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Literature Discussion -


How to Build Interior Peace

By Maria Cristina Azcona

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 To build up internal peace is a delightful activity. Since we develop this soulful palace of tranquillity, we will become aware of our own necessity of equilibrium, and will begin to think in a different way about ourselves and the others.
  Everything is altered? Everyone is distressed? A war is taking place? Insecurity is reigning? Terrorism may be preparing an attack at this very moment? Well, something is clear: We will not be accurate to control reality if we are unable to maintain internal tranquillity. If we grow in nervousness, we will not be able even to control our own family needs or to be support for our own children. 

1. -War time:

  Society in a worldwide meaning, confronts our personal life with a dramatic crisis that unbalances any possibility of happiness, in all aspects of life.
  Is very difficult, sometimes even unachievable to enjoy the pleasures of our immediate environment, if we cannot avoid being in contact with reality.
  Nowadays, a war is taking place somewhere, very far from us, but we feel affected in a great and profound way since we are human beings and part of the same society.
  Since terrorist attack against the Twin Towers, humanity has entered into a generalized feeling of insecurity, in every point of the globe.
  War is a response, an emergent of this new order, where violence and hate are the catharsis of social illness.
  Never mind, we need to continue our travel towards happiness, because this is our mission in life, over any other kind of target.
  But, how would us find happiness in the middle of a global disaster, where countries, continents and even races and religions, are distant from a clever agreement and a wise legality that conducts the groups to a better future of harmony?
  At the same time, society, instead of the right development of a better attitude, is inebriated with immediate pleasure, free sex, pornography and drugs.
   Is urgent to find a solution, if not for the entire world, at least for our families and us. Moreover, is our duty to insist in these concepts and in this exploration on new routes to prepare a peaceful north. If not, we will not be skilled to protect the future of humanity and it could even disappear from the surface of earth.
   As created entities, we ought to reach happiness as the goal of life, to give sense to the existence for the future generations on the planet.
  This concept of happiness as a duty is not the same as an obligation.
  A duty is a work that we force ourselves to do. An obligation comes from an external pressure.
2.-Happiness and internal peace:

  Aristotle said that happiness is the practice of virtue.
  Isn´t it a rare definition? Isn´t virtue a knotty and complicated habit that requires a lot of enforcement from will, creating  tiredness, far away from pleasure?
  Is pleasure the same as happiness? Not really.
  Happiness is more than a state of mind, more than a feeling. It´s the very objective of our existence.
  Pleasure is only a simple emotion, and the awareness of a satisfaction. Animals can reach pleasure but never cheerfulness, because they don´t have the possibility to develop virtues.
   Internal peace is the state of the human soul when the individual is capable enough to build up  equilibrium between good and bad energies. When the person is owner of its own control to direct the fluency of aggression, reactions, defences and self aggression. On the other side, the person achieves solidity in reference to his or her relationships, labour and vocation.
   The growth of personality towards happiness is only possible when the person reaches internal peace.
   In conclusion, internal peace is the first step to accomplish happiness.

3. -External peace and internal peace:
  Peace is like a jar made of crystal, manufactured by a million hands through history. When its equilibrium begins to unstable and it breaks, its fragments spread and stab into a million hearts, from where it starts a new chain of cooperative work, and with the unique weapon of education, it reaches a new stability, again and again, enforcing its strength even more and more, each time it is re established.
  Experience of war has influenced humanity through eras, but till is not  learning from its bad consequences.  
  Similar course of action occurs when internal peace is broken.
Distress increases and increases its level up to a Break Point, from where is very hard to regain the Eden of Calm. After the rupture of the delicate veil that covers the Pandora´s box into our brain, fantastic bats and monsters irrupt into it, where self control and defences against neurosis have disappeared.
  Recover our soul from the sorrowful destiny of nervousness and bad stress is not a simple job or a natural gift. It obliges our mind to think on strategies. But first for all, we need to comprehend the situation very carefully.
  Which are the connections between external and internal peace, if there is any? Cells nutrition through osmosis is a sample of this connection. Out spaces and in spaces are separated and paradoxically connected through the same wall. A necessary balance or homeostasis must prevail to make possible the fluency of positive energies in both directions.
  So on, we conclude that cell’s health is a great influence
for the entire organism, meaning many peaceful souls or internal worlds, may construct a peaceful society, through time.
  Problem is to cut off the vicious circle of violence, if we consider violence as the opposite of peace or at least the lack of it.  

 The vicious circle of violence:

Psychology of Groups has taught us that individual reactions, when they are into a group, are responses to the attitude of the entire group considered as a lively entity.
  In the opposite way, the actions of the group influence on the individual reactions, in a dynamic perpetuity.
  If we believe it, we must accept the evidence: individual initiatives towards Peace can modify the external worldwide meanings of reality. Some followers of Chaos theory say that even the flight of a butterfly in Japan is able to provoke a tornado in Miami and vice versa .
  A Violent neighbourhood in the outsides of a small house, probably will be a sufficient influence to provoke the appearance
of at least one boy with bad behaviour at school, in that family.
 War as a tremendous fact, strikes our conscience in a daily dance of blood and fright. Of course, the other direction of  irradiation is more slowly and “hard to believe”, but is not impossible and that characteristic must be enough to conclude that we need to initiate the process of education. Education of human beings, with a clear objective: to develop capability of self-control and serenity.

