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TitlePeace Pilgrim Book
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Total Pages143
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Page 1


Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words
Compiled by some of her friends.

Lovingly dedicated to all seekers.

You will find the entire text of the Peace Pilgrim book in this section of the Peace Pilgrim
Homepage. The book was compiled by 5 friends of Peace Pilgrim in Santa Fe, New
Mexico in 1982, the year after her glorious transition. It is composed mainly in her own
words. The exceptions are the introduction, reproduced newspaper articles and
comments by people she met while on her 28 year pilgrimage for peace. To keep file
sizes managable the book is presented in chapters. At the end of each chapter you will
find a link that will take you either back or forward a chapter, back to this page, or back
to the main information page. To receive the book or other materials about Peace Pilgrim,
please write, e-mail or phone:

Friends of Peace Pilgrim
43480 Cedar Avenue
Hemet, California 92544
(tel.) 909-927-7678
E-mail [email protected]

Copyright © 1982, 1991 Friends of Peace Pilgrim
This book is copyrighted only to prevent its being misused. People working for peace,
spiritual development and the growth of human awareness throughout the world have our
willing permission to reproduce material from this book.


Chapter 1: Growing Up
Chapter 2: The Spiritual Growing Up
Chapter 3: The Pilgrimage
Chapter 4: Reflections on the Pilgrimage
Chapter 5: Living the Simple Life
Chapter 6: Solving Life’s Problems
Chapter 7: Living the Spiritual Life Thoughts to Ponder
Chapter 8: The Way of Peace
Chapter 9: Extensions of Pacifism
Chapter 10: Children and the Way of Peace
Chapter 11: Transforming our Society
Chapter 12: The Way of a Pilgrim

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Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words


PEACE PILGRIM had an impact on people as she walked joyfully across the country
that will never be adequately expressed. She awakened and inspired many thousands
during her twenty-eight year pilgrimage for peace. Those she touched in a personal way
carry very special memories--talking, laughing, walking together; listening to pilgrimage
stories over the dinner table or while driving her to a speaking engagement; waving
goodbyes as she quickly departed for her next destination.

From 1953 until 1981 this silver-haired woman, with cheerful obedience to her calling,
was a server in the world. As she approached each country hamlet or sprawling city she
carried to all she met a message of peace expressed so simply: When enough of us find
inner peace, our institutions will become more peaceful and there will be no more
occasion for war.

Following her death in 1981, a number of her friends from throughout the country
gathered in Santa Fe, New Mexico, to remember her and share our experiences of her. A
small group stayed on to work on the book project, an idea which had been in our hearts
individually for some time. We have attempted in this book to present Peace Pilgrim's
extraordinary life and teachings in their purest form--her own words. They were
assembled from her little booklet, Steps Toward Inner Peace, her nineteen Peace
Pilgrim's Progress newsletters, private conversations, excerpts from her correspondence
and talks taped by many individuals over the years. Other valuable resources were the
thousands of newspaper articles and other printed material in the Peace Pilgrim
Collection of the Swarthmore College Peace Library.

Although the words are her own, this book was not written by her as an autobiography.
Some material was transcribed verbatim from tapes, which gives certain passages a
spoken rather than a written quality. We wish she had written her own book. People often
asked if she would write her own story, and more than once she answered, "I have really
written enough material for a book -- it's just not in book form."

Putting it into book form has been our job.

Though her basic message never changed, variety of detail and experience color each of
her communications. You may find several of her concise statements of principles or
aphorisms repeated, but usually in a new context.


The simple yet profound message of Peace Pilgrim's life and words is urgently needed in
humankind's search for peace. She has given us renewed hope in the future of this world-
-hope that enough might gain inner peace to make world peace possible. She has given us

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psychologically and aggravates world tensions, but through such negative concentration
we tend to attract the things which we fear. If we fear nothing and radiate love, we can
expect good things to come. How much this world needs the message and the example of
love and faith.


