|Summertime, 1989||"Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, hatred with love"||Number 7|
Table of Contents: Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim
A Peace Pilgrim Remembrance
Peace Pilgrim Letter
Letters from Other Lands
World Day of Prayer for Peace
Better World Society
Wisconsin Public Radio Interview
Toward Liberty and Justice for All
Letters from China
International Year of Friendship
A Matching Gift
Readable Bibles in Russia
Statement on Violence
Peace Pilgrim in the Schools
The Nonviolent Way
Inch by Inch
Letter from a Concerned Friend
Our Planet in Every Classroom
The Monteverde Cloud Forest
HOME || Newsletter Index
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|Dear Friends of Peace Pilgrim,
"BIRDS SEEM CHARGED with a zest for life, whether courting, defending a territory or just singing for the joy of it" (from an article in the Riverside Press Enterprise).
We had great fun this spring watching a bright orange and black Oriole and his modestly-dressed mate. Usually quiet and seldom seen, this year he came day after day tap, tap, tapping on our bedroom window, giving us a rare display of his brilliance. He thought his reflection in the window was another bird invading his territory, and this made him furious. Just pecking at his reflection was not enough he would fly to a nearby tree and dive at the window.
And so began our spring and summer season with garden vegetable growing and fruit forming on the trees the twenty trees we planted five years ago and the fruit trees already here.
We have so much to be thankful for along with these glories of nature. Interest in Peace Pilgrims message seems to mushroom. Over 100,000 PEACE PILGRIM books and 400,000 STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE booklets have been requested and sent out, with more requests coming in daily. The books and/or STEPS are in 103 countries that we have heard from.
Four professors have been working on the Russian translation of STEPS. We expect to have it in print by fall. Friends of Peace Pilgrim in Poland, Holland, Denmark, Indonesia, Sweden and France have offered to translate. The Peace Pilgrim book is being translated into Spanish and Japanese, and STEPS has been translated into Chinese. We hope there will be some way of getting STEPS and the Peace Pilgrim book published in China.
In this newsletter are three letters from our friend in China, written just before the recent tragic events that occurred there. He speaks of the "winds of change." This must now wait before being realized. It is well to remember Peace Pilgrims words, "Never lose faith; Gods way is bound to prevail in the end."
Ann, John and Jeff
By Ilse Karger
Ilse Karger from England visited us while she was a guest at Meadowlark Holistic Health Center, two miles from here. We were delighted to learn that she had met Peace Pilgrim many years ago and she agreed to write her memories.
I find it very difficult to write about my first meeting with Peace Pilgrim because I love her and I feel that whatever I will write will not do her justice. How can one describe that sparkle in her eyes! How can one describe that clear, ringing voice, which comes from the depth of the inner being, so natural like a mountain air brook!
As I close my eyes and think of her, Peace Pilgrim stands in front of me, just as she stood there 33 years ago in "World Fellowship of Faith" (in New Hampshire). She had been given the room next to mine. I noticed that she had no suitcase with her, no overnight kit either, not even a handbag. So I put several things into her room a nightie, a housecoat, slippers, etc.
In the evening there was a knock on my door. Peace Pilgrim said, "Ilse, did you put these things into my room? How thoughtful of you! But I do not need them. I have everything that I need on me. I do not carry any ballast."
That evening she was our guest speaker. There she stood in front of us all, a picture of health; her long blond hair hanging down her back just held together by a rubber band. She seemed full of vitality, inner vitality, her eyes sparkling like stars from heaven, a lovely gentle smile on her face, and the most beautiful hands, speaking hands, which supported her talk. Her hands looked to me like lovely flowers, which in front of my eyes opened up in the morning sun.
Nowadays one hears more and more about "Holistic Medicine."
One starts to realize that a human being is only healthy if body, spirit and soul are functioning together in harmony or a whole unit
I experienced Peace Pilgrim as such a whole, happy, healthy person. She seemed to live and thrive mainly on love and faith. Her good influence is boundless. It reaches far beyond her earthly life.
Q. Should society outlaw the death penalty? If someone commits murder, should they be punished by life imprisonment?
A The death penalty should be outlawed. It is a relic of barbarism. It condemns one to die and another to murder. Anyone so sick as to murder should be withdrawn from society unless fully rehabilitated.
Q How does one develop love for God?
A As you live in harmony with divine law you will feel closer to and develop more love for God.
