Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Light and Love ~ George Fox

"I saw that there was an ocean of darkness and death, but an infinite ocean of light and love, which flowed over the ocean of darkness. And in that also I saw the infinite love of God..."

~George Fox

More at  http://www.hallvworthington.com/wikipediasummary.html

Deep Convictions ~ William E. Channing

"We have arrived a period of civilization when man's mastery over outward forces begins to be understood. This knowledge of the laws of the material world has received mighty impulses and practical applications never conceived of before. Consequently, the prospect of physical comfort and enjoyment, once confined to the few, is thrown open to all. Unfortunately, no proportionate new light has been cast upon the capacities and energies of the spirit. The true doctrine seems to be dying out, -- that man's happiness and elevation consist and can be found only in strength of soul, in clear conceptions and deep convictions of everlasting truth, in calm reliance upon God and duty, in stern resolve of cleaving to the right, in self-possession under every change, in self conquest amidst all temptation, in energy to do or suffer whatever may be imposed by conscience, in disinterred and fearless self-consecration to whatever good work we may be appointed by Providence."

More at    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Ellery_Channing

A Climate of Belonging ~ Ranjit M Chetsingh

"A true Friends’ Meeting for Worship drawing [together] individuals with varieties of temperament, talent and background always managed to engender a climate of belonging, of community which is infectious and creative." 
Ranjit M Chetsingh 1967
More at   http://wapedia.mobi/en/Friends_World_Committee_for_Consultation

You that Hide Behind Desks ~ Bob Dylan

"Come you masters of war
You that build all the guns
You that build the death planes
You that build the big bombs
You that hide behind walls
You that hide behind desks
I just want you to know
I can see through your masks. "

-- Bob Dylan

Abraham Lincoln and the Quakers

Quaker  Eliza Gurney wrote President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in 1883, saying,

"Many times, since I was privileged to have an interview with thee, nearly a year ago, my mind has turned towards thee with feelings of sincere and Christian interest, and, as our kind friend Isaac Newton offers to be the bearer of a paper messenger, I feel inclined to give thee the assurance of my continued hearty sympathy in all thy heavy burdens and responsibilities and to express, not only my own earnest prayers, but I believe the prayers of many thousands whose hearts thou has gladdened by thy... efforts "to burst the bands of wickedness, and let the oppressed go free" that the Almighty Ruler of the universe may strengthen thee to accomplish all the blessed purposes, which.. .1 do assuredly believe He did design to make thee instrumental in accomplishing, when He appointed thee thy present post of vast responsibility as the Chief Magistrate of this great nation.

                            Eltza Gurney", 1863
He replied:

"Your people—the Friends—have had and are having a very great trial. On principle, and faith, opposed to both war and oppression, they can only practically oppose oppression by war. In this hard dilemma some have chosen one horn and some the other. For those appealing to me on conscientious grounds, I have done, and shall do, the best I could and can, in my own conscience, under my oath to the law. That you believe this, I doubt not; and, believing it, I shall still receive, for our country and myself, your earnest prayers to our Father in Heaven.

Your sincere friend,
Abraham Lincoln."
More at      http://www2.gol.com/users/quakers/abraham_lincoln.htm

" Many of (Lincoln's) ancestors were Quakers, and he deeply sympathized with their religion. Like many Quakers, he experienced a sense of mysticism, the sense of direct communication with the unseen."

More at   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln#Religious_and_philosophical_beliefs

Monday, November 29, 2010

Virginia Woolf and the Quakers

"People who know (Quaker) Caroline Stephen and her writings are often unaware that Virginia Woolf, one of the most innovative forces within the genre of the modern English novel, was her niece. Woolf used concepts of psychology and relativity to produce new ways of expressing consciousness in works such as Mrs. Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927). In addition to her progressive artistry, she is known for her strong stands on feminism and pacifism. Copies of Light Arising and Quaker Strongholds were in Virginia Woolf’s private library to the end of her life. So much of the old forms and the family ties of her past life were jettisoned when she and her siblings recreated themselves in Bloomsbury that it seems unlikely that she would have retained these books for purely sentimental reasons. They must have been meaningful to her on some deeper level."

