Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
"You don't do it through intellectual processes. What you do is you telepathically tap in to the one great world religion,
which is only one,
which has no name,
and all of the other religions are merely maps of that."
Our experience of the presence of God is our entire experience, including all internal and external senses and our awareness of experiencing.
We can't say that some subset of our experience is the presence of God.
Some aspect of our experience may come to symbolize or represent or indicate the presence of God to a person, but that's an agreed 'codeword' between God and that person: "When I feel ___ then I know You are here & open for business." God is always here and open…Continue
You don't do the Bible, or any human being greater honor, or understand them better, by taking them literally.
To take something "metaphorically" doesn't mean that we treat it as just a fluffy literary decoration.
In mathematics there's a term for what a metaphor does: it's called "a mapping." A useful metaphor says that one thing has a similar structure to another thing; they behave alike in analogous circumstances. One of them can be taken as a useful hint toward…Continue
The word 'spiritual' gives a lot of people problems, and I'm not going to define it. I'm not even going to claim I understand all that it entails.
But one description that works: "If you can't define something; if you can't reduce it to a combination of some other categories or interactions between them" -- words like say, Truth, Beauty, Love and the like come to mind --
then it very likely is spiritual.
Friends have a lot of trouble with the word 'Truth' anymore. It…Continue
If a Meeting takes a stand on any significant issue whatsoever it excludes (and temporarily alienates) people who see the matter otherwise.
If a Meeting can not take a stand on matters causing great suffering (and there is always disagreement about these, or someone would have simply corrected them) we seem to fall short of a basic Christian duty.
A possible resolution to this might look like what we did (as I heard it) with the Quaker House in Ulster. Of two warring groups,…Continue
[Thanks to C. Wess Daniels for the nudge!]
People have come to think of a concern for ideas as pathological.
When ideas come to matter more to us than our love for each other, it is pathological.
But people die when the ideas they love and the truths they live under fail to match; bad ideas can kill people as surely as intentional violence.
We have got to resolve our differences; we have truly got to resolve our differences — not smooth them over, not crush them…Continue