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Aiglon Meditations part 1 1989 blue book

Aiglon Meditations part 1 1989 blue book

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Published by Jk McCrea

Aiglon Meditations 1989 blue book part 1

This is the third part, pages cover to 19

meditations, thought for the day

Aiglon Meditations 1989 blue book part 1

This is the third part, pages cover to 19

meditations, thought for the day

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Jk McCrea on Nov 09, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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FOREWORD It would be entirely reasonable to expect the School's 40th anniversary to be marked by the publication of a history of its progress since birth in 1949. Indeed, the first 25 years were marked by just such a history, Aiglon 25, and no doubt a further volume will be added to the historical records for the jubilee in 1999. Instead', we are publishing an anthology of Aiglon Meditations. If there is one Aiglon institution which returning old boys and girls enquire after more consistently than any other, I believe it is the Meditation .. It was introduced by the ,Founder in the early years of the School and it is still very" much a living institution at the centre of the School, a daily witness to Aiglon's commitment to provide for the moral and spiritual welfare of the young people who make up the community; This anthology is a small sample of readings taken from the earliest to the most recent years. I am indebted to the editors, Teddy Senn and John Haigh, for the great care they have given to the difficult task of putting together a collection of texts which is representative and readable. I hope you will find something of personal appeal in it, and that all who make up the wider Aiglon Community will see it both as a fitting tribute to the vision of John Corlette and as a cheering birthday offering in this, the School's 40th anniversary year. Philip Parsons Headmaster




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Sculpture of the Founder by Marie Gill
11 1I1

EDITORIAL INTRODUCTION The Meditation .was central to John Corlette's vision for Aiglon: This commemorative and celebratory volume seeks to honour and perpetuate that vision by offering a selection of . Aiglon meditations to a wider public. . As a project, such a publication was approved by the Founder in August 1977 in a conversation with TeddySenn, to whom he entrusted the manuscripts of the meditations he had preserved. Before his death, three months later, the project was approved in principle by the Board of Aiglon College Association, but for various reasons was-laid aside to await a suitable occasion on which to honour the Founder. , In taking up this project now, a decade later, as an act of piety, and a contribution to the School's 40th Anniversary celebrations, we have been mindful both of John Corlette's original conception, and of developments in the Aiglon Meditation since his death. Therefore, in order to provide a worthy and representative selection, we cast as wide a net as possible. Present teaching staff were invited to submit meditations; the search for contributors extended to past members of the community; the archives of Aiglon News were scrutinised. To accommodate our rich haul in one volume we had to make some painful exclusions. Some fneditations, whilst effective in Assembly, were less so in print, being too colloquial or occasional; others incorporated readings (poems, short stories) justified in performance but posing copyright problems. Some were jettisoned to avoid undue repetition, although we sought to do justice to certain persistent and major themes. We realise that our 75 chosen meditations constitute a mere one percent of the estimated total of 7,600, most of which are irretrievable. Nevertheless, we believe that our selection is broadly representative. On the one hand it includes the brief, unified Meditation, as· envisaged (and practised) by John Corlette, the rationale of which he so lucidl~ .provided in the Account with which we preface Section I. Meditations faithful to this model continue to be given. On the other hand, it includes meditations, many of a later date, in which changing

circumstances have led to a variety of form, content and tone. This development invites some explanation. John Corlette's meditations were given in the intimacy of a dining room (still almost a family gathering when Belvedere Dining Room served to assemble three, later four, houses). Later meditations are delivered from the stage of Exeter Hall to an audience of some 250. The original listeners were boys; there are now almost as many girls. Finally, whilst John Corlette relied on a small number of colleagues to complement his own meditations, a larger school calls for more staff participants, and presents a greater co"mmunicative challenge. Some forms of response to this challenge defy translation to print. Among these are the musical meditations - instituted by the Founder himself - and maintained as a regular and popular Saturday variant. Then there are the visual meditations, where the projector has provided vivid illustrations of classic works of art, or the students' account of their community service, or Patrick Roberts' review of the school year. Of the camera's contribution we have been able to give some impression (though without the impact of colour), as in Catrin Brown's meditation, with its pictures of the Earth seen from space, and Martin Roberts's reflections on Manet's flower pictures. In returning from these editorial constraints to the variety and diversity of later meditations, we note other factors at work. First, it is clear that staff have felt the need to confront the ever-increasing threats to our global environment. Hence the weighty documentation and dire warnings of the section on 'Our Precious Planet' (VII). Then, fresh assaults on our manners and morals prompt the re-affirmation of well-tried values (IV). Above all, the distinctive"temperaments and unique experiences of our speakers are evident. Some employ elements of humour, satire or paradox which will arrest attention, and instruct through entertainment. Some express their debt to incidents in their youth, to spells of menial employment, or to formative encounters. Others recall harrowing and challenging situations - on mountain cliffs, in casualty wards, in refugee camps (VII!). In such reminiscences staff offer something of




