Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cycles-Peace Discussed:The Peace that surpasses all understanding


"Despite our division on peace I think there is a peace not like this Peace divided into pieces that exists which I call the Peace that surpasses all understanding that can and will unite us"-Karl Malachut,The Malachut Blog

What is the Peace that surpasses all understanding?well it is the Peace we have yet to experience yet.What does it look like.well it would be hard to describe but here are the thoughts that come to my mind when pondering this unknown Peace :

  • It is a Peace that is not divided but unites.
  • It is a Peace that calms humanity's greatest storms
  • It is a Peace that rivals nirvana.
  • It is a Peace that recognizes differences.
  • It is a Peace both Israelis and Palestinians agree to
  • It is the Peace we all want.

There are many words I could use to describe this unknown peace  but I hope we work towards finding it for it is the hope our world truly needs this Peace that surpasses all Understanding.

Queries to Ponder:

Have you pondered this unknown peace yet?

Can you think of words to describe the Peace that surpasses all understanding?

Is this kind of Peace I described within you?

A Prayer :

I ask that you take 10 minutes in silence to reflect upon this unkown peace your own words for it so it could be understood and brought into our world-The Malachut

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Cycles-Peace Discussed:The Peace divided into pieces

“The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that its center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.”-Black Elk

“In War: Resolution,
In Defeat: Defiance,
In Victory: Magnaminity
In Peace: Good Will.”-Winston Churchill

In the first part of this series I established the fact that we all define peace differently .In recognizing that we all define peace differently a problem.That problem being that we don't see Peace in all the same ways take for example my readings at the top of this post .Black Elk defines Peace as the realization that an individual is one with the divine,this is a stark contrast to Winston Churchill's view that Peace's most defining quality is good will whatever that is.With are many different definitions we have actually created I think a troubling kind of Peace which I call The Peace divided into Pieces.

This Peace  divided into pieces to me is a troubling kind of Peace .It makes me aware that no matter how hard we try as human beings to create peace we are still creating it in our individual image .One might say I find peace when we as a human species work together in unity,another might say peace will only arrive when the messiah of their faith returns,and still another might say peace is only created through non-violence.There are so many different ways in which we divide the one thing that might unite us.At times this division brings about chaos(yes Peace can bring about chaos)an example this would be on December 20th of 2014 two policeman were quietly sitting on a bench when a gunmen came up and shot them both.The gunman had been inspired by the protests going on regarding the events in Ferguson,Missouri where a young man was shot by a Police Officer .This act of "Good will" against two innocent men targeting a whole profession was peace for the gunman but only created more violence across the country with the continued deaths of innocent young men at the hands of police as well as Police Officers being shot at just for their profession.The Peace divided into pieces is definitely a problem we must address.

I think though there might be a solution to the shattered glass which is this kind of peace.The solution lies in the fact of admitting that we are human being anything we create is bound to be flawed but we cannot stop seeking it out because it may be flawed or even drive us into cynicism because Peace is something worth striving for .despite our division on peace I think there is a peace not like this Peace divided into pieces that exists which I call the Peace that surpasses all understanding that can and will unite us Yet it is still only my view.I will discuss it in the next part of this series.I challenge you though to find the ways in which your view of Peace might divide and seek out a common thread with those who might disagree with you.

Some Queries to Ponder:

Have you noticed the Peace divided into pieces in our world/Does it help or hurt the creation of a more peaceful society ?

In what ways might your view of Peace disagree with another person's view of Peace ?can you find a common thread of unity despite the differences ?

