ONCE I WAS ASKED, "What do peace pilgrims do?" A peace pilgrim prays and works for peace within and without. A peace pilgrim accepts the way of love as the way of peace, and to depart from the way of love is to depart from the way of a peace pilgrim. A peace pilgrim obeys God's laws and seeks God's guidance for one's life by being receptively silent. A peace pilgrim faces life squarely, solves its problems, and delves beneath its surface to discover its verities and realities. A peace pilgrim seeks not a multiplicity of material things, but a simplification of material well-being, with need level as the ultimate goal. A peace pilgrim purifies the bodily temple, the thoughts, the desires, the motives. A peace pilgrim relinquishes as quickly as possible self-will, the feeling of separateness, all attachments, all negative feelings.
Now traditionally a pilgrim walks on faith without any visible means of support. I walk until given shelter. I fast until given food. It must be given, I never ask. But it is given!
Everything is given to me and I pass it on. You must give if you want to receive. Let the center of your being be one of giving, giving, giving. You can't give too much, and you will discover you cannot give without receiving. This kind of living is not reserved for the saints, but is available for little people like you and me--if we reach out to give to everybody.
It is my mission as a pilgrim to act as a messenger expressing spiritual truths. It is a task which I accept joyfully, and I desire nothing in return, neither praise or glory, nor the glitter of silver and gold. I simply rejoice to be able to follow the whisperings of a Higher Will.
I have much to offer: I deal primarily with living God's laws. I extend to others the mystical approach to God, the kingdom of inner peace. It is free, there is no charge.
There was a time--when I attained inner peace--when I died, utterly died to myself. I have since renounced my previous identity. I can see no reason to dwell upon my past, it is dead and should not be resurrected. Don't inquire of me--ask about my message. It's not important to remember the messenger, just remember the message.
Who am I? It matters not that you know who I am; it is of little importance. This clay garment is one of a penniless pilgrim journeying in the name of peace. It is what you cannot see that is so very important. I am one who is propelled by the power of faith; I bathe in the light of eternal wisdom; I am sustained by the unending energy of the universe; this is who I really am!
I always have a feeling of awe and wonder at what God can do--using me as an instrument. I believe that anyone whois fully surrendered to God's will can be used gloriously--and will really know some things--and will probably be called self-righteous. You're called self-righteous if you are self-centered enough to think you know everything--but you may also be called self-righteous by the immature if you are God-centered enough to really know some things.
My desire is to strive toward perfection; to be as much in harmony with God's will as possible; to live up to the highest light I have. I'm still not perfect, of course, but I grow daily. If I were perfect, I would know everything and be able to do everything; I would be like God. However, I am able to do everything I am called to do, and I do know what I need to know to do my part in the Divine Plan. And I do experience the happiness of living in harmony with God's will for me.
Any praise I receive does not change me, for I pass it right along to God. I walk because God gives me the strength to walk, I live because God gives me the supply to live, I speak because God gives me the words to speak. All I did was to surrender my will to God's will. My entire life has prepared me for this undertaking. This is my calling. This is my vocation. This is what I must be doing. I could not be happy doing anything else.
When I began my pilgrimage I left the Los Angeles area without a cent, having faith that God would provide me with everything I needed. Although I have never asked for anything, God has provided me with everything along the way. Without ever asking for anything I've been supplied.
I have faith that God will care for me, and God does provide my needs. I don't in any way feel insecure because I don't know where I will sleep at night, where or when I will eat next. When you have spiritual security, you have no more feeling of need for material security. I don't know anybody who feels more secure than I do--and, of course, people think I am the poorest of the poor. I know better, I am the richest of the rich. I have health, happiness, inner peace--things you couldn't buy if you were a billionaire.
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 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.
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 it and discuss it. I recommend that way to all who can take it. And great blessings lie in store for those who are wise enough to quickly put into practice the highest light that comes to them.
That which is received from without can be compared with knowledge. It leads to 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 my dealings with people, I don't chastise, nor do I issue edicts or lay down a blueprint. My appointed work is to awaken the divine nature that is within. This is my calling, to open doors of truth and make people think, to arouse others from their apathetic and lethargic state, and get them to seek out for themselves the inner peace which dwells within. This is the extent of my undertaking, I can do no more. The rest I leave to a Higher Power.
Faith is a belief in things that your senses have not experienced and your mind does not understand, but you have touched them in other ways and have accepted them. It is easy for one to speak of faith; it is another thing to live it. To me, faith represents that people can, through their own free will, reach out and contact God, and grace represents that God is always reaching toward people. To me it is very important that I remain in constant contact with God, or divine purpose.
People have had to make up for their spiritual impoverishment by accumulating material things. When spiritual blessings come, material things seem unimportant. But spiritual blessings do not come until we desire them and relinquish desire for material things. As long as we desire material things, this is all we receive, and we remain spiritually impoverished.
Those who have overcome self-will and become instruments to do God's work can accomplish tasks which are seemingly impossible, but they experience no feeling of self achievement. I now know myself to be a part of the infinite cosmos, not separate from other souls or God. My illusory self is dead; the real self controls the garment of clay and uses it for God's work.
When I started out, my hair had started to turn to silver. My friends thought I was crazy. There was not one word of encouragement from them. They thought I would surely kill myself, walking all over. But that didn't bother me. I just went ahead and did what I had to do. They didn't know that with inner peace I felt plugged into the source of universal energy, which never runs out. There was much pressure to compromise my beliefs, but I would not be dissuaded. Lovingly, I informed my well-meaning friends of the existence of two widely divergent paths in life and of the free will within all to make their choice.
