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Switch to Forum Live View Considering joining the Quakers but...
5 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2010 - 1:02PM #11
kevin roberts
Posts: 28

All right, Jan. You definitely need to talk to the Quakers. There are already some Lao Tzu Quakers in there, and many Buddhists, and I would suggest that you look into the Liberals at first and see where that takes you. I am not a Liberal as they define it, and I don't share many of their beliefs, but they have a lot that I think is on the right track, and they often perceive things that members of my own branch can't understand.


By the way, Jesus Christ referred to himself as the "Way."


Jesus said "I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Light. no man cometh to the Father except by me."


Notice that Jesus did not say, no one comes to God unless he is a Christian. This is a reflection of the essential universalism of traditional Quakerism. Lots of so-called Christians forget that, or never knew it.


You distinction between two different types of "understanding" also happens to be an ancient and hoary doctrine of the Friends, who made a strong distinction between what they called "airy head knowledge" and "saving heart knowledge." Most of the early Friends were uneducated, and it was an important point held even by educated Friends that Quakerism was often not helped by higher or formal education and was often hindered by it, especially seminary-style divinity scholarship.


I'm not near Canada, although I was in Wisconsin. Haven't been to Canada since October, when I drove insulation to New Brunswick and brought back green maple lumber. Now I'm parked in Ohio taking two manure spreaders to Pennsylvania. It's not bad, only 15 Fahrenheit. It's a drag in South Dakota when the temperature is 10 below and the heater breaks in the truck.


The north east has lots of Quaker meetings. Are you near any urban areas? The Liberals mostly cluster near or in cities, the Conservatives tend to be rural, and the Pastorals tend to be most anyplace.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2010 - 1:22PM #12
Intotheblue
Posts: 265

Thanks, Kevin! Yes, I know about Jesus saying that (about being the Way). That's one reason I believe in a universal Truth that is common among many of the world's religions and philosophies. I'm very glad to hear that the Quaker faith believes in that too. I didn't know there were Buddhist and Taoist Quakers! What a delightful thing to learn. That's the thing, for me anyway, about religions and churches - I always tend to expect that I wouldn't be welcome there because of my beliefs, or rather, because they don't match up 100% with everything that church teaches. I guess that's a product of having been Catholic the last several years, where you can't even receive communion if you disagree with pretty much any of their teachings (until you do agree, and repent, of course, then you can, but sometimes only with a bishop's dispensation).


Unfortunately I currently live in a small town (well technically a small city) of about 20,000 to 25,000 people. I don't know of any Quaker churches nearby. An hour away from me, where my mom lives, there's one, but I think it's actually just a historical building, and no longer used as a church for Quakers. (It's on Church St, aptly named for about half a dozen churches on the three-block-long road!) But maybe if I search online, I can find where the nearest one is. I think you're right about the Liberal ones probably being a better match for me, and it's too bad they're mostly just in more urban areas. That's one of the misfortunes of living in more rural areas - you don't have much variety or open-mindedness as far as religions go. At least I'm not in the "Bible Belt"! Some of the people on the Progressive Christianity forum said they live there, and it's difficult, being non-traditional, non-fundamentalist, non-evangelical, etc. But I'll see what I can find, and I hope I can move to a more urban area in the near future anyway (this August at the soonest).


Sounds like you haul some interesting things. I don't think I'd enjoy hauling manure! Haha... The heater breaking in below-freezing weather doesn't sound pleasant, either! My parents drove truck before I was born, actually (well my dad continued after I was born). Do you agree that the best part of it is the truck stop restaurants? Nice home-style meals, which I bet is very welcome after hours of being on the road, especially in the cold. I heard North Dakota had the coldest temp the other day, something like -30F. Well take care, keep warm, and thank you again for all the wonderful information!

Namaste.

.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to accept and celebrate those differences."
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 03, 2010 - 2:06PM #13
kevin roberts
Posts: 28

 


One good place to start looking is here, Jan:


www.quakerinfo.com/quakfind.shtml

Where I live is near a small town (maybe 600 people), but it's not very close when it snows. My nearest neighbors are two miles away. I don't go to town at all except to the store or to go to meeting.


On food, you know, I don't eat at truck stops at all, because I'm a vegetarian, and truck stops don't have food for me. I carry two or three weeks worth of fresh and dried fruit, nuts, canned vegetables, and various breads in the truck. In the summer I heat food on the turbocharger, and in winter I heat things on the diesel burner that keeps the cab warm. Whenever I have access to greens I stuff myself until I look like a cornhusk mattress.


In the east it's easier to find Friends. Remember that if they call themselves a "Friends Church," they will be Protestants. If they call themselves a "Friends Meeting," chances are 1000 to 1 they will be Liberals, but you will rarely find a Conservative congregation, which is my own group.


Lots of luck on your journey. Let me know what you find.


In Christ,


Kevin

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2010 - 12:54PM #14
Intotheblue
Posts: 265

Thanks! It looks like that site is down right now, but I'll keep checking it.


I used to be full vegetarian, but I was having trouble getting all the nutrition I needed, so I started eating fish and poultry, which helps in restaurants since most places have at least SOMETHING chicken. Kudos to you for bringing that kind of food with you! Sounds much healthier than most of us, especially the typical truck driver diet. What's a turbocharger? Like a stove of some kind inside the cabin? I know those cabins have all sorts of cool things in them. My dad's had a bed, little tv, cupboards, and all that, and that was 20+ years ago!


Honestly I'm not sure which form would be more comfortable for me. I'm used to experiencing regular 'church' settings, but I'm curious about the 'meeting' verion too. If I find one of either, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

Namaste.

