Tuesday, 25 July 2017


One of the great lessons of early Friends, too often neglected, was that as well as that light we often speak of, we also all have impulses and tendencies that we should not follow. That we all have the capacity to commit horrible deeds, and to attempt to justify them to ourselves.
Now is perhaps the time to return to this lesson. As Fox found “that it was needful I should have a sense of all conditions, how else should I speak to all conditions”, so we may find that it is needful that we understand the drives and motivations of those who commit acts that we would condemn, that we may speak to their conditions and know at least how they might react to anything we might do to address their depredations, and at best how we might teach them to love the light, even if they may not see it as we do.
The lesson goes beyond that, however, and this time of difficulty also provides us a great opportunity for our own spiritual development. For how should we defeat our darker impulses only by ignoring and denying them? We cannot. It is only by acknowledging them we may overcome them, accepting them as part of ourselves, and as much as any other part of ourselves deserving of love – but not of indulgence. For if only light can drive out darkness, certainly wilful ignorance cannot.
Written January 2017
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