Jim Wilson's Blog (38)

An Open Response to an Open Letter from a Quaker-Pagan

An Open Response to an Open Letter from a Quaker-Pagan

 

Dear Friend Cat:

 

I feel moved to respond to the first part of your open letter to ‘My Christian Quaker Friends’.  I thought of waiting for Part 2 to be posted; and perhaps that would be the wiser course.  Perhaps some of my concerns will be addressed therein.  Having said that, I still feel called to make a few observations.

 

First, I want to share my background so there is an understanding…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 7th mo. 19, 2013 at 10:36am — 13 Comments

Finding One's Way in Silence

I was reading the other day the book 'Keeping Silence' by C. W. McPherson who is an Episcopal priest and spiritual director.  McPherson found himself guiding people in their spiritual practice.  One of the most difficult practices, he found, was for people to be silent:

 

"If I ever thought that keeping silence was easy, my congregation taught me otherwise.  From time to time as a parish priest, I recommended they try spiritual pracices, such as memorizing a psalm or reading…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 4th mo. 18, 2013 at 12:22pm — 3 Comments

The Method of the Prayer of Inward Silence According to the 'Guide to True Peace'

The Method of the Guide

 

The ‘Guide to True Peace’ offers a simple method of prayer, referred to as the prayer of inward silence.  The method is stated in Chapter 1:

 

“We must retire from all outward objects, and silence all the desires and wandering imaginations of the mind; that in this profound silence of the whole soul, we may hearken to the ineffable voice of the Divine Teacher.  We must listen with an attentive ear; for it is a still, small voice.  It is…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 3rd mo. 6, 2013 at 11:04am — No Comments

A Brief History of 'A Guide to True Peace'

A Brief History of ‘A Guide to True Peace’

 

Dear Friends:

 

What follows is a brief textual history of the Quaker contemplative work, “A Guide to True Peace”.

 

The work is based on the works of three continental Quietists; Madam Guyon, Archbishop Fenelon, Miguel Molinos.  The ‘Guide’ weaves together passages from these authors’ works.  Primary sources include “A Short Method of Prayer” by Guyon, “The Spiritual Guide” by Molinos, and “Maxims of the…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 3rd mo. 4, 2013 at 1:22pm — No Comments

The Bible in the 'Guide to True Peace'

The Bible in the ‘Guide’

 

The presence of the Bible in the Quaker work ‘A Guide to True Peace’ is pervasive.  This is in keeping with traditional Quaker writings.  The Bible is used in the ‘Guide’ as a proof text, meaning that the point of view that the ‘Guide’ presents is placed in a biblical context and supported by numerous biblical quotations.

 

There are 102 quotes from the Bible in a work that is roughly 80 pages (the number of pages varies somewhat…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 2nd mo. 1, 2013 at 12:04pm — 5 Comments

Current Editions of the "Guide to True Peace"

Dear Friends:

"A Guide to True Peace" has been in continuous publication since it was first published in England in 1813.  There have been many editions.  Each edition makes editorial changes; almost all of these are very minor.  I thought I would take a moment to cover the currently available editions of the "Guide" and discuss their commonalities and differences.  Currently I am aware of five versions of the Guide that are easily available.

Reprints:

A…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 1st mo. 18, 2013 at 1:12pm — No Comments

200 Years of True Peace

200 Years of True Peace

 

Dear Friends:

 

This year, 2013, is the 200th anniversary of the publication of the Quaker work “A Guide to True Peace”.  It was originally published in England in 1813.  The first American Edition is dated 1816; so it found a place among American Quakers very quickly.

 

It has been in continuous publication ever since its initial offering.  There are numerous editions published in the 19th century.  I…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 1st mo. 8, 2013 at 1:59pm — 5 Comments

Chasm

The Chasm between the Activist and the Contemplative

 

I can’t remember the name of the blog, but last year I read about a Meeting that decided to have a structured sharing between those who spoke often at Meeting for Worship and those who remained silent.  As I recall the two groups were paired and given time to express their views of Meeting for Worship.  As one might expect, those inclined to be speakers at Meeting for Worship had a lot to say, while those who inclined to…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 10th mo. 14, 2012 at 7:29pm — 2 Comments

Extinguishing the Flames

Extinguishing the Flames

 

Dear Friends:

 

There is a famous sermon of the Buddha called ‘The Fire Sermon’:

‘Thus I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Gaya, at Gayasisa, together with a thousand bhikkhus [monastics]. There he addressed the bhikkhus.

"Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?

