my early life I made two very important
discoveries. In the first place I discovered that making money was easy.
And in the second place I discovered that making money and spending
it foolishly was completely meaningless. I knew that this was not what
I was here for, but at that time (this was many years ago), I
didn't know exactly what I was here for. It was out of a very deep seeking
for a meaningful way of life, and after having walked all one night
through the woods, that I came to what I now know to be a very important
psychological hump. I felt a complete willingness, without any reservations,
to give my life, to dedicate my life to service. I tell you, it's a
point of no return. After that, you can never go back to completely
And so I went into the second phase of my life. I began to live to
give what I could, instead of to get what I could, and
I entered a new and wonderful world. My life began to become meaningful.
I attained the great blessing of good health; I haven't had a cold or
headache since. (Most illness is psychologically induced.) From that
time on, I have known that my life-work would be work for peace; that
it would cover the whole peace picture--peace among nations, peace among
groups, peace among individuals, and the very, very important inner
peace. However, there's a great deal of difference between being willing
to give your life, and actually giving your life, and for me, 15 years
of preparation and of inner seeking lay between.
During this time I became acquainted with what the psychologists refer
to as Ego and Conscience. I began to realize that it's
as though we have two selves or two natures or two wills with two different
viewpoints. Because the view points were so different, I felt a struggle
in my life at this period between the two selves with the two viewpoints.
So there were hills and valleys--lots of hills and valleys. Then in
the midst of the struggle there came a wonderful mountain-top experience,
and for the first time I knew what inner peace was like. I felt a oneness--oneness
with all my fellow human beings, oneness with all of creation. I have
never really felt separate since. I could return again and again to
this wonderful mountaintop, and then I could stay there for longer and
longer periods of time, and just slip out occasionally. Then came a
wonderful morning when I woke up and knew that I would never have to
descend again into the valley. I knew that for me the struggle was over,
that finally I had succeeded in giving my life, or finding inner peace.
Again this is a point of no return. You can never go back into the struggle.
The struggle is over now because you will to do the right thing,
and you don't need to be pushed into it.
However, progress is not over. Great progress has taken place in this
third phase of my life, but it's as though the central figure of the
jigsaw of your life is complete and clear and unchanging, and around
the edges other pieces keep fitting in. There is always a growing edge,
but the progress is harmonious. There is a feeling of always being surrounded
by all of the good things, like love and peace and joy. It seems like
a protective surrounding, and there is an unshakeableness within which
takes you through any situation you may need to face.
The world may look at you and believe that you are facing great problems,
but always there are the inner resources to easily overcome these problems.
Nothing seems difficult. There is a calmness and a serenity and unhurriedness--no
more striving or straining about anything. Life is full and life is
good, but life is nevermore overcrowded. That's a very important thing
I've learned: If your life is in harmony with your part in the Life
Pattern, and if you are obedient to the laws which govern this universe,
then your life is full and good but not overcrowded. If it is overcrowded,
you are doing more than is right for you to do, more than is your job
to do in the total scheme of things.
Now there is a living to give instead of to get. As you concentrate
on the giving, you discover that just as you cannot receive without
giving, so neither can you give without receiving--even the most wonderful
things like health and happiness and inner peace. There is a feeling
of endless energy--it just never runs out; it seems to be as
endless as air. You just seem to be plugged into the source of universal
You are now in control of your life. You see, the ego is never in control.
The ego is controlled by wishes for comfort and convenience on the part
of the body, by demands of the mind, and by outbursts of the emotions.
But the higher nature controls the body and the mind and the emotions.
I can say to my body, "Lie down there on that cement floor and
go to sleep," and it obeys. I can say to my mind, "Shut out
everything else and concentrate on this job before you," and it's
obedient. I can say to my emotions, "Be still, even in the face
of this terrible situation," and they are still. It's a different
way of living. The philosopher Thoreau wrote: If a man does not keep
pace with his companions, perhaps he hears a different drummer.
And now you are following a different drummer--the higher nature instead
of the lower.
was only at this time, in 1953, that I felt guided or called
or motivated to begin my pilgrimage for peace in the world--a journey
undertaken traditionally. The tradition of pilgrimage is a journey undertaken
on foot and on faith, prayerfully as an opportunity to contact people.
I wear a lettered tunic in order to contact people. It says `PEACE PILGRIM'
on the front. I feel that's my name now-- it emphasizes my mission instead
of me. And on the back it says `25,000 MILES ON FOOT FOR PEACE.' The
purpose of the tunic is merely to make contacts for me. Constantly as
I walk along the highways and through the cities, people approach me
and I have a chance to talk with them about peace.
I have walked 25,000 miles as a penniless pilgrim. I own only what
I wear and what I carry in my small pockets. I belong to no organization.
I have said that I will walk until given shelter and fast until given
food, remaining a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace.