"In light of this, it is informative to look at the link between these two women, who were both outstanding in their respective fields, and particularly interesting to consider the influence of Stephen’s Quakerism upon Woolf’s writing.Virginia Woolf and her siblings from a young age had accepted their father’s view of their aunt. She was called "Silly Milly" or "Nun" or "The Quaker" and was often a figure of fun in their early lives. However, an important encounter between the two women was to take place in Virginia Woolf’s early adulthood. 
Virginia was twenty-two years old when her father died in 1904, and at this time she suffered another of the mental collapses she had experienced since childhood. There may have even been a suicide attempt at this time. She was sent to recover in the home of her Quaker friend, Violet Dickinson, where she stayed for almost three months. Later she was sent to Caroline’s Cambridge home, known as "The Porch," for additional rest.She called The Porch at one point "an ideal retreat for me". She attended Cambridge Meeting with Caroline and offered to bring Violet there on a visit as well. Caroline found freedom from intellectual and theological controversies in silence, and Virginia found a new type of freedom as well. In her life at the Stephen household, "silence was a breach of convention" and mindless small talk a requirement." 

"The focused quiet of Quaker meeting must have given Virginia a needed opportunity to rest, turn inward, and recollect herself from her trauma without having to "perform" for others. Although there was sometimes tension between the two women, Caroline’s presence must have also been of help. Virginia writes of her aunt: "We talked for some nine hours; and she poured forth all her spiritual experiences. All her life she has been listening to inner voices, and talking with spirits"

Spoken in the Silence ~ 'Hystery'

 ".... But the Light is too powerful for us and will find us anyway. We will feel its warmth even if we are too afraid to turn and face it. We would do better to move toward it, to participate with it, but we are wary. We explain it away. "Perhaps it was just a feeling," we say to ourselves. "It will pass." Sentiment and intuition make us uncomfortable. We scramble for hard definitions and comfortable systematic, formulaic, intellectual definitions of "God" or "Science" or "Philosophy" or "Culture". We want to know. We want to be in control. We do not wish to be swept away in a rush of feeling. So when I sit there in meeting and hear a Friends' gentle, simple ministry, I am furious with myself for the tears that run down my face, for the trembling in my limbs, and for the sense that I have been plunged far more deeply in the human experience than I truly care to venture. This thing that Friends do together- this defies all the old rules. Any outsider might laugh at us. "So a few words were spoken in the silence. So what? You know nothing more than you did before and yet you fall apart in tears as though you have no control!"

More at  http://hystery.blogspot.com/2010/07/thealogy-spiritual-method-of-inquiry.html

Inequality Numbs our Spirits ~ Peter Morales

"Inequality breeds fear, bitterness, suspicion, crime and violence. It eats away at the dignity and self esteem of the poor while it hardens the hearts of the rich. Inequality numbs our spirits. Ultimately it dehumanizes us. Ironically, social psychology shows us that our grandmothers were right: The rich are not happier. "

More at   http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rev-peter-morales/poverty-and-thanksgiving_b_786279.html

Present Teacher ~ World Gathering of Young Friends

"Is there anything Quakers today can say as one? We can proclaim this – there is a living God at centre of all, who is available to each of us as a Present Teacher at the very heart of our lives."

World Gathering of Young Friends 1985

John Milton and the Quakers

Quaker, Thomas Ellwood, acquired a cottage in Chalfont St Giles as a refuge for John Milton. In London, the plague was a serious threat and, as a high profile supporter of the republican cause, Milton’s liberty was also at risk following the Restoration. It was during the short time that he lived here that he completed his epic poem Paradise Lost and was inspired (by a question from Ellwood) to begin Paradise Regained. The cottage was probably built in the late sixteenth century, and has an interesting history – it is now a museum, containing the first edition of Paradise Lost.

Thomas Ellwood may well have been a friend of Milton's but, Christopher Hill in his book Milton and the English Revolution (1977) suggests that Milton was not an enthusiast of Quaker ideas;

"I do not intend to suggest that Milton belonged to any ofthese groups, that he was a Leveller, a Ranter, a Muggletonian or an early [i.e. pre-pacifist] Quaker. But . . . .their ideas illuminatehis and may well have influenced him, both positively and negatively."

