase to greet each other: “Al Salamou aleykom,” meaning again, “Peace be with you”. Rosicrucians often wish each other “Peace Profound.” For example, a common way of ending a correspondence is “with best wishes for Peace Profound”. Being at peace is such a desired state that Christ called the peacemakers of the world sons of God.

 

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.

            Matthew 5:9 American Standard Version

 

What is peace and why is it so important?

 

The Importance of Peace

Peace is a state of being. Even though it implies the absence of war, fights, and quarrels, it is not a passive state. Peace provides us the platform from which we can propel ourselves into higher states of being and functioning. The absence of war, fights, and quarrels leaves behind plenty of energy to be used for constructive purposes. Peace is important only if we prefer the state of peace to the state of war. We have a choice in how we use our resources. We can use them to destroy each other, or we can use them cooperatively to build, evolve and attain our full potential as a species and as individuals. Peace allows us to cease struggling for survival and wasting our precious resources in conflict. Peace enables us to live without fear and in harmony. Additionally, when we are at peace we are more likely to be healthy, happy, and content.

 

To be at peace requires three elements: specific awareness, feeling, and a mode of living.

 

The first element, awareness, implies that one must be able to see beyond the individual ego and self. In other words, to experience peace, one must have evolved to view from a higher position and understand people, relations, and circumstances from an elevated perspective. One must be able to sense the unity that underlies all and to truly appreciate the diversity, interconnectedness, and the sanctity of all the living. This entails having gained wisdom and attained some maturity.

 

The second element essential in experiencing peace is emotions. We must feel peaceful to be at peace. How we feel is essential to experiencing peace.  We cannot be fearful, hateful, lustful, and antagonistic and experience peace at the same time. The highest and most noble emotion we can feel and reflect is love. The degree to which we embody love is the extent to which we can be peaceful.  

 

The third element essential in experiencing peace is mode of living. To have peace in our lives, we must be peaceful ourselves. We must carry and reflect this peace wherever we go and in whatever we do. We are at peace to the degree we reflect peace in our daily living. We must live peaceful lives to be at peace. We must extend our peace to others and this peace will then be reflected in our lives as our peace.  Hence, peace is a dynamic state that is constantly changing as our understanding (light), feelings (love), and actions (life) change and as we continue to grow and mature. 

  

 

The Way to Peace Profound

Peace Profound is the ultimate state of being at peace.  It is the attainment of the greatest degree of light, or awareness; life, or the experience of living; and love.  Peace Profound is analogous to what Christ alluded to whenever He referred to Heaven, the Kingdom of Heaven, or the Kingdom of God. Peace Profound is our most precious state that we must constantly aspire to attain. This is the state that we must seek first and once we have it, we have all else.  Peace Profound is our primary objective and the noblest of our pursuits.  It is the philosopher’s stone and the Elixir of Life.

Obviously, there are several ways we can pursue and hope to attain Peace Profound.  The Beatitudes, in the New Testament as part of the Sermon on the Mount, provide a simple formula.

 

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.

Blessed are they that have been persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets that were before you.

     Matthew 5:1-12 American Standard Version

 

I believe that the Beatitudes are Christ’s secret formula to attain Peace Profound.  However, to glean the deeper and hidden meaning of what He taught, we must dig deep and refer to His original words spoken in Aramaic.

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into the mountain: and when he had sat down, his disciples came unto him: and he opened his mouth and taught them, saying,..

 

When Christ saw the crowds, He went up the mountain.  Going up the mountain is symbolic of raising one’s consciousness. In other words, Christ was speaking from an elevated state of being, awareness, and realization. He was talking to His disciples who were immediately around Him. We know, for example, that what He taught His disciples was different than what He taught the multitudes. Later on, when these teachings got written down, they reverted back to simple statements, parables, and stories.  The deeper meaning, however, must have been apparent to the disciples.

For us to glean the deeper meaning of these statements, we must clear our hearts, minds, and see beyond the mere words.  We must become the disciples. And who are the disciples?  Christ makes it clear who is a disciple in the next couple of verses immediately following the Beatitudes:

  You are the salt of the earth;

                                        Mat 5:13

    You are the light of the world.

                        Mat 5:14

A disciple is anyone who is the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.”  This could be you and me if we so choose to be.

 

In the Middle East, salt holds a special place as a condiment. It is essential in cooking and in flavoring food.  I, for example, cannot enjoy a meal cooked without salt.  Salt transforms tasteless food into an enjoyable meal. It adds flavor, taste, and enjoyment to the consumption of food.  In other words, the disciple is someone who brings life to a gathering. He or she is someone who adds merriment, value, and spice to any assembly. This can be done through the sharing of knowledge, insight, merriment, laughter, and a fraternal spirit.

 

Additionally, the disciple is the “light of the world.”  This is significant since Christ, Himself, had assumed that state.

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.”                                 John 8:12

 

As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.                            John 9:5

 

If we, as disciples, are the light of the world and Christ Himself is the light of the world as well, then we become equal to the Christ once we are true disciples of light.

