Do not Borrow or Steal in the face of ridicule, innuendo, and characterization.

When the measure of presence or illumination of the inshining Light is so strong and bright that identity, meaning, and purpose, is complete in the Light ( or inherent self-existence) itself without reference to any other outward forms, traditions, feelings, ideologies, institutions, practices, etc., then ridicule, mischaracterization, innuendo, caricature, and illusions, do not deflect or turn from direct Witness (or inherent self-existence) itself in itself. That is, the heritage of inherent self-existence is not enchanted.

When our Witness of the sufficiency of the inshining Light itself in our conscious and conscience is darkened by the enchantment of outward weapons like ridicule, our Witness is further darkened by reflections in the mirrors of anger, frustration, hurt, and on and on. These mirrors manifest through ridicule and innuendo which are engendered and nurtured by the person or people who ridicule. We then further lose our Witness by focusing upon these mirrors of anger, frustration, and hurt. In watchfulness, we are able to recognize our enchanted conscious and conscience, and then, acknowledging the reality of these mirrors before us, we re-turn to our faith in the Light itself by entering into patient and quiet waiting. In this waiting, we gaze upon the manifestations of anger, pain, and frustration, that others have successfully transferred upon us through their ridicule and accusation. In holding to the Quiet itself, the inshining Light begins to re-fill again into dark spaces and corners of our conscious and conscience. Only then, when our Witness of the sufficiency of the direct and unmediated experience of the inshining Light itself in itself, are we in a position to respond. However, even then, the only true opening to respond comes when the Light itself remains and guides the conscious and conscience in the very act of speaking and writing the response. The relative increase, decrease, or stasis, of the Light itself anchoring our conscious and informing our conscience is our guide. The extent to which we are unable or able to respond in the sustained Light itself, in the very activity of responding, is the extent to which we are open to respond.

To respond outside the covering of the Light itself, is to borrow or steal from the underlining anger of those who ridicule as an excuse to response. Ours is not to borrow or steal from others to excuse turning from our Witness of the sufficiency of direct and unmediated experience of the inshining Light itself anchoring our conscience and informing our conscience as our guide. Ours is to hold and to sustain in the inshining Light itself is all circumstances and in all things without regard to person.

This is the peace of Heaven on earth. The Kingdom is come and is coming.

Views: 578

Comment by Forrest Curo on 4th mo. 2, 2016 at 6:22pm

It's very difficult to direct pointy weapons of any sort against the Principalities which are our true enemies without also poking their unwitting minions. 

Using words for weapons is better than using rocks, but is still a bad idea for various reasons:

1) It makes it difficult to convey: "Hey, I'm not trying to poke you, but merely to say something."

2) You can take off a head when you really only intended a friendly poke in the butt.

3) You can't always be sure what direction that pesky point is actually pointing.

4) After awhile, people don't want to play words with you anymore....

For those of us of a Christian persuasion (whether or not we & others of that description agree-with or even like each other) we are not supposed to be taking pot-shots, but rather praying for that ornery bastid's good. Thinking up the best way to really thump him might get in the way.

Comment by David McKay on 4th mo. 2, 2016 at 6:31pm

Thank you Forrest. I think the traditional rejoinder here is , "This Friend speaks my mind."

Comment by Keith Saylor on 4th mo. 2, 2016 at 7:27pm

Right on, David. With an understanding having been meet relative to "inshining," I feel comfortable moving to the next paragraph you wrote early on this thread. I'll re-post it:

Then, is so strong and bright that identity, meaning, and purpose, is complete in the Light" — you seem to be affirming that the sufficiency of our experience of the Light/Inward Christ. While I can affirm that to an extent doctrinally I am not yet at a place where I am so firmly fixed. And so my lack of experience in this area may be what is impairing my ability to understand much of what you've shared here. In my own experience, where convictions are often tentative and always at least in principle subject to future revision, a sense of certainty is actually a liability. The Light so to speak, may be pure, but my experience and interpretation of it is muddied by my own personal history and my current lived situation. And while I am attracted to the writings of the mystics, I am not such a mystic that I believe God is calling me to peel away the me that is been constructed through my biography. It is in fact in the middle of my living my biography that the Light shines.

Just as a preface. I suspect here we may have to go back on forth a bit, but maybe not. 

