Intersection of Inner and Outer Light

It occurred to me that some might wonder why I was sharing photographs on internet pages that are related to Quakers.

I recently began to think of photography as capturing outer light, in contrast to the term Inner Light, one of the ways Quakers refer to inward, spiritual feelings or messages.  And then to think about the beauty seen (via outer light) in the natural world and the acts of people and animals.  Which lead to thinking we are the intersection of inner and outer light.  And I began to realize all is a manifestation of the spirit and we just observe it from a different perspective, depending on whether our attention is turned inward or outward.


This is one of the earliest photographs I still have a copy of.  I developed it in the primitive darkroom at Scattergood Friends School. The quality is very poor in photographic terms, but I find a powerful spiritual message in it nonetheless.  It was taken on October 15, 1969, which was a national day of action called the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam. There were demonstrations all across the United States that day, mainly on college campuses. The entire student body and most of the faculty of the School marched 14 miles in silence, to the University of Iowa.

From the school committee minutes October 11, 1969:
A group of students attended Committee meeting and explained plans for their participation in the October 15 Moratorium. The Committee wholeheartedly endorses the plans. The following statement will be handed out in answer to any inquiries:
“These students and faculty of Scattergood School are undertaking the twelve mile walk from campus to Iowa City in observance of the October 15 Moratorium. In order not to detract from the purpose of the walk, we have decided to remain silent. You are welcome to join us in this expression of our sorrow and disapproval of the war and loss of life in Vietnam. Please follow the example of the group and accept any heckling or provocation in silence.”


This is an example of the Inner Light being expressed in outward action, seen with the outer light.


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