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1.23.2007

Peace Pilgrim

Peace Pilgrim: "This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love." ....Peace Pilgrim

“To attain inner peace you must actually give your life, not just your possessions. When you at last give your life - bringing into alignment your beliefs and the way you live then, and only then, can you begin to find inner peace.”

“We are all cells in the same body of humanity.”

“Many people profess Christianity. Very few live it-almost none. And when you live it people may think you're crazy. It has been truthfully said that the world is equally shocked by one who repudiates Christianity as by one who practices it.”

“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.”

“No one can find inner peace except by working, not in a self- centered way, but for the whole human family.”

“Keep your feet on the ground and your thoughts at lofty heights.”

"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.”

“Make food a very incidental part of your life by filling your life so full of meaningful things that you'll hardly have time to think about food.”

"people have found inner peace by losing themselves in a cause larger than themselves, like the cause of world peace, because finding inner peace means coming from the self-centered life into the life centered in the good of the whole."

More Peace Pilgrim Quotes!!!!!

1. "Our Father in Heaven" [And Our Mother Earth; and/or, Our Master Jesus....!]

99% of the value of this Sacred, all sufficient prayer is in these 4 words. Everything else can come with these four. In fact, 98% of the value is in the first TWO words.

The degree to which we Imagine, and Live in every respect out of the Idea / Truth / Wisdom / Humanity / Totality that there is One Father of us All - Heaven will happen.

Often, usually, when I say this prayer, I don't make it past these first two words. I can get stuck in Imagining the implications for me of One Father of us all, making us all one family - for many, many productive minutes. And, for those times I make it no further than these first two words I'm ok.

These first two words put me close to, or in His Will. And that's all there is. The entire reason that Jesus lived and died for us was to knit us together as One Family with One Father. Heaven for the individual and the collective is inescapable in exact proportion to the degree to which this exists at any moment - for the individual, for the collective.

Father, what do you want me to do? Where in your family are you looking? What do you want me, with my strenghts, weaknesses and other particular circumstances to DO? NOW? This is the whole deal.

However, words 3 & 4 are enormously productive as well. "in Heaven" takes me to the world of spirit, and to the fact that in Truth, as I experience it in my moments of Wisdom, I/we are spirit beings - not Flesh beings. Who cannot imagine themselves transplanted into a robot entity and still being themself? Who can imagine their brain being removed, their Flesh kept alive, and still being themself?

Jesus invites us to NOT make this "world" our home, but to travel with Him, to follow Him to our Father's Kingdom in Heaven - NOW.

2. "Hallowed be your name"

Hmmm. This has been the least important of the phrases for me. Up until recently. Recently this phrase has helped me reflect on why His name is hallowed. This phrase helps me connect with my experience thus far of our Father:
* In my biological father's total, otherish commitment to the wellbeing of others.
* To the unconditional kindness shown by KC, a foodwagon-for-the-homeless worker I met the the other day; a young man that showers unconditional kindness/love/friendliness on everyone.
* Gandhi.
* Thomas.
* Bev.
* Etc.
* Etc.
* Etc.
* Etc.

This Goodness is God, the Father. There is nothing else. We need nothing else.

NOW I find this component of the prayer enormously fruitful in the growth of my capability to be displaced by all but, and filled completely with His Spirit / Will (my consicience / still small voice / empathy / compassion / humanity.)

3. "Your Kingdom come[s]"

How does this strike you? It always strikes me as deliberately meaning not one, but TWO things:
A. Your Kingdom come ... for me to get there, for me to come there!
B. Your Kingdom come HERE... for Your Kingdom to come materially to this earth NOW!

The value and richness of this Life giving phrase is two fold:
1. This phrase lets us see that the answer to A & B above IS THE SAME: Your Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven!
2. This phrase challenges us to every time imagine what His Kingdom is like. This will be a lifelong pursuite for me. But I think I have the all important essence of it: It is Spirit, not Flesh; It is Free of Fleshly/Lust concerns; It is entirely, 100% about His concern for The Least of These - everyone in Heaven is 100% focussed and committed to the Least of These; it is absent personal concern because attention is totally elsewhere; it is Heaven....

4. "[As] Your will [is] done on earth as it is in Heaven."

For years now this is just about my only prayer, The Lord's Prayer, and I just don't envision ever needing any other. This astonishes me, but that is how I experience the prayer. I don't prefer it this way, it is just how it is. Having said that, I only in these last 5 years have begun to understand the prayer. Before the understanding I am trying to share here, at best it was a series of meaningless words (mumbo jumbo); and at worst it served to lead me very much astray.

