Book Review - The Anatomy of Peace

23 September 2016

This book is definitely about a message that I believe whole-heartedly.  Approaching all with a heart of peace, versus a heart of war.  Seeing them fully, their world, listening to them, and then teaching and correcting if needed, but only after a lot of love and friendship has been shown.  All things I believe.  However, it focused mainly on thinking patterns that weren't relevant to me and barely touched on the ones that were.  Ways that we get ourselves into small-minded boxes.  Usually thinking we are better-than or entitled to.  But I struggle with the less discussed boxes - feeling inferior or judged, viewing everyone as intimidating.  I did like how they said to get out of your box, think of people or things that make you feel expanded.  People you admire, music you like.

The principles did resonate with me, but it didn't really deepen my view of them, wish I could have gotten more information on the things that pertain to me.

And now, some of my favorite quotes from the book:


There is a question I have learned to ask myself when I am feeling bothered about others: am I holding myself to the same standard I am demanding of them?

And you might, Carol. Ultimately, you’re the only person who would know for sure, but it sounds like you might have developed a hyperactive need-to-be-seen-as box. Maybe you have a box about needing to be seen as helpful, for example, or thoughtful or kind or as a kind of superwoman. Any need-to-be-seen-as boxes like those would likely multiply in your mind the list of obligations you think you have to meet and would likely rob you of peace when you aren’t able to meet them.” Carol slumped slightly in her chair.

Despite our best efforts, we may find that some battles are unavoidable. Some around us will still choose war. May we in those cases remember what we learned from Saladin: that while certain outward battles may need to be fought, we can nevertheless fight them with hearts that are at peace. “And may we remember the deeper lesson as well: that your and my and the world’s hoped-for outward peace depends most fully not on the peace we seek without but on the peace we establish within.

So if we are going to find lasting solutions to difficult conflicts or external wars we find ourselves in,” Yusuf said, “we first need to find our way out of the internal wars that are poisoning our thoughts, feelings, and attitudes toward others. If we can’t put an end to the violence within us, there is no hope for putting an end to the violence without. 

Upward and onward,


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