Dr Sir John Whitman Ray Anniversary Message
As of 21 April it has now been one year since Dr John Whitman Ray passed away while visiting New Zealand. It therefore strikes me as an opportune time to reflect on a few aspects of this man's incredible contribution to our lives, a contribution that few of us will ever fully appreciate.
As I look back I recall observing many times when it was difficult to separate the man from his teachings. We know there are higher laws (principles) and lower laws and that following a higher law necessitates breaking a lower law that is encompassed by the higher law. I have seen how we have all at times made the mistake of assuming that because we understand some principles, we therefore understand all principles. Therefore we see things without truly understanding them and draw conclusions based on incomplete knowledge, while at the same time believing we could not be wrong in our estimation.
We see others through the filter of our own crystals, and thus even if they have changed but we have not, we see them the same still.
If we consider this carefully, we will observe that our estimation is exactly that, our estimation. When two people observe each other, they frequently cannot observe objectively because of the presence of reactive patterns, most of which I have come to find in my own experience are well hidden. Therefore we should remember that no matter how much truth we have today, while we continue to have any reactivity, there is more truth to be uncovered and we are not yet capable of objective observation. The presence of crystallised patterns of emotional reactivity has made us highly subjective observers.
This considered, it would be folly to assume that we are in a position to make a valid judgement about another human (or situation for that matter), be it a judgement for good, for bad, or anything in between or outside of this. Our responsibility always lies at our own feet. What are WE doing, what are WE saying, what are WE thinking, what are WE feeling?
I have brought this to your attention as a preface to what follows because I do not wish to enshrine John the man, nor do I wish to belittle him. My object is to remind us all that it is the principles that count, not the personalities (nor the perceived personalities).
If we consider the concept of Inertia as it applies to the human mind, we all have choices at this point in time to continue in our course of action, change it, instigate a new course, or stop an existing course. Because things have always been a done a certain way is not sufficient reason to continue doing them the same way. So let us not make the mistake of forgoing our personal responsibility to make choices because we wish to honour someone else's choice.
Mistake me not, neither is the absence of John a sufficient reason to change. There is only one valid reason for making a choice to change or persist, and that is because we in our own conscience believe it is the right thing to do, as measured by our own yardstick of individual responsibility and knowledge.
It seems there is often talk of inclusion and exclusion, unity and separation. Often in our avid desire to pursue a correct principle we resist the false principle and thus undermine our own ability to apply the correct principle. This is a learning curve for all of us, no matter how much knowledge and experience any of us may have. John called it "the razor's edge".
This all said, I wrote the following article shortly after John's death last year as an address to the AGM of the Body Electronics Institute of New Zealand. I believe there is a message in here for all of us. If I have not been clear in my explanation, or if you wish to clarify something, please contact me personally so that we may have no misunderstandings.
President’s Address to the 2001 BEINZ AGM
In the wake of John’s passing, may what we perhaps consider as our darkest hour be recognised as our lightest hour, as we become aware of sharing a common goal, the preservation of Body Electronics and the continuation of John’s work. I ask you to consider what I’m about to say with an open mind and an open heart, as I outline the next steps in the future that I see for Body Electronics in NZ and the world.
I have already stated that in our awareness of our common goal, there is great light, and so there is. Each is free to decide what their individual view of this common goal is and I am not asking you to subscribe to my view, just to consider it and then choose for yourself. Simply because I am the President of BEINZ, or because I have been given certain training or done certain work does not make my views inherently any more important or valid than any other person’s. Perhaps I see things a different way from you.
I am an individual with free will, just like you. Just like you, I have my own crystals to deal with. Just like you, I am human and don’t always do as good a job of adhering to the principles as I might like. Yet in spite of this, it’s necessary for me to realise that all is Perfect Divine Order here and to recognise that we each are doing the best that we can right now and to be patient as I and others come to grips with our own unique lessons.
Nevertheless, I am the President, I have received a substantial amount of training from John and I have made great application of the principles and received great blessings from that application. I therefore have a viewpoint that I would like to share with you, on the understanding that each is free to accept or reject my view and that each is free to express their own view. My ideas are offered here for discussion and not set in concrete, yet in my position as a knowledge-holder, I bear a certain responsibility to help this group come to the best level of understanding and agreement possible. I trust that each of us will assume responsibility for sharing our own view and helping come to that position of agreement. I therefore invite you into this circle to participate in the future of Body Electronics.
