Saturday, November 2, 2013

John Wilbur and the Primitive Church.

It is the 9th month and 8th day in the year 1835. In a letter to James and Sarah Tucker in England he writes:

“And now I feel free to say to you, my dear friends, as to those whom I know will be discreet in knowledge, that my fears regarding things on the other side of the water are being lamentably realized; that such as my labors there, both by word and writing, were designed to counteract, are notwithstanding very likely to prevail to an alarming degree ; and whether the Society there will be able to purge itself by a copious dismemberment, or whether a disjunction will take place, or whether the leaven will be suffered to remain till the whole be leavened, as was the case with the primitive Church, when it graduated into apostasy, is yet uncertain.

The unsoundness is far the most prevalent amongst the wise, the rich, the learned and the influential; which renders it exceedingly difficult to raise the authority of Truth above it.

Sometimes the sallies from sound Christian doctrine are in one direction, and sometimes in another; the object and aim at this time seems to be, to divide and distinguish Christ from his own spirit. Such assertions as the following are now to be met with repeatedly, —if ministers and elders, and others both of our own parts and strangers are to be credited—namely, that " the Spirit of Truth is no part of a Saviour; " " that Christ only, and him crucified, is to be preached; that these pretensions of the Light and the Spirit must vanish away," &c. &c.”

Wilbur, John, 1774-1856. Journal of the life of John Wilbur : a minister of the gospel in the Society of Friends (Kindle Locations 3760-3780). Providence : G. H. Whitney.

It is a recurring lament of Wilbur, and those who labor with him, that the “unsoundness” manifests  prevalently “amongst the wise, the rich, the learned and the influential ...” and that they use their power and influence to tamp down those upholding the “primitive Church.”

I turn your attention to Wilbur’s concern that those laboring against the “primitive Chruch” wished to “divide and distinguish Christ from his own spirit.” And that the “Spirit of Truth is no part of a Saviour.” An finally “that these pretensions of the Light and the Spirit must vanish away.”

That there were many Quakers who sought  to dis-spirit Christ, was the rub. The inward light was the core of the testimony of the “ancient Friends.” The denial of the inner light, the inner Spirit, the Presence, was denial of the Pentecost;  the fruition of the work and sacrifice of the historic Christ ... the coming of the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, in individual men and women. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the personal experience of consciousness or life transcending and sustained upon the death of the body. This is the living Gospel of salvation. It is personal knowledge of eternal life. It is being born again into the spiritual (intuitive) and the renewal of the mind. This is  the testimony of George Fox and Issac Penington, for example. Wilbur was struggling against those who would rip the light out of the individual and place it in the external ... the historic Christ and the bible, for example. The movement Wilbur was struggling against was the want to encase the spirit in external material and intellectual form resulting in the bondage of the individual to the outward forms of intellectual thought of men and women rather than the freedom he and the “primitive Church" (the “remnant") experienced individually through direct personal experience of their eternal nature ... no longer bound to the bodily or worldly nature.

When Isaac Penington says in “A Warning of Love from the Bowels of Life ...”

“Now, who will be wise? Let him become a fool in the flesh. Who will be strong? Let him become weak in the man's part. Who will be saved by the eternal power? Let him cease from the man in himself. Whoever would be able, in the life, to do all things, let him sink into that in himself which is not, that it may bring to nought all things in him that are; that so it alone may be: and he by it being brought to nothing, will easily become all in it. This is the true way of restoration, of redemption; first to be lost, to be overcome, to be drowned, to be made nothing by that which is not; that that may come to BE in him, and he be quickened, raised up, and perfected in that, and so become possessor of the fulness. "The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong;" but he that daily loseth his strength, and his ability to know, or so much as to will or desire (even till at length he become nothing at all) in him is the corrupt at last destroyed, and the mortal swallowed up of the life. He, that feels the pure seed springing up, and by the growth of that is daily begotten, quickened, raised, justified, sanctified, circumcised, baptized, [is] fed in one part, and starved in another. When the work of begetting, quickening, raising, regenerating, justifying, sanctifying, circumcising, baptizing is finished in him, and he is thoroughly begotten into the life, quickened by the life, raised in the life, regenerated, justified, sanctified, circumcised, and baptized through the life, he shall have the kingdom, wear the crown, enter into the joy of his Lord, wielding the sceptre of righteousness with his Lord in his kingdom for ever. Now this work is to be done in the heart, on this side the grave; for after death comes judgment for the things done in the body; and the tree is to be disposed of, according as it is found at its fall, either to the fire, or to grow and flourish in the land of life. Therefore be not slothful, but watch unto the movings of the living seed, that its work may be perfected; that it may arrive at its stature, and come to its full growth, and may finish its service and testimony, that so it may enter into its habitation, and receive you with it into its everlasting mansion, where every servant and constant sufferer with the seed shall be welcomed of its Father, and remain a partaker of their joy and fulness for ever. ”

