This tape was recorded in Salt Lake City in 1955. In this tape Peace Pilgrim expresses her belief that all countries should be represented in the United Nations. She was concerned that China was excluded from membership at that time.
This is Peace Pilgrim, my I speak to you for a few moments, about something that is the desire of every human heart, about PEACE. Now friends the world situation is grave. Humanity with fearful, faltering steps walks a knife edge between abysmal chaos and a new renaissance while strong forces push toward chaos. Unless we, the people of the world awake from our lethargy firmly and quickly away from chaos, all what we cherish will be destroyed in the holocaust which will descend. This is the way to peace; overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. The Golden Rule would do as well. Please say lightly that these are just religious concepts and NOT practical. These are laws governing human conduct which apply as rigidly as the law of gravity. When we disregard these laws in any walk of life chaos results. Through obedience to these laws, this frightened war-weary world of ours could enter into a period of peace and richness of life beyond our fondest dreams.
This is the message which I carry as I walk my 10,000-mile pilgrimage for peace. It's a real pilgrimage a journey on foot and on faith. Undertaken as an opportunity to talk with people about the way to peace and as a prayer for peace. When I say on foot, I mean just that, so far I have walked 5,700 miles. I first walked from Los Angeles to New York, from coast to coast and border to border in a zigzag pattern across the country. That was my first 5,000 miles. However, I didn't even touch half of the states on that journey. So through my second 5,000 miles I have set out to walk a 100 miles in each state. Into the state capitol, plus a hundred miles in Mexico and a hundred miles in Canada. Now when I say on faith, I mean just that too. I took a vow at the beginning of my journey, that I would remain a wanderer on the face of the earth. Until mankind has learned the way to peace. Walking until I am given shelter and fasting until I am given food. Using money given me to spread the peace message.
I have never asked for anything, and yet I can truthfully say, I have received at least something to eat every day. Oh, not three square meals a day of course, but the longest I've been without food is from early morning to late the next night (about 36 hours). Still something everyday you see, and I have received shelter too, when I really needed it.
Now shelter was not always a fine bed in a fine home. Sometimes it was. I can remember. I once slept in very luxurious accommodations. A suite of rooms which regularly rented for $15 a day. And the very next night I slept on the cement floor of an all-night gas station. Often I sleep in all-night gas stations, or restaurants, or bus stations, or the back seat of a parked car, or perhaps the grass beside the road (if it's warm enough). But I have received adequate food and shelter without ever asking for anything. And I have also received money enough to get out a newsletter.
Besides publishing various material. Nothing that I write is ever copyrighted. There is never any charge for any of the material. Anybody who would like to receive a newsletter, needs only to send me their name and address. And the newsletter will be sent to them. Or if they would like any of the material which I publish, they need only to ask for it and it will be given.
Now this journey is also undertaken as a special prayer for world disarmament. Yes, that's my special prayer now. The next thing on the world peace level. Which is needful and I have a little message. It's really a little petition for world disarmament and reconstruction. It's address to the United Nations and world leaders. And it reads, "if you would find the way to peace, you must overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. We plead with you to free us from the crushing burden of armament, to free us from hatred and fear. So that we may feed our hungry ones. Mend our broken cities. And experience a richness of life, which can only come in a world that is unarmed and feed." Now this petition is for the world. I have never asked folks to sign it. But there have been thousands of signatures. And it has been circulated not only in this country, but also in other countries.
I have a special message for our times; just this, the key word for our times is "PRACTICE." It isn't more spiritual light we need, as much as putting into PRACTICE the spiritual light we already have. You see there is nothing new about the way to peace, it's only the practice of it which will be. When we begin to PRACTICE what we believe. Wonderful things will happen. The world peace is the way of love. This is the way between individuals or between groups. You know if you love someone, enough. You have enough faith in the good in them. Trust them better. You get through to the good in them. And they react favorably. Believing their is good in everyone no matter how deeply it is buried.
I want to tell you a little story. This happened in the early part of my pilgrimage for peace. It was one night when I was walking late at night to keep warm because I had not yet been offered shelter. I was in a very lonely spot on the desert. I saw a car parked beside the road the man in the car called me. He said, "Come on get into the car and get warm." I said well now, "I don't ride." And he said, "I am not going anywhere. I am just parked here." So I got into the car. I looked at the man, and realized he was a big burly man. What most people would call a rough-looking individual. After we talked for a time, he said, "so while your sitting here where it is warm wouldn't you like to get a few winks of sleep." I said, "Oh yes, I certainly would." And I curled up and went to sleep. Well I don't know how long I slept, but when I woke up, I could tell the man was rather puzzled about something. The was something that he just couldn't seem to understand. And finally, after we talked for a little time, he got around to admitting that when he had asked me to get into that car he had certainly meant me no good. But he added, "You know when you curled up so trustingly and went to sleep, I just couldn't touch you."
