The following passage is from "The testimony of Margaret Fell concerning her late husband," from The Journal of George Fox, 1694. In this excerpt, which contains the famous "what canst thou say?" query, Margaret Fell is describing George Fox's "sermon" at the Ulverston steeple-house. It was the first time she had heard him speak.
And so he went on, and said, "That Christ was the Light of the world, and lighteth every man that cometh into the world; and that by this light they might be gathered to God," &c. I stood up in my pew, and wondered at his doctrine, for I had never heard such before. And then he went on, and opened the scriptures, and said, "The scriptures were the prophets' words, and Christ's and the apostles' words, and what, as they spoke, they enjoyed and possessed, and had it from the Lord": and said, "Then what had any to do with the scriptures, but as they came to the Spirit that gave them forth? You will say, 'Christ saith this, and the apostles say this;' but what canst thou say? Art thou a child of the Light, and hast thou walked in the Light, and what thou speakest, is it inwardly from God?" &c. This opened me so, that it cut me to the heart; and then I saw clearly we were all wrong. So I sat down in my pew again, and cried bitterly: and I cried in my spirit to the Lord, "We are all thieves; we are all thieves; we have taken the scriptures in words, and know nothing of them in ourselves."
The direct experience of God is a kind of Knowing, which is beyond our cognition, beyond our intellect. When we feel this Light of Christ, or God, or Being within us, we know it, and cannot help but feel a subtle bliss, a warm feeling of love radiating. As Jesus said, "I and the Father are one." This is often the experience of those who speak of this union of God within. To know this internal consciousness of Christ, to know God, is to be permeated with the essence of this union. This is knowing God directly, the seed, the purest moment of our spirituality, foremost over any understanding of God through Scripture, doctrines, teachings, or church.
Akilesh and I would like to pose a question to you - anyone whose gaze is upon this page:
What canst thou say? How is this consciousness, this kind of Knowing, this experience of the union of God within, nurtured? How is it nurtured within you, and in your experience, within others?