Understanding May 1983
(Sean’s Notes: Spelling mistakes and abbreviations are in the original)
Tis said, “A journey of 1,000 miles begins with the 1st step.” Our journey to Puerto Rico and back was about 7,000 miles & the steps were these: Dr. Fry spent over a week working on revising all lecture material & typing all of it over – day-by-day! Why? Because what fits in the U.S.A., in relation to Politics, energies, methods etc., does NOT fit in countries other than our own!
A prolonged stay in a tropical country requires abundant clothing – no time for ldry. or cleaners.
This was our Easter day: Up 4:00 A.M., finish packing, get ready, load car, await our friend who arrd., 6:30 A.M. for the 100 mile ride to the El Paso, Tex. airport. (He ret’d our car to our home.) Had lite food & airborne 9:45 A.M. for Dallas. Out of Dallas 12:30 P.M., in San Juan, Puerto Rico (at 7:29 P.M., ON TIME.) Which, from a plane, looks like a jeweled fantasy island. It IS an island 30 miles wide & 100 miles long – east to west. Friends met us, we dined & began the 100 mile ride to EAST & ocean front residence where we were to stay. In bed at midnite – 20 hrs., after rising. How was your Easter? We had no Easter! Maybe next year?
Tues., 10:30 A.M. (45 miles from residence) the first lecture of the series began – at the Mayagues campus of the university of Puerto Rico. There are three campuses, San Juan, Mayagues and Ponce. Sometimes 2 lectures a day, with scarcely enough time for a fast cafeteria lunch on campus!
Picture yourself STANDING in one spot for 1½ hrs., lecturing- plus the added hour for question + answer period. After many days of this you’d be more than t tired! Exhausted is a good word! (Leaving a 4,535 ft. altitude to live at sea level on the ocean does jar one’s body also.
One bit of fun: The cafeteria has open stone grillwork through which a few saucy blackbirds flew, to dine on whatever remained on the nearest tray, and as arrogant as if they owned the place! One had to laugh at their charming antics & my camera was ELSEWHERE!!
The U. of P.R. has 26,000 students from Many countries (Inc. ours!) because of world renoun & its VERY high accreditation. As in British Columbia, these are serious students here to learn. We saw no evidence of bad behaviour, drugs or alcohol!
You all know that, via lectures we hope to plant seeds of goodness, wisdom and learning as we go. WE DID. We later learned that when the Professor of Sociology listened to Dr. Fry’s lecture on the Area of Mutual Agreement, HIS beliefs immediately changed & he now teaches the principles of that A of MA. What a splendid difference THAT can and will make in the minds of all who listen, & how blessedly ‘far-reaching’ one may never really KNOW.
The P.R. newspaper gave Dr. Fry a full 2 Page layout, inc. a picture of Dr. Fry & that most noted picture taken BY Dr. Fry.
The night before we left, Dr. Fry gave a private lecture to about 40 people. Newspaper reporters, a scientist from Arecibo, P.R., several authors & others interested. It was very good & the exchanged conversation afterward was warm and stimulating.
Most of you know that, for 22 years, I lived in the then beautiful Miami Beach. Again, in P.R., my skin was caressed at once by soft trade winds. (Heavenly.) My eyes beheld bouganvilla in rainbow colors spilling abundantly over fences, wails and roofs! Oleanders, alamandas, hibiscus everywhere; plus poinciana trees, super fragrant frangi-pani trees & orchid trees where I could, once again, pick my own orchids, and did!
Along the roadsides many wild mango trees, coffee bushes, palm trees, cocoanuts and their good milk. Acres of pineapples – fully ripe, rich & luscious to eat. (Ah.) Then a round fruit – about 1½ lb. & almost all black on the outside. I said – “WHAT are THOSE ??” Ans. – “Grapefruit,” (which I eat daily always) & yes, they were sweet and luscious too, & pink inside.
We were told prices were 2 or 3 times higher than U.S.A. – for everything. TRUE! Yet the worst bum couldn go hungry! Fruit hanging there for the taking & seafood for the catching.
Next letter I will tell you more about seafood, the planned places we did NOT go, a flamenco guitarist from France, the topography, the tiny cars, American STORES there, the miles of sugar cane & my surprise gift, AND most of all, our private visit to Arecibo observatory and the WORLD’S largest radio/radar telescope, and the scientist there. And,- how we got home!
Till then we send you love,
(signed) Cleona Q. Fry
It is generally known that Understanding, Inc., is an organization dedicated to the achievement of peace on earth, and among all of the inhabitants thereof. It should be pointed out however, that we do not follow the ‘mod’ pattern now being followed by many other peace seeking organizations or individuals. We do not march in angry protest, even when injustice is clearly seen. We do not incite to riot, nor do we council violence, nor shout obscenities at those who disagree with us. We do not believe that we can achieve ‘peace’ by declaring war on the ‘establishment’ (and most of our neighbors). All of these expedients have been employed by various groups since the beginning of history without having had any genuinely uplifting effect upon humanity, and without having created any practical road to peace.
For centuries, men have cried, “Peace! Peace!,” but there has been no peace. It has been made clear to us that true peace can never be achieved by any direct approach, no matter how great the desire of humanity, because peace is not a prime entity which can exist by and for itself. Peace is an automatic by-product of mutual understanding, just as war is an automatic by-product of mutual misunderstanding. When complete mutual understanding exists between nations, or between individuals, there is no need to seek or to work for peace, it exists automatically, but until such understanding does exist, no amount of work or effort or seeking for peace will ever be successful. The only productive way to work for peace is, therefore, to work toward more complete understanding, between individuals, between groups and between nations. One of the necessary steps in this work is the simple and readily understandable discussion of those basic factors of life which affect and largely determine the pattern and the success of each person’s life. In the coming issues of this newsletter we will, therefore, devote a certain amount of space to the discussion of these factors, beginning with the one usually known by the generic term – Society.
Dozens of books and hundreds of articles on the subject of society are available to the student, but very few are written in terms that are sufficiently simple and direct to bring complete understanding of the underlying causes that result in the creation and development of society wherever man is found.
We will seek answers to the questions of the values of society, its limits and failings, why it is necessary to the existence of a civilization, and the reason why so many so many people seem to be at war with it today.
(signed) Daniel W. Fry
Alamogordo, New Mexico, Monday, May 2, 1983
Dr. and Mrs. Daniel W. (Cleona) Fry have just returned from their Easter flight to Puerto Rico, where Dr. Fry delivered a series of lectures at the University of Puerto Rico of San Juan, and at the beautiful 400-acre campus at Mayagues, whose 26,000 students come from many countries, including the U.S. Dr. Fry also lectured at the U. of P.R. Technological College at Ponce.
The Frys also visited friends at Miami and Lauderdale-By-The-Sea and are very happy to be home again.