We've had some talk recently about distinctively "Quaker" ways of interpreting the Bible.

So far as I understand it, this suggests the following model of the situation: 1) Early Friends were inspired by the Spirit to read the Christian Bible as a source of insights for furthering their quests to find and keep personal salvation. Among the doctrines they found it supporting was this: that the natural condition and faculties of human beings were innately corrupt -- a state of affairs which could only be remedied by Christ -- conceived-of as being entirely outside and alien-to their personal minds and inclinations.

People who favor this view naturally feel that 1) Early Friends must have been right in their approach to Biblical interpretation and 2) their model of  human nature must therefore be correct.

I say instead that early Friends' interpretations of the Bible were appropriate to their time and place, an advance on how most people had understood it previously -- but that the associated view of the Divine/human connection is a half-truth at best: a view that describes much human conduct all too well, but is wrong about people's actual spritual configuration.

The fact that most of humanity has not spontaneously embraced Quakerism, and the fact that many of our traditions have been (apparently) languishing even among ourselves (if we're willing to include all of us as being (somehow) "real" Quakers) -- These things suggest that either:

a) Human beings are very, very corrupt, or

b) We really haven't gotten it right yet!

Assuming the Bible's description of the world as God's Creation -- and the Bible itself as an element of that Creation, intended for our good, then

How else might we be reading the Bible? What else is in there for us?

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Just to add a more sharp distinction. The conscious that is anchored in and the conscience that is informed by imminent awareness (God) itself in itself does not know about imminent awareness through reflection upon past experience or the experiences of others but experiences imminent awareness itself in itself directly without regard to outwardly represented forms in all circumstances in daily life. To know about God through reflection upon past experiences or the experiences of others is, in its very essence, different from experiencing imminent awareness itself in itself unmediated by reflected forms, that is, scripture, language, ideology, traditions, institutions, etc. In the former, consciousness is reflected. It exists in relation to the reflections. In imminent awareness, consciousness is of itself and exists in itself. The mirrors of reflected consciousness shatter. The broken mirrors reveal a different way of being or awareness.

In regards to conscious and conscience, imminent awareness is overshadowed by the outward representations we are taught. In essence, we are taught to unlearn imminent awareness by the overlaying of outward forms over against imminent awareness. We are taught to find meaning, purpose, and identity in these outward forms rather than in imminent awareness itself in itself. 

The point is to know about, and to know, God.

Whatever a person has been taught may or may not help in that; but God has made teachings and practices available for people who do find them helpful, not for people who don't.

The object isn't for people to know what they've been taught to do instead --

it isn't to know God by one experience rather than by another experience.

It is merely to know God; and I am content that this happens to me the way it does happen.

Whatever a person has been taught may or may not help in that; but God has made teachings and practices available for people who do find them helpful, not for people who don't.

It is mine to share with those who do not value any outward political, religious, and economic teachings, prescriptions, institutions, practices, traditions, and ideologies that there is another way. It is mine to share with them that they can find meaning, purpose, and identity in a conscious and conscience that is anchored in and informed by inherent awareness itself without regard to or value for any outward form. That in the inshining Light itself in itself (imminent awareness), their conscious, conscience, meaning, purpose, and identity can be sustained. A conscious anchored in and a conscience informed by the inshining Light itself in itself is sufficient regarding meaning, purpose, and identity.   

To those who are not content with the very process itself that manifests the matrix of outward form they have been taught (that overlays Presence itself in itself), there is a different way of existence.

Imminent awareness itself in itself is showing and has shown many of us a way out of the very process that manifests outward teachings and practices and constructs and adheres to human being. 

There is sharing; and then there is pushing-upon. Sometimes I find that the topic finds its way into everything that comes up.

While you can certainly say that the Bible is 'really about' how to become completely detached from the Creation, this is not what the people in it seem to be doing, nor do I think that's something we're supposed to learn from it -- nor would you need to read any of it to practice your preferred mode of being... nor is anybody here (that I've noticed) recommending it as an Authority to regulate our behavior in the [imagined] absence of valid internal guidance....

I think you came in on the question of how you read Biblical passages from within your recommended mode of experiencing... but that really doesn't seem relevant to how anyone else may be given to reading it or what anyone else might find there.

Hello Forrest,

The blessing is that I am under no obligation to conform to your expectations or characterizations as you are not obligated to mine. For conscience sake, I will continue advancing (pushing) the sufficiency of imminent awareness in all circumstances and in all contexts even in the face of your aversion. 

Is 'Neener!' a theological term?

One can mistrust one's own senses, but not one's own belief.  If there were a verb meaning "to believe falsely," it would not have any significant first person, present indicative.

(Wittgenstein)

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