Atheist Quakers III

DSC00272Fear can be Good.

I am happily theist, or at least Protean: that every hair on my head is numbered is valuable, and feels true to me. And David Boulton is bordering on anti-theist: he asserts as a matter of certainty that there is no God, that the promptings of love and truth are simply (not merely) our own evolved primate processes. He has a wonderful turn of phrase, for example “The Republic of Heaven”- that there is no God, no King, does not mean there is no Heaven, nor that we cannot be in it.

So I thought, I am glad he is a member of the Religious Society of Friends, because his extreme position makes room in our Society for others to join too. People like Mark. And there are others like Sarah, who pisses me off a bit, saying that “I was a theist when I was immature, and when you are mature like me you will be non-theist too”, but that is OK because we share these experiences.

And I thought, here am I, the Good Person. I am Eirenic, seeking ways we can come together, in our shared experience of God, or those unconscious processes, whatever it is, and where the words we use to explain our experiences, though different, do not get in the way. And Sarah, though she is polemic, speaking up for Her Side, the process is big enough to cope with our differences, and neither of us can do great DSC00273damage to the Society even though it behoves us to take care to do good.

Then I thought, I have a lot of experience of being excluded. The last picked for the Volleyball team at school, because I was useless (Oh- was that you, too?) The queer, deviant, pervert. Here am I, the Good Person, making sure everyone is included and no-one is cast out, and I am that out of my own experience of being excluded and fear of being excluded again.

My fear produces a constructive and creative and Loving result.

Of course fear can be good. I skid on the wet road, that makes me frightened, I take care not to do it again, I don’t die in a car accident; but it seemed my fear was of everything, and it was merely harmful, merely holding me back; and now that overwhelming fear, the Ache, the Scream, the Desolation, can be part of me which produces life and delight. The grit in the oyster. As long as I don’t take it too personally when someone leaves, for whatever reason.

I have my stories off pat. I was bullied at work. I was right and management was wrong, and these are the facts to demonstrate both assertions. I tell them for my own sake, of course- it was not my fault- because I need to assert that to myself, and another’s guarded assent helps me. If I have self-confidence, I can say “I have had some difficulties, and currently I am on the sick” and not anticipate “Well, you don’t look unfit for work to me” or be hurt by it if it happens.

6 thoughts on “Atheist Quakers III

  1. Can you think of another formulation for, ‘it was not my fault’? in the positive? Something like, ‘I am innocent’…? Saying, ‘it was Not My Fault’ very loudly fails to convince, because the brain does not hear the word ‘Not’…..A bit like saying, ‘I’m NOT a believer, for God’s sake!’

    It could be that your desire to be forgiving and inclusive stems more from feelings of compassion than fear. Yes, fear, or caution, are motivating…and I can understand a fear that underpins all our motivations…but compassion seems to be more where you are at now, since you see can notice an offense (‘when you are grown up like me you will be non-theist too’ is just silly, btw.) and not rise to it.

    Lovely post! xxx 😀


      • Yes! Or even – I always do my best, and everything always works out perfectly (even though I may not think so at the time, because) Divine timing is perfect. xxxx 🙂


        • I don’t know, actually, whether I am less fouled up now than I was earlier. I was so, so wrong, so angry and resentful, so frightened, and now I am stuck doing nothing, even if I do understand a wee bit more, and always so hurt. The lessons come with such difficulty. Oh! I suffer so much! (mustn’t grumble, not as much as some…)

          Liked by 1 person

          • Ah, but, …pause for thought……is suffering not at least partly contextual? I feel deep grief, but that feels okay, actually, whereas anguish, or anxiety, which feels less okay, might be worrying about stuff that is out there. The present moment is the only one that means anything, apparently. Unfortunately, some of us just have thinner skin too. xxx 😀


            • I see the beauty of it, of a leaf or a herb, of a human being and the dances we do with each other, such complex dances. How difficult it is to see what is important, more difficult to see what matters, sometimes, I see afterwards and try not to think it too late, because I do see. It is all beautiful.


All comments welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.