(a mimeographed letter Peace Pilgrim once sent to her foreign correspondents)
Dear Friends of Peace:
Some of you have not heard from me for a long time. This is because I have been so very busy speaking for peace at colleges, high schools, churches, etc. but always I am happily busy. If you would like to remain on my mailing list, please send in the enclosed slip. Otherwise, farewell and God bless you!
By the end of 1968 I had finished my fourth peace pilgrimage route, which took three years. The beginning of 1969 I began my fifth peace pilgrimage route, which will take four years. I walked 25,000 counted miles in the first three pilgrimage routes, but now no mileage is counted. Therefore, I can do my walking on country rounds and wilderness footpaths and mountain trails, through city streets and along beaches and even cross country, for I will not need to follow highways where mileages are recorded on maps.
For several years my special prayer was, "Let the killing in Vietnam cease!" I know that nothing is too big to pray for, that all good prayer has good effect, that right prayer motivates to right action. It was wonderful to watch the people of my country turn toward peace until they were way ahead of their government and then to see Congressmen begin to change their attitudes. It was especially wonderful to watch the awakening of the youth. Yes, the young folks are in rebellion, but in general it is a good rebellion against false values of society like war and prejudice and materialism and hypocrisy. They seem to sense that we need a more complete democracy not only individual and political democracy, but social and economic democracy. We all seem to sense that we need a more complete living of religious principles, with more emphasis on the way of love and the overcoming of evil with good.
There have been large peace demonstrations here, and there is certainly widespread peace interest. I hope the fact that some progress has been made will not make us lethargic. It should make us work with renewed vigor for the peace which seems more and more possible. Some work primarily on world peace through world law. Some work primarily on more peaceful literature and playthings and films for the children. Knowing that inharmony in our world is a reflection of inharmony in ourselves, I continue to work primarily on peace within ourselves as a step toward peace in our world.
We are making a choice in our world today which, in the written history of mankind, has never been made before a choice between a nuclear war which could destroy all life on earth and a golden ago of peace. Everyone helps to make this choice. The time of world affairs drifts in the direction of destruction, so those who do nothing choose to let it drift. Those who want to choose peace must do something meaningful for peace must make a great peace effort to turn the tide.
Knowing that all good effort bears good fruit, I continue to make all the peace effort I can, and to try to inspire others to do likewise.
Love and peace to you,
INDIA The message of Peace Pilgrim has a uniquely authentic ring about it; it goes straight to the heart. There is no doubt about its inspirational power and influence It is said when the darkest is the thickest the Dawn is the nearest! She was indeed a gently, soothing, spiritual tornado, as one of the American papers said soon after the start of her Pilgrimage.
Hers is a universal message of perennial spiritual truths, clothed in todays simple, easily understood language. It is original in the sense that it has been given after testing, verifying and demonstrating its efficacy and authenticity in her own life Therein lies the difference; It is not the scholars erudition that speaks through her but the Saints Imprisoned Splendor, released in its full effulgence, scattering its warm, soothing rays all around for nearly three decades. Yours is a God-ordained work. You are blessed to be the media of this divine service. I also convey my salutations to brothers Jeff and Bill for joining you in this labor of love!
HUNGARY A friend sent me STEPS some years ago, and I was so much impressed by it, I translated some parts of it into the Hungarian language and shared it with some people. Now I can give my friends also a little book We are very happy now having more human rights.
THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS I wish you every success in your future endeavors for spreading of the good message of peace, which alone can save this world from utter disaster.
MONKS WALK, SURREY, ENGLAND I do thank you for all the Peace Pilgrim books, STEPS and newsletters to the Reigate Quaker Meeting, where they are much appreciated and spoken of. I enjoy them all so much and find them most helpful. I reread a page or two every night before sleep; there is always something good to think about and apply to ones own daily life as far as one is able.
SWEDEN There are more and more people interested in Peace Pilgrim and it is so wonderful. I have decided to translate STEPS into Swedish! It feels so good. A friend has promised to type for me and that is great It is so wonderful to read about the translation into Russian and Chinese. It really gives hope!
SRILANKA I casually came across a STEPS booklet and was thrilled to the quick to read the contents and that such a thing could take place in the USA! It only shows that "good people are all over...I circulated the copy that came my way to a dozen circle of friends concerned in promoting peace in our island, just now overbalanced by discord and senseless killing.
