Written and sent in By William A. Cook - cookb@ULV.EDU

"Truly good literature offers the reader not only amusement, but a thought-provoking dialogue that helps the reader find enlightenment. Professor William A. Cook, University of LaVerne, English Department, authored Psalms for the 21st Century, which fits the description and more. Here is poetry in the style of the biblical psalms, but finds divinity in each and every living being and seeks peace in the unity of all peoples." Richard Fuller
Senior Editor


Happy are the people
Who act as their own guide,
  Who tread their own path,
  Who sit among their friends,
   For the laws for their life will evolve
From meditating on this relationship,
         Night and day;
The roots that bind will be seen
   And flow like rivers beneath all
   And give life to all;
   Out of which comes the fruit,
   Each in its own season,
That nourishes both the earth and
   All humankind.
Not all are like this for they
   `Follow deceitful voices
   Or walk in wayward steps,
So when judgment calls, they cry
Innocence and beg forgiveness
Laying blame at another's feet.   


Why are nations in turmoil?
Why do people conspire against each other?
    Earthly Princes and Premiers and Presidents
    Conspire together against their people,
    And turn away from that which binds them.
"Let us chain the people in debt
    And exploit them to do our bidding," they cry.
The Oneness which resides all about them,
    And is one with all, weeps at their crimes;
And Oneness calls to them in compassion
    And holds out her arms in supplication.
To all she says, " I have enthroned each
    Of you in my holy earth as divine
    And I call upon you to witness this decree.
You are me and I am you, we are father and son,
    Mother and daughter, and we are one.
    Ask of me what you will
    And you ask it of yourself,
For you are the giver of the inheritance
    And the receiver, for all belongs
    To all; what is, is your possession.
You shall join your brothers and your sisters,
     In love shall you join them,
For you will know that life is short,
     And Princes and all Powers, like People,
     Have but a moment in time
To worship each other, while trembling
     Before the finality of existence;
For as the Oneness loves you, you shall love
      All who are of the Oneness,
And find refuge in that awareness.


Friends, how we believe our enemies multiply!
Many seem to rise up against us,
Some even say of me as of you
"You cannot succeed."
But you are my success, my friends,
You are my shield and my glory!
You lift me up out of despair,
And call to me when I fall.
Knowing you I lie in comfort
And wake to a new Sun,
Where hope overwhelms fear,
Where all about me are those who are dear.
You raise all, my friends, who cry to you,
You bring love without entanglement
And bring succor to those in need.
You are our victory, my friends,
You are our blessing and our fulfillment.


The people cry to their God to answer their prayers,
And demand of him that they alone be heard.
They cry out for Him to break their enemies
Whilst sheltering them from all affliction.
And they put words into their God's mouth
That He will avenge Himself on all those
Who do not honor Him;
They bewail those who fail to prostrate themselves
Before their God, and blame their failings
On those who do not obey their entreaties.

There are many who say, "If only we might be prosperous again!"
And they blame their God for abandoning them
When they alone are responsible for their lot.
Let them bear their burdens as the donkey does
Struggling against the rocks and wind
Let them go forth unafraid
And blame not a power they can not see
Except as the cause of their own failings.


Hear, my Friends, my words,
Heed what I have to say,
For I cry out to you
On behalf of all who woke this day
To offer succor to all in need,
Especially to those in the morning
Of their life and know not yet
The meaning of it nor its sorrow and joy.

For you alone know life's totality,
You know there is iniquity,
You know there is wickedness,
You know there are those who lie,
You know there is deceitfulness,
You know the nature of human kind;
You know there is justice,
You know there is compassion,
You know there is truthfulness,
You know there is forthrightness,
You know the nature of us all.

So I cry to you in your boundless mercy
To bring to those who do not know
Our talents or infirmities
The days upon days that will ever be
And must be so for evermore.
For there will ever be the twisted smile,
Those who sham the Judas kiss,
The fawning valet, and those who lie.
And there must forever be mercy,
And compassion, and tolerance
To address the reality of whom we are;
And there must be protection for all,
Where justice and judgment ensure
The safety and sustenance of those yet
To reach the noontime and evening
Of their lives.
So let us rejoice in the diversity
Of our beingness,
And protect, and love, and shield all.


My friends, rebuke me not,
Do not make me the object of your wrath.
Have mercy on me for I am weak
And see only my own afflictions.
My soul is troubled and I need your succor.

