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The Depth of Our Belonging (review) Many people educated in the rational laws of Newtonian physics have difficulty accepting mysticism or even the concept of God. Although Mary Conrow Coelho was raised in an environment of Quaker mysticism, she found no place for that outlook in the materialistic (pre-quantum) science degree she pursued in college. Nevertheless, she continued her exploration of religion in general and mysticism in particular until she discovered the newer quantum physics, which offered her a way to reconcile the two realities of her life – the external/materialistic and the internal/mystic.

On Words (November 2021)

Journeys through Faith and Time The following text is an assemblage of excerpts from a public presentation that Lee and Asia Bennett made to the Horizon House community on June 4, 2017. For the complete text of their presentation, see: westernfriend.org/media/faith-life-story.

On Expansion (May 2018)

Scientific and Moral Reasoning I am a Quaker and a scientist. To be more precise, I am a Quaker and a computer scientist. Some would dispute whether my field is a true science, but what I do is pretty scientific, with gathering of empirical data and testing of hypotheses.

On Science (November 2022)

Pieces and Patterns The man I married, physicist Daryl Reagan, was a skeptic. It gave him an endearing humility. He loved explaining physics to me. When he used his brakes, which produced heat by friction, he explained entropy. He told how eventually all energy would be dull heat energy, a heat death of the universe.

On Perception (March 2023)

Playing Violent Games in Peace In his recent article, “ISIS’s Call of Duty,” Jay Caspian Kang describes similarities between ISIS recruitment films and first-person-shooter games – similarities that are likely intentional (The New Yorker, September 18, 2014). Kang’s article is one of many that play into a larger debate about the role of violent videogames and other violent media in our culture. This debate has continued unresolved for decades, and both sides often succumb to strong emotions and hyperbolic statements. I feel this leads to a shutdown in communication between groups, and that is the issue I would like to address in this article.

On Temptation (November 2014)

Resisting the Temptation to Polarize I want to start with a story of a “popcorn meeting.” This is a type of Meeting for Worship that most Friends dread – full of distractions and superficial messages – including messages that are purely political, purely personal, or even incomprehensible – messages that actually seem to block us from finding a deeper Unity together.

On Temptation (November 2014)

On Money One of my sisters keeps horses. She has noticed that if she shows up to feed them later than usual, they seem especially happy to see her. The pathos of this scenario is all the more striking because, in general, we take such scenarios for granted. With carrots and sticks and clever deceptions, we humans purchase the loyalty of our fellow creatures on a daily basis, including each other.

On Money (November 2015)

Workout, the Counterpoise to Worship Electronics has been good to me for nearly fifty years. My early interest in it inspired me to pay attention to my math and science courses in junior high and high school. I got an amateur radio license when I was fifteen, studied physics and electronics for two years in college, then started as a mid-level technician in a large electronics company near Portland, Oregon – a career move that resulted in my bachelor’s degree taking twenty-one years to complete. I shifted between teaching and engineering after obtaining a master’s degree in teacher education, and the last twelve years have been back in engineering, this time with the U.S. Forest Service.

On Flesh (November 2016)