Russian Transcendentalism..
 ‘The highest wisdom and truth is like the purest dew, which we try to hold 
within us,’ said he. ‘Can I hold in an impure vessel that pure dew and judge of 
its purity? Only by the inner purification of myself can I bring that dew 
contained within me to some degree of purity.  The highest wisdom is founded 
not on reason only, not on those wordly sciences, of physics, history, 
chemistry, etc., into which knowledge of the intellect is divided. The highest 
wisdom is one. The highest wisdom knows but one science; the science of the 
whole, the science that explains the whole creation and the place of man in it. 
To instill this science into one’s soul, it is needful to purify and renew 
one’s inner man, and so, before one can know, one must believe and be made 
perfect. And for the attainment of these aims there has been put into our souls 
the light of God, called the conscience.’

 ‘Look with the spiritual eye into thy inner man, and ask of they self whether 
thou art content with thyself. What hast thou attained with the guidance of the 
intellect alone? What art thou? You are young, you are wealthy, you are 
cultured, sir. What have you made of all the blessings vouchsafed you? Are you 
satisfied with yourself and your life?’

 ‘Thou hatest it; then change it, purify thyself, and as thou are purified thou 
wilt come to know wisdom. Look at your life, sir. How have you been spending 
it?  In riotous orgies and debauchery, taking everything from society and 
giving nothing in return. You have received wealth. How have you used it? What 
have you done for your neighbour?’  
 -Tolstoy, War and Peace


---In, <> wrote :

 Of Free Thinkers and Orthodoxy,  
 An essay,  About our Church Building in Fairfield, Iowa:

 Here's the history about our church which is technically called the "Church of 
the Holy Spirit Charitable Trust."  We use the name Fellowship of the Holy 
Spirit because there are too many churches named "Church of the Holy Spirit."

 The building was built in 1913, and first served as a bridal and tack shop for 
horses and buggies.  Like every building on the square, it is long and narrow. 
This allows more stores to have a storefront.  The owners lived upstairs and 
the backspace was for inventory and workshops. Very sensible. I don't know all 
the stores or businesses that have used the building.  My memory goes back to 
Simone's - a clothing store owned by Julia Marchand and Bill DeKramer. Simone 
was Julia's daughter. At some point Julan White, Bonnie's daughter, bought the 
building.  (Yes, Bonnie is the unforgettable owner of 2nd Street Coffee).

 Julan loved the building and was remodeling it when unfortunately it burned.  
John Minor, a local contractor who had once gone to seminary school, bought the 
burned out building to keep it from being razed.  He figured we didn't need 
another parking lot on the square like the empty space next to India Cafe - 
empty from another fire. I bought it from John to restore as a church building. 
 I paid $50K for the building, and then watched in amazement when I put in 
another $250K at least to restore it. I've never regretted spending the money, 
even though the building is not at all worth $300K.  For me it has become a 
gift to the community, giving me great satisfaction to see how so many people 
and groups are using it for the spiritual upliftment of our community and world.

 Our church history:

 I was the original "Ru" minister of the Unity Church in Fairfield for 12 
years. We had a Unity-ordained minister for 2 or 3 years before that, but one 
day from the pulpit  she said: "The Holy Spirit has told me I have to leave, 
and that you (pointing at me) are the next minister." I pulled in 3 other 
people to be ministers with me - including my decades' long friend Connie 

 After 12 years, the main Unity organization realized we had become a real 
church with a church building and money in the bank.  They sent someone up and 
said we couldn't do this - we needed a real Unity minister. They sent a Unity 
minister up from Quincy who was a fine person but didn't have the depth of 
experience to inspire and teach a church full of sidhas.  So we split off, and 
Unity church faded away. Connie started the Divine Mother church, and I started 
the Fellowship of the Holy Spirit. Joy Hirshberg became the president of the 
local synagogue (a good Shiksha president!) and Eleanor Fleming moved out of 

 We struggled with finding a good location, so I eventually bought our current 
building.  It had been burned out by a construction fire - one of Julan's 
construction workers was sneak-sleeping in the building and fell asleep with a 
cigaret.  I was going to do a cheap Walmart's remodel, but I fell in love with 
the building and my business flooded me with money so I tried to do a beautiful 
remodel.  Funnily enough, after 13 months of remodeling, I had a Jyotish 
reading that said: "for the past 13 months you have had temple building karma." 
Way cool, right?

 The Fellowship of the Holy Spirit was active there for 6 years, and then I 
took a sabbatical to get my masters degree in Vedic Science.  It was so nice 
not writing a sermon every Saturday night that I never came back to preaching 
actively, and changed the nature of the church to an Inner Sanctum.  Connie's 
church is actually a charter of our church which helps maintain our legal 
status with the IRS. And she doesn't have to worry about paperwork while having 
a 501(c)(3) status.  She is a treasured trustee of our church, so if I'm not 
around you can check with her if there is an issue with the building.

