Advice and Queries on Simplicity:
"Life is meant to be lived from a Center, a divine Center - a life of unhurried peace and power. It is simple. It is serene. It takes no time, but occupies all our time." -- Thomas Kelly
Simplicity leads to a life and speech of integrity, free of sham and artificiality, unencumbered by unnecessary things and excessive activity. It implies freedom from habits and addictions harmful to ourselves, other beings and our environment.
Christian Simplicity is both a spiritual discipline and a manifestation of a primary commitment to the Spirit of God. As God guides our development, we face just those challenges we can transcend, with grace. As we return again and again to our center, we grow in discernment and learn to see the way every more clearly.
From earliest days, Friends have cherished the value of simplicity. Friends who first sought to summerize the distinctiveness of the faith found a testimony of simplicity well established, a long with commitments to truth and non-violence. Friends have found that the goods and affairs of the world which do not aid them in minding the light tend to hinder it.
Do you center your life in an awareness of the presence of God, so that all people and things take their rightful place?
Do you keep your life uncluttered with things and activities, and avoid commitments beyond your strength and light?
Is the life of our Meeting so ordered that it helps us to simplify our lives? Do we offer our individual lives so as to nourish our spiritual growth?
Is your life so filled by the Spirit that you are free of the use of tobacco, alcohol and other drugs and excesses of any kind? Do you choose recreations which strengthen your physical, mental and spiritual life and avoid those which may prove harmful to yourself and others?
Do you respect the value of all useful work, whether paid or unpaid, whether physical or intellectual, whether performed in the home or in the larger community? Does your vocation affirm and support life in the Spirit, and your daily work use means and serve goals which are consistent with the teachings of Jesus?
Do you keep to a single standard of truth, so that you are free from the use of judicial and other oaths? Are you punctual in keeping your promises, prompt in the repayment of debt, and honorable in all your dealings? Do you refrain from betting and from gambling and from practices based on the principles of gambling?
Do you keep to simplicity, moderation and honesty in your speech, your manner of living and your daily work?