And I can truthfully tell you that without ever asking I have been supplied
with everything needed for my journey, which shows you how good people
With me I carry always my peace message: This is the way of peace:
Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.
There is nothing new about this message, except the practice of it.
And the practice of it is required not only in the international situation
but also in the personal situation. I believe that the situation in
the world is a reflection of our own immaturity. If we were mature,
harmonious people, war would be no problem whatever--it would be impossible.
All of us can work for peace. We can work right where we are, right
within ourselves, because the more peace we have within our own lives,
the more we can reflect into the outer situation. In fact, I believe
that the wish to survive will push us into some kind of uneasy
world peace which will then need to be supported by a great inner awakening
if it is to endure. I believe we entered a new age when we discovered
nuclear energy, and that this new age calls for a new renaissance to
lift us to a higher level of understanding so that we will be able to
cope with the problems of this new age. So, primarily my subject is
peace within ourselves as a step toward peace in our world.
when I talk about the steps toward inner peace, I talk about
them in a framework, but there's nothing arbitrary about the number
of steps. They can be expanded; they can be contracted. This is just
a way of talking about the subject, but this is important: the steps
toward inner peace are not taken in any certain order. The first
step for one may be the last step for another. So, just take
whatever steps seem easiest for you, and as you take a few steps, it
will be come easier for you to take a few more. In this area we really
can share. None of you may feel guided to walk a pilgrimage, but in
the field of finding harmony in our own lives, we can share. And I suspect
that when you hear me give some of the steps toward inner peace, you
will recognize them as steps that you also have taken.
In the first place I would like to mention some preparations that were
required of me. The first preparation is a right attitude toward
life. This means--stop being an escapist! Stop being a surface-liver
who stays right on the froth of the surface. There are millions of these
people, and they never find anything really worthwhile. Be willing to
face life squarely and get down beneath the surface of life where the
verities and realities are to be found. That's what we are doing here
There's the whole matter of having a meaningful attitude for the problems
that life may set before you. If only you could see the whole picture,
if only you knew the whole story, you would realize that no problem
ever comes to you that does not have a purpose in your life, that cannot
contribute to your inner growth. When you perceive this, you will recognize
problems as opportunities in disguise. If you did not face problems
you would just drift through life, and you would not gain inner growth.
It is through solving problems in accordance with the highest light
that we have that inner growth is attained. Now, collective problems
must be solved by us collectively, and no one finds inner peace who
avoids doing his or her share in the solving of collective problems,
like world disarmament and world peace. So let us always think about
these problems together, talk about them together, and collectively
work toward their solutions.
The second preparation has to do with bringing our lives into harmony
with the laws that govern this universe. Created are not only the
worlds and the beings but also the laws which govern them. Applying
both in the physical realm and in the psychological realm, these laws
govern human conduct. Insofar as we are able to understand and bring
our lives into harmony with these laws, our lives will be in harmony.
Insofar as we disobey these laws, we create difficulties for ourselves
by our disobedience. We are our own worst enemies. If we are out of
harmony through ignorance, we suffer somewhat; but if we know better
and are still out of harmony, then we suffer a great deal. I recognize
that these laws are well-known and well-believed, and therefore they
just needed to be well-lived.
So I got busy on a very interesting project. This was to live all
the good things, I believed in. I did not confuse myself by trying
to take them all at once, but rather, if I was doing something that
I knew I should not be doing, I stopped doing it, and I always made
a quick relinquishment. You see, that's the easy way. Tapering
off is long and hard. And if I was not doing something that I knew I
should be doing, I got busy on that. It took the living quite a while
to catch up with the believing, but of course it can, and now if I believe
something, I live it. Otherwise it would be perfectly meaningless. As
I lived according to the highest light that I had, I discovered that
other light was given, and that I opened myself to receiving more light
as I lived the light I had.
These laws are the same for all of us, and these are the things that
we can study and talk about together. But there is also a third preparation
that has to do with something which is unique for every human life because
every one of us has a special place in the Life Pattern. If you
do not yet know clearly where you fit, I suggest that you try seeking
it in receptive silence. I used to walk amid the beauties of nature,
just receptive and silent, and wonderful insights would come to me.
You begin to do your part in the Life Pattern by doing all the good
things you feel motivated toward, even though they are just little good
things at first. You give these priority in your life over all the superficial
things that customarily clutter human lives.
There are those who know and do not do. This is very sad. I remember
one day as I walked along the highway a very nice car stopped and the
man said to me, "How wonderful that you are following your calling!"
I replied, "I certainly think that everyone should be doing what
feels right to do." He then began telling me what he felt motivated
toward, and it was a good thing that needed doing. I got quite enthusiastic
about it and took for granted that he was doing it. I said, "That's
wonderful! How are you getting on with it?" And he answered, "Oh,
I'm not doing it. That kind of work doesn't pay anything."
