The language we necessarily use shapes our experience of the everyday world as a world of “things,” objects that we view from the outside. This is the case whether the “things” are apples, worlds, ideas, relationships, plans, or even the entire universe. We view and manipulate “things” as if we face them from a separate, outside position in which we seem to live.
Waiting for sunrise on a desert morning this March, my focus came to the inward Truth only. I had walked in darkness with a quiet dog to a saddle between two hills in the middle of the Mojave Desert Preserve. In wild lands, especially in dry lands, I find less cumber between God and me. I can feel a presence in my middle. With Light arriving, I reflect on my feelings and what I’m led to do.
Whether we talk about it or not, we hold strong views about evil. So I’d like to share with you some vocabulary about evil that I’ve learned, which can allow us to describe evil a little more accurately than we usually do, especially when our feelings get roused up. I’m not interested in catastrophic evil or cosmic evil.
George Fox, the founder of Quakerism, disapproved of creeds, as they are divisive rather than unifying. He also thought that mere words could not encapsulate the transcendence of the Divine. Quakers have always interpreted the words and symbols of Christianity and the Divine in novel ways, and our understanding of Quaker faith has also evolved over time.