He is pointing specifically to “the mortal swallowed up of the life...” He is pointing to consciousness sustained upon the death of the body. The Gospel message and the testimony of the early Quakers is literally the direct personal experience of the self-conscious ego anchored in the Light to burn bright eternally.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"Observations on Mingling with other Professors" - John Wilbur

Source: Wilbur, John, 1774-1856. Journal of the life of John Wilbur : a minister of the gospel in the Society of Friends (Kindle Locations 1914-1928). Providence : G. H. Whitney. 

4th Month 20th day in Godalming -- 1832

"On the following day, we visited a sick Friend and travelled to Godalming, where, on the following morning, we had a meeting with Friends, and much labor in it, and quietness followed. The state of things here is mournfully low; most of the children of Friends have left the Society ; divers of those from the first families have joined the Episcopalians, and some of those who have not, would not be suspected of belonging to the Society of Friends. In the evening we had a meeting with the town's-people, in which I was much opened and enlarged in declaring the practical doctrines of the gospel, and the meeting concluded with solemn supplication. We found that the principal Friends of this place did, some years ago, join with what was called the Bible Society, composed of bishops, priests, and people of divers denominations; and if the parents could cordially join with the hireling clergy and others, in an association for the purpose of promoting religion, by spreading the Scriptures, the children, not being able, as might be supposed, to distinguish  soberly between such an association, and one distinctly for the purpose of religious communion, were led away, as is believed, by a frequent association with such, and induced to join with other denominations. In the early time of the Bible Association, it appears that the clergy rather courted the favor of Friends made very free with them, and spoke very interestingly to them, and of them, and this naturally produced its like in Friends, and for want of being sufficiently guarded, it is to be feared that they were, in too many instances, pleased with these worldly dignitaries, who thus obligingly smiled upon them, and of course Friends were induced to speak well, yea, and to think well of them; hence the young people among Friends, who had not the maturity of judgment to make the right allowance and discrimination, were gradually prepared, by what seemed to them a kind of toleration, not only to embrace their parents' associate, the priest, but his principles, too. For the motto is true, " The better we like a man, the less we dislike his principles or conduct."

It is fully my belief that when Friends have joined with the clergy and others, in those religious and benevolent associations, it has had a very insidious tendency, to a compromise of principle, and to a dimming of the beauty, or lessening the estimation of our testimonies; if not to the quieting of the consciences, and allaying the convictions in their minds relative to that oppressive and wicked thing of forcing a maintenance from Friends and other dissenters, as well as from their own members. And I think Friends will not stand clear of iniquity in thus joining, unless they are plainly honest, and give them clearly to understand that by thus joining with them in a good thing, they will not be considered as conniving at their practice in other respects, nor partakers with thera in their deeds.

These observations, made on the state of things at Godal-ming, will, I apprehend, hold good if applied to many other places in England, and, although, as some Friends have suggested, this intercourse, by means of these associations, may have been of some apparent benefit to others, yet I am persuaded, from my observation and sense of the thing, that the unguarded usage and familiarity allowed in such intercourse have done a vast deal more harm to us, than good to them. And if by such an intercourse, they should one day be found in greater unison with us, in principle and practice, I suspect it will be owing not so much to their advancement as to our retrogression.

