(Photo by Jim Burton)
Peace Pilgrim, Cologne, N. J.
THE PRICE OF PEACE
We seem always ready to pay the price of war. Almost gladly we give our time and our treasure - our limbs and even our lives - for war. But we expect to get peace for nothing. We expect to be able to flagrantly disobey God's laws and get peace as a result. Well, we won't get peace for nothing - we won't get peace by disobeying the laws of God. We will get peace only when we are willing to pay the price of peace. And to a world drunk with power, corrupted by greed, deluded by false prophets, the price of peace may seem high indeed. For the price of peace is obedience to the higher laws - evil can only be overcome by good and hatred by love; only a good means can attain a good end. The price of peace is to abandon fear and replace it with faith - faith that if we obey God's laws we will receive God's blessings. The price of peace is to abandon hate and allow love to reign supreme in our hearts - love for all of our fellow human beings all over the world. The price of peace is to abandon arrogance and replace it with repentance and humility, remembering that the way of peace is the way of love. The price of peace is to abandon greed and replace it with giving, so that none will be spiritually injured by having more than they need while others in the world still have less than they need. The price of peace is to lay down our arms and stand with clean hands and contrite hearts before the world tribunal. People of the world, the time for decision is short - it is measured in a few years - there are choices that must be made NOW. The choice is ours as to whether or not we will pay the price of peace. If we are not willing to pay it, all that we hold dear will be consumed in the flame of war. If we are willing to pay it, we will move toward a golden age which we cannot now even imagine.
A NOTE TO LITTLE PEOPLE
I want to say to the millions of little people who live in this world that there are many worthwhile things little people can do, both individually and collectively. When I dedicated my life to be of as much service as possible to my fellow human beings someone said to me very sarcastically, "What do you think you can do?" and I replied, "I know I am a little person and can only do little things, but there are so many little things that need to be done," and I never had any trouble finding worthwhile little things to do. When I started my pilgrimage I was asking for very big things and someone said to me than, "You might as well ask for the moon," but I answered, "If enough of us little people ask together even very big things will be granted," and it has been so. Some of the steps towards peace that I talked about when I started out have now been taken or at least begun. A people-to-people approach is well under way, some research is being done on peaceful ways of resolving conflicts, war prevention measures are increasing, nuclear testing has almost ceased, and in spite of many temporary set-backs asking for world peace doesn't seem like asking for the moon any more. (In fact, that expression may become obsolete as we get to the moon.) Little people of the world, let's never feel helpless again - let's remember that if enough of us ask together even very big things like world disarmament and world peace will be granted. Let's ask together!
THE MOST VALUABLE THINGS
After a wonderful sojourn in the wilderness, I walk again along the streets of a city which was my home for awhile. It is 1:00 P.M. Hundreds of neatly dressed human beings with pale or painted faces are hurrying in rather orderly lines to and from their places of employment. I, in my faded shirt and well-worn slacks, walk among them. The rubber soles of my soft canvas shoes move noiselessly along beside the clatter of trim tight shoes with stilt-like heels. In the poorer section I am tolerated. In the wealthier section some glances seem a bit startled and some are disdainful. On both sides of us as we walk are displayed the things which we can buy if we are willing to stay in the orderly lines day after day, year after year. Some of the things more or less useful, many are utter trash - some have a claim to beauty, many are garishly ugly. Thousands of things are displayed - and yet, my friends, the most valuable things are missing. Freedom is not displayed, nor health, nor happiness, nor peace-of-mind. To obtain these things, my friends, you, too, may need to escape from the orderly lines and risk being looked upon disdainfully.
A LETTER AND AN ANSWER
The Letter: You said you did not feel guided to form an organization, but that we who work for peace belong to a spiritual fellowship. Some of us in this fellowship would like to apply to our lives the principles which you apply to your life. Will you tell us what "Peace Pilgrims" do?
The Answer: Peace Pilgrims pray and work for peace within and without.
Peace Pilgrims accept the way of love as the way of peace, and to depart from the way of love is to depart from the way of a Peace Pilgrim.
Peace Pilgrims obey God's laws, and seek God's guidance for their lives by being receptively silent.
Peace Pilgrims face life squarely, solve the problems it sets before them, and delve beneath it's surface to discover its verities and realities.
Peace Pilgrims seek, not a multiplicity of material things, but a simplification of material well-being, with need level as the ultimate goal.
Peace Pilgrims purify the bodily temple, the thoughts, the desires, the motives.
Peace Pilgrims relinquish as quickly as possible self-will, the feeling of separateness, all attachments, all negative feelings.
The tide of world affairs still drifts toward war, and it will take a real effort on the part of the people of the world to turn it toward peace.
The better world we all want will only come into being if we help to build it. History is moving so swiftly that we can see it in the making - and perhaps help to make it.
Get in tune with universal harmony. Be a sweet melody in the great orchestration instead of a discordant note.
Overcome your feeling of separateness. Be a harmonious, useful, happy cell in the body of humanity instead of a desperately unhappy outlaw cell. I now know myself to be a part of the infinite cosmos, not separate from other souls or from God. The illusory self is dead, and the real self controls the garment of clay and uses it for God's work.
The higher laws will bring us into harmony as soon as we obey them. The good within us makes us capable of obeying them. How soon we obey and find harmony is up to us.
There is a relationship between prayer and action. Receptive prayer results in an inner receiving which motivates to right action.
Spiritual truth should not be sold - lest the seller injure himself spiritually. Spiritual truth need not be bought - when you are ready it will be given.
A hopeful note: Seeing tractors and other farm machinery riding and flatcars instead of tanks and other implements of destruction.
There were two occasions when I felt that I was indeed battling with the elements. One was the wet and cold experience of walking through an blinding snow storm, along a well-traveled highway where each car that passed splashed me with muddy slush. One was the experience of walking through a dust storm, which sometimes blew with such force I could scarcely stand against it, while sometimes the dust was so thick I could not see ahead and could only guide myself by the edge of the road. The wonderful thing was that each time I felt spiritually lifted above the hardship.
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