(Photo by Jim Burton)
|NEWSLETTER NUMBER 18||
Written at end of 5th Pilgrimage Route
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 school, churches, etc. - but always I am
happily busy. My slogan of "First things first" has enabled me to take care of
my speaking arrangements, keep my mail up to date and also do some walking. My lettered
tunic still makes lots of contacts for me wherever I walk. With my slogan of "Every
ounce counts" my possessions consist of my clothes, a comb, a folding toothbrush, a
ballpoint pen, a map, some copies of my message. I am now so adjustable to changes in
temperature that I wear the same clothes summer and winter, indoors and outdoors. Of
course I am north in the summer and south in winter. If you wish to talk with people out
of doors, you must be where weather is pleasant or people will not be out. My last
newsletter, consisting of some questions I have been asked and some of my answers and
covering a variety of subjects, was so popular I'm writing a similar newsletter this time.
Q. How does a person know the truth?
A. You can only know the truth from within yourself. You either first contact the truth from the outside and then receive an inner confirmation, which is the usual way - or you directly perceive the truth from the inside through an awakening of the higher nature, which is my way. All the inspired writing came from the inner source, and you, too, can receive from that source. Be still and know.
Q. Can spiritual growth be accomplished quickly or does it take a while?
A. Spiritual growth is a process the same as physical growth or mental growth. The five-year-old does not expect to be as tall as his father at his next birthday - the first grader does not expect to graduate into college at the end of the term - the truth student should not expect to attain peace overnight. It took me fifteen years. There should be no wish to either hasten it or slow it down. Just experience it and take the steps toward inner peace and let it unfold.
Q. What does it really mean to be a Christian?
A. You will note that Jesus says, "Why call you me Lord, Lord, and do not what I say? - and He expresses this thought more than once. Therefore, it seems to me that a real Christian would be living by the laws of God that Jesus taught. Jesus also says, "Say not, 'Lo here' or 'Lo there', for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you" - and in many other places He tells people what they are capable of. Therefore, it seems to me that a real Christian would allow his life to be governed by the Kingdom of God within - by the God-centered nature - which is sometimes called the in-dwelling Christ.
Q. What is a truly religious person?
A. I would say that a truly religious person has religious attitudes. He has a religious attitude or a loving attitude toward his fellow human beings. He has a religious attitude or an obedient attitude toward God - toward God's laws and God's guidance. He has a religious attitude toward himself - recognizing himself as more than the self-centered nature, recognizing himself as more than the body and life as more than the earth life.
Q. What overcomes fear?
A. I would say that religious attitudes overcome fear. If you have a loving attitude toward your fellow human beings, you will not fear them - "Perfect love casteth out fear." An obedient attitude toward God will bring you into the constant awareness of God's presence, and then fear is gone. When you know that you are only wearing the body, which can be destroyed - that you are the reality which activates the body, which cannot be destroyed - how can you be afraid.
Q. How can I conquer little fears, like fear of the dark outside when I'm alone?
A. I always think of the dark as being friendly. It provides such a restful situation in which to sleep. May I suggest watching it get dark - appreciating the beauty of the sunset and looking for the first star. Get acquainted with the darkness - for fear is usually fear of the unknown.
Q. What do you mean by "I started the process we call death"?
A. Of course the change called death is a process. First you begin to perceive not only this side of life but the unembodied side of life. Then you begin to recognize loved ones on the unembodied side as they move toward you, and you find you can communicate with both sides. That's as far as I went. Next comes the breaking of the "silver cord" - and then communication with those on this side is cut off, although you can still see and hear them. You find yourself in the "common meeting place" with your unembodied loved ones for a wondrous reunion, and later you go to the level where you are to learn - and also to serve if you are far enough advanced.
Q. Do you think a soul leaves the body before the preordained time?
A. It is true that this universe operates according to exact laws. It is true that some come into an earth life only to stay for a very short time. Some come in only to stay as long as the body will last. You can come in to learn lessons - to pay debts - to serve - or a combination of these things. Through it all, you have free will. If you take good care of your body, you stay longer than if you abuse it. Thoughts and emotions also play a part. So you see things are really only conditionally preordained - you will stay a long time IF.