You see if you love people and trust them, have faith in the good in them. You get through to the good in them. And they can't harm you. This works between individuals and works between groups, too. Whenever groups have the courage to try it. This is my little magic formula for resolving conflict, which I'd like to give you now. There is a magic formula for resolving conflicts. It is this, "Have as your objective the resolving of the conflict, Not the gaining of advantage." There is a magic formula for avoid conflict. It is this, "Be concerned that you do not offend - NOT that you not offended." Remember that this also works not only between individuals but between groups too. This is what we need to learn now. At this crucial point in the history of mankind. None of us will deny that the tide of world affairs still drifts toward war. And that it will take a real effort on part of the people of the world to turn it toward peace. And how do we turn it toward peace. Actually by the application of the ABCs of the higher laws. What we may need to learn now is just these simple things; that evil can only be overcome by good, and hatred by love, that only a good means can ever attain a good end.
You may need never to reach out to tear down that which is evil. When you do, it mobilizes against us. We give it validity and strength. We need only bring good influences to bear upon it. Just overwhelm it with good influences. And then not only will the evil fade away, but the evil doer will be transformed. And after all this is he objective isn't it, to transform the evil doer.
Now let's get down to a few practical things that could be dealt with on a world level for peace. I recognized this fully that even though we were to set up a mechanism on a world level, which would avoid physical violence, there would still be psychological violence until men have found peace in their hearts. I recognize that ultimate peace begins in the hearts of men. But it would be a wonderful thing to avoid physical violence. Then you see, men would free to seek peace within their hearts. During a war situation, peace within is a very difficult thing to find. So let's talk a little bit, in a very general way, about what mechanisms can set up. What things can be done. In the first place, on a world level would be world disarmament. Now I do believe that disarmament will come as the result of one side or the other throwing down their arms first. I don't believe either side has attained this spiritual level. I believe that is one side had attained this spiritual level, they could transform the world.
But I think actually disarmament will come as a result of both sides laying down their arms together, partly because their afraid of the weapons they have created. But this the first thing obviously on the world peace level. And then also, on the world level let's look at the United Nations. They are the only start we have toward a world government. I recognize it's imperfections. Two in particular. In the first place, it does not include all people. And of course at world government which does not include all people cannot be an effective world government anymore than a federal government could be effective if it would leave out the states Texas, New York, California, important segments of the population like that. It will have to include all people ultimately. And the other thing which is most needful is world thinking. We don't do much world thinking yet. All still thinking in terms of our particular nation. We'll have to try and transcend that. We'll have to come to the point where we place the welfare of the human family above our own particular nation, whatever our nation maybe. Just as we all place the welfare of our nation above that of our state or our city. It's just as sensible. And it will have to come before a world government can really function.
And now let's say a few things on a national level. I have a petition for a peace department in the president's cabinet. It's already been presented, as a matter of fact. I ask for a peace department with a secretary of peace that will accept the principles on which peace must be based. That evil can only be overcome by good, and hatred by love, and I ask that all conflict situations at home and abroad be referred to this peace department. Well there's one thought. And then somebody said to me, "well your asking for a peace department, now what would you do with a so-called defense department? Would you attempt to eliminate that? I said, "Oh, for the moment I would just change it's function from destruction to construction. And I would send out armies to help and build, and feed people who are hungry. To bring LIFE instead of death. And then you see this department would be working on the good side and it could function as long as it was needed in the world. And then also on a national level I think we will believe in the way of peace, should realize a tremendous economic adjustment will be necessary. Our economy is still geared to war. And it will take a tremendous adjustment to gear it to peace. I won't say anything more about it then that. But it is something we certainly should be doing some thinking about.