Rescue my soul, my friends, from its depression,
For I am close to death
Where none can remember me,
And I am sore afraid.
Who is there who praises me
In the abode of the dead?
Who but you, my friends,
Sustain my being beyond the grave
Even as I become one with the universe
For evermore.

I call upon you, my friends, to salve
My weary soul
As ointment on a wound withdraws the pain;
Heed not the pain others have inflicted on you
For in your compassion you will bring them to love,
And unite all in the oneness of our being.


My friends, to you I call in supplication
To save me and deliver me
From those who would do me harm;
But I call to you as well, my friends,
To save me from my anger
Lest it be used against another
And I, like a raging lion, tear my foe
Without mercy, compassion or forgiveness.

For if I have acted so against my brother or sister,
If there be such iniquity in my hands,
If I have turned against my friend,
I am no longer one with all
And I have forgone justice and peace
To take abode in my heart of darkness.

You alone, my friends, can bring me salvation
By restoring me to the world's community,
For in you is all compassion,
And hope, and love, and peace.
Your love alone can save me from being trampled,
And my honor dragged through the dust. 

Arise, my friends, not in anger:
Do not unleash your fury against your fellows,
Do not oppress your own,
Do not lay judgment on the innocent,
For you alone can bring peace to all
By recognizing that all are one and equal,
And all have the right to share the glories
Of the earth and the heavens.
Know, my friends, that there is not one
Who resides above all, who judges all
Nor is there a people chosen above all;
We are the one,
We are the friends,
We are the reason and the meaning of life;
We are its fruition and its sustainers,
Now and forevermore.

Let no God become a shield for any one
To justify wickedness in the name
Of righteousness;
Let no one claim judgment over another,
And use them as missiles against his enemy,
For there is no righteous God
Who would inflict His wrath
On those whom He created,
Nor promise salvation to those who destroy.
For we are the God and we are the salvation,
And in us is peace and reconciliation.


My Friends, how admirable that we declare our love
Throughout the earth!
By that declaration we exalt our being
And make us one with the universe.

We must bring forth out of the mouths of infants
Praise for all peoples, and silence thereby
The voices of hate and jealousy
That sows the seeds of vengeance and retaliation.

When I view this earth upon which we walk,
And see the heavens above covering us,
The moon that lights our path
Through the dark, the sun that warms us
Through winter's chill,
I know that we are one and share the glories
That surround us wherever we live.

What is man? What is woman? What is all creation
But the fulfillment of the living world that
Sustains us all and gives us purpose
In the brief moment of our beingness.
This, my friends, is why we must be mindful
Of each other and show concern for everything
Under the heavens.

It is our love for each other that crowns us in glory!
It is our compassion for all that brings us honor!
We have the power to sustain all existence;
It is not ours to destroy,
It is not ours to debase.
All sheep and oxen,
All beasts in the field,
All birds of the air,
All fish in the sea,
Are one with us as voyagers in this life,
And they, too, are sacred and to be cherished.
How admirable are our days and those of us yet to come!


I will praise all the peoples of the earth
With my whole heart;
I will tell all of your marvelous works.
I will be glad and rejoice in you,
And sing your worth before all nations.

I will have no enemies among the nations;
None shall stumble or perish before me.
For I would not judge nor be judged
Nor have a God of judgment
Who would rebuke or destroy the peoples
Of the earth and blot out their lives
To exalt me above all others.

For who am I to be exalted when I am but one of them?
Who am I to judge others when I fear another's judgment?
Who am I to desire the destruction of another's memory?
Who am I to seek a God who would wield His wrath
On those who cannot agree with me?

Who creates a God to be a refuge for himself
Creates a God who becomes the oppressor of others.
But who sees in his neighbor and his neighbor's neighbor
A brother and a sister creates a community of families
Who live together without fear of enmity
All bound together in loving equity.

Sing, then, our hymns of praise throughout the world
That all may know that we are one in unity.
Declare before all, the works of our hands,
That all may rejoice in our achievements.
Proclaim before all, the wonders of our minds,
That all may know the depth of our understanding.
Praise before all, the empathy in our hearts,
That all may feel the fullness of our compassion.

Those peoples who have fallen into the pit of deprivation
Must find recourse in our common communion:
For to share is to bind, to bind is to heal,
To heal is to hope, to hope is to bless,
And, thereby, to recognize
The dignity and divinity of all.

