Friday, April 4, 2008

Connected Rather Then Separate - New Kinds of Quakers

The following quote is from a post by Jim Palmer on his website / blog
Jim is an excellent writer ("Divine Nobodies" and "Wide Open Spaces" are his two books). He is a former pastor and also one who grew up in the evangelical world. Recently, his spiriual journey has taken him down a much wider road spiritually. As I read him, I can't help but think of we could be as "new kinds of Quakers" as we digest his thinking and understanding of the spiritual life. Read what he has to say about how we tend to view each other as separate from us rather then connected. What would it be like if we saw other Quakers as connected to us rather then separate.

"do we have to override the sensory data fed to us through our physical senses to process spiritual truth as we go about life? for example, sensory data is continuously telling me that all people are separate and independent beings. i am separate from you. Jesus used metaphors like a tree and a human body to emphasize our connectedness. the same divine life is the sap of the tree running through all the branches. there are many different body parts, but it’s all one body. you and i both share in the same divine image. you and i are drawing life from the same and one and only life support system. we derive true love and peace from the same source.
whether you think of this oneness as only existing among certain people, or you feel it applies to all people, i have a question.
what would be different if you stopped seeing others as separate from you, and began seeing others as part of you? again, maybe your field of application would be other Christians you go to church with, fine. maybe your field of application is everyone you come in contact with, fine. i’m not interested on this post of debating who we may or may not be one with. i am purely interested in the following:
if you saw yourself and others as one, rather than two totally separate beings what would be different. if this is where you are, describe what is the difference you experience. if you’re not quite there in practice, what do you imagine might be different. how would that awareness of your oneness with others manifest in your life?"

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