A Collision of Peace

An article by on December 15, 2017

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A Collision of Peace

As long as some are not at peace, I cannot really know true peace.

What brings you peace?

Recently, in the field of physics someone developed a simplified (for physicists, anyway) model, or sketch, to describe what happens after particles collide. Nima Arkani-Hamed, a Princeton physicist, discovered a shape that could describe the condensed calculations involved in all the possible outcomes of particle collisions, and called it the multidimensional amplituhedron.

What is interesting is it can only be conceived when allowing the originating point of the particles – the source of the first particle – to be located outside of space-time, a constraint that scientists now concede is unfortunate. How can they test such a thing, right? But, to understand this mass of equations one must change perspective from what has been accepted wisdom and permit alternatives to the universe we all thought we knew. According to this new model, the collision still happens in space-time, but it is only possible to really understand the potentials of collision effects when first the scientist allows the originating point to occur outside it.

The most complex, profound collisions – human beings living and moving and loving together – create a sequence of pure life-giving energy that we can only begin to understand if the origin of that life-spark is located outside space-time. It is a complex, beautiful, terrifying multidimensional human experience, existence.


What brings you peace?


As long as some are not at peace, I cannot really know true peace.


Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”(Mt5:9)

Jesus taught, “Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’”(Lk10:5)

And as he neared Jerusalem, whose name itself – foundation of peace – cried, “If you had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace!” (Lk19:42)

Jesus came “to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” (Lk1:79)


I love the prayer attributed to St. Francis of Assisi and make it a regular centering breather prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.


It first assumes that peace will exist in me – that the source for that peace I’m meant to be instrumental in sharing – must dwell within me. It is only then that I might orchestrate even a single line of peace. And then, if we are a community of instruments of peace, imagine the symphony we might perform?! Because, do you know what happens when 2 particles collide? Well, an entire universe can be created – well, initiated, anyway. But, really, anything can happen – but something always happens. Mass happens – something tangible, something real. Life.


The brilliant artist, and really, theologian, Everett Patterson, created the picture I am using for this podcast. It is titled, “Jose y Maria.” He says of the drawing, “A word on perspective: for this image, I chose very, very wide vanishing points. The result is what I occasionally call ‘middle-class white people perspective.’ Rather than feeling immersed in the scene, the viewer is looking at it as if from across the street or from the warmth and safety of his or her passing car. I have a small hope that this Christmas image will come to mind when we see other ‘down and out’ people huddling outside of gas stations, reminding us that our Savior’s parents (and indeed, Jesus himself) were at one time similarly troubled.”


As long as some are not at peace, I cannot really know true peace.


As I pray St. Francis’ prayer, line by line, center your breathing, allow your thoughts to draw inward, toward the center, where Jesus resides.

Breathing in, notice the source and energy of that peace that Jesus brought into the world at his birth.

Breathing out, carefully loosen your grasp of all the little things that really are unimportant.

Breathe in the particle, the bundle of quarks that collide with yours to create, to spark a chain of living events a multifaceted peace


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.

Where there is hatred, let me sow love;

where there is injury, pardon;

where there is doubt, faith;

where there is despair, hope;

where there is darkness, light;

where there is sadness, joy.
O, Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;

to be understood as to understand;

to be loved as to love;

For it is in giving that we receive;

it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;

it is in dying that we are born again to eternal life.


Sometime this week, with me, use the icon of Jose Y Maria to be a prayer of peace, that I be made peace, to unlike Jerusalem at Jesus’ time, recognize the things that make for peace. Study the image as you pray. Consider how you might play the music of peace – consider from a perspective outside space-time. Who knows what the collision of peacemaking energy might create!


“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”(Jn14:27)


Special thanks to my daughter, Samantha Snyder, for composing and performing the song, “Peace,” for this podcast.

As always, you can find the transcript of this podcast and resources on my website, eirenicole.com


And today, may you walk at the pace of peace and grace.


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About Nicole

Nicole Oliver Snyder’s expertise lies in the areas of leadership, gender issues, and mindfulness practice as it affects both. Leadership, particularly in an urban setting, requires community-relations skills, and an ability to clearly convey justice issues as they relate to felt, spiritual ones. Dr. Snyder is author of Leading Together: Mindfulness and the Gender Neutral Zone, and specializes in teaching mindfulness leadership development, formative spirituality, counseling, and Old Testament theology (emphasis on justice issues). She has a diverse background in international community-relations work combined with volunteer work in multi-ethnic communities, and with local institutions. She is an ordained Clergy; holds a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, w/Education Certificate, an MA-Counseling, MDiv Equiv., holds a Doctor of Ministry and Advanced Certification in Formative Spiritual Direction, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (MI).

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