Thus have we made ourselves known before all,
And declared our responsibilities before all.
The poor we will raise up,
The wicked we will straighten,
The sinner we will forgive,
The weak of heart we will strengthen,
The proud we will soften,
The distrustful we will let live,
The lonely will not be forgotten,
That all may know the tolerance that binds,
The compassion that melds,
The love that encompasses.


I flee unto you, my friends, for you are my consolation.
There are those who say I should flee like the bird,
Away to the mountains to hide from
Those who would raise their anger against me
Even as I try to be upright of heart.
What am I to do?

I hear your voice, for you are, indeed, my consolation.
Together we will confront those who assail us,
Together we will find the paths to peace,
For all must know that we are one
And he that would injure one, injures all.
Together we will rain our love on those who
Know no better,
Who find fault with their fellows,
Who foster iniquity,
For to bring vengeance through fire and brimstone
Is to destroy creation and bring devastation
To that which gives us life.
Thus will we march upright together.


My friends, there are those who say,
"The upright are no more,
And among all our children
There are none who are faithful,
For lies, deceit, and insincerity fill their hearts."
And there are those who reply,
"Destroy all those who speak falsely,
Cast them and those who deceive
And are not sincere into Hell's fire."

But, my friends, we have learned from our past,
For to destroy only breeds more destruction
Wrecking havoc on our children
And our childrens' children.
What once was can be no more!
"An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,"
Is the road to extermination for those destroyed
And those who inflict the destruction.

Let us be sincere and clear as the liquid stream.
Let patience, love and compassion guide us
And become the guide to those who lie or deceive.
This alone will preserve us,
For sincerity will conquer
Insincerity, and patience
Will win over those who lie.
This is the path to preservation and to exaltation
For you, my friends,
And the highway to peace for generations yet to come.


I long, my friends, for your comfort and succor
For I feel lonely and afraid;
Do not hide from me in my sorrow;
Bring me peace that I may rest.
You alone can dispel this inner fear that rises
In my soul when I am alone
And doubt the comfort you can bring.

There is a darkness that rises before me,
When I see no power greater than myself,
And I feel weak and helpless as before a void
That has no voice and offers no relief.

But you, my friends, you sympathize
Because you know my fear and you hear my lament
That seeks your warmth and your touch.
Enlighten my eyes that I may dispel the need
For power greater than myself, greater than you,
For we are the power and the glory forever and ever.

Let my heart rejoice in that understanding:
To know you is to know the world,
To feel your love is to live,
To return your love is fulfillment    
Of life's desires and puts all fear to rest.


The fool says in his heart, "There is a God,"
For he cannot see nor know a God.
The fool calls out, "Heed my God
Lest He cast you into Hell's fire,"
For he cannot assuage his doubt without fear.
The fool cries, "God looks down from heaven
And sees no good, only evil,"
For he cannot force his will without consequence.
The fool declares, "God has spoken. The fool
Speaks for me, worship him in my name,"
For he can have no place without the word of God.

Consider now who has done us evil in the name of the Lord;
Who devours the people?
Who makes us tremble?
Who is the oppressor?
Who turns us against our fellows?
Where do we turn for our salvation?
Where is the peace that passeth understanding?
Where but in our hearts that finds love in our brother!
Let us rejoice and be glad that we have found each other.


Who, my friends, shall walk with you
And find peace throughout the earth?
Who shall stride the lofty mountains
And glide the purple hills?
Who will wander along the shore
And watch the waves roll in?
Who will fly through the clouds above
And see the fullness of the earth?

All upright of heart, who love all,
Shall find their heaven here,
And they will glory in the spring,
Find nourishment in their lives,
And solace in their fall because of the love
That cherishes all.


Preserve me, my friends, lest I flee from you,
And seek my refuge among some gods who
Dwell and command in some foreign land.
How wonderful these gods are made to appear:
Wondrous in their glory!
Protectors against our enemy!
Jubilant in their mercy!
Triumphant through all eternity!
And all we must do to gain our inheritance,
Sip the cup of everlasting life,
Attain to understanding,
Is to resign ourselves to their judgment,
Forgo our own, and live in everlasting fear.

How we multiply our sorrow when we follow
The promises of the strange gods!
How we deceive ourselves when we seek
Heavenly cities beyond this earth!
How we lose the joy of the child's expectation
When life is suffering and expiation!
How we inflict pain and death on those who
Love another god, not ours,
Believing ours the only true and righteous one!
When all about us there is life, and joy, and peace,
If we but see in each other that which holds all together.


Attend, my friends, to my cry,
Hear the prayer from my lips,
Listen to me without guile,
For I seek your understanding
And your guidance.

