Recently, A.J. Mendoza (At Queer Quaker) and I had a challenging and enlightening discussion on his blog and and here at QuakerQuaker

The shining aspect, for me, of the discussion is the experience of Presence amidst discord. It is clear that AJ and I share little commonality ideologically, politically, sociologically, theologically, etc. While in discord with him, I experienced both the of the self anchored in the reflected consciousness and the self anchored in Presence itself. 

There is a world of ideas, feelings, desires, and sense perceptions that make up the self. This self sees or re-cognizes through the these ideological, emotive, will, and sensual, mirrors. The self anchored in these cannot sustain consciousness it these mirrors are taken away. Take a moment to imagine yourself without any thought, feeling, desires, and sensual content through the the bodies' five senses. Imagine being without taste, touch, sight, hearing, smell, ideas, feelings, or desires. The self anchored in these cannot be without them. If they are taken away, death of the body, consciousness fades. 

There is also a self anchored in Presence itself, without reference to or dependency upon the mirrored consciousness described above. This conscious lives and moves and knows identity within the shining of Christ's presence. Identity is not anchored in the world of ideas or and sensual perceptions of the body. Identity is in Presence itself. Take away the mirrors of the former self and consciousness sustains in the life of Presence ... eternal life. 

In my discussion with AJ, I experienced the pull of mirrored consciousness in my wish to assert the reflected consciousness (the former conscious) I identify with, over against his. However, Presence cut through and I embraced a conscious (the latter) that opened space to live in the discord without the need for imposition. For in Presence, for in our mutual present discord I experienced our mutual Presence. That which we share. This is a practical result of Presence in daily live as the old mirrored self is enlightened by Presence and is transformed and renewed into a different self free from the bondage to outward ideas, feelings, desires, and sense perceptions ... to BE. This self-conscious lives in a space and a place free from outward forms, unbound, and can love even those he or she fundamentally disagrees with in the power of Presence itself. 

This is the practice of peace ... to live in the Life ... while in disagreement or even in complete agreement. 

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Comment by Robben Wainer on 11th mo. 10, 2014 at 9:00pm

Self conscious, and in my own feeling a world free of competition, amongst men and women who do not necessarily agree on their values, but to live in the world, not as a savior but as a messenger. One who brings to the surface the issues that are at hand, and one who will not turn away from discord, but present it in a way of awareness that our psychological and physical states are forever changing. So that whereas we do not need the approval of others it is the affirmation that God works through people that helps us carry the torch over troubled waters, to cross the bridge of denial, and get safely to the other side, or simply to return home, or to find home with the peace and serenity that we are all loved as God's children.

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