Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Pretty Lady Wastes Her Time

Sadly, it is true. Pretty Lady has spent an evening and a morning reading about a lunatic.

So that none of you will waste an equal amount of time, reading the entire biography of this deluded, quixotic individual, Pretty Lady has taken the trouble to pick out a few of the best bits.

In the Middle Ages the pilgrims went out as the disciples were sent out--without money, without food, without adequate clothing--and I know that tradition. I have no money. I do not accept any money on my pilgrimage. I belong to no organization. There is no organization backing me. I own only what I wear and carry. There is nothing to tie me down. I am as free as a bird soaring in the sky.

I walk until given shelter, fast until given food. I don't ask--it's given without asking.

Once I was hit by a disturbed teenage boy whom I had taken for a walk...He was a great big fellow and looked like a football player, and he was known to be violent at times. He had once beaten his mother so badly that she had to spend several weeks in the hospital. Everybody was afraid of him, so I offered to go with him.

As we got up to the first hilltop everything was going fine. Then a thunderstorm came along. ...Suddenly he went off the beam and came for me, hitting at me. I didn't run away although I guess I could have--he had a heavy pack on his back. But even while he was hitting me I could only feel the deepest compassion toward him. How terrible to be so psychologically sick that you would be able to hit a defenseless old woman! I bathed his hatred with love even while he hit me. As a result the hitting stopped.

He said, "You didn't hit back! Mother always hits back." The delayed reaction, because of his disturbance, had reached the good in him. Oh, it's there--no matter how deeply it is buried--and he experienced remorse and complete self-condemnation.

What are a few bruises on my body in comparison with the transformation of a human life? To make a long story short he was never violent again. He is a useful person in this world today.

On another occasion I was called upon to defend a frail eight year old girl against a large man who was about to beat her. The girl was terrified. It was my most difficult test. I was staying at a ranch and the family went into town. The little girl did not want to go with them, and they asked, since I was there, would I take care of the child? I was writing a letter by the window when I saw a car arrive. A man got out of the car. The girl saw him and ran and he followed, chasing her into a barn. I went immediately into the barn. The girl was cowering in terror in the corner. He was coming at her slowly and deliberately.

You know the power of thought. You're constantly creating through thought. And you attract to you whatever you fear. So I knew her danger because of her fear. (I fear nothing and expect good--so good comes!)

I put my body immediately between the man and the girl. I just stood and looked at this poor, psychologically sick man with loving compassion. He came close. He stopped! He looked at me for quite a while. He then turned and walked away and the girl was safe. There was not a word spoken.

Now, what was the alternative? Suppose I had been so foolish as to forget the law of love by hitting back and relying upon the jungle law of tooth and claw? Undoubtedly I would have been beaten--perhaps even to death and possibly the little girl as well! Never underestimate the power of God's love--it transforms! It reaches the spark of good in the other person and the person is disarmed.

During my travels a saloon-keeper called me into his tavern...As I rose to leave I noticed a man with a drink in his hand was also on his feet. When he caught my eye he smiled a little, and I smiled at him. "You smiled at me," he said in surprise. "I should think you wouldn't even speak to me but you smiled at me." I smiled again. "I'm not here to judge my fellow human beings," I told him. "I am here to love and serve." Suddenly he was kneeling at my feet and saying, "Everyone else judged me, so I defended myself. You didn't judge me, so now I judge myself. I'm a no-good worthless sinner! I've been squandering my money on liquor. I've been mistreating my family. I've been going from bad to worse!" I put my hand on his shoulder. "You are God's child," I said, "and you could act that way."

He looked with disgust at the drink in his hand, and then hurled it against the bar, shattering the glass. His eyes met mine. "I swear to you I'll never touch that stuff again," he exclaimed. "Never!" And there was a new light in his eyes as he walked through the door with steady steps.

I even know the happy ending to that story. About a year and a half later I heard from a woman in that town. She said as far as anyone knew the man kept his promise. He never touched liquor again. He now has a good job. He is getting along well with his family and has joined a church.

When you approach others in judgment they will be on the defensive. When you are able to approach them in a kindly, loving manner without judgment they will tend to judge themselves and be transformed.