And I shall never forget how desperately unhappy that man was. But you
see, in this materialistic age we have such a false criterion by which
to measure success. We measure it in terms of dollars, in terms of material
things. But happiness and inner peace do not lie in that direction.
If you know but do not do, you are a very unhappy person indeed.
There is also a fourth preparation, and it is the simplification
of life to bring inner and outer well-being--psychological and material
well-being--into harmony in your life. This was made very easy for me.
Just after I dedicated my life to service, I felt that I could no longer
accept more than I needed while others in the world have less
than they need. This moved me to bring my life down to need-level. I
thought it would be difficult. I thought it would entail a great many
hardships, but I was quite wrong. Now that I own only what I wear and
what I carry in my pockets, I don't feel deprived of anything. For me,
what I want and what I need are exactly the same, and you couldn't give
me anything I don't need.
I discovered this great truth: unnecessary possessions are just unnecessary
burdens. Now I don't mean that all our needs are the same. Yours may
be much greater than mine. For instance, if you have a family, you would
need the stability of a family center for your children. But I do mean
that anything beyond need--and need sometimes includes things beyond
the physical needs, too--anything beyond need tends to become burdensome.
There is great freedom in simplicity of living, and after I began to
feel this, I found a harmony in my life between inner and outer well-being.
Now there's a great deal to be said about such harmony, not only for
an individual life but also for the life of a society. It's because
as a world we have gotten ourselves so far out of harmony, so way off
on the material side, that when we discover something like nuclear energy,
we are still capable of putting it into a bomb and using it to kill
people. This is because our inner well-being lags so far behind our
outer well-being. The valid research for the future is on the inner
side, on the psychological side, so that we will be able to bring these
two into balance, so we will know how to use well the outer well-being
we already have.
I discovered that there were some purifications required
of me. The first one is such a simple thing: it is purification of
the body. This has to do with your physical living habits. Do you
eat sensibly, eating to live? I actually know people who live to eat.
And do you know when to stop eating? That is a very important thing
to know. Do you have sensible sleeping habits? I try to get to bed early
and have plenty of hours of sleep. Do you get plenty of fresh air, sunshine,
exercise and contact with nature? You'd think this might be the first
area in which people would be willing to work, but from practical experience
I've discovered it's often the last because it might mean getting rid
of some of our bad habits, and there is nothing that we cling to more
The second purification I cannot stress too much because it is purification
of thought. If you realized how powerful your thoughts are you would
never think a negative thought. They can be a powerful influence for
good when they're on the positive side, and they can and do make you
physically ill when they're on the negative side.
I recall a man 65 years old when I knew him who manifested symptoms
of what seemed a chronic physical illness. I talked with him and I realized
that there was some bitterness in his life, although I could not find
it at once. He got along well with his wife and his grown children,
and he got along well in his community, but the bitterness was there
just the same. I found that he was harboring bitterness against his
long-dead father because his father had educated his brother and not
him. As soon as he was able to relinquish this bitterness, the so-called
chronic illness began to fade away, and soon it was gone.
If you're harboring the slightest bitterness toward anyone, or any
unkind thoughts of any sort whatever, you must get rid of them quickly.
They aren't hurting anyone but you. It isn't enough just to do right
things and say right things, you must also think right things
before your life can come into harmony.
The third purification is purification of desire. What are the
things you desire? Do you desire new clothing, or pleasures, or new
household furnishings, or a new car? You can come to the point of oneness
of desire just to know and do your part in the Life Pattern. When you
think about it, is there anything else as really important to desire?
There is one more purification, and that is purification of motive.
What is your motive for whatever you may be doing? If it is pure greed
or self-seeking or the wish for self-glorification, I would say, Don't
do that thing. Don't do anything you would do with such a motive.
But it isn't that easy because we tend to do things with very mixed
motives, good and bad motives all mixed together. Here's a man in the
business world: his motives may not be the highest, but mixed in with
them are motives of caring for his family and perhaps doing some good
in his community. Mixed motives!
Your motive, if you are to find inner peace, must be an outgoing motive--it
must be service. It must be giving, not getting. I knew a man who was
a good architect. It was obviously his right work, but he was doing
it with the wrong motive. His motive was to make a lot of money and
keep ahead of the Joneses. He worked himself into an illness, and it
was shortly after that I met him. I got him to do little things for
service. I talked to him about the joy of service and I knew that after
he had experienced this, he could never go back into really self-centered
living. We corresponded a bit after that. On the third year of my pilgrimage
route, I walked through his town and I hardly recognized him when I
stopped in to see him. He was such a changed man! But he was still an
architect. He was drawing a plan and he talked to me about it: "You
see, I'm designing it this way to fit into their budget, and then I'll
set it on their plot of ground to make it look nice." His motive
was to be of service to the people that he drew plans for. He was a
radiant and transformed person. His wife told me that his business had
increased because people were now coming to him from miles around for
I've met a few people who had to change their jobs in order to change
their lives, but I've met many more people who merely had to change
their motive to service in order to change their lives.
the last part. These are the
relinquishments. Once you've made the first relinquishment, you have
found inner peace because it's the relinquishment of self-will.
