Saturday, April 9, 2016

To those whose living Witness is our testimony and who are being led out of outward forms.

There are many of us today whose way of existence or awareness on earth is inherently anchored. That is, our conscious or awareness is inherent in itself and our conscience is formed or informed inherently; our identity, meaning, and purpose is in direct and unmediated awareness itself in itself. This inherent existence is sufficient in itself to sustain awareness and to sustains our identity, meaning, and purpose in all things on this earth. We experience life on earth somewhat like this:

"When mopping the floor ... I am. When speaking to students on Natural History ... I am. While watching hummingbirds build their tiny nests ... I am. When I read scripture ... I am. While watching a Pileated Woodpecker pair feeding their young in a nest cavity ... I am. While attending local theater ... I am. While worshipping in a church building or Meeting House ... I am. As I garden ... I am. While I work on an upholstery project ... I am."

"I am in all things and circumstances and I am none of those things and circumstances. I am predicated to no-thing, tradition, or institution."

For the purposes of this letter, I will use the phrases "inherent existence" and "imminent awareness" interchangeably. Anywhere these two phrases are used, the terms and phrases, such as God, Christ, inward Light, etc. can be replaced for clarity.

I am inherent existence experienced directly in the conscious and guiding the conscience. Inherent existence is sufficient in itself (without regard to outward forms, people, things, circumstances, community, etc.).

Be ever watchful and vigilant over losing your witness in the face of anger, innuendo, and misrepresentation.

To those who witness or experience (or who are coming into this witness) the sufficiency of imminent awareness without regard to outward forms, traditions, institutions, or the professors of form and go about testifying about this witness, there will be those who, by their own admission, do not share our Witness and who are skeptical as to the reality of that which we witness and testify.  They will affirm their need for outward forms in regard to matters of the conscious, conscience, identity, meaning, and purpose. They will then argue that because their conscious, conscience, identity, meaning, and purpose is bound to outward form, they cannot imagine otherwise. Some (not all, by any means) will become angry, frustrated and even hostile and lash out with various accusations, innuendo, etc. In these circumstances, those of us who experience imminent awareness in all things and circumstances must be ever watchful and vigilant concerning our witness. 

It is important that we do not become so caught up in our testimony that it takes the place of our actual witness (inherent existence). One way to know this is happening is that we are no longer in the witness when we speak or write our testimony. That is, we become defensive and overly concerned with our testimony. The testimony solidifies and awareness hardens into it.   Then, when we are attacked by those who do not share a sustained life in the sufficiency of inherent existence itself as our identity meaning and purpose, we will often respond from the hardened brick of testimony and not from our witness itself ... imminent awareness. Under these circumstances, we have lost our witness. That is, we are no longer living in or witness (experiencing) inherent existence itself. It is very easy to become enchanted by our testimony which is then Witness lost.

Note: Very early in Quaker history, a rift happened between those founding Quakers who established outward forms amongst those gathered in the inshining Light and those who did not accept the establishment of outward forms like Monthly Meeting, Quarterly Meeting, Yearly Meeting, Men and Women's Meeting, set time for worship, etc. because they affirmed the sufficiency of inherent existence (the inward Light) to guide them in matters of conscious, conscience, identity, meaning, and purpose without regard to outwardly established forms. They testified to their Witness (experience) that they were led out of a dependency on outward forms in matters of conscious, conscience, identity, meaning, and purpose and that, for conscience sake, they would not participate in the forms other founding Quakers established. William Rogers' book written in 1680, entitled "The Christian Quaker ..." documents the testimony of the latter. The book is a wonderful testimony to their Witness of the sufficiency of the inshining Light itself in itself in matters of conscious, conscience, identity, meaning, and purpose. It also illustrates (not on purpose) the pitfalls of Witness lost in the face of criticism and angry backlash from those founding Quakers who institutionalized the Witness. The established forces were brutal in their angry criticism of those who spoke out for the sufficiency of the Witness itself regarding conscious, conscience, identity, meaning, and purpose; and the latter responded in kind ... Witness (inherent existence) Lost. There is much we, who share the Witness of those founding Quakers who testified against those other founding Quakers who institutionalized the gathering; both edifying and unedifying. 

This is where watchfulness and vigilance are important. When imminent awareness is no longer Witnessed while writing or speaking and anger and frustration lead our response, it is time to stop writing and speaking and to re-turn into your Witness (experience) and to let go of your testimony. That is, we must lay down the hardened testimony we have idolized and break it apart in and through our Witness in inherent existence.

Our living Witness is our conscious, conscience, identity, meaning, and purpose is independent of outward forms and our testimony must ever come out of that Witness. After all, if we lose our Witness (direct inherent existence or imminent awareness) we allow our testimony to turn us back again in that which we have been led out of in inherent existence.

In all things and circumstances, even in the face of angry criticism, we hold to our Witness and testify to it in and through the Light of the Witness itself. It is not ours to expect acceptance or to judge the anger and frustration of others, ours is to lay down our tender Witness before others and without expectation.

In our living Witness, we have victory over all circumstances and events is our lives and inherent existence is ever before us which is the joy and peace of heaven.

No comments:

Post a Comment