Ideas from Prayers and Meditations


Meditations: April 6, 1964 - November 12, 1966

John McConnell – Founder of Earth Day

While prayer has been a part of my life since childhood, its role was best defined in something my wife came across in our records of the past. 1964 was a time when the Minute for Peace I had started in 1963 was gaining global attention. At that time it was my good fortune to meet Tessie Durlack, an elderly woman who invited me to visit her. This resulted in our having regular meetings where at her suggestion we would join for a period of silent prayer and meditation. During this time we would each write down what came to us and later talk about it.

Here in January 2000 my wife is going through voluminous records from the past and came across the copy of what I had written about this at that time. There were 18 typewritten pages and on the first is a title, "The Meanings of Peace."

April 6, 1964

The new utopia: The institutions of society should seek to aid, not hinder the purposes of evolution. (See Phenomenon of Man.) Man can choose the destiny of his society – and should do so. With this in mind, our great Universities should seek to define the structure for a new Utopia – bringing into this effort findings of the Behavioral Scientists.

August 3, 1964

Money - Promissory Notes:

When checking accounts are permitted, repetition of deposits in other banks creates unearned assets (increments) for the banks. Any unearned asset should go to the equal benefit of all people, not just to the bank.

Loans - A negotiable instrument (note) of an individual is equal in value to the negotiable instrument of the bank (money) . The bank has no more right to charge interest for a loan of money than its customer has a right to charge interest for the loan of his note. The only proper charge is for evaluation of the note and the risk it involves -- the insurance needed for reasonable risk. Otherwise, note and money should be an equal exchange.

January 25, 1965

Self-righteousness is one of the great blocks to world peace. Our efforts to find accord fail because we condemn the Soviet leaders for their deceit and ill-formed plans. Because we see the evil in their system and actions, we feel we are better than they. This is our great mistake. God judges ach man according to the light that he has. Where more light is given, more right action is required. Using this scale of judgment, America with its rich heritage of freedom and grace, is far more guilty of sin than the USSR.

Our terrible crime rate, neurotic militarism and gross materialism are a few reminders of our awful hypocrisy.. When I listen to the unjust ranting of Federenko in the Security Council I am reminded of how much I could have done to further peace in the world that I have not done. I am sure that in the eyes of God I am more guilty that Federenko. Realizing this, I cannot condemn him. I must humbly say, "Let us both give all our strength to the actions we agree will bring lasting accord."

August 21, 1965

Sometimes our thoughts lead to action: sometimes they are an escape from, or a substitute for, action. Nevertheless, most action is the result of some kind of thinking.

September 19, 1965

"Peace is not the absence of war; it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice." (Spinoza)

"Peace is not made at the council table, or by treaties, but in the hearts of men." (Herbert Hoover)

Minute for Peace messages will not use empty clichés and sentimental phrases that bring a pseudo-agreement, void of thought or understanding.

Minute for Peace will speak for accord. In controversy, it will seek and praise the words and actions that express sincere accord. Minute for Peace recognizes the need to express conflicting opinions in a free society, but it sees its role as a constant reminder of the goal of accord and cooperation, which is essential for peace.

Minute for Peace endorses the idea of a continuing search to provide the widest possible freedom of action by individuals, groups and nations, but maintains that this should be more than equaled by a counter force seeking and affirming unity and cooperation. In order to achieve peaceful progress, the major energy of society – in money, talk and time – should be directed to areas of agreement and cooperation.

Let unity be the mainspring and controversy the balance wheel. The work of Minute for Peace is to wind the mainspring of agreement and accord with words of peace, with headlines for happening that inspire good will and cooperation.

Oct. 20, 1965

Can prayer bring world peace? Millions of prayers have not prevented wars. Prayer is more effective when it is specific. To pray for peace, one must be informed and focus on a specific situation and the key individuals involved.

Without organized hate, war is impossible. Within five years Minute for Peace can make organized hate impossible.

November 8, 1965

Minute for Peace will become a High Court of Conscience - the conscience of the world. Instead of waiting for a "Golden Age" in some nebulous future, why not make it a reality now? The means are at hand. If we act vigorously now, by the turn of the century we will see a world of prosperity, peace and beauty, far exceeding the wildest dreams of even a generation ago.

These are some of the practical possibilities. The springs of freedom and creativity will be released in the majority of individuals throughout the world, because the world’s communications media will first of all inspire men everywhere with a new vision of the sovereignty of each. The ways and techniques of peace will take control and conduct man’s conscience.

Checked by his intellect, strengthened by faith, his intuition will give him new confidence, wisdom and a sense of his responsibility to the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Love. This will be aided by a daily "Minute for Peace" shared in unison around the world.

