MOTHERS AND THE FAMILY

“The family is a miniature commonwealth, upon whose integrity the safety of the larger commonwealth depends.” -Felix Adler, Science and Spirituality, page 138

One of my major concerns in life has to do with the strengthening of family life.  What I observe is that we have a Mother’s Day and a Father’s Day but no family day in our year’s calendar.  As stated in the quotation from Felix Adler, the family is a miniature commonwealth; it is the place where children should be given a responsible start in life.  Children deserve to have two parents to help guide them, the same two parents who gave birth to them in the first place.

I realize that there are many different kinds of families at this time, but certain principles apply in terms of what works best.  Families need to be stable if they are to provide a home where children can grow up prepared to enter into the world of schooling, work life, and the eventual raising of their own children.  While mothers are the ones who give birth to the children, they also usually need the influence of another responsible adult.

Robert F. Kennedy, who was on the way to becoming President of the United States when he was assassinated, said, “In my judgment, one of the basic reasons we have crime, lawlessness, and disorder has been the breakdown of the family unit.”  I would urge all of us who are celebrating Mother’s Day to move toward emphasizing the importance of the family, and the role of the mother in making that a reality.

Carle Zimmerman, a family sociologist with whom I studied at Harvard University, did research on the family especially in Western civilization.  He said that the stability of the family runs almost parallel to the stability of the civilization as a whole.  He was very concerned about the condition of the family in our society.  He pointed out that the ideal number of children is either three or four, so that there can be interaction between them and a balance with the mothers and fathers. Through families of that size there will be opportunities for sharing and growing best as a family unit.

So as we celebrate this Mother’s Day on May 8th, may we give some thought to the importance of stable family life and its importance to itself and also for the stability and health of the society at large.

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!

~Please read it and respond if you have time and interest.

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MOTHER’S DAY AND THE MODERN FAMILY

The family is a society limited in numbers, but nevertheless a true society, anterior to every state or nation, with rights and duties of its own wholly independent of the commonwealth.

–   Leo XIII (Gioacchino V. Pecci), Science and Spirituality, p. 138

 

Mothers have a day of acknowledgement each year on the second day of May, followed the next month by Fathers Day on the third Sunday.  In most places children are not given the same acknowledgement, nor is the family. If there is to be one special time per year, it would need to be the family, since it is the family which holds all these humans together.   The mother is the one who is most associated with the family.  It is she who generally labors the most hours per day, week after week, and month after month, to perform the duties of the family and seek to keep the relations in the family harmonious.

In our diverse society, in which there are also two women or two men at the head of the family, it is important to recognize that the standard rules for past families do not always hold at the present time.  In Royce Hall at UCLA earlier this month the Southern Poverty Law Center told about their accomplishments as a body of attorneys and their associates.  The one couple that was introduced and had a chance to speak was two married women who had had a very difficult life until they were helped by the Law Center to overcome their opponents and given time to build a meaningful life of their own.

The family is generally the most intense relationship in our society.  It is there, among other reasons, to shelter the younger generation and give it a chance to grow and be supported.  It is that protective relationship that allows children to develop their talents and abilities, and then to be launched out into the world with confidence and the qualities needed to become mature adults.  The love and concern of the parents serves a most important role in being the cocoon within which children can develop.

Mother’s Day is the time to acknowledge and support the love and caring role which mothers are intended to fulfill with respect to the upcoming generation, while the traditional role of the man is to be the breadwinner.  Clearly this role is often reversed or changed in a major way from what is the traditional one, but the vast majority of families are developed in this manner.  My concern is that the family is acknowledged for its great importance in modern society, and that marriage is given recognition and a true place in keeping the family together so it can fulfill its proper function.

May this Mother’s Day be a time for increasingly valuing the family and the woman’s role in that institution.

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!

WHAT DOES MY GUIDANCE SAY?

Many people feel that they have been given spiritual guidance at one level or another, and those areas of guidance need to be tested to see if they are valid.  I am also open to such examination as well.

My guidance has remained clear and consistent for many years.  There was a time when I told people about my guidance, but few people took it very seriously.  For that reason I stopped talking about it and decided to let my actions speak for themselves.  I believe that part of the reason people did not pay much attention to my guidance was the way in which I presented it at that time.  I am now making every effort to present it in a way that can be accepted.

I make no claims of infallibility, nor do I claim that I am the only one who has guidance that is relevant.  In fact, I would encourage anyone who is given such understandings and insights to speak up and let others know what is happening.  What I do claim is that these areas of guidance are true, and that they have remained steady throughout my life since they were originally given.  They have expanded with the passage of time, but they have not gone away or reversed themselves.

Now, at my advanced age, I find that people are generally paying more attention than at earlier times, and a number of awards have been given to me or to our organization as a result.  However, sometimes the visions of others have been substituted for what I have been given, generally without recognition or acknowledgement of the change.

I therefore proclaim that I have been given a basic understanding of the essential moral and spiritual teachings for the coming global civilization, as well as their extensions into all areas.  These were given some years ago, but they have stayed with me throughout my life, along with the additional understanding from the work being done during the intervening years.

What has developed during these years is an interfaith movement, the first step of which

Is an ever-expanding mutual respect and dialog among the major religions of the world.  This time period has also given birth or recognition to newer religions that previously were not considered worth including. However, some individuals and institutions are still persecuting followers of both the new religions and, in some cases, the major ones as well.

What is yet to come is the opening up of the scriptures of the world to the new teachings and the gradual establishing of the scriptures that are central to the emergence of the global civilization into a scriptural document.  My version is called World Scriptures, which includes the world’s scriptures in brief, plus some of the more recent religions.  More recently World Scriptures, Volume 2, was put together, although the writings go back to the writing of World Scriptures,  The second book focuses on what is yet to come.  A third book is entitled Science and Spirituality, which contains short readings from many sources plus documents that support the globalization of our society.

