Quaker Culture

Quaker Culture: The Tragic Gap

The insight at the heart of nonviolence is that we live in a tragic gap – a gap between the way things are and the way we know they might be. It is a gap that never has been and never will be closed. If we want to live nonviolent lives, we must learn to stand in the tragic gap, faithfully holding the tension between reality and possibility in hopes of being opened to a third way.

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Quaker Culture: Living Now

Between the relinquished past and the untrodden future stands this holy Now . . . In the Now we are at home at last. The fretful winds of time are stilled, the nostalgic longings of this heaven-born earth-traveler come to rest. For the one-dimensional ribbon of time has loosed its hold. It has by no means disappeared. We live within time, within the one-dimensional ribbon.

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Quaker Culture: Authentic Community

In a true community we will not choose our companions, for our choices are so often limited by self-serving motives. Instead, our companions will be given to us by grace. Often, they will be persons who will upset our settled view of self and world. In fact, we might define true community as the place where the person you least want to live with lives!

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Quaker Culture: Transparency

We counsel less mystery and more openness towards those who are worthy of confidence. If men conceal from their nearest connections in life a knowledge of the actual state of their affairs, they may deprive themselves of helpful advice, and kind participation in trouble; expenses may be incurred, and subsequent distress may ensue, which might have been avoided.

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Quaker Culture: Creativity

We hate to admit that we are confused, desperately longing for direction. We seem to deny that man was made in the image of God and that we are meant to be creative too, each in our own way. . . If the artist’s work is his worship, [then]. . . Greed will have to go. Greed, which is hunger for the power that money can buy . . . Speed will have to go.

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Quaker Culture: Guidance

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

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