Let us not wait. Let us begin now to build the new world of tomorrow. Let us not think in the old terms of ideologies (Catholicism, Communism, Socialism, Capitalism). If we open the minds of men to good will and mutual trust, all social, economic and political ideas will be encouraged as experiments for progress. Openly pursued, checked by the new honest sources of evaluation, (aided by modern electronics) which mutual trust will provide, each system will gather value from the other.

Competition in the pursuit of excellence will replace the competition which arises in the pursuit of greed or power. The rule of Gold will be replace by the Golden Rule as each man checks his conscience as well as his intellect, for evaluation.

November 24, 1965

The state of Grace I feel today has come to me many times. I wonder what I should do about this. Of course I’m deeply grateful for the joy this brings. And it seems to me it would be desirable to live in a constant state of Grace, conscious of the of the presence of the Holy Spirit, aware of the pain in yourself and others, but in ecstasy through awareness of the exquisite beauty to be found in unexpected places – sometimes to see the Lotus in the mud. To have a conviction there is a destiny, a purpose in life, a mission for each man and woman. To feel the love of God, a profound mystery that enables all of life. It seemed to me I should seek to maintain this state of Grace and view all people, all problems, all opportunities in the light of its illumination. Thank you Father.

November 25, 1965

I’ll avoid words that incite passions and use words that encourage peaceful understanding. The meaning of words intended by the speaker: to resolve differences by negotiation, conciliation, arbitration; to look for beauty and joy in human relations; to patiently endure the railings of hate by those whose injuries and hostilities have not yet bee healed by friendship and love; to praise and give power and honor to the men who turn aside from the ways of greed and instead seek the greatest service to their fellow men; to stand firm against injustice, without hate of violence -- sustained by the highest will and purpose the individual knows. To have confidence that support can always be found for a just cause.

December 3, 1965

In Minute for Peace, we must turn to our conscience not as an escape from action but as a guide to action for peace. Our economy, political practices, communications policies, should all be scrutinized and vigorously changed to provide practical and effective incentives for excellence.

Who takes the initiative for a cease fire? The one who loves the most.

December 18, 1965

Psychologically, the greatest thing for peace would be a rescue of an American astronaut by a Soviet astronaut.

January 10, 1966

We need to turn the life of the mind and spirit of all men from the negative to the positive, opening the door in each human mind and heart to the renewing influence of the Holy Spirit and strengthening each mind by a connecting link – a fellowship – with all minds.

January 24, 1966

Live in that relaxed tension where you are sensitive to any urgency of the moment, but at the same time are aware of your place in the broad weep of eternity, of your responsibility to prepare for the tasks of the future.

January 26, 1966

Consent with that mysterious power that holds up everything. Call it God, call it law, call it mind – the important thing is to see its powers of love, joy and peace.

January 30, 1966

The following are some of the ways in which you can work for peace through Minute for Peace. Please check one or more. Peace is important.

1. I will telephone 10 or more of my friends today and tell them about Minute for Peace.

2. Earth day after lunch at about 2:00 p.m. I will invite whomever I am with (my companion) to join for a moment the increasing multitudes who are sending thought of good will and peace to heal the hatred in the trouble spots of the world.

3. Each morning I will take time to listen to my own "inner voice" for ideas and actions that will help build a peaceful world. Minute for Peace: Some see in it a psychological tool for brotherhood: others, a vehicle for the flow of the Spirit of God through the minds of man.

February 12, 1966

While there is a basic appeal in the idea of "One World," there is also an element of threat, to the freedom of the individual: the fear that in some way the human spirit will be suffocated unless its loyalty is expressed as an alternative to some other loyalty.

Man is not so much affected by what he has been as by what he thinks he can be.

February 18, 1966

Jesus taught by answering questions.

February 20, 1966

Scientists give answers to what scientists ask. No particular world view is used in selecting data. Perception is radically relative.

March 27, 1966

In the "New Age" the importance of each individual will be encouraged through public emphasis on the roots and value of culture in the history of every race and nation. China’s turn to Communism was partly a reaction from Western pressures which brought progress but tried to dictate and failed to respect the greatness of the Chinese psyche with its need for self-fulfillment.

April 10, 1966

The one thing that is common to creative minds in all religions, ideologies, sciences, is a search for meaning. In the new age approaching, there will be increased appreciation of old values and their roots in history, but the atmosphere will be such that no one will venture the final word on any subject. Automation will be used for the benefit of the doers, instead of the drones. A simple system to provide economic justice would eliminate much of the present effort to automate the present inefficiency in banking, credit, trade.

