Worship as the School of the Spirit

January 21, 2019 § 2 Comments

Quaker meeting for worship is a classroom and an exercise room in the school of the Spirit.

In the meeting for worship we learn and we practice how to center down, how to sink down in the Seed, wherein dwells our Guide.

And when that Guide prompts us to speak in meeting for worship, we learn and we practice recognizing the call, and to test the call to discern whether we should speak, and what we should say, and how we should say it, and to remain faithful to our Guide when we do rise to speak.

This spirituality of listening and of discerning and of surrendering in our action is schooling for the Spirit-led life outside of meeting, in the rest of our lives.

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§ 2 Responses to Worship as the School of the Spirit

  • Greg Robie says:

    A comforting structure for the tale, Steven. But such is only, and at best, a partial recounting of the whole story. An inverse framing is, especially within our Anthropocene, at least equally, if not more so, germane to discernment and [S/s]pirit and truth. What we do in good faith indelibly reveals what constitutes our trusted hope … & conjoining scriptures, we walk in the name of our Go[]d.

    The aspired to ‘Gathered Meeting’ is, psycho-physiologically, simply a group Delta brain wave high (from three years plus two days ago: https://throughtheflamingsword.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/nurturing-the-call-to-vocal-ministry/#comment-3933). And this experience of a Delta high tends toward being the case, regardless of the ‘spirit’ that effects it. This high is both cool and ephemeral, and, thereby, changeable (i.e., untrustworthy in and of itself). This transitory condition concerning trust is due to the metabolism of the neuropeptides affecting the perception of ‘spirit’. To the degree the inverse framing is integral to the outlined relationship between Guide and service in this post, isn’t discernment a both/and thing (actually, and traditionally, a tripart thing: personal discernment, corporate discernment, and Scripture)?

    If so, the rest of the story is that the trusted guide/Guide is revealed/created by what we do. The observable consequences of a belief-lived-(not professed)-as-life is that it self-manifests inwardly within Delta and is experienced as a-capital-first-letter-Something. The outward form of this inward truth are those biblical fruits. This outward informing inward informing outward, etc., is a positive feedback cycle. This is ThanksNOT! to motivated reasoning when the testimony regarding integrity is subject to pragmatism. Discernment of spirits/Spirit is NEVER easy. Yet discerning what simply deepens the Delta – or not – is much less socially demanding within privilege and with pragmatism in the mix. Discernment of spirits, in terms of self-knowledge and honesty and discipline and integrity and piety, is challenged when such is simply an individual enterprise. IBIB, when such is simply a corporate enterprise. IBID, when it is simple scripture.

    Both personally and socially, when pragmatism trumps honesty within an apophatic worshiping community’s secularizing culture, don’t the ‘elders’, over time, facilitate a changeable spirit getting socially claimed/named as Spirit? The history/herstory of the Religious Society of Friends is replete with examples of this.

    Within our current economic meme, a religious-like secularl trust in GREED-as-go[]d delimits what an elder can be. This trust, via primarily gender differentiated, but complimentary motivated reasonings (regarding the moral integrity of limited liability law enabled ‘free’ markets of CapitalismFail) binds and blinds. To the degree this is our condition as a wider society, wouldn’t it be logical that a religious Society within it would know, within its evolving experience of Delta, that it is not critical to nurture the uncomfortable discipline of hard won truth? Aren’t observed fruits of the pragmatically accommodated culture screaming out that there is an avoided problem?

    To nurture balance and WAIT to discover and embrace the paradox at the center of perceived conflict is not for the faint of heart. Change regarding moral integrity tends to be proudly resisted. Social observations/criticism concerning the fruits of the lives lived tend to be pragmatically justified, not, as integrity demands, changed. Within a social addiction to an experienced group Delta ‘High’/sense of Spirit, and with the passage of time, that addiction is corrupted and rationalized.

    And pragmatic and rationalized pride precedes…?

    Or, more to the point, and his/herstoryically, pragmatism regarding the limited framing of this post and discernment has resulted in a worshiping community reaching clarity to pay war taxes to the Queen; to step down, en masse, from political office/responsibility; to effect the Quietist Period; to affect a virtual post-Progressive Yearly Meeting via an unprecedented adaptation of the extra-Yearly Meeting organizational structure that has become FGC.

    Of particular interest to me is that when FGC is reconnected to its Progressive Yearly Meeting roots, its evolution precedes the creation of FUM. This suggests that the monthly meeting deadening trend of extra-YM elitism has Progressives to thank for it evolving across Quakerdom … with a big boost from fossil carbon driven transportation technology. That FUM first generated a unified Book of Discipline seems to have inspired a similar ‘accomplishment’ by the post-Progressive Yearly Meeting ‘elders’ (the 1925 version of a unified Book of Discipline that Chuck Fager unearthed). Doesn’t this demonstrates an ongoing, if unseen, dance has been effected? If so, isn’t this ‘contradance’ called by unheard Sirens of GREED-as-go[]d? Aren’t their seductive words and music sashaying society further and further down the hall and away from the Music of Life?

    Of the FGC unified Discipline, its anti-elder preference/pragmatism regarding a sanctifying of individualism was immediately adopted by your adopted Yearly Meeting. Thirty years would pass in New York Yearly Meeting before its Ranteristic [S]eed would effect a gathered unity in your former Yearly Meeting. The truism that some decision need to wait on a Quaker funeral or three is not necessarily about patience concerning progress.

