Tuesday, 24 April 2007


I read a blog this morning that discussed a writers spiritual journey as she frees herself from her Communist social roots. It reminded me that I must stop putting my religious life on hold.

I came into Quakerism some 30 years attracted by it radical democratic roots, then over the years came to understand and appreciate its pre Nicene Christian approach. Quakers question most of what orthodox Christians think is the core of Christian belief-no priests, no emperor God, no divine book, Jesus as human rather then demi-god, open not closed community so other faiths paths to God, bible a human document, revelation a living experience, and so on.

My wife is on a spiritual journey within the tradition of the blog writer, in that she is a devotee of Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma (Mother). Eastern religions do not speak to my condition nor do nature/Celtic/pagan traditions as western culture resonates with Judeo-Christian values. And for me that's about social justice and changing the world. My experience of many western travellers on this paths is a rejection of the notion of God or atheistic materialism. And on the positive side an emotional engagement with the divine rather then ritual.

My religious journey is on hold because recently, I was a residential warden at a Quaker Meeting House for 5 years until 2 years ago when I moved back to Bristol. Since then, I have needed a break from the intensity of the community experience and have been reluctant to re-engage since. In part because I tend to agree with Groucho Marx who sent the telegram...PLEASE ACCEPT MY RESIGNATION. I DON'T WANT TO BELONG TO ANY CLUB THAT WILL ACCEPT ME AS A MEMBER. This means that I tend to enjoy the activity but not the company. Love Startrek but my nightmare would be a Startrek convention!

I resolve this in part by having a value led career and engaging with the social communities that the Internet is creating with me. I noticed that the USA storytelling network is setting up moderated bulletin boards for story telling so must chase up the UK network! The lesson is that I need to chase up a Quaker network and break the ice!

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