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

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Resist Not

A Friend on the meeting listserv responds to a post on "prayer without ceasing." She wonders how we will know when this becomes a product of the ego or neuroticism. She wants to "be simple" but finds it difficult.

"Being simple" is probably impossible if it arises as an expectation. Reality always circumvents such concepts. Its like asking the ocean to fit in a bucket. We are as we are. We notice all sorts of phenomena arising within us, and we can give them names like "ego" and "neurotic." These phenomena are not isolated from the whole of life, and thus they cannot be avoided. Our labeling, (in itself not a "bad" thing) gives them the appearance of disconnected problems, and our evaluation function, which is also a part of all this, says "I don't like it." This is all fine so far as it goes. The trouble starts when we reject the thing we don't want. "Resist not evil" Jesus said. Resistance treats the problem as an enemy that can be defeated, and we know how Jesus told us to treat our enemies! So if we find ourselves noticing that we are in the "don't like it" stage, the next thing is to be grateful for the opportunity. Here's something to listen to with affection, to be present with, to find a new path to connection to the divine realm within. This brings the inward "gospel order," a necessary predicate to achieving gospel order "out there."


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'What can I do?' - SiCKO