themselves, knowing that the sincerity of their affirmations is subject to the daily scrutiny of students and colleagues. The Meditation, in short, shows both continuity and diversity, being variously - as it struck the co-editor in his 1987 extended visit 'practical, reflective, amusing, informative, musical, moralistic, admonitory, inspiring'. We reflect this diversity in the thematic arrangement of Sections III to VIII. (Indeed, the lack of dates for some contributions precluded a strictly chronological sequence.) This, we believe, has its advantages; Thus Section III- 'Contemplation'contains items that well exemplify the Founder's emphasis on meditation in the stricter sense; whilst Section V - 'In God Our Strength' - brings out the Christian basis and ethos of the College - sensitive to the multi-faith composition of our student body, yet true to the Founder's aims and motto. Some themes elude our compartments. 'The Aiglon Scene' (VI) brings out, among other things, the Swiss setting of our College, but the diligent reader will discover that the mystique of mountains and the value of democracy, two precious gifts .. f o our host country, are. not confined here. Consider, too, the 'International' theme, noting, for instance, the Indian story by Nanki Singh, our only example of the rare, but valued, student meditation. Conscious of our privilege in this pleasurable.jf demanding, task of helping to preserve and disseminate the Aiglon heritage, we hope that these meditations, which have inspired its community in the past, will serve a like purpose for its present and future members and friends. Theodore Senn John Haigh

CONTENTS Title Foreword Editorial Introduction Contents List of Illustrations Acknowledgements SECTION I - The Founder Account of the Meditation lOur lives are what we make of them 2 The Black Sheep 3 The Price of Folly 4 Fear 5 God's Body 6 How can we love God? 7 In order that Evil shall Triumph 8 Influence 9 God and the Law 10 The Charioteer SECTION II - Three Senior Colleagues 11 Happiness 12 A Power beyond Mankind 13 Think on these things 14 Experimental Christianity 15 The Kingdom of God 16 The Mystery of Suffering SECTION III - Contemplation 17 The Purpose of the Meditation 18 The Sound of Silence 19 Commemorative Meditation 20 Our Hands 21 The Flying Horse of Kansu 22 Light 23 Morning Meditation 24 Edouard Manet Author The Headmaster The Editors page ii iv


6 8 10

14 16 17 19 20

Roy Watts Roy Watts Roy Watts Terence Roddy Terence Roddy Luia Forbes 23 24 26 27 30 31

December 1988


Philip Parsons 35 David Metherell 37 Philip Parsons 38 Norman Perrvman 40 Clive Hartwell 41 Trevor Wilson 44 Theodore Senn 46 Martin Roberts 48


SECTION IV - Values 25 Col de la Croix 26 Real Friends 27 Peer Pressure 28 The Loaf of Bread 29 Gifts 30 Time and Balance 31. False Values 32 A Story from India 33 Drugs 34 The Flying Sheep 35 The Games People Play 36 The Game of Life 37 The Three Gardens

Philip Tyack Roger Mansfield Neil McWilliam Joan Mackie .----:::.!im Stunt Philip Parsons Richard Lunn Nanki Singh Roger Mansfield Hugh "Clarke Ian Corkett Duncan Maxwell Richard Lunn 51 53 57 60 61 64 66 68 71 73 75 80 82

SECTION VII - Our Precious Planet 60 A little furry Animal 61 Life-saving 62 Think Globally - Act Locally 63 World Education SECTION VIII - Suffering and Service 64 A Dangerous Weapon 65 Cleaning 66 Leprosy 67 Remembrance 68 Thanksgiving 69 Achimota 70 The Killing Fields SECTION IX - Aiglon Today 71 Parachuting 72 Language 73 Impressions of Aiglon 74 Founder's Day: Remembering John Corlette 75 Courtesy NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS

Richard Greenway Sven Larsen Catrin Brown Ross Hunter Elizabeth Senn Timothy Emmett Philip Parsons Philip Parsons Peter Benson Evelyn Boyd Tim Barlow 140 142 146 149 152 154 157 158 160 161 165

