Friendly Witness: The Spiritual Ground of Quaker Social Action4th mo. 19, 2023 from 1pm to 6pm
Quaker Theological Discussion Group 202312th mo. 1, 2023 at 8am to 12th mo. 2, 2023 at 10am
Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Smith quotes the French philosopher Montaigne, who wrote,
"If you have known how to compose your life, you have accomplished a great deal more than the man who knows how to compose a book. All other things--to reign, to hoard, to build--are, at most, but inconsiderable props and appendages. The great and glorious masterpiece of man is to live to the point."
Smith quotes Montaigne in a discussion of simplicity. Simplicity helps keep us centered and focused on what really matters in life, becoming more effective in what we do. That is living "to the point," keeping "first things first."
If you were to seek out the original quote by Montaigne, you would see he uses it in purely secular terms, generally that living simply, stripping away the props, allows us to live well by seeing what matters. Smith writes of "letting your life speak" being more than a spiritual notion, that our birthright spark of God imposes a "solemn responsibility for action." In such a case, I would argue that God is "the point." And we are going to see "the point" by stripping down, clearing our lives of stuff that stands between us and God. That "stuff" can be material or matter of the mind.
That's my best shot. :) I hope others will speak to the topic.
Incidentally, this is not a term I have heard before.
Yours in Truth, Paula
I've not heard that quote before, but my first reaction was to live in the moment, in an authentic way, without worrying about the past or planning for the future.
It is the ultimate expression of "being", which is the state in which I find myself closest to the Light.