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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A place apart and taking off our shoes

Glynn Cardy, an Anglican minister in Auckland, New Zealand, writes about spiritual experience at Lucky Bear.

Friends, Peace and Pine Gap

Miss Eagle has to-day received this letter and these photographs from Dale Hess.
______________
Friends,

I have just received these photos of the Quaker Meeting held at Pine Gap. To learn what is happening at the trial of the Pine Gap 4, click on: http://www.pinegapontrial.blogspot.com/

Best regards,
Dale
______________

From: Jessica Morrison
Sent: Monday, 11 June 2007 9:32 PM
To: Hess Dale
Subject: Quaker Meeting at the Gates of Pine Gap - was it the first?

Dear Dale

I thought Friends may be interested in this,

Jessica
________________________
On Saturday 9th June, 25 people attended a Quaker meeting for worship 20 kms outside Alice Springs. The venue was the front gates of Pine Gap, a US/Australian Joint Defence Facility (also known as a US spy base), and the site of many protests.

While this was the first meeting for worship, this group of activists were able to grasp the process quickly (apart from sitting still for so long!).

Ministry included:
  • Hindu mantras;the query relating to seeds of conflict in ourselves;
  • stories of civil disobedience by Quakers;
  • that prophets went into the desert to find God and
  • that we go into the desert to find the truth about our country;
  • the nature of silence; and
  • the experience to attend the base in listening, rather than broadcasting of our opinions.

We finished with the laying of a peace sign of flowers and holding hands.




Friday, June 08, 2007

Mystics and mysticism: a summation - #3

If we cannot follow them in the experience to which their mysticism led them, and cannot fully understand what they seek to tell us, we must remember that these inner experiences, these visions of Divine truth, are of their very nature indescribable and incommunicable. If but few can share in that mystic experience, it is perhaps because few are prepared to pay the price which the mystics have paid and to follow in their steps along the Mystic Way, for they have told us plainly that the Way is long and hard, and those would attain must be ready to die completely to Self in order to live unto God. Yet we may learn from them and gain something for ourselves from their revelations, for our own guidance and encouragement, if we should seek to share, in however small a measure, in that which they enjoyed in its fullness; they have at any rate shewn us the way, and whither it leads for those who will tread it unfalteringly till the end is achieved.

Are the mystics right then? I think we can but answer Yes, if Mysticism means the transcending of the temporal and the material for the sake of communion, even of union, with the Abiding and the Real; if it means dying to the old life of the natural man, with all its limitations and desires, in order to attain to the freedom of a new supernatural Life which is everlasting; if, in short, it means a real experience, here and now, of what we call Eternity.
From the Epilogue
An introduction to the history of mysticism
By Margaret Smith
Gordon Press, New York
1976
Reprint of the 1930 edition published by the
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Mystics and mysticism: a summation - #2

Have they not rather justified it beyond all denial? Their testimony bears on the face of it the evidence of being founded on experience; they speak not by hearsay, but of that which they have seen and known for themselves. These mystics are no mere visionaries, unreliable, witnesses, but men and women of strong character, possessed of sound judgment, and for the most part of practical good sense. They were known far and wide for the sanctity of their lives, the saintliness of their characters. Often they were profound thinkers, the intellectual leaders of their fellows, and withal men and women of action, with great gifts for leadership and administration, who have made their mark in the history of religion and often-times in the history of the world. Their inward vision did not make them less capable of serving their fellow-men, rather it inspired them to a fuller and richer life for others in the world. Their mysticism was a death opening up the gates of life, it was creative in the fullest sense of the word; they were not content to abide alone, but in dying unto themselves they brought forth much fruit.

From the Epilogue
An introduction to the history of mysticism

By Margaret Smith
Gordon Press, New York
1976
Reprint of the 1930 edition published by the
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Mystics and mysticism: a summation

The mystics have given us their witness to the truth of the faith they hold; philosophers have set their seal to it, the Fathers of the Church have affirmed their belief in it; the seekers of the Orient have proclaimed in glowing terms their mystic creed; those devoted to the Religious life have found in Mysticism that which brings vital force in dogmatic theology; those who have lived in seclusion, together with those who have shared in all the activities of the busy world, men and women, saints and seers, poets and craftsmen, all alike have declared unfalteringly that the soul, already in this life, can and does enter consciously into immediate relationship with God. Have they justified their claim?

From the Epilogue
An introduction to the history of mysticism
By
Margaret Smith
Gordon Press, New York
1976
Reprint of the 1930 edition published by the
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Leunig: The path to your door


Michael Leunig is one of Australia's great cartoonists. Michael is a spiritual man and insightful in his art, his text, his comment. Miss Eagle is currently listening to Billy the Rabbit which the gifted Gyan has set to music. The CD comes beautifully packaged with a little book of the poems which have been set to music. Here is the last, but not least:



The Path to your Door
The path to your door
Is the path within:
Is made by animals,
Is lined by flowers,
Is lined by thorns,
Is stained with wine,
Is lit by the lamp of sorrowful dreams:
Is washed with joy,
Is swept by grief,
Is blessed by the lonely traffic of art:
Is known by heart,
Is known by prayer,
Is lost and found,
Is always strange,
The path to your door.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Listening

Iona Abbey window Christine Sine

Sometimes in a lowly cell
In the presence of my God
I stand and listen.

In the silence of my heart
I can hear his will
When I listen
Despairing people flock to me
They expect that I can see the answers
They ask my advice,
They say I am wise
I answer that nothing can deceive me
If I stand alone and silently listen

For I am but a servant
Who is guided by his king
When I listen
Sometimes in a lowly cell
In the presence of my God
I stand and listen

This Celtic poem attributed to Columba comes from Christine Sine via Listening Point.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Modern ascetism: counter-cultural, radical, spiritual commitment

In the latest Eureka, Paul Collins writes about ascetism and radical spiritual commitment in an article titled Downsizing as a form of modern ascetism.