4.-How to build internal peace:

The ten tips are the following:

  • Lucidity.
  • Self control
  • Self esteem
  • Equilibrium between bad and good energies
  • Fluidity of thought
  • Mental health
  • A stable scale of values
  • Profound reflection
  • Construction of virtues or good habits
  • Good relationship with society (family, neighbourhood, town, etc)


  • Lucidity:

  Some psychologists teach us that is not good to see TV programs centred in war, terrorism or delinquency news. From a different point of view, we must understand that this attitude is exactly the opposite of the positive reaction: To learn from reality, trying to comprehend what is going on.
  Denying to see the facts is not a good  decision, although very young or very old people must be protected from extremely shocking images.
  Adults are in position to watch and think. Lucidity is the unique way to take notice of human mistakes, in order to modify them in the future. An internal peace grows over a first step: Consciousness.

  • Self control: 

   Self-control is the achievement of an attitude that is illuminated by lucidity, and orientated by a scale of values. A well-constructed personal spectrum based upon the control of the following facets:

  • THOUGHTS: Ideas, projects, programming of activities, plans, opinions, cognitive processes.
  • EMOTIONS: Fear, sexual sensations, depression, euphoria, hate, revulsion, love, care.
  • REACTIONS: Irritability, aggression, sexual response. 
  • ROUTINES: Work, sports, familiar habits, hobbies, recreation, TV.


  These aspects must be in coherence with moral judgement and logic statements.

  • Self esteem:

  The value of our own person is based upon our self-esteem. A serene interior is possible when we accept our own defects and have clear conscience of our positive and negative aspects.
  To feel insecure or timid, and in the other extreme, arrogant and extremely proud of our success,  may conspire against the development of interior peace.

  • Equilibrium between bad and good energies:

  All of us have bad energies and good energies. The bad ones are those, which appear when we feel depressed or sorrowful. But they are normal, for example, in a process of grief when somebody that we love, dies or suffers. Also there are bad energies when we feel tired or even exhausted. It´s a normal reaction of our organism and implicates a defence against bad stress. Body is advising that we must take a rest.
 Good energies appear when we feel great, in a very elating situation.
 Equilibrium is necessary so we will not go to the extremes on one side or the other.
 Some actors in Hollywood that earn a lot of money, are not able to maintain this moderation and loose their tranquillity.

  • Fluidity of thought:

Thinking is a process that may be disturbed when emotions are exceedingly aroused.
 To uphold a fresh mind is condition to arrive at a placid and stable state of interiority.

  • Mental Health:

  We ought to be always in alert in the protection of our mental health. When any stimulus from the outside intends to break this complicated net of emotions, thoughts, hopes and remembrances that configures our mental functions, we must make an effort, voluntarily, to recover it before it is too late and we feel ourselves near nervous crisis. Is necessary to prevent it and not wait till it is already established.

  • A stable scale of values:

A reasonable scale of principles is the basis of interior peace.
If we have reflected along our life, and we are clear enough in reference to a well constructed, personal pyramid of values, coherent with our religion belief, whatever it be, and with our own variety of behaviours. 

      A scale or pyramid of values is for example:

Love to sons and daughters
Love to the husband or wife, or similar
Love to parents
Human life 
Political ideals
Charity, solidarity                               
Artistic vocation
Ecologic habits      

  This scale is dissimilar for each individual. Co-existence of different constructions, develops diversity of opinions in a democratic society where everybody thinks as he or she wants to.

  • Profound reflection:

To reflect on the worldwide situation, on our own life, in our projects and ideals, on the future of our family, and so on, is a very good exercise to control our internal tranquillity. This way allows us to maintain a solid state of mind and a controlled emotive system, because doing so; we can compare insignificant accidents with tremendous problems. We give to each fact the correct estimation.

  • Construction of virtues or good habits:

  To build up internal peace is a delightful activity. We become aware of our own necessity of equilibrium, and begin to think in a different way about the others and ourselves.
  Everything is altered? Everyone is distressed? A war is taking place? Insecurity is reigning? Terrorism may be preparing an attack at this very moment? Well, something is clear: We will not be accurate to control reality if we are unable to maintain internal tranquillity. If we grow in nervousness, we will not be able even to control our own family needs or to be support for our own children.

Good relationship with society:
A cooperative attitude is the unique way to a good structure of social relationships. A spirit of conciliation and reconciliation must prevail in every point of contact with any human being, especially in our family and neighbourhood. Then, this scale grows and advances till the spirit of solidarity arrives to an understanding between all the races and religions through the acceptance of diversity.


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