I am not able to discover any more safety in our mingling with other people, than there was for the Israelites under the law; The command to them was " thou shalt dwell alone," but we need not suppose that this was a prohibition tp others from joining with the Israelites or their peculiar testimonies. The restriction upon Israel, regarding an intercourse with other nations was far from a preclusion of all others iirom the favor of God. The Moabites, Edomites, and Ishmaelites were all the descendants of Abraham and Lot his friend, and, in their way, were religious people, especially the two former nations; nor do I remember to have seen any account that the Israelites were commanded to exterminate either. But now, in the present day, it may be argued that other sects are also professors of Christianity, as well as we ; and so it may also be said that some of those nations believed in, and worshipped the same God, and, like Israel, offered slain beasts upon their altars, by the hands of a priest; an undeniable representation of the office and offering of a mediator. And they were not probably farther behind the testimonies of their neighbors, than the generality of professors are, in the present day, in faith, behind the pure testimonies of the primitive Quakers. And, if needful, I should have no fear of losing anything by detailing a comparison of all the essential differences. Balaam had, undoubtedly, been a man highly favored, —a prophet,—and might have remained so to the end of his days, but for his giving way to love the wages of unrighteousness—the bane of religion then, and the bane of religion now!

If a union were to take place between our Society and others, it would evidently be a great loss, both to ourselves and the world at large, if we were to meet them upon any other ground than that premised by the gospel, in its exalted and pure state—the high mark aimed at, and, in an eminent degree, come to, by our predecessors. Below this, there is no object to be looked for, or obtained, that can possibly make amends for its loss or abandonment. If we, by joining with other professors, might contribute in any way to the bringing of the heathen to their standard, if, at the same time, it led to the levelling of our own, the loss would be vastly more to us, than the gain to them. But we cannot join them, in their way, in a missionary concern to the heathen, or to any other people, but at the expense of our noble testimonies.

It was undoubtedly because the Israelites had peculiar testimonies in advance of others, that the Almighty prohibited their intercourse with them. He who searcheth the heart and trieth the reins, knoweth the weakness of man, and his liability to assimilate to the opinions of those with whom he intimately associates ; therefore, lest the Israelites should imbibe the views and ways of their neighbors, to the loss of their own testimonies. He put a prohibition upon an intimacy with them. Human nature is the same now as it was then; hence it is as needful now on the part of our Society to maintain the boundary, or line of demarkation, as it was then for the Israelites, lest our doctrines and testimonies be lost in the common mass of formal and literal professors."

Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Witness ... Playing with the features.

A Witness ... Playing with Features

There is a weaving running through the tapestry that is my life history that, over time, manifests as an existential interplay between consciousness anchored, composed, or mirrored in objects (the nature world, cities, family relationships, friendships, philosophy, religion, politics etc. ) and self-conscious soul that experiences existential support within itself; free from the need of mirrors to be ... Spirit.

As a young man, I often spent my days imagining Jesus Christ was right next to me in everything I did during the day. For example, as a cashier at Meijer in Taylor, Michigan, I would work at staying mindful that Jesus Christ was present (as if a physical presence though immaterial) in my interactions with the customers. Over time, it came to me that the "features" of this external immaterial presence wasn't all that important. I then began playing with the features of this Presence. Some days the Presence was a lion; some days it was a totally imaginary person and on and on as far as imagination would take me.

Then it happened, one day it came to me; "ideas could be 'features' of the Presence." Oh wow could I play with this! This opened up whole new worlds of imagination in the Present. For example, ideas of Freedom, political and spiritual, became a feature of the Presence; so that in my daily interactions and work I stayed mindful of the idea of freedom (for example) as a being ever-present.

Now, with all this said - this is significant - in all this intention toward the "featuring" of the Presence, I most often lived unmindful of the Presence in my daily life even though I strove otherwise. Most often, the Presence and the features of the Presence were not at the forefront of thought and mindfullness. I was most often lost in work, relationships, worries, joys, etc.

It was clear I needed quiet moments - scared moments - to strengthen the "featurings" of the Presence in everyday life. The need for these sacred moments frustrated me. The validity of the Presence was that it should light up in each and every thing. If that could not happen ... I would reject it.

In the summer of my 25th year, I was struggling with the question of my features. That is; "Who is it that is looking (featuring) at this body that I call me?" "Who is it that is thinking (featuring) these thoughts that I call my thoughts?" In this context, on a warm summer evening, I was walking in a feral field populated with short thorn-apple and aspen trees. I scarlet tanager landed on a thorn-apple tree right in front of me and its red plumage flamed in the light of the setting sun. I turned to look at the sunset and imagination was feed by intuition and I experienced; "I was the Presence and the Presence was in every thing and every moment." The features of the Presence I had been playing with took on a translucence so that I saw through them to the Presence behind each of them; even my own body and thoughts and comings and goings.The Presence (consciousness unconditioned by features) was and is always there behind the features I had formed around it.