You can work on this by refraining from doing any not-good thing you
may be motivated toward, but you never suppress it! If you are motivated
to do or say a mean thing, you can always think of a good thing. You
deliberately turn around and use that same energy to do or say
a good thing instead. It works!
The second relinquishment is the relinquishment of the feeling of
separateness. We begin feeling very separate and judging everything
as it relates to us, as though we were the center of the universe. Even
after we know better intellectually, we still judge things that way.
In reality, of course, we are all cells in the body of humanity. We
are not separate from our fellow humans. The whole thing is a totality.
It's only from that higher viewpoint that you can know what it is to
love your neighbor as yourself. From that higher viewpoint there becomes
just one realistic way to work, and that is for the good of the whole.
As long as you work for your selfish little self, you're just one cell
against all those other cells, and you're way out of harmony. But as
soon as you begin working for the good of the whole, you find yourself
in harmony with all of your fellow human beings. You see, it's the easy,
harmonious way to live.
Then there is the third relinquishment, and that is the relinquishment
of all attachments. Material things must be put into their proper
place. They are there for use. It's all right to use them; that's what
they're there for. But when they've outlived their usefulness be ready
to relinquish them and perhaps pass them on to someone who does need
them. Anything that you cannot relinquish when it has outlived its usefulness
possesses you, and in this materialistic age a great many of us are
possessed by our possessions. We are not free.
There's another kind of possessiveness. You do not posses any other
human being, no matter how closely related that other may be. No
husband owns his wife; no wife owns her husband; no parents own their
children. When we think we possess people there's a tendency to run
their lives for them, and out of this develops an extremely inharmonious
situation. Only when we realize that we do not possess them, that they
must live in accordance with their own inner motivation, do we stop
trying to run their lives for them, and then we discover that we are
able to live in harmony with them.
Now the last: the relinquishment of all negative feelings. I
want to mention just one negative feeling which even the nicest people
still experience, and that negative feeling is worry. Worry is
not concern which would motivate you to do everything possible
in a situation. Worry is a useless mulling over of things we cannot
change. Let me mention just one technique. Seldom do you worry about
the present moment; it's usually all right. If you worry, you agonize
over the past which you should have forgotten long ago, or you're apprehensive
over the future which hasn't even come yet. We tend to skim right over
the present time. Since this is the only moment that one can live, if
you don't live it you never really get around to living at all. If you
do live this present moment, you tend not to worry. For me, every moment
is a new opportunity to be of service.
One last comment about negative feelings which helped me very much
at one time and has helped others. No outward thing--nothing, nobody
from without--can hurt me inside, psychologically. I recognized that
I could only be hurt psychologically by my own wrong actions, which
I have control over; by my own wrong reactions--they are tricky but
I have control over them too; or by my own inaction in some situations,
like the present world situation, that needs action from me. When I
recognized all this, how free I felt! And I just stopped hurting myself.
Now someone could do the meanest thing to me and I would feel deep compassion
for this out-of-harmony person, this psychologically sick person who
is capable of doing mean things. I certainly would not hurt myself by
a wrong reaction of bitterness or anger. You have complete complete
control over whether or not you will hurt psychologically, and any time
you want to, you can stop hurting yourself.
These are the steps toward inner peace that I wanted to share with
you. There's nothing new about this. This is universal truth. I merely
talked about these things in my own everyday words in terms of my own
personal experience with them. The laws which govern this universe work
for good as soon as we obey them, and anything contrary to these laws
doesn't last long. It contains within itself the seeds of its own destruction.
The good in every human life always makes it possible for us to obey
these laws. We do have free will about all this, and therefore how soon
we obey and thereby find harmony, both within ourselves and within our
world, is up to us.
[From a KPFK radio talk, Los Angeles]
-- FOUR PREPARATIONS --
1. Assume right attitudes toward life.
Stop being an escapist or a surface-liver as these attitudes can only
cause inharmony in your life. Face life squarely and get down below
the froth on its surface to discover its verities and realities. Solve
the problems that life sets before you, and you will find that solving
them contributes to your inner growth. Helping to solve collective problems
contributes also to your growth, and these problems should never be
2. Live good beliefs.
The laws governing human conduct apply as rigidly as the law of gravity.
Obedience to these laws pushes us toward harmony; disobience pushes
us toward inharmony. Since many of these laws are already common belief,
you can begin by putting into practice all the good things you believe.
No life can be in harmony unless belief and practice are in harmony.
3. Find your place in the Life Pattern.
You have a part in the scheme of things. What that part is you can
know only from within yourself. You can seek it in receptive silence.
You can begin to live in accordance with it by doing all the good things
you are motivated toward and giving these priority in you life over
all the superficial things that customarily occupy human lives.