SWITZERLAND I read the STEPS, and I marvelled at its message! I come across quite a lot of psychological and spiritual books in a year, but I didnt see any lately, in such a condensed form, with so much insight and truth. Therefore, I accept your gift with great joy and gratitude!
I thank you also for the extra copies and I take this as a message in itself, and I speak to my friends and to my patients of the eternal truth displayed in Peace Pilgrims life as well as in her words, and to some of them I offer the book and the STEPS.
Proclamation of Peace
"Let us raise our voice in unison and cry out with one heart, one breath: We are Humanity. We are bound, heart to heart, mind to mind, in our shard destiny. We are as one body, living, breathing upon this earth. Our needs are one. So too our sorrows and our joys. We understand our common bonds. Let us unite in vision and in thought and with fearless hearts cry out for righteousness, justice and peace, so that our leaders shall reflect our wisdom and tolerance. For the voice of the people is strong and it shall be heard. We shall not perish. But we shall rise up as a mighty, swelling tide of compassion and understanding that shall encompass the earth." (June 25th, 1985) Portion of a speech given at the Dedication Ceremony at the Custer Battlefield by Austin-Two-Moons, Northern Cheyenne.
BETTER WORLD SOCIETY
One of the five awards given by the Better World Society in 1988 was to Yue-Sai Kan. The following is taken from the "Better World Letter":
Yue-Sai Kan is firmly committed to making a difference. With her two television series, "One World and "Looking East," seen on two continents, she is touching hundreds of millions of lives.
A naturalized U.S. Citizen, she was born in China. She began her television career 16 years ago as a volunteer anchorperson for a cable station in New York. Mr. Kan created "Looking East" in 1980 to present an insiders view about the many countries of the East.
Ms. Kan went on to make television history in 1986 with the creation of "One World," the first original television series in the Peoples Republic of China to be produced and hosted by a "foreigner." Seen by an astonishing weekly audience of 400 million, this critically acclaimed series gives the Chinese their first look at peoples and cultures around the world. According to China daily, "One World" is "providing China a global perspective indispensable to its Open Door Policy."
Heralded by the New York Times a "modern day Marcia Polo," Ms. Kan is one of the most watched and influential personalities in the world. She has helped people worldwide develop realistic attitudes and perspectives of their global neighbors. For Yue-Sai Kan, we truly live in one world.
Jane Feracas recent live telephone interview of John and Ann brought many requests for books. She asked searching questions, having read PEACE PILGRIM thoroughly. It was a delight to hear call-in comments from listeners. Some had met Peace Pilgrim. The following is from the transcript of the program.
Hearing the recording (of Peace Pilgrim speaking) was a real memory jogger. I encountered her in San Diego in the mid 70s when she gave a talk at a religious organization. Her message was plain, simple, and clear.
At the time, I had been in the Navy for about 2 years and I was having real doubts That was right in the middle of the Vietnam era. Within a few months after hearing her talk I quit. I walked into the personnel office and said, "Do whatever you want, Im not working for you anymore." Ultimately, I received a conscientious objector discharge
I think I might have been the first person out on a C.O. discharge after Admiral Zumwalt started changing things in the Navy. A directive came while I was standing in the personnel office quitting that allowed me to get out, essentially for the reason of changing my mind while on active duty.
I guess the most important part of her message was that peace is attainable. And she was proving it because she was certainly at peace with herself. You could see that.
ANOTHER CALLER: In about 1959 I was a brash young television reporter, anxious to find scandal at city hall. Instead, I was assigned to go out and interview this funny lady, who was walking along the highway. I went out, and we did a walking interview. It was a much bigger story on television than the local city hall scandal!
By Maggie and Bob Bowman.
Dr. Bowman directed a nuclear missile defense program under Presidents Ford and Carter. He is president of the Institute for Space and Security Studies and a member of the Peace Commission of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington.
To us in the United States, Human Rights means freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, and freedom of movement. These are essentially Political Rights. If there is one word to describe them, it is "Liberty."
In the Soviet Union, Human Rights means freedom from joblessness, homelessness, and hunger; free education, free medical care, and free daycare for working mothers; and guaranteed retirement income. These are essentially Economic Rights. If there is one word to describe them, it is "Justice."
