Vote essence and give peace a chance
Voting is choosing.
When you vote, you make a choice, you’re stating a preference.
So, what’s the best vote we can cast?
“If your life is comfortable, if you are always getting what you want, you might think it’s great. You might think ‘Everything is going wonderfully. Now I can do my spiritual work.’ In reality, it doesn’t work that way. The more comfortable you are, the less chance you have to make the choice, and the less chances you have for the choice to be clear. If everything is going fine, it will be very hard to tell what is serving the truth, and what is serving your self. It’s almost impossible. So, as one Sufi said, ‘If there is misfortune, you should be grateful for it,’ because it gives you a chance to face choices between your self and the truth, a chance for you to follow the right course. I think that the Christian perspective emphasizes this understanding. It emphasizes the value of suffering, the idea of sacrifice, the significance of taking up the cross. I do not know what the fathers of the church believe, but from my perspective, following the truth is seen as suffering and sacrifice not because you need to inflict pain on yourself, but the presence of the problem gives you the chance to separate the true from the false.”
—A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Four, Chapter 17
What does it mean to vote essence, to choose essence?
The soul comes up against this deeply entrenched view of reality when she begins to learn to love truth for its own sake, especially when this truth turns out to be inside her, for it is the truth of her nature. She experiences a deep conflict between her love of truth and her love of pleasure and allegiance to its external sources. When the soul learns at some point to make this significant shift, and turns toward the truth, this turn becomes the state or station that invites the descent of the Markabah. This is the diamond body of pleasure, bliss, delight, and celebration, which arises as the soul’s love of truth deepens and becomes a true turning away from the habitual egoic orientation and toward authentic loyalty and allegiance to the truth. The turn of the soul’s heart is not a turn away from pleasure; it is simply the shift of allegiance from the pleasure of gratification and its sources, to the inner truth of the soul and Reality. The soul moves her allegiance toward truth, understanding its centrality and value irrespective of whether the truth is pleasurable or painful. This turn is the necessary condition for the descent of this diamond vehicle, which turns out to be what gives the soul the desire and the capacity to transcend her egoic pleasure orientation.
—A. H. Almaas, The Inner Journey Home, Chapter 15
A vote for essence is a vote for peace!
Peace is the absence of suffering. One reason for suffering is that most people are not looking for peace; they are looking for pleasure. Peace is not a top priority for most people; pleasure usually comes first. Therefore, people seek pleasure. There
is nothing wrong with wanting pleasure, nor with pleasure itself. But what leads to the absence of peace is seeking pleasure, for the simple reason that seeking pleasure assumes that pleasure is somewhere else, some other time, in a different situation, and not here and now. That is the basic premise of seeking, not only pleasure, but seeking anything, including peace. When we seek, we are moving away from the pleasure or peace and from the source of pleasure and peace. So when I say to not do absolutely anything, I mean not to seek—not to seek for pleasure, or peace, or security, or love, or anything at all—because implicit in the activity of seeking is that there is something to do, or to arrive at. Seeking assumes that there is something to be found, someplace to be reached, some goal to be arrived at.
—A. H. Almaas, Diamond Heart Book Four, Chapter 2