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JUSTBIRDY's Photo JUSTBIRDY SparkPoints: (0)
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7/23/10 9:08 A

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I have never seen the extreme self-denial as a path for Western Quakers, except when it represents solidarity with others who have much less or as a commitment to environmental concerns.

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KAKIPOPUP's Photo KAKIPOPUP SparkPoints: (0)
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7/22/10 8:25 P

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Excess in anything tends to overshadow the inner light, the spark of the divine within us. This includes the extremes of self-denial as well as the extremes of self-indulgence. Both having too little and having too much are problematic.

I don't experience the Society as finding virtue in self-denial as punishment of the flesh; it is more to gain a clearer relationship with the divine. It is not so much a sin to indulge one's desires, just as it is not sinful to participate in liturgical ritual - but such things are not necessary.

In more recent years, simplicity of life has come to be seen, I think, as stewardship of the earth and responsibility towards all people - i.e., live simply that others may simply live - self-denial as enabling others to exist/survive/have what is needful rather than self-denial as punishment of the self.

What do others say?

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ELIZABETH_SKY's Photo ELIZABETH_SKY Posts: 442
7/22/10 12:27 P

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William Penn's No Cross No Cross exhorts good Christians to deny luxury, including things like a love of food.

To what extent would you say this makes the Society an ascetic sect? Should good religion, spiritualism, and morality depend on self-denial? At what point is it too much?

And do I really have to avoid the foods I love? What about the value of enjoying God's creation?

"Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present." - Marcus Aurelius


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