(Photo by Jim Burton)
Peace Pilgrim, Cologne, N. J.
PEACE IS EVERYBODY'S BUSINESS
The nuclear bomb says to us, "Make peace or perish!" We recognize that we can no longer think in terms of military victory - that a nuclear war would mean mutual annihilation. Many face this critical situation with apathy - some with frustration - but only a very few face it constructively. There is such a great need for constructive peace action. We live at a crisis period in human affairs, and those of us who are living today face a very momentous decision - a choice between a nuclear war of annihilation and a golden age of peace. All who are living today will help to make this choice, for the tide of world affairs now drifts in the direction of war and destruction, so all who do nothing in this crisis situation are choosing to let it drift. Those who wish to choose peace must act meaningfully for peace, and become a part of the stirring and awakening which has begun and is accelerating, and help to accelerate it sufficiently to turn the tide. In this crisis situation peace is certainly everybody's business! The time to work for peace is NOW, and I invite you to work with me.
NEGATIVE vs POSITIVE
I have chosen the positive approach - instead of stressing the bad things which I am against I stress the good things which I am for. Those who choose the negative approach dwell on what is wrong, resorting to judgement and criticism and sometimes even to name-calling. Naturally, the negative approach has a detrimental effect on the person who uses it, while the positive approach has a good effect. When an evil is attacked, it mobilizes, although it may have been weak and unorganized before, and therefore the attack gives it validity and strength. When there is no attack but instead good influences are brought to bear upon the situation, not only does the evil tend to fade away, but the evil-door tends to be transformed. The positive approach inspires - negative approach makes angry. When you make people angry they act in accordance with their base instincts, often violently and irrationally. When you inspire people they act in accordance with their higher instincts, sensibly and rationally. Also anger is transient, whereas inspiration sometimes has a life-long effect.
We have, or it is as though we have, two selves. Customarily, the lower self governs body and mind and uses them for selfish purposes, but the higher self is always there and we often call it conscience. It is possible for the higher self to take over completely, in which case the viewpoint changes completely. Your lower self sees things from the viewpoint of your physical well-being only - your higher self considers your psychological or spiritual well-being. Your lower self sees you as the center of the universe - your higher self sees you as a cell in the body of humanity. When you are governed by your lower self you are selfish and materialistic, and only insofar as you follow the prompting of your higher self will you see things realistically and find harmony within yourself and with others.
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION
I think here has been much too much tendency to just let people get sick, and then look for ways to help them. I believe the emphasis should be on keeping people well - therefore, I think in terms of health research. We have been alleviating symptoms too long - let us get busy on eliminating the cause. I would like to give everyone access to pure food, pure water and pure air. I would like to supply all their material needs, and also give them access to good food for thought and beautiful surroundings and all things that inspire. If we take the money - or even part of the money - we have been spending for destructive purposes and spend it for constructive purposes, we will be able to do all these things.
ESCAPE INTO REALITY
To the world it may seem that I have given up much - I have given up burdensome unnecessary possessions, spending time meaningless, doing things I know I should not do, not doing things I know I should do - but to me it seems that I have gained much, even the priceless possessions of health and happiness and inner peace. To me it seems that I have escaped from illusion into reality!
AN OLD FORT SPEAKS
One day as I was musing beside an old fort, I wondered what it would say to the people of the world if it could speak, and I wrote this article: When I was built much time and money was spent on me, because it was thought that I would defend the city against all invaders. Now I stand forlorn, since it does not require great wisdom to recognize that I am obsolete. Even the most modern of them are obsolete now, although you in your fear and your bewilderment still cling to them. But while in your immaturity you lavish your time and your treasure upon them, you know in your hearts that they cannot defend you against anything. You know that you stand, seemingly defenseless, facing a new age, while the nuclear bomb says to you, "Make peace or perish!" But are you really defenseless because all material defenses have crumbled as they were bound to crumble? Have you forgotten the defense which cannot crumble, the defense which lies in obedience to a higher law? Down through the ages your best teachings and your best selves have been telling you that evil can only be overcome by good, and experience has shown that if you want to make friends you must be friendly. When will you have wisdom enough to forsake the path to annihilation and turn to the defense which is timeless and ageless and changeless? People of earth, the decision is before you! You can still choose life, but you must choose quickly!
PEACE PILGRIM'S PLEDGE
Believing that war is contrary to the will of God and to common sense, and feeling that the way of peace is the way of love, I shall work for peace by using the way of love myself, by helping any group I am a part of to use it, by helping the nation of which I am a citizen to use it, by helping the United Nations to use it, and by praying that the way of love be used all over the world.
THOUGHTS TO PONDER ON
Blessed are they who give without expecting even thanks in return, for they shall be abundantly rewarded.
Blessed are they who translate every good thing they know into action, for ever higher truths shall be revealed unto them.
Blessed are they who do God's will without asking to see results, for great shall be their recompense.
Blessed are they who love and trust their fellow human beings, for they shall reach the good in people and receive a loving response.
Blessed are they who have seen reality, for they know that not the garment of clay but that which activates the garment of clay is real and indestructible.
Blessed are they who see the change we call death as a liberation from the limitations of this earth-life, for they shall rejoice with their loved ones who make the glorious transition.
Blessed are they who after dedicating their lives and thereby receiving a blessing have the courage and faith to surmount the difficulties of the path ahead, for they shall receive a second blessing.
Blessed are they who advance toward the spiritual path without the selfish motive of seeking inner peace, for they shall find it.
Blessed are they who instead of trying to batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven approach them humbly and lovingly and purified, for the shall pass right through.
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