By words it is not possible to judge anothers approach. Words speak only the dead ideas that may flow from a living Spirit or an activebut essentially lifelessprinciple. Or they may flow from self seeking motivation cloaked in high language and good thoughts. The news has brought us some stories of prominent preachers brought low when their self seeking was discovered.
This distinction is at the root of the differing experience around perfection. Fox, underpinned by the leading of the Lighttouching his very personal self from the moment he was coming into the worldcould make claims that Paul and Winstanely (I think.) would admit theyd fall short ofbecause they were at heart the old man with a new mans cloak.
What claims can we make? What can we live up to? What is underpinning me? As I teach? As I write? As I love?
Few Friendsindeed few persons anywherecan honestly claim to know intimately in each moment that they rest in the womb of God. Most of us yearn for such peace but see it as a distant heaven, far removed from our present experience.
Smith, 2005. PH 378, pp. 24 & 25.
My experience suggests that Im far too critical of my states of consciousness when Im in them. [Thats a bear of a concept to put on paper!] In reflection on a day, I can see that the Lord was working in my lifeand in my soulthroughout its course. A long range view of my degree of being in touch looks more positive than my momentary awareness. I pray that Im not being simply self congratulatory so I can feel good in hindsight.
Im learning over years the positive nature of the practices of muddling through. We can seek the best in each decision while being aware that few of these choices are monumental and most can be revisited. Then we practice discernment often and improve our skills by small steps. We goof up and try over. The inward experience isnt soul shattering but the fruits of the practice are pretty good.
With all this sensing, trying, goofing and changing, can we call it perfection? Perhaps not. But is the natural, evolved world perfect in some sense?
Rather than saving discernment under leading for the great decisions of life, I am starting to use it for the small onesfeeling and sensing my way through while giving thanks and asking for guidance and blessing.