Alright here in a general way are the things which I particularly want to set before you. There are a lot of other things which I would like to say to you, but particularly like to stress that WE HAVE PERHAPS A COUPLE OF YEARS TO TURN THE TIDE OF WORLD AFFAIRS AWAY FROM WAR AND TOWARD PEACE. We don't have too long. If we let things drift the way they are drifting. They will be drifting too strongly after a couple years to stop them anymore. The time to work on this problem is now. One of the very hearting things about my pilgrimage is the many letters that I'm receiving from people. Saying in effect, since talking with you I decided that I should be doing something about peace also. You see it's inspired many other people to work for peace also. This is a very heartening thing. And actually I feel stirring and awakening taking place in the world today. A great stirring and awakening. War has reached the point of senselessness. It always was senseless. But it reached the point in enough peoples minds now. So that their really seriously thinking of doing something about it. I know that many people still say there will always be wars and rumors of wars. It is contrary to human nature to suppose that men will stop fighting wars. But you know I was reading something about dueling the other day. A hundred years ago when two men had a falling out they fought a duel. There was physical violence. But about a hundred years ago dueling had reached the point of senselessness in enough peoples minds and they were trying to do something about it. And at that time the statements about dueling ran something like the statements of war right now. People is contrary to human nature to suppose that men will ever stop fighting duels - but of course they had. A mechanism has been set up now, you see, to resolve fights between men. So now men when they have a falling out sue one another in a court of law. But they don't kill one another. You see physical violence has been eliminated even though psychological violence has not yet been eliminated. Psychological violence will not be eliminated until men have peace within their hearts and no longer have any occasion for suing one another. So never say that nothing can be done about the war situation. We're close to the point where something will be done about the war situation because it has definitely reached the point of senselessness in enough minds. Certainly peace now is the desire of every human heart. In making this pilgrimage, I don't feel that anyone is against me. I feel that everyone recognizes that this is the world's number one problem. This is the problem the world has to solve. If it can solve this problem, then we can go to a new golden age which we cannot now even imagine. [Ann's introduces Sue Mallard's rendition of Peace Pilgrim's song]
When I first started speaking, I considered it... the best thing to do is to speak completely objectively. But now I find that in speaking on what I'm going to speak to about now peace within it's best to speak subjectively, to just tell you the story of how I found peace within. Remember that I am the least of mortals. I come from a poor family. I have little education. And no special talents. Nothing special about me at all. And yet this most priceless lesson has come to me - peace within. I wish that I could adequately describe to you in words, but it defies description in words. The best that I can say to you is that it is a feeling of always being surrounded by love, peace and joy. All the good things but with me particularly - those three. And a feeling of unshakableness within which takes you through any situation you may have to face. And a feeling of calmness, serenity and unhurriedness. It's a constant feeling of harmony with higher powers. And constant receiving from within of the higher law and guidance for your life. And a constant access to from without all the strength you need. All the supply you need. Even the words when you speak... everything we need.
On my 10,000-mile pilgrimage for peace, I don't feel that I walk on my own strength. I feel that energy just flows through me - endless energy. And I told you in my first talk how I was given complete supply.
Also although I go through the form of hardships - oh, I'm quite cold at times. So cold my hands and my feet are numb. I'm hungry at times. I walk through snowstorms and rainstorms. But I really don't mind. You know you're spiritually lifted above these things. You really don't mind when you have peace within. When your living in accordance with the higher laws, the guidance for your life.
I want to start back about 15 years before the pilgrimage. I want to when the life I had been living had just come to end. Of it was a very blameless mediocre life. But it had come to an end and I knew that I would have to find the new direction for my life. It was at time that I literally wondered all night through the woods. Seeking, seeking most sincerely seeking although I didn't know even exactly what I was seeking. And shall never forget how I came to a point where the moonlight was shining down into a clearing. And something just made me say, "If you can use me for anything, please use me, please use me." And I meant it. I never meant anything so much in my life. You see I was speaking to God then without even knowing God. Because I had had no formal religious training. And actually I only got to know God through loving and serving through children. And when I say "God" I mean the power greater than ourselves which manifests itself within us and everywhere else in the universe. Then of course in connection with that power, there's a set laws - in the unseen as well as in the seen. Well after I had spoken these words to God. A great peace came over me. I went home.
I went to bed and I slept. And the next morning when I woke, I still felt very good about the whole thing and I said, "Well I dedicated my life to service, service to my fellow human beings," I said. And then I set out to be of service in whatever way I could. Well you can always find lots of people who need a helping hand. And another thing I used to do in the beginning was to write letters to people who are doing things on the good side. Know people, especially people in a public office who do things on the good side often do so in fear and trembling. And they need lots of moral support. Then I started doing volunteer office work for organizations that were working on the good side. And I realized that my life work was for peace within and without. This was my work. And so it was peace organizations, I did most of my volunteer work for. Peace in world, peace among groups, and of course I also worked for peace within individuals.
Now I would like to talk to you about peace within in looking back in these 15 or more years, I realize there were certain things which I did before peace within came to me. I am going to put these things into a framework. This the only framework they can be put into. I didn't do these in the order that I'm going to give them to you. You don't have to do them in the same order that I did them. It doesn't matter. But these things have to be accomplished before you can find peace within. I am going to put them in the framework of the four preparations, the four purification, and the four relinquishments.