There is a well-worn road which is pleasing to the senses and gratifies worldly desires, but leads to nowhere. And there is the less traveled path, which requires purifications and relinquishments, but results in untold spiritual blessings.
There is a spark of good in everybody, no matter how deeply it may be buried. It is the real you. When I say 'you' what am I really thinking of? Am I thinking of the clay garment, the body? No, that's not the real you. Am I thinking of the self-centered nature? No, that's not the real you. The real you is that divine spark. Some call this the God-centered nature, others the divine nature and the Kingdom of God within. Hindus know it as nirvana; the Buddhists refer to it as the awakened soul; the Quakers see it as the Inner Light. In other places it is known as the Christ in you, the Christ Consciousness, the hope of glory, or the indwelling spirit. Even some psychologists have a name for it, the superconscious. But it is all the same thing dressed in different words. The important thing to remember is that it dwells within you!
It does not matter what name you attach to it, but your consciousness must ascend to the point through which you view the universe with your God-centered nature. The feeling accompanying this experience is that of complete oneness with the Universal Whole. One merges into a euphoria of absolute unity with all life: with humanity, with all the creatures of the earth, the trees and plants, the air, the water, and even earth itself. This God-centered nature is constantly awaiting to govern your life gloriously. You have the free will to either allow it to govern your life, or not to allow it to affect you. This choice is always yours!
From all things you read, and from all people you meet, take what is good and leave the rest. For guidance and for truth it is much better to look for the Source through your own inner teacher than to look to people or books. Only if something within you says, "This is the truth. This is for me," does it become a part of your experience. After you have read all the books, and heard all the lectures, you must still judge what is for you. Books and people can merely inspire you. Unless they awaken something within you, nothing worthwhile has been accomplished. But if you must read books, read many books, so that you will contact as many conflicting opinions as possible. In this manner you'll be required to form your own opinions after all.
Think about all the good things of your life. Never think about your difficulties. Forget yourself, and concentrate on being of service as much as you can in this world, and then, having lost your lower self in a cause greater than yourself, you will find your higher self: your real self.
What I speak of is not an easy undertaking, but I can assure you that the end of your spiritual journey will be well worth the price paid. There are many hills and valleys. The struggle is like climbing, with each hilltop a little higher than the last.
Some have asked if I accept `disciples'. Of course, I do not. It is not healthy to follow another human being. Every person must find his or her maturity. The process takes time, the growth period is different for each individual.
Why do you look at me? Look at your own self. Why do you listen to me? Listen to your own self. Why do you believe in what I say? Do not believe in me or any other teacher, rather trust in your own inner voice. This is your guide, this is your teacher. Your teacher is within not without. Know yourself, not me!
Walk with me, but don't follow me blindly. Hold fast to the truth, not to my garments. My body is merely a clay structure; today it is here, tomorrow it shall be gone. If you attach yourself to me today, what are you going to do tomorrow when I am not with you? Attach yourself to God, attach yourself to humanity, only then will you be closer to me.
The path of the seeker is full of pitfalls and temptations, and the seeker must walk it alone with God. I would recommend that you keep your feet on the ground and your thoughts at lofty heights, so that you may attract only good. 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; get as much light as possible through the inner way. If such receiving seems difficult, look for some inspiration from a beautiful flower or a beautiful landscape, from some beautiful music or some beautiful words. However, that which is contacted from without must be confirmed within before it is yours.
Remember that one who does an unworthy deed is in reality psychologically sick, and should be regarded with as much compassion as one who is physically sick. Remember that no one can hurt you except yourself. If someone does a mean thing to you, that person is hurt. You are not really hurt unless you become embittered, or unless you become angry and perhaps do a mean thing in return.
I consider myself a server working on the cause of difficulties: our immaturity. And yet only a small minority are willing to work with cause. For every person working on cause there are thousands working on symptoms. I bless those who are working on the other level to remove symptoms, but primarily I continue to work on the inner level to remove cause.
It is because most people have not found their purpose and function that they experience painful disharmony within, and thus the body of humanity is headed for chaos. Most of us fall short much more by omission than by commission: "While the world perishes we go our way: purposeless, passionless, day after day."
In my work I have chosen the positive approach. I never think of myself as protesting against something, but rather as witnessing for harmonious living. Those who witness for, present solutions. Those who witness against, usually do not--they dwell on what is wrong, resorting to judgment and criticism and sometimes even 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 an evil is attacked, the evil 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 evildoer tends to be transformed. The positive approach inspires; the negative approach makes angry. When you make people angry, they act in accordance with their base instincts, often violently and irrationally. When you inspire people, they act in accordance with their higher instincts, sensibly and rationally. Also, anger is transient, whereas inspiration sometimes has life-long effect.
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. The criterion is: Have they brought you inner peace? If they have not, there is something wrong with them--so keep seeking! If what you do has brought you inner peace, stay with what you believe is right.
When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others. Inner peace is not found by staying on the surface of life, or by attempting to escape from life through any means. Inner peace is found by facing life squarely, solving its problems, and delving as far beneath its surface as possible to discover its verities and realities. Inner peace comes through strict adherence to the already quite well known laws of human conduct, such as the law that the means shape the end: that only a good means can ever attain a good end. Inner peace comes through the relinquishment of self-will, attachments, and negative thoughts and feelings. Inner peace comes through working for the good of all. We are all cells in the body of humanity-- all of us, all over the world. Each one has a contribution to make, and will know from within what this contribution is, but no one can find inner peace except by working, not in a self-centered way, but for the whole human family.