As Far As I can see
You know that feeling in a dream when you are stuck in the mud and two or three trumpeting elephants (with tusks) are charging down a nearby hill toward you, and you are trying to run but can't? Or when you are crawling under a bed looking for a golf ball and you turn your head and it's stuck and you get a flash of claustrophobia? I've had that feeling lately. I'll tell you how I got it.
First it was People magazine. Then it was psychology today. Then it was the National Inquirer. Then it was Readers Digest. There I was in all of them, stuck right next to the "moonies," with a big wave of ugly public opinion about to sweep them - and send me - away in the process. The situation gave me the distinct gut-level feeling of LET'S GET OUT OF HERE, but I felt horribly stuck in the mud, entirely unable to move quickly to a better place.
Who are the "moonies," you might ask? (Sounds uncomfortably like "premies" doesn't it?) I feel unusually qualified to address myself to this question, as my uncle is an ecclesiastical superior in the Moon movement hierarchy, and at his eminently polite and
insistent invitation I attended (and survived) the weekend intensive in which one finds out who is Sun Myung Moon. One finds this out through nearly 15 hours of what has been described in other places as a combination of Confucian ancestor worship, Biblical exegesis, and numerology. I found the experience interesting, but draining. If you want more details you can read recent articles in People, psychology today, The National Inquirer, or Readers Digest; it is certainly not my intention to malign the Moon movement but there is ample malignance available in any of these publications.
The thing that is getting to me is the "same-bag syndrome," because we (DLM) are regularly appearing in the same bag with the moonies in paragraphs which reach millions of our brothers and sisters throughout the world. The paragraphs read like this:
Hellfire, damnation, salvation! The Messiah is here. Sun Myung Moon has come from Korea to save our country, and thousands of young Americans have left their homes and schools to join his evangelical crusade, one of the several religious cults that have mushroomed in the last decade. Thousands of other youths have joined the Hare Krishna, the Children of God, the Jesus People, and the Maharaj Ji's Divine Light Mission. Hundreds of others have attached themselves to lesser known sects, gurus and mystics … In a time of recession and turmoil cults are a growth industry, their leaders successful entrepreneurs of salvation for the young … in a country in which many of the young have recently tripped out on drugs and radical politics, the cults have become a new opiate for the youth of the 70's.
Similarly, the front cover of Readers Digest (the magazine with the largest circulation in the world) asks in large letters, "ARE THOSE 'GURU' CULTS BRAINWASHING AMERICA'S YOUTH?" And you can imagine what the article's answer is. Here we are again, fellow fanatics standing side by side the Krishnavites, the moonies, and the children of God; as if for a family portrait - glassy eyed, brainwashed, utterly tripped out on the opiate of the cultic movements. Birds of a feather, lumped together.
Now, I like the Krishna consciousness people. I have long enjoyed the Hindi sweetmeats they serve at their wedding feasts in the park. I've enjoyed singing, "This Land is Your Land" with the moonier; I never pass up the chance to accept and read a Moses David pamphlet. But if I wanted to be lumped together with them I'd join up. Not only do I not want to be in the same bag with them but I want to be in a distinctly different bag, and I'm getting a little claustrophobic being referred to in this way by so many voices.
For all my leafletting, midnight postering, general harangue and religious fervor in the past, I feel such a change in me and in Divine Light Mission that I no longer look at myself as an ardent devotee of the real Krishna, the real Messiah, the real Jesus, in and amongst numbers of equally fanatical people who have made the simple mistake of not realizing who they ought to be fanatical for.
In following Guru Maharaj Ji, I have followed him out of the religious concepts of Eastern spirituality, out of the concepts of apocalyptic salvation, out of the concepts of austere asceticism, out of the concepts of organizational elitism, into a pretty good place. If anything, I understand myself now as a committed volunteer in a movement which serves humanity by helping the evolution of consciousness. And that to me is a very calm, real, and non-glassy-eyed approach to my own life and to helping others. And for those of us who have actually followed Guru Maharaj Ji through and become freed of those concepts, we can see, as always, it has been the result of a very phenomenal piece of leadership. That phenomenal leadership is still going on. Unfortunately, many of us (myself included) and the bulk of public opinion tend to remain focused on where we came from as if we were still there.
Well, not to leave you hanging, but I'm out of room for this issue. Pick up a copy of psychology today and see if you don't get that old charging elephants in a muddy dream feeling, and then write me and tell me what to do about it. Until next month - live all of your love.
- Doug Bernard
Doug Bernard lives in "Denver," and tells us that he spends his day designing concepts in the Conceptual Design department at IHQ.
Our Family Business
Dear People of Divine Light Mission Inc: It puzzles me why you sent me that financial report. I'm not trying to be mean, nasty or anything else -let's just be real with each other - my monies go to Guru Maharaj Ji and to Divine Light Mission only because that is what he said to do. So please don't bother to send me any more money reports until you guys start taking this Knowledge seriously.
You guys had the right idea about the "need for Community Development." … Really, the key to this financial barrier is loving each other enough so that life in Divine Light Mission is good enough and real enough to go out and work for.
- Charles Previtali
I've just finished the recent letter "Our Family Business," and I'm very glad for the information. As to our size, I often see how much we need to overcome when I stand as one premie in the midst of a crowd of people. I sometimes just want to shout so they could all know how I feel this love inside me. But it won't happen that way. Thanks for the letter, and if you see Maharaj Ji, please tell him I said, "Thank you."
- Chris Clark Phoenix, AZ
Finally I have seen something come forth from the Denver complex that is welcomed and impressive. Today I received my donations statement for 1975, and the wonderfully informative booklet, "Our Family Business." I will arrange tomorrow to formally increase my regular AMP payments. This is the part I can play in DUO's planning effort. I'm excited about it too.
Considering all the misguided direction and rumors that are a by-product of a DUO community, the booklet "Our Family Business" does wonders in dispelling it all.
- Jim Conlon Hollywood, CA
I think we can all participate to a greater degree if we could see something more concrete. This "Family Business" is a start. I feel a need to be active and help this great big slug of a thing get rolling.
-- Love, Terry Plainfield, VT
Guru Maharaj Ji does not recommend the use of the Electronic Meditation Timer (advertised in the April issue) for the practice of meditation.
Orlando '75 Perfect Master Tapes
PMT 37 - "Here We Go Again," Orlando, November 7, 1975 (Item #0420037)
PMT 38 - "A Surprise Visit," Orlando, November 8, 1975 (Item #0420038)
PMT 39 - "Peace is Coming Along," Orlando, November 9, 1975, evening (Item #0420039)
All tapes include satsang of Guru Maharaj Ji and music.
* Also available, PMT 36 - Guru Maharaj Ji's public program, November 9, 1975 (Item #0420036)
You may order these tapes by indicating your preference on the enclosed Mail Order Supplement, or by sending $4.00 (and 40c postage and handling) for each tape to: Divine Light Mission / P.O. Box 2997 / Denver, Colorado 80201. Be sure to include your name and complete address as well as both the Item Number and the Item Description. WE CANNOT PROCESS INCOMPLETE ORDERS.
Please do not send cash or check. All purchases should be made by means of a money order payable to Divine Light Mission.
Note: People outside of the United States and Canada must order through their 4 National Headquarters.