| CAL. STATE VIDEO
Two one-hour talks. See Spiritual Growth audio for transcript of first one-hour talk. The following is the second one-hour talk. Peace Pilgrim is speaking to college class at the California State University of Los Angeles in 1979.Transcripts Index || Peace Pilgrim Home
I am a pilgrim, a wanderer, and a pilgrim is a wanderer with a purpose. A pilgrimage can be either to a place or for a thing. And mine is for a thing. Mine is for peace. Now it covers the whole peace picture - peace among nations, peace among groups, peace with our environment. But also peace among individuals. And the very, very important inner peace which is what I talk about the most.
Traditionally a pilgrimage is only undertaken on foot and on faith - prayerfully with an opportunity to contact people. And for that purpose I wear my short tunic with "Peace Pilgrim" on the front, and "25,000 miles on foot for peace" on the back. It makes all my contacts in the kindest way (and I like to be kind). In the most effective way, your in a much better position to talk to people when they approach you then when you approach them. And I notice those who come are worthwhile people. Their either genuinely interested in peace or they have a good lively curiosity.
One more thing - a pilgrim customarily has a message. And this one does. In one sentence it says, "This is the way of peace, overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love." There isn't anything new about that message, except the practice of it. But it I consider it the lesson for today. And so it becomes the message of my peace pilgrimage.
Now I have had many opportunities to put that peace message into practice in my life. I remember the first year of my pilgrimage. I was tested quite a number of times. But you know life is a series of tests. If you pass your test you look back upon it as a good experience. I'd like to tell you about the only time I on my pilgrimage that I was ever hit. And of course this is once in 26 years. Because I've been on pilgrimage since January 1 of 1953. I was trying to help a disturbed teenage boy, who had once beaten his mother so that she had to spend a few weeks in a hospital. So everybody was afraid of him. And he wanted to go for a walking trip into the hills, which I thought would do him good. And he was afraid to go alone. He was afraid he might break a leg and be left lying there. So I offered to go with him and got up on to the first hilltop. And a that was the first time really, that I had seen him off the beam (so to speak). A thundershower came along which was very close and he was very terrified and off the beam he went and he came for me. And he was hitting at me as he came toward me. I didn't run away which I guess I could have done (He had a heavy pack on his back). I just felt the deepest compassion for him. How awful to be so psychologically sick. And therefore I was able to face his hatred with love, even while he hit me. And as a result it reached the good in him. He said, "you didn't hit back, Mother always hit back," and then he experienced remorse, complete self-condemnation. And to make a long story short, what are a few bruises on my body in comparison with the transformation of a human life. He never was violent again.
Now let me tell you about a more difficult test than that, that was the time it was necessary for me to defend a fragile little eight-year old girl against a large man who was about to beat her. And the girl was terrified. Now of course if your afraid - your in danger. Because you attract the very things you fear. It's because I fear nothing and expect only good that to me good comes. I knew her danger - because of her fear. And therefore I put my body across the across the corner between the man and the girl. And I just stood and looked at that poor psychologically sick man with loving compassion. He came close, but he stopped dead in his tracks, looked at me for quite awhile, then turned around and walked away and the girl was safe.
Now suppose I had forgotten the law of love. And attempted to use the jungle law of tooth and claw. I would [spell ck] undoubtively be dead today and so would have the little girl. We should never underestimate the power of way of love which reaches that spark of good in the other fellow. Always there no matter how deeply buried and disarms him.
Now my preparation for beginning pilgrimage was not in walk or speaking. It inner preparation. I had a 15-year preparation period. It was 41 years ago, 15 years before the pilgrimage began when I came out of my empty life of money and things and started to life to give, instead of to get. And oh what a difference, my life just blossomed out. I attained the great blessing of good health. I knew my life purpose work would be work for peace. And long after I have done the physical, mental and emotional growing up, I began the psychological or spiritual growing. Which you takes from the self-centered life into the life sees you in proper perspective - as a part of whole and works for the good of the whole.
