Norman Rockwell's Classic "The Golden Rule"

Norman Rockwell's Classic "The Golden Rule"



The Musings of a Wanderer


There is a universal language called love that transcends gender, race, age, religion, beliefs and nationality.


Perhaps love’s greatest expression is kindness to a stranger, and its simplest expression is a smile.


The beauty of a smile is not at all dependent on the quality of one’s teeth.


Strangers are friends I haven’t yet met.


I have to listen to my dreams before I can follow them and when I follow my dreams the whole universe conspires to assist me and I am guided by coincidences.


There are no coincidences.


The gods, or the forces, or the beings that orchestrate serendipitous happenings, have a bizarre sense of humor.


What we are looking for finds us when we are looking the other way.


Love is the source and the glue that holds this world together.


The journey is more important than the destination.


There is a power far greater than the largest bomb ever built by man. There is a love warmer than the sun. This love and power are contained in a space smaller than the smallest seed, and have created this entire manifest world for fun. We should enjoy it because God is watching in a front row seat using our eyes as opera glasses.


I could have read of these lessons in books but I have needed to experience them to ground them into my being. That which we learn intellectually is knowledge. That which we absorb through experience is knowing, or realization. It is ‘knowing’ that led me half way around the world to Santa Fe; a knowing which arises in a pure heart. We don’t all need to travel the world to find something that is waiting inside all along. I hope I’ve saved you the plane fare. The ultimate trip is free.


Great Teachers, or Messengers, have come at various times and to various regions to guide humanity. The essence of each of their messages is the same, although each of them has a particular focus which is embodied in the words and attributes of that teacher. Each has taught the Golden Rule, for instance. Visit here for versions of the Golden Rule from 21 religions and various philosophers.

Just as I have seen that the news events of the world are often distorted in the reporting of them, the messages of the world’s prophets have been distorted by those who have come after, who modify the message to suit their personal needs, who step down the Truth. These are the ones who continue to spread the belief in the importance of outward force, violence and war.


It is time for all of humanity to recognize the rights of all members of the race to seek truth in their own way, whether through a religion or teacher of their choice, through a personal search for the Self, through adherence to high moral standards, or through Nature. After all, ultimately it is the message, not the messenger, which is important. We must each seek in our hearts that which unites, rather than separates us.


It is in the exchanging the gifts of the earth that you shall find abundance and be satisfied.

Yet unless the exchange be in love and kindly justice it will but lead some to greed and others to hunger.


Kahlil Gibran




How different these words from The Prophet the-prophet-book-coverare to the attitudes of so many affluent people today, ‘If I can afford it, why shouldn’t I have it?’ Others, who can’t afford it, crave it. Buddha would say that all this desire creates suffering. It isn’t just the greedy person who suffers; our planet, our home, suffers as a result of our greed.

I saw first-hand in my travels how destructive our ways can be in acquiring the objects of our fancy.


Who are we to be self-righteous and arrogant? Some Christians may look at Muslims and say that Islam is holding women in bondage. I say that men are enslaving women, not a religion. It has always been thus.

Behind our doors is there not shame as well? Are we not all equally culpable? Are we not all unwitting accomplices in a colonization that continues unabated to this day? The form may have changed and perhaps the name. Today our global economy separates us from the resources we use for the creation of goods that we crave; cravings fuelled by advertising and greed and by our blind belief in a great lie, ‘If enough is enough, then more is better.’ Could today’s paradigm be called the colonization of consumption? We in the West sit smugly surrounded by an opulence of comfort, oblivious of the destructive nature of our desires. In our global economy the source of the raw materials and the working conditions of Third World factories are destructive to the Earth and harmful to the dignity of human beings. Perhaps if we let go of the desire for more and become content with what is, our deepest wishes will be fulfilled, even before we are aware of them. Life is. It gives us exactly what we need when we need it.

Jesus said in his Sermon on the Mount:


Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.

But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.


Sermon on the Mount

Sermon on the Mount



Are we not contributing to the wholesale rape of indigenous cultures, their spiritual beliefs, and the lands in which they live? Are we not pillaging our own home, Mother Earth, without whom we cannot even physically exist?


