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The Anatomy of Peace

I finished reading The Anatomy of Peace and I wanted to write down a few of my thoughts.

Last night I was reading in Anna Karenina and Anna is making her husband out to be as bad as possible after betraying her marriage to him by having an affair.

...setting against him everything bad she could find in him and forgiving him nothing, on account of the terrible fault toward him of which she was guilty.

This is the primary principle of what I learned in the book. Anna must make her husband out to be unreasonable and strict in order to justify herself in her sin.

All things can be done towards another person as if they are an object, or as if they are a person, with needs and desires just like me.

Another concept I learned about was that conflict breeds conflict. It's easy to change our heart from peace to war when someone else's heart is already at war. We have justification for letting our heart turn to war, but we only need justification if we have betrayed a sense of what we have felt we should do for another.

I also learned we must sometimes be willing to "walk without shoes". We need to show that we aren't better than anyone else, and that we care about them and the pain they are going through. In a sense we're willing to show that we really care about someone by trying to make our situation more like theirs - or by showing an increase of love through service to them. As I think about why they were walking without shoes, I think they did it to show to the other person that they were willing to have the same experience, but they were still willing to be there for that person.

Recovering inner-clarity and peace (4 parts)

  1. Look for signs of the box - justification, making someone out to be horrible, blame...)
  2. Find an out of the box experience
  3. Ponder the situation anew in light of the out of the box experience - how can this in-the-box situation be seen in another light?
  4. Act upon promptings we receive while seeing the situation differently.

They also talk about a pyramid of change - how we can change ourselves to bring our hearts to peace. The very top of the pyramid focuses on correcting others, but most of the pyramid is focused on helping things to go well, instead of correcting behavior that is not going well. The base of the pyramid is "Getting out of the box or having a heart at peace". Upon this foundation one can start build relationships with those who influence the person, then building a relationship with the person. One can then proceed to listening and learning from the person and ultimately to teaching and communication.

The gist of the book is that we can tend toward having a heart at war instead of seeking for our heart to be at peace. When our heart is at war we can't influence people and are likely to collude, or spread the germ of war in others hearts as well. Only when we have a heart at peace can we influence others to change and be better. I think the principle is seen in the gospel as our Savior did suffer all things - he made himself to understand how he can help us. His heart is at peace and he teaches us how to have our hearts at peace. When we serve others they remember this love of the Savior for them and change who they are to reflect that love they have felt.

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