I remember a time of the year when it got very cold at night. It went below freezing, but then it warmed up a little in the daytime, so the days were fairly pleasant. It was in the fall, and there were dry leaves on the ground. I was in the middle of the woods and there wasn't a town for miles around. It was sunset and it was a Sunday. Someone had read a thick Sunday newspaper and tossed it beside the road--like they shouldn't, but they do. I picked it up and walked off the road and found a thick evergreen tree. Underneath it was a little depression where some leaves had blown. I pushed a lot of leaves into that depression. Then I put some paper down and placed the rest of the paper over me. When I woke in the morning there was a thick white frost over everything, but the evergreen tree had kept it off of me, and I was snug and warm in my nest of leaves and paper. That's just a tip in case you get caught out some night.

Of course, I love everyone I meet. How could I fail to? Within everyone is the spark of God.

Let me tell you a story of a woman who had a personal problem. She lived constantly with pain. It was something in her back. I can still see her, arranging the pillows behind her back so it wouldn't hurt quite so much. She was quite bitter about this. I talked to her about the wonderful purpose of problems in our lives, and I tried to inspire her to think about God instead of her problems. I must have been successful to some degree, because one night after she had gone to bed she got to thinking about God.

"God regards me, this little grain of dust, as so important that he sends me just the right problems to grow on," she began thinking. And she turned to God and said, "Oh, dear God, thank you for this pain through which I may grow closer to thee." Then the pain was gone and it has never returned. Perhaps that's what it means when it says: 'In all things be thankful.' Maybe more often we should pray the prayer of thankfulness for our problems. Prayer is a concentration of positive thoughts.

Tremendous energy comes with anger. It's sometimes called the anger energy. Do not suppress it: that would hurt you inside. Do not express it: this would not only hurt you inside, it would cause ripples in your surroundings. What you do is transform it. You somehow use that tremendous energy constructively on a task that needs to be done, or in a beneficial form of exercise.


have been asked if a certain amount of fear is healthy. I don't think any amount of fear is healthy. Unless you're talking about the fact that if you have fear about a street, you'll look up and down before crossing the street. But you see, I believe we are required to do everything possible for ourselves and therefore when I walk out onto a street I always look up and down. But I don't think that's fear. That's just being sensible. I don't connect that in any way with fear. For instance, I know that if there are little pebbles scattered over a smooth rock, I'm liable to slip if I step on those little pebbles, so I'm careful not to. I'm not afraid, it's just the sensible thing to do.

I have a sense of definite protection. Twice I have felt the need to get out of cars I was riding in, and once I saw why. Now, I didn't get out of the car when I was coming down over the "grapevine" into Los Angeles with two high school students. They were seeing how fast they could get the old Chevy to go down hill. I was in the back seat and I felt perfectly all right.

But one time I was with a man who was drinking whisky, and I offered to drive for him. I showed him my driver's license, but he wouldn't let me drive, so I asked him to let me off at the junction. Then I was picked up in a little truck, and we hadn't gone even five miles before we saw the other car. It had gone down into an arroyo and sideswiped a cottonwood tree. On the side where I had been the glass was broken and the roof was bashed in. So at once I saw why I felt the need to get out. The driver wasn't badly hurt. He was cut some but not really hurt.

This time I was driving somebody else's car over a road that was not finished yet. Coming down an incline, there was a traffic light at the end of the road where you had to turn either one way or the other. Cars were turning both ways, and turning up on to the road past me. I naturally put my foot on the brake when I saw the light was red, but I had no brakes! I grabbed for the emergency. I had no emergency. I thought if I could put the car into reverse it would stop, although this would tear it to pieces. I attempted to get it into reverse but it wouldn't go. Ahead of me I saw a station wagon with two little children looking out of the back window. I had to stop the car! I couldn't turn to the left--there was a rock wall there--and cars were coming up thick and fast. There was a rock wall to the right with a ditch, and my little finite mind said, "Take to the ditch, sideswipe the rock wall. It'll stop the car. It'll tear it up, but it will stop it." I was not able to do that. This was the only time in my life when a car was taken out of my control. The car turned to the left, went between two cars, and went up a little dirt road on an incline, which of course stopped the car. I didn't know the dirt road was there. I couldn't possibly see it.

You will note that Jesus says, "Why do you call me `Lord, Lord'and do not what I say?" He expresses this thought more than once. Therefore, it seems to me that a real Christian would be living by the laws of God that Jesus taught. Jesus also says, "Say not,`Lo here' or `Lo there', for behold, the Kingdom of God is within you." In so many illustrations he tells people what they are capable of. Real Christians would allow their lives to be governed by the Kingdom of God within -- by the God-centered nature -- which is sometimes called the indwelling Christ.