Yes, I am affirming the sufficiency the direct and unmediated experience inshining Light itself in the conscious and conscience as the sole source of identity, meaning, and purpose in my life. This is what I literally witness (experience) in my life and it is my testimony. It is true my testimony is in abstract or outward words and concepts. The words and concepts are of value to me only as a way to express the experience. I do not "think about" the experience personally. The words and concepts are of no value to me personally relative to the experience. To go further, when I speak or write these words or concepts I am living the experience immediately, I am not reflecting on the experience, although it may be a reflection for those who do not know the experience. That is, speaking or writing the experience does not mean I have left the experience and have engaged in interpreting it for myself. However, I am engaged in interpreting it for others. I am personally not attempting to understand or reflect on the inshining Light in my conscious and conscience because it is my conscious and conscience.

I too am not a mystic in the sense you have stated. However, the power of the inshining Light in my conscious and conscience has become the anchor of my being and my biography. So that, while I act in the world, what I do in the world is not my foundation. For example, when I volunteer to do Natural History interpretation for the public schools; while in the activity, my conscious is still anchored in and my conscience is still informed by the direct and unmediated experience of the shining Light itself. In the very activity of interpreting Natural History to students at the school, I am in (directly experiencing or aware of) the inshining Light itself and the inshining Light itself makes up who I am, not my role as a Natural History Interpreter. In fact, if I were unable to know and to be sustained in the inshining Light itself in that activity, I would reassess my role as a Natural Historian or reassess engaging it interpretation in that context. It is the immediate witness or awareness of the sufficiency of the inshining Light itself in all activities, circumstance, and events that is my testimony, anchor, and guide. This is not, in my experience, a peeling away of me ... it is rather the finding and living in the "real" me. That is to say, I am not a Natural Historian, an interpreter, etc. I am neither, jew nor greek, male nor female, free nor slave. (Gal 3:28). None of these make up my meaning, purpose, and identity in this world. The inshining Light of Christ is sufficient in itself as the foundation of my identity, meaning, and purpose, in all my activities on this earth and the relative increase, decrease, or stasis, of the inshining Light itself, anchors my conscious and guides my conscience relative to my activities in this world. 

Okay, I hope that's a start concerning the content of the paragraph quoted above. Please feel free to question me further if needed. 


Comment by Forrest Curo on 4th mo. 2, 2016 at 8:30pm

This does look to be an answer to my long-term question: 'What should our optimal Divine/human interface look like?'

It doesn't come with a 'How-to-get-there' method; but then such methods seem to naturally become ends-for-their-own-sake & distractions. Since this isn't a result under our direct control, "Knock and the door will be opened" is probably the most suitable approach, & the only one we'll ever need.

On another hand, we really don't know that this sort of experience is a generic one-size-fits-all; it might not even be the way Keith's experience is Intended to continue indefinitely (since the important consideration is not "How does this experience feel?" but "Is God the direct source of it?" -- something Keith might know but which really isn't a question under our jurisdictions.

So far as I'm increasingly aware of God taking a hand in all things, I'm happily awaiting further developments.

Comment by David McKay on 4th mo. 2, 2016 at 8:36pm

Thank you for the clarification.

I suspect that further discussion would be helpful for neither of us. To fall back on my philosophical roots again, I am a social constructivist. Like you I rely heavily on my experience of conscience and like you I trust that there is something transcendent in that experience. But I also believe that my experience of conscience is socially constructed — it reflects at least in part my experience of the claims others in my social network make on me and have made on me in the past. Further my experience of conscience is that it is often fallible and that sometimes that transcendent dimension shows itself forth when I learned that my conscience is a wrong.
Given that understanding you can see that I wouldn't know where to begin to unpack the notion of unmediated experience because all experience to a certain extent is mediated. And so yes when Fox in the early friends speak of immediate (i.e. unmediated) experience I simply understand them to be speaking out of an epistemology I do not share.

Unless this discussion becomes a kind of chess match and both are philosophical positions seen as the opening gambits I don't know where this can go. The best we can expect from the endgame's agreement to disagree (stalemate). Such arguments tend to entrench mines rather than lead to convincement.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 4th mo. 2, 2016 at 11:30pm

Thank you, David. I appreciate your taking the time to question me and share your comments. It meant a great deal to me. I will spend time with your words for some time.

Thanks again,


Comment by Forrest Curo on 4th mo. 3, 2016 at 12:54am

Though it might be possible to persuade someone else that your experience was 'unmediated' -- most likely someone else who'd received something similar, it's not possible to logically 'prove' to them that an experience is unmediated.

For that matter, it is not possible to logically 'prove' to anyone else that you're experiencing anything whatsoever, in that physical signals, ideas, emotional reactions to you might be the same even if you were an extremely-well constructed machine...

but in fact we usually do assume that about each other. (As the machines get more cunningly programmed that might well become harder to assume.)

