What is the purpose of a Quaker Hermit? 

With a strong background in psychology and a firm commitment to the Quaker Testimonies, I tend to think in terms of the unobserved reasons for observed behaviors.  Why has a person (or even an animal) taken a particular course of action?   I believe that as Quakers, we attempt to live purposeful lives.  Hence, what purposes could there be in solitude, in seeking a more solitary life? 

As one responder to my last post so perfectly pointed out, when we seek solitude, there is an emptying, and in Quaker-ese we might even use our term, an opening!   And since nature abhors a vacuum, something must fill that newly made space.  To pursue filling the newly made space with the Light would, to my mind, constitute a worthy purpose for a Quaker Hermit. 

Yet, it would be incredibly selfish to invite the Light and then only hold it for oneself.  What does one DO with the Light that fills us, whether this occurs in community of a Meeting or a Mass or other communal religious observance or if this is within the life of a Hermit?  

I received such splendid feedback to my first Hermit posting, I'd like to hear what some of you think about what other purposes could be fulfilled through solitude, and I'd like to hear some suggestions of what one does with the Light that fills us once we have executed the difficult task of "emptying" to create that opening for the Light.  

 The Light is to be shared, I am sure.  It is not to be "hidden under a bushel basket."  While it dwells in all of creation, how do we share it when we realize it in abundance within ourselves?  

peace & blessings,



Betsy Packard

Lexington, KY

Views: 173


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