 

To attain the status of true discipleship is the same as having Peace Profound. The way to Peace Profound is via the incorporation of the virtues of the Beatitudes as integral aspects of our character and personality.

 

The Beatitudes are nine blessings that are automatically conferred on those who embody these virtues.  These same virtues are the key to Peace Profound.

 

To unlock the mystery of the Beatitudes, let us take each statement and glean its possible spiritual meaning. Before I get into what each blessing means, I would like to explain what the blessing itself entails.

 

What does the word bless mean?  According to the dictionary, to bless is:

1. To make holy by religious rite; sanctify.

2. To make the sign of the cross over so as to sanctify.

3. To invoke divine favor upon.

4. To honor as holy; glorify: Bless the Lord.

5. To confer well-being or prosperity on.

6.     To endow, as with talent.

 

The Aramaic word (Western Syriac) that Christ used to convey the meaning of “blessed are the ..” is “toobayhoon”. This word has its origin in the root “tobo” which has the following meanings:

Good, valuable, precious, cultivated, excellent, honorable, kind, gracious, benevolent, beneficent, favorable and mature. 

These convey the idea of attainment: being in the right place at the right time, having desirable virtues and being fully grown-up and mature.  In other words, these are the qualities of people who have attained the Christ Consciousness, or Peace Profound.

 

Simply, the Beatitudes are a declaration of praise that Christ confers on those who embody and display certain qualities. These qualities appear to be simple on the surface, but can have a profound meaning if viewed with discernment.

 

Let us now take a closer look at each blessing.

 

 

The First Blessing

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

The Aramaic word used for “poor in spirit” is “meskino b rooho”. “Meskino” translated as poor has various meanings such as: poor, needy, meager, poverty-stricken, wretched, miserable.  However, the most appropriate translation of “Meskino b rooho” is the simple at heart. These are the people who are simple and uncomplicated. The Arabic version also refers to the “Masakeen” which is the plural form of “Meskin” meaning the same thing: those who are simple and deserving our sympathy. Hence, the poor in spirit are those who espouse simplicity.  And therefore the first virtue required to attain Peace Profound is simplicity.

 

Living the simple life entails living unencumbered by unnecessary burdens. These burdens could be material, emotional, mental, or spiritual. It also means traveling lightly through life, not having to care for or carry along anything not needed for the journey of life. The reward of simplicity is the kingdom of heaven, or Peace Profound.

 

 

The Second Blessing

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

 

The Aramaic word used by Christ that is translated as “mourn” is “Abeeleh”. This word refers not only to those who mourn, bewail, and lament; but also to those who are mourners, hence anchorites, monks, nuns, and as those who leave the world to bewail their sins. It is important to realize that Middle Eastern monks and priests wear black to indicate that they have left the world and as far as they are concerned the world is dead for them. Those who are in the world and pursue worldly or material possessions are equally dead. The wearing of the black is a sign of mourning for those who are dead because they only seek material goods. These mourners, on the other hand, seek treasures that do not spoil. They seek spiritual gifts and treasures that do not rust, mold, or go bad.

 

In the spiritual sense, the mourners are dead to the world but alive to God. They are the ones who left behind, or gave up and hence lost, their material possessions for the sake of pursuing the treasures that do not spoil. These are the seekers of the light.

 

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal.                      Mat 6:19-20

 

That which can be consumed, rusted, or stolen are earthly goods. That which cannot be are heavenly goods in the form of knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.  Hence the virtue of the second blessing is distilled as the following:

Striving for goods that do not spoil; seeking knowledge, wisdom and understanding. The death of physical desires and passions. Focusing on spiritual attainment.

 

The reward for seeking treasures that do not spoil is consolation and comfort. This comfort comes from The Comforter who is the Holy Spirit. In other words, the comfort comes as an awareness from deep within that we are on the right track and that our pursuits are worthwhile.

 

 

The Third Blessing

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

 

The Aramaic word used by Christ that is translated as “meek” is “Makiko”. This word can mean humble, lowly, submissive, meek, gentle, and soft.

 

In the spiritual sense, the meek are those who are humble. These are the disciples who have cultivated the virtue of humility through understanding. Additionally, these disciples are gentle and resilient. They have a soft heart and are compassionate.  These disciples do not resist evil. They go with the flow and bend in the face of force. Yet, they never give up their gentle nature and their compassionate heart. They are highly adaptable because they are soft and gentle. They never break because they easily bend.  They have been softened through hardships, tests and trials. They relate to people from all walks of life because they have been there.  These people inherit earth because they are the most adaptable. They inherit the earth in the sense that they enjoy the best that life has to offer: the simple, the beautiful, and the profound. Hence the virtues of the third blessing are distilled as the following:

Humility, gentleness, compassion, softness, unassuming nature, resilience, and being adaptable.

