If the goal of my spiritual life is transformation, spiritual attainment, or personal improvement, then any path I walk leads back to me — that is, nowhere. … Openness to sobering, even painful revelation is at the heart of silent Quaker worship: the turning of bare attention, without denial or rationalization, to whatever appears as I am searched by the light that was in Jesus. … By dispelling the delusion of self as center, the Christ-light eases my need for self-validation and spiritual success.
Abiding in worship’s deep silence, our moral certainties suspended in trusting openness to the spirit that was in Jesus, we experience judgment in truth here and now.
Deep, mindful silence dissolves borders and illumines our relationship to all that is. Silence, therefore, is a door to wisdom, the “gateless gate” of enlightenment. Metaphor can help guide us on the path to that gate, leading us to life.
Part 5, “Vocal Ministry,” of Section II (“The Life of the Spirit”) of Quaker Faith & Practice for the 21st Century.
Part 4, “Meeting for Worship,” of Section II (“The Life of the Spirit”) of Quaker Faith & Practice for the 21st Century.
Our awakening to our darkness and rising out of it “in Christ” is the essential beginning of the spiritual life.The practice of Experiment with Light, if conscientiously performed in context of the traditional Quaker understanding of convincement, can be a gateway to that new life.
[W]ithin us is a relational spirit that “never consents” to selfishness. That holy spirit, which we tend to repress, constantly critiques our attitudes and actions, … wanting to awaken us to the divine power and wisdom waiting in our hearts.