Birthdays are times for gifts. For John-Roger, a #1 NY Times best selling author, his birthday is always a give back time, a thank you time. He gives the gifts.
John-Roger says the definition of integrity is having the courage to go with the truth as you know it - a heartfelt response with care and consideration for others.
On the anniversary of his birthday, September 24th, in 1983 John-Roger created the Integrity Awards. For their contributions to humanity honors were bestowed on the likes of Dr. Jonas Salk, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Lech Walesa, Mother Teresa, celebrities, artists like Oliver Stone, Stevie Wonder, Mayor Tom Bradley, Ralph Nader, along with generous donation checks to their favorite charities.
The Integrity Awards as a catalyst, John-Roger morphed honoring notables in the world to honoring the world and everyone in it. Characteristic of one of the tenets of MSIA, to use everything, all of our experiences to learn and to grow, John-Roger harnessed the energy of the Integrity Awards and propelled it outward. He travels the world with students in a celebration of living love inspiring personal growth that translates into universal cooperation.
In his campaign to cease againstness, John-Roger proposes 'teaching one to fish' as opposed to giving a fish. He shows students how they can always demonstrate integrity, how integrity is their true nature and when you live a life of integrity it spreads to others as they see your example and learn from it.
In the Orwellian '80's, war around the corner, unrest, bombings and violence part of daily life, John-Roger and about 150 of his students visited Israel and Egypt on month long trips called Peace Awareness Trainings at times when most tourists were reluctant to visit these lands. Masada, the Sphinx, Pyramids, Qumran, Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nile, Jordan, Jerusalem, Galilee, Luxor; he spoke of the history, the meaning of sites at the sites themselves. Once in a lifetime learning that cautioned not to build idols, worship God in stone rather find inspiration to go within, rely on your heart.
In the midst of terrorism, hijackings, hostages, John-Roger visited hotbeds of discord to talk about peace. To lecture about recognizing the connection we all have, getting along with each other, which always leads back to getting along, being at peace with yourself.
Subsequent from 1984 until 1995 John-Roger revisited Egypt, Israel and other areas around the world on month long pilgrimages inspiring students of all ages, from all walks of life to open their minds, their hearts, with words and deeds of caring and sharing - of LOVE.
Love thy neighbor as thyself.
Find the Jerusalem, the Holy Land in you.
Look to the wisdom of your heart.
John-Roger guides, teaches one to think for oneself. To find the truth in you as you know it, your integrity. He doesn't dictate what to think. As the Buddha said, do not accept my teachings out of faith in me, but rather out of your own confidence in my words - confidence that you have reached as a result of your own intelligent analysis.
The choice is always yours. At these Peace Awareness Trainings and birthday celebrations students discover how they can do good for themselves, lead more fulfilling and rewarding lives and in turn share those lives with others, make the world better for themselves and for every one else too, live a life of integrity.
Spirituality is relaxed. Practical. Enables us to live fruitful productive lives here on this earth, to give back, to show love, to be the best people we can be. To demonstrate it, not to talk it.
We all want world peace, to end hunger, strife, poverty, inequality, crime, all of the injustices we perceive in this world. We've all also heard if you want to change the world change yourself. Face, conquer your fears, demonstrate love, brotherhood, compassion, understanding, peace, joy. Look for it within you, let it shine out of you, practice loving in everything you do. This is John-Roger's mantra. Simple, as he says, but not easy.
We've all asked ourselves if life as we know it, experience it, is all there is. We ask who beats our heart? Who breathes us? Deep inside we know the answer. John-Roger helps navigate, guide you to find the answer for yourself. Helps you. He doesn't do it for you. You do it. It's called spiritual inner awareness. It is self motivating. How do you experience it? By your experience.
Find your soul, your bliss, your joy. Not outside of you. Not in a book, in a movie, in another person. In you. Not John-Roger, not anyone else. Use everything as a reference but you do it for you. When you do it for you, you do it for all. We are connected.
Change yourself, change the world.
How do you know yourself? How do you gain inner awareness, how do you recognize yourself as part of God, the Universe, every other living being? Songs proclaim this, movies do, books do, scientists do, celebrities do every single day. Spirit is all around us, in everyone, everything. Some tap into it. Some don't. Some search. Some don't. John-Roger will challenge your consciousness as a good teacher will do. He is a way shower. He can point the way, you must walk the way. Not his way, your way.
Travel to the beat of a different drum? How about the drum of your heart? The map in your heart? FIELD OF DREAMS, EAT PRAY LOVE, MORRIE books, Oprah, May the Force Be With You, Van Morrison's Into The Mystic, Peter Gabriel's Solsbury Hill, the Beatles, All You Need Is Love, Katy Perry anthems, Lady Gaga, the list goes on and on. The teachings are all around us and have been forever. Sometimes we need someone to tap us, show us, wake us up to look, to seek, to see.
John-Roger always says I am not telling you anything you don't already know.
As an aspiring writer a professor advised me not to write if I didn't want to reveal myself. My words would give me away. People would know who I was, it would be there whether I wanted it or not.
Writing reveals you.
Read John-Roger. Watch his films. John-Roger, a best selling author, a public speaker, is the founder of a movement called the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness.
Its three basic tenets: don't hurt yourself and don't hurt others, take care of yourself so you can take care of others and use everything, every experience that comes your way to uplift, to learn, to grow.
His new documentary: MYSTICAL TRAVELER - THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DR. JOHN-ROGER has premiered to packed houses in London, New York City, Los Angeles, Mar de Plata, Sydney and San Francisco garnering glowing reviews everywhere. Recently it was named #7 in Best Biographical films this year. In July it will be released on iTunes and Blu-Ray.
John-Roger revisited Israel in 2007 for the premiere of his film SPIRITUAL WARRIORS at the Tel Aviv Spiritual Film Festival. He returned in 2009 to share his 75th birthday and travel the land again. This year, 2014, he will celebrate his 80th in the Holy Land and commemorate a life of service by being of service for those who seek his guidance.
Steve Jobs: "Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma-which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of other's opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."
John-Roger would say: Go inside. Your gut, your intuition, your heart, your soul, your compass. Go to that place inside that knows. It's there for us to use. Use it.
Check it out. Don't believe me he always advises. Check it out. See if what he says works for you. If it does use it, if it doesn't then obviously don't and when it stops working, move onto something that does. Don't listen to me he says. Listen to you, your inner knowing, intuition, your awareness, your experience.
Spirit is not something out there, it's in us. All of us. See it, experience it for yourself. Know it for yourself.
Have the integrity to live it for yourself. Make every day a September 24th day. Make every day Integrity Day.