SECTION V - In God our Strength 38 The Death of God 39 My Small World 40 Health 41 Facing Death 42 Faith 43 Thanks for Creation 44 It's Shakespeare's Fault 45 Unique . 46 To Everything there is a Season

Theodore Senn 86 James Jameson 89 Arthur Potter 91 Denis McWilliam 93 Karen Kelly 96 Tim Barlow 98 Emily Torrans 101 Tim Barlow 103 Arthur-Potter 105

Peter Onslow 170 Theodore Senn 173 John Haigh 176 David Rhodes 179 Philip Parsons 182 185

SECTION VI - The Aiglon Scene Hugh Clarke 109 47 Marsilio's Army 48 The Feast of Democracy and the Reluctant Guest Theodore Senn 111 49 Weeds Joan Mackie 115 50 Success Philip Parsons 117 51 Carter in Corsica Gordon Dyke 119 52 On being Perfect Patrick Roberts 121 53 Only You know the Answer Tony Hyde 123 54 Ski Expeditions '= Peter Hawkey 125 55 Scuba Diving ~Nancy Maxwell 127 56 The Best of All Elizabeth Senn 130 57 Why become a Teacher? ·'David Rhodes 133 58 A Tube of Toothpaste Philip Tyack 136 59 Prophets in our midst pfTim Stunt 137


Bust of the Founder, by Marie Gill Portrait of the Founder, by Norman Perryman Portrait of Roy Watts, by Norman Perryman Portrait of Terence Roddy, by Norman Perryman Portrait of Luia Forbes, by Norman Perryman 'The Cathedral', by Auguste Rodin The Flying Horse of Kansu 'Flower Bouquet', by Edouard Manet 'Lady Weighing Pearls', by Jan Vermeer


23 29 33 34 43 49 50


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The Eagle 'Students at Work', by Kate Lunn Earth from Space Earth-Rise from Moonscape Memorial for Manuel Torrubia (16.6.1964 - 7.8.1982) Sculpture by John Sutch The Headmaster . 'Mountain Scene', by Sue Hunter ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

page 85 108 140 146 152 169 184


Grateful acknowledgment is made here to the following authors and publishers for the use of copyright material: Conservation Education Services for two NASA photographs • reproduced from ICCE duplicates - "Earth from Space" and "Earth-Rise over Moonscape"; and Hodder & Stoughton and Steve Turner for two poems taken from his Up To Date: Poems 1968-1982 (1983) -,-'In My World' and 'Untitled'. The editors also wish to thank Frau Rodari and the Sammlung Oskar Reinhart, Winterthur, for supplying us with a slide of Manet's flower picture - "Peonies, Gladioli and Marigolds"; similarly, M. Jantet (Photo Patrick, Villars) for slides of theAiglon crest and the portraits by Norman Perryman of John Corlette, Luia Forbes, Roy Watts and Terence Roddy; and Martin Roberts for the slide of the John Corlette bust by Marie Gill. Our thanks here are extended to the untraceable author of the photograph we print of the present headmaster. We are conscious of a large debt to Fritz Koch for making available to us hitherto unpublished meditations from the archives of Aiglon News; and- to Kate Lunn and Susan Hunter for providing us with the illustrative focus needed for Sections VI and IX (The Aiglon Scene and Aiglon Today). A special word of thanks must also go to Martin and Anita Roberts - Martin for designing the cover and giving us much valuable advice with regard to the illustrations; Anita for her skill as typist and much care and patience in preparing this book for publication. Finally, it is a pleasure to record our thanks to Kern Gross, of Fordwich Typesetting, for the scrupulous attention he has given to our project at every stage of its realisation, from the early planning and copy editing of the text to the final production.

Portrait of the Founder, by Norman Perryman



The Aiglon Meditation 1 have many times been asked for an explanation of the Aiglon Meditation, why. we have them and how we conduct them, both by those called to lead them, and by others interested in the idea. The following, therefore, is a brief explanation which I hope may be helpful to those interested. . The Meditation takes the place of morning prayers or morning assembly in other schools. It has been-practised at Aiglon since the school's foundation in 1949. I regard it as the centre of the life of the school, and the point from which .its whole character and sense of purpose stems. Members of the staff are therefore required to attend at least twice a week, and many attend every day if they can. All the boys and girls, regardless of creed, are required to attend. At the beginning of each scholastic year I give an explanation of the nature and purpose of the Meditation and go through the 'drill' of physical and mental relaxation and of placing the mind in an attitude of quietness and contemplation. There are; of course, days when the Meditation 'takes' better than other days, and periods when individuals are more susceptible to its influence than others, but this is what one would expect. . . . Leaders of the Meditation should be chosen with care as not everyone can do it successfully. A suitable senior student can occasionally be invited to take a Meditation. In the notes which follow, I hope you will not think that I consider that I myself come up to the standards I here lay down. I am only too aware of my own shortcomings in this as in other things, but one can only make progress if one has clearly fixed in one's mind the goal at which C?neis aiming.

