Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Power of Truth

Quakers speak blithely of the Truth, seldom knowing why it is capitalized. What is this Truth? Is this a Truth which evolves, which is different for each person, or is this Truth common among all people of faith in all generations? And what importance has this Truth? What are its origins, and how can it convince us?

These are the questions that Herrymon Maurer addresses in this small pamphlet, written in the shadow of nuclear holocaust, written with a hand that rips off the cover of complacency, written with a heart that struggles with the ignorance and deafness of his fellow travelers. “Our eyes grow clouded, our ears dulled; we neither hear nor see that we must lose ourselves in Truth.”

What is this Truth? It is the realization that outward works are ineffectual, even non-sensical, unless they spring from an inward reordering. Knowledge of the inward root is this Truth without which all action becomes meaningless, indeed, rootless.

Certainly the example of Jesus should be a hint to us of the right path, the other way:
Jesus preached no outward salvation, put himself at the head of no organization, offered — much to the displeasure of those who were deaf to the message of the prophets — no outward leadership, no panaceas. As his life was love and inward following of God, so also was his death. He who rejected in the wilderness the temptations of the world and its outward powers, who counseled nonviolence and the return of good for evil, died so that men and women might be made free.

The emphasis of Maurer's message is that we each have responsibility for our own confusion, our own misdirection. Our responsibility is “to know what is inward and to make outward works mesh intimately with it.”

Read with Herrymon Maurer about his certainty about the Truth, about our responsibilities, about our faith.
The Power of Truth

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