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Light My Fire February 3, 2010

Posted by Beth in Miscellaneous Musings.
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Quakers like to talk about the “Inner Light,”  a concept which when freed from the supernatural has always resonated with me. I like the idea of reserving a regular, scheduled time to sit quietly and contemplate, focusing on my own inner voice.  Centering myself on my values. Putting them in order and realigning my priorities. Sorting. Clarifying.

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Part of the concept is that each human being possesses an Inner Light –which for Quakers is the presence of God but for me is a symbol of the uniqueness of each individual’s life, and of each person’s right to that life without any requirement of justifying their existence. To anyone or anything.

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An important aspect this idea of the Inner Light is how it shapes the understanding  of community. Communities consist of individuals who come together as equals. No religious leader, sacred text or majority dictates.

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Decisions are made by consensus– meaning that each individual must be persuaded  to at  least abstain from objecting in order for a motion to proceed. This fits in well with my fundamental rule for social interaction: Convince me, or leave me alone.

Guidance for action is sought by looking inward. Substitute “reason” for reliance on “revelation” and the resonance increases.

Instead of an Inner Light, Ayn Rand wrote of  the inner fire.

“Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.”

– Ayn Rand, born in the USSR Jan. 2, 1905, excerpt from Atlas Shrugged

Dream.

Contemplate.

Think.

Focus on your spark…

then fan the flames,

and live your life

with all the flare you can muster.

(Thanks Rational Jenn for posting the Ayn Rand quote and triggering this musing!)

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Comments»

1. Lynne - February 4, 2010

It’s high time for me to reset, find the inner flame, and fan it! Thanks to you and Rational Jenn for the reminders.

2. Beth - February 4, 2010

Come on now, readers. Is no one going to comment on my final image? As my wonderfully confident daughter would say —You know you love it!


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