Notes for those taking Meditations Purpose To bring boys and girls into direct contact with spiritual influences so that they may the better know and understand God. Form The Hall door is shut at 8.03 and boys and girls take their places; 8.05 the person taking Meditation walks up to the platform, which is the signal for silence. Staff should take their places by 5 minutes to 8. lstSilence After taking his place on the platform, the leader should hold a silence for a minimum of 1 minute up to about 3 minutes, 1 and a half minutes being a fair average. He should in any case not speak until absolute stillness has supervened and been held for long enough to be 'felt'. Talk The purpose of the talk is to drop one, single pregnant idea into the silence which precedes and follows it. It should not occupy more than at the outside 10 minutes, including silence, and can be no less than one minute. The idea can be a quite simple one. The leader may stand for the talk. Alternative to talk Once a week, on Saturday, a 'Musical Meditation' is held. The talk is then replaced by a brief but significant phrase followed by a suitable piece of music lasting not less than 6 minutes and not more than 10 minutes. The music should be followed by a second silence as usual. Finally as the leader prepares to leave the platform he will announce the title of the music and the composer. 2nd Silence This should be held for a minimum of 2 minutes up to about 5 minutes. The longer period should be aimed at. After a brief period of silence the assembly may appear restless. If the silence is persisted in, this period will usually be passed through, and a much deeper and more vital silence achieved the other side of it. The leader may sit for the silence.






Comments The Silence. The central and most important part of the exercise is the silence. For most people only when the mind and body are stilled can the voice of God be heard, or, to put it differently, can we pick up the direct signals . concerning the truth about everything which are constantly being sent out but to which we are normally insensitive. This is what meditation is, laying ourselves open to receive the truth about something, direct from the source and origin of all truth. Hence, the first place taken by the silence. The Talk. The purpose of the talk is to indicate to the assembly a subject for meditation, very briefly, very simply, in the fewest possible words. It is not a lecture. It is extremely difficult to do well. To boil it down to one idea 5 minutes in length may take 2 hours of preparation and hard thought, whereas a 15 minute talk or a talk of a discursive nature can be done with little or no preparation and fails completely of its purpose. It is better to have no talk at all than one which is too long or too discursive. The silence alone, without any talk, would be much more creative, provided, of course, that the leader is willing to listen, but. they are not willing to be bored and (as we all know) their powers of concentration are limited. Thus talks that are over-long or over-complex defeat the purpose. It should also be remembered that they are required to listen every mornmg. Suggestions Stand or sit straight in a relaxed, easy and natural attitude. Do not bend down in an attitude of prayer or homage. The attitude should be one of quiet thoughtfulness, contemplation, meditation, and a recollection of the presence of God or the power of truth in the room. Try and project this attitude into the room. Delivery. Most people, even those accustomed to speaking in public, do so very badly, and other people are usually reluctant to point out their faults, which are often very simple and easily corrected. The following faults are very

common and very easily put right: 1 Speaking too softly: this puts a strain on the audience. They miss certain key words and give up. 2 Speaking too loudly or harshly: this is irritating and inaesthetic. 3 Speaking the stressed syllables loudly and the unstressed syllables softly so that the words are difficult to identify. Result, audience strain. 4 Monotony. The tone and pitch of the voice varying within only very narrow limits, or repeating the same sequence of rise and fall, so that such modulations of the voice as.there may be lose anysignificance. The voice should be used as a musical instrument and the speed, tonality, emphasis and phrasing very carefully studied so as to enhance the meaning of the words or bring out the significance of the passage. 5 Diction. This is frequently appalling, the words being slurred, blurred, or swallowed. Each syllable must be slowly and independently articulated regardless of whether it is stressed or not. You can then be heard without strain at, the back of the room even when speaking comparatively softly. This allows much more room for dynamic variation. 6 Speaking is an' art, and should be treated with all the care and thought an art demands. To sum up, remember that the purpose of the morning assembly is to develop the spiritual life of those taking part, that the means employed is silent contemplation or meditation, and that the talk is to be regarded simply as an aid to this by providing the mind with a creative idea to work on as a start. The talk should therefore be short and designed to present only one idea to the mind for contemplation. It should be expressed with as much lucidity, simplicity and artistry as the leader can summon Since the silence is the central part of the exercise, the art of producing and holding a creative silence should be studied. J.Corlette