In addition, new forms of worship and architecture need to be created that allow for the new understandings to be expressed.  One of my areas of guidance in this regard has to

do with the design of places of worship.  Imagine a sanctuary being a place which, when you enter it, gives the awareness of walking into the universe, a sacred place of beauty and creativity, in which the music, art, and the whole atmosphere inspire us to be who we truly are at our best.  Imagine a service of worship that draws upon all paths and all moral and spiritual teachings that help us to live in a world of unity in the midst of the world’s great diversities of race, religion, and culture.

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Most people who have areas of spiritual guidance tend to be limited to a single area of such guidance.  My guidance has been different in that regard, and perhaps as a result it may have been hard to categorize.  In this message, I have been led to express all of the major areas of guidance that I have been given, so that they can be considered in their fullness and breadth.  You can then decide if they are related, or if they are totally separate and unrelated.

I have been fortunate to have visited the United Nations both in New York and in Geneva, Switzerland.  I have also had a number of contacts with people involved with the United Nations Associations in Southern and Northern California.  I chaired the committee which put together a Festival of Faith in 1956 in Claremont that had an attendance of more than 2,000 people.  All of the major religions were represented at that event, as well as having two political leaders as keynote speakers.

It has been my firm conviction since coming to California in 1955 that there must be a peoples’ equivalent of the United Nations, probably with its headquarters in the greater Los Angeles area but extending around the world.  Our annual Peace Sunday is becoming a kind of showcase for that development, and especially as the Peace Convergence that accompanied Peace Sunday in 2012 created a Culture of Peace Series that has been meeting monthly on the different aspects of peace.  Our Unity-and-Diversity Peace Wheel shows the relationship of these sectors and quadrants that highlight the different sectors and yet show how they are all related.  Democracy is based on government of the people, by the people, and for the people; therefore, it is up to the peoples of the world to shape the various forms of democracy and then invite government leaders to serve them, rather than the other way around.

Let me be more emphatic as to what my guidance is on this matter.  The United Nations has an important work to do to serve governments and see that they cooperate in helping to establish a global community at a governmental level.  However, it remains to the peoples of the world to create a separate but cooperative body of individuals, groups, and networks to organize the peoples of the world.  There are huge numbers of mostly nonprofit organizations now doing some very important work in this regard.  What remains to be developed is a body similar to the United Nations that brings together the nongovernmental aspects of society to cultivate the moral and spiritual dimensions of the global society and also all of its other aspects.  World peace, in my opinion, will only be possible when the religions of the world come together in cooperation, and that they in turn will help the larger “united peoples” organization to bring all aspects of society into a Peoples Assembly and Specialized Affiliates to carry on the intergroup work of the global community.

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Another area of guidance that I have received is in the realm of music.  After having studied with the first and second chair trumpet of the Boston Symphony, having had my own dance band at the University of Michigan, having been in the concert and marching bands at the University of Michigan as well as Harvard Orchestra, I was given a special kind of music that I have been developing ever since.  It is like jazz in a way, yet it is more sacred than jazz and it has a more flexible rhythm than jazz does.  I see that it has a special place in the development of interfaith places of worship, and I trust that it will also have a place in the more general realms of music.  It will need to create its own groups of musicians who can play this music, which I call Creative Music, since there needs to be room for the individual soloist and for other musicians who can also be creative.  To my knowledge, this type of music is just beginning to emerge, but it certainly has a place in the culture of the coming civilization.  The trumpet is my instrument, and I have been playing this kind of music for many years.

 

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One of the very misunderstood areas of our society is the family.  My guidance in this regard is that the family is a very important part of our American society and all other societies throughout the world.  The nature of the family is changing, one of the latest changes being homosexual partners becoming married.  The family is the most intense kind of group relationship, and it is especially important because the raising of children is involved.  Children deserve a stable home, and two parents if possible to help in their development.  I studied about the family with a most outstanding family sociologist at Harvard University, Carle Zimmerman, who pointed out that there is an almost exact parallel between the success of the family and that of the civilization as a whole.

Recently I wrote a message entitled “Women Are More Than Sex Objects”, and I got more response to that message than anything I have ever written.  Our society is now deeply involved in the sex revolution, and the moral standards related to sexuality are way out of proportion.  It is true that sexuality plays an important part in relationships, especially in the beginning stages, but restraint is also important.  There must be a balance between sexuality and the other aspects of a relationship, or the relationship is not very likely to last.  Getting married is important as a commitment to the continuity of the relationship, and it also needs a commitment to caring for any children that may be involved (whether planned or not).  This whole subject is a very important part of my guidance, but until now I have not said much about it.

As an indication of my commitment in this area, I was married to Elizabeth Elliot Stewart for fifty-six years.  Elizabeth died of pancreatic cancer in 2009.

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Finally, a very clear and powerful part of my guidance has been and is related to the Holy Day Season at the end of the year, which traditionally centers around Christmas, and to some extent Hanakkah.  Since 1958 the Unity-and-Diversity World Council has been developing interfaith events that represent the evolving nature of that time of the year.  Before Christianity was born, the mystery religions celebrated at that time of the year.  After Jesus’ life and death, early Christians needed to decide when Jesus’ birth was to be celebrated.  Since he was not born in December, it took a long time before Christians could agree to choose December 25th.  Now, with the coming of democracy, there is an increasing need to choose the most powerful time of the year for the celebration of all paths coming together.  We are now calling this special event the Interfaith Celebration of Light, and this year we had two sponsoring organizations and twenty-two co-sponsors who came together to share in this powerful occasion.

Spirit is One; paths are many!!!