From the time we first looked at DUO Australia seven issues ago, many changes have occurred. Emphasis has been placed more on Divine Light Mission as the public image and DUO as the internal network which co-ordinates the efforts of our national community. The Golden Age takes another look at the national DUO team and their roles in serving the brothers and sisters of Australia.
"As I see it, and I must confess I've never really thought about it, the function of the national DUO Director consists of getting and giving advice and information. In order to give correct advice you must be in possession of the necessary information. One part of my service is to receive information from the regional centres so that I can advise them on their activities in view of the overall national perspective. The other part of my service is to supply information to Denver so that they can give me advice from the international perspective.
It's like a two-way street. Guru Maharaj Ji gives direction to the international staff in Denver. They then give direction to the national staff in each country. The national staff passes it on to the regional staff and finally the regional staff passes it on to the community. This information can be news, suggestions, directions or agya. Likewise it flows the other way, from the community to the regional DUO Director to the national DUO Director to the international DUO Director to Guru Maharaj Ji.
My service as national DUO Director is to help stimulate the flow. For instance, our direction this year from Guru Maharaj Ji is that 1975 is the year for propagation. I pass this on to the regional DUO Directors. I stimulate the flow by asking the DUO Directors for information and suggestions about propagation. They go to their communities and do the same. When the information comes back we evaluate it and decide which things help propagation and should be encouraged and which things don't. Having assembled this data, we send it back to the regional centres as being our suggestions based on their information. We then send this information to Denver so that they in turn know what we're doing and can advise us.
As far as propagation is concerned, it really begins and ends in the heads and hearts of the individual premies. A blissed out premie on a desert island is propagating more effectively than a freaked out premie talking on television. It is impossible to make anybody do meditation, service and satsang; all you can do is do it yourself. So as DUO Director, apart from trying to keep myself together, I try to do those things that are within my power to influence. I've asked the DUO Directors to think about propagation, how to improve satsang, how to improve publications, where to have programs, where WWA is needed, and so on. And having thought about it, be ready and willing to do what is required.
What any premie can do is to simply practise what we preach. We caused lots of confusion in the good old days by making huge claims about Maharaj Ji and the Mission and by trying to ram reality down people's throats. What is needed now is to be natural, to be like a beautiful view; we should be there if people want us to be we shouldn't force ourselves into peoples' lives. After all, it makes no sense to say "June" to everyone we meet. It only makes sense to those who ask the question, "What month is this?" In the same way we should wait until people ask the question before we give them the answer. Then everyone gets the answer they want.
There is a guaranteed way to make people ask the question: it's by being a practical example of the answer. Who can resist asking about Knowledge if you're sitting there with a grin from ear to ear? Who could resist asking about peace of mind when you're radiating a calmness that is contagious? We've got to be different. People must be able to see that we are different and different in the right way. Our behaviour and the things we say should be an example of Knowledge. This is the only real propagation and it can only be done by those who are really practising Knowledge. First we must be together and then we should try to help others get together."
FINANCE AND OPERATIONS
"My service is to oversee the financial, legal and operational activities for DUO Australia. Part of this involves ensuring that money flows in and out under the correct accounting procedures and charity regulations. At each level of our growth the organisation needs a system to handle all the inputs and outputs. Our rapid growth demands the continued creation of more complex (or simple) systems.
DUO is becoming a unique organisetion: it is similar to our bodies, having manifold functions with feedback and self-control systems and most important of all - perfect co-ordination. It is in the context of DUO that everyone can see the relation of their particular service to the whole.
A lot of my energy is spent in preparing the legal identity side of DLM in Australia. Some may find the legal and financial side of DLM taboo, owing to our previous ideas on multinational corporations and the distrust of organisation. Yet there are so many "higher consciousness" groups and sections of society who, in trying to project their ideals, use lower consciousness methods and thus fail. Divine Light Mission is going out of its way to be as normal as possible, in the worldly sense, so that the external manifestation of DUO will not be a block to people receiving Knowledge, which is what this game is really about. By sincerely practising Knowledge, I find that I can just manage the ever-increasing workload; I'm going through an educational process based on experience rather than theoretical learning as practised in universities and colleges.
Whenever a propagational idea or project arises, its follow-through depends ultimately on finances, can we afford it or could the money be used more practically elsewhere? This is the kind of decision which arises constantly for a finance director. I have to examine the worth of any expenditure in Australia and, keeping a national perspective, arrive at the correct answer. I also have to remember that DUO is one organisation which does not consider national boundaries. Internationalisation is a logical progression to help brothers and sisters to spread this Knowledge world-wide.
The implications of service seem to go go on endlessly."
AGENCIES, INFORMATION SERVICES, SCHEDULING AND
"With more internationalisation of the Mission and clear direction from Denver, you feel a little like a post office box, marked WWA, IS, OM, PS, etcetera.
This service involves being a communications and thinktank centre. With feedback from the regional centres and information from Denver, the national staff, through their weekly meetings, formulate and direct the DUO policy for Australia. Part of my service is to co-ordinate and communicate directives to the regional centres in regard to WWA and the agencies. WWA especially is a practical service. It is somewhere where we need to manifest the Knowledge rather than talk about it. It's a service which depends upon the dedication of each individual premie involved in each project, rather than some scheme formulated in Sydney.
Information Services, once vying for the leading PR agency position in Australia, is now more of a communications plugboard. It receives and gathers information from abroad and within Australia. It provides a direct link between Denver and the local DUO Directors and provides inform ation to and gathers information from the world's media.
Office management? Well, like any living organism, an office requires organisation which fulfils the needs of the office staff and pares away the unnecessary obstacles in the path of efficiency. It provides a link between the various sections of the office and serves the staff, so that all may be as comfortable in their service as possible.