4. Simplify life to bring inner and outer well-being into harmony.
Unnecessary possessions are unnecessary burdens. Many lives are cluttered
not only with unnecessary possessions but also with meaningless activities.
Cluttered lives are out-of-harmony lives and require simplification.
Wants and needs can become the same in a human life and, when this is
accomplished, there will be a sense of harmony between inner and outer
well-being. Such harmony is needful not only in the individual life
but in the collective life too.
-- FOUR PURIFICATIONS --
1. Purification of the bodily temple.
Are you free from all bad habits? In your diet do you stress the vital
foods--the fruits, whole grains, vegetables and nuts? Do you get to
bed early and get enough sleep? Do you get plenty of fresh air, sunshine,
exercise, and contact with nature? If you can answer "Yes"
to all of these questions, you have gone a long way toward purification
of the bodily temple.
2. Purification of the thoughts.
It is not enough to do right things and say right things. You must
also think right things. Positive thoughts can be powerful influences
for good. Negative thoughts can make you physically ill. Be sure there
is no unpeaceful situation between yourself and any other human being,
for only when you have ceased to harbor unkind thoughts can you attain
3. Purification of the desires.
Since you are here to get yourself into harmony with the laws that
govern human conduct and with your part in the scheme of things, your
desires should be focused in this direction.
4. Purification of motives.
Obviously your motive should never be greed or self-seeking, or the
wish for self-glorification. You shouldn't even have the selfish motive
of attaining inner peace for yourself. To be of service to you fellow
humans must be your motive before your life can come into harmony.
-- FOUR RELINQUISHMENTS --
1. Relinquishment of self-will.
You have, or it's as though you have, two selves: the lower
self that usually governs you selfishly, and the higher self which stands
ready to use you gloriously. You must subordinate the lower self by
refraining from doing the not-good things you are motivated toward,
not suppressing them but transforming them so that the higher self can
take over your life.
2. Relinquishment of the feeling of separateness.
All of us, all over the world, are cells in the body of humanity. You
are not separate from your fellow humans, and you cannot find harmony
for yourself alone. You can only find harmony when you realize the oneness
of all and work for the good of all.
3. Relinquishment of attachments.
Only when you have relinquished all attachments can you be really free.
Material things are here for use, and anything you cannot relinquish
when it has outlived its usefulness possesses you. You can only live
in harmony with your fellow humans if you have no feeling that you possess
them, and therefore do not try to run their lives.
4. Relinquishment of all negative feelings.
Work on relinquishing negative feelings. If you live in the present
moment, which is really the only moment you have to live, you will be
less apt to worry. If you realize that those who do mean things are
psychologically ill, your feelings of anger will turn to feelings of
pity. If you recognize that all of your inner hurts are caused by your
own wrong actions or your own wrong reactions or your own wrong inaction,
then you will stop hurting yourself.
We can all spend our lives going about doing good. Every time you meet
a person, think of some encouraging thing to say--a kind word, a helpful
suggestion, an expression of admiration. Every time you come into a
situation, think of some good thing to bring--a thoughtful gift, a considerate
attitude, a helping hand.
There is a criterion by which you can judge whether the thoughts you
are thinking and the things you are doing are right for you. That criterion
is, Have they brought you inner peace? If they have not, there
is something wrong with them--so keep trying.
If you love people enough, they will respond lovingly. If I offend people,
I blame myself, for I know that if my conduct had been correct, they
would not have been offended, even though they did not agree with me.
"Before the tongue can speak, it must have lost the power to wound."
To those who feel depressed, I would say: Try keeping your surroundings
full of beautiful music and lovely flowers. Try reading and memorizing
thoughts that inspire. Try making a list of all things you have to be
thankful for. If there is some good thing that you have always wanted
to do, start doing it. Make a meaningful schedule for yourself and keep
to that schedule.
Although others may feel sorry for you, never feel sorry for
yourself--it has a deadly effect on spiritual well-being. Recognize
all problems, no matter how difficult, as opportunities for spiritual
growth, and make the most of these opportunities.
From all the things you read and from all the people you meet, take
what is good--what your own `Inner Teacher' tells you is for you--and
leave the rest. For guidance and for truth, it is much better to look
to the Source through your own `Inner Teacher' than to look to people
or books. Books and people can merely inspire you. Unless they awaken
something within you, nothing worthwhile has been accomplished.
No one is truly free who is still attached to material things, or to
places, or to people. We must be able to use things when we need them
and then relinquish them without regret when they have outlived their
usefulness. We must be able to appreciate and enjoy the places where
we tarry, and yet pass on without anguish when we are called elsewhere.
We must be able to live in loving association with people without feeling
that we possess them and must run their lives. Anything that you strive
to hold captive will hold you captive, and if you desire freedom you
must give freedom.
The spiritual life is the real life--all else is illusion and deception.
Only those who are attached to God alone are truly free. Only those
who live up to the highest light they have find their lives in harmony.
