Posts tagged with “Quaker”

April 21

A little help from our friends?

By an odd coincidence the title of the last book group read was "The Help".  Although I have barely begun the book I am firmly committed to finishing it eventually because it was unanimously approved by the reading group members and I have a hunch it would do me good to get out of a slight rut I have been in with reading.

But that is hopefully the only rut I have been stuck in, Read More »(((mo

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November 28

A Quaker on the run?....

For a couple of weeks I have not felt ready to engage with the other Friends at my local meeting, which is definitely challenging, but not necesssarily a bad thing or something to be ashamed of.  It is almost a commonplace thing for Quakers to complain of the company they seem bound to keep, at least amongst those Friends whom I tend to respect and socialise with.  So attending a couple of Meetings outside my local area has, perhaps, been good for me spiritually.

Read More »(((more)))
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September 04

Categories of Engagement

It is not too often the personal intrudes on this blog (I hope!) But today I would like to indulge myself a little.  Anyone who has been here before will perhaps notice that there are a couple of new categories creeping in here.

One is cycling - and the tandem features (Now enhanced with lights and super bell and ready to roll!).

The other is marriage - and this is because I am now engaged to be wed, I have plighted my troth!  It will be a long engagement, but if any matters come up which I think I can talk about here (or even if I read anything which seems connected) then I may post to this category.

On which subject my fiancee thinks this blog would reach a much wider audience and I can see what she means (though am uncertain I really want the world and it's brother to be reading this - my hosting could not cope for a start!).  BUT I have decided to see if I can register the domain "eclectic.me" as a possible alternative.

UNLESS anyone has any better ideas for the name of this blog?  AND YES; I do realise the heading banner and design would be due for a complete overhaul as a result, then again I am quite keen to improve the site's accessibility and so should not mind this.

A post should be forthcomng to review the book "Chicago" soon and not sure what will follow from that, perhaps a thrilling account of the first tandem tour involving panniers and distance!

 

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July 30

Unexpected humour

I am not sure if these are really funny, particularly as the first is something of an "in" joke, but being aware of the absence of any June posts and being the last day of July I wanted to make another.  Also I wanted to broaden from the literary theme of the blog a little and am even thinking maybe there should be a humourous category, except that it makes me want to add a "serious" one to balance things out!

I well remember this post from the past (2008 in fact, which amazes me when it feels really quite recent) where I made some longer jokes and wondered which would inform me best if someone were likely to be spiritually along similar lines to myself.  I have now come up with one of my own - if you can call it a joke when it is a bit self-referential

Anyway - the jokes, if they can be called that:-

q. How many Quakers does it take to change a lightbulb?

a1. They're very discerning, and all have to stand in the light.... but any one can do it

a2. "God Knows!"

 

And I am wondering at this point how to refine the joke with a play on light and god (small G).  If you have any ideas to improve on this then please comment, by all means (And what the hey, add your own "lightbulb joke" if you wish).

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April 19

Evil Haiku

The Quaker meeting which I attend has been doing a series of workshops along the lines of "Twelve Quakers and ...." where the ellipsis might be various things including God, Jesus, Equality, Simplicity, and, this month, Evil.

During the closing session on "evil" we were invited to write Haiku and although many felt the form could only be used in the traditional Japanese way to describe natural beauty, but I had no issues with taking the verse form and mocking the traditional Haiku stereotype with these efforts to capture something of the subject of evil.

There are four, each standing alone, and alternating the traditional with the free format form of Haiku.

 

Bloody splash

Taking life

Maliciously

No love

Just hurt


Abandon hope you

Held in the thrall of

All that is not love


Child eyes

Behold

Obscenity

Innocence lost

Forever


Mass graves were filled

Without thought or care until

Evil stared back

 

Addendum

I was concerned with the etymology for clues; which I now realise is really a red herring since the exploration of the spiritual meaning to a Quaker only concerns the modern udeage really.  However I did find what I turned up interesting, and I learned that any ideas of derivation involving "devil" or "Eve" are mistaken.

