Existential Psychology

Garden

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We said that peace, rather than being a passive state, is the most active of states. But what does this really mean? When we think of peace we usually think of tranquility, quiet, gentle movements, and calm. On the surface peace seems to be a passive state.

Consider a lush garden, filled with blooming flowers and vegetables of all kinds. It is a perfect summer day and you are sitting on a bench to enjoy the breeze and take in the sights and sounds. Fragrances are filling your nostrils, butterflies are fluttering around you, birds are chirping, and a fountain is gurgling. We can only describe this scene as peaceful, and one of the main reasons it’s peaceful is because there is not a lot of frenetic activity going on.

If you were to observe this garden twenty-four hours a day you would come to see that there is a gardener who puts in countless hours of work to help it thrive. She started by planting the right combination of vegetables and flowers. She provides the ideal amount of water for each plant and knows intimately what they all need to achieve optimum growth and stay healthy. She pulls out weeds. She stops infestations in their tracks. The visible, peaceful state that you experience while sitting on the bench is a manifestation of hours upon hours of dedicated activity. All of this activity has as its purpose and its end the health and growth of the garden. The steps taken are themselves peaceful, and they lead to an overall state of peace and tranquility.

Or consider a really happy couple. You know the type we are talking about, the type that you might feel envious of. “They are so lucky. Why can’t I have a partner like that?” They are at a bar together, laughing and touching each other frequently, sharing a private joke. They give each other space to be themselves and both look content. We can only describe the scene as peaceful.

If you were to observe this couple twenty-four hours a day you would come to see that they put countless hours of work into their relationship to help it thrive. They are patient and kind to one another, even during conflict. They support each other during the hard times. They comfort each other. Each shows real interest in what the other has going on, even when it might seem trivial. They try to be at their best for one another even when they are feeling at their worst. The happy, peaceful couple you see at the bar is a manifestation of hours upon hours of dedicated activity. All of this activity has as its purpose and its end the health and growth of the relationship.

This is what we mean when we say that peace is the most active of states. What takes days, months, or years to build can be destroyed in seconds. Peace takes a lot of time, patience, and activity. What all of this activity has in common is that it is all itself peaceful, focused on growth, positivity, and love.

Greetings I'm Michael, the owner of Evolution Counseling and the author of all the articles on this site. I got my master's degree from Seattle University in community mental heath counseling and have committed myself to advancing my knowledge of psychology and to evolving my own philosophical system ever since. In addition to the content on this site I offer online coaching using Skype. If you'd like to learn more about it click on the online coaching tab or if you think you'd like to set up a session send me an email at evolve@evolutioncounseling.com.

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