Instead of the present global negative accent on getting, from a sense of need, the new accent will be on giving, from a sense of abundance. While there is abundance to provide a good life for all the people on this planet, this is only possible by wise and careful use of natural resources and by long range planning for their use in ways that will protect and improve our global environment. A plan for the next 1000 years is needed that will enable mankind to reuse natural resources wherever possible and to anticipate future needs and develop new sources of energy and material to meet these needs.

Let us first involve the thinking people of all nations in the quest for peace, through Minute for Peace. This will be followed by actions for peace, publicity for peace, spiritual and moral inspiration and renewal – and new answers to global problems.

At present the people who benefit most are not those who serve most or create most, but the drones who use their mental acumen to figure the best way to take advantage of the "system."

A complete change of our taxing, banking and credit system is needed that will provide simple and effective economic justice for all. To facilitate this, the treasury of each nation should form a corporation in which every citizen would have one share of National Treasure Stock. This corporationwould create the amount of money needed for trade and exchange. People who owned property could borrow 50% of the property’s value. (This percentage could be less or more – to control inflation.) The National Treasury Stock integrity of every nation would be certified by a United Nations agency established for this purpose. This money could also be converted into United Nations International Currency for use in international trade. The United Nations agency handling this would debit or credit the nation’s account.

Dividends would be declared on the basis of any actual increased gross national product. This would go to National Treasury Stockholders and would be equally shared by each citizen through their one share of stock. In such a program there would be an effort to recognize the principal laid down by Henry George, that each individual has a right to an equal share in the natural (Unimproved) resources of this planet. Appropriate implementation of this principle can result in every family owning their home or apartment.

They should be provided the equivalent of their basic inheritance and given an opportunity to improve it. Their success should depend, not on the ability to deprive others of their basic property rights, but on their ability to multiply what is rightfully theirs through their wise use of the benefaction of nature and through the earnings resulting from their service to their fellow man.

Dramatize this responsibility by providing personal membership in the United Nations for all individuals. This would be managed by the United Nations Association (UNA) working through voluntary Non-Government Organizations. Membership would require that each person pursue his goals in life in a peaceful way, and that he encourage all organizations, including the government, to do the same. That he recognize the power of his mind in the affairs of men and that each day he spend a period in meditation, seeking honest accord with his neighbors and with all the nations, and that he send thoughts of approval and good will to all adversaries.

The best hopes and values of religions and their organizations can be through the United Nations. UN membership would be no threat to communists or capitalists if it called -- for heart-felt links of mind and spirit.

April 30, 1966

Kirk (New York Times) misses the point that wise men can further the causes they believe in without assuming political power. If, instead of urging ideas they approve, men would submit ideas to be examined by each man’s conscience, the evils of power would be avoided. The greater the reputation, the more important it is that a leader’s voice be followed by the voice of opposition and by thoughtful reflection of each man’s conscience.

May 8, 1966

No limit what God can do through a man who doesn’t care who gets the credit. God is so charitable He will work through open channels even though He doesn’t get the credit.

May 14, 1966

Yesterday Mrs. Tessie Durlach reminded me of the value of writing down thoughts that come during meditation, obtaining more divine guidance in this way. I will try to practice this each day in the coming weeks and see how it words out for me. I tend to feel awkward or slowed down when I try to record my thoughts on paper, and usually do so only when it is important that I remember something, or necessary to find the exact words that will express an idea or feeling. There is danger in past ideas being taken too seriously and hindering the free flow of thought with ideas that are ever changing, hopefully, ever moving in the direction of the truth.

May 17, 1966

Minute for Peace: Listen to it. Think about it.

May 20, 1966

Means for neutral policy: form board from small nations. Wake up! Planet Earth. Don’t be a mirror! Be a focus. Be a lens. Project: Peace Headline Series – stories of peacefull progress in conflict situations. Sponsored by MFP. It would obtain moral support for right action through the prayer, good wishes and approval of participants in Minute for Peace.

May 22, 1966

Everyone wants peace. There is something everyone will do if they can be convinced it will work, and that is: think about peace.

If we can convince the public in every nation that Minute for Peace will work, it will work.

NY Times Book Review, p. 45, 5-22-66 - Sidney Hock on Karl Marx: "The positive upshot of the great debate … is the question whether it is possible to develop on rational grounds, not from party ethics or an ethics of class, but from an ethics of humanity, a Bill of Rights for all of mankind in the light of which we can appraise the ethical behavior of parties and classes, construct a world community and reconstruct national communities that would enable them to live, and let each others live, in peace."

May 25, 1966

Sensing this grace, the glory, the love, the glory of the infinite power of all good.

