I admit I have snuck two links two videos from musicians from popular culture to emphasize my point on here now and again.

Scott Savage wrote about his walk away from popular culture and even from the music he once, well, let's admit it, perhaps adored to the point of worship. 

The cacophony of sound wherever I go, stores, wherever, constantly chanting about the artist's experience and inflicting us collectively, I thought, today, I will start to wear headphones with white noise to block it.  I don't care about the romantic delusions, sexual triumphs, socio-political wisdom, and general bragging and hubris of popular figures whining, shouting,  prancing about with microphones.  Not only do I not care anymore,  I am most troubled by the effectiveness that culture is shaped moment by moment by the onslaught of idolatrous culture makers.

I saw a couple of Mormons walking down the street the other day.  I thought about the time when being a Quaker entailed a separateness that indicated not only a recognizable collective identity,   not only a quietness in Meeting, but perhaps, deeper rooted quietness and   an immunity from, may I call it, Babylon's influence, contrary to that ever-so-charming artistic expression of Mr. Jagger, "Bridges to Babylon".  

Looking for the road away from Babylon. 

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Well put! What would be a Quaker distinctiveness? Is there something you've found helpful or would advise? Sometimes, as I look around, I can't really tell one faith from another. Yes, there are different doctrines, but all seem to revolve around the same basic lives with the same basic beliefs, despite the supposed differences in faith.

I suppose that's it. It's the difference in how life is lived at the deeper level you wrote about.

Thanks for your entry.

Be Well, Bill

Thanks William.  Well, I don't know what it would be.  I don't think it is wearing a bonnet, cuz wearing a bonnet don't make you a Quaker no more than whistling makes you a teapot, but I have even tried the bonnet.

We just aren't a distinctive culture anymore, mostly. 

Or Bill , rather,   thee prefers over William?   Well, kind of a hoot to think I'd have anything to advise!  Hardly!  Just observing.   I guess reading  Savage's Walking My Belief, would be one idea.  I was interested in residential or geographic proximity Intentional Quaker Community for a while, and I have posted several links to Quaker related Intentional Communities. 

Theeing and Thying is  a nice affectionate touch,  that once played a small role in keeping Babylon at bay.

I used to work for a social service agency that originated from a Christian (not-Quaker) sect of the sixties and seventies. As time went on, the agency got further and further from its Christian roots, more and more mainstream, becoming an effective and respectable non-profit.  Things got more mainstream and less energized and driven by a wonderful transcendence, that made working with them a veritable glowing experience.

Anyway, there was a time this sect dressed distinctively and a time when they did not.  What ever phase of outward observance they were in, one thing they were known by was their ministry.   They provided service to people in dire straits on the streets of a large city, and it was said that they often somehow just seemed to appear on a scene of difficulty, perhaps a fight on the street or some such crisis,  rather mysteriously and ready to minister.  Hmm.  They also took seriously that they might be entertaining an angel unawares, and one could see their eyes light up and their hearts leap when a person in need appeared.  What joy.

I guess another awakening path is New Monasticism.  Although I like  being in very rural isolated places, the path of settling in, what do they call it, "the abandoned corners of empire",  creating groups of households serving as Light, seems yet another possibility.  

So yea.  When I see two Mormon fellows, in black pants, white shirts, ties, carrying certain texts and either walking or on a bicycle, I have a cultural impression of what is going on. 

There was a time when Quakers were visible in such a way, and although I once entertained the idea that becoming visible by outward appearance would be helpful (and I am not throwing that idea entirely out the window either) I would tend to want to be visible by being part of a community, that is discernible because , one, they are physically present in noticeable numbers, and two, their energized ministry, Light, Gifts, and rootedness in Transcendent Power is unmistakable.

"The Road away from Babylon"  Here's my version of Rock 'n Roll!  An Amish wedding song.


Hi  William F Rushby,

Thanks for the link to the Amish Wedding song.  I will listen to it when I am done shutting music out!  I will say, even if it is a spiritual song, since it is about a wedding,  it still reflects romance, and finding fulfillment in marriage and love, a theme that I do not personally embrace, although I know it is permissible! It is acceptable to become involved in human love, it is better not to, if one can help it and take another path. 


Maybe you would prefer the 2nd song that comes up at William's link, which can also be accessed directly here:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_yDfCy1RLY&index=3&list=RD...

"The Amish Hymn of Praise". :-)

...when you're ready.

Hmm.  My love of good rock n roll was initially offended a little at your topic... but then my second thought was that this is a Petra song and they are the ones who also made warfare in God's name seem so good! 

Music is a great gift to the hard places in our lives, or can be.  But there's no doubt that attentive, releasing inner silence moves mountains...

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