Mysticism

Quaker Culture: Harmonious Wholeness

Instead of wanting to go to heaven, the practical mystic wants heaven to come down to earth.

The ability to live by fitting into Nature rather then a human hierarchy is still the foundation of freedom, because freedom is personal co-creativity that is born of harmonious wholeness.

  • Jim Corbett, 2005
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A Thousand Times, Come

The room was dimly lit. I was one of fifty dancers standing in a circle, shoulder to shoulder, holding hands. Our leader, Johnathan, stood in the middle of the circle with his guitar. He said he was going to lead us in a practice to experience the aspect of God that existed before time began.

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On Captivity

We have been created with gifts – awareness, comprehension, will, empathy – to do the work of Life. We can play with these gifts – and it is only by playing with them that we learn to use them well – but in play we risk falling into traps of self-indulgence, we risk blunting and distorting the vital purposes of our gifts and our lives.

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The Practice of the Presence

Presence is something I cannot fully describe or understand, informing my life and experience even though it is beyond words. It is a grounding, a solace, a push and shove, a challenge to the status quo. My call to dwell in Presence makes me one of the “peculiar people” and may set me apart even from others who call themselves Quaker.

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Axis Becalmed

And what is history but
Stones by boys on fathers’ 
Ponds, beyond the lily pads
Where sit the frogs of conscious
Evolution . . .

So wars evolve of themselves!
While fathers get lost in their
Competition, vengeance and 
Fictional futures of old 
Realities . . . 

Father God, for your sake, Please!
Awaken Sophia’s Heart’s
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We Complete Each Other

Dear Editor: Thanks to Friend Searl for helpfully reminding us that there need be no schism between Friends led to inward devotion and Friends led to outward activism (“The Illusion of a Split,” May/June 2016). Quakers like Thomas Kelly have long noted that inwardness and outwardness interdepend like roots and fruits.

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Practical Mystics

Dear Editor: We Quakers have been called practical mystics. The title of our handbook makes it plain: Faith and Practice. Our prayer and our witness are a tightly woven fabric. Inseparable yet unique. The warp and woof of our witness. We cannot have one without the other. This is our charism. And our challenge.

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