President Roosevelt, in his famous Four Freedoms, included both kinds political and economic. His ideal is expressed in our Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag: "Liberty and Justice for all." But with the exception of his New Deal and the Civil Rights advances the U.S. has made very little progress in economic Human Rights. Indeed, many observers believe that we have gone backward in the 1980s, the percentage of those in poverty having increased, especially among minority races. In the Soviet Union now, there is evidence of much greater freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion
We have for too long been trying to define Human Rights exclusively in terms of political liberty at the expense of economic justice It is time we returned to the pursuit of the full meaning of Human Rights: LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL!!
Dr. Lee De Stefano, an American teaching English in Foshan, China has been corresponding with Jeff for a year. These three letters are the last we have received from him. He, his family and students are in our prayers.
DR. LEES MARCH LETTER:
I decided to assign Peaces book as one of my texts to 3 classes of more advanced students. They are quite excited about this, so I thought I should give you advance notice, as many of them will be writing for the book and possibly for audiotapes. Some may even write you for a video, as many of them have VCRs I gave each class six books to share. This encourages the students to read to one another. Good books are hard to find in China, so this is a real treat for them. They still cannot fathom why anyone would give away a book for nothing! I told them that after they were more into the book we would discuss these and many other things. I told them that it was love that brought the book to them
Peaces book makes no bones about mentioning God. I am glad. She doesnt preach; she speaks of her own life in relationship to God. She answers questions directly, truthfully and with sincerity. Even the most vexed and vexing atheist would have to respect the incredible simplicity and truth that surrounds any mention of God and Divinity. We are fortunate that religious practice is once again allowed frowned upon, yes, but allowed. People need spirituality no matter what country they come from. Peaces book lets the reader make up his or her own mind
By the way, you can continue sending me books. They have become a "hot" item. People have even offered me money! Of course I turn it down. If it were Hong Kong dollars, I would have them send you folks the money; but it is Renminbi useless outside of China!
Know that you and everyone there are in our thoughts, daily meditation and prayers, and you all are sent our love and light continuously.
DR. LEES APRIL LETTER:
I was happy to receive your last letter and the good news of such a large shipment of books. It seems that the interest in the book has just mushroomed.
I have been teaching with the videos. They are marvelous! The students listen carefully to every word, and it is amazing how alive they become. Some are moved, and for some of the others it is as if they are waking up from a long sleep. I just opened a new class, so I anxiously await the books that you wonderful folks have worked so hard to send. People are not inclined to trust in a lot of things, and we have to understand why in order to better serve them.
I think the Cultural Revolution robbed them of their trust I and finding that this is really did a lot of psychological damage. You can imagine the level of denial, fear and distrust that one can run into; or can you? you might have to experience all of these things by living here. Then too, if we look at the facts of history, sometimes the missionaries who came here did terrible things.
People do not know what to believe, and they certainly are not going to bend easily and have trust and faith in things that are human. After all, the Cultural Revolution was human completely human. But something is really amazing to witness, and that is the fact that Peace Pilgrims universal message touches what would appear to be cold and weary hearts. People dont understand everything, but something profound has begun to happen an awakening is taking place.
I tell you, Jeff, it is an awesome responsibility to have to try to care for these souls spiritually in light of what I previously mentioned. I sometimes have to reinterpret Peace Pilgrims words, something that takes great care. I am filled with Light, though. Once they understand these truths, they cannot be removed from the depths of their souls.
Yesterday, my students asked me to write something for their newspaper, so I wrote them a letter on the urgent call for world peace. I used Peaces words as my foundation and structure and then composed the letter to meet some of their very apparent spiritual needs. You can imagine the difficulties, you can imagine the rewards. If it can awaken one soul then that is all that matters
I have come to believe that China is really opening up, and the whole world watches and anxiously waits for this giant to make its next move.
We finally got the STEPS booklet entirely translated. I will meet with my friend to go over some of the etymological and translation-transpositional problems imposed by the incredible differences between English and Chinese. I will send you a copy. China has 1.1 billion people, and the need for a translation is obviously there. I am hopeful that I may be able to get some backing in Hong Kong, not only for the booklet, but for the book as well. I have to ask Gods help in all of this. I know things take time and everything has its season, but I feel so positive about these things.
Sometimes the Chinese are not very kind to one another. This kind of stuff is left over from the Cultural Revolution. But there is another kind of "revolution" going on. The young are not taking on the ways of the old regime; as a matter of fact, they detest this situation. They see how things are in the Western world and are demanding more and more freedom Actually, they are longing for truth and spiritual guidance.