Scheduling the movies ensures that each centre receives its fair share of cinematic darshan and satsang.
It's now becoming very necessary to knit together the premies, programs and resources on a national level, if we are to be effective in our service to the people of Australia. With the establishment of the Active Membership Program, many premies have come forward to offer their skills and talents as tools to propagate Knowledge.
With such a widespread Mission as ours, the need to communicate clearly and regularly is really evident. We need to develop as a "nation" Maharaj Ji has made it clear to me that at headquarters our services is to serve our brothers and sisters so that they may effectively serve their communities and the public in bringing them to Knowledge and the love that is inherently theirs."
PRODUCTIONS, PUBLICATIONS AND HANSAGRAPHICS
"My duties seem to be managing, trafficking and the actual printing of all DUO work plus the small, regular amount of commercial work that Hansagraphics is doing. I'm finding that I'll have to step back from the printing as the managerial work grows alongside other things such as cassette and photograph production.
Like everything in DLM, the minute something is established something else happens to break our ideas on how it should be done. So all the time we have to be open to suggestions. If someone suggests we do a leaflet or booklet, as a production team we investigate its propagational and/or commercial value.
At the start we'd produce something and think, "That's fantastic, everyone will love it," and they didn't. To some degree we've learnt to be sensitive to the premie and public needs rather than our own individual desires to manifest our devotion. To have a hand in the propagational material is a responsible service that we have to be sincere about. I like to see that front-line propagation is backed up with presentable literature. The more pitfalls we fill in for newcomers the better we serve Maharaj Ji's direction and our purpose here."
ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP PROGRAM
"Before a bulb can give light to a darkened room it must be correctly energised from a power plant. And before Maharaj Ji's Mission can make real propagational inroads into society, it must be energised from within. Its membership must be active. Active membership is the input and propagation is the output.
AMP in Australia is just getting on its feet. Its introduction in all states has sparked off realisations about commitment. In Sydney we've been trying to establish the program carefully - too often in the past, enthusiasm for projects has peaked immediately and dropped off thereafter. Constancy is the keyword for active membership: it is a vital element in our own dedication and in keeping the Mission afloat. Since AMP'S introduction, the national Mission has already been given a substantial financial boost.
Not everyone can do as much direct propagation as perhaps they'd like to, but we can do the best propagation of all by remaining active in our membership."
PROPAGATION AND PUBLICATIONS
"In some ways, propagation is like a game of Chinese Whispers. Everyone sits around in a big circle and someone begins by whispering a statement into their neighbour's ear. The whispering continues until the last person usually hears the statement in a garbled and nonsensical form.
The message we get from Guru Maharaj Ji is clear and precise. Personal peace and ultimately world peace are possible. It is then our duty to convey that message in undiluted form to everyone, preserving its clarity and integrity, finding our way past our own limitations and the filters of conditioning which people impose on our words. However, along the way we often manage to complicate things. In the past, propagation was lost to us in administrative side-tracking or lost to the public in devotional terminology. But now we are a little more ready. So Guru Maharaj Ji has made 1975 a year of propagation.
The only way we can clear out all the junk that stands in the way of communication is by practising Knowledge. We have to put love into action. Someone once described genius as "the infinite ability for taking pains." The same applies to love. We have to become painstaking in our efforts to serve, because only out of devotion to the task in front of us will the final result be a worthwhile total of its parts. Propagation means to grow and spread. When we propagate the Knowledge within ourselves, then automatically the love spreads itself around.
Most of my life has been spent wrestling with words, usually in the written form. I've come to see that they're virtually meaningless. They convey appearance but can never convey essence. So many harmless sentences are misinterpreted by people who charge them with their own emotional implications. So much misunderstanding is caused by words not matching thoughts. Yet we have to speak and write because Maharaj Ji has told us to give satsang. We have to do something. It's funny in a way. We have to do something to find out that we're not doing anything. Through service, satsang and meditation we reach the point of elevation where we see that anything positive is only accomplished by love and that our own ego-determined efforts stand in the way of love's flow.
So, propagation begins at home. My service of co-ordinating propagation nationally begins with making myself clear enough to disseminate information wisely and to learn the lessons that both regional and international headquarters teach me. My service of writing and preparing publications begins with connecting myself to the point of Truth which broadcasts the only news worth knowing. I don't have to worry if page four of The Golden Age should have two photos or one; I have to wake up in the morning and get into meditation. Propagation of this Knowledge within ourselves is a matter of time, patience, trust and an ever-expanding ability to laugh at and work on our own imperfections."
The Hansagraphics team take on the service of printing, typesetting, darkroom work, typing, platemaking and artwork. Together they prepare correspondence, literature and The Golden Age for the DUO Community. The press also produces newsletters for the regional centres.
HANSAGRAPHICS ARTWORK AND PHOTOGRAPHY
"The most important thing to be aware of in service is that life itself is a simple, constant and practical thing. Only an understanding and a constant experience of that makes a good job possible. I see my duties as passing on any information, from Guru Maharaj Ji's satsang to premies events, in the most simple and pleasing visual manner.
What Guru Maharaj Ji is saying and doing is the most valuable information available to any human being. So it is really important that the visual presentation of this information should not detract from the simplicity and clarity of satsang.
This applies especially to photography A picture tells a thousand stories, or something like that. The choice of photos and their presentation is probably my most important duty.
Publications are an important aspect of propagation. After a person hears his first introductory satsang, if there is any printed information, he will most likely take it home with him. Then that piece of material becomes his link with Maharaj Ji and the premies. So printed information should clearly convey an understanding of Maharaj Ji's Mission of peace to every man."