"By 1660 Milton would have criticized . . . Quakers, on these grounds: they ignored the world as it really is, in all its brutality: they were fundamentally unserious, as self-regarding as a modern 'hippie'."

"The picture of Milton subsiding into a genial and pacifist old age,in which all conflicts are mental only, is a piece of twentieth-century sentimentalism which the seventeenth century texts donot justify."

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our Life is Love ~ Isaac Penington

"Our life is love, and peace, and tenderness; and bearing one with another, and forgiving one another, and not laying accusations one against another; but praying one for another, and helping one another up with a tender hand."

~ Isaac Penington

More at   http://www.qhpress.org/books/penington.html

Artwork from an unknown artist. Please let me know if you have any information please.

The Light Within ~ Rufus Jones

"The Light Within, which is the central Quaker idea, is no abstract phrase. It is an experience. It is a type of religion that insists upon a real and vital experience of God revealed to persons, to their own souls, in their own personal lives."

More at   http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rufus_Jones

The Two Books ~ Eriugena

"God speaks to us through two books: the 'little book' of Scripture and the 'big book' of creation"

More at    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johannes_Scotus_Eriugena

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Truth in Plainness ~ Margaret Fell

"Our weapons are not carnal, but spiritual…. And so we desire, and also expect to have liberty of our consciences and just rights and outward liberties, as other people of the nation, which we have promise of, from the word of a king…. Treason, treachery and false dealing we do utterly deny; false dealing, surmising or plotting against any creature on the face of the earth; and speak the Truth in plainness and singleness of heart; and all our desire is your good and peace and love and unity"

More at     http://www.gwyneddfriends.org/margaret_fell.html

What George Washington said about the Quakers

"Your principles and conduct are well known to me; and it is doing the people called Quakers no more than justice to say, that (except their declining to share with others the burden of the common defense) there is no denomination among us, who are more exemplary and useful citizens.
I assure you very explicitly, that in my opinion the conscientious scruples of all men should be treated with great delicacy and tenderness; and it is my wish and desire, that the laws may always be as extensively accommodated to them, as a due regard to the protection and essential interests of the nation may justify and permit."

Inward Experience ~ James Walker

"On what does a devout man’s conviction of the existence and reality of the spiritual world depend?.... He is conscious of spiritual impressions or perceptions, as he also is of sensible impressions or perceptions; but he does not think to demonstrate the existence and reality of the objects of either by a process of reasoning. He does not take the facts of his inward experience, and hold to the existence and reality of the spiritual world as a logical deduction from these facts, but as an intuitive suggestion grounded on these facts. He believes in the existence and reality of the spiritual world, just as he believes in his own existence and reality, and just as he believes in the existence and reality of the outward universe, —simply and solely because he is so constituted that with his impressions or perceptions he cannot help it.”

More at   http://www.harvardsquarelibrary.org/HVDpresidents/walker.php

'Thou Shalt Not Kill' ~ Linus Pauling

"Does the commandment 'Thou Shalt Not Kill' mean nothing to us? Are we to interpret it as meaning 'Thou shalt not kill except on the grand scale,' or 'Thou shalt not kill except when the national leaders say to do so'?"
- Linus Pauling

The Right to Kill Me-- Blaise Pascal

"Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should have the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have none with him? "

-- Blaise Pascal

Lucretia Mott ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson and Elizabeth Cady Stanton

"She brings domesticity and common sense, and that propriety which every man loves, directly into this hurly-burly, and makes every bully ashamed. Her courage is no merit, one almost says, where triumph is so sure."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Having known Lucretia Mott, not only in the flush of life, when all her faculties were at their zenith, but in the repose of advanced age, her withdrawal from our midst seems as natural and as beautiful as the changing foliage of some grand oak from the spring-time to the autumn."

 Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Friday, November 26, 2010

Make or Break ~ Janet Scott

"What matters to Quakers is not the label by which we are called or call ourselves, but the life. The abandonment of self to God means also the abandonment of labels, of doctrines, or cherished ways of expressing the truth. It means the willingness to follow the spirit wherever it leads, and there is no guarantee that this is to Christianity or to any happy ending except the love, peace and unity of God. Like the sword which Fox told Penn to wear as long as he could, we take our religion and beliefs as far as we can. All these are good. But they are not what we seek. In the end, we place them into the hands of God, in trust, to make or break, to crown or destroy, for they are nothing in themselves, but God is in us all."

These May be Fulfilled ~ Balby Elders

"Dearly beloved Friends, these things we do not lay upon you as a rule or form to walk by, but that all, with the measure of light which is pure and holy, may be guided: and so in the light walking and abiding, these may be fulfilled in the Spirit, not from the letter; for the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth life." 

The Elders at Balby 1656

An Open Wound ~ Max Coots

"Let us pray to the One who holds us in the hollow of His hands,
To the One who holds us in the curve of Her arms,
To the One whose flesh is the flesh of hills and  hummingbirds and angleworms,
Whose skin is the color of an old Black woman and a young white man; and the color of the leopard  and the grizzly bear and the green grass snake,
Whose hair is like the aurora borealis, rainbows, nebulae, waterfalls, and a spider's web,
Whose eyes sometime shine like the Evening Star, and then like fireflies, and then again like an open wound,
Whose touch is both the touch of life and the touch of death,
And whose name is everyone's, but mostly mine.
And what shall we pray?
Let us say, 'thank you.'"

More at    http://iminister.blogspot.com/2009/03/giving-thanks-for-max-coots.html

The Earth is degenerating today....Every Man Wants to Write a Book

"The Earth is degenerating today. Bribery and corruption abound. Children no longer obey their parents,
every man wants to write a book, and it is evident that the end of the world is fast approaching."
- Assyrian Tablet, c.2800 BC

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Inward Life ~Isaac Penington

"Even in the Apostles’ days, Christians were too apt to strive after a wrong unity and uniformity in outward practices and observations, and to judge one another unrighteously in those things, and mark, it is not the different practice from one another that breaks the peace and unity, but the judging of one another because of different practices. . . .
And here is true unity, in the Spirit, in the inward life, and not in an outward uniformity. . . Men keep close to God, the Lord will lead them on fast enough . . . for He taketh care of such, and knoweth what light and what practices are most proper for them."

More at  http://www.qhpress.org/texts/penington/index.html

Community of Faith - Gordon Browne

"The Light may illuminate a gathered group as well as an individual heart and bind the group together in a community of faith, of conscience, or of experience."

More at    http://www.fum.org/QL/issues/9903/browne.htm

I Let it Drop ~ Hannah Milhous Nixon

"There is a story that I tried to influence Richard to become a Quaker minister. This story is inaccurate. We Quakers don't believe in exerting influence, or pressure on people. We believe in counseling and discussing the issues, but the actual decision must rest with the individual. I remember one time I said to Richard, 'Would you like to study for the ministry?' I felt that he seemed to carry quite a weight for a boy his age. But he didn't respond with enthusiasm to my suggestion and so I let it drop."

See also  http://hayquaker1.blogspot.com/2010/10/on-being-tested-richard-m-nixon.html

Second Class Souls? ~ Gerald Priestland

"But now comes a scandal—literally a stumbling block—jutting out from chapter 14 of the Gospel according to St John: Jesus said unto Thomas, “I am the way and the truth and the life; no man cometh to the Father, but by me.” Here is the Scandal of Particularity: the exalted claim that Jesus is the one and the only way to God, which Christians have extended to mean that this first century Jew was utterly unique—once for all time—and that the Church he founded has something other faiths can never have. I must admit that this apparently arrogant proclamation has always been a stumbling block to my progress. I have spent part of my life in the Middle East and South Asia, and now I live among Jews. Are my Hindu, Sikh, Muslim and Jewish friends second class souls? Is it just bad luck that they have never seen the New Testament? Surely a loving God cannot be as narrow minded as that? "

Mahatma Gandhi on Jesus

"I do not know what you mean by the Living Christ. If you mean the historic Jesus, then I do not feel his presence. But if you mean a spirit guiding me, a presence nearer to me than hands or feet, than the very breath in me, then I do feel such a presence. If it were not for the sense of that presence the waters of the Ganges would long ere this have been my destination. Call it Christ or Krishna: that does not matter to me."