Those who act on their highest motivations become a power for good.
It is not important that others be noticeably affected. Results should
never be sought or desired. Know that every right thing you do--every
word you say--every positive thought you think--has good effect.
All people can be peace workers. Whenever you bring harmony into any
unpeaceful situation, you contribute to the total peace picture. Insofar
as you have peace in your life, you reflect it into your surroundings
and into your world.
That which is received from without can be compared with knowledge.
It leads to a believing, which is seldom strong enough to motivate to
action. That which is confirmed from within after it is contacted
from without, or that which is directly perceived from within
(which is my way), can be compared with wisdom. It leads to a knowing,
and action goes right along with it.
In our spiritual development we are often required to pull up roots
many times and to close chapters in our lives until we are no longer
attached to any material things and can love all people without any
attachment to them.
You cannot leave a situation without spiritual injury unless you leave
If you want to teach people, young or old, you must start where they
are are--at their level of understanding. If you see that they are already
beyond your level of understanding, let them teach you. Since steps
toward spiritual advancement are taken in such varied order, most of
us can teach one another.
Physical violence can end before we have learned the way of love, but
psychological violence will continue until we do. Only outer peace can
be had through law. The way to inner peace is through love.
Concentrate on giving so that you may open yourself to receiving. Concentrate
on living according to the light you have, so that you may open yourself
to more light.
Sometimes difficulties of the body come to show that the body is just
a transient garment--that the reality is the indestructible essence
which activates the body.
After you have found inner peace, spiritual growth takes place harmoniously
because you--now governed by the higher self--will to do God's will
and do not need to be pushed into it.
Nothing threatens those who do God's will, and God's will is love and
faith. Those who feel hate and fear are out of harmony with God's will
and are likely to have difficulties.
All difficulties in your life have a purpose. They are pushing you toward
harmony with God's will.
There is always a way to do right!
What we suffer from is immaturity. If we were mature people,
war would be no problem--it would be impossible.
Of course I trust the Law of Love! Since the universe operates in accordance
with the Law of Love, how could I trust anything else?
For Light I go directly to the Source of Light, not to any of the reflections.
Also I make it possible for more Light to come to me by living up to
the highest Light I have. You cannot mistake Light coming from the Source,
for it comes with complete understanding so that you can explain
and discuss it.
Judging others will avail you nothing and injure you spiritually. Only
if you can inspire others to judge themselves will anything worthwhile
have been accomplished.
Never think of any right effort as being fruitless--all right effort
bears good fruit, whether we see results or not. Just concentrate on
thinking and living and acting for peace, and inspiring others to do
likewise, leaving results to God's hands.
You cannot change anyone except yourself. After you have become an example,
you can inspire others to change themselves.
In a conflict situation you must be thinking of a solution which is
of advantage to you. Only a solution which is fair to all concerned
can be workable in the long run.
Your motives must be good if your work is to have a good effect.
FROM MY CORRESPONDENCE
Q: Do you work for a living?
A: I work for my living in an unusual
way. I give what I can through thoughts and words and deeds to those
whose lives I touch and to humanity. In return I accept what people
want to give, but I do not ask. They are blessed by their giving and
I am blessed by my giving.
Q: Why don't you accept money?
A: Because I talk about spiritual
truth, and spiritual truth should never be sold--those who sell it injure
themselves spiritually. The money that comes in the mail--without being
solicited--I do not use for myself; I use it for printing and postage.
Those who attempt to buy spiritual truth are trying to get it before
they are ready. In this wonderfully well-ordered universe, when they
are ready, it will be given.
Q: Don't you get lonely or discouraged or
A: No. When you live in constant communication
with God, you cannot be lonely. When you perceive the working of God's
wonderful plan and know that all good effort bears good fruit, you cannot
be discouraged. When you have found inner peace, you are in contact
with the source of universal energy and you cannot be tired.
Q: What can retirement mean to a person?
A: Retirement should mean, not a cessation
of activity, but a change of activity with a more complete giving of
your life to service. It should therefore be the most wonderful time
of your life--the time when you are happily and meaningfully busy.
Q: How can I feel close to God?
A: God is Love, and whenever you reach
out in loving kindness, you are expressing God. God is Truth, and whenever
you seek truth, you are seeking God. God is Beauty, and whenever you
touch the beauty of a flower or a sunset, you are touching God. God
is the Intelligence that creates all and sustains all and binds all
together and gives life to all. Yes, God is the Essence of all. So you
are within God and God is within you--you could not be where God is
not. Permeating all is the law of God--physical law and spiritual law.
Disobey it and you feel unhappiness--you feel separated from God. Obey
it and you feel harmony--you feel close to God.
Q: What are the 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 a schedule of what you
think the good life should be like, and live according to that schedule.
It may include something beneficial to the body--like walking to exercise.
