The key to peace came to me early this morning while I was in a meditative state. It was a realization that summed up the key to a peaceful existence.
“The key to peace, is to realize there is no right or wrong on matters of opinion.” John Derrick, 2008
It may not sound like much at first glance, but when you recognize that everything is based on opinion, this message takes on a deeper meaning. How many lives have been lost because of differences of opinions? How many wars? How much suffering?
Most of us are nothing more than a walking, talking collector of opinions. Some we came up with on our own, but most of them were given to us by others. Opinions are dished out like facts from our parents and teachers at an early age. You get them from your church, newspaper, coworkers and local community. The television is teaching an entire generation their “facts”, all the while the audience is unaware of the nature of opinions.
What is a fact?
A fact would have to stand the test of time! When we look back at the generations in our past, it is easy for us to laugh about their facts because our facts tell us that they had everything wrong. Doesn’t it stand to reason that future generations will look back at us laughing at how we had it all wrong?
Facts can not change… and since the facts are always changing, it seems pretty obvious that the facts of today are nothing more than the opinion that is most agreed upon.
Who’s religion is correct
Which political party is correct
What is good and what is bad
Legal and illegal is nothing more than the opinion of the prevailing government
Even definitions which appear to be fact are always changing. What is big today will not be big tomorrow… so was it ever big to begin with? What looks good today may not look good in the years to come. (Look at haircuts from the 70’s or 80’s). Everything that was fast in 1970 is considered slow today.
So someone may point out that a specific measurement of objects will always be a fact. If a ball is 10 inches in diameter today, it will always be 10 inches in diameter. No, even that is not true. The ball will deflate someday. Eventually it will decompose into nothing that resembles a ball. What will it measure then? How will you measure it?
You see, everything here in this physical universe is temporary. Your house, dog, cat, car, spouse, children and even your own body is temporary. Physical matter is always changing so there really are no facts, only temporary opinions that masquerade as facts.
Let’s create a hypothetical situation where scientists have created a type of material that will never rust or decompose and it will last forever. Not possible I know, but let’s pretend. They create a 10 inch diameter ball out of this material. Now you have a fact right? Maybe, but it’s not the size of the ball that brings about the suffering.
It’s the opinion that people hold about the ball that will cause suffering.
Some will think the ball is the greatest achievement of mankind and a triumphant accomplishment over nature.
Others will say that is represents all that is evil about mankind and that this new material will be a permanent scar on the planet… just one more poof of our polluting nature.
Still others will claim that man never made the ball at all and that God created the ball in seven days…. and only his chosen people are worthy to hold the ball.
People fight… kill… and die for their opinions…. because they believe they are facts.
If you want peace in your life, the best place to start is to realize that everything you think you know is just your opinion. Odds are you were probably given it from someone else.
Everything is temporary. You make the temporary nature of your life more painful and shorter in duration by running around fervently arguing your opinions to somebody who is every bit as temporary as yourself.
If everyone suddenly woke up and realized this, the vast majority of human suffering would end.