 

 

The Fourth Blessing

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

 

The dictionary defines righteous as:

1. Morally upright; without guilt or sin: a righteous woman.

2. In accordance with virtue or morality: a righteous judgment.

3. Morally justifiable: righteous anger.

 

In the spiritual sense, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are those who seek and live by ideals.  To hunger and thirst for something is to desire it with a passion and to seek it with fervor. Hence the virtues of the fourth blessing are distilled as the following:

Striving for ideals. Living life while guided by ideals. Upholding the highest virtues. Never compromising when it comes to our ideals.

 

And the reward for this virtue and blessing is that those who seek will be filled, satiated, and satisfied.  In other words, those who seek shall find and those who knock shall enter through opened doors.

 

 

The Fifth Blessing

Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.

 

The Aramaic word used by Christ that is translated as “merciful” is “Rahmo”. This word can mean to love, delight in, desire, to have mercy, and pity.

 

In the spiritual sense, those who are merciful are those who are compassionate. And when one is merciful and compassionate, the same is returned many folds over.  In other words, as we give, so we shall receive. Hence the virtue of this blessing is compassion and the reward is compassion in kind.

 

 

The Sixth Blessing

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

 

The Aramaic word used by Christ that is translated as “pure in heart” is “Dakyo”. This word can also mean clean and innocent.

 

In the spiritual sense, those who are innocent are childlike at heart.  They are pure, simple and uncomplicated.  It is interesting to note that we are told that no one has ever seen or can see God and live. How is it then that the innocent can see God?  What happens is that the innocent and the pure at heart see God everywhere, in everything, and as everyone.  Everyone and everything is seen and experienced as beautiful, wondrous, and miraculous.  All beings are a manifestation, a representation, an image and a reflection of God. The pure in heart see life for the miracle that it is. They see without the veils that obscure the view of the sophisticated and the erudite. The pure at heart do not see God; rather, they experience all beings as God. Hence the virtue of this blessing is purity of heart and the reward is seeing God in all and as all.

 

 

The Seventh Blessing

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

 

This is indeed an incredible statement for we are told that God had only one son and that was Jesus Christ.  In this blessing, Christ is telling us something entirely different. Anyone who is a peacemaker is a son or daughter of God. Peacemakers are those with the ability to see unity where diversity is apparent.  Peacemakers are those who introduce harmony where conflict reigns. Peacemakers are those who unite where division is a fact of life.  Peacemakers are healers, givers, and ambassadors of God, the One Father and One Parent of ALL.

Blessed indeed are the peacemakers for they realize that not only are they children of God, but so is everyone else. Thus, the children of the same family need not go to war, kill or maim for they will only kill, torture and harm themselves.  Hence the virtue of this blessing is being a peacemaker and the reward is becoming a child of God.

 

 

The Eighth Blessing

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

 

Through this blessing, we are reminded that if we live our lives guided by ideals, we will face challenges, encounter difficulties, and experience hardships. Living guided by ideals is not going to be easy. We have to be ready to pay whatever price is demanded from us in order to accomplish our objectives. We must abide by our ideals regardless of the circumstances and irrespective of the cost. We should expect that we will not be welcomed by all and that some or many will not be happy with our honesty, truthfulness, and idealism.  We must expect difficulties for we will have them. We must grin and bear it for there is no other way for us to live our lives.  We must be true to our ideals and we must not show favoritism, partiality, and expediency or take the easy way out. We must stand our ground and exemplify that which we hold in highest regard. Hence the virtue of this blessing is persistence and staying the course while the reward is strength, growth, and mastery.

 

 

 

The Ninth Blessing

 

Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

 

In this blessing the emphasis is on rejoicing and being glad and remembering our reward. The simple fact is that if we live the life of the ideal, we will be reviled, persecuted, and falsely accused of many negative things.  However, if we persist and overcome, then we will mature, grow, and demonstrate mastery. Once we attain mastery, we do not have to face these same challenges any longer. We will graduate and move on to higher forms of education. Graduation is cause for rejoicing and celebration.  Hence, joy and gladness must mark our success for we now join the ranks of the prophets who preceded us and paved the way.

In conclusion, 7 virtues and 2 admonitions pave the way to Peace Profound. These are based on the Beatitudes, part of the Sermon of Christ, while on the mountain.

 

The 7 virtues are:

1.     Simplicity. Living the simple life and keeping life simple and unencumbered.

2.     Focusing on spiritual attainment. Seeking knowledge, wisdom, and understanding.

3.     Humility, resiliency, and adaptability.

4.     Striving for and living life based on ideals.

5.     Compassion and Mercy.

6.     Innocence and Purity of Heart.

7.     Being a Peacemaker.

 

The two admonitions are:

1.          We will face challenges and obstacles, so we must persist and overcome.

2.          We must at all times be glad, experience and express joy.

 

These seven virtues and two admonitions if observed, lived, and incorporated into our being, will not only lead us to Peace Profound but will bring Peace Profound to us. For we will transform into that state and manifest it as our reality.

 

 

With Best Wishes for Peace Profound,

                   Shahan Shammas

 

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