I am now 52 years old. My life has been a working out of the Presence and illuminating every aspect of my life with the Presence in the context of family, work, and friends. It has been a story of much failure and some moments of victory.

There comes a point of saturation of light. Through, intentionality and concentration, more and more of the rooms of the house of my life are illuminated by unconditioned consciousness (the Present). The woman I love once came to me and read these passages from a book she was reading. She said she thought I would appreciate them:

The pleasures that arise from sense - objects are bound to end and thus they are only sources of pain. Don't get attached to them. And, when a man reaches a state were honor and dishonor are alike to him, then he is considered supreme. Strive to gain such a state.

What is more numerous than the grass?

The thoughts that rise in the mind of man.

Who is truly wealthy?

That man to whom agreeable and disagreeable, wealth and woe, past and future, are the same. What is the most wondrous thing on earth?
 Each day countless humans enter the Temple of Death, yet the ones left behind continue to live as though they were immortal.

From: The Palace of Illusions

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

When you've played with the features enough so the you can give them over to the Presence ... suddenly you are free and dichotomies are at once acknowledged and resolved. In consciousness that exists in the Presence, the struggles between war and peace, love and hate, rich and poor, life and death, no longer sting - they are features of the Present not the Presence.

--- Lost Play Regained ---

As the Presence more and more illuminates every aspect of terrestrial life a pliability of Being results so that existence is no longer static, that is, conditioned by and dependent upon terrestrial, intellectual, and emotional objects.

The Presence is strong upon me so that features (mirrors to see the Presence) no longer condition the conscious soul to being in the Present.

When we enjoy a good book we are observers of the events. We do not pick and choose the events we will read ... we just read and observe the events. We do not cut out all the places where the bad person shows up in the story. Reading a book is playing in the events, we are above the events.

In the Presence, we play in existence ... in the good things and the bad. The Presence is sufficient unto itself. It is wonderful to be awake in the Present ... to show up in all things. Every happening and event is new, even the most mundane of events because they are not predicated by the past reflection or nostalgia or anticipation of the future. In the Present consciousness settles down into the moment so that the terrestrial, intellectual, and emotional events (life features) are observed, witnessed, or experienced as features of the story playing out before us.

A attempt to clarify.

Normally, that which we call our - selves, the combination all our perceptions (objects in the world - five senses), our thoughts, values, ethics (objects in the soul or objects that come to us from other souls), our emotions, and desires. These are the framework of our individual and social conscious ... the self-conscious ego. Take these away, and there is no thing to support personal idenity or self-consciousness. Perceptions, sensations, thoughts, feelings, and desires, are mirrors through which we see ourselves ... self-consciousness in the mirrors ... mirrored consciousness.

There is another way. There is an "ever-presence" behind, in, and amongst the features of mirrored consciousness. This ever-presence permeates the framework of mirrored consciousness. It is the glue binding the various features of mirrored consciousness. It is there in all things and it can be experienced directly ... unmirrored ... unrelfected ... unfeatured. Who is looking in the mirrors? Who is standing up against the mirrors? Who is reflected? Who is it that anger approaches in the mirror? Who is it that values peace? Who is it fighting in that war? It is the Presence. It is consciousness that exists without the need of mirrors. It is the self-conscious ego free of the need to reflect on some thing ... to exist. We know that Presence in silent meeting. We know that Presence in meditation. We know that Presence in prayer. It is there in all things. It is there in war. It is there in peace. It is there in hate. It is there in love. All these things: war, peace, love, hate, and on and on are reflections and each are hardened mirrors. The self-conscious ego can stand in the Presence and not falter. It can sustain in the Presence with intention and concentration even as it acknowledges the mirrors of terrestrial being. This is spiritual consciousness ... some call it the Kingdom of God. The words used have meaning only in the context of the direct personal experience of Being in the present ... the true Self. Imagination and intuition will strengthen you to walk through the mirrors ... playing ... lost play regained.

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Eternal Light

There is at once at subtle yet significant difference between God as a being and God as being. When some of us say; "God is a verb," we mean to suggest God is a way of being rather than an abstract or external form ... a Being. With that said, it is possible to speak abstractly of God as a way of being to the extent we point to God as a way of being not yet fully experienced or recognized. So that, when some say they wish a relationship with God they mean they wish personal identity or conscious experience anchored in essential being.