A Prayer:

"O Thou kind Lord!
O Thou Who art generous and merciful!
We are the servants of Thy threshold and are gathered
beneath the sheltering shadow of Thy divine unity.
The sun of Thy mercy is shining upon all,
and the clouds of Thy bounty shower upon all.
Thy gifts encompass all,
Thy loving providence sustains all,
Thy protection overshadows all, and the glances of
Thy favor are cast upon all.
O Lord! Grant Thine infinite bestowals,
and let the light of Thy guidance shine.
Illumine the eyes, gladden the hearts with abiding joy.
Confer a new spirit upon all people
and bestow upon them eternal life.
Unlock the gates of true understanding
and let the light of faith shine resplendent.
Gather all people beneath the shadow of Thy bounty
and cause them to unite in harmony,
so that they may become as the rays of one sun,
as the waves of one ocean, and as the fruit of one tree.
May they be refreshed by the same breeze.
May they receive illumination from the same source of light.
Thou art the Giver, the Merciful, the Omnipotent"-Abdul-Bahai,Guardin of the Bahai Faith

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Cycles-Peace Discussed:Defining Peace


“The Simple Path
Silence is Prayer
Prayer is Faith
Faith is Love
Love is Service
The Fruit of Service is Peace”-Theresa of Calcutta

“World peace must develop from inner peace. Peace is not just mere absence of violence. Peace is, I think, the manifestation of human compassion.”-The Dalai Lama

I begin this endeavor here first by seeking out a definition of Peace .Which is not exactly an easy task because there are many different ways to define Peace .Wikipedia defines peace as an occurrence of harmony characterized by a lack of violence,conflict behaviors and the freedom from fear or violence.The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines peace in 3 ways-A state in which there is no war or fighting,an agreement to end war ,and a period of time when there is no war or fighting .Within Judaism the word shalom is used for peace it means simply meaning a complete wholeness.With all these definitions for peace I find it is very hard to seek out one correct way of defining it so in the spirit of my faith i'm going to give myself a query .That query- being all these other things define peace as this way but what can I say peace is ?

Well I've not exactly found a definition that fits well for me for me in regards to what Peace is .I have not made a personal statement on it for that reason .I can tell you though what Peace is not and maybe that is a good place to begin :

  • Peace is not the loss of innocent lives 
  • Peace is not using someone else for your own selfish means .
  • Peace is not forcing your will upon someone who has their own will.
  • Peace is not meting out a just sentence.
  • Peace is not committing the same crime on a different side.
  • Peace is not acting upon your hatred of another's difference.                                                                                           
So what is peace ?through my negatives it seems like I define peace as the absence of marginalization,the respect for human life,and a just system but even this definition does not define peace well for me.Maybe all the definitions of peace could be right ?but what if their  wrong ?

In the next part of this series i'm going to talk about how in having many different ways to define peace it in itself creates a broken kind of peace which I call the Peace divided into pieces .

Queries to Ponder :

What is your definition of Peace ?

Is your definition of Peace right for everyone ?

Does defining what peace is even matter to you ?

A Prayer : 

"There must be lights burning brighter somewhere Got to be birds flying higher in a sky more blue
If I can dream of a better land
Where all my brothers walk hand in hand
Tell me why, oh why, oh why can't my dream come true

There must be peace and understanding sometime
Strong winds of promise that will blow away
All the doubt and fear
If I can dream of a warmer sun
Where hope keeps shining on everyone
Tell me why, oh why, oh why won't that sun appear

We're lost in a cloud
With too much rain
We're trapped in a world
That's troubled with pain
But as long as a man
Has the strength to dream
He can redeem his soul and fly

Deep in my heart there's a trembling question
Still I am sure that the answer gonna come somehow
Out there in the dark, there's a beckoning candle
And while I can think, while I can talk
While I can stand, while I can walk
While I can dream, please let my dream
Come true, right now
Let it come true right now
Oh yeah"-If I can Dream,Elvis Presley

Monday, December 29, 2014

Cycles-Peace Discussed :An Introduction

 "Our principle is, and our practices have always been, to seek peace, and ensue it, and to follow after righteousness and the knowledge of God, seeking the good and welfare, and doing that which tends to the peace of all. All bloody principles and practices we do utterly deny, with all outward wars, and strife, and fightings with outward weapons, for any end, or under any pretence whatsoever, and this is our testimony to the whole world."- From the Declaration to Charles II,George Fox

In light of recent events i've decided to begin a four part series on peace instead of taking my winter Jubilee.I welcome all who take part on this blog to join in on the discussion.

There are many different ways of thinking about peace so here is the format for the reflections that will be in this series :

Defining Peace- This reflection will discuss the many ways peace is defined . It not exactly seek a definition a working definition but discuss simply the many ways Peace is defined .