You just see that all human beings are of equal importance. They all have a job to do in the total scheme of things. And they all have equal potential, but were in such varied stages of growth, because we have free will. We choose as to whether we will finish the mental and the emotional growing up. And we choose as to whether we will even start the spiritual or psychological growing up. So many choose not to. Because the beginning of it is that feeling of complete willingness without any reservation to leave that self-centered life.
Now it was during that growing up and finding inner peace that prepared me for the pilgrimage that I walk today. My hair had turned to silver when I started out. My friends thought I had taken leave of my senses. But what I walk on is not the energy of youth. It was gone when I started. This is what I am doing with my retirement years. I walk on that endless energy which comes from having done the spiritual or psychological growing up with having found inner peace.
Now I want to share you. I call them "steps to inner peace." Because you see I realize that the steps are not taken in any certain order. The first step for one, maybe the last step for another. And therefore I don't even give you the "steps" in the order in which I took them. Let's just hit a few high points. In first place it was a wonderful time in my life when I realized the wonderful purpose of problems in our lives. You see, created are not only the world and beings, but also the laws. The physical laws (applying to physical things). And the psychological or spiritual laws (applying to human conduct). In so far as you are willing to obey those laws our lives will be in harmony. If we choose to disobey those laws. Then difficulties come into our lives, but the wonderful purpose of those difficulties is to push us toward harmony. And so when I realized this, that problems are growth experiences, opportunities for inner growing, I began to face my problems with anticipation. Here's a problem, what can I learn from this. And then it was a problem no longer. It was a challenge. I realized that no problem is ever set before you in this orderly universe that you are not capable of solving with a proper attitude. And as I solved my problems, according to the highest light I had. I began to grow and grow and grow.
Now I remember there was a time when I finally ran out of personal problems, but I didn't give up. I knew I could also learn and grow through helping to solve collective problems like finding peace in the world and that's the way I want to do learning and growing today. But before I leave the subject of problems, I want to tell about a lady who had a problem. It was something in her back, I remember she lived constantly with pain. I can still she her arranging the pillows around her so it wouldn't hurt quite so much. And she was very bitter about this. Well I talked to her about the wonderful purpose of problems in our lives. I tried to inspire her to have a more constructive attitude toward her problem. And I must have succeeded to some extent. Because one night after she went to bed and of course I am reporting here because I am even using her words. Ah this what she told me. She got to thinking about God, and she got to thinking... just imagine, God regards me, this little grain of dust, to such an extent, that he sends just the right problem for me to grow on. And she turned to God, and she said, "Oh dear God thank you for this pain through which I may grow closer to thee. And then pain was gone and has never returned. Well, maybe that's what it means where is says, "in all things be thankful."
Now before I proceed further, the subject of bringing our lives into harmony with the laws which govern this universe, let me tell you that there is one more thing required of us. And that is to find and fit into our special place in the life pattern. And this is unique for every human being. Now there are two good techniques, if you don't know what your job is. Your self-centered nature does not know what your job is. It comes through an awakening of your higher nature. Your nature centered in the good of the whole. So I would suggest an inspirational time for the seekers. A time of pause. It wouldn't need to take very long. It never took me more than an hour at the most. Now you might like to listen to some beautiful uplifting music. That might inspire you. You might like to read a few beautiful words and ponder upon them. You might like to just sit in absolute silence. And you might like to do a combination of things. One of the things and this the thing I used to do. You might walk receptive and silence amid the beauties of nature. Oh I remember the wonderful insights that came to me and then I would put them into practice in my life.
Now remember if your looking for your job. It's not likely to be something unusual. It's likely to be a well-recognized useful task in society. And since probably you have some motivation toward what your job is to be since you were a child, you might ask yourself. Now, what do I feel is right for me to do? What I really like to do? Because after all if it is your job you will do it as easily and joyously as I walk my pilgrimage. And if is several things that you feel motivated towards, remember a like contains more than on thing. Oh there would be a means of livelihood if your the breadwinner and probably you would be called into the family pattern but this thing referred to as "falling in love" and you would be guided as a family unit. But there are other things too. How about sensible living habits? Sensible eating. Rest and exercise. All that is a part of the human life. And there's two more things. Something inspirational at least one thing and maybe a number of things. Something that will lift you up. And a path of service. Something that you do for somebody else. And the more you give, of course, the more you will receive of the real important things of life. In this world your given as you give. So you could ask yourself, what do I really like to do and then out of those things built yourself a beautiful life.
