Saturday, June 16, 2018
It’s best and most accurate to think of ourselves as children of the force I now call God, learning about love as we grow. Typically a parent loves his or her children and does not think of them as sinful or bad when they make choices that are harmful to themselves or others. Depending on the age of the child, the parent might lovingly suggest a different choice, but whatever the choice the love is not diminished or altered in any way. Similarly as the owner of a puppy or kitten, a person is likely to love and not judge them when they do silly things that are harmful. In my book I write about choices being loving or not, rather than being bad or good a judgement that originates in human society. I enjoy watching myself and consider myself to be a silly but loving human.
Friday, June 15, 2018
Two nights ago I wrote about my becoming convinced of the presence and power of God through a sequence of what Marcelle Martin called "openings" or revelations. She also writes about past spiritual seekers changing or "refining" their lives in accordance with their understanding of God. I have certainly also changed my life. I have let go of many earthly, material objects or desires and become much more service oriented. I have made these changes not because I was living a life of sin but because I wish to live a more loving life. Previously I was being human and choosing to live as best I could. I was living as a child and now am more grown up.
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
In her book, Our Life is Love: The Quaker Spiritual Journey, Marcelle Martin describes what she calls openings for both early and modern day Quakers. By openings she means revelations or direct experiences of the power and presence of God, leading to "convincement" of God’s presence and reality. I have had around a dozen such experiences, the first dating back to a classroom experience in 1992. As I describe in my book, during the first weeks of that class I gave a talk in which God and I created a "sacred space", changing the class by making it much more loving and open. In one student’s words I "changed the whole class for the whole semester". Some of my other experiences have been dramatic, even traumatic, while others have been quiet. They have certainly convinced me of the power and presence of the loving force I call God. At this point, I would be foolish to deny it.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
I have overcome or God has relieved me of many attitudes in myself that led to the internal conflicts I have mentioned for the last two days. Attitudes like being self-centered and several attachments to money, power and prestige. I realized that they were blocking me from Love so I did what I had to in order to overcome them. I have done the same with some of my frailties such as shame or feelings of unworthiness and for the same reason. Leaving those attitudes and conflicts behind, together with my meditative connection has allowed me to experience the wonders of God’s kingdom. "The kingdom of God is not coming with signs that can be observed, nor will they say; ‘Look here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ for the kingdom of God is within you." (the gospel of Luke)
Monday, June 11, 2018
Yesterday I mentioned the "conflicts, love and frailty of the human condition" and my acute awareness of their presence and impact on us humans, especially myself. The fact is that the conflicts, love and frailty create the depth and value of the human experience — also the challenges. Today I have been especially aware of the conflict between present day financial gain or security on one side versus the more ephemeral and long term value of caring for the earth on the other side. This particular conflict comes up over and over and it is clear to me that both sides are right — just different. Resolution of the conflict is important. I choose to value, love and respect the earth and its inhabitants.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Today was a day of connection which, ultimately, left me feeling very stable and positive in a neutral, solid way. The connections began with my wife, followed by the Presence and meeting for worship. After the meeting I had a very interesting and intense connection with a young man at the meeting. Generally, when I connect with individuals like him, our essences essentially agree to connect, listen and be with each other. In his case his soul or essence draws me in by forcefully requesting that I connect and probe at a very deep level and I agree and do the same, resulting in a very deep connection. There were then several hours of an easy and light connection with my mother-in-law. During all of this I was quite aware of the conflicts, love and frailty of the human condition, leaving me feeling "stable and positive in a neutral, solid way".