    Ranterism, which Naylor is the initial posterperson for, is integral to social dynamics, calls for integrated corporate discernment. But the branching tree of Quakerism suggests this discernment of Ranterism is all but impossible in any particular moment of experienced conflict to discern … especially when that tree is viewed as a branch of the ever forking tree of Christendom … and even more so when Christianity is viewed as a limb on the forked tree of the human experience of [S]pirit!?!

    (2nd try.)

  • Greg Robie says:

    A comforting structure for the tale, Steven. But such is only, and at best, a partial recounting of the whole story. An inverse framing is, especially within our Anthropocene, at least equally, if not more so, germane to discernment and [S/s]pirit and truth. What we do in good faith indelibly reveals what constitutes our trusted hope … & conjoining scriptures, we walk in the name of our Go[]d.

    The aspired to ‘Gathered Meeting’ is, psycho-physiologically, simply a group Delta brain wave high (from three years plus two days ago: https://throughtheflamingsword.wordpress.com/2016/01/22/nurturing-the-call-to-vocal-ministry/#comment-3933). And this experience of a Delta high tends toward being the case, regardless of the ‘spirit’ that effects it. This high is both cool and ephemeral, and, thereby, changeable (i.e., untrustworthy in and of itself). This transitory condition concerning trust is due to the metabolism of the neuropeptides affecting the perception of ‘spirit’. To the degree the inverse framing is integral to the outlined relationship between Guide and service in this post, isn’t discernment a both/and thing (actually, and traditionally, a tripart thing: personal discernment, corporate discernment, and Scripture)?

    If so, the rest of the story is that the trusted guide/Guide is revealed/created by what we do. The observable consequences of a belief-lived-(not professed)-as-life is that it self-manifests inwardly within Delta and is experienced as a-capital-first-letter-Something. The outward form of this inward truth are those biblical fruits. This outward informing inward informing outward, etc., is a positive feedback cycle. This is ThanksNOT! to motivated reasoning when the testimony regarding integrity is subject to pragmatism. Discernment of spirits/Spirit is NEVER easy. Yet discerning what simply deepens the Delta – or not – is much less socially demanding within privilege and with pragmatism in the mix. Discernment of spirits, in terms of self-knowledge and honesty and discipline and integrity and piety, is challenged when such is simply an individual enterprise. IBIB, when such is simply a corporate enterprise. IBID, when it is simple scripture.

    Both personally and socially, when pragmatism trumps honesty within an apophatic worshiping community’s secularizing culture, don’t the ‘elders’, over time, facilitate a changeable spirit getting socially claimed/named as Spirit? The history/herstory of the Religious Society of Friends is replete with examples of this.

    Within our current economic meme, a religious-like secularl trust in GREED-as-go[]d delimits what an elder can be. This trust, via primarily gender differentiated, but complimentary motivated reasonings (regarding the moral integrity of limited liability law enabled ‘free’ markets of CapitalismFail) binds and blinds. To the degree this is our condition as a wider society, wouldn’t it be logical that a religious Society within it would know, within its evolving experience of Delta, that it is not critical to nurture the uncomfortable discipline of hard won truth? Aren’t observed fruits of the pragmatically accommodated culture screaming out that there is an avoided problem?

    To nurture balance and WAIT to discover and embrace the paradox at the center of perceived conflict is not for the faint of heart. Change regarding moral integrity tends to be proudly resisted. Social observations/criticism concerning the fruits of the lives lived tend to be pragmatically justified, not, as integrity demands, changed. Within a social addiction to an experienced group Delta ‘High’/sense of Spirit, and with the passage of time, that addiction is corrupted and rationalized.

    And pragmatic and rationalized pride precedes…?

    Or, more to the point, and his/herstoryically, pragmatism regarding the limited framing of this post and discernment has resulted in a worshiping community reaching clarity to pay war taxes to the Queen; to step down, en masse, from political office/responsibility; to effect the Quietist Period; to affect a virtual post-Progressive Yearly Meeting via an unprecedented adaptation of the extra-Yearly Meeting organizational structure that has become FGC.

    Of particular interest to me is that when FGC is reconnected to its Progressive Yearly Meeting roots, its evolution precedes the creation of FUM. This suggests that the monthly meeting deadening trend of extra-YM elitism has Progressives to thank for it evolving across Quakerdom … with a big boost from fossil carbon driven transportation technology. That FUM first generated a unified Book of Discipline seems to have inspired a similar ‘accomplishment’ by the post-Progressive Yearly Meeting ‘elders’ (the 1925 version of a unified Book of Discipline that Chuck Fager unearthed). Doesn’t this demonstrates an ongoing, if unseen, dance has been effected? If so, isn’t this ‘contradance’ called by unheard Sirens of GREED-as-go[]d? Aren’t their seductive words and music sashaying society further and further down the hall and away from the Music of Life?

    Of the FGC unified Discipline, its anti-elder preference/pragmatism regarding a sanctifying of individualism was immediately adopted by your adopted Yearly Meeting. Thirty years would pass in New York Yearly Meeting before its Ranteristic [S]eed would effect a gathered unity in your former Yearly Meeting. The truism that some decision need to wait on a Quaker funeral or three is not necessarily about patience concerning progress.

    Ranterism, which Naylor is the initial posterperson for, is integral to social dynamics, calls for integrated corporate discernment. But the branching tree of Quakerism suggests this discernment of Ranterism is all but impossible in any particular moment of experienced conflict to discern … especially when that tree is viewed as a branch of the ever forking tree of Christendom … and even more so when Christianity is viewed as a limb on the forked tree of the human experience of [S]pirit!?!

    sNAILmALEnotHAIL …but pace’n myself

    https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCeDkezgoyyZAlN7nW1tlfeA

    life is for learning so all my failures must mean that I’m wicked smart

    >

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