The Peace divided into pieces-In this reflection I will discuss how in our different ways of viewing peace how it divides .This is the cynical peace rarely talked about.

The Peace that surpasses all Understanding- I will reflect on the Peace we have yet to have experienced in humanity ,that we cannot exactly define and yet drives into us the need for peace.

The Peace that begins with us- This reflection will concern how we can take peace into our world through non-violent action and compassionate speech.

This conversation will not be easily had. I cannot do it alone so let's embark on this journey over Peace together.

Queries to Ponder :

Will you join me on this Journey to understand peace ?

A Prayer :

Eternal Source ,

we need your peace,we need that great Shalom that comes through communion with you ,wrap us in your peace,let it be our call and our stand .Our world needs your peace we can no longer walk along the road of life without it.Humanity cries out with disparity .O Eternal one of many names bring us your peace !!!-A Prayer for Peace,The Malachut Blog

Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter Reflection - The Emmanel Coming


"O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death's dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav'nly home ;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel."- From "O Come,O Come Immanuel",An Advent Hymn 

Let's face our world is in peril every week of this winter season has recounted a shooting of innocent individuals not only that a people those of us in the west have not chosen to leave alone after much begging from these individuals that now have felt led to offer more terror threats.

I am not at all amazed that most around me this winter season sung loudly "O Come ! O Come Emmanuel !!!"

I hold this belief that our scriptural narratives we read of our numerous faiths are not only some narrative of a far off time but narratives we ourselves might be experiencing right now .In  this winter time i've noticed how many of us might be living out the Christmas and not realize it let me point to you some points in the story that we may be experiencing right now :

A Forerunner was sent to announce Emmanuel's coming- I'm amazed that before the shootings happened much discussion in my own circles centered around white privilege and racial inequality not only the unjust system of government that we have been experiencing .

Innocents were killed-The most obvious and gut wrenching part of this narrative we have witnessed over and over again.

The One chosen to bear Emmanuel felt unworthy of the calling -there has been much cynicism regarding how minority groups have been treated by those who persecuted in the past have much guilt has been felt.Out of this guilt out of those who feel unworthy to even give an answer to this situation a sense is rising amongst them to share,listen and understand they did not understand before .

In noticing our experience of this thing could be realized what we have been praying for this Emmanuel is being born this Emmanuel might be God with us to some,it might be a new idea not considered before ,or it could be something we have yet to experience but this winter I welcome Emmanuel as I stand as a unworthy vessel .O come !O Come!!! Emmanuel !!!

Queries to Ponder:

Have you noticed Emmanuel's coming among our society ?

How have you helped or Hurt Emmanuel's coming ?

What does Emmanuel mean to you ?

A Prayer :

"O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel."

Yearly Address- "The Impossible is Possible"


"The first gleam of light, ‘the first cold light of morning’ which gave promise of day with its noontide glories, dawned on me one day at meeting, when I had been meditating on my state in great depression. I seemed to hear the words articulated in my spirit, ‘Live up to the light thou hast, and more will be granted thee.’ Then I believed that God speaks to man by His Spirit. I strove to lead a more Christian life, in unison with what I knew to be right, and looked for brighter days, not forgetting the blessings that are granted to prayer."-Caroline Stephen

When thinking on how in anyway I could define this year  in topic one thing kept coming to my mind-The Impossible is Possible !!!

Last year around this time I'd been two months into Chicago forsaking all I ever knew leaving my own family in order to seek a better and even healthier life it was not an easy choice but it was a choice I needed to make .My family life  was not all that healthy I'm not going to go in to detail on that but following a leading I thought totally crazy I left all I ever knew to come to the windy city  having little expectation and resting on much hope amazing things happened .

What Amazing things have happened to me this year you may ask :

- Since being in Chicago no longer having anything I accepted myself as a Gay man struggling for years over my attraction.

- I've had amazing jobs my first job here in Chicago was at one of Chicago's most elite business club,My Second working for a campaign fundraiser .