The use of the nominative for God is to create external icons or anchors so consciousness can be in relation. The nominative predicates God with external characteristics or attributes that sense based consciousness can grasp. Instead of "God is" consciousness based on the senses says; "God is that." In the same way, sense based consciousness says; "I am this," instead of "I am." Sense based consciousness seeks predication for personhood or identity.

In the book of Exodus, God commands the Israelites to not worship engraved images. In the Book of 1st Samuel God says the people of Israel's wish for a King was a rejection of Him. Both these are examples of sense based consciousness dependent of external forms. Ideas are the icons or idols of men or women today. Political, religious, and social, ideologies are shaped and formed to give meaning, direction, and being to the sense based consciousness. Instead of "I am" sense based consciousness says; "I am a Quaker, I am an Activist, I am this or that and this and that." Being is predicated by the sense based consciousess. However, God and/or self consciousness can sustain without predication ... God.

Imagine consciousness without the five senses, that is without sight, smell, taste, touch, hearing. Imagine consciousness without brain function - thoughts, feelings, desires. Imagine walking in the world without the five senses. Sense based consciousness exists because external objects reflect back on it through the senses and the brain. Sense based knows itself in relation to or in the reflection of external objects. The dissolution of the body is death to sense based consciousness ... the light goes out ... there is no thing to reflect upon.

If God is a he, she, or it ... God as Being is iconized (a made up word) or crystallized ... for the sake of reflected consciousness.

... for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, 'I am of Paul,' and another, 'I am of Apollos,' are you not carnal? (1st Corinthians 3)

Carnal, sensual, or sense based consciousness traps the Eternal Light or Essential Being in forms even ideological form. Human Being can directly experience and know consciousness independent of the bodily senses and mental ideological constructs. Human Being can experience and know consciousness anchored in Eternal Being so that the Eternal Light flames forth even unto the dissolution of the body. This is the verbal God ... unpredicated ... I am.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Fluid in the Solid State - Spiritual Consciousness

"So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galations 3).

 Paul's testimony that external genetic, political, social, religious, and gender categories are overcome through faith in Jesus Christ by baptism into Him was and is iconoclastic to the very core of personal and community identity. To cloth oneself with Christ was to experience selfhood or identity independent of external genetic, political, social, religious, moral, ethical and gender forms. To cloth oneself with Christ is to anchor individual and social consciousness in the fluidity of essential being rather then the solid state of crystallzied genetic, social, religious, political, gender, ideological, conceptual, or emotional forms. The cornerstone of life clothed in Christ is the self-conscious ego experiencing and knowing itself independent of these forms. This is salvation from the things of this world ... this is eternal life. 

In the fluidity of personal identity with eternity, Being is no longer attached to abstract categories of conservative or liberal, gay or straight, rich or poor, vegetarian or meat-eater, peace or war, violence or nonviolence, capitalism or socialism, morality or immorality, life or death. Being is iconoclastic; smashing these idols, even as it moves among them. 

The power of spiritual consciousness (Fluid in the Solid State); even as it is in this world of abstract form, it is not of it and there is were we are all one. Never will we find peace or unity in abstract political, religious, social, genetic, ideological, moral, ethical, emotional, or gender form. These are idols of the body and mind ... crystallized to divide.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sensibles and Visibles and the Moment

"The Word is that by which we live, namely, Jesus himself; and his words represent, in part, in shadow, in suggestion, himself. Any utterance worthy of being called a truth, is human food: how much more The Word, presenting no abstract laws of our being, but the vital relation of soul and body, heart and will, strength and rejoicing, beauty and light, to Him who first gave birth to them all!"

--George MacDonald - Unspoken Sermons

In reflective consciousness, the self-conscious ego is anchored in the events and perceptions through the five senses and the thoughts, feelings, and desires make up the soul world. If the five senses and thoughts, feelings, desire can no longer the self-conscious ego, consciousness is lost. With dissolution of the body (death), the senses stop functioning along with the brain so that in reflective consciousness the self-conscious ego can no longer "see" or experience itself in the mirrors of perception and the emotional and thought world.

Many people seek and experience a foothold in existent wherein the self-conscious ego sustains itself; outside of the need for the reflective function of the body and the world.  The experience of the indwelling Holy Spirit, the Inner Light, the Guide, the Watcher, The Observer, the Moment, the Present, The Presence, The Inner Christ, The Word, etc; is testimony to the self-conscious ego free from dependency on the mirrors of the body and the world to "Be." The self-conscious ego takes hold of essential Being through direct experience. It knows, through experience, consciousness without mirrors.  Consciousness (the inner light) does not dim and extinguish with the dissolution of the body.

