Quaker

Sitting in weekly silent Quaker worship has provided me both the freedom and nurture for ongoing, continued spiritual growth and discovery. That, in turn, led me to join with the Society of Friends, as we Quakers are formally known, and to treasure our communities of faith. Guided by sets of questions (the queries) rather than creeds, and by direct, daily experience rather than ethereal speculation, Friends embody a radical Christianity that emphasizes simplicity, equality, honesty, nonviolence and pacifism, and personal integrity.

As clerk (the presiding officer) at Friends business sessions, where all decisions are made in unity,without ever taking a vote, I’ve learned to sense that one individual, rather than the majority, may be closer to the optimal outcome – and to allow room for “Way to open” as others unite around that position or even a third unanticipated solution that may surface to our awareness. When we’re faithful and closely follow our Guide, the process of reaching this harmony can be exquisite. When we fall short, though, what we feel can be excruciating, ultimately demanding forgiveness and contrition.

My close examination of the writings of the original “Children of the Light” and “Seekers After Truth” in mid-1600s Britain has convinced me that the first Quakers perceived an alternative Christianity – one they dared not voice fully, given the deadly consequences of the blasphemy laws of the period. Couched in their interlocking metaphors of the Light, the Seed, and the Truth is an outline strikingly different from conventional interpretations of Christ and the person of Jesus.

Free editions of my books are available at Thistle Finch editions. For your own copy, simply to to Thistle Finch editions.

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Related work has appeared in the magazines Friends Journal, Quaker Life, and Quaker Theology. I have presented workshops at New England Yearly Meeting and the annual Friends General Conference.

My essays on Quaker spirituality also appear at my blog As Light Is Sown.

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Along the way, I’ve skirted traditional Plainness.

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9 thoughts on “Quaker

  1. Thanks for following our blog. I hit “like” on your post featuring the wild turkey which was a coincidence as we just saw two in Marfa, TX. Then looked again at your site when you became a follower and – surprise! Wasn’t sure if you realized that we are also Quaker. Guess we should have realized!

  2. Hi Jnana – I am finding ‘likes’ a useful way of connecting to different thoughts and words. As now. Leaving aside the bloggers wanting to make me rich and drive traffic to me, reading thoughtful pieces is a new education. Thanks for clicking the like button. It has brought your words and thoughts into my life and soul. Did you know goodbye was short for God bless you? I only heard that yesterday. God-b-ye for now.

  3. I’m so happy to have discovered someone of your persuasion through these blogs. I’ve long felt an attraction to the Quaker path, but there are no such gatherings here thatI know of [SW Michigan]. God bless you also, friend!

    • My novel “Ashram” looks at a single day in the life of eight aspirants living with their teacher on a mountain farm. As I look back on the experience, I am reminded that the important lessons were often very down to earth rather than ethereal — insights into our individual emotional workings, the character of others, and the practical matters of making homemade bread or mixing cement. The ebook is available at Smashwords and other digital retailers. Go to the Novelist section of my Bio, and thanks for asking.

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