As you hold this book, picture it as a door that accesses a Path to peace and happiness. I discovered this door and the Path quite unexpectedly. It was like an Indiana Jones adventure, the one where he is searching for the Ark of the Covenant. He’s in an ancient Egyptian crypt looking at solid stone walls blocking any further search. He can go nowhere. Remembering something about lifting a staff with a crystal cap he had found, he raises it up over his head, crystal first. As the sunlight strikes the crystal, the rays prism onto the wall triggering the opening of a hidden door. The door exposes the passage to the sacred treasure he sought.

As I began my conscious quest for peace I had no idea that the wall obstructing my progress was of my own making. Authentic emotional discovery is always self­discovery.  To paraphrase Julius Caesar, I came, I saw, I hurt.  It was my pain that led me to search for inner healing.

Life began quite well for me. Mine was anything but an unhappy childhood. From the misted memories of infancy to adolescence I was a very happy kid. I did have my moments. As a first grader a note was sent from Mrs. Green, my teacher, to my parents, who both happened to be high school teachers. She requested that one of them see her a.s.a.p.. The next day my mother came to her classroom. “Mrs. Custer,” said my frustrated teacher, “you must make it clear to your son that I am in charge of my class.”  I don’t recall being so bossy. But I do remember the consequences. If I ever tried to be a take­charge­Charlie again I would go without my evening meal each day I did. A daily note from Mrs. Green monitoring my behavior put an immediate end to my misconduct.

That crisis, I later realized, predicted what would be the crisis of my adolescence and the fiercest enemy of my peace and happiness. I didn’t see myself as an over­controller. I did know that I couldn’t stand my mother’s over­control. In time I would discover that behavior in another which angers one is always a weakness in the one angered. (This principle will be discussed in detail in Chapter IV.) But as a teenager, I felt I was the victim of her tyranny and that if we each had a theme song for our life, hers would surely be, “If I Ruled The World.”  There I was sandwiched between her killjoy control over smoking, drinking, dancing, movies and sex which she made clear were somehow sinful and my determination to experience all of them…secretly. This left me feeling conflicted and guilty because she also was the one who introduced me to an authentic faith in God that remains the centerpiece of my life. Still, I rebelled. I consciously withdrew from her and her narrow fundamentalism.

In time I found my path to Peace. My mother is now 100 years old. We have been best of friends for years.  Recently, while visiting her at a lovely, small elder care facility near my home, she took my hand and said, “You are such a wonderful son.” I replied, “Mom, the more you forget, the better I get.” I more accurately could have said, “The more we forgive, the better we live.”  What a gift she has become to my life!

Before this new relationship could be born, I had to “hit the wall” and then find how to reach her and my true self on the other side of this self­constructed barrier. It was as a wounded healer that I found what I was looking for. The walls I first faced were in the minds of clients and workshop participants, not my own. They appeared thick and cold; impenetrable until Light from the Source of all Light began to shine on these barriers. I didn’t understand what I was seeing at first. But after repeated breakthroughs, I saw it. A door in the troubled mind would appear and open. Invariably, the Path exposed had three guideposts:

1. Face your Shadows.

 2. Forgive your perceived Shadow­makers.

3. Form a new model to replace old shadowed mental images. When these were faithfully followed, they always led to peace and happiness.

The more­amazing­than­fiction facts that unfold as you follow these steps comprise the material covered in this book beginning with the first sentence in Chapter One: The steps to peace are simple. They can be taken by anyone; even the most tormented.

We will explore together ancient truths that demand that we move “outside the box,” way outside! Concepts will emerge which move beyond conventional, failed ideas about how to find peace and happiness. Immense rewards await the reader willing to probe these steps with commitment to discovering and living the Truth. As we discover Absolutes without dogma, we will find they are a mix of the ancient and the modern, the timely and the timeless.

The goal, the product of the process laid out in these pages, is inner and global peace. This is an ambitious, frustratingly elusive goal but its achievement is desperately needed. The intersection of this need and its fulfillment through an idea whose time has come is not an accident. Everywhere voices are crying out in our war­torn wilderness calling humanity to a life saving and world healing discovery. What appears to the superficial observer to be a human race sinking into hell­bent darkness is actually “Redemptive Polarization:” Darkness is getting darker; the Light is getting brighter. We will see how, in the presence of this Light, the illusion that darkness has power is exposed. Increasing numbers of people are asking with deeper intention, “What can I do to reverse this spiral downward into ugly personal despair and global bloodshed and war?” This book provides one clear path to personal and global peace. The reader will discover how humanity becomes truly human as we collectively discover what it means to be divine.

This is not a call to other­worldly piety.  It is a challenge to experience this­world Reality. As you take these steps out of your Shadows and into the Light, know that you are a part of a worldwide consciousness shift already in progress. In the text, you will read about a similar global shift in the 5th century B.C. The same loving, Creative Force, who orchestrated that necessary global course correction, is behind the 21st century message of love and peace contained in this book. We are being guided to a divine destiny – your destiny. Our minds are being enlisted into an invincible force for peace. For those who are asking, “How can I become a part of this force?” this book was written. Your answer lies just on the other side of the “door” you are about to open. I join you on this magnificent journey.

C.F.C. ­ April 22, 2002 Grants Pass, Oregon


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