Jacob Boehme in "The Supersensual Life" speaks of  "leaving" the "Visibles and Sensibles, by which either the Imagination or sensitive Appetite in Men are delighted." This shedding of the Visibles and Sensibles as the anchor of the self-conscious ego and in-stead anchoring the self-conscious ego in the vital being through which the visible and sensible mirrors manifest is alignment with that Presence that is ever there behind the Visibles and Sensibles. Who is seeing those hands typing on the laptop. Who is seeing that beautiful valley? Who is seeing the Syrian people fighting amongst themselves? Who is seeing that person that collapsed in the parking lot? That Presence that is there in all the individual does, thinks, and feels is there in each and ever other individual being we encounter in each and every moment if we only show up. That Presence, Eternity, can be experienced and know in this life and in this world and in this moment, when people take their gaze and focus from the Visibles and Sensibles and re-cognize and then recognize vital being ... spiritual consciousness.

The glory and power of Being present is showing up in the Visibles and Sensibles so that we experience them fresh as if a child experiencing the things of the world for the first time. In the Present there is no nostalgia; re-flecting on past experience. And there is no yearning for a perceived future. In the present ... there is life and direct experience unconditioned by the past or future. In the eternal present, we are awake to the beauty of the Sensibles and Visibles; they no longer captivate or darken the eternal Present, they enhance the wonder and beauty of the moment.

The past week was trying for me and my family as my doctor expressed concern I may have a blood clot in my lung. Care and concern approached on the horizon of being and threatened to darken the Light. Throughout the process of medical tests and family expressions of concern, there were moments when fear and anxiety won over and the light faded. At other times, eternity was upon with great power and peace was upon me as I settled into the Present and acknowledged to anxiety and fear. I touched these emotions and did not resist. When a doctor suggests you may have a blood clot that could cause the insist dissolution of the body, I learned inner strength was severely tested. I also experienced the self-conscious ego, anchored eternal Being, is graced with the wonderment of eternal security in the Present in unto the death of the body.

My CT scan came back negative. No blood clot. Other tests showed diminished lung capacity, perhaps due to life-long allergies.

May each of you show-up in each moment ... I'll meet you there.

Friday, August 23, 2013

An outcome of the Present or the personal experience of the Holy Spirit.

An outcome of the Present or the personal experience of the Holy Spirit.

Once intention and concentration give way to consciousness free from the need for the mirrors of worldly consciousness, a detachment happens;  a space is created between our ideas and emotions and essential being. Thoughts and emotions no longer have an enchanting hold on us. Our identity is no longer bound to concepts and emotions so that they approach us as external happenings in the same way that, say, we relate to a weather event. When it is storming outside, we do not say, I am storming. We say, "It is storming." In the Present, we no longer relate to the emotion of angry as subjective. We do not say; "I am anger." We say; "Anger is happening." This acknowledges the event of anger but also acknowledges anger is not me, it is an event happening to me. I am not anger. In the Present we are observers, no longer identified we emotions. Thoughts are the same way. They are no longer the foundation of personal identity. They are objects we acknowledge as realities presented to us, however, we know they are not our foothold for identity. 

The inner quiet gained from Being that is ever present, even amidst onslaught of random thoughts and emotions, is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

This experience is not just about quiet and peace when grappling with thoughts and emotions you don't particularly like; but also with those you embrace. Using the weather example; happiness happens, it is no longer a part of who we are. We no longer say; "I am happy." We say; "Happiness is happening to me. Again, this acknowledges happiness as an event that play out before is.

Imagine, the subjective/objective dichotomy is shattered. Thoughts and emotions are the idols of modern men and women as the stone images were in the past. Thoughts and images are the icons that modern men and woman must smash. That is, that modern men and women must break free from as the foundation of personal identity. That freedom is found in living in the moment ... the eternal presence ... the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Peace, love, tolerance, sacrifice, etc. are not concepts we seek to project. They are happenings we acknowledge in the Present just as we acknowledge anxiety, hate, intolerance, selfishness. In Eternity, abstract values are not forced on the world through external institutions or political activism, they are the result of sustained experience of and focus in the Present through each individual.