Our Lives are What We Make of Them Within a few years all you people will be leaving school and setting out on a new chapter in your lives, and it is not going to be as different as you think. . However, this is not what I want to talk to.youabout this morning. What I want to draw your attention to is the fact that an awful lot of so-called grown-ups, many of whom are really only childrerl with grown-up bodies: an awful lot of these grown-ups spend an awful lot of time complaining about their own lives, how uninteresting their lives are, how they never meet any interesting people, how dull their jobs are, how small the pay is, how silly their wives are, how idiotic their children, how unreliable their cars, how tasteless their food. Well, all this may be true, and a lot more, but if they are complaining to other people, and invariably they do, they are complaining to the wrong person. They should be complaining to themselves, for they are themselves to blame. Our lives are what we make of them, and if they are dull and uninteresting, frustrated, colourless and unsatisfying, it is because we make them so. Our lives are what ~e make of them, and it is no good blaming those mysterious people 'they' at whose door we like to lay so many of our misfortunes. It is no good blaming God, who is only too ready to help us to put our lives in order and to see us enjoying them if we will let Him. As Shakespeare says in Julius Caesar, 'the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings; , What then must we do to lead full and fruitful lives about which we will not wish to complain? The first thing (and this is the first step in being really grown-up) is to understand that our lives are what we make theme-and the credit for a good life is ours, just as the blame for a bad one is ours also. The second thing is to know ourselves. Wr, are not all the same, we are all different. We have not all got it in us to be leaders, nor should we have. Most of us will be followers of one sort or another, and to be a good follower takes just as

much character and courage as to be a leader. We have not all got the kind of mind that makes a scientist, the sensitivity which makes an artist, or the co-ordination and quick reactions which make a sportsman. But there is no one who has not got qualities, gifts and talents of one sort or another, and we must find out and know what our own talents are. H the second thing we must do if we are to lead full and fruitful lives is to know ourselves, the third thing we must do is be ourselves. It is astonishing how few people have the courage and selfconfidence really to be themselves. Yet, unless they are, they can never have full, fruitful and happy lives; for a full, fruitful and happy life is a life of self-fulfilment, a life in which the qualities, gifts and talents we possess and which are our own, are developed and used by us to the full. So many people spend most of their time and energy trying to be somebody else, trying to keep up with the Joneses. Never mind about the J oneses, they are somebody else. You can never be like them. Do not try. Be yourself, and you will be a much better person than you will ever be by trying to be like someone else. Know yourself, and, with God's help, fulfil the nature of your own being; be yourself. Our lives are what we make of them.



The Black Sheep Every now and then we have a boy at Aiglon who gets into pretty serious trouble. It may be stealin-g, it may be smoking, it may be breaking into a chalet or damaging property, it may be persistent bad work or a persistent refusal to co-operate with the school. In such cases, I have to decide whether to send the boy home or keep him and give him another chance. Such a decision is not easy to make. What does it depend on? Well, first and foremost, it depends on one's attitude towards people who do these kinds of things. Are they to be regarded as worthless, no-good people who deserve no consideration and should be removed without more 'ado, or should we consider them as unfortunate people who are the victims of anti-social habits which they have failed to control and who are deserving of our compassion and of our support? If you take the first view, there is no problem. You just shoot them out and say-good riddance to bad rubbish. But, if you take the second, view, as I do, and want to try and help them over their problem, and put them back on their feet, then you immediately have a whole lot of other questions you have to answer. First of all, is it possible? You don't know, of course, but you want to try. Secondly, if you keep the boy, what effect will this have on the rest of the school? Will the other boys understand? Will some of them be tempted to follow the bad example of the boy you are trying to help? If you keep such a boy, what will the parents of the other boys think, what will the general public think? Will the reputation of the school suffer? How far are you justified in running any of these risks? If you decide to take these risks, how are you going to set about helping the boy master his problem or escape from his slavery to a bad habit? Should you punish him? If so, how? Should he have psychiatric treatment? Should a master or another boy take him in hand and give him moral support? The answers to these questions will be different with each individual boy and will vary according to the prevailing circum-

