A Friend After 50 Years

A record of one journey into a peculiar type of Quaker Christianity, and a bit of silliness to boot.

Location: Arkansas

Friday, July 21, 2006

Why I Ask Part II

A little more on why I invited Friends to share on the topic of Jesus' "aliveness." A great deal of my spiritual formation has occurred prior to taking much interest in Christianity (a thing that our Quaker forbears declared was eminently possible). So there are two additional reasons that I'd like to add to my previous explanation of "why I asked."

One has to do with "correspondence." I'm interested in sussing out the extent to which Christian language and thought might correspond to whatever light has come my way through "non-Christian" sources and my own experience. I put "non-Christian" in quotes, because I'm willing to view Christ's teaching as more than simply "corresponding" to those sources but perhaps sharing an identity with them -- although I can already hear the sound of eyeballs rolling (I think there's a Zen Koan about that....)

The other has to do with vocabulary. The English language is largely devoid of language to express spiritual matters, outside of the Christian context and putting aside imported terms from Hinduism & Buddhism such as karma, nirvana, and the like.
For example, JT's answer to my question -- to which I immediately experienced a momentary sense of aversion -- ended up sweeping into my consciousness with its breadth, universality and possibly even ecstatic qualities. This doesn't mean that I intellectually accepted her answer as "literally true," but that I recognized and connected to her statement on a spiritual level.

Enough talking. Friends, may we have some silence?


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