The first preparation: face life squarely and solve the problems it sets before you. These problems are set before you for your spiritual growth. Don't try to escape life - you can't anyhow. And don't try to stay on the surface of life - carefully avoiding every controversial issue (only froth on the surface). Get beneath the surface of life, there lies life's verities and realities. Don't try to escape from the controversial issues. These are the things you will have to solve. The human family will have to solve together at this particular [audio distortion] point in history see what you do about them (the controversial issues). There controversial because this are things that have not yet been resolved by the human family. Face life squarely. Solve the problems is sets before you and get beneath life's surface.
Second preparation: a simplification of life. Our lives are so cluttered - not only by your material things but also with completely immaterial occupations, things that occupy our time without doing us any good and without doing anybody else any good. So many superficial things in our lives. That we don't have time for spiritual pursuits, for the worthwhile things in life. A simplification of life, in my case it was down to need level. And when I got down to need level to just the clothes am wearing, I discovered that after all unnecessary possessions are only unnecessary burdens. And now I am completely free. Free to live in accordance to the inner guidance. To do the things which in the scheme of things I am supposed to. And here is another thing. When I got my life down to need level and brought spiritual well-being up as far as I could I felt a wonderful harmony between my material being and my spiritual well being and there's great to be said about having these to in harmony either as individuals or as a society. It's because as a society we are so far out of harmony, between the material well being and the spiritual well being that we discover a thing like atomic energy and only think of using it for destruction. Instead of as a blessing for all mankind. Which it could be if our spiritual well being had kept pace with our material well being. The simplification of life. I said in the beginning I don't want more than I need while some many people in the world have less than they need. So I go my life down to need level. If you can't get it down to need level in any case simplify. This one thing to work on.
The third preparation: strict obedience to the higher laws as far as you know them. We all know them. We all know some of them - at least the simple ones. These are the things that every great religious teacher has been talking about. These are the things that we already believe. We have to live them now. Strict obedience to the higher laws. Overcome evil with good, remember that only a good means can attain a good end. Overcome hatred with love. When you do any unloving thing you hurt yourself inside. Strict obedience to these things.
And the fourth preparation: act upon inner guidance when it comes. In the beginning of course you will first check it against the highest spiritual teaching you know or you can check it this very simple way. If it is something that which help people. Then go ahead and do it. If is something that seems purely selfish or will even harm people, then you know it isn't guidance it just the will of the little self in. In that case you want do it. All of us feel motivated to do the certain things. We may not feel guidance very strongly but there are certain things we motivated toward. I was talking to a woman who recently who felt motivated to work in the children's hospital and she hadn't been doing it. And she was feeling disturbed. And I said, "well why don't you go other there and do what you are motivated toward." And she did well I was there in the town and she had a wonderful experience. And of course she said she would go back and work there many times.
Do the good things you are motivated to do. Alright there are your four preparations. The proper attitude toward life: facing it squarely, solving it's problems, getting beneath it's surface. The simplification of life. It possible with need level as the goal. Bringing material well being and spiritual well being into harmony. The strict obedience of the higher laws. And the acting upon guidance, after checking of course, when you receive it.
Now the four purifications. Purification of the bodily temple. Well this has to do with your everyday living habits. These are physical things I am talking about now. Your eating habits. Oh do go top bed early and plenty of hours of sleep. Do get plenty of fresh air and sunshine. Things like that. Now my eating habits have come to the point now where I live almost completely on fruits and vegetables, and nuts. The vital foods like that. And I have completely eliminated meat from diet. Oh it has been many years since I last ate meat. You see I have extended my non killing to my fellow creatures. And I don't take any stimulants either of including tea or coffee. Well purification of the bodily temple is important.
But there is another purification that also very, very important. And that is purification of thought. It isn't enough that you do right things (most of us do right things). Or even that you do right things and say right things (most of us go even that far). You have to also think right things. And this is very important. I have know cases when I was working with individuals where although they were living on a perfect diet they still manifested symptoms of physical illness. Because they were harboring thoughts of bitterness against someone. And I had to get them to forgive, ask for forgiveness and make peace. And get rid of those thoughts of bitterness before they were physically healed. It's very important what thoughts you think. And then purification of desires. Make a list your desires sometime. What is it you are desiring. Have your desires anything to do with fine clothes, a fine home, a fine car. Well obviously such desires will never lead to peace within. You can come to the point of oneness of desire. If you can be said to have any desire at all. And that is just to know and do your part in the scheme of things. And when you think of it is there anything else important you desire.