stances. And, having embarked on such a rescue operation, at what point do you admit that you have failed, or alternatively at what point do you recognise that the damage being done to other boys or to the school no longer justifies you in continuing? If you decide this, the boy has to go anyway. But, if the boy who has been in trouble begins to keep out of it; if the boy who was doing badly begins to do well; then all the trouble you have taken and the risks you have run will seem worthwhile. This sort of thing is going on all the time to a greater or lesser degree and I suppose at one time or another we have all of us been in this sort of position. And when we have been in trouble, how bitter and discouraging it was to be rejected out of hand by some people, and how grateful we were for the sympathy, encouragement and support of those who tried to help us. So, when you see anyone in trouble, think of this and think, "Is there anything which I can do to help him to straighten himself out?" Very often the most valuable thing which you can offer will be your friendship. Meanwhile, you will not always know what other people are doing to help and it will not always be possible to tell you. So, try and understand. We cannot always succeed in being of service to other people, for in the end each man has to work out his own salvation, but we can and must always try.




The Price of F oIly Not so long ago, I visited Davidson College in North Carolina, a very pleasant .small college with a good reputation. When I had had my lunch, it was such a lovely afternoon' that I decided not to take the big, three-lane Interstate highway back to South Carolina where I was staying, but to inake my way to Spartanburg along the ordinary country roads which pass through the villages and farms, and from which one can get the feel of the countryside in a way which is impossible from the big highways. The country was so beautiful with its brick-red earth and jhe trees silhouetted against the blue sky, and the sun was so warm, that I decided to stop and enjoy the peace of it for a while. I accordingly stopped the car well off the road, because you are not allowed to park your car on the highway anywhere in America, and walked quite a long way across a field until I came to some trees and bushes. beside a stream. There I sat down on a grassy bank in the sun and listened to the silence, which was broken only by the barking of some dogs on a distant farm. After a while, I heard some rustling in the bushes nearby and quietly turned to look. It was the birds who had gone to cover when they heard me coming, beginning to move about again. First came the little chickadees, with their white fan-tails and their chirrupy chatter, chasing one another from branch to branch. Next came the big blue jays with their spectacularbrilliant blue plumage and, finally, to my delight, a cardinal, quite a big bird, which had the most gorgeous deep red plumage allover. And then, suddenly, I remembered what was happening to the birds - that they are being poisoned allover the civilised world by us, by man. They are being poisoned by the poison sprays which we use on the crops to destroy the pests. But, in poisoning the crops, we poison the birds who feed on the crops, but who also feed on the pests which attack the crops, and so help to keep the pests down. And as the birds die, the pests which they would help to control, multiply and get worse. The balance of nature, which is very delicate, has been upset.

Not only that, but the cattle absorb the same poisons which have been sprayed on the crops whether as pest controls or weed killer, in their feed. And we eat their meat and feed on the crops and absorb the same poisons into our bodies. It does not kill us quickly as it does the birds because we are bigger and more resistant, but it undermines our health and is the cause of a great deal of disease and suffering. Moreover, these poisons are accumulative in their effect. It is estimated that we have all now accumulated in our bodies an appreciable quantity of DDT, one of the most deadly and dangerous of these poisons. This accumulation is going to increase steadily, with incalculable consequences for the future of the human race, unless something is done to stop it. The same is true of the hundreds' of different chemicals which are put into our food and into the soil which grows it and whose cumulative effects upon the human organism no one yet knows. What are we doing? What are we playing with? We are playing with life and death. We are interfering with the very roots of our livelihood without knowing what we are doing, without knowing what the consequences will be. God knew what he was doing when he created the world and everything that is in it. Everything created by God has a purpose and our business is to find out what that purpose is and to co-operate with it. If we run counter to God's purpose, if we go against his intentions (as we are doing hot only in the realm of nature as I have described, but in the realm of the mind and the spirit as well): if we go against God's purpose, we shall lay up for ourselves nothing but pain and suffering in body and mind and spirit. We may not pay at once, but do not . be deceived: sooner or later we shall pay.



