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156 Divine will?

Mortal experience consists of people and an environment with infinite options and unlimited possibilities. Positive mind techniques optimize the results of our human efforts to grow individually and in community.


The challenge

Article 152 examined individual actions in relationship to a community. I am a bit uncomfortable with Quaker mysticism if it posits that there is a Divine Will directing all our actions. It should not mean that there is a kindly God who will accommodate our good intentions and reward conscientious efforts to obey. While that may seem deeply satisfying, I have more fire in my belly for aggressively pursuing higher value goals of my own selection. My outlook values growth over passive obedience.

Inheriting my mother's entrepreneurial spirit, I am thinking day and night how to improve my effectiveness in the most meaningful endeavors. This is clearly not a pursuit of personal reward or a regimen of disciplined obedience. Those behaviors can provide challenge sufficient to cause growth, but they do not fulfill my vision of creativity.

The community

Community possibilities expand with every addition of another participant. Each individual brings unique insights and abilities. We begin our collaboration from diverse histories.

For example, if you tell children they are full of sin they will endure miserable lifetimes looking for balm for themselves. If you tell children they are fountains of goodness, they will enjoy lives that overflow their happiness to the benefit of others.

We achieve our goals by combining talents harmoniously. It is not effective to demonstrate or protest in the streets. Instead, we contribute best by mingling, not by demanding, by demonstrating collaboration instead of telling others to act (Lao-Tzu).

Mind of God


Every human's always-existing Platonic Form of the Good, like matter and energy, cannot be created or destroyed. It can be changed from one state to another. For humans we can call the change education.

The aggregate of all human Forms, along with the laws of physics, can be called "Mind of God." Terminology is a tool of discussion. It refines labels but does not on its own prove existence. The discussion here does not establish that there is a figure called God who has an all-controlling mind. Thus, free will is preserved.


When as a Quaker I participate in discerning Divine Will, I am not inviting external control. Enlightenment is not so passive. Discernment implies effort and reason. Divine Will is not a static always-existing Form. The above thesis describes a dynamic, adaptive entity. Discernment of Divine Will is contemporary and ongoing, requiring constant validation in real time. It is the accumulation of diverse constituent parts.

Let us stay in harmony. [article 152]

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