Worlds Within Worlds 18 —Peace and Joy in a Brutal World

War, famine, natural disaster; serious illnesses, accidents; loss of loved ones; addiction, mental illness… so many ways to suffer during a lifetime!

Life on Earth can be brutal. How can people find peace and happiness amid all the suffering?

And how about the families and friends of those who suffer, we who struggle along with them? When we get caught up in our loved ones’ suffering, how can we deal with our own fear and anguish so that we can support our loved ones in ways that don’t complicate their situation or make it worse?

In short, is there an effective, time-proven formula that could help anyone to find peace and happiness amid all the suffering that spins out of Earth’s dramas and challenges?

Yes, I believe there is, and I’ll explain it in a moment. But first, a simple metaphor.

Oil and Vinegar Life

Life is like a jar of oil and vinegar.

Imagine that all of the noble aspects of life (love, trust, joy, honesty, empathy…) are in the oil, and everything savage (fear, suspicion, desolation, deception, predation, pain…) is in the vinegar. The oil brings peace and happiness. The vinegar brings suffering.

In times of peace and contentment, the bottle is at rest and the oil rises to the top, but when our lives are shaken by adversity or turned upside down, the vinegar makes its presence known.

Coasting smoothly through life with the bottle upright and steady is a nice idea, but unlikely to happen. Earth is too rough a ride.

So the first thing to do is to understand where the oil and vinegar come from originally—why they even exist. Then make a decision…..

Choosing Peace and Happiness

To be clear, the aim here isn’t to wash away the suffering from the Earth, nor even to wash it out of our life once and for all. Suffering is unavoidable, according to Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, psychologists, philosophers, and others who’ve spent their lives dredging the depths of humanity.

Instead, the aim is to ensure that most people who are asked…

  • “Are you happy?” or
  • “Are you at peace?…

… are able to answer, in all honesty:

  • “Generally speaking, yes,” or,
  • “Despite everything, yes.”

The aim, then, is to find peace and joy as a way of life, even in times of suffering.

If we employ the time-proven technique below—especially in difficult times when fear and anguish jump to center stage—we can quickly restore equilibrium. Courageous souls have been using the same basic technique for centuries as a way of life—especially to find peace and strength in times of adversity.

Again, it’s not a “one-shot” process, in which we simply eliminate suffering once and for all from our life. Instead, it’s a technique that we employ time and time and time again, even when life gets difficult. Especially then.


So here, in a nutshell, is the timeless rationale for finding the greatest peace and happiness during a lifetime… for keeping our life as “upright and steady” as possible (the diagram below offers perspective):

(Note: If you don’t see the important purple diagram directly below on your mobile device, you might try “Desktop” mode or “Desktop site”)

The root of suffering is in the shadowy realm of spiritual residue that has festered around the Earth across the millennia. That’s the vinegar. The rest is oil.
As life-force streams constantly from the source to nourish everything throughout the omniverse with light and love, some of it gets deflected by the brutal nature of life on Earth, where living things kill and consume each other to supplement their life force. Like light deflected off a building, a sort of shadow is cast around the Earth, and life-force in that shadow grows dim.
In other words, the endless brutality of dog-eat-dog living fills the world with fear, indignation, deception, and grief. Those dark feelings and motivations spin off the Earth to form a shadowy realm of spiritual residue. The darkness from the shadows cycles back into our world to disturb our lives and to upset our equilibrium. Hence, suffering.

  1. Acknowledge The Source as powerful and real.
  2. Acknowledge Earth’s shadows as weak and illusory.
  3. Acknowledge our own light (noble) side and shadow (savage) side… and the suffering we might have imposed on ourself and on others by the latter.
  4. Foster conscious contact with The Source to strengthen our light side, especially through meditation.
  5. Turn our life and our cares over to The Source.
  6. Decide, once we feel ready, to wash away the shadows from our life… and ask silently for ethereal help.
  7. Pray for others, including adversaries, to find The Source when they’re ready.
  8. Adopt these principles as a way of life.

These basic principles have been used down through the ages to find peace and happiness during a lifetime on Earth, and to find courage and perseverance in times of hardship.

And here, finally, are some explanations that tie up some of the loose ends of those principles:

  • Assimilating these principles as a way of life gets the attention of finer spirit beings, whose support and protection can help keep us steady and upright.
  • Practicing these principles can strengthen our “spiritual eyes” that can see beyond the shadows (or appearances) to perceive the elegant reality that emerges from The Source.
  • Surrendering to the higher will (turning our life over to The Source) can take a big emotional weight off our shoulders. For example, we no longer try to fix problems that are beyond our ability to fix, such as a loved one’s addiction. Instead, we trust that our loved one is already whole and complete (in the eternal, spiritual sense) because of his or her personal connection to The Source. Once he or she acknowledges that connection with conviction, then the healing powers from The Source are no longer blocked, and healing can begin, often in miraculous ways. Until then, our loved one will continue to suffer.
  • Even after we wash away the shadows from our life, they’ll return from time to time and fill us with dark, troubled thoughts… but as we practice these principles, it becomes faster and easier to wash them away again to restore peace and happiness.
  • Don’t judge others’ suffering, but provide help if asked and if helping is appropriate. (“Appropriate” support—which often involves walking a fine line between detachment and entanglement, and which is not an easy line to walk—is a bit complicated for this short article.)