Now let's go back to living according the laws that govern which this universe. And let me mention one of the things which was required of me. You see my life was terribly cluttered with unnecessary possessions and meaningless activities. And simplification was required of me. Now it was made rather easy for me, because you see I took a vow of simplicity, "I shall not accept more than I need, while others in the world have less than they need." And that is what motivated me to bring my life down to need level for me. And I realize that the need level of pilgrim is about rock bottom. Most people would need much more than I need. For instance, if your called into the family pattern you would need to the stability of a family center for your children. There are needs beyond physical needs. So I am not telling you, your need is the same as mine, but I am just saying find your need level. When I found my need level, I found a wonderful harmony in my life. What I want and what I need are exactly the same. You couldn't give me anything I don't need. And I don't in any way feel insecure. Oh thought others probably think I feel insecure, because I don't always know where I sleep at night, or where or when I'll eat next. But when you have inner security you have no more feeling of need for material security. I fell very secure. And I know people must think I feel poor because I'm penniless, but I don't feel poor I have actually great blessings. And therefore I feel rich. I have health, happiness, inner peace, things you couldn't buy if you were a billionaire. I am thankful every moment of my life for the great riches that have come to me. I have discovered that unnecessary possessions are just unnecessary burdens. If you have `em you have to take care of them.
I remember I was trying to help a lady who was up in years and trying to work so hard and always complaining. And I finally said to her, "why in the world do you need to work so hard? You have only yourself to support." And she said, "Oh I have to pay rent on a five-room house." "A five-room house," I said to her, "your alone in the world couldn't you live happily in one room?" "Oh yes," she said sadly, "but you see I have furniture for a five-room house." And there she was working her fingers to the bone to provide a proper home for that furniture.
Now let me tell you of one who was liberated (although not in the best possible way). I met her about a month after her HUGE house in which she and her husband had been living alone in, since the children had grown, had burned down. And they had been out. They lost everything except the clothes they were wearing. And I remember how attached she had been to that huge house. In spite of the fact it was such a burden for her to take care of. I started to say a few words of sympathy to her, but she said, "don't sympathize with me, now you could have the morning after, but not now - just think. I will never have to clear out that attic. I will never have to clean that basement. I will never have to clear out those clothes hoppers." Why she said, "I have never felt so free. I just feel I am starting life all over again." And indeed she and her husband were living in a sensible-sized little apartment, but wouldn't have been better if she had given her surplus to those in need. Because then she would have been blessed by the giving. But in any case she was free.
And I remember as soon as I freed myself of unnecessary possessions, began to feel this wonderful harmony in life between in and outer well being. Now there's a great to be said of such harmony. Not only for an individual life, but also for the life of a society. You see as a world were so way out of harmony, so way off on the material side, that even if we don't have it we desire it. And were so way lacking on the inner side that when discover all these technological advancements - well what's the first thing you often think of doing with them - putting them in bombs and using them to kill people. And this is because our inner well being lags so far behind. The valid research for the future is on the inner side. We need to bring those two into balance. So we'll know how to use well the material the well being we already have.
Now let's talk about a few purifications that are required of us along the way. Purification of the body: Now I know I am not the body, but that doesn't mean I don't take care of it. I know I am not the shirt, but I wash it and mend it just the same. I am wearing it. And so of course as far as the body is concerned, I take care of it. I practice prevention, all things know to be bad for your health, I have cut out long ago.
