is our relationship with "GOD"?“ “To what extent, if any, is
Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace and the Peace Cafés a religious or
nothing, no matter where you read it or who has said it, not even if I have said
it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."
above quote attributed to the Buddha is prominent on our web site www.peace.ca
of Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace (“CCTP”). All
Participants in CCTP activities (trustees, staff, volunteers, guests or clients)
are autonomous, responsible for their own choices (empowerment), discernment and
finding their own truths. In this light, I wish to make it clear that
we are not “proselytizing” or promoting any one perspective of “GOD”,
religion or spirituality. We subscribe to Gandhi’s philosophy of
studying all religions (and non-religions) and find our own truths that serve us
as individuals. And the true test is not what you believe but what you do.
We do not recruit participants, but we welcome them. All the cultures,
faiths, atheists and agnostics are welcome to our process and resources, and to
contribute in whatever way they choose.
will note that I have placed the word “GOD” in quotes. I do this
because many people have different names for “GOD” and many different
interpretations. You may find various versions of this on our web site.
You will find many different articles and references to books, videos,
workshops, etc. about “GOD”, religion and spirituality authored by many
different people on our web site. CCTP does not “own” these
interpretations. When material that serves to help build peace and
understanding comes to our attention, we are happy to refer to it on our web
site to help others learn in a fraction of time what has taken us years to
CCTP process is to create space for safe dialogue (ref. http://www.peace.ca/CCOPPprotocol.htm
) of issues in all communities, tailored to and by those communities. We
see our role as process consultants and guides, to help point the way to a safe
journey for people to find their own path, answers and solutions. We are
not in control of others or responsible for them – they are.
is a fellowship of men and women of all ages who share their experience,
strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and
help others to achieve peace and reject violence (physical, mental, emotional,
spiritual; direct and indirect). The only requirement for membership is a desire
to achieve peace and reject violence. There are no dues or fees for membership;
we are self-supporting through our own contributions and socially profitable
service/work and products. Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace is not
allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does
not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes.
Our primary purpose is to educate, stay peaceful and help others to achieve
peace. Our work is based on broad spiritual principles (ref. http://www.peace.ca/processvalues.htm
working on the development of CCTP, we have learned a number of things about
peace and ourselves. We try to keep these facts fresh in our thinking at
all times, because they seem to be the key to our own inner peace. For us,
Peace must always come first.
THE SPECIFIC QUESTION, WHAT IS CCTP’s AND DIRECTOR BOB STEWART’S
RELATIONSHIP WITH “GOD”?:
is a metaphor for a mystery that absolutely transcends all human categories of
thought, including being and nonbeing.” – Joseph Campbell
CCTP does not endorse nor oppose any cause, CCTP’s only relationship with
“GOD” is as a result of a compilation of the individuals that make up the
organization. CCTP is guided to model the Culture of Peace of which we
speak, be and do. The six key
principles of the Culture of Peace Program are “Respect all Life”, “Reject
Violence”, “Share With Others”, “Listen to Understand”, “Preserve
the Planet”, and “Rediscover Solidarity”.
for Bob Stewart (current Director of CCTP), I have found my truth in the
following (and I recognize it is, and I am, a work-in-progress):
have a conscious mind and subconscious mind (the subconscious being the much
larger of the two, and I must constantly check to ensure my subconscious is in
synchronization with my conscious). In addition, I have a higher wisdom
that I can call upon, which I (and others) refer to as the superconscious.
find merit in Carl Jung’s thesis in the existence of a collective unconscious.
From experience, I believe in the power of my own intuition, and believe that it
is connected with something that is more than myself. There is an
Intelligence that permeates me, and it is vast. I believe that
Intelligence is available to me through inspiration, intuition, and revelation
to guide and direct my Life.
discovered that a key factor in this process seemed to be humility, coupled with
a Power greater than myself. While some prefer to call this Power
“GOD”, I understand that this is a matter of personal interpretation; I can
conceive of the Power in any terms I think fits.
many things in my Life had obviously been a greater power than myself (eg. Ego,
Societal enculturation, advertising, propaganda, parents, employers, the
Unknown, etc.), I had to admit that perhaps I could not run the whole show
myself and that it made sense to turn elsewhere for help. I found that if
I humbled myself to an Intelligence greater than myself, miracles happen. I
believe that humans are wise to acknowledge the loving Intelligence of the
I have grown in my Peace Consciousness, my concept of a greater Power has become
more mature. But it has always been my personal concept; no one has forced
it on me.
grow by finding the balance in all things and acknowledging the Intelligence
greater than myself that governs all things.
have found benefit in thinking of the term “GOD” as an acronym for “Grand
Organizational Design” and “Grand Organizational Designer”. I also
equate the term “GOD” with the terms such as Life, Nature, Creator,
Universe, Universal Laws, Laws of Nature, Cosmic Consciousness, Divine, Great
Mystery, etc. I recognize and accept that there are a thousand names for
“GOD” (ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_God
accept that I will never fully understand “GOD”, because the “Grand
Organizational Design” is infinitely complex – how could I ever know
it all? (For example, look at the incredible and beautiful complexity and
workings of the human body, and the star system – I can imagine these as
Divine Perfection.) Life truly is a miracle, and miracles don’t happen
by chance alone but by laws and Intelligence. The truth is an underlying
order, and I believe that it is our job to discover it.
