God within

In very real ways, soul, consciousness, love, and the Holy Spirit are one and the same. Each of these point to something that is larger than the individual, shlarger than the individual, shared with God, ubiquitous, and even eternal—and then revealed through us!

Richard Rohr

When I say I am a materialist, I am doubting that. There is something at the heart of each human being, which Quakers call “That of God” or “The inner light” which I believe is in me, because I respect the experience and observations of mystics and their ability to put their experience into words; and also the ability of the Society of Friends to winnow those words, retaining and distilling the best of them. But, as a materialist I see it as part of the evolved human being, part of me, so I doubt its goodness or even its value.

I have no idea what the writer of Isaiah 53:3 meant, but it could be read in this way:

He was despised and rejected by others; [or the ego, or the introjects]
a man of suffering and acquainted with infirmity;
and as one who hides his face from us
he was despised, and we held him of no account.

If there is that which is called That of God within me, I do not see it properly because I imagine it to be other than it is, or do not see its worth, or cannot imagine its reality. Yet it is there whether or not I am conscious of it, and my spiritual task is to become conscious of it and cede control to it.

This morning before worship I went for a walk, thinking of it as a walking meditation. And I was looking at the ground underfoot, or in a reverie. And sometimes I was captivated by the beauty around me, on a walk I have done hundreds of times. Once I was brought to a halt. Hockney’s Woldgate Woods helps me to see the variation. Yet it is only a preparation, openness to outward experience as a training for openness to inner experience. Possibly I could remain with it if I walked more slowly.

Then in worship, with the swifts circling overhead, and a red kite, I was aware of the beauty, of the wind and birdsong when I had my eyes closed. I thought of my meeting, how loveable they are, and at the end ministered to myself, that thought of being open to the Light. Possibly I see it now, fleetingly; and I will be led to pray continually.

And it seems to me that if I speak from it my voice is naturally above the break, in my feminine register, and I can only speak from it in that female voice. So I could be my real self, my inner light and more feminine, if only I were brave enough.

 ♥♥♥

And, after, I say it to be it.

I am.

When I say it I speak above the break, and notice my shoulders and neck relax, and I stand taller. I say,

I need no protection. I want a junior counsellor, a different view sometimes, but I am braver than he.

4 thoughts on “God within

  1. The job I have been doing the past four summers is to care for over 130 large and magnificent flower baskets that are hung from poles high overhead. Watering these flowers is the main part of the job, and so, when I’m not negotiating the heavy 25 gallon tank and cart through the hordes of people on the sidewalk, I’m stopped either at the poles or the various water faucets to refill the tank. While standing stationary in those places, it’s rare that I don’t make a one-to-one contact with another person – literally, over 100 times a day. Usually, people express their appreciation for the flowers and/or my good work, and I can return the compliment with the most-feminine-sounding “thank you” without reservation. A lady even told me, this morning, that I was pretty, too – to which I responded with a more demure feminine “thank you.” 😉

    There’s something about beauty, whether it be in nature or in people’s reaction to it, that breaks down those barriers and allows my feminine-self to shine through. There’s nothing brave about it, because I give those barriers no thought in the process.I don’t know if God cares how feminine my prayer voice may be, but I have to believe that He is as happy as I am with how I am a part of spreading a positive light as the feminine being I am. It wasn’t that many years ago that I was thinking I had no prayer of such a thing at all.

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    • It seems to me that my feminine voice expresses a part of me that I cannot express any other way. I think of that part as more fundamentally me, separate from the introjects. And yes, you are pretty.

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      • I wasn’t fishing for a compliment, but thank you. You are pretty, too. Our feminine voices can be complimentary, but are, often more importantly, complementary to who we are. In your last post, you mentioned the difficulty of speaking to someone over the phone, and I can relate to that. Even when I try to raise the pitch of my voice, the phone seems to pick up the undertones of my baritone. But, then, the person on the other end of the line can’t see my pretty face!

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