"Let us labor for an inward stillness--
An inward stillness and an inward healing.
That perfect silence where the lips and heart
Are still, and we no longer entertain
Our own imperfect thoughts and vain opinions,
But God alone speaks to us and we wait
In singleness of heart that we may know
His will, and in the silence of our spirits,
That we may do His will and do that only”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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Jim - Thanks for responding to the idea that the biblical sources are less than reliable. It is a common misconception and I never have the details in my head to refute that idea. But when I finally had the interest and the courage to read about what documentation they actually do have on these texts I had to admit - against my will at the time - that what I was reading really had to be basically saying what it meant to say. AND, when i realized that some of these folks were eyewitnesses it blew me away! For me the one that really did this was Paul. Of course he had that experience of being struck blind! And of course he personally knew Jesus' apostles. And he was a transformed person who devoted the rest of his life to the spreading of the news of Christ among us. There can be no explaining Paul away and saying the texts must have made a mistake etc.

So much for my comfortable theories and worldviews! If you start with the idea that the text you are reading is a real account of what happened it changes your life.

thanks for your comments,

Barb

Thank thee, Barbara; your words are well seasoned!

 

I have also found this medium to be too easy to misuse with reactive comments - which is a little ironic given that it would be so easy to pause before typing - but alas, I have fallen under this temptation.  For this reason I have sometimes taken "sabbaticals" from blogs, hoping that through prayerful reflection I might stay closer to the Light...but it hasn't always been the case.

 

I believe your point is an important one and one we should all take counsel with.  One needs only look at the bulk of blogging comments to see where this might lead if we do not tread carefully and deliberately.

 

Peace and Hope.

Barbara Smith said:

Patrice - It surprised and frankly disturbed me a few years ago when I discovered QQ that in posting replies Friends do not use the same quiet pausing before speaking that we are encouraged (or trained) to do in a meeting, or a business meeting. This thoughtfulness before speaking is actually what drew me to Friends in the first place and impressed me with the Truth of their way. But this is often missing here. Maybe it is the nature of the electronic media, especially of discussion boards which can be confusing with multiple "conversations" going on within a thread, but it is too easy to think of a snap reply and post it with the click of the mouse without allowing time for the best response to arise. I hope we can all take care of our words and try to listen to the Inner Guide before posting replies. Especially knowing how public Internet is! It is not like having a personal discussion over the back fence!

In Love to all,

Barb

Patrice Wassmann said:

Oh Barb, how I agree with you on the tone of this thread. As someone exploring "Quakerism" it has been quite distressing to me.

I'm not a universalist, Jim.  If you want to put me in a box, then "Buddhist Quaker" would be more accurate.

The point I was making is that spiritual experience can be labelled and thought about in different ways. Different people will have different assumptions.  Some degree of labelling is inevitable, but in my view it is best kept to a minimum so that we approach our experience in a direct and open-minded way.

Jim Wilson said:

Spiny:  And I have often found that discrepancy among universalists; their claim is that they are above doctrine and that everyone else is narrowminded.  I see it differently: that universalists have created their own religion with its own views, its own doctrines, and its own version of what is acceptable.

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