FROM MY CORRESPONDENCE (Q&A)
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 tired?
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 or exercise. Or something stimulating 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 to you.
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 begin to really live life?
A: I began to really live life when I began to look at every situation and think about how I could be of srvice 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 problem-solving, and being in the family pattern provides plenty of problems to grow on. When we enter the family pattern, we have our first outgoingness from self-centeredness 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 more beautiful?
A: There will be pain in your spiritual growth until you will to do God's will and no longer need to be pushed into it. When you are out of harmony with God's will, problems come - 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 growing - but harmoniously.
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 the earth life.
Q: What overcomes fear?
A: I would say that religious attitudes overcome fear. If you have a loving attitude toward your fellow human beings, you will not fear them. "Perfect love casteth out fear." An obedient attitude toward God will bring you into 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 be afraid?
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 walked again alone 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 sections 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 judgement and criticism, and sometimes even to name-calling. Naturally, the negative approach has a detrimental effect on the person who uses it, while the positive approach has a good effect. When 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.
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, 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 it 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 an 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 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 though 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 judgement that the good 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 comes 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 form our
lethargy and push firmly and quickly away from 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 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 ways 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, to friends on what you have learned about peace. It can take the form of public meetings 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 of peace.
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!