Peace Pole Dedication at the Walden NY Elementary School
Peace Bells & Peace Poles (Difference & Synergy) Instruments of Awareness, Sacredness, Connectedness, Community, Wholeness, and Love
At this time in human history there are two significant instruments for promoting peace, the Peace Pole and the Peace Bell. Both are special and necessary. I would like to call attention to what I consider the major differences between a Peace Pole and a Peace Bell. Although they are truly complimentary and when used together they can be very effective in calling attention to our heart’s highest resonance of Peace and Love, one emphasizes the sense of sight while the other emphasizes the sense of sound. The Peace Pole is visual, two-dimensional, and concerned with outer peace only emitting a sound when the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” are spoken. The Peace Bell is three-dimensional reaching into our inner soul by emitting sound when struck. These two instruments also have a different history. The Peace Pole is 70 years young whereas the Peace Bell is more than 3000 years old. The Peace Bell has anthropomorphic characteristics. However, Peace Poles are an interesting, convenient, and easy way of promoting peace with over 250,000 standing in locations on every continent in the world. They can be of varying sizes and materials usually constructed as a four-sided pole. They are clearly rather easy to make and install. This affordable cost and ease of construction and installation has made them popular with many groups and organizations as they “acupuncture” our earthly home. They are an important positive tool seen by many as a reminder of our highest human vibration, our highest calling, Peace. There are “May Peace Prevail on Earth” plates available in over one hundred languages to install on Peace Poles usually in sets of four or eight. Yet, Peace Bells when they ring, they vibrate our need and desire for peace.
The ubiquitous, over 3000 year old anthropomorphic bell has a complete circle base. It has no beginning or end symbolizing completeness and wholeness. Bells take on the human form: with a crown, shoulder, waist, hip, lip mouth and tongue – the clapper. Bells can best be understood historically as a crucial community instrument. They are used in announcements for sacred services, for beginnings and endings, for a call to order, or even for a command or warning. In times of Peace Cannons were melted down to make bells but in times of War Bells were melted down to make cannons.
Bells, symbols of community pride and order, were most often sought by an invading army for their precious metal, often bronze, which could be melted down and used for a destructive purpose. This prize could create a secondary issue, the disruption of a towns order and spiritual meaning. That’s why towns would take down their bells and hide them from invading armies. These special three-dimensional Peace Instruments, Peace bells, involve a unique complicated process, being made in a foundry by craftsmen who were dedicated toward this purpose. They were therefore more expensive to forge and more difficult to install.
There are 19 Peace Bells and 154 Peace Bells and Gongs housed around the world. However, if we were to count all the bells in churches, temples, pagodas and civic buildings that ring for a wide range of occasions, bells that toll their sounds for freedom and peace, the number of Peace Instruments could be in the millions. Peace Bells are three-dimensional instruments. In addition, they have a spiritual dimension. A peace bell can be seen but it can also be heard at great distances depending on topography and weather conditions. This music, the ringing of Peace Bells, is a universal language that resonates in every human heart even if it at times it can’t be seen.
Japanese Peace Bell, United Nations
Although Peace Bells can take on many different shapes the United Nations Peace Bell is the one copied most often. It is found in 19 different countries and with its oriental-like shape it is easily identifiable as it is housed in a pagoda. Peace Bells like the World Peace Bell, which I had the opportunity to ring, can be massive weighing anywhere from a thousand pounds to many tons. Peace Bells are usually located in a significant location for all to see and hear. They are often representative of a country or a geographic location and carry with them musical overtones which in many ways symbolize a significant difference between a Peace Pole and a Peace Bell. Once again because of the overtones – the richness of making an instrument – Peace Bells take on a deeper integral significance. Peace itself is filled with many different overtones taking on the many human connections of the human spirit. There are so many Peace Bells in the world that people are connecting with for inner wisdom and understanding like Buddhist singing bowls and the ringing tingshas which vibrate all touching humans in a way that Peace Poles are unable to do.
Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park
Bells can be as tiny as one’s thumb such as the tingsha bell. But, they can also be as massive as ships weighing from several thousand pounds to many tons. Again, these larger instruments are usually located in a significant location representative of a country, or a geographic location, for all to see and hear. And again, unlike Peace Poles, Peace Bells can be heard for many miles around especially when placed on a mountain top or in a bell tower, a church, or City Hall.
In summary the Peace Pole and the Peace Bell together are most complimentary and when used together are very effective at calling us to our highest resonance of Peace and Love through word, sight and sound.
May Peace Prevail on Earth