Fear This morning I want your minds to dwell upon the subject of Feat - the emotion or feeling of being afraid of someone, of something, of some idea, of being afraid of loss, of criticism, or of something which you believe to be a threat or menace to you or to something which you value. Fear is the most destructive of all the emotions, and most of the other emotions which destroy the soul, such as jealousy, hatred and avarice, spring from fear. Fear destroys happiness. Fear destroys peace of mind. Fear eats into the heart and mind and spirit, and gradually w:;trps and twists and finally destroys it. Fear is the enemy of life. How can we overcome fear? We can find the answer, as we can find the answer to all our problems if we will, in the teaching of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, "Perfect love casteth out fear." What did he mean? Fear is rejection. When we are afraid of something we reject it, we try to run away from it, whether it is a person, a thing, a duty to be performed, or an idea. Fear is an absence of faith. We have no faith in the thing of which we are afraid. You can easily see this if you consider, as an example, the fear of failure. For fear of failure is really a rejection of the idea of success, it is an absence of faith in success, an absence of faith in yourself and in your ability and will to succeed. If you have faith or confidence in success you cannot fear failure. Faith and fear are opposites .. .Faith brings life; fear, death, and faith and love are the same thing, for you cannot love a person or thing or idea unless you have faith in it. And if you have faith in it and love it you will not fear it. "Perfect love casteth out fear." Why is this? How is this? Whilst your fear rejects things, pushes them away from you, love does the opposite. Love embraces, draws things to you. What then must you do, when you are afraid, to overcome your fear? Instead of rejecting, running away from the thing which you fear, you must, by


means of an act of faith, go out to meet it, to embrace it, to draw it to you in confidence and affection, in other words you must love it. And if you do this you can see that fear will already have disappeared. Fear cannot live where love is, because you cannot reject and run away from something whilst you are embracing and drawing it to you. "Perfect love casteth out fear." And do not imagine that you can only feel the emotion of love towards people. You can, and must, love everything that is. Not only must you love everybody, but you must love every thing you see, and touch, and know. If you do this, not only will fear disappear from your life, but both you, and the people and things you love will be transformed. For love is life, where fear is death. And "perfect love casteth out fear."





God's Body I want to pursue a stage further this morning the idea I was talking about .Iast time, that everything,. however \big or small, is an essential and living part of something else which is dependent on it. I gave as an example our own liver and kidneys or hands and feet, which are living parts of our own bodies and on which we are dependent for our own lives and efficiency. I said also that we human beings were an essential and living part of the body of God, and that He was dependent on us. This was an arbitrary statement, and I want now to give another example and to suggest the kind of way in which this process may be repeated until we reach the organism which we call God. An organism is an organisation which has life and movement, which is directed towards a purpose. Aiglon is an organism in this sense, and for the sake of the argument you can say that it has two major organs, the staff and the boys. Each of these two organs is composed of lesser organs which you might call the administrative staff and the teaching staff on the one hand, and the different ranks on the other, whilst the organs which compose these are individual people, in other words, you and me. . It is easy to see that the body of Aiglon is not going to be healthy and function well - in other words it is not going to be a good school- unless the different organs which make up its body are healthy, functioning well and doing their, different jobs properly. Now take this back another stage, and sticking for the moment to the physical plane, one of the organs of your body and mine is the intestine, and the intestine is full of millions of tiny living organisms without which it cannot do its job. These organisms are known to science as bacteria, and more popularly as germs or bugs. They do not know why they are there or why they do the things they do do, they just get on and do it, but the fact remains that if these bugs were not there in our intestines and busy doing the jobs they do, we should not live very long. They are essential to the life of our bodies. Now let us go the other way and imagine that you and I and the other members of the human race are bugs on an organ called the earth, which is part of a body called the solar system. We fuss about on the earth, dig holes in it, chew bits of it up and do innumerable other things. We think we know why we do some of them but we don't really; we only know that something drives us to go on doing them. Like the bugs in our own intestines we are obviously part of a big organisation whose ultimate object we do not know. We are bugs on an organ called the earth which is part of a body called the solar system. But the solar system is itself an organ in the body of a galaxy. And the galaxy of which the solar system is a living organ; is, along with other galaxies, one of the organs of the body of a universe. ., You will see that you can go on like this ad infinitum by . imagining another body beyond each organ, because each body is an organ of the body next above it. But our minds are incapable of conceiving the infinite, and so we put a stop to this infinite regression by saying that the final body is the body of God. Since every organ derives its life and purpose from the body of which it is a part, and since everything that is must be part of the body of God, so all life and purpose must derive ultimately from God. It is therefore obvious that we are designed to serve, and that we derive our inspiration from what we call God.