Your eyes see what blinds me
For I am sad and lack experience.
Your eyes can search my heart,
You know I do not deceive
Nor will you find in me iniquity.
I come before you as one of you,
As you will come before me.
Together we obey the law
Because we are the law,
And that which binds, binds all.

Guide me through the maze of deception,
Through the narrows that place enemies
Like whirlpools at every turn
And hatred like stones in my path.
I fear that I will be lost and seek some savior
Who can take me through the narrows
And strike terror into my enemies.

But you, my friends, cannot be deceived,
For if we are friends we are not enemies,
No matter who cries against our trust.
Let us gather then, my friends, lift our voice in song,
And dispel doubt, for together we are strong!


I love you, my friends, for you are my strength,
You are the foundation upon which I stand
And upon which I build.
In you I find safety, succor, and salvation;
For you are worthy of all praise when you
Unite all across the earth.

Let me call upon you now, for I fear death;
I see it in torrents of iniquity all about me,
I see it in threats from those who surround me,
I see it in the tears of those who fear me,
I see it in the mysteries that surge within me,
And you, my friends, you can allay all,
For we are bound together in this place and time
Where we must endure mysteries and tears,
Threats and iniquities, during life and unto death.
This you know and can impart to me,
And in your comfort, I will be free.

Don't let me look upon the earth when it
Shakes and trembles,
When the very foundations quake and threaten,
When smoke arises from its mouth and spews forth
The blood of consuming fire,
When the heavens heave with shrouds of death
Sending a pall of darkness over the sun,
When waters rise like cliffs and crash
Against the shores,
When twisted spirals spin along the earth
Upending all in their path,
Don't let me see an angry God venting His rage
Upon His distraught creatures who cringe
Before His almighty anger.
Don't let me see this righteous God speak
Through thunder to His chosen and
Punish detractors with destruction,
As though, in the nature of things, there is
Some force that governs all and to whom
We must bend, for it is not so.

You, my friends, have requited me according to my justice,
Because I have honored you,
Respected you, dignified you,
And saw in you, myself, and found in you, myself,
And we are one, in all things to be equal,
Though not equal in all things, as it should be.
Like the flowers of the field, we are multiple,
And beautiful, and unique, and desirable,
Yet we are one, as the scene is one, more blessed
In its spirit which can be received by all,
Than in its matter which, ultimately in time,
Dissolves into the spirit.

Thus will we reward each other according
To our justice toward each other.
Thus will we recognize each other according
To the mercy we show each other.
Thus will we sanctify each other according
To the love we impart to each other.

In justice, mercy, and love we transform
Ourselves and become like beacons
To light the world ridding it of the darkness
Of deceit,
Of false belief,
Of predators of fear;
Thus do we become a protective shield
Against anger, jealousy, envy, and hate.

I look about the world and see God in you,
For there can be no other.
You have sustained me as I have you,
And your caring has made me great.
You have opened the door for me
That I might enter the households
Of all who live upon the earth;
That I might sit at their table
And offer thanksgiving with them;
That I might drink a toast to their kindness
To bless the dignity with which they received me.
In this sharing we have overcome the fears
That blossom in the vase of ignorance,
And the jealousies that arise with misperception.

You have girt me with circlets of understanding,
And cloaked me in the robes of tolerance.
You have encircled me with the laughter of friends,
And laid before me the road to happiness.
From the warmth of homes has come warmth
Of hearts and fullness of spirit.
In this harmony we find joy in each other
And fill the air with choral song.

You have delivered me from the contentions of people
By bringing me into the fold of the world's family.
I am one now with those I did not know,
And feel now the depth of their soul.
We are no longer strangers in borders,
But friends who share the land and the sea.

I know now that to inflict pain on another
Is to inflict pain on myself,
To insult another is to mock myself,
To find fault with another
Is to find fault with myself.

I seek now no vengeance, for it accomplishes no end,
I sow no anger, for it destroys only me,
I harvest no envy, for it decays my heart,
I crave no retaliation, for it turns on itself.
I desire no crown that would set me apart,
For it achieves no end but separation.
These things I have learned at your knee,
And I sing praises to you who have made me
One with all nations under the sun.


The heavens encompass the glory of the earth, our Mother,
Who nurtures us, generation after generation.
As days pass and multiply and nights follow in succession,
We learn the value of our time.
They speak to us in sunlight and in silence,
And we learn nothing without their passing.

