Yes, it is a blessing to testify to the witness that there is a different way than the way of gaining meaning and purpose through identification with outward political and religious ideologies and agendas and those teachers and ministers who profess and promote them. We share this different way with our millions of sisters who are concerned over current outward political circumstance of a Trump Presidency and those millions of sisters who are supportive of President Trump.

Sharing this different way of experience through the inshining appearance of the Light itself in itself that discovers to us a conscious anchored in and a conscience informed by the inshining Light itself in itself without regard for outward political and religious constructs and institutions offers the way of coming out of the process of being that is anchored to and informed by outward teachers who render for religious doctrine and political ideology the traditions and prescriptions of Men and Women who would rule over the conscience of others.

Views: 265

Comment by James C Schultz on 1st mo. 30, 2017 at 3:46pm

I think I agree but I'm never quite sure what you said. :)

Comment by Forrest Curo on 1st mo. 31, 2017 at 12:00pm

We needs must take our politics from God, rather than try to impose our politics on God.

However, I'm far from the first to notice: People who consider themselves politically neutral or nonpolitical too often promote a politics of tacit support for the Powers that be.

We don't need to adopt the ancient worldview, their inability to imagine a distinction between religion and politics. But politics, as the way people seek to embody the values that religions promote, and to carry out God's will for embodied human beings -- can't be separated from our religion,

while even the religious practice of continually following God's ongoing guidance must have implications as to how we are to treat each other.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 1st mo. 31, 2017 at 12:29pm
I testify to the witness that by the inshining Light upon my conscious and conscience I am come out of the way you profess. The inshining Light is discovered to me a different way. It is mine to recommend it.
Comment by James C Schultz on 2nd mo. 1, 2017 at 11:22am

I guess it depends on how one defines "politics".  My experience is that it involves "half-truths" and denigrating those on the "other" side.  Keith's position is the safest for one's spiritual journey but might not be necessary in all political systems.  I think it would be absolutely necessary in North Korea.   It's an individual choice we have to make, after taking into account our own individual vulnerabilities and spiritual maturity, as to how deeply we can step into the miry clay of a system that honors Power over Truth.  Remember it is written:  "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his eternal soul?".

Comment by Forrest Curo on 2nd mo. 1, 2017 at 5:03pm

The way people carry out their politics often gets ugly.

That doesn't mean we don't need to decide how best to organize things that affect people in the outer world. That's politics. When people pretend they aren't practicing it -- they simply make themselves unaware of the effects of what they do or don't do.

Politics is, as Keith repeatedly says, wholly dysfunctional as a source of personal identity or meaning. So far as people practice politics in that spirit, we get clumsy, tyrannical forms of organization and corrupted people.

If we were entirely organizing our mutual interactions from the spiritual condition he talks about (as Quaker business meetings are intended to work), that would be a different kind of politics altogether.

Comment by Howard Brod on 2nd mo. 1, 2017 at 11:35pm

Sentiments and actions derived from the ego characterize political action, whereas sentiments and actions derived from divine love characterize spiritual action.  I believe as Quakers we are called to the latter and not the former. Our well-known testimonies do not call us to political action; they call us to spiritual action.

The ego will always want us to devolve into a campaign of smearing individuals, re-acting out of fear, losing all sense of respect as anger descends upon us and impatience begins to control us.  The ego blinds us to think our ‘cause’ or political view is right and another’s ‘cause’ or view is wrong, because the ego does not want to join with those egos in opposition;  it would rather have these ‘others’  feel as though they have “lost” as we “win”. 

God as explained by Jesus and other enlightened spiritual leaders does not see people as ‘losers’ or ‘winners’.  Divine love recognizes that together we are all just people who are trying to chart our way.  This divine love is what ‘seeing that of God in others’ is all about. 

 I don't participate in political action anymore because I have come to the place where I am uncomfortable with such loud calls for my ego to become in control of me.  As James Schultz reminded us, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and yet lose his eternal soul?".

Divine love will always ask us to see divine love in others as we seek the way forward together.  It asks us to listen to opposing voices so that we may hear their concerns, their fears, their hardships, their hopes – so we may become humbled as even Jesus was when on Earth, all the while holding fast to our place of Love, Light, and Truth.  Divine love asks us to be patient as God is patient with each of us – even if Truth does not emerge within or without in our earthly lifetime.

The above description of Divine love may not be dramatic as the ego would prefer our ‘action’ to be.  But it fulfills the spiritual truth to “love thy enemy” by our actions whenever we engage them by our spiritual entreaty to their heart rather than their ego.

Comment by Forrest Curo on 2nd mo. 2, 2017 at 10:28am

What turned out to be 'a political action' was setting up and continuing to serve a food line for homeless people in Balboa Park nearby, where many homeless people still live and hide. What made that 'political' was the widespread hatred and fear of homeless people among those people who promote and profit by the gentrification that makes so many people homeless. (Individual people may well be homeless due to personal failings -- just as the last person trying to reach a seat in a game of musical chairs would likely be the slowest. But the shortage of housing, and the oversupply of housing for the relatively wealthy, results from a combination of public policy and greed among people who seldom find themselves wondering where they'll lay their heads at night.)

How to deal with such conditions without falling into hostile political action is indeed challenging. But political changes are needed before significant improvement in many dishoused people's lives is possible -- or even permitted. (I seldom feel led anymore to take action towards making those political changes, because the political forces opposing such changes are overwhelming; and because I feel what's needed before changes become possible is a deep and widespread spiritual awakening. That's not in my hands, but I think I do what I can.)

Comment by James C Schultz on 2nd mo. 2, 2017 at 6:25pm

Feeding the poor, the widows and orphans isn't political action.  it's pure religion  (Jas_1:27  Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.)  At least in my eyes.

Comment by William F Rushby on 2nd mo. 3, 2017 at 4:04pm

Romans 13:1 says that "...the powers that be are ordained of God."   So, Forrest, I would say there is some support for the powers that be in an apolitical stance, but not unequivocal support.

The discussion here is a good one, very thoughtful and polite.  But, at 75, I have other things on my mind than politics!

As concerns President Trump, I seriously doubt that his presidency spells the end of the world!  Perhaps, it will be more like a mid-term correction!


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