Dr Bilal Philips
2011 – 1432
The Search for Inner Peace
The topic of inner peace addresses a universal need. There is nobody on this planet that does not desire inner peace. It is not a desire that is new to our time; rather, it is something that everybody has been searching for throughout the ages, regardless of colour, creed, religion, race, nationality, age, sex, wealth, ability or technological advancement.
People have taken a variety of different paths in trying to achieve inner peace, some through accumulating material possessions and wealth, others through drugs; some through music, others through meditation; some through their husbands and wives, others through their careers and some through their children’s achievements. And the list goes on
Yet the search also goes on. In our time we have been led to believe that technological advancement and modernisation will produce for us physical comforts and through these we will attain inner peace.
However, if we were to take the most technologically advanced and most industrialised nation in the world, America, then we would see that what we have been led to believe is not factual. The statistics show that in America some 20 million adults suffer from depression yearly; and what is depression but a total lack of inner peace? Furthermore in the year 2000 death rate due to suicide was double the rate of those who die from Aids. However, the news media being what it is, we hear more about those who die from Aids than we do about those who die by committing suicide. Also more people die from suicide in America than from homicide, and the homicide rates themselves are massive.
So the reality is that technological advancement and modernisation have not bought inner peace and tranquility. Rather in spite of the creature comforts that modernisation has brought us, we are further away from inner peace than our ancestors were.
Inner peace is for the most part of our lives very elusive; we never seem to get our hands on it.
Many of us mistake personal pleasures for inner peace; we achieve elements of pleasure from a variety of things, be it wealth, sexual relations or other than that. But these do not last, they come and go. Yes we have personal pleasures from time to time and we are pleased with various things from time to time, but this is not inner peace. True inner peace is a sense of stability and contentment which carries us through all the trials and difficulties of life.
W need to understand that peace is not something that will exist in this world around us because when we define peace according to the dictionary definition it states that peace is freedom from war or civil strife. Where do have this? There is always a war or some sort of civil unrest happening somewhere in the world. If we look at peace in terms of the state level then peace is freedom from public disorder and security, but where in the world do we have this in a complete form? If we look at peace on a social level, family and work, then peace is freedom from disagreements and arguments, but is there such a social environment that never has disagreements or arguments? In terms of location, then yes, we can have a place which is calm, peaceful and tranquil, some islands for example, but this external peace only exists for a small amount of time, sooner or later a storm or a hurricane will come.