Or something to the intellect--like meaningful reading. And 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
Q: When confronted with a problem, can I do
anything about it intellectually?
A: If it's a health problem, ask yourself,
"Have I abused my body?" If it's a psychological problem,
ask yourself, "Have I been as loving as God would want me to be?"
If it's a financial problem, ask yourself, "Have I lived within
my means?" What you do in the present creates the future, so use
the present to create a wonderful future. Constantly through thought
you are creating your inner conditions and helping to create the conditions
around you. So keep your thoughts on the positive side, think about
the best that could happen, think about the good things you want to
happen--think about God!
Q: How can I 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 should not 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: 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 conduct.
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 problemsolving,
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 to 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 and father's
love for their baby.
Q: Will there always be pain in one's becoming
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--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 into 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 the need to become--you are content to be,
which includes following your divine guidance. However, you keep on
Q: What is a truly religious person?
A: I would say that a truly religious
person has religious attitudes: a loving attitude toward fellow human
beings, an obedient attitude toward God--toward God's laws and God's
guidance, and a religious attitude toward self--knowing that you are
more than the self-centered nature, more than the body, and life is
more than 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 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 and cannot be destroyed--how can you
PEACE PILGRIM'S PROGRESS
EXCERPTS from the NEWSLETTERS
FOUR LETTERS: One day as I was answering
my mail a woman said to me, "What can people do for peace?"
I replied, "Let's see what these letters say." The first one
said, "I'm a farm housewife. Since talking with you, I've realized
I should be doing something for peace--especially since I'm raising
four sons. Now I am writing one letter every day to someone in our government
or in the United Nations who has done something for peace, commending
them to give them moral support." The next one said, "World
peace seemed a bit too big for me, but since talking with you, I have
joined the Human Relations Council in my town, and I'm working on peace
among groups." The third one said, "Since talking with you
I have resolved an unpeaceful situation between myself and my sister-in-law."
The last one said, "Since talking with you, I have cut out smoking."
When you do something for world peace, peace among groups, peace among
individuals, or your own inner peace, you improve the total peace
picture. Whenever you bring harmony into any unpeaceful situation,
you contribute to the cause of peace.
THE MOST VALUABLE THINGS: After a wonderful
sojourn in the wilderness, I walk again the streets of a city which
was my home 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 high
heels. In the poorer section I am tolerated. In the wealthier sections
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 are 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 the most valuable things are missing. Freedom
is not displayed, nor health, nor happiness, nor peace of mind. To obtain
these, my friends, you too may need to escape from the orderly lines
and risk being looked upon disdainfully.
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 judgment 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 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-doer tends to be
transformed. The positive approach inspires--the negative approach makes
angry. When you make people angry they act in accordance with their
baser instincts, often violently and irrationally. When you inspire
people they act in accordance with their higher instincts, sensibly
and rationally. Anger is transient, whereas inspiration sometimes has
a lifelong effect.
WORKING FOR PEACE: A few really dedicated
people can offset the ill effects of masses of out-of-harmony people,
so we who work for peace must not falter. We must continue to pray for
peace and to act for peace in whatever way we can. We must continue
to speak for peace and to live the way of peace; to inspire others,
we must continue to think of peace and to know it is possible. What
we dwell upon we help to bring into manifestation. One little person,
giving all of her time to peace, makes news. Many people, giving some
of their time, can make history.
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--ever higher truths shall be revealed
BLESSED are they who do God's will without
asking to 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
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 those who instead of trying
to batter down the gates of the kingdom of heaven approach them humbly
and lovingly and purified, for they shall pass right through.
YOU CAN KNOW GOD: There is a power greater
than ourselves which manifests itself within us as well as everywhere
else in the universe. This I call God. Do you know what it is to know
God--to have God's constant guidance--a constant awareness of God's
presence? To know God is to reflect love toward all people and all creations.
To know God is to feel peace within--a calmness, a serenity, and an
unshakeableness which enables you to face any situation. To know God
is to be so filled with joy that it bubbles over and goes forth to bless
the world. I have only one desire now--to do God's will for me--there
is no conflict. When God guides me to walk a pilgrimage I do it gladly.
When God guides me to do other things I do them just as gladly. If what
I do brings criticism upon me I take it with head unbowed. If what I
do brings me praise, I pass it immediately along to God, for I am only
the little instrument through which God does the work. When God guides
me to do something I am given strength, I am given supply, I am shown
the way, I am given the words to speak. Whether the path is easy or
hard I walk in the light of God's love and peace and joy, and I turn
to God with psalms of thanksgiving and praise. This is to know God.
And knowing God is not reserved for the great ones. It is for little
folks like you and me. God is always seeking you--every one of you.
You can find God if you will only seek--by obeying divine laws, by loving
people, by relinquishing self-will, attachments, negative thoughts and
feelings. And when you find God it will be in the stillness. You will
find God within.