THE BOTTOM LINE - this phrase above is the bottom line. Obviously in Heaven we are Perfect - Spirit! Therefore, how is His will done in Heaven? WITHOUT any, ANY of the pull of the Flesh/Lust. ZERO. Well, Jesus with this prayer calls us to follow Him in displacing everything within ourselves now, today, all the time that does NOT consist of Our Father's Spirit/Will. Based on my practice at discipleship so far I can only describe this as eminently feasible. To the 100% level? Who cares. 98% level? Certainly. Not interested? Not Christian. This is the whole thing.

How was Jesus perfect? Only in this regard, and that is everything. Jesus discerned what WAS and WAS NOT Our Father's will; he displaced what was not, and empowered and encouraged that which was.

WHY? What is the benefit? Well, for Jesus and for us what He promised is what I find - more Joy, Life, Love, Peace and Persecution than one could ever hope for - Heaven, a Heaven of personal experience - EVERY SECOND OF EVERY DAY - no matter what Persecution may be suffered. For me so far it hasn't yet been that tough - just homelessness, subzero temperatures, incarceration, disrespect, the discomforts of sleeping upright every night, extreme isolation.... But still, as mild as these Persecutions are they suggest that Jesus was absolutely correct - We can be in Heaven with our Father IN THIS LIFE REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES. IT IS OUR CHOICE.

ALSO, from the perspective of a lifetime (35 years) as an adult trying to improve the world using every material means imaginable, what is called for in the above phrase IS THE ONLY HOPE OF BRINGING A MATERIAL HEAVEN TO EARTH. Of course it can be done. And Heaven ON EARTH MATERIALLY WILL HAPPEN exactly in proportion to how many of us, how much of the time are purely hosts of His will. Currently Greed/mammon, NOT His Will reigns. We see the results (among the mountains of evidence in the 3rd world: Mining for Bling in the Congo; Congo's Tin Soldiers; Life & Debt, etc, etc, etc. Among the mountains of evidence around you - how much Joy is in your life and that of those around you? Of the seconds in your day how many are Heavenly/Good? How about for your biological children present or future?) Until this is reversed we may move Hell around a bit, but Heaven will be no closer. NOT ONE INCH CLOSER.

LET'S GET ON WITH IT: For ourselves, for our immediate family, for our children, for our neighbors, for the plant, for the future, for God's sake!

5. "Give us [all] this day our daily bread."

Hugely important.

"Bread!" What bread?!?!?!? Oh this is so crucial - a dreadful slippery slope! Improperly understood it leads to enormous error and suffering.
WORST CASE understanding it leads us to pray - "give me stuff!"
BAD CASE it leads us to pray - "feed ME."
Bad Case it leads us to think Jesus / God / Good / Father is all about giving us stuff to eat, or material stuff. (If this were the case I guess Jesus wouldn't have been crucified. Or, maybe He forgot to pray that day. :-) )
CORRECT CASE - Please give us the food for our soul, and that "food" is the Understanding of What you want us to do today - YOUR WILL for us today, this day, right this moment.

[all] - The whole brilliance of Jesus teaching is to "save" us from the lie that we are separate from one another. We are all one body. I find it necessary (a correction of the translation?) to insert [all] in my prayer as an aid in seeing this. My need is for all of us, my entire "body," to find our daily "bread," our vision of what our Father needs from each of us today. Remembering this aids me in imagining more precisely what our Father wants me to do today, right now.

"Bread" is such an appropriate choice of words. Just as the hungry body cannot get enough of "bread," the healthy, engaged Soul cannot get enough of doing its Father's will! Imagine, your dearest loved one is in extreme pain and you can help them. Can you get enough of helping them? Of course not. As one becomes "Christian" one's nervous system re-merges with that of all people - their pain is yours, their joy yours. You can't get enough of eliminating the pain. The urge to do so displaces, preempts everything else, including the desire for the "bread" that the body eats - except as necessary to serve the will of the Father. Heaven! We thereby merge with the Father - Spirit, and are freed from the concerns of the body - concerns such as physical "bread."

6. "Forgive us our [errors]," 7. "As we forgive the [errors of others]"

This pair is of huge value and importance. It can bring us to the nature of the problem - "error" ("Sin" being the original Greek word for "error.")

"Forgive us our trespasses" must cause us to reflect on what errors I personally made. The importance is not so much in the errors themselves. The importance is that they must show us that we/I fail.

AND IF I FAIL, OF COURSE I CAN EMPATHIZE WITH ANOTHER PERSON FAILING. We must learn to have this happen in our hearts, this domino effect of - 'if I failed, oh yes of course, the other fails.' Almost invariably I find myself smiling at myself as I go through this sequence.