Peace and freedom! These things shall be! How soon these things shall be - whether now
or whether after great destruction and new beginnings and aeons of time - is up to us.


Much research and experimentation needs to be done on peaceful ways of resolving
conflicts. We can work as groups, or as an individual right where we are, undertaking
specific peace projects, commending and strengthening the good wherever we find it.


You can only expect to change one nation - your own. After your nation has changed
itself, the example may inspire other nations to change themselves. If any influential
nation had the great spiritual strength to lay down its arms and appear with clean hands
before the world, the world would be changed. I see no evidence that any influential
nation has such great spiritual strength and courage. Therefore disarmament will be a
slow process, motivated by the wish to survive.


The darkness that we see in our world today is due to the disintegration of things out of
harmony with God's laws. The basic conflict is not between nations, it is between two
opposing beliefs.

The first is that evil can be overcome by more evil, that the end justifies the means. This
belief is very prevalent in our world today. It is the war way. It is the official position of
every major nation.

Then there is the way that was taught two thousand years ago -of overcoming evil with
good, which is my way, the way Jesus taught. Never loose faith: God's way is bound to
prevail in the end.


In order for the world to become peaceful, people must become more peaceful. Among
mature people war would not be a problem - it would be impossible. In their immaturity
people want, at the same time, peace and the things which make war. However, people
can mature just as children grow up. Yes, our institutions and our leaders reflect our
immaturity, but as we mature we will elect better leaders and set up better institutions. It
always comes back to the thing so many of us wish to avoid: working to improve

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The sanctuary of peace dwells within. Seek it out and all things will be added to you.
We're coming closer and closer to the time when enough of us will have found inner
peace to affect our institutions for the better. And as soon as this happens the institutions
will in turn, through example, affect for the better those who are still immature.


Peace will probably come to the world in the same way as it has come to our land. Out of
the chaos of civil war, Indian wars and the duels of hundreds of years ago, has come
order. Mechanisms have been set up to avoid physical violence, while psychological
violence still endures. The smaller units, the states, have given up to the larger unit, the
United States, the right to make war. Yes, I think the time will come when the smaller
units, the nations, will give up to the larger unit, the United Nations, one single right: the
right to make war.

I don't believe the nations would or should give up other rights. People have the most
control over their affairs at a grass-roots level. Anything that can be fairly and efficiently
handled at a grass-roots level should be thus handled, and only delegated to a higher
authority when necessary.

The United Nations would have as its job maintaining a peaceful situation in the world.
As long as we remain immature the UN would have a police force to deal with individual
offenders against the peace of the world - by removing them, I would hope, for their
rehabilitation. Also it should have an unarmed peace force to deal with war prevention.
While our nation can deal with problems like an inadequate food supply, the UN would
have to deal with problems like a country striving for freedom - and freedom is now the
desire of all human hearts.


I once said to a woman who believed in war and Christian values: "On the one hand you
talk about Christian values, on the other hand you say, 'Isn't force the only deterrent they
respect?' This has been our trouble down through the ages - we have given only lip
service to Christian values, and lived by the jungle law of tooth and claw. We have
quoted, ̀Be not overcome of evil, overcome evil with good' and then attempted to
overcome evil with more evil, thereby multiplying the evil. We worship God, but have no
faith in the working of God's laws of love. The world awaits the living of the law of love,
which will reach the divine within all human beings and transform them."


The pastor of a large Canadian church, who had recently returned from a visit to the
Orient, told me that the Buddhists are sending two thousand missionaries to convert the
Christians to the way of non-violence!


During World War II, an American Sunday School teacher who was in the Pacific had
captured a Japanese soldier. In marching the soldier to camp, the American discovered

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Peace Pilgrim: Her Life and Work in Her Own Words


Letters to Peace Pilgrim

Following are excerpts from letters written to Peace Pilgrim, mostly toward the end of
her last pilgrimage route. Although she forwarded items such as news clippings on to the
Swarthmore College Peace Library which collects material about her, Peace followed
her vow of simplicity and discarded most letters sent to her after she had answered them.

