Ever wonder why the communes of the 1660's and 1960's, with the co-op movement ever since, offered a better experience of community than most of our churches these days? Or why more and more little leagues are playing "winless" games? Could it be that the 'reality of the market', with its private possessing and incessant competition, does not fit the 'need of the human being' for sharing and caring?

Gerrard Winstanley vied for the hearts and minds of the same seekers who ultimately embraced the Society of Friends. Rather than following in the ways of the itinerant preacher of the Kingdom of God, as George Fox did, Winstanley chose to dig in his heels.

The only problem was that the digging was on property that, despite being "The Commons", was coveted and competed for by landlords. The war of words soon turned into ditch digging and setting up camp by the share-and-care force derisively called "Diggers".

Would the dominance of capitalism today have been held in check, or at least offered a viable alternative, if instead of Swarthmoor Hall there were 'Fox Holes' in the battle for a true, even religious, Commonweal? Would the so-called "communism of primitive Christianity"(in second and fourth chapters of Acts of Apostles) have been revived?

I know it's foolish to speculate at this late date, but so many of us are ready to make more of a commitment to our co-workers than to our neighbors and neighborhood circumstances. And, there seems to be plenty of "tolerant Quakers" who are ready to endure another Meeting with vocal ministry, that needs to challenge us instead.

 Some of us can't easily settle back into the comfort and complacency of the 'reality of the market' after a too-brief period of sharing and caring in worship. Am I digging in the wrong backyard or can you dig it, Friends?


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Comment by Howard Brod on 7th mo. 20, 2013 at 7:34am
Thanks Clem.

I often leave meeting for worship and the hospitality time after worship feeling like I'm in heaven; so fully surrounded by the Light. My negative human tendencies are all but gone, and that of God within has taken over - temporarily.

Then life on planet Earth invades me again by that evening.

I have long been drawn to a monastic life since my youth. Quakerism has allowed me to taste that life, even if for just brief periods. God, however, has had other work needed to be done on myself that could only happen through the interactions of daily life.

The combination of these two realities has likely been the right path for my soul at this point in eternity.
Comment by Clem Gerdelmann on 7th mo. 21, 2013 at 6:03am

Having read and appreciated your blogs and comments, Howard, I'm glad that Friends have your bread("Brod"), the scriptural "staff of life" for our support on the Way; and encourage you to continue to throw thy bread upon the waters of this world's troubles. Peace, brother!


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