Hatred severs human lives, fosters persecution, and hurls nations into ruthless war, yet men, though they do not understand why, retain some measure of faith in the overshadowing of a Perfect Love; and to reach this love and to live consciously in it is peace.
And this inward peace, this silence, this harmony, this Love is the Kingdom of Heaven, which is so difficult to reach because few are willing to give up themselves and to become as little children.
Heaven’s gate is very narrow and minute,
It cannot be perceived by foolish men
Blinded by vain illusions of the world;
E’en the clear-sighted who discern the way,
And seek to enter, find the portal barred,
And hard to be unlocked. Its massive bolts
Are pride and passion, avarice and lust.
Men cry peace! Peace! Where there is no peace, but on the contrary, discord, disquietude, and strife. Apart from the Wisdom which is inseparable from self-renunciation, there can be no real and abiding peace.
The peace which results from social comfort, passing gratification, or worldly victory is transitory in its nature, and is burnt up in the heat of fiery trail. Only Peace of Heaven endures through all trial and only the selfless heart can know the Peace of Heaven.
~ James Allen, From Poverty to Power (1901)