A final note [added 2019-11-8]: Even if killing and eating each other (as living things on Earth must do to survive) is really the root cause of suffering in our world (as I believe it is), then simply making a personal choice not to eat food, or not to eat animals, or not to eat mammals and “higher” animals will not put an end to personal suffering. Each person has unique nutritional needs. The entire carnivore-herbivore scenario of terrestrial living, with its predation, fear, resentment, and anguish, has developed across millions of years into this massive shadow of spiritual residue around the Earth. To live on Earth is to contend with the shadows and their many forms of physical and emotional suffering. We each have to make the best choices we can under the circumstances (nutritional and otherwise), and (again, it’s my belief) that acknowledging the source and its nourishing life-force can make our journey much brighter and more enjoyable as we navigate this often-brutal world.
— MM

About Mark Macy

Main interests are other-worldly matters ( and worldly matters (
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11 Responses to Worlds Within Worlds 18 —Peace and Joy in a Brutal World

  1. Daniel says:

    Great post Mark, much needed. I have been suffering severe Anxiety lately, and depression… and also some thoughts of suicide which really is not good.

    • Mark Macy says:

      No, ,not good at all, Daniel. I agree. I also empathize, as I’ve felt that way too (more than just a few times over the years).
      Finally I’ve come to realize that a lifetime on Earth, though often brutal, is really a gift and an opportunity to experience the shadows (very rare throughout the omniverse) and to get an exceptional appreciation for “the source” or whatever one wishes to call it. I imagine it’s easy to take that life-force for granted if you live in paradise and beyond where there aren’t any obstructions.
      Anyway, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’re all here on Earth for a purpose or a mission, and cutting it short by choice is usually a bad idea. Better to foster that all-important connection to slowly lift oneself out of the shadow and its suffering.

      • tom from poland says:

        And what do you think, when there is no possibility to continue functioning in life, e.g. someone gets a life sentence in prison, or someone’s entire family dies, should he continue to live? or to surrender to the source when life has lost its meaning. This is a very serious question. Thank you very much, sir.

        • Mark Macy says:

          Hi Tom, “very serious” is certainly an appropriate term.

          I think the answer to that question should be a personal one. A decision shouldn’t be forced upon a person, for example by a religion or a government or a doctor or an insurance company, though that is often the case in today’s world..
          I sometimes wonder what I would do in a situation like that, for example if I had a very painful disease with no possible cure and with many months of suffering ahead.
          Would I decide to “opt out” in order to return expeditiously to paradise, or would I “gut it out” to the end? (After all, a few months of suffering is like a spark or a snap in the bigger, timeless picture of reality.)
          Frankly… I’m not sure at this point.

          God bless,

          • tom from poland says:

            Thank you very much for your answer, I will write the real situation in the form of a curiosity. We had a computer scientist in the company, he started a happy family, they had a child at the age of 4, the boy suddenly ran into the street in front of the car, the mother could not function normally, she missed her son so much. After a few months, she took her own life. The father of the family (our employee) could not live without them. There was a family and they are gone. That is why I asked you for your opinions on this subject of giving up on life, situations like the one I described say that not every burden is bearable. Hope these people didn’t experience being in the shadow zones after death.

        • Mark Macy says:

          Hi Tom,

          I hope so too, that the mother (of the boy killed by a car) is finding peace and happiness on the other side (after she took her own life) and was reunited with her son in a paradise world, probably at level 3.

          This is such a basic and important question for many people, it seems the answer should be easy and clear, but different people have different opinions. Some people believe that ALL suicides wind up in limbo, or the shadow. Some people believe that suicide for a holy cause will take you to paradise. Some people believe that a good person who is going through terrible, inescapable suffering and chooses to end his or her own life will awaken in a very nice afterlife, especially if his or her loved ones support the decision.

          Frankly, I don’t think there are any clear rules because there are so many variables… but I suspect or believe that there’s an effort on the other side to get as many people as possible settled in paradise (level 3) after they die. Once they get there, if they find peace then they begin a new life there. If they get there and still are troubled, then their spiritual vibration carries them to level 2 or maybe level 1 for a while.

          What helps a LOT is for the loved ones still on Earth to hold their departed loved ones close to their heart, to feel the love more than remorse, and, yes, to pray for their loved ones. That sort of connects a divine server to the computer network that helps to distribute peace and love to those on the other side. Prayer from the heart also installs an effective anti-virus program to protect the loved ones on the other side.

          I hope that makes sense……


          • tom from poland says:

            Thank you for such a wonderful explanation, I also believe that the feeling of love is a bridge with the other side, that’s why I often say words of love to my family because I am sure that they hear and feel them there.

        • Mark Macy says:

          Hi Tom,

          I see that my recent recent discussion with you (above) might contradict my reply to Daniel a year ago.

          Your comment was about parents who took their own lives after the death of their son. I do believe that our loving thoughts from here can help them over there… as you summed up perfectly with your closing words, “I often say words of love to my family (on the other side) because I am sure that they hear and feel them there.”

          Daniel’s comment was about people contemplating suicide at times of terrible suffering. Generally I lean against suicide, though I believe it should be a personal choice that’s made in a loving environment. Some people suffer more than most of us can begin to imagine, and it’s not for us to judge their choices. However, we can love those people….


  2. Daniel says:

    Thank you for the encouraging words Mark and have a nice time away my friend – just read your other new post 🙂 Looking forward to your continued posts once you return.

  3. kate says:

    Thanks for the skills you have and sharing them with us with such an accurate article (in my opinion).

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