For me all the reasons I am a Quaker are more superficial and it is not about the qualities that define my Quakerism, but my relationship to God/Spirit.

As I have learned to see 'that which is of God' in every one, I have learned to give up judgment and love each person for who they are, regardless of their beliefs and practices. I fully understand that some people need different practices in their religious services than the un-programed worship service that I usually enjoy.

I do what ever I can to help each individual grow in their relationship to Spirit and why that sets them free. I generally work with any given individual in the language and customs that they are used to.

I find so much that people talk about qualities of the relationship rather than the relationship its self. Qualities such as integrity, simplicity, honesty... Ultimately I think that if a person has a real relationship with Spirit/God, then they will acquire these qualities, because these are the qualities of God/Spirit. I have been so many things in this journey through this world, having many, many problems, questions and turmoil. Yet my relationship with Spirit is always there. And at times I am surprised at how much the Spirit does not object to some things. Like when I used to run around drinking and chasing woman. The one thing Spirit wanted was for me to be completely honest with people, and not present myself as some one I am not. Other than that, Spirit completely understood my running around. I even saw the 'Innocence of mankind' as a spiritual vision in an incredibly drunken time of my life.

Now I do not say others should or shouldn't drink. What I am saying is that I had an extensive, deep and true relationship with Spirit even though I was drinking fool.

A person can not be judged, they can only be understood.

Scott

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