Thanksgiving Prayer ~ Robert R. Walsh

"Eternal God, source of all created things, we would give substance to our thankfulness by resolving to make right use of the gifts we have received from thy bounty.
With thy gift of the senses we would fashion and preserve a world of beauty for all. 

With thy gift of reason we would engage in a responsible search for truth. 
With thy gift of compassion we would build a world of justice and mercy. 
And with thy gift of being we would walk together in peace."

More at  http://www.uua.org/spirituallife/worshipweb/meditationsand/submissions/5552.shtml
Illustration artist Becca Thorn.  To see more of her work please visit ~ http://www.beccathorne.co.uk

Illustration first published in Earth Island Journal  http://www.earthisland.org/journal/

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oneness of the Human Family ~ Bayard Rustin

"My activism did not spring from being black...The racial injustice that was present in this country during my youth was a challenge to my belief in the oneness of the human family." - Bayard Rustin

All is Divine Harmony ~ John Muir

"On no subject are our ideas more warped and pitiable than on death...Let children walk with nature, let them see the beautiful blendings and communions of death and life, their joyous inseparable unity, as taught in woods and meadows, plains and mountains and streams of our blessed star, and they will learn that death is stingless indeed, and as beautiful as life, and that the grave has no victory, for it never fights. All is divine harmony."

More at  http://www.johnmuir.org/

Spiritual Reconstruction ~ Howard W. Hintz

"Friends may be living in an age at this moment in which they will be put to the test of preserving their spiritual identity under conditions similar to those faced by the early Friends. We must gird our loins and put oil in our lamps. We are faced with the necessity, in this work of larger spiritual reconstruction, of reconstructing our own spiritual foundations, of finding anew the full meaning of the Inner Light as it applies to our own times, of putting renewed emphasis upon our worship, of rededicating ourselves to our traditional concerns, of reaching untouched areas in our fulfillment of the free ministry, and of applying in our daily living, in all of our direct and indirect human relationships, the rigid discipline of personal righteousness, "to do justice, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God." 

More at   http://pamphlets.quaker.org/wpl1936a.html

The Divine Leftover ~ Robert Hardies

"We also remember when we take time to worship, meditate, pray, or practice whatever spiritual discipline it is we practice. You know that I agree with the Muslims and with our Unitarian Universalist ancestors that at the centre of us is a spark of the divine leftover from our creation. But so many things conspire to make us forget that spark. Our egos. Our pride. Our fear. Our beltway commute. Remembering takes intentionality. In prayer or mediation we sit in silence and strip away all the superficial layers that smother our authentic selves. In silence, when our hearts and heads are clear, we remember........ 'We have forgotten who we are. We ask for forgiveness. We ask for the gift of remembering. We ask for the strength to change.'"

More at  http://www.all-souls.org/sermons/20020526.htm

What Benjamin Franklin had to say About Quakers

"My being many years in the Assembly. . . gave me frequent opportunities of seeing the embarrassment given them by their principle against war, whenever application was made to them, by order of the crown, to grant aids for military purposes. . . . The common mode at last was, to grant money under the phrase of its being "for the king's use," and never to inquire how it was applied."

More at  http://blog.plover.com/religion/

Charles Dickens on Quakers

“I say again,” said my aunt, “nobody knows what that man’s mind is except myself; and he’s the most amenable and friendly creature in existence. If he likes to fly a kite sometimes, what of that? Franklin used to fly a kite. He was a Quaker, or something of that sort, if I am not mistaken. And a Quaker flying a kite is a much more ridiculous object than anybody else.”

From David Copperfield Chapter 14.

Franklin was, of course, not a Quaker see  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What Tom Paine had to say About Quakers

"The religion that approaches the nearest of all others to true deism, in the moral and benign part thereof, is that professed by the Quakers ... though I revere their philanthropy, I cannot help smiling at [their] conceit; ... if the taste of a Quaker [had] been consulted at the Creation, what a silent and drab-colored Creation it would have been! Not a flower would have blossomed its gaieties, nor a bird been permitted to sing."