The sun has seen since the beginning of time,
A witness to all we have done.
It declares our actions before all the world;
It rises in magnificence before us each day,
Sustaining our existence, nurturing our soul.

The laws of the heavens are perfect;
They dispel doubt with the balm of certainty.
We bow before the rising sun and kneel at its setting;
We follow its path throughout our life,
Like the flowers of the field through joy and strife,
Until our time makes way for that of another
And we return to the bosom of our mother.

Our knowledge rises like the sun when we become
A student of the sun;
Our wisdom grows with the passing years when night's
Darkness filters through the light;
Our fulfillment overflows when we understand
The Oneness that encompasses all existence;
Our life becomes more precious than gold when it
Is suffused with the spirit of the sun.

Hearken to the message we have learned,
A message passed from father to son,
Mother to daughter
From the beginning of time.
Pay heed and there is great reward;
Fail, and fall headlong into the ditch.
Keep away from the prideful,
For they seek their own glory;
Shun those glorifying power,
For they are the oppressor;
Avoid the deceitful,
For they care nothing for another.

Joy in your neighbor, find solace in your friends;
Let all be a servant to each other
And we have no need for a king or a redeemer.


May you hear me in times of tribulation,
And hear the voices of your children
Yet to be born.
We must come together and share our
Suffering, lest we perish
By raising the engines of war
Against each other.
Generations have wrought havoc on each other,
Laid waste their neighbors, destroyed creation,
And given birth to hatred and vengeance.
Their children and their children's children
Have never known the gentle feel of the
Flowing spring or the touch of the
Autumn breeze or the silence of the
Falling snow.

But we, my friends, can awaken to a new day,
Raise our banners in the victory of peace,
And declare war no more!
We can break the shackles of the strong
Who bound us in bias' chains
Rallied us in the lies of myths,
Marched us to the patriots' tune,
To slaughter our friends, our neighbors,
Mothers, wives, and children
To declare victory and honor through war,
When there is no victory or honor,
If there is war!

Our victory is our friendship, our love for each other;
There is no other.


There was a time in days past
When kings and Emperors ruled the land;
Those days are no more.
Each of us is a king, and we acknowledge
The royalty of our sisters and brothers.
So may we rejoice in our strength and glory.

Let us learn from ancient times the tales of kings
Who bound together to guarantee peace,
Protect the homeland, sustain the people.
So may we bind together kings in every land,
Not against other fiefdoms, but in unity of all
That all may live and thrive in harvest
Of all the earth can provide.

Our glory is great in this salvation,
Our honor and dignity made manifest;
For we trust one another
And find happiness in our sister and mother,
And strength in our father and brother.

We shall have no enemies and seek none;
We shall loose no missiles against other lands;
We shall seek no destruction upon the earth,
For it is sacred as we are sacred.
We shall sing in exaltation the union of our desires,
And the fulfillment of our lives in the fullness of all others.


My Friends, my friends, why do we continue in strife?
Why have we multiplied iniquity upon iniquity,
Wrecked havoc upon the weak, oppressed the poor?
Why have we driven wedges between our neighbors?
Exploited envy and jealousy, fostered anger and hatred?
I hear my neighbors cry for they are held in bondage,
Yet your voices are silent, my cries go unheard.

Do not let me cry in vain, listen to the weeping of
Your friends who suffer the pangs of hunger and want.
I have trusted in you to deliver us from pain
Because you know the anguish of suffering;
Do not disappoint those who cry to you in desperation;
They seek only their share of the earth's fruit,
What we must provide out of the kindness of our hearts
That all may live in peace and happiness.

Do not mock me because I am covered in rags,
Do not belittle me because I am unable to read,
Do not strike me because I am weak,
For, like you, I have flowed within the waters of the womb
And sucked the milk of life from a mother's breast;
I feel the heat of the summer's sun, the chill
Of the winter's wind, the bite of hunger's pain;
I am you and you are me, we are brothers and sisters,
Alive and in need together, now and forever.

I am encircled by the beasts that inhabit the land,
Who sacrifice themselves that we may live;
Let us bless them for they are our sustenance.
Without them I feel the wind upon my bones
And the heat upon my skin.
Without them I am dried up like parchment
And become a brittle and broken stick.
Without them I cannot call to my friends
To share a thanksgiving meal together.
They, too, are friends who sojourn with us
As we journey through this vale of tears.
They encircle us with goodness and give us life.

