Quaker Universalist Conversations

Spiritual life is physical

Classical Greeks imagined a separation between mind and body, between spirit and matter.

The Jewish missionary Paul borrowed this notion—by his time dominant in the Greco-Roman world—as he tried to translate the more holistic Jewish spirituality for non-Jewish worshipers in the first century synagogues and congregations where he taught….

Sadly, the absolute spirit-versus-matter dichotomy of the Greeks has… persisted throughout the centuries of Christian dominance and into the empirically-minded science of the modern Western world.

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Who is Jesus for me?

Bringing Jesus out of the shadows

I believe Jesus was “sent” by God in the sense that he walked fully with God – acted out of that place of love at all times, fully lived as we are meant to live. He was our model for all we are capable of being and doing…. I think Jesus had the impact he did because he was showing us what kind of attitude and behavior makes us right with the world, how the world and we really work.

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“On Mediation” by Mary Klein

“From the Editor’s Desk,” Jan/Feb 2020 Western Friend

Love and truth spring forth in all times and all places – even in the hearts of chaos and corruption. We strive to follow the Good Way, but only in vain can we define it. Dust devils of DNA whirl down the generations, rampaging, making things new, making things fit, breaking eggs to make omelettes. To our surprise, we arrive in this life. Then we do our best to do the right thing, never really knowing all the good and all the damage we are causing.

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“Love Thy Neighbor as Yourself:”
Discourse on the Nature of Christ

Today’s “Christianity,” and the Gospels, do not focus on the true beliefs of the message of Jesus, but instead on his “Resurrection,” his supposed divinity, salvation, and other divine aspects. This focus tends to make the true ethical and moral message of Jesus secondary to an attempt to fulfill the Jewish messianic prophecy. It is not that divine aspects are wrong or bad, but that the message and true values of Jesus are lost to the divine message.

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Understanding Belief

The fact that religious systems include a substantial element of magic thinking and mythology does not disprove their usefulness in a difficult world. Religious belief has been common in all cultures since the beginning of human time because, from an evolutionary point of view, it has demonstrable survival value. At all times of history, human life has been a dangerous and fearful proposition. Religion has often functioned well to abate fear, instill intention, promote courage, and protect from despair.

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Rational Spirituality and How I Got Here

Excerpts from a post on Secular Liturgies Network and Forum

Genuine spirituality demands honesty, freedom, tolerance and equality, values running counter to the religious power structures that have been dominant for so long. It is a process of rediscovering and having a renewed appreciation of our place in nature, an emphasis which contrasts with the efforts of traditional religion to set humanity apart from its natural origins and even to set us apart from the needs and pleasures of our own physical bodies.

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Ignore the news cycle. Cooperation is hardwired.

At the moment we are all afraid. All of us. On whatever part of the spectrum of belief we stand, there is nothing else in the pubic conversation right now except fear. Some of us express that fear as anger or resentment—or hope—but fear is the taste of this age.

And it’s all based, to put it bluntly, on what “sells newspapers”—on what distracts us, out-weighing what is real in our personal lives with what we are supposed to feel afraid of.

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