(Tom Paine came from a Quaker Family in Norfolk)

They Say who Say Nothing ~ Frederick Parker-Rhodes

"Listen, then, to the silence. Listen to what they say who say nothing. Open yourself to the silence within, to the Inward Light that shines in every soul." 

"Hope we must have, however hopeless. When things go well we must not doze in the slumber of smugness, nor despair when things go ill. We must carry our seeking even to the end of the world. The Holy Grail is not to be found by any who have not sought till their strength fails."

Quakers and Mental Illness the work of William Tuke

"In 1792 a Friend (Quaker) in York had a mental crisis and was put in the York Asylum. Friends were not allowed to visit her. She died within a few weeks. Friends then investigated the conditions there, and found that the patients were treated worse than animals. In fact, because the patients couldn't think clearly, they were thought to be like animals.

Concerned Friends enlisted William Tuke, a Quaker tea merchant. He and his wife Esther had been influenced by evangelicals and were concerned about the dullness of York Friends. Tuke visited the York Asylum, and was horrified. He appealed to Friends, personal acquaintances and physicians for assistance in providing a better alternative. He collected the needed funds to build The Retreat, which opened in 1796.

The Retreat was set in the countryside outside of York, surrounded by gardens and some cows. There were no bars or gratings on the windows, and no patients were manacled. Friends ran The Retreat with little medical involvement, using Moral Treatment. The principles of treatment included:
  • Self-control - patients were rewarded if successful in controlling themselves.
  • Resocialization
  • Harmonious environment - a building that would lift the spirits, surrounded by natural beauty
  • Physical nourishment - high food standards
  • Useful occupation
  • Staff as role models
The approach of The Retreat was widely derided at the time. In a letter regarding his efforts, William Tuke noted, "All men seem to desert me." But now Tuke is considered a pioneer in modern treatment of the mentally ill."

At Large in God’s Season ~ Issac Penington

"There is to be a time when ‘nation shall not lift up sword against nation: neither shall they learn war any more’. When the power of the Gospel spreads over the whole earth, thus shall it be throughout the earth, &, where the power of the Spirit takes hold of & overcomes any heart at present, thus will it be at present with that heart. This blessed state, which must be brought forth (in society) at large in God’s season, must begin in particulars (that is in individuals.)”

Issac Penington, 1661.

More at  http://www.kimopress.com/quaker-peace.htm

Then Will Life be Great ~ Maxim Gorky

 “There will come a time when people will take delight in one another, when each will be a star to the other, and when each will listen to his fellow as to music. Then free men and women will walk upon the earth, men and women great in their freedom. They will walk with open hearts, and the hearts of each will be pure of envy and greed, and therefore all human kind will be without malice and there will be nothing to divorce the heart from reason. Then we shall live in truth and freedom and in beauty, and those will be the accounted the best who will the more widely embrace the world with their hearts, and whose love of it will be the profoundest; those will be the best who will be the freest, for in them is the greatest beauty. Then will life be great, and the people will be great who live that life.”

More at   http://www.imagi-nation.com/moonstruck/clsc73.html

Paying for War ~ John Woolman

"I believe that there were some upright hearted men who paid such taxes, yet could not see that their example was a sufficient reason for me to do so, while I believe that the spirit of truth required of me, as an individual, to suffer patiently the distress of goods, rather than pay actively. Some of our members...if they see their brethren united in the payment of such a tax to carry on the said wars, may think their case not much different, and so might quench the tender movings of the Holy Spirit in their minds. Thus, by small degrees, we might approach so near to fighting that the distinction would be little else than the name of a peaceable people.
John Woolman, 1757

Monday, November 22, 2010

Mystery in an Acre of Land ~ James Riemermann

"There is enough mystery in an acre of land—indeed, in the patch of soil beneath your feet as you stand in your garden—to hold the human race in awe until the day of our extinction. The more we learn about the complex and subtle dynamics of life, matter and energy that dance everywhere we look, the clearer it becomes that the old scientific dream of complete understanding is just that—a dream. The way of science has made discoveries of immense importance, and will presumably continue to make them, but at every turn the path of scientific discovery shows us even greater mysteries—which is to say, more things we are aware of but don't understand."

