Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Another Quaker commitment?

Will you join the Quaker alphabet blog project? she asked. A hesitation in my mind.  What does this mean? As I get older I get more possessive of my time.  I have already refused to join one of the many of Brighton's philosophical/cultural/arty talk shops, because I have spent too much of my life talking and going round in circles and ending up further back on the circumference than when I began. So another project?  I sit lightly nowadays with labels and here I am with a Quaker label.  When I was young I had to wear a hat to keep my head covered - that's what orthodox Jews did.  Now I hate wearing hats. And I have no desire to wear the Quaker broad-brim. Still I'll give it a try. Keep the mind open - old men should remain explorers. What on earth will begin with A. Activism? Apathy? Antediluvian speculation on the nature of divinity.  Well, let's see.


  1. I'm looking forward to reading what you write!

  2. So on the circumference of a circle, how can you be sure you end up further back than where you began? It may be that the circle itself has moved in such a way that it only seems so?

  3. Quite right, Martina. I thought of that after I wrote the blog. It's just that I get seduced by metaphors. All points of the circumference are equidistant. And then there is Voltaire's “God is a circle whose centre is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”
    My dilemma is the following: I am an extrovert. I get my energy from others. The face of the divine is reflected in the face of the other (and I can only see my own face through the distortions of a mirror). So by reaching out to others, I am reaching out to God. But the more I try to verbalise about the process, the less I feel authentic. Words attempt to tidy up what is sub/ trans-verbal. Hence the seduction, the wonder, and the ultimate futility of theology.
    I read recently that there is more in us that we (can) know. How then can we trust what we do not know? Perhaps silence (the real test for an extrovert) is the real form of Address (so at last an A for the alphabet!). Trusting the silence when alone and with others, reaching out to the silence of the other, is a real way of addressing the Other. But even this silence needs to be an authentic one - that of God within me addressing that of God within thee? Letting the words go, realising the holiness of the space?

  4. I prefer to think of myself as being on a spiral rather than a circle :-) I might come back to what appears to be the same point (if I look around the view appears to be the same) but actually it's a bit above where I was last time - assuming I am progressing and moving forward I bring everything I have experienced / learned with me - so am never in exactly the same place. So for me it's Spirals not Circles :-)

    1. I like spirals. Actually they can move in all directions. The nice thing is that unlike a circle they can be open at both ends.I seem to go up and down, backwards and forwards, all the time - sometimes all at the same time! In the spiritual life, aren't directions (only) spatial metaphors?

  5. I'm into parallel processing at the moment - I have a blig, so if I just pop a letter into the blog title I pretend I am participating here as well :-)
    What I really mean is - I blog occasionally anyway so why mot link it all together?
    Look forward to your clear headed blogs, in every sense!