And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:7]
O bestow on your people Israel great peace forever, for you are King and the Lord of all peace. … Blessed are you, Yahweh, who blesses his people Israel with peace. [Paper 150:8, page 1685]
Peace be unto you. And unto you, peace.
Who among us has paused to reflect upon the familiar greeting and response, “Peace be unto you. And unto you, peace?” This essay draws on personal experience and understandings, the testimonials from those who collaborated in its writing, and an assessment of the religious literature of the Far East (particularly the writings of Hinduism, Taoism, and Buddhism), to do just that—pause and reflect on a dynamic and living peace. In so doing, this reflection explicitly relies on the teachings of The Urantia Book and the example provided by the life of Jesus as recounted in Part IV.
We have two goals. The first is to determine the extent to which human and superhuman agents contributed to this much desired peace, despite the unexpected consequences arising from the vicissitudes of our planetary history. And the second, to understand how our experience with the teachings of The Urantia Book reveal the myriad problems of the modern world, the relationship of those problems to a lack of dynamic and living peace, and the practical contributions this revelation can offer for their resolution.
Our immediate observation from this reflection identifies a deep-rooted malaise that characterizes modern times. This malaise, which we refer to as “stress,” has multiple and often unsuspected sources. It results from the external conflicts and internal disturbances that increasingly pervade both our individual lives and society at large. Globalization and the interweaving of economic, cultural, political, religious, and social institutions makes this malaise one the most widely shared perils confronting us today.