I attended a large Meeting today, surrounded by good people talking a lot about "Love" but saying nothing about "God."
And later a committee meeting, in which people talked about "being effective" but again couldn't bring the "G word" to their lips-- and when I brought that up, several people there there were eager to shut me up and render me more 'peaceful'-- but some responses got me wondering...
Later, at home reading a Ram Dass book, a couple of things struck me. One was a story about a time when he'd been really disturbed about people not meeting his expectations-- which he was also having trouble meeting.
And then there was this, apropos my own spiritual life lately...
in fact, is the point of any of these practices, if we already are [Brahma]? They're to get rid of whatever in us prevents us from knowing who we are at this moment. See, from a practical point of view, we're faced with an interesting paradox. At one level of our intellectual understanding, we know that we already have all the riches-- we know that we are the atman, that we are the Buddha, that we are free. We know all that. But if we look inside, we'll notice that although we know it, we somehow don't believe it. ... All of [these practices], by one route or another, are designed to get around that roadblock between our knowing and our believing."
At least this points up, for me, much of the difficulty of talking about God.
used to think that "knowing" God was obviously better than "believing in" God, because it does mean direct experience rather than "pretending to believe something you really don't."
But confronted with people who have been socially conditioned to
avoid God-talk, knowing they're violating the accepted consensus view of Rationality&Reasonableness if they allow it any credence, it sometimes feels a lot safer not to risk "offering pearls to the poor hungry swine." Even for me.
It may be that I'm just a bit more "out" about "Theism-- the love that dares not speak its name" [these days] than some people...
all have to struggle between our initial "common sense" and recognition of God at work in, around, & through us... and while Friends are supposed to embody a certain consistency, some of the more fruitful influences may just need to work covertly within our inconsistencies, for now...