Positive Thinker Will Speak, Sign Book in El Paso
by Reprinted from the El Paso Times
God is within all of us and all things, John Morton believes. “The most renewable natural resource in the world is the human being,” Morton says. “No matter how far down people have gone, or how hard a time life has given them, miraculous things happen when they open themselves to their spirit within. They have a power inside that is divine, of God, omnipotent.”
Morton is the author of “The Blessings Already Are.” A book of daily readings that inspire people to take control of their lives and to be grateful for the blessings they already have. He will discuss and sign the book at 3 p.m. Sunday at the West Side Barnes & Noble, 705 Sunland Park Drive.
People limit themselves by their own attitudes, Morton said in a telephone interview from his home in California. Too often, people complain about other people being more fortunate, skilled and smarter, instead of looking at themselves as blessed, as deserving of having good things happen to them, he said.
“One day I had a revelation that resulted in a profound truth.” Morton, 48, said. “The only way to describe this revelation is to say that life is what you make it. I know that’s nothing new, but how many really internalize that realization? Attitude plays a powerful role in what you create.”
Before becoming an author and embarking in his crusade for spirituality and world peace, Morton was a park ranger. He has a degree in renewable natural resources from the University of California at Davis.
“From the beginning, I wanted to work with people,” Morton said. “But a college adviser in high school said professionals who work with people are a dime a dozen and don’t make any money. Go into science, he told me. “After two years as a ranger, I got my master’s in counseling, and here I am.”
Morton is director of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, an ecumenical church that teaches practical spirituality and soul transcendence, and of the Institute for Individual and World Peace. Since 1979, the Las Vegas-born self-described military brat has been conducting workshops and seminars, helping people find inner peace and have faith in themselves.
His teachings as well as his writings are deeply inspiring, said Karen Michelle Powell, a volunteer in several community organizations and the mother of three children. She has been to several of Morton’s seminars and has read his book.
“He has inspired me to continue expanding in becoming a better person, in taking more responsibility for doing good in the world around me.” Powell said. “And where better to start than at home with myself? From there it reaches out to my children, with the hope that my inner peace touches all those around me.”
Morton has been in El Paso before to conduct Insight Seminars and workshops for the Peace Theological Seminary and College of Philosophy and other organizations.
Morton is not a religious man in the traditional sense of the word, Powell said. Listening to him is not like listening to a sermon in a church. But he is a very spiritual man, who sees no boundaries in what people can do for themselves to fulfill their own destiny, she said.
For Pamela Tarrantine, Morton’s philosophy of love and peace has been a lifesaver. “He has influenced my life in a very profound way,” said Tarrantine, vice president of organizational development for Big 8 Food Stores. In February, Tarrantine, 47, was diagnosed as having a particularly aggressive type of esophageal cancer. “Less than 10 percent of those affected survive five years,” she said.
Tarrantine had gone to several of Morton’s seminars in El Paso before meeting him in 1988, during a peace awareness trip to Egypt and Israel. Since then, she made the trip again with him and has attended many more of his sessions. She credits the principles learned from him, his presence and his book for the most recent report from her oncologist. There are now no signs of the cancer.
“I’m sort of a miracle, having already survived intense chemotherapy, four surgeries from complications of the chemo, blood transfusions and more. It’s been the perfect opportunity to test my philosophy of love and peace, that something good can come out of this,” she said.
“During one of my lowest moments, when I started to hemorrhage after the chemo and the doctor did not know if he could save my leg, John Morton called me.” Tarrantine said. “He told me to be grateful all this was not happening in a covered wagon. He said I had two choices, and thinking positive was easier to work with.”
Recalling his many visits to El Paso during the past 20 years, Morton said he likes the border and it’s culture. He is learning Spanish. His book has been translated into Spanish.
“I have done a lot of work in Australia and Europe,” he said. “But a great majority of my work involves Spanish-speaking people in Mexico, South America, Puerto Rico and others. I have not yet given talks in Spanish, but I’m learning.”