May 26, 1966

3-5 minute promotion spot to cite evidence for the power of individual thought. ESP Let us not be afraid of the truth our enemies speak.

UNIP (United In Peace) Uniplan Uniperson Uniteam Uniglow Unilight right thought = right action sensing the grace, the glow, the love, the glory of the infinite power of all good. Get telephone girls and other friends to meet each day in the Metropolitan room.

May 28, 1966

From Mrs. Durlack: Quote from Paul Goodman (Growing Up Absurd): "That you love me makes me of value to myself."

May 30 1966

The first days of the 33 campaign should reach the leaders who are most developed and effective in using the methods and ways of peace. If you feel insecure, choose close friends for peace matters. If you feel secure, choose an adversary and be a bridge of understanding.

June 5, 1966

The inner glow in each individual can be increased by connecting it with the glow in all the other people of the world. This can be aided by Minute for Peace, which provides a conscious link with the glow of good will in every man. Awareness of this common bond of spirit which encompasses the wordless meaning of being at the heart of all great humanitarian teaching, religious and non-religious, will provide a global glow of good will and mutual trust.

In this way the dark barriers of fear and greed will be pierced by the rays of faith and love. This will bring a new climate where the peace builders can lead in creating a new world of freedom, order, beauty, meaning and joy. This "inner glow" refers to the feeling of wonder, awe, gratitude, worship, which is experienced by most everyone at some time. The most numerous examples of it are found in poets, artists, musicians, scientists (sometimes at the moment of discovery), religious mystics, gifted teachers, some political zealots, and most everyone truly in love. It is found most in new mothers and little children. It goes by many names, but none truly defines it. Love, Joy, turned on, salvation, Holy Spirit, serenity, etc.

June 10, 1966

Peace is not the cessation of war, which is a period of waiting for other wars. Peace is not negation. Peace is obedience to the law of life. By obedience to the law of mathematics, we acquire instant powers. By obedience to the law of harmony, we acquire music. By obedience to the law of form, we acquire beauty. What’s new in the awareness of the human mind and its overwhelming possibly infinite potential: There is power for peace in thoughts of goodwill.

Now this power can be intensified by the knowledge that each person is connected with others –through Minute For Peace, a daily minute that is strengthening good will and peace throughout the world.

You are not alone. Each time you think about peace with good will and hope, you are joining an ever increasing multitude in every land who believe world peace is possible. When enough people are aware of each other’s good will and faith, war will be impossible.

Today, in countries we do not trust and that do not trust us, the word is spreading that all men of good will are one and that they are in a majority. They can each in their own way be a power for peace by joining in mind and spirit with all the others in a daily Minute for Peace and by spreading the word of what they are doing. Today turn on you power for peace with a Minute for Peace.

When the majority of us are "turned on," the world will see the way to peace. "Turn on for Peace"’ with Minute for Peace!

July 1, 1966

Pangere – to agree
Pango – I agree
Paxi – I have agreed
Pactul – agreed
Pacum – object of another verb, to have agreed
Pax – Peace

July 7, 1966

There is a need for a social-economic system that will encourage self-renunciation and lead to the highest expression of love of God and fellow-man. Explore ways of adding a factor that would move present systems in this direction.

"During the next 60 seconds your own thoughts can help bring world peace. (multiple bells) Minute for Peace. (UN Peace Bell) You are now listening to the Peace bell at the UN. At this moment minds around the world join (in good will) to strengthen peace. (End of Peace Bell) Intro… Now, with Timmy, help raise the minds of the whole world with your (Peace Bell) thoughts and feelings of peace." Cont. peace bell, fade multiple bells.

October 29, 1966


A spirit of condemnation corrupts the soul. We should not condemn our adversary, our neighbor or ourselves. Hate condemns – love forgives. Right action results from right thinking. Courage to change for the better – to choose the right way – is given to us when we walk in the light of God’s forgiveness and Grace, letting that light shine on our misdeeds. Then, free from condemnation we can chose to change without self-righteousness -- with humility…gratitude…growing in love; realizing that in common with all humans we ever miss the mark. We must not judge how far the other person is missing it and we can ever draw nearer to it as we recognize our sin, our shadow, our missing the mark – without condemnation. Then, filled with the Grace and joy of the Spirit, more and more we will overcome sin and manifest the righteousness of God.

November 12, 1966

Calendar reform: A single solution to the calendar problem, which would maintain the seven-day week (as against proposals for a World Day outside the week) is to initiate a 13 month calendar of 28 days each, with the provision that every ten years there would be an extra two weeks on the first month.

At the beginning of each century, four weeks would be inserted to meet the needed correction of time.