 If there are other groups who could use the umbrella of a 501(c)(3), Connie 
and I would be happy to consider allowing them to become a charter of our 

 As you know, I built an inner sanctum where the focus of my meditations and 
singing is to heal the wounds in the Heart of America.  In 2013 my heart opened 
up and I could feel the national pain from the wounds in the Heart of America. 
It was too great for me to handle, so I shut it off.  But I realized I was 
given the experience as an invitation to start the process of healing these 
wounds for the sake of the country that I love so much. 

 My heart's guidance for this next year is to start an online group that will 
join me in using the 5 Elements to heal these wounds in the heart of America.  
Just fyi, I had a very clear vision of seeing the 4 chambers of the heart 
relating to Earth Water, Fire, and Air; the pericardial sac surrounding the 
heart relates to Akasha, the element of Space. As we heal the wounds of our 
individual hearts, we heal the Heart of America.  But I preach here, don't I? 
Imagine that...

 Here's who is using the church now:

 The Divine Mother Church:  Of course it is such a great blessing to have the 
work Connie does happen in our building.  Do you remember Maharishi's "Mother 
is at home" analogy? Connie's deep services and meditations make me feel like 
"Mother Divine is here, at home, in our church building."  I fall silent when I 
think about the greatness of her work.

 Spiritus Christi:  We are very happy to have Michael's church use our space.  
If you have ever been in the space after one of their services, you will feel 
the holy atmosphere they create. I once walked into the front space to show off 
the church to a visitor from out of town.  He had been an MIU student in the 
70's, and had come back for a visit. We walked in after a Wednesday morning 
Mass, and my friend just exclaimed: "Wow, what happened in here?" There was 
such great silence.  I had to later thank Michael for making me look so good.

 It's the same with the IAM Sanctuary upstairs - they are really a group of 
western pundits. They have pulled together a group of very pure souls who are 
using their voices and awareness to create purity in Fairfield and America. 
It's very powerful, and I'm grateful for the work they do. Thank you, Howard 
Osborne, for using this space so well.

 The Quakers meet weekdays from 5 to 6 for an "unaffiliated" silent meditation. 
 Maybe I shouldn't call them Quakers but this is Doug and Jennifer Hamilton's 
background.  They will have 2 to 12 people show up to meditate every day. It's 
a great offering to those who do not have a dome badge.  I love that they do 

 Laura Wienberg has started a group that meets the 2nd Saturday morning of each 
month.  I can't say exactly what she does yet because I haven't joined her so 
far. But I wish her well; may her service grow and serve many, many souls.

 The Community Choir uses the building, a Women Within group uses it, Brianna 
Delott does some of her spiritual counseling work here,  and occasionally other 
groups use it. We are happy to provide this space.

 So now you have a picture of what our history is, and how we work.

 And of course you bless us with your extraordinary singing during the Singing 
Sphere's services.  Why don't you do a recital for us some ArtWalk? You have 
such a gift, Greg.

 I'm cc'ing everyone I've written about here.  I want you all to know how 
grateful I am that your groups use our church space.

 And I wish everyone a very successful and happy new year - filled with the joy 
of service that you all already experience.

 With love and gratitude,

 Rev. Steven Winn


---In, <> wrote :

 Dear Col. Leed, 
 Thanks for this appreciation.
 I particularly enjoy the link below to the published paper that is written as 
a 'tongue in cheek' orthodox indictment of free thinking. The particular names 
of free thinkers given in its text are interesting to follow up on in context. 

 These links could also go along with this exploration of Free Thinkers and 
 Separatists, In Quiet, European ancestral genealogy of transcendentalism
 Transcendentalist Fairfield
 Importing Transcendentalism (German) to America  
 HISTORICAL NOTE  German ‘Free Thinkers’
 Turnvereins, American Turner Movement Records,

William Leed writes:
 THANKS Doug !!! WOW! a real  post  TO, save , Learned insightful & a joy to 
learn from & grow in SPIRIT from as well!! WOW! & for me & now many others!


  Again in great respect! THANKS!!


---In, <> wrote :

 Freethinking and Orthodoxy..   Fundamentalism..  
 “We have to remember that fundamentalism is . . . a reaction to the natural 
progress of society. And so when I see fundamentalism surge, I know that what 
is really happening is that the natural progress of society is surging. And 
fundamentalism is reacting to it. I choose to focus on the progress, not the 
reaction.” Reza Aslan


 A great ‘freethought’ listen, on your cell phone or computer..
 Manley P. Hall, an interesting 20th Century mystic freethinker. A lifelong 
lecturer he gave a biographical lecture presentation on 17th Century William 
Penn’s free thought ‘Holy Experiment’. Penn’s freethinking venture became an 
early founding of constitutional government and subsequently the State of 
 Manly P. Hall - William Penn, the Quaker, and His Holy Experiment

 . .

 An Orthodox Indictment of L. Mott
This gives very interesting insight.  A fun read as written in a voice of 
'tongue in cheek'.

 Reguler, The Orthodox indictment of spiritual regeneration movement: 
 The case of  L Mott.

 . .


 "Whitman believed in the Inner Light. In 1890, he told Horace Traubel, who 
recorded Whitman's conversations from 1888 until the poet's death, that he 
subscribed to Hicks's views of spirituality."


