The Words of the Hellerstein Family

I was filled with burning loneliness

A. Hellerstein
April 1971
Kansas City, Missouri

My name is A. Hellerstein, and I am 16 years old. My ancestry is purely Jewish, Russian, Czechoslovakian, Austrian, Hungarian and German; however, my upbringing was very liberal.

I became very moody during the spring of '69 when I had just turned 15. Not only did experience joy and sorrow, but loneliness, fear and times of withdrawal. My feelings fluctuated so often and so drastically that I sensed there was pattern or purpose, but I could not tell what it was. I did believe, however, that it all had to do with the summer. Somehow, summer would be the culmination point, and all would be made clear.

In January of '69' I was involved in the production of a play written by a local college student. The setting of the play was a boy's mind. Its seven major characters were the major aspects of his mind: Will, Conscience, Intellect, Heart, Instincts, Wit and Fear. Most of the characters formed alliances to further their own ends. The story ends in the martyrdom of the Conscience. The give and take of pure love between the Will and the Conscience had been so strong that the rest of the mind had been persecuted by the outside world. The other characters banded together for drastic action, and, to save the will, the Conscience accepted death. The play was a bitter attack on society, or, in essence, the Satanic world, that forces people to destroy their ideal of perfection in order to survive. (The awareness given me by this play was my greatest preparation for Principle. In fact, my first deep understanding of the First Chapter came in terms of this play's characters and symbols.).

As late spring grew into early summer, I began to read horoscopes seriously for the first time in my life. I started to dress, and act, in some ways, like a hippie. Certainly, the people I went around with were "heads" -- some of them took drugs, but I didn't.

My moods became even more extreme, like an emotional roller coaster. I was filled with burning loneliness and incredible longing something, I didn't know what.

I can still remember the very worst day. I was so depressed, so flattened that I was as though my insides and feelings had been pumped out. My head was dead. A phrase came to me, and I wrote it down. It was "reacting, out of habit". That was true, I had nothing else.

That evening, Midsummer Night's Eve, I heard First Chapter.

Janine Brennan, then a very new member, taught the First Chapter to several mutual friends and myself. My friends were apprehensive. I was little bit frightened, too, especially about spirit world, but I trusted Dee Beckner, the Center Director, from that very first evening. We came back the next week to hear Second Chapter. I heard both chapters several times before I was given the book. I read those two chapters in the book and went to the Center once or twice a week. During this time, Dee was working closely with my little group of friends; she fasted 12 days for us.

One evening, I picked up the principle book, started reading, and didn't set it down until I had finished the whole book. The next night, when I went to the Center, I realized that "yes" "it-did-mean-what-I-thought-it-meant". For 3 days, I wrestled with myself. I wanted to leave the city, run away, or anything. I cried more than I had during the previous year and a half. My final decision; to follow Truth wherever it might lead. Three weeks later, I signed my membership.

Principle has given me the way to lead a constructive life. It has taught me to use everything for Father. Since I know there is a purpose and a pattern everything, I keep looking until I understand the situations that I face. I have found the New World, where the Conscience can not only live, but it can grow to be free! 

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