Quaker Universalist Conversations


This is my current statement of my tradition: I grew out of the

  • Mid-western tradition of the
  • U.S. tradition of the
  • Quaker tradition of the
  • Protestant tradition of the
  • Catholic tradition of the
  • Jewish tradition of the primordial human condition with cousins in the Islamic tradition and the Buddhist tradition and with more distant cousins in other religious traditions and non-religious traditions of the
  • Primordial human tradition of the
  • Mammal tradition (225m years ago) of the
  • Reptile tradition of the
  • Amphibian tradition of the
  • Fish tradition of the
  • Multicellular organism tradition of the
  • Single cell tradition of the
  • Pre-life tradition of the
  • Universe tradition of the
  • Cosmos

WISDOM | The Soul as a Microcosm of the Cosmos

This descriptive statement of my tradition is a statement about my understanding of universalism, Quaker universalism. Is this only my truth or is it a shared truth with you?

Tradition is the past that lives in the present.

  • Tradition is a key to understanding ourselves and our role
  • Tradition is both conscious and unconscious
  • Tradition is a selection: consciously and individually or unconsciously and culturally or a combination of the two
  • Selective memory and forgetting is part of choosing our tradition.
  • Selection of tradition has consequences. It matters to practice.

What can you say is your tradition? What are the consequences of the tradition you describe for your practice in life?

Your reflection on tradition will also help me to clarify my understanding of my (our) tradition.

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WISDOM | The Soul as a Microcosm of the Cosmos


Thanks for asking, Larry. My tradition began as spirit, not matter. With a likeness to the Creator, with free will, my spirit was able to both choose and incarnate in this material world (several times already). This process, however, is directed (consciously and unconsciously, as well as particularly and collectively) by the Christ-Spirit within me, and each individual, for development in, and as, the image of God. With this sense of my spiritual beginning, I am neither materially, as evolutionary, determined nor traditionally dependent for the purpose and goal of my existence. For indeed, how we end capitulates to how we began!
Or put more scholarly (via Henry J. Cadbury in The Making of Luke-Acts):"Prior to the question of its truth we have set the question of its genesis. It may be confidently claimed that this order of procedure often throws light on the question of historicity, and perhaps more often gives the question of historicity a less insistent place in our thoughts. "It is desirable to approach historical records in this sequence and with this distinction. We should inquire what the author thought took place before we ask what took place. We should ask why the author narrates it as he does before we ask whether it is true as he narrates it. The study of the making of a book is a prerequisite to its evaluation.
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