"Evil" has gotten distinctly worse over the millenia. Originally it seems to have signified nothing more sinister than "uppity," and in the Old and Middle English period it meant simply "bad"; it is only in modern English that its connotations of "extreme moral wickedness" came to the fore. It probably comes ultimately from "upelo-", a derivative of the Indo-European base "upo-, under (source of Greek hupo, under, Sanskrit "upa", at, to, and English "up" and "over"), and so its underlying connotation is of "exceeding due limits, extremism. Its Germanic descendant was "ubilaz", source of German übel, evil as well as English evil."

It seems this finding by John Ayto lines up perfectly with Scriptures. An example of this is found in Ezekiel Chapter 16 verse 49. When most Christians think of the sin or evil of Sodom, they usually think of the immoral sexual sins of Sodom of which homosexuality would be considered the height of their depravity. Yet this is how the Creator describes Sodom's condition:

Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abominations before Me; therefore, I took them away as I saw fit.

This passage seems to line up very nicely with the original meaning of the word "evil." The modern church generally teaches that the "evil" of Sodom is the height of wickedness and that its fate of destruction by fire is an example of the destruction of the world which has not become a part of the church. However, the Creator says there is a worse condition of "evil" than that of Sodom's. Jerusalem is a type and picture of His own people, the "apple of His eye." Here is how He describes the condition of His own people, those who certainly would not consider "Sodom" as their own sister. Speaking to His own "chosen" people He says:

Samaria did not commit half of your sins; but you have multiplied your abominations more than they, and have justified your sisters by all the abominations which you have done. You who judged your sisters bear your own shame also, because the sins which you committed were more abominable than theirs; they are more righteous than you. Yes, be disgraced also, and bear your own shame because you justified your sisters. When I bring back their captives, the captives of Sodom and her daughters, and the captives of Samaria and her daughters, then I will also bring back the captives of your captivity among them, that you may bear your own shame and be disgraced by all that you did when you comforted them. When your sister Sodom and her daughters return to their former state, then you and your daughters will return to your former state.

It seems the word "uppity" seems like a good definition for the word "evil." It also seems like the "chosen" people are more "uppity" than Sodom and Samaria. It seems almost blasphemous to think that the wickedness of the Creator's own people will justify the likes of Sodom and Samaria and that they will be restored to their former state. That Sodom, in the eyes of God, is a sister to the "chosen" people. It certainly is not a sermon I have ever heard preached in the 200+ churches I have attended. But then I never heard that Sodom's primary sin was "uppityness," fullness of food, and abundance of idleness, and not strengthening the hand of the poor and needy. I have been in many churches that are exhibiting the very sins that are ascribed to Sodom. I have never heard a preacher describe their congregation as "sisters to Sodom." Can you imagine what would happen to all the hot air evangelists spew out if we actually believed the plain Word of God that the "uppityness" of God's own people have "justified" the worst sinners in the world? Why, it would completely stop all the hot foul wind coming from these "last days revival" messages preached by thousands of "ministries" trying to raise millions of dollars to save a few more before God finally destroys this "uppity" world. We just might repent of our own "uppityness" and let God restore this whole fallen mankind to its former state. We might then find the time to "strengthen the hand of the poor and the needy."

 

Credit to Gary Amirault for the above

 

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February 14

Ode to a burglary

Come on you burglers

Come and have a go

Take every thing I own

I'm a Quaker so

that's OK....

 

The riches of my spirit

far outweigh your karma

if you want to hurt me

You'll have to try harder

 

Come on all you burglars

You got my daughter's DS

now you really shouldn't

Mess with my princess

 

Come on all you burglars

show me your face somehow

I may be a Quaker

But I could kill you now

 

All the stuff you have is tainted

You can have it all

But frightening my daughter

You really didn't oughta

 

That made it personal

that made me care

Makes me see your life as worthless

But I can't go there

 

We'll get our home back

we have our love

You have some stuff

and when you go above

You're going to fucking pay for this in ways you never could imagine you fucking bastard.

 

Sorry I'm a Quaker

What I meant to say

was God bless and I feel sorry for you

and listen to a voice inside next time

Just LEAVE THE DS, OK?!