Purification of motive. What are your motives for what you are doing. Have they anything to do with greed or self seeking or the wish for self glorification. Or even the wish for peace within because you think it will be a comfortable feeling. Don't do things unless your motive is service. This is the only motive you should have for whatever you do. Service. Alright then purification of the bodily temple, thoughts, the desires, motives.
Now the four relinquishments: relinquishment of self will (the will of the little self), if you can relinquish this you discover that there is a higher self just waiting to take over. The higher self knows the higher laws, know your part in the scheme of things, has access to everything needful from without. Get rid of the will of your little self. Your selfish little self. And I want to recommend here a quick relinquishment in fact in any relinquishment you have to make I want to recommend a quick relinquishment. Because then the blessings come immediately. If you chose the path of gradual relinquishments it's a long hard path and the blessings do not come until the relinquishment is complete. Relinquishment quickly I hope of the will of the little self.
Second relinquishment I think is the feeling of separateness. So many people feel separate. We are not separate at all. We're all cells in the body of humanity. All brothers and sisters. All children of God. All of us all over the world. We're not separate from one another nor are we separate from God. The whole is a totality. Relinquish that feeling of separateness. You can come to the point, I know because I've reached this point, where you can look at someone you just met and know that you would do just as much for them as you would your blood brother or sister. We're all brothers and sisters after all.
Third relinquishment: relinquishment of all attachments. Yes they all have to go. Attachments to material things. Attachments to places. Attachments to even people. All have to be relinquishments. Oh obviously you may be guided to live with and work with material things to use them. They may be your part in the scheme of things. But no attachments. And obviously you may be guided to assume to certain duties toward people, to live in certain relationships with people, but remember that nobody can belong to you - no matter how closely related you may be. Everyone must follow there own inner guidance. No attachments to people which would attempt to stop them from following their inner guidance. You see this unique for every human being. And can be know only from within. Relinquishment then of all attachments. And after you have relinquished the attachments you'll often find yourself living in exactly the same situation, but your attitude toward the situation will be right then. It will be a much more wonderful situation. Then you lived in before.
Four relinquishment: the relinquishment of all negative feelings. They all have to go. Any feeling of bitterness or resentment or anger, any feeling of fear, any feeling of worry. All must go. All negative feelings. Now just a few techniques on worry for instance, of the nicest people worry, the concerned people. But worry is a useless mulling over of the things you can't change. `Course you do everything you can in a situation, but then when you reach the end of what you can do. No use mulling it over. One technique if you pray, take the matter to God and visualize it in his hands. Get firmly into your mind that it's now in the best possible hands and then relinquish all concern for it. And go about other things. And if it re-occurs to your mind again, take it to God. Until finally that you can get into your mind that now it's in Gods hands and can really relinquish concern about it. And the other technique that's good in the case of worriers is to live each day as you come to it and live it well. I know lots of people that really live at all, because they spend their time agonizing over the past or worrying over the future. And they never live this day really. Which is the only thing we have to live this day.
Yesterday is but a dream, and tomorrow is only a vision, but today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness. And every tomorrow a vision of hope. Yes this day is important. It's all we really have to live. And then a few other techniques.
The most difficult things for people to do apparently is not feel resentful when someone does a mean thing to them. Remember this that no outward thing can hurt you inside. Oh we're more than this garment of clay which we wear. That which activates the garment of clay is the important thing. And no outward thing can hurt that - but a wrong reaction to an outward thing can hurt that. You see we hurt ourselves by our wrong actions or our wrong reactions. When we get rid of wrong actions and wrong reactions then we will never more be hurt inside. Now is someone does a mean thing to you, so far he is only hurting himself. You're not hurt at all in the process, unless through a wrong reaction, you hurt yourself by a feeling of bitterness. Or perhaps you even feel anger and do a mean thing in return. Then you hurt yourself.
In order not to have a wrong reaction, remember that the person who does a mean thing in reality is spiritually ill, out-of-harmony, place them in the same category in your mind as the person who is physically or mentally ill. And then you wont have a wrong reaction, instead you perhaps be concerned about him, perhaps pity him, perhaps pray for him. Alright there are a few techniques. Relinquishment then of self will, the feeling of separateness, all attachments, and all negative thoughts.
If you will really make these four preparations, for purifications, and four relinquishments without having as you motive the attainment of peace within, having rather as your motive, service as your desire to know and do your part in the scheme of things. Then this wonderful blessing will come to you. This wonderful blessing is not reserved for the great ones. It's for little folks like you and me.
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