-Feeling within myself this great feeling of redemption and forgiveness in a Meeting for Worship I realized after 3 years being among Friends that in reality I was a Quaker a person called out to shine upon the world through actions of peace,integrity,and surrender to that eternal source that unites us all in the struggle of life .

- Within my Yearly Meeting the Adult Young Friends called me to the function  of Outreach Coordinator a calling me to nurture the Young adults throughout the 3 states our yearly meeting covers by hearing their joys,uniting with them in their struggles ,and encouraging their monthly meetings in supporting them .As I nurture my fellow millennials I notice that i'm nurtured .It gives me great joy to hear that a Young adult has been heard in their meeting .

- I joined an Intentional community  which has taught to be direct in my needs not only that each member of the household i'm in here is an answered prayer that I prayed long ago for a family .

-My Meeting itself is an answered prayer long ago I prayed for a religious community that  challenged me,called me to it's service and well loved me .This meeting is the place.

With all this surrealness  I'm experiencing it's affirmed to me this principle that the "Impossible is Possible" I find myself even when others thinks something might be extremely hard saying "No it's easy "and I guess it truly is really easier than we think this weak thing has been made strong .I rejoice in that .

With the coming year I meet these easy challenges with great hope :

- In working in the function of Outreach Coordinator i've realized that I might be called as a Traveling Quaker minister this is something i'm threshing within myself and a few other few other Public Friends i've yet to go to my meeting for Clearness on it yet though I feel i'm already working in the capacity accepting the great poverty that comes with the call and the challenges that comes to modern Friends in fathoming this call collectively .Resting my hope in the light this is made easier for me in knowing that i'm living into this call I feel .

-With a thriving ministry amongst Young Adult Friends has made me consider lessening my role within my intentional community so this ministry can be better fostered ,What makes this easier for me is knowing that the light has not revealed the answer yet to me an answer I can accept.

Besides these challenges i'm glad to say along with the Impossible things made possible 2 of my Bucket List items have been crossed off the list

-Go to a unknown place and make a substantial difference : Well this year enabled me to cross this off

-Visit an Amish Community :see this link for more info

What will the next year hold ?I have some idea yet i'm not totally clear on it yet .I know one thing will be true the "The Impossible is Possible" .There is nothing I fear in the coming months and I have great confidence in what may be accomplished in surrendering to the inner teacher within .

I leave you with this song Fantasia Barrino I could not get this far without believing and witnessing a love unbound :

                                                                                                                                                              - The Malachut

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Minutes-My time amongst the Amish

An Amish family in a horse-drawn square buggy passes a farmhouse, barn and granary; more farms and forest in the distance.     

"O heart of faith now glorify and bless your great Creator .
For, not one hour without his power can you for 
all life's need take care nor by your own endeavor"-From the Ausbund the Amish Hymnal

On December 6th as a birthday present to myself and a few others affiliated with my intentional community departed for a trip to visit a the Neo-Amish community in Caneyville,Kentucky known as the Caneyville Christian Community we stayed there for a day and a half .

Neo-Amish is a term that describes this community the members we stayed with and talked with at times boasted that they were too Liberal to be considered actual Amish yet too Conservative.In my experience of the community it was very Amish we rode around in horse and buggy ,all the heat came from the wod stoves the community makes and everything was propane powered if it had to be ,and not to mention the outhouses .

For a Quaker from the city I have to say it was pretty humbling our hosts were very loving the food was magnificent .Something that challenged me on my own simplicity was that in Caneyville instead of having televisions or computers to entertain themselves they chose instead to be entertained just by the company of others and watching their children play seeing this has created a practice in me where I try to use technology less during the week as well as seeking out conversation as a toll for listening to others .Something else that really amazed me is they welcomed my words lately in my own communities before coming i'd felt well pushed aside they wanted to know what I thought,what my dreams in life where and had a genuine interest in my spiritual journey something I feel from very few  in the society around me .

In summation the Neo-Amish have encouraged me to  be even bolder in my own faith through challenging me on my simplicity and helping me realize more my voice has some value to it .I left this experience thankful for what it gave me .

                                                                                                                                            - The Malachut