 

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November 02

Displacement activity

OK well, so I sang the Verdi and that was great fun.  The best part is that unlike the first time where I went through months of weekly practices learning the piece and practicing (along with some singing lessons as I was new to singing then) this time it was one rehearsal a week in advance, then a rehearsal in the morning and sing my heart out for the concert in the evening!  What fun!  My stepmother says I am getting a "repertoire" and I tell her that is pretentious nonsense!  But it is lovely to get the chance to sing something you enjoyed again.

That recording is from a personal MP3 player with on board mic that I slipped in my pocket at the last minute - highly experimental and I am amazed I got ANYTHING!  There were mics all over and I'll probably HAVE TO buy a couple of CD's for family and friends (they'd kill me if I didn't).

But all of this is displacement writing!  I am MEANT to be making a start on my novel writing month!  You would not believe the things I have found that I just "have to do" before I sit down with the document open and type!  I have taken the rubbish out (early), done three loads of laundry (one a half load), formatted a laptop for a friend, burnt a knoppix DVD for testing, tidied my cable suitcase and filed a laptop charger...phoned a friend... emailed Quaker friends! All of these things I would normally leave for a more appropriate time or leave until they HAD to be done.

And now I am writing to my blog, because I have the dual excuse that this is also NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) where I am supposed to post daily for November.  That will not be hard to do (look at the count for October in the Archive!).

My NaBloPoMo profile 

Oh yes - I also wasted time changing a poem to "draft status" and seeing if I could install the Chyrp extension so that I could link you guys to a file where I'd put my novel to date - luckily for you that is broken but I may still do it by hand... esp. if there are more than a couple of comments expressing interest in that.

Last but not least at Quaker meeting I was (finally) able to take responsibility for the website! And I even repaired a linkback to it from London Quakers - so some of my displacement activity has been useful.  That site will start to get overhauled as soon as I have come up with content and it has been approved by the elders.

But enough keystrokes blogging - they all need to go to my novel really!  I have a name for the lead character - he is going to be Frederick Allsop, but he will prefer the Pseudonym of Anton Fehrnzeit!  So when things look weird on here with some blog entries if those names feature (or Lydia Dypchyk, the comic love interest!) then you can guess it is a "novel" blog.  I shall tag them all Fehrnzeit - if that helps...

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October 26

A little light religion (honestly!)….

Has it really just been a week since I last made a “religious” post?, It seems so.  This is quite a time of change, and the clocks moving from BST to GMT accentuates that to me.  But I want to share a couple of aphorisms and a context that gives them a more serious context.  So again this will be one of the more (gently) didactic posts. 

=====================================

To start with the light side - two jokes:-

What do you get if you cross a Druid with a Bhuddist?

a. Someone who hugs trees that are not there.

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There is a Bhuddist monk on vacation in New York,  He goes up to a Hot Dog vendor and says, “Make me one with everything”.

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OK three jokes technically!:-

The hot dog salesman takes the £100 bill the monk offers and passes him the hot dog with all the trimmings.  The monk waits and then says, “Where’s my change?” to which the vendor replies, “The only change can come from within”.

=====================================

Now, I share these not just because I think they are very funny, but to make an observation.  I think I may tell both these jokes to someone next time they ask if I am a Quaker.  If they laugh at neither I shall not try to answer their question, but enquire as to their spiritual progress.  If they laugh at the Druid one only I shall proceed with caution.  If they laugh at both I shall enquire which they prefer, and should it be the Druid one I shall proceed with caution, but if they prefer the Hot Dog joke I shall observe that our humour is as one and they may be closer to Quakerism than they know!

On a seperate subject I apologise for the number of posts which were purely about the site breaking - and I am going to set a lot of them private now - so the detrirus may no longer be visible.

There are also to be some odd posts coming in Movember connected with my NaNoWriMo project, but I have decided to separate these by making them an unusual time - so more than three years away from the here and now, that may confuse you at first, but hopefully shall become clear!

 

Addendum:- My plan seems flawed in it’s thinking having told the jokes to a number of Quaker acquaintances with varying results now!

 

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