Growing Together in the Light

A place for Friends and others to explore Quakerism. A place where, in the Light that comes from God, we may all grow and where we may hope to find a unity that underlies our diversity of language.

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Location: Arlington, Massachusetts, United States

Raised a Friend, I am currently a member of Fresh Pond Meeting in Cambridge, Mass. I am also active in Salem Quarterly Meeting and in New England Yearly Meeting.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Growing Together in the Light

The essence of Quaker belief is that there is a power or light that can be found within us that illuminates us. It will first show us our faults and, if we sit still in that light, we will be healed and transformed. We will live as changed people in this world and our lives will bear witness to the existence of this transforming light and its power.

This core of Quakerism can be described in many ways and in many languages. This is because we believe it to be a universal fact of the spiritual life. But while this fact of spirituality can be expressed in many religious/theological/spiritual/non-theist ways, these same languages can also be used to describe quite different things. It requires great carefulness in our language and our listening if we are to try to hold this truth without a common language to describe it. But this process of transformation is not a process of logic or intellect although logic and intellect have their place in it. It is fundamentally a wordless and experiential process. The only language that can hold it is the language of symbols and stories and myth. And this language is often, by its very nature, imprecise.

The early Quaker experience was held in the mythical structure of Christianity. To this we have added our stories from Quaker history. Now Friends are bringing in stories from other traditions as well. While this can give us a great wealth of new insight, it can also lead us to a situation like the Tower of Babel where we can no longer work together because we do not understand each others language.

What I want to do with this website is to explore Quakerism by drawing a lot from the writings of early Friends. I have spent some time reading and studying Quaker writings and so this is one piece I think that I can add to the Quaker discussion going on today in the blogosphere. It is my hope that this is a place that people from all branches of the Society of Friends, and from outside the Society of Friends as well, can come to and explore the beliefs of early Friends as a way of understanding our roots and also cast new light on our beliefs today. I hope that by doing this we may all grow and that we may also find a unity that underlies our diversity of language. And that is why I have chosen the name: Growing Together in the Light.


Blogger Martin Kelley said...

Hi Will, that sounds like a very helpful way of adding some depth to the online Quaker conversations, I'm looking forward to more!
Your Friend,
Martin Kelley
Quaker Ranter

May 02, 2006 10:40 AM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Welcome, Will! I was wondering when I'd see this!

May 02, 2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger Liz Opp said...

Thank you for helping me return for a few minutes to "the essence of Quaker belief," Will.

I would say that "growing together in the Light" is something I have witnessed online and have been a part of since joining in on the online conversation with fellow Quaker bloggers.

Liz, The Good Raised Up

May 02, 2006 11:22 PM  

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