Do you believe in Santa Claus? Santa was a part of your childhood world, but now he doesn't exist. What happened to him? First he was there, a fantastic part of your life, and now he's gone. He was so real, but he didn't exist.
A newborn baby whose eyes have just opened can't distinguish a hand from a wall at first. He has no ideas about how things should look, so it's hard for him to tell where one object begins and another ends. He can't even tell that more than one object exists. A movement will catch his attention though, and then his world changes. Soon he learns who his mother is, and many things follow from that.
It's easy to accept that a child's world is different from our own, but what about the different adult perceptions? A policeman has a way of looking at situations, people, and events that is unique to his job; a restaurant owner watches life in another way. And there is a possibility that sometime the policeman and the restaurant owner will disagree about something. A policeman and a thief are even more likely to have a run-in.
Each person sees the world through the lens of his own ideas, hopes, problems, dreams and fears. We see through our eyes, no one else's. Four billion people see the world in four billion different ways. Which is the real world?
Everyone is wearing colored glasses. There aren't too many rose colored ones among us. That kind breaks easily. Many are gray to match the city air. Some are black. There are people who have fairly steady lives whose colors shift according to the mood of the day, or the ups and downs of the years.
Individual worlds do change. Events move too quickly to allow anyone to have more than partial success in keeping their view of life intact over the years.
We grow up thinking that love is easy, but actually it's quite difficult. We believe in love. So much attention and affection is showered on us when we are little babies, we think love is given freely.
Little do we know. I don't know what the age limit is, but before we're very old we are fighting for love. Perhaps it starts in the family when we fight with other brothers and sisters for our parents' attention, for outward signs of their love. Perhaps it starts in looking for a girlfriend or boyfriend, for outward signs of their love. Perhaps it starts in looking for a husband or a wife, for outward signs of their dependence on us, their love.
Troubles and pain enter our life slowly and surely, like a mountain eroding. Or they enter quickly and silently like a knife breaking our heart. And then we're grown up; we see the world realistically. Life isn't a time to be happy, have fun, and enjoy love. It's a time to struggle with loneliness, worry about our problems and wish that we could help others.
Russell Schweichart, one of the Apollo astronauts, describes his experience of seeing the earth from space in "The Reach for Infinity"(page 64). He wasn't able to see any national boundaries, of course, just one, whole, beautiful earth.
Perhaps one of the underlying reasons for the existence of the space program is man's need to have such an experience; to rise above the problems and the ups and downs of this world. Hundreds of countries all see the world in terms of their own longstanding individual interests, traditions and prejudices, causing such disunity among humanity that it threatens the planet.
How does this time compare with other civilizations? Our technology is very elaborate, but what about the quality of life? We tend to equate the external impressions of tall buildings, well dressed people, and sophistication with a civilized state, but a little comparison with other times will show that we are facing many of the same difficulties that were existing fifty, a hundred, or even a thousand years ago ,"How Civilized are We?" (page 10) indicates that something is missing.
How can we tell which is the real world?
In "What is the Real Thing?" (page 71), Guru Maharaj Ji tells the story of how this question came to be answered by a litt!e crippled boy in the court of a great king.
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Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered together in India every November for the past several years to celebrate a festival in honor of Guru Maharaj Ji. This year, for the first time, the historic event will take place in the West under the banner, "Millenium '73." The site is the Houston Astrodome, the world's largest indoor arena. (See article on page 30.) People from all over the earth will be coming to see Guru Maharaj Ji and to receive his Knowledge. Here Guru Maharaj Ji will launch the Divine United Organization, whose purpose is to serve the whole world with food, clothing and shelter, and to establish peace on earth.
I lard to believe? Many people have a difficult time accepting or understanding Guru Maharaj Ji and his knowledge; it just sounds too good to be true. But it is true. You can experience it yourself.
– Paul Meadows