Let us rejoice that we share this earth with creatures
Who find no fault with us,
Who fear us not,
Whose beauty exceeds our own,
Whose strength provides support for our journey,
Whose loyalty we have come to trust.
Blessed are we to share this life together.

Our fear rests only in the rapacity of humankind,
Who would tear us limb from limb
To wrest our home from our kin
That they might gain what the earth
Provides for the betterment of all.
Deliver me from such greed and wantonness, my friends,
For we need only know that the betterment of all
Brings peace of mind and peace to the earth.
Let us deliver ourselves from those who do evil
Before us, who deceive and destroy;
Let them wander alone in the deserts of humanity
Till they know the joy of Oneness.

When the poor shall eat and have their fill,
When the old find rest and care in their final years,
When the homeless have shelter against the rain,
Then I will declare your name before all the world,
Then will I praise you to the heavens,
For you will provide for all throughout all the earth.

This land is ours to hold as a gift for our children,
We have no dominion over its bounty;
We hold it in trust for those yet to come
After we have gone to sleep in its bosom.
And though we shall turn to dust,
We live forever in the memories of those living,
In the spirit of the wind that wanders over the fields,
In the whispering leaves that rustle in the trees,
In the smile and laughter of our children and our
Children's children who run and skip across the face
Of the lands we have nurtured to provide for them.
And they will raise their hands in silent benediction
And gratitude to us who cared.


My friends are as my father and mother; they have cared for me.
They prepared the earth's bounty as a table of thanksgiving;
They filled my spirit to overflowing; I wanted for nothing.
They restored my soul with the honor they bestowed upon me.
They directed me upon the path of tolerance and compassion.

Though I walk through life in the light of the sun
I fear no evil in death's shadow,
For I know that in death's passing
I prepare the way for another,
And in this joy I find comfort.

My friends have prepared me for life and for death.
They have given me life through their love,
And strength of spirit to confront death.
They have anointed me with honor,
And filled my heart with wisdom.
They have made possible goodness and mercy
All the days of my life,
And I have dwelled peacefully with them,
And shall rest peacefully forever, amen.


The earth and all its fruits is ours to share
With all who dwell upon it.
It is ours to nourish and sustain that our
Children may live in happiness.

Let us climb to the mountaintops that we may see
The glories of the earth and the bounty thereof.
Let those who are pure and generous of heart
Lead us in providing for all in need;
Let those who are strong lift the burdens from the weak
That they may rest and be renewed in spirit;
Let those who understand bring solace to those who fear
That they might find comfort and peace of mind.
Let us seek those who befriend their neighbor, and bless them,
For they bring peace to our world!

Lift your eyes to your friends, bow before them;
Lift your voice in praise, celebrate their presence;
Lift your heart in admiration, acknowledge their dignity;
Lift your mind in recognition, rejoice in their diversity;
Lift your spirit in veneration, respect their existence.
For we are the power and the glory that gives
Meaning and purpose to all that lives and thrives
Upon the earth!


I come before you, my friends, as a child to a teacher.
You must show the way lest I be confounded
And turn down the wrong path,
Where all is darkness and stones block my way.
I put my trust in you and my faith in your judgment.
Guide me as I climb through the crags of fear and doubt,
And struggle through the shoals of envy and vengeance.
Direct me on the paths of tolerance and compassion
That I may see myself in my neighbor and my duty
In providing for all.
Remind me that kindness and mercy are the paths to peace,
And forgiveness the ointment of the soul.

I come to you who are good and upright,
For you have lived long and have witnessed
What havoc greed and hatred and envy can inflict
On the innocent who are the victims squeezed in
The vice of conflict.
Teach all to be humble who rise each day
Unknown to the billions who tread the earth,
Whose voice is but the sound of a sparrow
In the vast forests that cover the land,
Whose will cannot stem the tides of the sea,
Nor curb the dryness in the draught.
Our puny beings endure but a moment in time,
And, though we crush our foes beneath our heel,
Our foot makes no lasting imprint in the sands of time.

So let us turn then to that which ensures salvation:
The spreading of seed across the land,
The desalinization of the sea,
That we may quench the thirst that threatens us,
The caring of the cattle that feed us,
The reforestation of our hills,
That none may want for shelter against the rain,
The giving of love that unites all,
The reformation of our desires
That all may share in the bounty of the earth.

Let us look upon each other as the source
Of our salvation, for there is no other.
Let us see in each other's face the joy
Of the mother with the newborn child.
Let us feel remorse when we see another in pain,
Or another in want, or alone in the world.
Let us find no hatred in our hearts even of those
Who would  inflict their wrath upon us.
Let innocence and uprightness protect me,
For I believe in you above all things.


