The Psychology of Salvation, Pt. 6″ — Inheriting “the World’s” Perspective

In a Quaker reading of the Fall myth, Adam and Woman have fallen into the spiritual death of the “way of self-wisdom and knowledge,” attempting to usurp God’s role as the Light which shows us what is good and what is evil. Each person will now define good and evil in terms of his or her self-interest, often unaware of doing so.

The Psychology of Salvation, Pt. 4 — Cognitive Dissonance and Metanoia

Life presents us at times with experiences that get through the filters and challenge the validity of our basic worldview. Such experiences create in us a dissonance, a tension between our beliefs and new information. Cognitive dissonance is particularly strong when the conflict involves our self-concept. There are two principal methods of reducing such dissonance.

The Psychology of Salvation, Pt. 2 — Texts, Tools, and Thesis

Our thesis is that, in psychological terms, the biblically-shaped experience of the first Friends implies, first, that the characteristic of commonsense, “normal” self-centeredness constitutes a pervasive schematic bias in the psyches of most human beings, and, second, that Quaker conversion/salvation is a process of detaching from that self-centered bias and adopting a new, love-centered orientation.

The Psychology of Salvation, Pt. 1 — Returning to Our Roots

To frame our religious experience in psychological terms is not to deny a place to those who believe in God, but to return to the very early Quaker insight that, as contemporary thinker John D. Caputo put it, “[T]he event that stirs within the name of God can take place under other names, which complicates the distinction between theism and atheism.”

Understanding Quaker Worship

That we may allow the pull of love to separate us from the patterns which a systemically unjust world has imposed upon our thinking and feeling, patterns that have defined who we are and how we live; that we may empty ourselves of that mind and submit to being, as it were, re-created ex nihilo in the image of God-who-is-love, so that we now “have the mind of Christ” and incarnate love in this world: this is Quaker worship.

The Turning of the Wheel (2): Buddhism and Quakerism

In my post of 4/24/10, I recalled Albert Schweitzer’s image of Jesus’ failed attempt to stop the turning wheel of history. In this post, I continue with reflections on the phrase “turning of the wheel,” comparing Buddhist uses of the phrase to an interesting use of it in an early Quaker essay in order to…