~ James Riemermann

More at   http://www.universalistfriends.org/quf2008a.html

Artwork from Alynn Guerra 

Fullness and Brokenness ~ Linda Hart

"Clearing the clutter and the noise and the chaos from our lives, letting go of all the tasks and duties and chores and distractions might well make a big difference, even if we are only able to do it for a short while, even if we are only able to do it for a day."

"Fundamentally, however, it isn’t about reduced stress and about an increased sense of well being. It isn’t about health benefits and escape from modern conveniences. It’s about coming back to ourselves, coming back to the truest meanings and deepest purposes of our lives. It’s about setting aside time to be quiet, and whole, and in touch with heart in its fullness and brokenness, and to – if only in moments – feel embraced and in relation with the powers that be in the universe, however we might name them."

Tilling the Ground ~ John Woolman

"I have known landholders who paid Interest for large sums of money, and being intent on paying their debts by raising grain, have by too much tilling, so robbed the earth of its natural fatness, that the produce thereof hath grown light.
To till poor land requires near as much labor as to till that which is rich, and as the high interest of money which lieth on many husbandmen is often a means of their struggling for present profit, to the impoverishment of their lands, they then on their poor land find greater difficulty to afford poor laborers who work for them, equitable pay for tilling the ground.
The produce of the earth is a gift from our gracious Creator to the inhabitants, and to impoverish the earth now to Support outward greatness appears to be an injury to the succeeding age."

~ John Woolman

Artwork from Carl Larsson http://sundborn.com/ks/en/CL

The Sacred Web of Life ~ Haudenosaunee Message

"The people who are living on this planet need to break with the narrow concept of human liberation, and begin to see liberation as something which needs to be extended to the whole of the Natural World. What is needed is the liberation of all the things that support Life-the air, the waters, the trees-all the things which support the sacred web of Life."

"The Haudenosaunee Message to the Western World"  
 More at  http://www.eco-action.org/dt/iroquois.html

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Springing Life - Isaac Penington

"There is a pure seed of life which God hath sown in thee … Oh, wait daily to feel it. Oh, wait to feel the Seed, and the cry of thy soul in the breathing life of the Seed, to its Father … and wait for the risings of the power in thy heart … Be still and quiet, and silent before the Lord, not putting up any request to the Father, nor cherishing any desire in thee, but in the Seed’s lowly nature and purely springing life."

We Exist for Other People--Albert Einstein

"How strange is the lot of us mortals! Each of us is here for a brief sojourn;for what purpose we know not, though sometimes sense it. But we know from daily life that we exist for other people first of all for whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends." 

-Albert Einstein

Real Liberation ~ Elise Boulding

"I trust that I will never again be able to persuade myself that I am too tired to pray. For this, this is the one thing needful. We like to think of prayer as a free overflowing of the spirit, but there are times when it must be undertaken as an act of the will, a discipline in the strictest sense of the word. Religious temperaments differ, and I am not one of those who place great reliance on specific procedures and "steps" in the religious life. But turning to God in prayer is the one indispensable step. Only through prayer can our vision of His Kingdom come clear. The clearer it comes the greater the strength, the greater the joy, the greater the spiritual release which will enable us to live here and now in such a way that the Kingdom can come to all mankind. If there are things inside us that block our sight so that we cannot look upon the joy that God has set before us, it is through prayer that we can examine and gradually dissolve these obstacles, for God is the First and Last Counsellor. Earthly counselors have their important place too, but it is my experience that insights from the psychiatrist's couch still have to be offered up to God in prayer before the real liberation of the imprisoned spirit can take place. In spite of all that can be said about the "God above God" and the ultimate impersonality of the universe, it is the God of the divine encounter, the personal God we meet in prayer, who touches, transforms and liberates us. It is in Him that we must put our trust."

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Which is Infinite ~ John G. Adams

“Our best searching will only give us indications of that truth which is infinite. Yet this is no reason why we should not be looking for it, and stating it when we think we have found it.

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