A friend: "What have you done to me! All I did was ask a nice lady if she wanted a ride,
and I end up with a whole new world of wonders before me. Every day now my life is
rapidly changing. I simply am not the man I was a month ago, a week ago--yesterday. I
continue to find new meaning in our conversation."

A friend: "When I opened your letters, my soul was in turmoil, with my lower self doing
battle with my higher self--and winning, I'm afraid! Your wonderful messages washed
over me like a bath, cleansing and purifying! What you say makes so much sense--
TRUTH, all in capital letters!"

A college professor: "Perhaps you'd like to know, final exam Philosophy 201 tomorrow
will consist of quotes from and questions about your aphorisms."

A correspondent: "I have heard William Jennings Bryan, the greatest orator of his
generation. I also heard Dr. Russell Conwell give his famous lecture, Acres of Diamonds,
and I want to say at this time the lecture you gave was superior to Bryan's effort or the
genius of Conwell."

A friend: "Thank you so much for sending the literature. I find it all very profound. It
strikes a chord in me that keeps resounding...Your correspondence to me arrived like an
answer to a prayer--it came on a day of enormous need for inner peace, and the tangles
seemed to melt away. It was very comforting."

A minister in Texas: "...I gave your booklet, Steps Toward Inner Peace, to the East Coast
ministers. They all would love to have you speak at their churches. I told them you were
the best thing that every happened to our church--and I meant that sincerely. I know you
are a blessing to this whole world."

A friend in Baton Rouge: "...I sincerely hope your sane and life-giving message of peace
is finding receptive audiences wherever you travel...Many are becoming more and more
concerned with the shocking and outrageous militarism which we now hear preached on
every hand. Surely no individual of conscience can support or justify such massive
preparations for the wholesale destruction of the human family. How truly wonderful it

Page 143


would be to see the final triumph of peace and justice over the forces of death and

Catholic Sister from California: "For some good reason you keep crossing paths with
Catholics working for peace...You are a today witness to Jesus' peace."

A college student in Illinois: "It's been a few months since I met you...and your message
has been on my mind since that time. I've listened for so long to `successful people' tell
me what life was all about and I followed their advice blindly. However I found what I
had been seeking in a small white-haired lady with no possessions..."

A minister: "Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement. You were a `God Send'
to our congregation. Our church is experiencing new life, harmony and mission

A college student: "Since hearing your message I have done a lot of self-evaluation and
reorganization of the values and priorities in my life. I discovered a person within me
with an overwhelming desire to reach out and share with others who had been buried
beneath self-interest and fear. I have been so busy trying to survive and possibly get
ahead that I missed out on a lot of the living. I had been waiting for someone to open up
an escape hatch in the wall of apathy and disillusion that surrounded me. The message of
hope and love that you shared with our class that night helped me to open up and to see
that there was a lot of good left in our world. There are so many out there like myself
who are waiting for someone, anyone, who cares to come along and touch them...While I
may never have the courage to travel as you do, I can reach out to those persons in
Springfield...I want to thank you for helping me to believe in people--with all of this
education it was one thing I never learned...Your commitment to peace and love radiates
from your face, there is no need for you to persuade or debate the issue...God truly
blessed you...May your light shine for many more years."

A friend: "...meeting you has meant a lot to me. For the first time I have wondered what
my role in the divine plan is--it never occurred to me before that there could be
something special I should be doing..."

A radio listener: "In 51 years of listening, reading and discussion, I have never heard nor
seen the truth--as it relates to both inner and outer problems so beautifully and logically
promulgated as by you on the local radio program today--You have a tremendous grasp
of the problems that are plaguing people and governments today; and the solutions you
speak of seem so logical and full of promise."

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