NOTE: The following text has been taken from the booklet STEPS TOWARD INNER PEACE which contains a brief background of Peace Pilgrim and some of her most important teachings. This booklet is not copyrighted and you are welcome to reprint it in whole or part. It has now been translated into twenty languages and published in a few countries. This booklet is available free (although donations to help cover the cost of printing are appreciated) from FRIENDS OF PEACE PILGRIM, 43480 Cedar Avenue, Hemet, CA 92544-- telephone (909) 927-7678. There are also some excellent video and audio tapes that are available for a very minimal cost to cover copying expenses. A free newsletter is also available upon request. (Thanks Mary Mathew Wilson for this info !)
And now the Official Friends of Peace Pilgrim Web Site !
PEACE PILGRIM (1908-1981)
PEACE PILGRIM 1908-1981
On her pilgrimage from 1953 to 1981:
"A pilgrimage is a gentle journey of prayer and example. My walking is first of all a prayer for peace. If you live your life as a prayer you intensify the prayer beyond all measure." Peace Pilgrim walked more than 25,000 miles across this country spreading her message--"This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love." Carrying in her tunic pockets her only possessions, she vowed, "I shall remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." She talked with people on dusty roads and city streets to church, college, civic groups, on TV and radio, discussiong peace within and without. Her pilgrimage covered the entire peace picture: peace among nations, groups, individuals, and the very important inner peace--because that is where peace begins. She believed that world peace would come when enough people attain inner peace. Her life and work showed that one person with inner peace can make a significant contribution to world peace.
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 avoided.
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; disobedience 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 things priority in your 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.
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 inner harmony.
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 your fellow humans must be your motive before your life can come into harmony.
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 possess 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.
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--even higher truths shall be revealed to them. BLESSED are they who do God's will without asking to see 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 liberation from the limitations of this earth-life, for they shall rejoice with their loved ones who make the glorious transition. BLESSED are they who after dedicating their lives and thereby receive 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.
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: Will I ever come into a state of feeling at rest, with no more need
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?
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 thee
negative approach dwell on what is wrong, resorting 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
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 immediate 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 give 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--everyone 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 of faith!
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 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.*
The Nazarenes of Mount Carmel
Copyright © 1999-2006. All rights reserved.
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