I am writing to as many friends as I can think of with a message that I think may spare you much suffering in the near future. I hope you will share this message with others, many of whom I may have inadvertently omitted.
I call you all my friends. I am aware that some of you don't think of me in those terms. Never mind. One cannot try to do good in this world without attracting misunderstanding and opposition. I want to assure you all, however, that I am your friend -- indeed, that I love you all. For all of us, really, are seeking the same thing: the bliss of our own higher being. Thus, I need no assurance from anyone as to his own good intentions toward me. The important thing, for me, is to spare you as much as possible the difficulties I see on the road before us all.
My desire is to help you to find safety and security in the times ahead.
Many times I heard my Guru, Paramhansa Yogananda, declare that a great depression was coming. He predicted that it would be "much worse" than the one in the 1930s. He often urged people to band into small groups, to buy land in the country where they could grow their own food, and in other ways to get ready for the worst.
One Sunday in Hollywood church he paused a moment while speaking of these things, then declared with extraordinary vigor: "You don't know what a terrible cataclysm is coming!" Cataclysm implies something completely beyond the control of man. Did he mean that word in this sense? I myself believed, and believe, he did. We are entering -- indeed, have entered -- a new age, one of energy-consciousness. It is normal, so I have read, for such changes to bring about great upheavals in human affairs.
I have strong reasons for believing that such upheavals are about to begin -- not only monetary hyper-inflation (Yogananda said the dollar won't be worth the paper it's printed on), but atom wars and planetary devastation. There are more than 35,000 known atomic weapons in the world. Adding to those the unknown ones, and you have potential devastation. Moreover, if such bombs are to fall, they won't be dropped on places like Mt. Shasta or the Sahara desert. They will be dropped where the people are.
I know there is a school of thought that proclaims it's by thinking of such things that we attract them. The counterargument is that, if they are to happen by mankind's own bad karma, wishful thinking won't change matters. In this case, it is better to be forewarned.
After the first world war, there was a man who realized there was bound to be a second and worse war. He searched the globe for a safe haven, and in 1938 bought land on the island of Guam! You can't find safety by running away from trouble. There are practical measures you can take, however, and if you take them you can find relative safety.
In my next few letters, therefore, I plan to share with you things you can do to be at least relatively safe.
I should add, however, that fear can attract the very things feared. I myself don't at all care if my time of departure is even this afternoon. I only want my friends -- and yes, that means all of you -- to make your departure at a time when you are mentally ready for it, and when you have finished your karma for this life, rather than inopportunely.
For our duty on this earth is to leave it as much as possible a better place than we found it.
With love and serious concern for your own happiness,