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Message from South Africa
by James Twyman

James Twyman is the former Franciscan Friar who became known as the Peace Troubadour when he began traveling to war-torn countries singing and praying for peace. While in Croatia, he received a surprise invitation to the mountains to meet a group of mystics with an ancient lineage. They told him that there are many souls who have agreed to meet in this lifetime to be Emissaries of Light and charged James with spreading their message. [See lead article in the March/April issue of New ConneXion]

People responding to his call have been coming together into a group known as The Beloved Community, because they look beyond the mask of each individual and into the eyes of The Beloved. Communicating via the Internet, they are spreading the message of a new world based on love and unity instead of fear and separation. The following is a letter from James Twyman written to the Beloved Community while on a recent trip to South Africa.

We are all called to be Teachers of God, which is the same as being an Emissary of Light. We're all called to extend what we have been shown, but not necessarily what we "think" we know. There is a difference.

Here I am in a place of profound beauty and extreme violence. There seem to be two worlds in South Africa. On one hand there is Table Mountain, which looms over the city like a giant angel. Around the mountain are the beautiful neighborhoods and beaches, and the wind blows like a welcomed friend. A few miles away from this scenic paradise there is a different world, where all one can see are the tiny tin shacks, not more than the size of the average tool shed, that serve as the homes for another population. Whole families live in these sheds, the insides of which are amazingly tidy. But outside is a jungle of garbage and filth. Cows and goats roam through the streets and stray dogs tear through the refuse. People sit in the dirt and on old abandoned cars, with hopeless eyes and neglected spirits.

I am the only white face for many miles. Everyone stops to look at me, wondering why I am here. What can I say that will help? What can I offer that would make the slightest difference in their lives? It seems hopeless, for soon I'll be back in the shadow of Table Mountain, back to familiar terrain. But these people will still be waiting for something to change.

I remember the gang leader I met last week, the one whose eyes I looked into and saw The Beloved. How did he know who I was? Why did he decide to trust me in a way that could have destroyed his life? Is this all we are asked to do? Is there such power in the Vision of God that the hardest heart is instantly transformed?

This is what we are called to live. We are called to say YES to our own readiness, and this YES needs to be lived every moment of our lives. We are called to see The Beloved in whoever is right in front of us. It is not for their salvation, but our own, that we live this way. This is how we remember who we are, and why we are here. If you hold onto only one thing, let it be this: "To See as God Sees; To Feel as God Feels; To Know What God Knows; The Beloved Sees Only The Beloved."

The world is filled with cities like Cape Town, and we all have situations in our own lives that reflect this dichotomy. Sometimes it's scary to live this way, for we become vulnerable. These seem to be the risks involved with this Divine Sight. But are they real risks, or just the ego's way of distracting us? As Mother Teresa said, "Feel the fear and do it anyway." You are safe.

Remember that we are a spiritual family, and our work is important. It goes from moment to moment, person to person. In the Spirit of YES, let the waves wash over your spirit. It is the only thing left to do.