There seem to be two common keynotes in my discussions with various people in the recent weeks since John’s passing: the question of how we preserve the true teachings of Body Electronics, and the question of how we continue John’s work. I will attend to the second question first by asking a question that I hope does not shock you too much. Do we need to continue John’s work?
I believe that John had a specifically appointed task to complete on this planet, a task which was his alone to perform and in the manner in which he saw fit. Many have been shocked by that manner; many have been saved by it and now feel they owe something in return for that service to help preserve Body Electronics. Those of us who assisted John on different levels necessarily contributed to the task in a specific way as we sought to follow and support John’s teachings.
I believe that John completed the necessary part of his task insofar as that those who are now free do not squander their freedom. Our responsibility to John is overshadowed by our responsibility to ourselves in this sense. We need to apply the principles to ourselves. We do not need to consider how to continue John’s work; John’s work is done. We need to apply ourselves to our work, that our work be complete by the time we need to move on. John never wanted us to follow him. Those who believe otherwise have missed a key point of following principles rather than personalities.
John’s work is done. I see the evidence of it in the people I see around me and I see it in myself. The real question that we must all thoroughly engage ourselves in answering is, “What is my work?”
John’s work is not our work. Therefore let us be quite certain that we are not avoiding our own responsibilities under the illusion that we should be attending to someone else’s.
John would remind you to work on your own List, your own items of karmic incompletion, and I will do this also. We don’t have to be like John, we don’t have to try and do what he did, we don’t have to do things the way John did them. We do have to be true to our own hearts, we do have to look at the principles John taught us and search our hearts to see whether we consider them to be true principles. If we perceive them as true, then we must have faith in them, apply them and learn from them in our own experience.
We may not do the same things John did… or we may. However, at all times, let us choose according to the dictates of our heart as we see it today, rather than out of loyalty to a memory or a possibly misplaced ideal. Let us at all times do things the way we would do them, regardless of how John would’ve done them, not to be different from John or to be the same as John, but to be ourselves.
It was not the man who was important in the teachings, but the teachings themselves. You may think me harsh; so be it. There is a subtle yet critical difference between following someone’s example because we think we should, and following that example because of the self-evident truth and value of the principles involved, coming from a position of faith. Both ideas seem to be associated with faith, but the first is blind faith that comes from reactivity and the second is a knowing faith bred of inner certainty and directed by the Spirit of God.
Let me repeat the distinction we need to come to. It is one thing to follow someone’s example because we feel some compulsion to or because we trust that person’s judgement or because they are a great person, but wholly another thing to follow that example because we see the truth of the principles involved. As an example of this second kind of faith, Jesus instructed his disciples to do as he did and speak as he spoke, not because he saw himself as a saint but because he could see the truth of the principles he was demonstrating. Even so, the instruction was to trust not in the arm of flesh but in the arm of God.
In the first case we are placing responsibility outside of ourselves and seeing things in terms of success or failure. In the second case we place responsibility squarely upon our own shoulders and do not recognise success or failure, since all is recognised as Perfect, and no judgements or expectations are attached to particular outcomes, desirable or otherwise.
This means that even though the outer actions may be identical, one motivation for those actions will make the actions self-destructive and the other will make them illuminating and freeing. I implore you that in all dealings with the principles of Body Electronics you endeavour to apply them because you perceive their truth and are willing to accept full responsibility for your actions, rather than because of the misplaced belief that “John would’ve wanted me to” or because “it’s the right thing to do”. If we try to apply these principles from the perspective of such resistances, we’ll tie ourselves up in knots.
Let us focus on what is appropriate to do in light of what we know now, so that we can be observant in this moment and see what needs to be done, rather than getting hung up on any absolute ideals of “rightness” and “wrongness”. Please hear me right on this, I’m not talking about throwing the rules out, quite the opposite, but I am talking about coming to an understanding of our motivations and accepting individual responsibility in all that we do concerning ourselves and Body Electronics. I repeat, we do not need to do John’s work, we need to do our own work.
John frequently reminded us that, “Neglected opportunities never come again.” Each opportunity exists only for a moment of time. If we are present in that moment we can seize the opportunity; if we are stuck in the past or concerned about the future, we cannot be present to this moment and cannot seize the opportunity we do have. Frequently we do not even realise that there is an opportunity.
Some of us may feel we have missed certain opportunities and perhaps we have, but every moment presents a new opportunity. Let us focus on this moment and take full advantage of the abundance of opportunities before us.
