~~ "It's All Life, until it's Over" ~~
Kilgore Trout

~~ " In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?”" ~~
Saint Augustine

~~ “Nobody would do anything if they knew what they were in for.” ~~
"Amarante", in "Milagro Beanfield War"

~~ "May you Walk with Beauty All Around You" ~~
Navajo Blessing

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Following the Small is Beautiful Manifesto......

I'll write a little about personal paths:

The Peace I've found in Friends Silent Meeting

I was baptized Methodist, though there were Quakers in my background.  When I told a Friend of this, at the first Friends Meeting I went to,  he said that many Quakers and Methodists jumped back and forth between Friends of Jesus ( Society of the Friends of Jesus is the actual name) and the Methodists.  He smiled at me and nodded that he understood my longing to be a Friend by conviction.

Being a particularily silent person in daily life, I have become more silent and meditative except when someone or something pushes a line inside me.   Then I struggle with all the demons of anger, or wanting to administer "two tight slaps" to an offending person - criminal, politician, etc.

Of course this is not the Friends' Way at all.   Our way is to talk them to death  reach a compromise through discourse while getting words in edgeways, working on matters of conscience, if in truth, they have one, and aren't so far gone on the "main chance" as to be deaf to the call of compassion and Christ's amendment to the Ten Commandments.  It works but takes longer than a fire arm.

 Back to Silent Meeting.  I feel, like most Quakers, that in the silence one can center down to hear the voice of a group's collective spirit, given us by our Creator, and that souls answer to one another during this ministry.   It's happened for me, and I've answered the heart of another in silent meeting. 

Believe me, it is extremely moving to hear a concern with which you are struggling be answered by another who has heard it through only their heart's inner voice.  There is no mistaking it because it's like a laser to the point of trouble in your soul.  This makes you believe that in no uncertain way, that all human hearts and spirits are One.  This is, in the view of Quakers, the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who is present in the centered group.

Now, about politicians.  My very sweet Sister-in-Law once asked me what I thought of  Richard Nixon, who was then president.  Was he a good or bad Quaker?   I thought, "Well, that one is in the 'two, tight slaps' category."  While I was thinking about whether Nixon was Friends Meeting or Friend's Church- entirely different- she answered her own question saying, "He's a very bad Quaker!"  I shook my head, laughed and had to agree.  Ben Franklin was not a Quaker, either, but he would get those two tight slaps, for pretense. 

This page tells more about the Quakers and their ways.
 




2 comments:

  1. before being elected, when nixon lived and worked in NYC (and then later, in saddle river, NJ) he was a member of the friends meeting house on 15th street, by Irving Park (it's named for washington irving who was born on 17th street) After the secret bombing of laos, nixon was expelled from that congregation..(now, he hadn't been active or a paying member for a few years, but after the bombing, he wasn't even a member in spirit!
    i was married in that meeting house. for me, (a motor mouth!) what i like best is the silence. It is a real change (and effort) to sit in quiet contemplation. even home alone, i talk to myself out loud!

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  2. A sister of the heart! How lovely you were married at the meeting house. I wish I had been married in the meeting house. I love the silence, too. Here, it's such a noisy city that to find oneself in silence is impossible except in the deep desert, or very early morning by the seashore, which I love.

    Thanks for the info in Nixon's days in the east. Very informative. He's one person I hate to read books about so know little of his political maneuvers in those days. He always had his eye on the main chance, that one.

    Story time: One First Day, we were sitting quietly at meeting, and one of the near neighbors had left their dog, who sounded like a basset hound, home alone. That poor, lonely dog started to howl about five minutes into the silent service, and howled the whole rest of the time. There were giggles the silence that day!

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