Intelligence has set in place the principles that govern Life. The Deity
doesn’t watch over and judge us any more than It personally directs the
movement of every molecule in every cell of every being. The Universe is a
big place, and it works like any big organization, by hierarchy and delegation.
God is too busy to punish anyone; He just sets up the dynamics of evolution
through Universal Laws and stands back emanating Divine Love. In that
Divine Order, Life and death are in perfect balance, conserved throughout time
and space.” – John Demartini
believe that I am connected with the “Grand Organizational Design” Spirit,
through my Spirit (Self). The root of the word Divine means “to
shine”, and as we shine, illuminate, and become brilliant, I believe we
believe that a Universe with Intelligence has a point to it, and I am part of
the Divine Plan. I have surrendered my Self to the Divine Will, and
position my Self to serve the Divine Will as best I can, with Divine guidance.
I work to attune with the Divine.
take some significant comfort in the concept of reincarnation – that I will
never really die – and in the concept of karma (I reap what I sow).
believe that my Life is Divinely guided, and I do not walk alone. I have
been inspired to help advance peace through peace education, raising peace
consciousness, light, love, and the development of Community Centres for
Teaching Peace and Peace Cafés across Canada and around the World. Living
with this special purpose simplifies the rest of my Life, and everything else
seems to flow and neatly fall in to place. I believe that one of my roles
is to help bridge between the material, business world and the spiritual world,
and that I can comfortably migrate back and forth to help and serve others.
According to Gandhi, “if your wishes are pure, then they become true”.
I believe that I will make a difference, with “GOD’s” help.
I am faced with a challenge or choice, I ask myself “in this situation what
would “GOD” and the Christ Consciousness be and do?” and “what is
in the highest and best interests of the Universe and All concerned?” I
meditate, ask for guidance, and imagine/intuit the answer (i.e. my contemplation
and interpretation of Divine Will), and try my best to be and act accordingly.
is “GOD” not? I believe that everything that happens is a vital part
of the Divine Order that most of the great minds understood. Even the most
apparently terrible events always contain hidden blessings and have a reason.
There are no mistakes in a Divinely ordered Universe, only learning
opportunities. Any time we judge anything and don’t see its
magnificence, we are denying “GOD” – while “GOD” is in everything.
The Masters know this great truth and remain undisturbed by events.
I have been building CCTP, even more important is the fact that I have been
building my Self.
believe that there have been many beings of high consciousness (terms such as
Avatars, Saints, Sages, Spiritual Teachers, Masters, etc.) which we can learn
word genius comes from the Latin root meaning “guardian spirit”, and that is
exactly what great teachers and immortal thinkers are: creative, guardian
spirits who shine light on what seems dark to others. Our own Soul is the
ultimate guardian spirit, and a genius is one who listens to their Soul and
obeys.” – John Demartini
have read the following book/materials that have helped to shape my continuously
improving understanding of “GOD”: the Christian Bible; the Bhagavad Gita;
Self Realization Fellowship books and lessons by Paramahansa Yogananda;
Conversations With God series by Neale Donald Walsch; The Coarse in Miracles;
books of David Hawkins and Steve Rother, etc. (Highlights of a number of
these books can be found at http://www.peace.ca/proposalsindividual.htm
believe that if every night at bedtime I say “thank you” for what I have
experienced during the day, that great Intelligence resonates with me and speaks
clearly through my heart.
feel blessed and am very grateful for all the guidance, support, resources and
inspiration that I have been given. I feel in grace when I acknowledge Divinity
in my Self and in every part of my Life. I love “GOD” and the “Grand
would describe myself as a spiritual person (not practicing any specific
religion but appreciative of the wisdom of all). I feel at home and
connected in the temples of all great religions.
conclusion, I speak for myself, without presuming that what I say is true for
anybody else. I have pledged to follow the key principles of the Culture
of Peace Program and respect your world view. It
has been my pleasure to share my thoughts on “GOD”, religion and
spirituality with you, and I look forward to having a dialogue on this and many
more interesting subjects, to help advance Peace and world understanding.
you believe in God, work with Him. If you do not, become one.” – Sri
those who believe, no proof is necessary. To those who don`t, no proof is
[Please note: we are in the process of having all Moncton Centre for Teaching Peace related web site material translated into French. Assistance with translation would be greatly appreciated, if you know of anyone who might help. In the meantime, we apologize for any inconvenience. Translation will be available at meetings.]
[Attention: Nous sommes intéressé de traduire en français toute la documentation du site internet du Centre de l'éducation à la paix de Moncton. Nous sommes à la recherche de personnes qui voudraient nous rendre ce service. Entre temps, veuillez accepter nos excuses. Aux rencontres, un service de traduction sera offert.]