“And now war assaulteth the whole man. … The outward fleshy man fighteth against the inward spiritual man. …
“The inward Spirit saith to the fiery soul: O my Soul! O my love! Turn I beseach thee and go forth from Vanity, or else thou loseth my love and the Noble Pearl.
“Then saith the outward Reason, viz., the Beastial Soul: Thou art foolish; wilt thou be a laughing-stock, and the scorn of the world? Thou needest the outward world to maintain this life. Beauty, Power, and Glory are thy proper happiness. …Take thy pleasure which will do both thy flesh and thy mind good..” ~Jacob Boehme
Many of us wonder why we can’t seem to stop ourselves from waring with others. We war with other countries. We war with other religions. We war with other philosophies. We war over natural resources that don’t truly belong to any of us, but to Nature and God. Many of us us are aware of the foolishness of this, yet we still can’t seem to stop.
Boehme has provided in the quote one of the primary reasons. How can we end external wars if we remain at war within ourselves? As above, so below. When we are constantly fighting that war internal, it cannot help but spread to our external world.
Two Worlds, Two Plans
As Boehme says, we have two sides to our nature, and in most of us they have contradictory goals. The
physical body and brain-mind is completely oriented to living in the world of matter. Its goals and desires are oriented to that world. They seek the pleasures of that world, and try to avoid the pitfalls. They want money, comfort, happiness, health. There is nothing wrong with that—as long as it is kept in balance with our other side.
Our spiritual self, the spirit and soul, sees everything from a completely different perspective. They naturally have different goals and desires because of this. To our spiritual mind, or Divine Soul, nothing is more important than to return to the spiritual worlds from which we came. The soul understands that the physical world is one of illusion. It is real, but it is not what it seems to be. Therefore, making too much effort to gain position, status, and possessions in the world of matter is pointless.
So the body/brain/mind wants one thing, and the spirit and soul another. Getting them to agree is nearly impossible. Getting them to cooperate for the benefit of both is not.
So an important goal of the spiritual student is getting the Ego and the Soul working together. It is a difficult goal, but it is achievable. The main part of it is to convince the ego to listen to the soul and avoid doing things which are contrary to the soul’s interest. This is easier to do if you don’t have an overblown ego, but even then it is possible. We don’t need to destroy the ego. That is actually counter-productive because we need the ego’s drive to aid us in spiritual growth. But we do need to keep it in check.
Once we have conquered this war internal, something wonderful happens. We will find that warring with our neighbors is impossible. If you are not engaging in the war internal, you wont want to engage in external war either. Then we might actually get world peace.