This empathy, this Understanding, is utterly crucial if we are to join Jesus in his quest - to be his Disciple. Why? Because otherwise we will not see and be able to treat the "disease" that He is all about treating - Error - missing the Path, the Narrow way. After all, who would "choose" to miss the Path that is Heaven? IT IS SO EASY TO MISS IT!

NOW, the above has nothing to do with being lenient, permissive, avoiding or such. IT HAS TO DO WITH DIAGNOSIS! It may or may not lead to very tough treatment of the "other!" But in any case it must be the treatment of the MD. Is a good MD angry, pissed off, vengeful... when she/he sees disease in another? She/he will be fully mobilized, but not in any way hostile; rather mobilized to serve, even if that serving requires personal sacrifice or unavoidable pain for the "patient." OR, the diagnosis my be such that the "MD" rightly responds - "I cannot help this patient at this time," I'm not equipped to do so. In which case the responsible action is to move on and find a "patient" that they maybe able to help.

8. "Lead us [all] not into temptation," 9. "But deliver us [all] from evil."

Clearly we don't really expect our Father to do our work for us, so who is supposed to? You, and Me. These are tremendous exhortations to us for leadership and care:

* Care to not be or create temptation (guys don't flash the cash, girls be profoundly modest at all time even with your husbands, don't indulge in or carelessly promote suff - superiority - or systems / institutions like we all do now all of the time!)

* Leadership away from evil by becoming Apostles, Saints, 100% experts at Loving / Brotherhood / Otherishness.

These are an urgent warning about environment. We can no more survive healthy in the current cultural environment of the world than we can survive healthy in a toxic waste dump.

I've seen glimpses of just a few relatively non-toxic environments in my life, the clearest being some of the Catholic Worker houses. Otherwise, spiritually and psychologically the US culture is the most toxic, unhealthy, sinful, sin-inducing, disease producing, death producing culture devised by man. It leaves Sodom and Gomorah and the Roman Empire in the dust.

God save the child that are brought into this cesspool. God forgive the parents that do so. God dedicate us to CREATING AN ALTERNATIVE CULTURE/ENVIRONMENT/COMMUNITY/SYSTEM, becoming the fire that illuminates, cleans the putrification, displaces it, and provides an alternative - a lifeboat, and ark.

1.22.2007

How does "Saved" happen

Jesus showed us, and my life's study and experiments bear him out:
* Sacrifice (sacrifice the "Good Life" for the "Great Life," Self Service for Other Service of the Least of These.)
* Be the Light/Good - Be ENTIRELY of the Service of our Father's Will (as best, honestly and completely as we can imagine it.)

Yup. That is it. Be the "light" that others can ignite from. One candle can ignite the world. Two candles makes it twice as likely, etc.

Repeat.

Yes, there is no certainty, except as to the way. See above.

Just can't get enough...!!!!

Have you ever had that feeling? Of course you have!

Just can't get enough of:
* My friend.
* That music group.
* This delicious meal.
* Alcohol.
* Safety.
* Acceptance.
* Power.
* Etc.
* Etc.
* Etc.

Well, Jesus found, and died to show us that there is something that trumps ALL of this.

Doing our Father's will - serving his family from our hearts, because they have become our family, trumps all of this. That, and that alone is where comes from Jesus, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Franics of Asisi, ML King. Period. For such people and those exactly like them, the ONLY CLINICALLY HEALTHY PEOPLE, their "Food" is to do the will of that imaginary "Father."

Our "Father"

The "Father" of us all - an imaginary figure that we can choose to imagine. An INDESPENSIBLE imaginary construct to Save Us from "The Fall."

The "Our Father" seems a Perfect Prayer to recover from the fall, properly understood. Tolstoy's "Gospel in Brief" showed me, Gandhi and maybe King what this prayer means. At some time soon I hope to share with you what I've learned.

99% of the value, the Saving Grace of that prayer is in simply imagining "Our Father" at the first two words. Everything else is possible from there:
* Imagining that we all have one Father,
* Certainly He has no ego problem,
* He wants total Joy for us,
* FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE, WHAT DOES HE WANT ME TO DO FOR HIS / MY FAMILY RIGHT NOW! Bingo! Salvation!!!!!

"The Fall"

Whose heart lives for itself? A dead persons heart.

What skin cell lives for itself? A cancerous skin cell.

What cat lives for itself? A cat with no or dead children.

And so it goes.

"The Fall?" When man imagined the lie that our life is for our own personal use, for our own personal enjoyment.

Who is "Saved?"

Precisely and only that person that is converted from the mistaken view of "The Fall;" that our life is given for ourselves.

Darfur: Our life is entirely to address such needs

Darfur: Our life is entirely to address such needs