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 and by one who practices it.

The Godly way is one of the few simple precepts that even a child can understand. Truth is simple--it's just not so simple to live it. Therefore, immature people tend to hide behind complicated interpretations in order to avoid living simple truth.

When you look at things emotionally, you will not see them clearly; when you perceive things spiritually, you will understand.

Although others may feel sorry for you, never feel sorry for yourself: it has a deadly effect on spiritual well-being. Recognize all problems, no matter how difficult, as opportunities for spiritual growth, and make the most of these opportunities.

There is no greater block to world peace, or inner peace than fear. It has led us to manufacture implements of mass destruction. What we fear we tend to develop an unreasonable hatred for - so we come to hate and fear. This not only injures us psychologically and aggravates world tensions, but through such negative concentration we tend to attract the things which we fear. If we fear nothing and radiate love, we can expect good things to come.

What people do not realize is that nonviolence can be applied in all situations, including World War II. I met four of the Danish people who used the way of nonviolence and love in World War II, and it was a wonderful story.

Now, when the Germans occupied France, the French would often kill the German soldier who was patrolling, and then the Germans would wipe out the whole block in retaliation. When the Germans marched into Denmark, the Danish people began a program of non-cooperation. You know, they say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach - many Danish people actually used that way. They would say to the German soldier who was patrolling, "As a representative of the Nazi Government, you have no right to be here anymore than we would have the right to be in your land, but you are also a young man far from home. Maybe you're homesick, and if you as a fellow human being would like to take off your gun belt and come in and share our evening meal with us, you are welcome." It usually didn't take more than one try. After that the German soldier would get to thinking, "Gee, these are nice people. What are we doing here?"

The basic cause of all our difficulties is immaturity. That's why I talk so much about peace within ourselves as a step toward peace in our world. If we were mature, war would not be possible and peace would be assured. In our immaturity we do not know the laws of the universe, and we think evil can be overcome by more evil.

Your lower self sees things from the viewpoint of your physical well-being only--your higher self considers your psychological or spiritual well-being. Your lower self sees you as the center of the universe--your higher self sees you as a cell in the body of humanity. When you are governed by your lower self you are selfish and materialistic, but insofar as you follow the promptings of your higher self you will see things realistically and find harmony within yourself and others.

The body, mind and emotions are instruments which can be used by either the self-centered nature or the God-centered nature. The self-centered nature uses these instruments, yet it is never fully able to control them, so there is a constant struggle. They can only be fully controlled by the God-centered nature.

When the God-centered nature takes over, you have found inner peace. Until that time comes, a partial control can be gained through discipline. It can be discipline imposed from without through early training which has become a part of the subconscious side of the self-centered nature. It can be discipline under taken voluntarily: self-discipline. Now, if you are doing things you know you shouldn't do and don't really want to do, you certainly lack discipline. I recommend spiritual growing--and in the meantime self-discipline.

God's laws can be known from within, but they can also be learned from without, as they have been spoken of by all great religious teachers. God's guidance can only be known from within.

We must remain open to God`s guidance. God never guides us to break divine law, and if such a negative guidance comes to us we can be sure it is not from God. It is up to us to keep our lives steadfastly in harmony with divine law, which is the same for all of us. Only insofar as we remain in harmony with divine law do good things come to us.


Anonymous said...

That was uncalled for. Why don't you try acting like a Christian.

Pretty Lady said...

No, it was true. And I'm not a Christian, I'm a Hindu.

Look, I can see you're working, and probably even reading, and I'm glad you've got some work and appear to be somewhat more stable. That's WONDERFUL. But you're making a fool of yourself by repeating the same old assertions over and over, by engaging to get attention for yourself rather than to learn anything, and it DOESN'T HELP YOU.

I know you have the kind of mind that can accomplish amazing things; other people seem foolish to you because of this, and you feel like you don't get the recognition you deserve.

But you need discipline. You need discipline to clarify your own ideas, to test them rigorously, and to communicate them in a manner in which they will be heard. You're not effective any other way. I pay attention; most people don't have the energy to bother, and you don't make it easy for them.

If I sound like a broken record, that's because I'm responding to what I'm seeing, and I'm seeing the same things over and over.

Try reading Peace Pilgrim, anyway.

Pretty Lady said...

Upon further reflection, though, I have realized that I am a complete asshole, and have humbly requested that my completely stupid and unthinking comment be removed by the blog proprietor in question. I apologize and abase myself.

