First published in the New Day Herald, September, 1990
Q: What is meant by “being spiritual”?
John-Roger: Being spiritual is the intent by which you do things. So you could walk in a gutter with your intention clear, and walking in the gutter would be fine. If you knock on somebody’s door and walk in the house saying, “Is anybody home?” it would be fine if your intent were clear. The intention is what makes the action fine, and there’s a place inside of you where you always know your intent.
Q: I want to relocate and get another job but I don’t want to create any karma doing that. How can I approach this move and job change?
John-Roger: There are two ways to look at making any change. One is, ”I’m leaving this because this is no good,” and the other one is, “I’m leaving this because I’m going to a better place.” If you’re going to a better place, that’s a positive statement. If you’re leaving this because this is no good, it’s going to trail around after you for the rest of your life, because there is something you didn’t finish to make it good. The Spirit in you will hold you accountable for what you do; you must balance out your own karmic things that you put into motion.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re thinking of moving from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles. Maybe it’s time to leave Santa Barbara, and maybe it isn’t time to move to L.A., but that can still be an okay move because it’s just time to move from Santa Barbara. You might be able to live in 40 different cities, so L.A. would be one of the 40. It may be a good choice and it may not. You move to L.A., and you find out if it is a good choice. If it is not a good choice, you can always change it and move again, but you don’t have to call it a mistake. You call it an experience. The difference is in how you look at it.
Q: I have a problem with thinking that I am unworthy. I understand from what you say that if we are sick and tired of something, we’ll stop doing it. I think I am sick and tired of feeling unworthy, but that feeling is still here. What can I do about this?
John-Roger: Let me give you an example. Do you know why I don’t live up where it snows? I am sick and tired of snow and cold weather. I love the snow, but I don’t love to live in it. When you get sick and tired of your problem, you will put something else in your mind. If you are sick and tired of unworthiness in your mind, you will start to put worthiness in your mind instead.
Q: I’m working on changing some bad habits, but I keep sliding back, and then I beat myself up. Beating myself up almost seems worse than the bad habits.
John-Roger: Understand that the sliding back into old habits is a choice. You never go anywhere that you don’t look at and then choose to go. Even though it may be a decision by slide — you slide into it because you didn’t decide — you still chose that. You chose to slide into the results. That isn’t necessarily good or bad. The main thing to look at is now that you’re there, what are you going to do? If you say, “I’m going to get up and walk out,” that’s information. That’s what I would do — get up and walk out. But while I’m walking out, I’d also let my mind and my emotions walk out with me. I wouldn’t let them beat me up about how I slid into it.
I don’t understand why, when things are bad, people beat themselves up to make it worse. That’s like a situation where you’re starving, and when somebody brings you some food, you say, “No, thanks; I’ll starve,” instead of saying, “Thanks for the food.” There are people who, instead of feasting at plenty, worry about the famine. That’s like beating yourself up. You don’t have to beat yourself up, because the feast has already been prepared for you, and you’ve already been invited.
Q: It looks to me like there is a lot of evil in the world right now, but I don’t hear the Traveler talk about it much. Would you comment on how you define evil?
John-Roger: My definition of evil is pretty simple. It’s blaming other people for your own accountability. Instead of just being accountable, which is then grace manifesting, you pass it off and blame others. You should have stood up and said, “It’s mine. I did it. I forget who I did it with, but it’s mine.” At that moment, you go from sinner to saint. You’re stuck in “sin” when you say, “It’s not my fault, because I never would have done it if they hadn’t done this to me — seduced me, or conned me, or lied to me.” Instead of handling your own life, you try to place blame. And that’s evil. We’ve already sinned, fallen short of the mark and glory of God, and now we are adding evil upon it by blaming.
And we do it worse when we do it out of righteousness: “I don’t think that person should be allowed to get away with what they have done.” What they have done is none of our business. The jury and executioner for them is themselves. Now or sometime. We need to get it clear that God isn’t mocked. You can’t mock God, because God isn’t mocked. What you sow, you reap.