But let's talk now about a very important purification. The most important perhaps of all. Purification of thought, because every moment of your life you are creating through thought. Your are creating your inner conditions and your helping to create the conditions around you. Why I just think about the best that could happen. All the good things I like see happen. And if someone were to do the meanest thing to me, my automatic reaction would be to feel the deepest compassion for that person who is hurt by having done a mean thing. And I certainly wouldn't hurt myself for having a wrong reaction of bitterness or anger. You see we have free will and really we can only be hurt inside by our own wrong actions which we have control over. By our own inaction when action is required of us. Or by our own wrong reaction to someone else's action.
Now let me tell you a story or two about how negative thinking made someone ill. And I'll take examples from a health resort where people were living on just about perfect a diet as could be devised. And yet they were ill (some of them). One was a man, he was 65 years old (when I knew him). He was not affecting symptoms of what was called a chronic physical illness. I remember I talked to him and I realized there was some bitterness in his life. I couldn't put my finger on it, because he was getting on well with his wife and his grown children and the folks in the community. But I found that the bitterness was there just the same. He was harboring bitterness against his father who had been dead for many long years. Because his father had educated his brother and not him. And just as soon as he was able to relinquish the bitterness he had been harboring against his dead father. The so-called chronic illness began to fade away and in a short time it was gone.
And then let me tell you about a lady confined to her room. And she had been for quite some time. So I went in to see her. Why I could tell immediately by lines in her face and the tenseness of her that this wasn't physical at all. And I don't think I had talk to her for more than five minutes before she was telling me all about how mean her sister had been to her. And the way she told it, I realized she had told it again and again. And that she mulled that bitterness against her sister over constantly in her mind. And I found myself explaining to her that if she would forgive, ask forgiveness and make peace with her sister then she could look for an improvement in her health. "HUH!" she said, "I'd rather die. You have no idea how mean she was." So the thing drifted for awhile. But one morning, early one morning, she wrote this good inspired letter to her sister. Well she should it to me when I came in. I made special trip into town to mail it before she would change her mind. And when I got back sure enough she had changed her mind. Oh she worried a little but by return mail came a letter from her sister. And her sister was so glad they were to be reconciled. And do you know the same day that that letter arrived that woman was up and around. And out-of-doors and the last I saw of her she was joyously off for a reconciliation with her sister. I guess there is something to that old saying, "hate injures the hater, not the hated." It isn't enough to do right things and say right things. You must also think right thinks. Before your life came come into harmony.
Now how about purification of desire. What are the things you are desiring. Are you desiring perfectly superficial things - like pleasures or new items of wearing apparel or new items of household furnishings or new cars. You can come to the point of oneness of desire. just to know and do your job in the total scheme of things. And when your think about it. Is there anything else that is really important to desire? And then there's another purification. It's a tricky one. It's purification of motive. What's your motive for whatever you may be doing?
Now I never met a person with purely bad motives. I met people however that have mixed motives - good and bad motives all mixed together.
For instances, I was talking to a man in the business world. And he admitted that his motives in the business world were not always the highest. But mixed in with them, I found good motives. Caring for his family, doing some good in his community. Very mixed motives.
And then I talked to people who are studying the most advanced teachings. And they wonder why nothing is happening in their lives. Their motive is the attainment of inner peace for themselves. Which is a selfish motive. They would find that way. Your motive, if you are to find inner peace, must be an outgoing motive. Service of course, giving, not getting. I met a few people who did need to change their job in order to change their lives. But I met many more people who merely needed to change their motive for service in order to change their lives. Right.
The architect that I knew, now it was his job to be an architect. He was a good architect but his motive was to make a lot of money. And keep up with or get ahead of the Jones. And he worked himself into an illness in spite of the fact that he was actually doing his job in the life pattern. Well I talked to him about the joy of service. And I remember I got him to do some things to be of service. Once you learn the joy of service, you can never go back to a completely self-centered living. And I corresponded with a little bit after that. And then on the third year of my pilgrimage, I walked through his hometown. Of course I was anxious to see how he was getting along. And I stopped in to see him. I hardly recognized him. He was such a changed person. And changed for the better. He was drawing a plan and started talking about it. He said, "You see I am designing it this way to fit it into their budget. Then I am setting this way on their property to make it look as nice as possible." His motive was to be of service to people he was drawing plans for. He was a radiant transformed person. And incidently his wife told me, that business had increased by leaps and bounds, because everybody from miles around wanted him to draw their plans.
