Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I haven't written much about my Quaker faith lately. To be perfectly frank, perhaps this is because I haven't been practicing it as much as I'd like to. I think that I have gone to my meeting a couple of times since the last Quarterly meeting and this grieves me. It is particularly difficult because if there was ever a time when I truly needed the companionship and comforting presence of other friends, if ever I needed to be held in the light, the past year has been that time. I am sad about this. But I love my Friends and our meeting and things are such that if I push the issue, I am afraid that the meeting would become polarized. I gave it my best shot at the Quarterly and I simply don't know what else to do. I am weak and vulnerable right now and I cannot put myself in a position that holds potential for compromising myself further. Going to meeting is not supposed to be a traumatic, nerve wracking, stressful experience.

I do not know what to do about this.

I still consider myself a Friend, because being a Quaker is about more than simply going to meeting. Since we're on this subject and people frequently confuse Quakers with Amish or Mennonites, it may be useful to see the Wikipedia entry (the group, Liberal/"Hicksite" is the group I fall into- if I remembered how to write html to take you directly to that part of the page, I would....but I don't and am too lazy to look it up) as well as the Faith and Practice for the North Pacific Yearly Meeting Quakers.

Ugh, what an awkward way to phrase that! The thing of it is that even within our yearly meeting (all the Quakers of this persuasion in this part of the U.S.) there is a lot of diversity in almost every possible direction one could go while still being a Quaker. Some of us believe in Christ, some believe in God in the usual sense, and some of us are agnostic, atheist, or non-theist. I consider myself a non-theist. An awful lot of people don't comprehend how I could be a Quaker even before they find out that I don't believe in god in any kind of a sense that would involve a being with a personality. I just figure that we're all entitled to our own interpretations of things and mine is that the god of the bible is the ultimate prototype of a violent, abusive, controlling male. We talk about the Light a lot. For some people, this light is Christ or God. All of us seem to acknowledge that the Light is divine and spiritual. I suppose that for me, the Light is that current of harmony and synchronicity that runs through science and nature, the unseen element that binds them all together, that which brings order to the universe. I find it very mysterious and difficult to describe. It is not a person nor in my mind, any kind of consciousness in a singular sense, although I suppose it could have something to do with consciousness in a much broader sense, spanning all life and things which are not alive.

I don't know how to describe what it means to "Hold someone in the Light". It's sort of like prayer but not exactly since there are no words and you aren't really addressing or entreating a higher power. It's what you do when you are worried about someone, when you care about them, when they seem to be going through a rough time or when they are struggling with something, or just because.

So maybe now it will make more sense when I say: I will be holding you in the Light.

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