.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to accept and celebrate those differences."
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2010 - 4:41PM #15
kevin roberts
Posts: 28

Jan 4, 2010 -- 12:54PM, Intotheblue wrote:


Thanks! It looks like that site is down right now, but I'll keep checking it.


I used to be full vegetarian, but I was having trouble getting all the nutrition I needed, so I started eating fish and poultry, which helps in restaurants since most places have at least SOMETHING chicken. Kudos to you for bringing that kind of food with you! Sounds much healthier than most of us, especially the typical truck driver diet. What's a turbocharger? Like a stove of some kind inside the cabin? I know those cabins have all sorts of cool things in them. My dad's had a bed, little tv, cupboards, and all that, and that was 20+ years ago!


Honestly I'm not sure which form would be more comfortable for me. I'm used to experiencing regular 'church' settings, but I'm curious about the 'meeting' verion too. If I find one of either, I'll let you know how it goes. Thanks again!




The turbo is a supercharger, an air pump attached to the engine that spins at about 100,000 rpm and forces air into the manifolds at greater than atmospheric pressure. It's under the hood and run by the exhaust gases, so it gets hot enough to heat food. If you forget and leave a can there it sometimes blows up and bastes the engine in corn and beans.


I've got a bed and cupboards, but every other available space is crammed with books. I haven't had a television set in my life for nearly 20 years, but I'm slowly working through a stack of 100 and 200 year old copies of Quaker journals, Disciplines, and doctrinal texts that I have stacked in a milk crate on the passenger seat. Lots of old Quaker books only make it into modern printings after having been "helped" by a modern editor, and I have found that with Quaker stuff, you often can't trust modern printings to be accurate. Sadly.


The several versions of Quakerism you can find today are radically different, and often have more in common with non-Quaker paths than they do with each other. Some will embrace the metaphor of the Light, and some will reject it. Some will never have heard of it. The forms of regular worship are to some degree a reflection of this difference, although you will find variety and inconsistency even here.


In my own opinion, the Light transcends sectarian and denominational boundaries, and this is why I consider primitive Quakerism to be universalist while still being based in the Christian revelation. Lots of people will disagree with me.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2010 - 4:54PM #16
Intotheblue
Posts: 265

Oh wow, that doesn't even sound safe! Tongue out


Hmm that's strange, why would they need to overly edit the original writings?

Namaste.

.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to accept and celebrate those differences."
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2010 - 5:36PM #17
kevin roberts
Posts: 28

They edit them to make them better, of course. But that sometimes means they just incorporate their own misunderstandings or prejudices into the text. Some of it is well-meaning but patronizing, like trying to rephrase a 17th century writer's words into gender-neutral terms. Other times they are less justifiable. as when modern editors substitute their own words and ideas into the edited version of something written by a famous author, in order to make it seem as if he had their ideas first.


It doesn't help that old Quaker stuffis written in 17th century modern English. It's no harder than Shakespeare, but editors tend to believe that nobody can understand something in their chosen field without an interpreter.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 04, 2010 - 6:00PM #18
Intotheblue
Posts: 265

Wow, no offense but that's just dumb. That's like thinking you have to put Shakespeare's works into modern speech for people to understand or appreciate it, when really that would just ruin the poetry and purity of it. I'm sure people have done that, but not because they think it's "better" or so they can replace his original version. I would much rather see the original text when it comes to any old writings!

Namaste.

.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to accept and celebrate those differences."
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5 years ago  ::  Jan 05, 2010 - 8:45AM #19
kevin roberts
Posts: 28

It's actually pretty common, and generally well-meaning. I've read an English edition of John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath that was re-worded for an English audience. Not only was the spelling modified from American to English, but American words like "gasoline" were switched to the English equivalent "petrol." Sometimes the interest is in political correctness, like taking Mark Twain's use of "nigger" in Huckleberry Finn and substituting "servant," or changing original use of gender-specific terms to gender-neutral.


The danger is that the editor in doing so assumes that he knows better than the author what the author meant, or how best to express the author's ideas to someone new. With Quaker books, the idea is generally to put the words into "modern English," ignoring the fact that the old wording is still quite accessible. In my opinion, it's an arrogant thing to do, especially since I've seen Quaker writing distorted out of all resemblance to what the original was in "Simplified," or "Modern" versions. Sometimes the edited version is so wrong I conclude the editor was lying. If you don't have access to old books like I do, much of the original stuff has been scanned and is online.

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5 years ago  ::  Jan 06, 2010 - 10:36AM #20
Intotheblue
Posts: 265

That's good to know, thank you. Maybe I'll search online for some older stuff.


I never knew that about Grapes of Wrath. Did they think Brits would really have that hard a time wrapping their minds around the idea of "gasoline" instead of petrol? Seems a bit patronizing to me. Personally I'd be enchanted to read things in their original context and language. If I wanted to see my own stuff, I'd read my own stuff! The whole point is to read exactly what the writer meant, and - for history geeks like me - to get a glimpse into another time and culture. If we modernize everything, and turn it into our own culture's version, we'll completely forget other times and cultures existed at all! Charles Dickens, one of my favorite authors, mentions things in his stories that are specific to London in the 1800's, things which we're not very familiar with today. But it's not so far removed that I can't look it up and learn something about that time period and location! How unfair of them to rob people of that opportunity for education.


Okay stepping off the soap box now! Embarassed

Namaste.

.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~.~*~

"Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

"Be the change you wish to see in the world."

"It is not our differences that divide us, but our inability to accept and celebrate those differences."
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