It is easier for the group to be immoral where it is harder for the individual It takes tremendous power to rule the people and to get them to conform. Peace Pilgrim says that people should not fear, for that gives power to what they fear. People have been too afraid in the past to react.
Now they are beginning to wake from the long sleep and nightmare that has encompassed the core of their very lives, especially since the Cultural Revolution China is in desperate need of education for her people People have to go within and learn about the good inside. Peace Pilgrim really emphasized this I think the current problem is education people to do just that! Her booklet and book provides that education devoid of the religiosity, superstition and missionary approach. Grassroots is what it is all about, right?
Well, dear Jeff, I really must close here. Know that you and the wonderful people there are in our thoughts and prayers everyday. We know we are in all of yours. All that love flowing back and forth keeps the planet safer. I put my head down to sleep every night knowing this and as I write this, all of you have done so, I am sure!
DR. LEES MAY LETTER: (Back to TOC)
As to date, I have received two boxes of books! It seems that it did not take so long to get them this time! Thank you ever so much. One box is completely distributed, and the second box is well on its way to becoming an empty box. I have to try to keep some around.
One student said that she received a book that she wrote for! She was just thrilled. I asked her what she thought of the book, and a huge smile came to her face, and she said, "Great. The material is just great for me!" I wish you could have seen her glowing, smiling face.
I showed the videos to the classes I had this morning, and they were well received. The material is such a mind-blowing experience for them. I also found out why many have hesitated to write to you for a copy of the book they refused to believe it was possible to get a free book there might be some hidden obligation. They just cannot fathom that anything in this world comes free of charge.
Well, this led into a discussion of the power of love, and that there are people who love them and pay for the books because they have the money to do so. They just find it so hard to believe that anyone cares, let alone would spend money to distribute this kind of material.
I tell you, Jeff, this country has suffered so awfully; but a fresh breeze is blowing. The winds of change are upon us. I am sure you are aware of the activities in Beijing. If only we could get a book to all of those students in China who speak English I wonder what could and would happen. Raise enough consciousness, and profound and beautiful changes manifest in no time.
"That men and women may see not what divides them but what will united them."
George Byer, a former mayor of Anchorage, Alaska, now living in Hemet, California, is the founder and director of National Friendship Week. He is currently working with the support of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, to make 1990 the "International Year of Friendship." Because of his efforts for peace, Congressman George E. Brown, Jr. has nominated him for the Nobel Peace Prize.
A Matching Gift
A friend of Peace Pilgrim found a unique way to send a love gift. An insurance company offered to match contributions from their agents to tax-exempt, non-profit organizations. As an agent he applied for the matching fund, and we received a contribution that matched his generous gift.
PASOS (SPANISH STEPS) We now have a smaller, less expensive edition of PASOS, about the size of English STEPS. Since we send many hundreds to South and Central America, our cost is an important factor. (Most people in third world countries are unable to send more than their heartfelt thanks, and we feel the responsibility of using your gifts wisely.)
LETTER FROM A CATHOLIC SISTER IN HONDURAS (excerpts)
I have read STEPS, and like other literature by and about Peace Pilgrim, it is just so wonderful. I am so interested in getting more. I am a religious, a missionary working in Honduras among the very poor of many rural communities So I was extra delighted to see that you also have this booklet in Spanish.
I felt such a blessing to have received STEPS and to know you are distributing these booklets where you know they will do some good. The Spanish edition could be such a great breakthrough for us in pastoral ministry in Honduras We desire to help spread this message of interior peace and its relationship to peace in families, communities and among nations. It is a great little booklet.
The total needs of the people of this area are extremely great I want to ask you a great favor if you could send a good number of SPANISH STEPS, whatever you can send that would help us in our work. I envision using them with group leaders in many different communities, and eventually maybe we could get more for those who can read. Fifty, or even twice that many, would be so very helpful and would be doing so much for contributing toward peace among people here and among nations. (We send 110 PASOS.)
MARYKNOLL LAY CATHOLIC MISSIONARIES FROM MEXICO
We were blessed by an overnight visit from a lay Catholic missionary couple and their little girl. Here are excerpts from their letters: "As part of my health promotion/nutrition classes in rural Mexico, I used STEPS for the Spiritual Health sections. They were well received and free to the pubic Never doubt that the message you seek to spread is reaching remote as well as far-flung places! I didnt need to request further copies of PASOS in Mexico because La Casa de los Amigos (Friends House) in Mexico City generously supplied them for me."