Now I was staying with a lady who was the foremost real estate dealer in town. And I soon discovered why. She felt it was her job to put together the proper home with the proper family. And if a family came to her and she didn't have a proper home for them, she would call up all the other real estate dealers to try to locate one. So even they couldn't say very hard words against her. And she was definitely the most popular real estate dealer in town because she was following her calling with a right motive.
Now we could talk also about a few relinquishments that are required of us. I think I am going to mention just three. One is relinquishment of the worry habit. Now the nicest people still worry. Worry is not concern. Concern is good. Concern leads you to do everything possible in the situation. Whereas worry is this useless mulling over of things we can't change. It's a total waste of time and energy. Now I found techniques that worked very well. I said to people who had the faith for it. Do everything you can in the situation. Then leave the rest in God's hands. The best possible hands. Now in the beginning they often needed to take it back several times before this became a habit with them you see. To do everything possible then leave the rest in Gods hands. But there is another technique also. How often are you worrying about the present moment. It's usually alright. If your worrying, your either, agonizing over the past (which you should have forgotten long ago), or being apprehensive over the future (which hasn't even come yet). We tend to skim right over the present moment. And since the present moment is the only moment anybody has to live, if you don't live the present moment you never really around to living at all. And if you do live the present moment, you can't be worried. For me, every moment is a new and wonderful opportunity to be of service.
Then there is the anger habit. Now there's tremendous energy that comes with anger. It's sometimes called the anger energy. You don't suppress it, which would hurt you inside. Nor do you express it, that would not only hurt you inside, it will cause difficulty in your surroundings. What you do is transform it. You somehow use that tremendous energy constructively on task that needs to be done or perhaps a form of beneficial exercise. I'll just tell you what a few people did. One of them, there was a lady - washed the windows in her house. Another lady - vacuumed the house whether it needed it our not. Another one baked bread, nice whole grain bread. Another one sat down and played the piano. Long loud marches and then she would cool down a little bit and start playing gentle things like lullabies. Then I knew she was alright. There was a man got out his manual lawn mower (now that has no motor) and mowed his big lawn. One day I was staying next door to him. He came over borrowed his neighbors power lawn mower. And so I spoke to him about it. And he said, "oh without the anger energy I could never mow that big lawn with a manual lawn mower. See it's really tremendous energy.
Let me tell you about a man that saved his marriage. He had such a bad temper that his young wife was about to leave him and take their two small children along. And he said, "I am going to do something about this." And he did, whenever he felt a temper tantrum coming along, instead of throwing things around the house (as has been his previous custom), he got out there and jogged. `Round and `round the block until the energy was all used up and the temper was all gone. And he saved his marriage. I saw him again it was years later. And so I said to him, "well are you still doing some jogging." "A little bit for exercise," he said, "but I haven't had a temper tantrum for years. As you release the energy constructively, you lose the anger habit. It's just a habit. Now sometimes there's a couple that have the anger habit. And this couple did. And they both got angry at the same time. Well they decided to walk around the block. And they got out there and one walked one way and one walked the other way. But of course they met at frequent intervals. When they could met amicably they'd walk home together and discussed what had caused this. And what to be done to remedy in the future. Now this is a very wise thing to do. You never talk to anyone who is angry. That person is not rational. You wait until that anger habit is gone before you talk to that person.
Now let me tell you one more story. This was a young mother. She had three small children under school age and she said to me, "When I get made I feel like running, but I can't. I can't leave my three small children." And I said, "Have you ever tried running in place." And I could just see her running in place. She wrote to me and she said, "It works wonderfully well. It not only gets rid of the anger energy, but it amuses the children." You might as well do two things at once.