How Can We Love God? Jesus said that there were only two commandments that really mattered: the first was to love God, and the second was to love your neighbour, the people around you, as yourself. . I believe that Jesus could just as well have said that there was only one commandment, the commandment to love God, and that he only added the bit about loving your neighbour as yourself to make it easier for people who didn't really understand what God was. He might have said, "If you cannot love God, then love your neighbour as yourself. If you can manage to do that you will be getting very near to loving God, because, since God is everything, by loving your neighbour you will be loving God." "Why not leave it that way," you may say. "Put it the other way round. If by loving your neighbour you are loving God, why not say that the one commandment that matters is loving your neighbour." You could say this, of course, and lots of people do, but you would be wrong, because your neighbour is only part of God. God is everything, and so to love God you have got to love everything, the whole of creation, everything that is. You must love, care for, identify yourself with, and serve with your whole heart and mind and soul, everything. This is what it means to love God. It means to have this special feeling of oneness with everything, oneness with the people around you, whom you must love and care for and understand and serve; oneness with the works of man's mind, like the radio and motor cars, paintings and music, tables and chairs, which you must love and care for and understand and serve; oneness with the animals, which you must love and care for and understand and serve; oneness with the plants and trees, which you must love and care for and understand and serve; oneness with the rocks and the rivers and the soil, with the sunshine and the rain and the snow, which you must love and care for and understand and serve; oneness with the Sun and the Moon and Outer Space, with time and eternity, which you must love and care for and understand and serve; oneness with the understanding

of these things and with the Truth about them, which you must love and seek out and serve with everything that is in you. This is what it means to love God. God is everything, not as we think it is, but as it really is, and so to love God we must love everything. Praise be to God .

In order that Evil shall Triumph Listen to this: "In order that Evil shall triumph, it is sufficient that Good Men do nothing." I cannot remember who said this, but I am going to say it again, and think, this time, what it means. "In order that Evil shall triumph, it is sufficient that Good Men do nothing." There are many more Good Men or Men of Goodwill in the world than Bad Men, so why is it that the Bad Men, and Women, and Ideas, so often triumph? Why? Because the Good Men do nothing. Most of the Good Men are too self-centred or too afraid, to stand up for the right against the wrong, and you hear them make excuses. "It's none of my business," they



say. "There's nothing I can do. Nothing I can do would make any difference." Excuses. Feeble excuses. What do you mean, nothing you can do would make any difference? Everything you do jnakes a difference. Everything, you do find say and think, makes a difference to everyone around you. You cannot escape from this. Whether you want to or not, you have an influence on those around you, and that influence will be either good or bad; it cannot be neutral. And you are responsible for it. The good things you do, you are responsible for. The bad things you do, you are responsible for, and you are responsible for the good things which you fail to do and which you ought to do. In order that Evil shall triumph, it is sufficient that good men do nothing. Vou and I are Good Men. At least we are fairly good. Or at any rate we are men of good will: we mean well. Mean well. What is the good of meaning well? It is not enough to mean well: you have got to do well. If you come to a fork in the road and you know that the left-hand road leads over a precipice and the right-hand one to your hotel, it is no good saying, when you wake up in hospital and all your friends in the car are dead, "Oh, I meant to take the right road. But I took the wrong one, it was just too bad." It is not enough to mean well; you have got to go and do it, and you have got to do it right. In order that Evil shall triumph in the world, it is sufficient that men with good intentions do nothing. There are so' many men of good intentions in the world that, if all the people who believe goodness, in peace, in honesty, in fair dealing and in compassion, were to get up and take their strength and courage and go all out for these things, the world would be transformed, most of the evil and suffering and sorrow and dishonesty and cruelty in the world would disappear and' a new era of happiness and harmony and goodness would be ushered in. In order that Evil shall triumph, it is sufficient that Good Men do nothing. We must never allow this to happen. We must do everything we can to prevent it. We must stand up at all times for the right against the wrong, so that good shall triumph, and evil deeds and evil thoughts shall have no power over us any more.

Influence What you think, what you say and what you do has tremendous power over other people. Something which you say to someone or something which they overhear you saying, may change that person's life completely - and most of the time you don't know what you have done. You may suggest that someone read a book which contains immoral or anti-Christian ideas, and that person may be influenced by that book and adopt some of the immoral ideas in it. What have you done? It is a grave responsibility, isn't it? Or you may speak of courage and wisdom and compassion, and so inspire someone who hears you that his whole life is changed and he becomes a new person. What have you done? Something tremendous something with such power for good that ,you would never believe you possessed, and indeed you may never know of its effects except by chance. And what a responsibility this is for, you might have said something that dragged someone down. Your words can do tremendous good, or tremendous harm your actions too - because your actions express your thoughts, and people will be influenced by your example. So watch your thoughts, your words and your actions, because you never know what effect they may have, and you are responsible for them.




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