"Thanks James for sharing and thank you Friends for inspiring reflections (a shloka from the Bhagavad Gita on Quakerquaker! That must be a first time? Great :-) ).
I can relate to many of your thoughts. My own path has been very diverse, and enjoying…"
3/2011 Carnival: Rob Bell and the controversy surrounding his supposed turn toward Christian Universalism.If you write about the topic, bookmark it in Delicious as "quaker.robbell" or post to the comments below.See More
"That was a very interesting perspective you offered Rosemary. I have myself been quite engaged in Buddhism (most active with a local FWBO group in Belgium) a few years before I came in touch with the Quaker tradition.
Just a few observations though:…"
Again no reply button appeared (it seems we've been creating more than just content-based confusion on this forum ;-) ) so I trust his reply finds you well.
"to fundamentally misunderstand evolution" is a frequently…"
So you have Lubavitcher background! Thats exciting...Ive been running a project for the Antwerp city council a few years back, focusing on interfaith community building and religious diversity. My hometown Antwerp has a real shtetl with…"
Great question about Orthodox Judaism. I was mostly involved with the Chabad variety...which as you probably know holds tightly to the mystical/kabbalistic teachings of Judaism. For me, a non-mystical approach to Judaism (or…"
Sweden: nice to hear you also lived in Scandinavia. I dont' realy recognize our analysis at all points, but this might be due to the fact that my close surroundings are free churchers (or drop-outs), I took a course at a faculty of…"
I came in contact with Quakers in Belgium a few years ago after a long and winding road through different spiritual traditons. Growing up in a Catholic jesuit environment (with a vehemently anticlerical and agnostic dad keeping me sharp…"
Just wanted to say that I discovered your blog yesterday and really like your writings!
I couldn't help wondering how your background in orthodox judaism relates to your Quaker life?
I myself am a Belgiuan from Antwerp originally, and I…"
"sorry this ended up at the wrong place:
Reg. Sweden, and in all humility since I am actually a Belgian national living in Sweden for just a couple of years now: its social system is very strong (as is the Belgian one), for example…"
You touch upon a quite essential point here: the semantic nature of discussions such as these.
Take any sermon or devotional book and replace the word God by "power", "force", or "energy", or…"
"Thanks for the clarification Adrian. Even though I'm a bit in doubt about what kind of conclusions should be drawn from the mere fact that humanity has a history and has evolved in it (your "..the observation that the vast majority of the…"
Belgian national residing in Sweden with partner and two wonderful children.
Educational background in Asian Studies, Peace and Conflict Studies, and Management.
Work life: refugee assistant, tourguide, translator, community building, peacebuilding, humanitarian aid.
Professional interests: humanitarian and development aid, role of religion in peace and conflict, disaster risk reduction, climate change, corporate social responsiblity.
Filling up the gaps with: good music, Capoeira Angola, cooking.
Religion and spirituality: ah those labels...maybe something like a very liberal evangelical? I have a profound interest for the mystics of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Advaita Vedanta, and Buddhism.
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Great question about Orthodox Judaism. I was mostly involved with the Chabad variety...which as you probably know holds tightly to the mystical/kabbalistic teachings of Judaism. For me, a non-mystical approach to Judaism (or Christianity) doesn't make much sense. Remove the mysticism, and you end up with just a set of rules, or an intellectual exercise. I don't know if you read my blog post about leaving Evangelicalism, but I talk a bit about it there. Chassidic Judaism (which is more accurately what I was involved in) makes EVERY moment of life an opportunity for elevation, or transendence. I find that Quakerism (aside from Orthodox Christianity...ie the Russian or Greek variety) is the only form of Christianity that also holds to a mystical understanding of G-d, and remains open to mysticism in general. I couldn't stay in Chassidic Judaism, mainly because I believe the Messiah to be literally Yeshua (Jesus)...but I also hold to the mystical view that there is the "Christ", or the Spirit of Messiah, that "divine Spark" which resides in everyone. It's our journey here on earth to uncover those sparks in each other, and in the world around us. So...in keeping with true Kabbalistic thinking, my idea of G-d, and who He is has multiple layers of truth and expression. I find that in Quakerism, there is room for all of those layers to co-exist in unity, even in sometimes seeming contradiction. It is my biggest struggle in life to not be consistently rejecting one part of myself or another (ie Christianity, Judaism, Quakerism....even some Christian Science and Islam thrown in there!) so I can make myself somehow feel more "whole". G-d is One, He is Whole, and in Quakerism, as well as in a mystical understanding of Judaism, I can see my identity as Whole in the Heavenly Realms without having to make an intellectual decision about "truth", etc.... G-d will make all of that clear in the end. In the meanwhile, all I have to do is continuously turn back to H-m, finding my identity in H-m, however he chooses to express H-mself to me.
I don't know if that answers it....I could write paragraphs and paragraphs on this...it's one of my favourite topics!!!
I was in Brussels in March of 2006 and visited the Friends house there one Sunday for worship. I don't remember whether or not I gave ministry that Sunday, but perhaps you remember better than I. It is heartwarming to think that I may have been serviceable to Friends during that visit.
I'd love to know more about Friends where you are. Please feel free to write me at my email, micahbales [at] gmail [dot] com.
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