Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Human being has a special gift. The gift is the knowledge, through personal experience, of personal identity through direct and unmediated intuition of self-consciousness sustained in itself. This intuited self-conscious or awareness is being or Being turned inwardly.
Normally, human beings are aware of themselves in relationship to outward forms, mirrors, or layers through which they “see” themselves. These outward mirrors are, for examples, their occupations, religious affiliation, nationality, theology, doctrine, ideology, communities, family, political affiliation, perceptions, sensations, emotions, etc. All these combine to form personal identity. They are the mirrors through which we see ourselves and others.
The importance of the outward mirrors as anchors for awareness and personal identity, for normal consciousness, is easily understood by imagining your-self without eyes to perceive, ears to hear things, the sense of touch, taste, and smell. Now imagine your-self without a brain to mirror thoughts and feelings. Then imagine your-self without outward religious, civil, educational, and political, institutions. What would there be. In essence, I have asked to imagine “being” without the body. I have asked to imagine the death of the body. In our current normal condition, self-conscious is anchored in the body and the bodily mirrors through which we “see” ourselves. Take away the body and the mirrors fall away and along with it consciousness. The fear of death is the fear of loss of consciousness. Our normal being, consciousness, or awareness is bound to the body. This is the bodily nature we read about in the bible, for example, Romans 8:13.
Human being has another nature, an intuitive nature that knows and experiences self-consciousness in itself. This consciousness lives independently of the mirrors and layers the body reflects and overlays upon human being. When human being comes to know this intuitive nature (in other words, when the Light of Presence itself fills human consciousness) it knows that which lives and sustains even upon the death of the body. As this intuitive nature gains strength within human being it also becomes the seat of conscience; guiding human being through the inward self-conscious rather than through outward forms, practices, institutions, civil, political, and religious leaders, ideologies, theologies, perceptions, sensations, etc.
To know this heritage of a consciousness anchored in and a conscience informed by the intuited self-conscious itself, all anyone need do is quiet the outward impressions pressed upon and overlaying human being. Just clear human being in silence and wait upon the revealing of personal identity and awareness in the intuited self-conscious itself. The promise has always been there … if you call upon it and wait in patient silence … it will be revealed and you will know true selfhood.
This is the witness, in other words, of those who gathered together in the first 30 years of the Quaker founding. This is a witness to the eternal nature of human being. This is a witness to that Presence that each of us has a measure of and that we carry with us every day and in all things. This is our Heritage of God.
If you would know this intuitive nature ... wait ... and watch.