"The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 9th mo. 27, 2012 at 10:58am — 10 Comments

Mis-Guided

Dear Friends:

 

My favorite Quaker work is “A Guide to True Peace”.  Since discovering it I have dwelled on it and used it as a personal Guide to the prayer of inward silence.  Originally published in 1813 it has gone through numerous editions including ones published as recently as this year.  It has had a big impact on the Quaker Community from which it originated.  

 

I have been working on a textual history of the “Guide”; comparing each published edition that…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 9th mo. 19, 2012 at 2:31pm — 5 Comments

Robert Barclay and Quaker Quietism

In the ‘Introduction’ to ‘The Second Period of Quakerism’ by William Braithwaite, Rufus Jones posits that the origins of Quaker Quietism are to be found in the writings of Robert Barclay.  The view of Jones is that Quakers were receptive to the teachings of Guyon and other continental Quietists because the basic teachings of Quietism are to be found in early Quaker works, particularly Barclay, prior to the Quaker community encountering continental Quietism.  Jones writes, “[I]t is a plain…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 6th mo. 1, 2012 at 2:58pm — 7 Comments

Quaker Communion

Dear Friends:

 

In the latest issue of Friends' Journal there is an article, featured on the cover, called 'Quaker Communion' by Bruce Neumann.  The author writes, 'for many years, I harbored a rather untypical Quaker longing.  Occasional oblique comments to other Friends didn't seem to engender interest, so I held the longing to myself . . . the longing was to share communion with a small group of other Quakers, after the fashion of Friends.'

 

Eventually the…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 2nd mo. 17, 2012 at 2:16pm — 23 Comments

Dionysius on the Inner Light

Dear Friends:

 

My favorite early Christian writer is Dionysius the Areopagite.  Traditionally this Dionysius was understood to be the one converted by Paul in the Book of Acts in Athens.  Dionysius' works are the source texts for Christian Mysticism, including the mysticism of the Quietist tradition.  For example, Molinos references Dionysius in his manual of contemplation.  The 'Mystical Theology' of Dionysius is one of the most beautiful and succinct (about five pages) and…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 11th mo. 30, 2011 at 1:36pm — 1 Comment

Silence is My Leading

Silence is My Leading

 

Since I became acquainted with the Quietist period of Quaker history I’ve been attracted to it.  This period, which some Quaker historians refer to as ‘The Second Period of Quaker History’, is the one where I find the most nourishment.  It is the period which produced ‘A Guide to True Peace’ which has been of such help in my own inward journey.

 

Along with this attraction has been a searching out of what constitutes the difference between…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 10th mo. 28, 2011 at 5:54pm — 2 Comments

A Reprint of "A Guide To True Peace" Now Available

A New Reprint of “A Guide To True Peace”

 

There are several publishing ventures which have taken advantage of new technology and publish reprints of older books and make them available again to a new generation.  These older books are now in the public domain and thus can be copied freely.  The new technologies consist of computer scanning techniques and print-on-demand computer storage.  This means that the reprint houses do not have to incur the costs of a large inventory;…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 10th mo. 7, 2011 at 3:39pm — 3 Comments

The Heresy Of Silence

The Heresy of Silence

 

Recently I was looking at a Protestant website because it had some articles on the Bible Version Issue that I am interested in.  I noticed that the site also has articles on other topics.  One of the articles was about the heresy of silent prayer.  The site referred to silent prayer as a ‘Roman Catholic’ practice that good Protestants should not indulge in.

 

I found this interesting because silent prayer, or more accurately the prayer of…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 9th mo. 23, 2011 at 2:31pm — 53 Comments

Experimental Theology in America: A Review

Dear Friends:

 

I have been reading 'Experimental Theology in America: Madame Guyon, Fenelon, and Their Readers' by Patricia A. Ward. In my ongoing exploration of our Quietist Heritage this was recommended to me by a poster here at QuakerQuaker.

 

For those who have an interest in the second period of Quaker history, the period of Quietism, this book offers valuable insights. Ward shows how the continental Quietists were quickly picked up by Quakers, and many…

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Added by Jim Wilson on 7th mo. 6, 2011 at 10:03am — No Comments

Chasm

The Chasm between the Activist and the Contemplative

 

I can’t remember the name of the blog, but last year I read about a Meeting that decided to have a structured sharing between those who spoke often at Meeting for Worship and those who remained silent.  As I recall the two groups were paired and given time to express their views of Meeting for Worship.  As one might expect, those inclined to be speakers at Meeting for Worship had a lot to say, while those who inclined to…

Continue

Added by Jim Wilson on 11th mo. 30, 1999 at 12:00pm — No Comments

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