As for the question of “how do we preserve the true teachings of Body Electronics?”, this is a question that is too big for us to decide here. Individually we can certainly contribute to the preservation of these teachings simply by doing as I’ve already stated, acting upon our individual responsibility to “test all things and hold fast that which is true”. Ultimately, the true teachings are preserved in the hearts of every individual who chooses to dedicate themselves to coming to an experiential understanding of those teachings. That is the simplicity of it, because ultimately all knowledge comes from God, not man.
The complexity of it involves many people from different parts of the world coming together and being patient with each other as we come to a point of common understanding and agreement about what the next practical steps are. For each of you, I say not to worry about how long such processes may take and not to have fear that things may not turn out the way you hope. For my part, I recommend that expediency take a back seat to unity.
What are the “true” teachings that we wish to preserve? I know no-one who has a complete understanding of Body Electronics and there were by John’s own admission many things he did not understand about it himself. The true teachings are whatever they are. What was seen as truth yesterday is frequently seen to be false tomorrow. This does not mean the truth itself is changing, far from it. John’s spiritual teacher often stated that the ordinances of God never change, just man’s interpretation of them. It is perhaps John’s perspective we wish to preserve, but do not forget that all knowledge comes from God. We have the challenge of taking responsibility for our own actions coming from our own perspective and no-one else’s.
So our perception of the true teachings of Body Electronics is constantly evolving as we apply ourselves to the task of freeing our own minds and as we become ever more capable of grasping greater and more subtle truths. Let us not enshrine our current state of knowledge in our haste to preserve it and become thus bound in ignorance.
Things will change in our perception; they always have and they will continue to do so. We now share the responsibility, individually and collectively for that change. We are now the custodians of a sacred technique for freeing minds from age-old programming. This is not just another healing modality.
The point we need to come to in the preservation of Body Electronics is a painful one as we recognise that our differences need to be respected as evidence of our diversity and individuality, but at the same time recognising the need for unity of purpose and action to arise from amongst that diversity. We understand this intellectually. Achieving this unity requires the individual sacrifice of enduring our own pain lovingly and willingly as we submit ourselves to the consideration of the agenda and motives of others as if they were our own agendas and motives. Not until we can understand each other, can we truly find unity.
Nonetheless, let us start where we can and at least find some things we hold as common viewpoints. We all want Body Electronics to survive, do we not? Therefore let us not be overly ambitious or eager and try to run by ourselves before we have mastered walking together. This is the concept of unity at the lowest or most simple level of commonality that is built into The List and group activity. It is not the apparently “important” items on our List that need to be attended to first, but rather the “simple” items, those where we can collectively see the end from the beginning.
What I am asking each of us to consider today is the need to confront our own resistance towards someone else’s viewpoint and enter into patient dialogue so that we can move unerringly towards unity, rather than rushing to complete some task we intellectually believe John wanted done, or some task we believe should be done, in isolation of those others who we have agreed to work with within our sphere of activity. Unity needs to be our base, our foundation. Without that, any short term gains of instant isolated action, no matter how expedient, will eventually create division. This is the way it is. If you are not actively creating unity, you are creating division and separation.
Unity is a two-way street. Yet as far as individual responsibility is concerned, we must each root out our own desires for separation and division and not look to what division we perceive those around us to be creating. This is our challenge if we want to contribute to the preservation of Body Electronics. Let each of us attend to our own business first and foremost, and let that business foster unity by learning to confront our own resistances. And finally, let us support each other as we recognise that we’re all in the same boat of working towards perfection.
I guess that everyone wants to know what’s next. We have a lot of careful and prayerful thinking to do regarding that. Yet, rest assured that there are no insurmountable obstacles. BEINZ has a stable foundation, unlike any other Body Electronics organisation in the world. We have the agreement of Doug Morrison to aid us in completing the supervision of those wishing to become Practitioners and eventually Instructors.
We have each been given a piece of the puzzle by John; it is now up to us to put that puzzle together and reveal the whole which has always been there. We have the principles, we have God. We just need to apply the principles and ask God for illumination and assistance.
If there is any fear here, realise that it is simply the fear that naturally arises as we begin to take responsibility for our future. There are no demons other than the ones we give recognition and power to. The trick for each of us is to recognise that this too is Perfect Divine Order. Thank you John.
I invite anyone who has ideas to contribute to the furtherance of Body Electronics to come forward and join the circle of those who wish to understand each other. I trust you will find me receptive to your ideas.
In Love, Light, and Perfection