Be kind to me, my friends, as you are kind to all,
For I would walk with you humble of heart
And trusting in my soul.
I will not waver in my belief that we can love
One another and find accord in life.
I have seen your goodness in my own lifetime,
And heard the stories of your forbearance and kindness.
I know you have lived with the wicked,
And offered solace to the innocent.
Your wondrous works must be told
That all can know the power that rests in you.
I would not walk with those who raise their arm against you,
For they bring only chaos and suffering.
But in you is hope, and promise, and everlasting peace.


Now, my friends, let us pray together and for each other,
That we may find comfort and peace in our lives.

Our world is not the world of our fathers and mothers.
Their fears and their desires brought forth
A God of wrath and vengeance
To wreck havoc upon their enemies,
And to provide them with counsel and solace in a world
Of darkness, of wickedness, of travail and pain.
They besought that God to strike terror into their enemies,
To destroy those not chosen,
To break the arm of the sinner,
To unleash His arrow at those who steal,
To put to shame the deceitful,
To bring down the proud and haughty,
To trample in His anger those who do not bow before Him.
Their God divided the world into Good and Evil,
And the people of the world into His people,
And the forces of iniquity aligned against Him.

Thus did they raise their voices in supplication
Seeking safety from their enemies,
Harvests in their fields,
Health for their bodies,
And life everlasting as reward for a life of suffering.

They heard their God in the cry of the wind,
And saw His face in the passing clouds.
They knew His anger in years of drought,
And His compassion in the waving grain.
They read His words in the voice of the prophets,
And heeded His commands under pain of death.
They felt His wrath when they lay sick,
And His love in the warmth of the sun.
Their God touched every moment of their lives,
Guided them down every path,
Nurtured them in the morning
And the evening of their lives,
Lest they falter and fall headlong into the ditch.

They cried to their God for protection,
To shield them from their enemies,
To slaughter those who would obstruct their advance,
To bend His bow and unleash His arrows
Against the unbeliever.
They appealed to him to show no mercy
Against those who oppressed them;
To rise in fury against those who worship another God.
And this to them was a God of mercy, and justice,
And compassion, and righteousness,
A God above all Gods, the Creator, and Judge
Of all humankind forever, and ever, Amen.


There are those who say, "We cannot live
Without a God of Glory,
A God of fear and retribution,
Of judgment and vindication;"
Before such a God we cower as before a Despot's power,
Insignificant, unheralded, peasants before the throne.

But I say, my friends, that they are wrong;
"There is no God of Glory."
But there is a God who does reside within
Our hearts and minds,
A God who whispers in our ear how best to live,
How best to die;
A God who tells us quietly that joy
And peace are near;
A God who knows that we can live
In harmony with all;
A God who knows that we create the way
To peace or to hate;
A God who counsels sympathy and love,
As acts to perform each day;
A God who feels for every living thing,
That treads upon the earth,
And tells us we must share the bounty that is ours,
If we would live as the God we are.


It is time now, my friends, to sing a new song
To greet this new century.
The days of wrath can be no more,
The days of enmity, of father against son,
Brother against brother must not endure.

Now is the time to match the carols of the birds,
To whisper with the wind its joyous sounds,
To listen to the pulse of the aurora lights,
To feel the thunder of the voices in the waves,
To know and to speak the glories of this earth
That sustains us during our sojourn through life.

Raise your voices, my friends, in joyful song
To praise peace before war,
To extol love before hate,
To honor sharing before envy,
To glorify life in all its brevity,
To exult even in the finality of death.

Let us soar on the wings of the eagle
To see the earth spread out below like a quilt,
Boundless in its reach,
Covering all in warmth and beauty.
Let us look to the heavens as a roof
That shelters all in the home
Where we reside, one family
Forever and ever, amen.
Let us see in the flowers of the field
The faces of our family,
Multitudinous in their hues,
Glorious in their beauty.

Let us live without fear of each other
And there will be peace throughout the earth.
Let us live without fear of some strange God
And we will have peace in our soul.
Let us live without fear of want
For there is plenty throughout the lands.
Let us worship at the shrine of our existence,
Within the chapel that is the world,
Let us pray that we provide for all now
And for the lives yet to come.

What glory there is in Oneness!
What peace of soul in unity!
What harmony of voices in love!
What solace in the attention we pay
To even the least of things that are!