"I could feel the pain and anguish in the voice of a Maryknoll priest, recently returned from Guatemala, as he told us that the people of one of the villages he served wouldnt let him go home one day because they were afraid the army would ambush his jeep. He insisted he was safe and must go. They said, you may go, but only if you take three of us with you. Why, Joe asked, If the army is out to get me that will only mean four deaths instead of one. The replied, Yes, but at least you will not die alone. The least we can say to the people of the Third World who are suffering from what the powers-that-be have pressed upon them is, I promise, you will not die alone."
For the first time ever theres a possibility that average Russians will be able to open up a Bible they can read. For centuries the only Bibles in Russia were in an archaic Slavonic language and were available mainly to clergy and scholars. To most Russians, this Scripture read and sounded like a foreign language.
This June in Tbilisi, in Soviet Georgia, a team of Western Bible scholars will meet with Orthodox Church leaders, Russian Evangelical Protestants, and linguists from the Soviet Academy of Science to discuss methods of translating the Bible into contemporary Russian.
The request for help, which came from the Georgian Orthodox Church at an international Bible conference last fall, caught Western scholars by surprise. The invitation was extended to leaders of the United Bible Society, an umbrella group of about 105 national Bible societies, at a conference in late September in Budapest.
Russian church authorities told us theres an enormous pressure at all levels for a Bible thats not just a sacred object, but something to be read, says scholar Howard Clark Kee of Boston University. (By Robert Marquand of the Christian Science Monitor)
NATURE MUSIC (Back to TOC)
Bob Mills is a musician who loves Peace Pilgrims message and helps spread it. By sharing with us his professional knowledge he helped make it possible to send good, inexpensive audio and videotapes to you. He composes and plays beautiful, quiet, peaceful music full of nature sounds.
He dedicated his "CLOUD DRIFTING" tape to Peace Pilgrim and wrote to us, "I put together this tape of meditation music because I was inspired by Peace Pilgrim to do what I could for peace." And on his cassette label for " OCEAN the ISLAND" he quoted her, "Your higher nature is a drop in the ocean of God and has access to the ocean. Sometimes your higher nature is awakened through the inspiration of beautiful surroundings or beautiful music, bringing you insights of truth."
He plays his serene nature music for churches and other groups and gives out STEPS. If you want his tapes or want to invite him to ;your church, write to: Bob Mills, Mill-Mulligan Music, POB 10427, Glendale, CA 91209.
"The best things in life are truly free air, earth and your book!"
-in a letter from Los Angeles
Excerpts from a statement made by scholars, as reported in MEDICINE AND WAR, Vol. 3, 191-193 (1987) Sent to us by a friend of Peace Pilgrim from England.
Believing that it is our responsibility to address from our particular disciplines the most dangerous and destructive activities of our species, violence and war; we, the undersigned scholars from around the world and from relevant sciences, have met and arrived at the following Statement on Violence. In it, we challenge a number of alleged biological findings that have been used to justify violence and war. Because the alleged findings have contributed to an atmosphere of pessimism in our time, we submit that the open, considered rejection of these misstatements can contribute significantly to the International Year Of Peace.
We conclude that biology does not condemn humanity to war and that humanity can be freed from the bondage of biological pessimism and empowered with confidence to undertake the transformative tasks needed in the years to come Just as "wars begin in the minds of men," peace also begins in our minds. The same species who invented war is capable of inventing peace. The responsibility lies with each of us. - Seville, May 16, 1986 (signed by scholars from around the world)
PEACE PILGRIM IN THE SCHOOLS
A Peace Pilgrim friend has been active in getting schoolteachers and supervisors interested in having Peace Pilgrim books in their schools. After contacting them by phone and getting their permission, he sends Peace Pilgrim materials. With each book he sends a sheet called INTERESTING EXAMPLES FROM THE PEACE PILGRIM BOOK. He writes that it helps to grip peoples attention: "I feel it helped activate the final breakthrough in getting O.K. for the initial 50 copies the supervisor requested." Some of his examples from the PEACE PILGRIM book are: Her High School experience as a store clerk Peer pressure to use alcohol and tobacco Helping an architect to learn the joy of service Responding lovingly to a big boy who hit her Protecting an eight-year old girl from a man who was about to beat her Saloon experience, a drunk healed Jail experience, helping an eighteen-year-old girl Near death experience in a snowstorm.
by Victoria Moran
Some years back in a struggle for justice I saw two young Quakers physically assaulted by several men who disagreed with their position. The two stood, resolute, their arms at their sides. After a minute, the leader of the attackers stopped abruptly, looking as if hed seen a ghost. "Lets get out of here!" he shouted. They ran, carrying with them an unforgettable message. And as I watched 17 years old, impressionable and amazed I knew my life would never be the same.
