We've had a hell of a time getting this newspaper together. I'd like to tell you why, because to me it's a sign of the times.
We're trying to make Divine Times really reflect whatever understanding we have at the time we put it together. It's the "we" that's the difficult part. Bringing together five headstrong premies and working with each other till we get to a place of unity is not an easy job. We all have our own ideas, our own loves and hates, our desire to see it done my way. To get rid of all that garbage before deadline time often takes a miracle. (Actually, we haven't made it yet, but we're trying, and the effort is getting us very high).
Our major concern right now is "why Divine Times?" We've been putting out this paper for years, but most of us have never really sat down and thought or talked about what we're doing. What is it we're trying to accomplish here? And what's the best way to do that? And where did we ever get that funky name, anyway? Over the next several months, you may see a lot of changes in this rag. We hope you will. Sometimes it feels like we're trying to cram 21st century consciousness into a 19th century format. Sometimes the newspaper feels too slow and cumbersome for the speed at which Maharaj Ji is changing us. And sometimes we couldn't care less what the medium is, as long as we share message. But if Mr. McLuhan is correct, and the medium is the message, then we're going to try to create for you and for us, a medium that is in tune with the consciousness of Knowledge. And it won't be called Divine Times.
So be patient with us. The process of self-examination and new understanding takes time. We're going to stumble and fall a lot, but it's alright because we know it's all a part of making the effort to get clear and serve in the best way we can. While we're at it, you get into it, too - and we'll all grow together.
Love, the crew at DT (?)
The Divine Light Machine or The Divine United Organism
by Bill Ross
Several years ago, I began working at a young organization in this country which at that time was called "Divine Light Mission." It was what the newspapers usually referred to as a "spiritual group," and had centers and smaller affiliates in many of our cities.
One of my first jobs, I remember, was to write a letter from our big center to all of the littler ones in our part of the country on how we should all communicate and work together. Filled with inspiration and lofty ideals, I began. "Divine Light Mission," I wrote, "should be something that exists on the border of the tangible and the intangible, existing only to serve in spreading the Knowledge, so that the moment its job is done, it will disappear." Very pleased with what I had written, I showed it to the General Secretary (my supervisor). He completely freaked out.
" 'Border of the tangible and the intangible?" he gasped. "This is terrible! You can't write this to the premies! Maharaj Ji's trying to build a big organization, and if they see this they won't think it's anything!" I wasn't given any more writing assignments for quite a while.
Well, within a couple of years, our little spiritual group became a Big Organization, a Big International Organization in fact, ask anyone. And now we shift to a scene where I'm looking over the shoulder of the National PLA Director as she reads her mail. "Jai Satchitanand, All Glories and Salutations at the Supremest Holy Lotus Feet of Balyogeshwar Paramhans Satgurudev Shri Sant Ji Maharaj, Protector of the Weary and the Weak and Living Perfect Master of the Time, Lord of Love, Prince of Peace, Born Lord of …" she skipped to the text. "Jai Satchitanand, dear sister, it's really so blissful doing service for Our Lord. We've got a blissful Devotional band together here in , and we're ready to tell all our brothers and sisters in the world that the Lord is truly here. All we need is a professional P.A. system, 14 mikes, a drum set and a synthesizer. Can you send these?" The National PLA Director put down the letter, sighed, and sent them a form letter explaining that National PLA had no equipment to send anyone, that in fact she was sharing a typewriter with the legal staff, and could they please, in the future, send a self-addressed stamped envelope when they wanted a reply to something?
I can imagine the confusion of those premies when they got that letter.
"But, gee whiz, the DUO Director told us that DLM is a Huge International Organization that we should love, honor and obey! How can we do service if they won't help us?" The myth of the mighty, world-straddling organization reduced you and the other local premies to a tiny, insignificant "us" before the towering, mysterious "Them" who sent imperious edicts from Denver. It was that same type of understanding that was responsible for a lot of people talking about "the Mission" in tones earlier reserved for "the government" or "the cops," and splitting the premie communities for more comfortable scenes.
My point isn't, of course, that we never should have created an organization. It is Guru Maharaj Ji's agya, after all, and an instrumental step in getting a bunch of funky, freaky, let-it-all-hang-out seekers of truth to swallow our pride and rebellion and be willing to look enough like the natives that they aren't scared to death of us. But along with the benefits, the package also came with a few troublesome aspects characteristic to itself - such as the fact that most people think of organizations as big, scary things that want to suck up all your time and money and energy, and they know more about you than you want them to, and so on. Big impersonal monsters that you must defend yourself against at all costs. So, in desiring to serve Maharaj Ji, we found ourselves surrendering to this strange, gigantic Divine Light Machine, and with an air of "if that's what Maharaj Ji wants," putting our heads on the block.
Many premies still feel that the choice is between becoming a pawn or a fugitive, but this isn't it at all. The mission is a living organism (how about: Divine United Organism - puts a whole new twist on things, doesn't it?), and like all living things, what it needs is love, light, fresh air, food and everything else. Not a bunch of passive subjects of its will, but friends who will give love and energy and help it to grow. And, when one gives love and energy to help something beautiful grow, it makes one feel very good.
The reason I ascribe these lovely, whole-wheat qualities to something which previously has enjoyed such a fierce reputation is that the Mission was created for a very special purpose. It's about perfect love, and that is its soul. And as everybody knows, you don't relate to the mind in the people (or organisms) you meet: you relate to the soul. Then you enjoy the company of truth.
So, this is the truth, that "the Mission" is in the process of being created, it's not a finished product that you're just supposed to buy. All of us will help determine what the Mission will do and how it will do it; and how much it will be able to do will be according to how much we care.
We gain enlightenment like the moon reflecting in the water. The moon does not get wet, nor is the water broken. Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected even in a puddle an inch wide. The whole moon and the whole sky are reflected in a drop of dew in the grass.
- Genjo Koan