This article by John-Roger was first published in the Movement Newspaper, September 1976.
In 1976, the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness [MSIA] held a Conference of Charity in San Gabriel, California. Members of the Movement attended the Conference from Australia, England, Mexico, New York, Minnesota, Florida, Louisiana, and even El Monte, California. The theme was Charity — as expressed by John-Roger. The feeling was love. The feeling was joy. The feelings of a thousand members of MSIA were of One. A moment shared in San Gabriel that has no beginning or end.
The following is an excerpt from the talk given at the Conference by John-Roger.
Conference of Charity–J-R Speaks
The concept of charity has often been defined as giving to the poor, but I’ve never really bought that idea. The concept that I buy is the one that says charity begins at home. I see it as that process of taking care of yourself so that you are not a burden on your family or your society. Charity is doing your work so well that people around you don’t have to come and re-do what you have done. Charity is handling your level of agreement and responsibility so well that people will say, “I’m glad you were here. I’m glad you participated in my life.”
There are two actions involved in the concept of charity: an inner action and an outer action. The inner action is one of balance and the flow of love within. It is awfully hard to give when you are in a state of remorse or resentment or anger. The only way you can truly give is when you are in a state of joy, of creativity, of inner abundance. And that only comes about when you exercise your spiritual gifts, your gifts of love. When you just breathe that divine love in, then you feel the currents of God within your own beingness; you feel the joy and the blissfulness of Soul. In that moment, you could probably be fleeced by the most simple-minded con man in the whole world — and love it. Because when you are centered in Divine Love, there is no way you can be stripped of your joy. And when you have joy is when you can give it. And that’s when you can again receive it.
Charity is both the process of giving and the process of receiving. What value is it to give a gift to someone if they can’t receive it? Their taking is extending the charity back to you. This consciousness of charity has never been one-way. It takes two; it takes both the giver and the receiver. When you give back to the giver, it makes you both feel good. It often takes a great, great deal of smoothness and tact to receive a gift from someone without embarrassing them or putting them on the spot. Some people have a hard time receiving. I remember years ago, when people would give things to me, and I would say: “No, thank you,” thinking how spiritual I was, refusing to take anything from them — just giving of my joy and my love. And yet, I would go to give them love, and there was no place for them to receive it because they felt rejected. They were experiencing a form of resentment because I hadn’t let them give to me what they had to give. They felt almost like they weren’t worthy enough to give to me. That was never a part of my consciousness, but that was the way it came across. By refusing their gifts, I shut off the flow and then they could not receive what I had to give. So now, I accept even the tiniest present. I receive with an open heart. And then the flow is there, and it is so easy for me to give love back to them, and so easy for them to receive the love because they feel good about the whole action. It’s balanced. And it then becomes a deeper experience than just giving and receiving. It becomes a sharing.
When you give of your ability, your joy, your spiritual gifts, and your creativity, other people coming behind you (whom you may not even know) will be able to partake of the spiritual blessings that you extend to everyone who can partake of them. We talk of Spirit and spiritual law, of acceptance, cooperation, understanding, and enthusiasm. But what value are all of these if there is no charity? Charity is the key note that allows us to function here. You know that you must first accept yourself before you can accept others. And you must first cooperate with yourself before you can cooperate with others. So, also, must you first give charity to yourself. See the creative energy that is inside of you. That’s the Spirit of God inside. That’s the primordial thrust of spiritual energy. Its form is unto itself. And it is that essence, of Spirit, of God, of Love, that is within and activates all forms. You have to look past many, many illusions of the lower worlds. You have to look past the illusions of the physical forms, the emotions, the mind and the subconscious levels. You have to have charity towards those levels. You have to look past them. You don’t say to someone, “I just can’t stand seeing you; get out of my way.” You realize that on the path they are traveling, they need your understanding. They need your love.
Sometimes it seems easy to give love in a general sense, to a large group. But it can be more difficult to share love in a one-to-one relationship with your spouse, your boss, or your children. Then comes the trials and tribulations of, “Do I give love or do I give animosity and resentment? Am I too tired to put energy into this relationship any longer? Why don’t they love me better?” Love is of little value if you don’t have charity. You give. You give. You give. And then you give more. It is not man’s nature to give, but it is the HUman’s, the spiritual man’s, nature to give.
In this process of charity, just let your own love be your guide. Let the guiding Light of your own heart show you the way. Your mind won’t be able to. Your emotions won’t be able to. You won’t find charity in the mind or in the emotions or in the physical body. Charity is of the Spirit. You can give of the Spirit through many forms. You can rub a back, give a massage, see a doctor, wash the dishes, or take a day off work to spend with the kids. Whatever you give, give freely, expecting nothing in return. Give it all so if someone else doesn’t give, you have given 100 percent, enough for both of you, and it is complete. That’s what makes it work.
There is something so transcendental in the process of charity. It is your very Beingness that speaks. Charity does not necessarily express through the lower levels of consciousness, but reflects that love that is the very essence behind all creation. There is nowhere that it is not. Its very form is that of giving, and it doesn’t ask anything of you in return. God has never approached you and said, “Give me that,” but has laid out examples and guidelines that we call disciplines — the disciplines that bring you into greater strength and set you free.
The outer form of charity is very simple. It is just to express your joy outwardly. That outward expression may come from the mind as good thoughts, or from the emotions as happiness, or from the physical as financial support, money, sustenance. Charity is multidimensional. To express it outwardly, you may have to exercise your creativity. It takes great sensitivity and great gentleness to give into the heart of another without abusing them or making them feel less than the form of spiritual love that they are. Many times people are caught short in a lot of areas of life. They may say, “If I just had another gallon of gas” or “If I just had the money to pay the rent this month” or “If I just had a million dollars.” Well, charity is different for different people. People’s needs are different and their expressions are different. When someone shares with you or gives to you just what you need, in that moment you feel that love and that thankfulness flow through you. And you want to do something in return. If you can’t return that blessing to the one who gave it — give it to someone else. The process of giving to someone what has been given to you is also charity.
There is also the charity of giving to a stranger — just because he asks. If someone comes up to you and asks for bus fare home, you can help — not by asking him how much it is — but by giving him more than enough money and just saying, “God bless you.” You’ll both feel good.
When you allow the love to flow freely and to express through you, in charity towards yourself and towards all others, you will come closer and closer to that pure essence of the Spirit within you. As you prepare the planet for your children and for their children, and even for those who will be here three or four hundred years from now, you are exercising an even greater form of charity. But charity can never be anything other than itself because there is only God. And God gives only to Itself. And when you enter into the consciousness of the Traveler, you will begin to see that form in everything and everyone you meet. And though it manifests differently for everyone, you will perceive the oneness that sustains behind the differences. And that oneness is charity, is love, is the essence of God. It is your own true Beingness. And the day you awaken to that realization of Self will be one of the most joyful days you will ever experience.
Baruch Bashan (The Blessings Already Are).
JOHN-ROGER ON GIVING AND RECEIVING — FROM THE HEAVEN ON EARTH TOUR