Saturday, September 25, 2004

Friendly Eight

That's a Quaker institution: a group of us meet at someone's house for a meal with considerable hilarity, then a discussion re the shape of the meeting for worship. Last night we were at McIntosh: 3 of us from Ocala and 5 from Gainesville. The temporary 'clerk' had a pamphlet by a British Quaker re great secularism in the British meetings and his conversion from agnosticism.

This was a mountain top experience for me as usual. We discussed various rituals of conventional churches and our particular meeting. One lady spoke of attending a (yankee, I think) meeting where extensive singing had broken out.

At home I fell into a deep sleep through the night, broken at some point by a dream (vision?) of unusual proportions:
We had gone to the regular weekly meeting expecting to see the few usual familiar faces. Instead there was a sea of faces, with virtually every seat occupied: who were these people? Strangers for the most part, with hardly a familiar face in the crowd.

We found seats and entered the silence. Suddenly there was an outbreak of choral music- it sounded like the celestial choir. And then movement, if not dancing then some sort of corporate movement, maybe like all forward, and then back into their seats.

I couldn't wait for the meeting to end, to find out who all these people were. At the rise of meeting I saw only the old familiar faces.

Who WERE these people??


Marjorie said...

>>>some sort of corporate movement, maybe like all forward, and then back into their seats.

Must have been a vision of the Episcopal church, with all its stand-up, sit-down business. Ha ha (where is that laugh track when I need it?)

Seriously, is it possible that the number of people represents those you're helping through your blog and website? Wouldn't that be wonderful?

I'm very interested by your question of the dream/vision. I haven't looked into any of this, but I have a friend who told me of a vision she had once and its intrigued me ever since.

Michael said...

I think the Meeting is a gathered/covered Meeting during which Quakers who have crossed over to the other side of life gather with us of human flesh. During this type of Meeting we of human flesh become aware of the others. The movement of chairs? We do use the term "spirit moving in our midst" or "how can I keep from singing". Jews often pray with their bodies in a rocking motion. Quaker's got their name by quaking, perhaps we might also have called them "holy rollers". Perhaps people in my Meeting my have visions of me skipping around the Meeting hall with a 5 year old kid on my shoulders.