Open your eyes each day, my friends, like a child,
And fill your life with wonder and affirmation.

See the sun rise above the mountains, silhouetting
Their splendor against the morning sky;
See it glisten atop the fields of flowing grain,
Like pulsing sheets of shining foil;
See it ride in gold-white strands above
The undulating swells of the far flung sea.
Awake to its brilliance and its warmth that
Bundles you like a mother
Against the morning's chill.

Celebrate with me the wonder of this morn
As I descended from the mountaintop,
And saw below a foam-white sea of heaven's
Clouds lapping at the mountain's feet
That gently dipped into this billowing main,
While islands rose through the white
Like dragons roused from a deep slumber.
The morning sun peeked above the crest
Throwing a pastel hue of the lightest pink
Over the distant waves
And the mountains, salmon streaked, blushed to see.

Celebrate the morning of your lives
As you celebrate the dawning of each new day,
For these are the moments we must cherish
As we open our eyes to the heaven
That is our world.


Be in awe of the earth that is our home,
Our garden, our refuge, and our temple.
Preserve it as we would a cherished heirloom
Passed to us from generation to generation.
Be stewards of its bounty to ensure that all living beings,
And those yet to come, find sustenance and fulfillment.
Praise those who till the land and bring forth its fruit
Free of forces that corrode its purity.
Honor those who husband the harvest of the land
To care for all who depend on its bounty.
Bless those who protect the earth from powers that exploit it
By claiming dominion over all creation
As a right and expectation.
Worship the land that gives us life,
That is the beginning and the end
Of our existence and our purpose,
For we are one with the universe in the
Moment of our being and one with all
Who travel its paths during all the days of our life.


I proclaim to you, my friends, what you have proclaimed to me:
We are no longer strangers in a strange land.
There are no longer borders that seal us off
From our brothers and sisters.
There are no longer churches that exclude a friend
From the unity that blesses all.
There are no longer peoples to enslave who
Become the chattel of another's greed.
There are no longer races that harbor hatred
Against others who inhabit this earth.
There are no longer nations that reign superior
Over those weak and smaller.
There are no longer doctrines that confound
With mystery and authority those
Who cannot understand.
There are no longer beliefs that offer salvation
Only to the chosen, and damnation
To those not of the elect.
There can be no absolute duality
That builds a wall between you and me.
There can be no enmity within our family;
There can only be love and harmony.


Know this, my friends, what binds is innate,
The suckling babe does not know of hate.
Our heaven is manifest within this heart
That beats in rhythm to another's love.

Behold the trust the child brings to the Father's knee,
The warmth the child finds at the Mother's breast,
For in these simple acts reside the peace that
Passeth understanding.

Come, build bridges over chasms of discontent
That we may find refuge in a neighbor's heart.
Place a compass about the folds of the earth
That we may embrace our family everywhere.
Raise a canopy above all nations
That we may protect them from outrageous fortune.
Encircle the horizon with our eyes
That we may know, within ourselves, we contain all things.

I look across the fields of faces that stretch across this earth,
And I see a field of flowers, radiant in beauty,
Waving back at me.
See yourself in that field and feel the beauty of your being,
Then see the beauty that surrounds you
And makes you one in diversity.

Lift your voices to the rhythms of the waves,
Hear in its ebb and flow the pulse of the heart,
And you will know, in all essential ways,
We are one.


Rejoice in the wonders of those who came before:
Sing praises to their will and their endurance,
Extol their monuments that proclaim our divinity,
And express the virtues of our being.
In them we see the spirit of humankind and its potential,
For in them we are united in Oneness with our forefathers
And through them with those yet to come.

At Ur and Saqqara, Giza and Knossos,
At Anyang and Zhengzhou, Boghazkoy and Yazilikaya,
Their glory remains, their spirit endures,
Their search continues in our search for them.
In pain and suffering, in dream and desire even
The lowliest of those who went before
Are manifest in stone.

In stories repeated over eons of time,
In cities lost beneath sweeps of sand,
In temples buried in forest and swamp,
In shrines sunk below the waters of the sea,
We see ourselves mirrored in quest and journey,
A legacy and testament to the unity of being.

Let us give praise to our fathers and mothers
Whose gifts we bare, whose memories we inherit,
That we may pass to our children and they to theirs
The dreams that give hope,
The testaments that give expression,
The monuments that manifest,
And the will that endures.  
In this we find the unity that binds all earth's divines.

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