Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Quaker Light Within and Universalism

Last week I foundered at the topic of the "Light Within." This is a new concept for me. It isn't one that I have used to describe my experiences. It becomes more complicated when you realize that people who talk about the light within aren't necessarily talking about light. It could be a voice, or music or a feeling. Light is only the metaphor. It seemed a less problematic metaphor than god.

Here's some stuff about the light:

• It illumines us, casts light on our faults
• It also makes it possible for us to overcome our faults
• It is personal. The messages you receive are meant for YOU.
• It is difficult to explain
• It is something within you, not something that shines down on you
• It is within EVERYONE
• It is resistable; people can choose to ignore the light within them


"No amount of rational philosophy, nor of political debate, will ever convince us which faith is the true one, which conception of what it means to be a human being is valid. Our vision of our human destiny is one to which we can only be drawn by love, by enthusiasm. The great communities of faith, with their various scriptures and traditions, hold up for us our good possibilities, showing us their nobility and attractiveness, drawing us to them." -- Dan Seeger

The Golden Rule

Let not any man do unto another any act that he wishes not done to himself by others, knowing it to be painful to himself. (The Hindu Mahabharata, Shanti parva, cclx.21);

Do not do to others what you would not want them to do to you. (Confucius, Analects, Book XlI, no. 2);

Hurt not others with that which pains yourself. (The Buddhist Udanavarga, verse 18);

As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. (Jesus, Luke 6:31);

No man is a true believer unless he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself. (The Muslim Hadtih, Muslim, imam, 71-2).