The following resource has been offered to our community by chant writer and musician Paulette Meier.
You can listen HERE:
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Paulette shares the follow context for this chant:
Keep within. And when they say, ‘Lo[ok] here or lo[ok] there is Christ, go not forth*, for Christ is within you. And those who try to draw your minds away from the teaching inside you, are opposed to Christ. For the measure’s within, and the light of God is within, and the pearl** is within you, though hidden.
— George Fox, 1652, Epistle, #19 , Works 7:27
These words, written by the primary founder of the Quaker faith in 17th century England, reflect the radical teachings of the early Quaker movement — that Truth is to be found experientially by turning one’s attention inward. After years of seeking spiritual truth from all sorts of ministers and priests, and feeling discouraged and hopeless in light of their responses, George Fox said he heard a voice that said, “There is one, even Christ Jesus, that can speak to thy condition.” His heart full of joy, he began a life of ministry proclaiming that “Jesus has come to teach his people Himself,” meaning that everyone has direct access to the Christ Spirit, if they would only let go of all thoughts and pre-occupations and focus their attention inward. In so doing, they could encounter the “Inward Teacher,” the Light of God within themselves, and this “light” would show them the full truth about themselves, the first step towards inner transformation.
The hidden “pearl” which the Light can help uncover, is that state of being that is in complete harmony with God’s “Covenant of Love,” the Kingdom of Heaven within. Quakers found that communal worship, waiting expectantly together in silence for the Light of God to become manifest, yielded remarkable insights, promptings, deepening love, and spiritual unity. Their experience of the Spirit was so powerful, that they were willing to face all manner of oppression rather than give up this communal form of worship and the witness in the world that emanated from it.
Early Friends’ writings are filled with Biblical phrases and images, that all would have been familiar with.
* Luke 17:21 (KJV): “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
** Matthew13: 45-46 (KJV)45Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: 46Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.
And when they say look here or look there is Christ
Go not forth
For Christ is within you.
And those who try to draw your minds away from the teaching inside you
Are opposed to Christ.
For the measures within and the light of God is within
And the pearl is within you
Find out more about Paulette and her contributions as a chant leader in our Wisdom community HERE.
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