Q. How does an ordinary housewife and mother find what you seem to possess?
A. One who is in the family pattern - as most people are - finds inner peace in the same way that I found it. Obey God's laws, which are the same for all of us, not only the physical laws, but also the spiritual laws which govern human conflict. You might start by living all the good things you believe, as I did. Find and fit into your special place in the divine plan, which is unique for every human soul. You might try seeking in receptive silence, as I did. Being in the family pattern is not a block to spiritual growth, and in some ways it is an advantage. We grow through problem-solving, and being in the family pattern provides plenty of problems to grow on. When we enter the family pattern we have our first outgoingness from self-centeredness into family-centeredness. Pure love is a willingness to give without a thought of receiving anything in return, and the family pattern provides the first experience of pure love - a mother's love for her baby.
Q. What should a person do that is a compulsive eater, and eats wrong foods?
A. If the person already knows this, and wants to do something about it, the person might begin by having only good wholesome foods available. You can still be hungry after eating large quantities of wrong foods - in fact, you can suffer from malnutrition even though you consistently overeat on wrong foods. Then you can deliberately limit the quantity you eat. If you are preparing only for yourself, prepare only a small quantity. If you are preparing for a family, take only a small quantity on your plate and take no second helping. Make food a very incidental part of your life by filling your life so full of other meaningful things that you'll hardly have time to think about food.
Q. Why are you a vegetarian, and how can you be sure you are consistent?
A. As to my vegetarianism, I do the best I can. I have never refrained from doing something I believed was right because I could not do it perfectly. I do not believe it is right for me to ask someone else to do my "dirty work" for me. I would not kill the creature, and I would not ask someone else to kill it for me, so I will not eat the flesh of the creature. I also practice prevention, and after learning about poisonous residues flesh-eating leaves in the body, I would not eat it anyway.
Q. Aren't you sad to see the dirty young folks in the park who are taking dope?
A. Yes, and I am also sad when I see the dirty old folks on skid row who are taking alcohol - but I do not judge the old folks by those on skid row, or the young folks by those who take dope.
Q. What is the theory behind not buying spiritual truth?
A. The theory behind not buying spiritual truth is this - one who has it would not be selling it, so one who is selling it doesn't have it. You lose any spiritual contact if you commercialize on it. These are the "pearls without price." Also, as soon as you are ready for the spiritual truth, it will be given. On the other hand, you are given as you give - you receive spiritual truth as you give. But paying a fee is not giving a gift - and you do not need to give to the one from whom you receive, as we are all cells in the same body of humanity.
Q. What are good things, and how do I fill my life with them?
A. Good things are of benefit to you and to others. You may get some inspiration from the outside, but in the final analysis you must know from the inside what good things you want to fill your life with. Then you can make yourself a schedule of what you think a good life should be like, and live according to that schedule. It might include something beneficial to the body - like walking for exercise. Also something stimulating to the intellect - like meaningful reading. Also something uplifting for the emotions - like good music. But most important of all it needs to include service to others if it is to be spiritually beneficial to you.
Q. When confronted with a problem, can I do anything about it intellectually?
A. If you are confronted with a health problem, ask yourself, "Have I abused my body?" If you are confronted with a financial problem, ask yourself, "Have I lived within my means?" If you are confronted with a psychological problem, ask yourself, "Have I been as loving as God would want me to be?" What you do in the present creates the future, so use the present to create a wonderful future. Through thought, you are constantly creating your inner conditions and helping to create the conditions around you - so keep you thoughts on the positive side; think about the best that could happen, think about good things you want to happen - think about God!
Q. How can I begin to really live life?
A. I began to really live life when I began to look at every situation and think about how I could be of service in that situation. I learned that I shouldn't be pushy about helping, but just willing. Often I could give a helping hand - or perhaps a loving smile or a word of cheer. I learned it is through giving that we receive the worthwhile things of life.
Q. Will there always be pain in one's becoming more beautiful?
A. There will be pain in your spiritual growth until you will to do God's will and no longer need to be pushed into it. When you are out of harmony with God's will, problems come - and their purpose is to push you into harmony. If you would willingly do God's will, you could avoid the problems.
Q. Will I ever come to a state of feeling at rest with no more need to become?
A. When you have found inner peace you have no more feeling of need to become - you are content to be, which includes following your divine guidance. However, you keep on growing - but harmoniously.
Q. Is there a God who will always be beyond me?
A. Think of God as a divine ocean and you as one drop with free will. You can choose to remain separate from the ocean - but you won't be happy. You can choose to be a part of the ocean - in which case you will give up your free will, but you will be delightfully happy acting in harmony with God's will. Now you will perceive yourself as a part of God and very much at one with God.
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