 Anecdotes about Elias Hicks   by Walt Whitman 
 November Boughs essay "Elias Hicks" 1888



 Elias Hicks: He preached that people could experience salvation without the 
aid of ordained clergy. God dwells within every person, he explained, and 
reveals truths to each one by means of the Inner Light. Employing their free 
will, people could choose salvation by submitting to the will of God revealed 
to them, or they could choose sin by rejecting God's will to follow their 
"independent will" (Hicks 336).
 From 1779 through 1829, the Quaker minister journeyed more than forty thousand 
miles to locations primarily in the Northeast; but he also made trips to 
Virginia (1797, 1801, 1819, 1828), to the northern shore of Lake Ontario, 
Canada (1803, 1810), and to Richmond, Indiana (1828).
 .. ..

 “And this power flowed through him -- he became its agent -- whenever he put 
himself in a position to receive it. It had drawn him also to the Quakers of 
New Bedford, who were having a schism and revival in 1828. He visited them 
often, especially Mary Rotch. “What is this Inner Light?” he asked her. “It is 
not a thing to be talked about,” she replied. But he drew her out, and she said 
she had been driven inward, in these years of the Quaker Schism,”  The Life of 
Emerson, Brooks. 


 .. ..


 Creed..a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone's actions,
 a brief authoritative formula of religious belief.
 a creed is a set of beliefs, principles, or opinions that strongly influence 
the way people live or work
 creed is a religion.

 any system, doctrine, or formula of religious belief, as of a denomination. 
any system or codification of belief or of opinion. 
 an authoritative, formulated statement of the chief articles of belief, as the 
Apostles' Creed, the Nicene Creed, or the Athanasian Creed.

 . . /
 “In the 18th and 19th century, many thinkers regarded as freethinkers were 
deists, arguing that the nature of God
 can only be known from a study of nature rather than from religious 
‘revelation’. In the 18th century, "deism" was as much of a 'dirty word' as 
"atheism", and deists were often stigmatized as either atheists or at least as 
freethinkers by their Christian opponents.[13][14] Deists today regard 
themselves as freethinkers, but are now arguably less prominent in the 
freethought movement than atheists.”

 . .
 W. E. Channing, in Channing’s sequence of time in the coming on of Emerson and 
others, bringing a closure to Puritanism in New England..

 “The divine attributes,” Channing writes, “are first developed in ourselves 
and hence transferred to our Creator. The idea of God, sublime and awful as it 
is, is the idea of our own spiritual nature, purified and enlarged to 

“When Channing whistled, if his friends had only known it, that was the end of 
Calvinism for Boston.”  The Life of Emerson, Brooks.

 . .  
 Freethought is the philosophy that man rules his own destiny, rejecting the 
notion that there is any kind of divine intervention in life. Belief centers on 
the idea that nature and Natural Law guide mankind and that the use of reason, 
epistemology, and science are the means by which life is validated. 

 Freethought came to Wisconsin with the massive influx of German immigrants in 
the 1850s, particularly those known as "Forty-eighters" who had fled autocratic 
German states after the failed revolts of 1848.


 Freethinkers refused to accept political absolutism and the authority of a 
church, religion, or its supposedly inspired scripture. They insisted on the 
freedom to form religious opinions on the basis of intellectual reasoning 
powers and not on blind, unquestioned faith. Freethinking became fashionable in 
the German state of Prussia during the reign of Frederick the Great, who ruled 
from 1740-53, within a period known as the "Age of Reason."   
 "Freethinkers" Of the Early Texas..
 Freethought, Vs. the true believer..  

 true believer. noun. One who is deeply, sometimes fanatically devoted to a 
cause, organization, or person: “a band of true believers bonded together 
against all those who did not agree with them” ( Theodore Draper )

 : a person who professes absolute belief in something
 : a zealous supporter of a particular cause

 ..true believers who fought the good fight even when it was out of fashion.'s impossible to argue with those true believers, as they think any 
counterevidence, is proof of an evil conspiracy.


 . .

 “On the other hand, according to Bertrand Russell, atheists and/or agnostics 
are not necessarily freethinkers. As an example, he mentions Stalin, whom he compares to a "pope":   what I am concerned with is the doctrine 
of the modern Communistic Party, and of the Russian Government to which it owes 
allegiance. According to this doctrine, the world develops on the lines of a 
Plan called Dialectical Materialism, first discovered by Karl 
Marx, embodied in the practice of a 
great state by Lenin, and now 
expounded from day to day by a Church of which Stalin is the Pope. […] Free 
discussion is to be prevented wherever the power to do so exists; […] If this 
doctrine and this organization prevail, free inquiry will become as impossible 
as it was in the middle ages, and the world will relapse into bigotry and 
 — Bertrand Russell, The Value of Free Thought. How to Become a Truth-Seeker 
and Break the Chains of Mental Slavery
 The “kidnapped” monument to German freethinkers in the Texas hill country

 . .

 "What makes a freethinker is not his beliefs but the way in which he holds 
them. If he holds them because his elders told him they were true when he was 
young, or if he holds them because if he did not he would be unhappy, his 
thought is not free; but if he holds them because, after careful thought he 
finds a balance of evidence in their favour, then his thought is free, however 
odd his conclusions may seem."

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