The power of nonviolent resistance is staggering. We tap it every time we boycott a cruel product, write a letter of protest, or take part in a peaceful demonstration. And when the potent tool of civil disobedience is called for, activists show a dedication that makes a mighty statement to sway public opinion.
Rooted as it is in the essence of virtually every spiritual tradition, nonviolence did not start with Mahatma Gandhi. Gandhi, however, made it a science. "If humanity is to progress," proclaimed Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. "Gandhi is inescapable We may ignore him at our own risk."
Gandhi understood that nonviolence does not simply denounce the use of force; it is a force in itself Satyagraha. He called it, "truth force." And just as a marksman must be trained to use a gun, nonviolence demands study, skill, commitment, and courage One who has extensively researched Gandhian philosophy says, "For him nonviolence was exemplified not solely by deeds but more importantly in participants very thoughts and words. It was a synthesis of love, compassion, and kindness on the inner spiritual level, with external social and political action effective because it tried to convert the adversary rather than force him into capitulation."
There is an incident in which some 20 policemen were killed by Indian demonstrators. Gandhis response was to call off the entire movement for independence and start fasting. Nehru was appalled that Gandhi would halt the whole struggle just because a few policemen were killed. That illustrates the real difference between nonviolence as a principled action and nonviolence as an unprincipled tactic for which violence could be substituted when circumstances seem to require it.
Development of that sense of "principled action" starts, according to those who have achieved it, in our own lives. Some groups are actively encouraging this approach. EathSave, the organization founded by Diet for a New America author John Robbins, included in its premier mailing a booklet that distills the thought of the late "Peace Pilgrim," a woman who taught the necessity of preceding outer change with inner peace. She said that we need to assume right attitudes toward life by facing it squarely and looking for its deeper meaning. She suggested that we search four our place in the overall scheme of things and simplify our lives by releasing unneeded possessions and meaningless activities. Self-will, attachments, negativity, and a feeling of separateness she targeted as the primary hindrances to a peaceful life.
But will it work? With Indian independence and the American civil rights movements as precedent, history itself answers that question affirmatively. Our job as individuals is to be up to the task. Its simple, but its not easy.
Gandhi told his followers, "It is nonviolence only when we love those who hate us. I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love. But are not all great and good things difficult to do?"
(From an article in Animals Agenda)
A Group Inspired by Peace Pilgrim
In our last newsletter we told about "several moms" going to Nicaragua with WITNESS FOR PEACE. Here are more details:
Nonviolence is active and flourishing in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Last October 600 people acted in the power of non-violence and confronted the Ku Klux Klan Then we felt the need to deepen our understanding of violence within ourselves, in our community and our world. Following the suggestion of Peace Pilgrim, a lady who walked thousands of miles for peace for 28 years, we formed a peace study/prayer/action group.
We came to believe that love could overcome; that there is a power in creative acts, in speaking truth, in stubbornly saying no to hatred and injustice.
It is out of this slow discovering of the power of love and reconciliation that we decided to go to Nicaragua with a Witness for Peace Delegation from June 24 to July 8. We plan to visit schools, health centers, cooperatives, and meet with Nicaraguans of all political and social beliefs. We will worship and live with families WITNESS FOR PEACE is a nonpartisan, faith-based organization, and everyone in the delegation accepts a non-violent discipline. If interested, please write: Barb French, 1232 Washington Ave., Parkersburg, WV, 26101. (304) 422-5299
(taken from Rural Southern Voice for Peace)
When Gandhi is portrayed as a sainted martyr non-violence is rendered beyond our ranch, inaccessible, unusable. By making it seem like something only saints have done, the history of nonviolent action has been buried When this happens, all of us are deprived of the tools of liberation. Pam MCAllister
A Letter From a CONCERNED Friends of Peace Pilgrim
I would like to point out a great DANGER that is brought about by your wonderful success in spreading the message that came through Peace Pilgrim.