Anonymous said...

In the middle-ages the fleecing of pilgrims was big business. The numbers aren't real clear, but on the Camino del Santiago alone tens of thousands perished. An older woman who truly has nothing might get away with this, but don't try this at home PL. You'll be bait, and not much else.

Pretty Lady said...

No, no, EN, you don't understand at all. Until I get guidance specifically instructing me to divest myself of material possessions and become a wandering mendicant, I will stay cozily at home. I just really, really like the stories.

Anonymous said...

Ahhhhh, OK, accept my apologies. I was troubled by it and didn't understand.

Kønig Hasemörder said...

You're forgiven, but the karma police have been put on high alert.

Here are my answers to the questions you presented on Vox.

Anonymous said...

PL - I just want to ask you something, Have you read the Bible?

Chris Rywalt said...

Obviously I have no idea about any of the backstory on all this in the comments, but I'd like to comment on the actual posting, its content.

I really admire crazy people sometimes. This Peace Pilgrim lady is clearly insane, but I admire her insanity, and wish I had that kind of faith. I remember first reading about Julia Butterfly Hill, and how she lived in a tree for almost two years to keep people from cutting it down. That's completely nuts -- and it's no surprise to find out that Julia suffered brain damage in a car accident before her tree-sit -- but so fantastic, too. I can't even imagine the difficulty involved, or imagine putting myself in that position.

I once left the house with nothing but the clothes on my back. I emptied my pockets onto the front seat of my car and started walking. I intended to walk until I couldn't walk any more. I had no direction. I had nothing except despair.

I walked several miles until I reached a section of New Jersey so full of highways and shopping malls it's almost impossible for humans to walk through it. I ended up in a mall. Finally I called my wife collect and asked her to come get me.

She told me while I was gone my son, who was seven years old at the time, had spent the hours on the front lawn, waving his lightsaber toy around, so the light would guide me home.

Desert Cat said...

Deluded and quixotic?


A tad unconventional, no doubt. But not without ample historical precedent.

(chorus)Dominique, oh Dominique
Over the land he plods along
Never looking for reward
He just talks about the Lord, he just talks about the Lord,.

At a time when John Lackland
Over England was the king
Dominic was in the backland
Fighting sin like anything

Now a heretic one day
Among the thorn forced him to crawl
Dominic with just one prayer
Made him hear the good Lord's call

Without horses or fancy wagon
He crossed Europe up and down
Poverty was his companion
As he walked from town to town

To bring back the straying liars
And the lost sheep to the fold
He brought forth the Preaching Friars
Heaven's soldiers brave and bold

One day in the budding Order
There was nothing left to eat
Suddenly two angels walked in
With a load of bread and meat

Dominic once in his slumber
Saw the Virgin coat unfurled
Over Friars without number
Preaching all around the world

Grant us now oh Dominic
The grace of love and simple mirth
That we all may help to quicken
Godly love and truth on earth

Pretty Lady said...

Boys, when I said 'deluded and quixotic' I was being ironic. I happen to think this lady is a genuine saint. I quoted some of my favorite stories out of her 28-year journey as examples of real-life miracles.

I do not intend to emulate her just yet, of course, since I'm not remotely as enlightened as she was. But it's something to keep in mind.

Chris Rywalt said...

"Oh, ho, ho, irony! Oh, no, no, we don't get that here."

Anonymous said...

Going for martyrdom, are we?

Pretty Lady said...

I beg your pardon?

Pretty Lady Rule #1: No Whining.

Martyrs whine.

End of discussion.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, PL. She's clearly batshit, but more people need to be that brand of batshit.

Desert Cat said...

Whew. I suspected, but was not certain of the irony.

Pretty Lady said...

DC, you should know by now that if Pretty Lady appears to be playing a Deep Game, she probably is. All for the betterment of humanity, of course. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Mitzibel, the PC word for her state of mind would be She is so....Guano.SOunds more saintly anyway.
Batshit was for last year's people.

k said...

I love to whine sometimes!

Anonymous said...

The thing you have to remember is for every one like her there are hundreds if not thousands who make the attempt and die or are broken. This is alright if you also accept the idea that God's definition of success isn't remotely like ours.

The Aardvark said...

Martyrs aren't whiners.

It's the whiners who think that they're martyrs.

Arielle said...

Ye gods - I couldn't even read more then a couple of the selections you posted. That individual has a severe Jesus complex, don't they?