Without regard to outward Persons, Communities, etc., there is Heaven.

Where there is no outward tradition, Where there is no outward Family, Where is no outward creed or doctrine, Where there is no outward institution, Where there is no outward community, Where there is no outward nation, Where this is no outward government, Where there is no outward practice, Where there is no outward religion; enter that empty space and patiently wait for the re-cognition of eternal human being independent of outward forms and professors of form. In patient waiting, without regard to any person, institution, or community, or practice, you will experience an increased measure of that eternal Presence within you and it will anchor your conscious and guide your conscience in all things so that your self-conscious and identity will intertwine and so embrace direct and unmediated Presence your self-hood will be remade in the image of Divine Presence itself which is then your inward Tradition, Family, Creed, Doctrine, Institution, Community, Nation, Government, Practice, Politic, and Religion. This is Heaven of Earth. This is the Second Coming. Both Heaven and the Second Coming is right now in unmediated inward Presence. This is the testimony (direct experienced inward Presence as Rule and Guide, without regard to persons and institutions) that confounds the mirrored or reflected intellectual, religious, secular, and political world. 

Views: 305

Comment by Keith Saylor on 7th mo. 7, 2015 at 12:41am

Hi James,

I wish it were not so that you experience the message of a conscious anchored in and a conscience informed by Presence itself as equivalent to eating an elephant. However, I am sympathetic because it once was a very heavy burden that I consciously turned my back on. Now it is as refreshing and light as the sugar peas I pick from my from my garden every morning. None of this is to deny or reject how it hits your mind. I have faith that if it is as an elephant to you, then that is how it should be for you and the small bites you take, if at all, are offered freely and with warm gratitude.

Comment by James C Schultz on 7th mo. 7, 2015 at 8:54am

One of the problems in reading your article is probably differing definitions we have for conscious and conscience.  I consider conscious to be evidenced by awareness while conscience I understand to be the soul's mind's accepted value standard (which is based on cultural standards, experience, etc. as purified throughout our spiritual journey).  The way you use them gives me the impression you might be considering them as being the same.  With this in mind a question I pose is do you have to be aware of the Presence to be in the Presence and if so are there different levels of such awareness?

Comment by Keith Saylor on 7th mo. 7, 2015 at 10:13am

There is much I wish to write in response to your definition of conscious and conscience. However, I will first answer your questions directly. In answer to your first question ... No. And even though you condition your second question on an affirmative answer to the first, my answer to the second question is yes.

Comment by Forrest Curo on 7th mo. 7, 2015 at 10:43am

Since everyone and everything is 'in' the Presence, what people have to mean by words like "May God be here with us today" would be for us to be aware of that presence; and for God to act freely in and around us rather than staying as 'silent' and 'absent' as people have imagined. (With anything less than complete trust, the thought of God freely intervening is bound to be scary!)

One of many good things Jacques Ellul had to say, ~If God has been silent in recent times, isn't that a sign that people haven't been listening?

Comment by Keith Saylor on 7th mo. 8, 2015 at 12:18pm

Dear James,

It was exciting, even trippy, to read your criticism of my use of conscious and conscience. For, while I am in general accord with your distinction between them in the abstract, experientially there is mutual weaving and interpenetration. Take a trip with me.

For years I was fascinated by the early Friends use of "conscience." I was unsettled because there had to be more to their experience than a mere value or moral component that "conscience" suggests to us today. I then researched the history of the usage of "conscience" and learned that in the 17th and before the term "conscience" was much more nuanced. I wrote here on quakerquaker in 1st month 2014:

"There was a time when the word “conscience” also expressed conscious, self-conscious, consciousness, and conscience. In the 17th century the two meanings began to split until conscious and conscience took on distinct meanings. An understanding of this nuance is significant to gleaning the depth of the early Quaker experience and those who share that experience today. The very anchor of consciousness, self-conscious, and conscience is changed. Not merely a moral component, but the very foundation of individual self-conscience is changed by being anchored in Presence itself. "

Source: http://www.quakerquaker.org/profiles/blogs/conscience-conscious-con...

I published supporting material here:


I also gathered together examples of Fox's and Penington's use of Conscience. They can be perused here:


James, the very reason my witness is written as a "conscious anchored in and a conscience informed by direct and unmediated Presence is to point to the nuanced nature of the early Friends use of "Conscience." It is truly trippy to experience their writings generally and their use of conscience specifically when you know they were not merely speaking to a moral component of being guided by Presence itself, no sir, they were speaking to the grace of Presence within as the transformation of the very nature of consciousness (the self-conscious ego) no longer anchored by and to outward forms to be aware! What a powerful testimony. We know eternal life because, in the power and light of Christ's Presence within, we no longer stand on the perceptions, thoughts, feelings, desires, smells, tastes, touches, sounds, and sights of the bodily nature that will pass away. In Presence itself, we know awareness or consciousness (conscious) independent of the things of the body and we are guided (conscience) not by and through the reflected forms of the body that we read through the written word and hear through professors. Conscious (awareness) and Conscience (righteousness) live in Presence itself and we are taught and directed (conscience) directly from Christ's Light within. Wow, now that is wonderfully trippy!!!

So ... James ... when Rogers write back in 1680:

"'Tis well known, that it pleased the Lord, to reach unto many of our Consciences at the beginning of this latter Day, that hath dawned amongst us; whereby we came to Believe in the Everlasting Light of the Lord; and as others held forth the Visible Orders, and Written Faiths of a Visible Church to be as a lantern to their Paths, and as a Ground of their Faith, so this Light of Christ was preached up as Lantern to our Paths, and as the Ground of our Faith, ..."

To read these words in the nuance of weaving of conscious and conscience in the tapestry of Christ's Presence is taking a trip to eternity. 

When I read your criticism yesterday, I don't know why, "On the road to find out" by Cat Stevens ( Yusuf Islam) came to me and played in my dreams all night long. I assume you know this song well. But for those who do not, I leave you with the lyrics. Hopefully, you will listen to Cat  himself ...

On the road to find out

Well I left my happy home to see what I could find out
I left my folk and friends with the aim to clear my mind out
Well I hit the rowdy road and many kinds I met there
Many stories told me of the way to get there

So on and on I go, the seconds tick the time out
There's so much left to know, and I'm on the road to findout

Well in the end I'll know, but on the way I wonder
Through descending snow, and through the frost and thunder

I listen to the wind come howl, telling me I have to hurry
I listen to the robin's song saying not to worry

So on and on I go, the seconds tick the time out
There's so much left to know, and I'm on the road to findout

Then I found myself alone, hopin' someone would miss me
Thinking about my home, and the last woman to kiss me, kiss me

But sometimes you have to moan when nothing seems to suit ya
But nevertheless you know you're locked towards the future

So on and on you go, the seconds tick the time out
There's so much left to know, and I'm on the road to findout

Then I found my head one day when I wasn't even trying
And here I have to say, 'cause there is no use in lying, lying

Yes the answer lies within, so why not take a look now?
Kick out the devil's sin, pick up, pick up a good book now

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 7th mo. 8, 2015 at 12:55pm

Keith, thank you for your research and courage.

Comment by Laura Scattergood on 7th mo. 8, 2015 at 12:57pm

And the Cat Stevens song!

Comment by Diane Benton on 7th mo. 8, 2015 at 5:45pm

"Conscious (awareness) and Conscience (righteousness) live in Presence itself and we are taught and directed (conscience) directly from Christ's Light within. Wow, now that is wonderfully trippy!!!"

I agree.  Thanks for the exposition.


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