There is a way in which the message of Peace Pilgrim can move the world ahead. There is however a DANGER of making Peace Pilgrim seem to be divine and to have people all over the world worshipping Peace Pilgrim, and forgetting the "message" that she brought so gloriously in our day.
People worship Jesus but tend to overlook what he said.
We have the same concern. We hope no one worships Peace Pilgrim or follows her blindly. She wanted to inspire people to seek their own unique path of service by listening to the still small voice of God within. Jesus also said that the Kingdom of God is within.
Peace Pilgrim said, "Do not believe in me or any other teacher, rather trust your own inner voice. This is your guide, this is your teacher. Your teacher is within, not without. Know yourself, not me."
Dieter Heinrich, President of Canadian World Federalists, had an idea: "Wouldnt it be wonderful if the photograph of the Earth, taken from space, were to hand in every classroom in the world! That single image is so powerful that it would be a constant reminder to children everywhere of the world we all share."
He shared his idea with Ann McTaggart, an educator who had already used the image of the Earth in space in her classroom and knew the effect it would have on children. She decided to go ahead and make the idea a reality.
NASA offered the transparency of the Earth image for the posters. Money was borrowed and 10,000 posters were printed and ready for distribution in May 1988. Word of OUR PLANET project has spread, networked by enthusiastic individuals and groups. Office space was donated and a volunteer staff does all the work. We are motivated by an overwhelming love for this beautiful planet we all call home.
The Earth poster has taken on a life of its own. The posters hang in classrooms in the U.S.A., USSR, Hungary, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, Kenya, West Africa and England.
The project is simple, the image, hauntingly beautiful and the project is providing
that concerned individual CAN make a difference in the way our world is viewed.
Six months ago Paul Hoffman was living in his car when he awoke with a sudden vision. He wanted to put the image of the Earth into the hands of the average citizen by making stickers called "Earth Seals." NASA gave its permission to use its famous photo of the planet and Earth Seals became a reality.
These beautiful four-color, two-inch diameter stick-on stamps are now available "around the planet on a donation basis to promote global consciousness." Simple write to Earth Seals, P.O. Box 8000, Berkeley, California. 94707
The universe contains about 100 billion galaxies, each with at least 100 billion stars. Our galaxy, the Milky Way, contains our star, the Sun. Of all these stars in all these galaxies our Sun is the only one we know with a planet that supports life. The earth and its living systems have evolved for five billion years and now man and his technology have the power to destroy it all. We also have the power to save it. (on a post card with a picture of the earth, from NASA, printed by Earthspace, P.O. Box 3173, Ashland, OR 97520. T-shirts and posters are also available.
"If you treat an individual as he is, he will stay that way; but if you treat him as if he were what he could be, he will become what he could be."
In the January/February bulletin of the Friends Peace Center (Centro De Los Amigos Para La Paz) in Costa Rica there is a picture of the President of Cost Rica, Oscar Arias, planting a tree with six-year-old Jan Thompson. Organized by the Earthstewards Network Foundation, with help from the University for Peace and the Friends Peace Center, the Peacetrees project brought together 43 young people 13 Costa Ricans, 5 Soviets and 15 North Americans for two weeks of "citizen diplomacy: and environmental awareness. The Youngsters planted trees in Talamanca, Arenal and the garden of the Presidents office Activities culminated with a dinner in the Peace Center attended by the U.S. and Soviet ambassadors to Costa Rica.
Almost 40 years ago some of our Quaker friends moved to Monteverde, Costa Rica to get away from the militarism of this country. They bought land in the high country and gave the upper portion of their land to the Costa Rican government to be kept as a forest preserve. The government has added to this preserve and now scientists come from around the world to study the plants and animals of this tropical forest.
The World Peace University in Oregon is helping to add to this preserve by asking individuals to purchase small portions of land. We, John and Ann, have a certificate on our wall in recognition of the purchase of º of an acre (price $25) to enlarge, preserve and protect the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica. You too can be a participant. For information write to: World Peace University, P.O.Box 10869, Eugene, Oregon 97440.
COSTA RICA I have read PASOS (Spanish STEPS) and would like to use it as a resource in training our Pastoral Team of the Episcopal Church of the San Jose Parish. While we are doing away with a false understanding of the role of clergy, we must help each member develop his/her own discipline of prayer, meditation and interior centeredness. This little book strikes us as ideal, and unique in Spanish.
Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544