Can we in fact know, via reception of some spiritual/intuitive signal, what we aren't able to know from other means? It seems to me that we can (even if our reading of such signals is imperfect) -- and that possibility turns much epistemology into a sort of game:

"What things can we know with plugs in our ears and bags over our head? -- And so what; why don't we just take these silly bags off?"

Comment by David McKay on 4th mo. 3, 2016 at 7:16am

So my intuition was correct and we're going to start talking epistemology and language.

I think Forrest shows the way out:  the central issue isn't whether the issue is "mediated" or not -- the issue is authenticity. Although it does make me want to head back Barclay's Apology. I have quite frankly read his use of "immediate" (17th c. equivalent to our unmediated) as a political stance:  i.e., "without benefit of clergy/other authority figure". But now I should go back and confirm (verify OR disprove) that understanding.

Comment by Howard Brod on 4th mo. 3, 2016 at 7:52am

During my life I have experienced great openings where just a little bit of willingness on my part ("willingness" for "what" in particular, I was unaware) has led to my being bathed in Light.  Like the earliest Friends, this has led me to conclude there is indeed an ocean of Light we are all swimming in.

So, I have concluded that the more we can eliminate constructs (imposed by ourselves or others), the more we are able to navigate joyfully and successfully in this ocean of Light like a fish who has realized his natural home.

This is why I deeply comprehend the importance of "openness"; the removal of all unnecessary constructs that become entrenched in an effort to direct our navigation in this spiritual "ocean".  When these constructs ("forms") become entrenched, they become our idols that draw us from this Light.

This is why silence (as acclaimed throughout the ages) is a "safe" place to create space for a state of "openness".  And a community participating in the unadulterated silence, unhampered by constructs ("forms''), is nothing more than a verification of the Light within all of our beings.

Comment by Keith Saylor on 4th mo. 3, 2016 at 9:04am

Hello David,

Here are a few of many examples of Issac Penington's use of "immediate."

From "The Works of Isaac Penington" Philadelphia, 1863

Thus God did advance the state of a believer above the state of the Jews under the law : for they had the law, though written with the finger of God, yet but in tables of stone ; but these have the law, written by the finger of God in the table of their hearts. Theirs was a law without, at a distance from them, and the priest's lips were to preserve the knowledge of it, and to instruct them in it; but here is a law within, nigh at hand, the immediate light of the spirit of life shining so immediately in the heart, that they need no man to teach them; but have the spirit of prophecy in themselves, and quick, living teachings from him continually, and are made such kings and priests to God, as the state of the law did but represent. The gospel is the substance of all the shadows contained in the law. (Vol 1 pg. 63)

By continuing in practices, to which they were once led by the spirit, without the immediate presence and life, of the spirit. For the whole worship, the whole religion of the gospel, consists in following the spirit, in having the spirit do all in us, and for us: therefore whatsoever a man doth for himself is out of the life, it is in the fornication. If a man pray at any time without the spirit, that prayer is fornication, and is not either acceptable to God, or profitable to himself; but grieves the spirit, hurts the life, and wounds the soul. Vol. 1 pg. 207

And this we are assured of from the Lord, that as the Jews could not be saved by the law of Moses (making use of it in opposition to the shining of the light of God in the prophets in their several ages), nor afterwards could be saved by magnifying and observing both the words of Moses and the prophets, and their belief from thence of a Messiah to come (making use of those things to oppose that appearance of Christ in the flesh, which was the dispensation of their day then); no more can any professors be saved now by the belief of a Christ come, or any thing which they can learn or practise from the Scriptures, making use thereof to oppose the dispensation of this day; which dispensation is the immediate and powerful breaking forth of the light of the Spirit in the hearts of God's people (who have earnestly sought, and in much sorrow and perplexity of spirit longed and waited for him), after this long dark night of the anti- christian apostasy. Vol. 1  pg. 272

So that to Christians, Christ the substance being come, which is the end of all these shadows, the true Jew being raised in the immediate life, now there is a necessity for the immediate life for the rule. To them under the gospel, to them who are come to the substance, to them who are begotten and born in the life, there can be no rule proportionable to their state, but Christ the substance, Christ the life. Here he alone is the light, the way, the truth, the rule; the Spirit is here the rule, the new crca ire is the rule, the new covenant the rule; all which are in unity together, and he that hath one of them hath them all, and he that hath not them all hath none of them. Vol 1 pg. 314


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