ON FEAR: There's no greater block to world
peace or inner peace than fear. What we fear we tend to develop and
unreasoning hatred for, so we come to hate and fear. This not only injures
us psychologically and aggravates world tension, but through such negative
concentration we tend to attract the things we fear. If we fear nothing
and radiate love, we can expect good things to come. How much this world
needs the message and example of love and faith!
THE FREEDOM OF SIMPLICITY: Some seem to think
that my life dedicated to simplicity and service is austere and joyless,
but these do not know the freedom of simplicity. I know enough about
food to nourish my body properly, and I have excellent health. I enjoy
food, but I eat to live. I do not live to eat, and I know when to stop
eating. I am not enslaved by food. My clothes are most comfortable as
well as most practical. My shoes, for instance, have soft fabric tops
and soft rubberlike soles--I feel free as if I were walking barefoot.
I am not enslaved by fashion. I am not a slave to comfort and convenience--for
instance, I sleep equally well in a soft bed or on the grass beside
the road. I am not burdened by unnecessary possessions or meaningless
activities. My life is full and good, but not overcrowded, and I do
my work easily and joyously. I feel beauty all around me and I see beauty
in everyone I meet--for I see God in everything. I recognize the laws
which govern this universe, and I find harmony through gladly and joyously
obeying them. I recognize my part in the Life Pattern, and I find harmony
through gladly and joyously living it. I recognize my oneness with all
mankind and my oneness with God. My happiness overflows in loving and
giving toward everyone and everything.
ON PEOPLE IN OUR TIMES: In order to help
usher in the golden age, we must see the good in people--we must know
that it is there, no matter how deeply it may be buried. Yes, apathy
is there and selfishness is there--but good is there also. It is not
through judgment that the good is can be reached, but through love and
faith. Love can save the world from nuclear destruction. Love God--turn
to God with receptiveness and responsiveness. Love your fellow human
beings--turn to them with friendliness and givingness. Make yourself
fit to be called a child of God by living the Way of Love!
SPIRITUAL GROWTH is a process the same as
physical growth or mental growth. Five year old children do not expect
to be as tall as their parents at their 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 inner peace overnight.
MAGIC FORMULAS: 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 avoiding conflicts. It is this: Be concerned that you do not offend,
not that you are not offended.
ON IMMATURITY: What people really suffer
from is immaturity. Among mature people war would not be a problem--it
would be impossible. In their immaturity people want, at the same time,
peace and the things which make war. However, people can mature just
as children grow up. Yes, our institutions and our leaders reflect our
immaturity, but as we mature we will elect better leaders and set up
better institutions. It always come back to the thing so many of us
wish to avoid--working to improve ourselves!
MY MESSAGE: My friends, the world situation
is grave. Humanity with fearful faltering steps, walks a knife-edge
between complete chaos and a golden age, while strong forces push toward
chaos. Unless we, the people of the world, awake from our lethargy and
push firmly and quickly away from the chaos, all that we cherish will
be destroyed in the holocaust which will descend.
This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with
truth, and hatred with love.
The Golden Rule would do as well. Please don't 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.
GRASS-ROOTS PEACE ACTIVITY: You can start
a Community Peace Fellowship with a peace prayer group for seeking the
way of peace. In some places my literature has been used since it deals
with peace from a spiritual standpoint. Read a paragraph, dwell upon
it in receptive silence, then talk about it. Anyone who can understand
and feel the spiritual truths contained therein is spiritually ready
to work for peace.
Then would come a Peace Study Group. We need to get a clear picture
of what the present world situation is like and what will be needed
to convert it into a peaceful world situation. Certainly all present
wars must cease. Obviously, we need to find a way to lay down our arms
together. We need to set up mechanisms to avoid physical violence in
a world where psychological violence still exists. All nations need
to give up one right to the United Nations--the right to make war.
We people of the world need to learn to put the welfare of the whole
human family above the welfare of any group. Starvation and suffering
need to be alleviated, as do fear and hatred. There are some national
problems in connection with peace. Work needs to be done on peace among
groups. Our number one national problem is the adjustment of our economy
to a peacetime situation. We need a Peace Department in our national
government to do extensive research on peaceful way of resolving conflicts.
Then we can ask other countries to create similar departments.
After world problems and steps toward their solutions become pretty
clear to you, you are ready to become a Peace Action group. You can
become a Peace Action group gradually--acting upon any problem that
you have learned to understand. Peace action should always take the
form of living the way of peace. It can also take the form of letter-writing--to
commend those who have done something good for peace, to members of
Congress about peace legislation, to editors on peace subjects, speakers
on peace subjects, distributing peace literature, talking to people
about peace, a Peace Week, a Peace Fair, a Peace Walk, or a Peace Float.
It can take the form of voting for those who are committed to the way
Grass-roots peace work is vitally important. In this crisis period,
there should be a Community Peace Fellowship in every town. Such a group
can begin with a handful of concerned people. It can begin with you!