This too shall pass. The road to recovery and healing is known and available to be walked whenever we wish. Each of us must find our singular path that joins with and adds support to our collective road. As we grow in awareness of our own unique dreams and put into practice their vision we flow like a stream and join our brothers and sisters in a powerful river that feeds an ocean of wisdom, responsibility and joy.


In the awareness of the Awakened Being is the realization that we are all cells in the body of humanity; we are all truly interconnected. Everyone deserves our love. Each of us is a perfect creation of the Divine, either extending love or asking for it. Our job is to see the Presence of Love that is at the underlying core of everyone we meet.


I believe this is a time on our planet to take action. Many of the ancients sat in caves and gave us marvelous scriptures and prescriptions for leading peaceful lives. But today is a time to get involved. Was not Jesus an activist when he overturned the tables of the money lenders? Was not Mohammed an activist when he fought to unite the previously warring tribes of Arabia? Did not Krishna urge Arjuna to carry forth his destined warrior activities with the impersonal wisdom so poetically entreated in the Bhagavad-Gita? Can not their followers unite to fulfill a common wish for peace that resides in the heart of every human being?

When our family, while living in Kerikeri in the Far North of New Zealand, was visited by a peace walker, he had but three days to complete a walk to the northern tip of the country, a journey that had begun months earlier at Bluff, the southernmost tip of the South Island. This man’s shoes were in tatters and held together with electrical tape. His feet were split and blistered. Every step must have sent a surge of pain through his body. We asked him, “Haven’t you done enough? Do you really need to push so hard to reach your goal?”

He replied, “If whole armies can stay up night after night without sleep and put every ounce of their energy into destruction, surely I can pull out all stops and accept a little pain in the interests of peace.”

This most determined and focused of men accomplished his goal. When a woman we knew dropped him off with her car so that he could catch a bus to Auckland and his subsequent international flight connection, a peace symbol, fully half a meter across, appeared on the roadside where he had been standing. She had been watching him closely and he hadn’t drawn it. Who had?


I’m asking you to join this great renaissance of humanity and contribute to the awakening of this planet. There are not more than six billion souls incarnated on Earth at this time for nothing. It is time for us, for the little people of this world, to recognize our power, our brilliance, and our ability to affect change. As individuals, we have been like lone stunted rata trees eking out a fragile existence on the windswept sub-Antarctic Auckland Islands. These trees have been like islands on islands, attracting other flora and fauna to the shade and protection they afford. Eventually they have joined together in one connected mass of strength and diversity.

We individual humans are ready to do the same. Acting collectively we can harness the strength of our numbers and our diversity and become an irresistible force for change. All each of us has to do is find our own unique part in the Divine Plan. All each of us has to do is follow the coincidences that guide us along the path of our destiny. Then we are part of the collective awakening of humanity and of Planet Earth.

The following words came to me in the middle of the night in 2003 during a time in which I was recording a few songs of peace while living in the Netherlands. You are welcome to copy and distribute United We Sing provided you acknowledge the source.



United we sing.

And our voices are heard in the decision halls of the world,

And the intention of our song is felt,

As we the little people of the world see, finally, we do make a difference.


The physical violence stops and weapons are no longer made

As our governments follow Costa Rica’s example

And no longer create armies of destruction.

Defense departments are replaced with peace departments.

And their efforts turn to worthy causes so that all of the world’s people have enough to eat and have clean, comfortable shelter, and a safe place to live.


And we begin the reconstruction of our natural world

That has been so sadly abused and neglected.

We now have armies of children of all ages planting trees

And the deserts bloom.


As our voices resound around the world our hearts give a collective sigh of relief

And peace descends upon us.


And our children’s children will speak of this time with wonder:

The time when the killing stopped;

The time when the meek inherited the Earth

United in song.


Peace in ourselves, in our families, in our schools and communities, in our countries and in the world is not just a dream, it is inevitable.


John Haines


New Zealand



One Response to “Epilogue”

  1. […] United We Sing is a poem that came through me one night in 2003 at the time we were recording a few of my peace songs in Hoorn in Noord Holland. I believe it should appeal to anyone wishing for peace in the world. Acting collectively we can bring about a transformation in human consciousness and recognize the inevitability of World Peace. As I ask in the movie, do we want it now or do we want it later? It’s up to us. The poem is found in the epilogue of my book, In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives. To read the complete epilogue visit here. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s