And then there's one more habit you might just touch. What about the fear habit. You know these things can all be taught. Fear can be taught. Let me give you an example of how fear was taught. This lady was a college professor. She taught English at a college. And every time there was the slightest rumble of thunder she would become hysterical. Absolutely irrational. When she was a small child. When ever there was a thunder shower. Her mother went and crawled under the bed and of course the kids crawled under there with her. She was taught by her mother to fear thunder showers. Now I realized that there is a general rule that can be applied. Almost all fears is fear of the unknown. And therefore you become acquainted with the thing you fear. Well of course it was necessary to learn all the safety rules before we could become acquainted with thunder showers. And it finally of course worked out very well. But I think I'll tell you another kind of fear story.
I'll tell you about a lady who was afraid of a group of people. I think I won't even mention what group of people. It doesn't matter. That this lady, her husband's job had been transferred to another part of the country. And she find herself living among these people that she feared. Now I remember since she was a musician I first got her acquainted with there music and then I found a woman of the group she feared who had two children about the same age as my friends two children. And we all went over to see this woman. And I remember the two boys ran off together. The two girls ran off together. They weren't afraid of each other. Of course we became acquainted and it had a beautiful ending. Because they attended one another's churches. And they just loved it each other. When they got to know each other. They discovered that their likenesses were much greater than their differences however great their differences seemed.
And then, let me tell you one more fear story. I heard of women who were afraid of mice. And I know of women who are afraid of dogs. But this woman was afraid of a cat. Now it was a common ordinary household cat that she was afraid of. And there were cats in her neighborhood. All her friends had cats. And whenever she encountered a cat she screamed. She ran. She became hysterical. And of course she wanted to get rid of this fear of cats. Now there maybe some reason for it. That's true. I am sure that a psychologist might say, "oh well when she was a baby she was frightened by a cat. She's forgotten the incident but the fear's still remains." But still the rule is the same. So I said to her, "if you wish to overcome your fear of cats you must become acquainted with a cat." "Oh no," she said. I said, "well are you afraid of a kitten?" "Well not if it is small enough." She said. So I went and borrowed a cute small kitten. They said I could either borrow it or keep it. And I brought it to her. And I said, "There are you afraid of that." "Oh not that little thing," She said. "Alright" I said, "Now you must feed it, play with it, become acquainted with it." And of course the end of the story is the kitten grew into a cat, by that time she was so attached to it, she wouldn't give it up. And she had completely lost her fear of cats by becoming acquainted with a cat. And now she can talk cats with her friends.
You know we live in wonderfully well-ordered universe. The laws this universe will bring us good as soon as we obey them. And the good in every human life. All that makes us capable of obeying these laws. But we have free will about this, don't we. And therefore how soon we obey and thereby bring harmony both within our lives and within our worlds is up to us.
When I was 16 and senior in high school, I made my search for God, couldn't get my answer from the outside, pondered upon it, slept over it and did get my answer from the inside, through the still small voice within. And my original answer told me what to look for. It said we human beings lump together everything in the universe which is beyond the capacity of all of us collectively. And to all those things together some of us give the name God. And then I was off on an intellectual search and I looked at a tree and I said there's one. All of us working together couldn't create that one tree. Even though it might look like a tree it wouldn't grow. There's a creative force beyond us. I looked at my beloved stars at night. I said there's another. A sustaining power is keeping plans in their order. And I watched all the changes taking place in the universe. I said there's another. Something is motivating toward constant change in the universe. I also realized that there is an overall intelligence which govern the universe by physical laws applying to material things and spiritual laws applying to human conduct. I touched God many times as truth intellectually and emotionally I touched God as love and goodness and kindness and beauty. I felt God through the beauty of a sunrise or a sunset. And then reaching out thought an awakened divine nature I was about to perceive and the ever present all pervading essence or spirit which binds everything in the universe together and gives life to everything in the universe. That brought God close. I am within God and God is within me. I could not be where God is not. It removed all fear and all loneliness from your life. Your life is different.
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