Thursday, 1 October 2009

Wakening up from a dream

I went to the first Hearts and Minds gathering last night so engaged with Friends for the first time in well over a year. I suppose this is why I woke up this morning from a dream about a wedding. I was trying to help someone who wanted to escape from the marriage by a priest in front of the altar. Images of the emperor God, the aristocracy of the priesthood and the passive masses and the associated religious language shaped the feeling about this wedding. Then the image shifted to a gathering of equals sharing the responsibility and pleasure of committing to a life long union with the power shared and invested in the people gathered- the tone set by a democratic religious language. The couple  in the first image were at first supplicants and then in the second image laughing and sharing in the joy with friends.

A possible  cause of the dream was being asked why had I come to Quakers. And the answer for me was our roots in the radical left of the English Civil war and the democratic stream of politics. Another was the question we were left to dwell on at the end. What is a meeting for worship? For me this phrase as a confusion of meanings in that it looks to the democratic and emperor notions of worship at the same time. Meeting is a collective gathering but worship has overtones of a majesty and awe. But that is the conversation for next week.

3 comments:

Larry said...

Hi, Martin. Glad you're interested in Quakers; for me Blake and Quakers go together naturally.

Re Meeting for Worship: my take on it is that we gather in silence (which has a tremendous pull for some) and wait for direction. If you feel inspired, then share it in the meeting; we're all ministers and we all preach to one another. We hopefully receive the Word, and we pass it on.

Re worship: a consecrated life is continuous worship: with our minds, our hands, our feelings, our relationships with one another grow in love.

Glad to hear your opinion about that.

Judy Sheldon-Walker said...

I was surprised to return to your blog from your comment and see the work "Quaker" on your dashboard. I was raised in a Quaker Friends church. My best childhood memories are rooted there.

Thanks for the visit. I cannot post comments with links, but am grateful for the comment nonetheless.

Take care & God bless!

izzy said...

I used to go to Quaker meetings in the summer when I worked on a farm in NY state. Back then silence was harder-
being still mostly happened when I was too tired for anything else!
However I was hungry for answers- so when somebody did speak, it was gratefully received.
Today I am a member of a spiritual
based UU church. we have a chance to do lay services (and have a minister) I am considering doing my second one!