Forrest Curo
  • San Diego, CA
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Forrest Curo's Discussions

The Trouble With Quaker Gossip

Started this discussion. Last reply by Forrest Curo 10th month 1, 2019. 4 Replies

God Loves Us, and We've Broken the Earth

Started this discussion. Last reply by Forrest Curo 3rd month 4, 2018. 3 Replies


Forrest Curo's Page

Latest Activity

Forrest Curo replied to Howard Brod's discussion 'Why do Liberal Friends not Record Ministers or Spiritual Gifts?' in the group Liberal Quakers
"The continuous and living presence of the Spirit would not want you to reflect on the content of what anyone else says? (Or do you mean wondering, in a critical manner, "What did he say that for?" ) This seems to make it pointless for…"
7th month 20
Forrest Curo replied to Kirby Urner's discussion 'Connecting Quakers and Sufis (ongoing project)'
"Religions seem to intrinsically develop a mystical wing and a doctrinal one. Mystics from different religions & their sects tend to understand each other better than their co-religionists of doctrinal persuasions. It's not so much about…"
7th month 9
Forrest Curo replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'Faith: The Great Big Puzzle'
"Let's say instead that they don't typically call the Light "Christ", "Spirit," or "God", and thus lack any plausible way of making sense of the guidance they often, in fact, receive. So often they're led…"
5th month 15
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"Seriously, I need to write something that isn't limited to what who did in the 18th Century. --- I've learned some worthwhile things from you as well. (Neither one of us is seeking argument per se; but when something doesn't agree…"
5th month 5
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"To criticize a traditional ideal of what a proper human relation to God should look like -- will not please you, no matter what I say. It certainly does not improve your thinking or your stratagems of argument. It isn't improving me either. If…"
5th month 3
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"Jesus thought it worth the risk of his life to announce that the Kingdom was approaching. Wikipedia makes a muddle of what "The Kingdom" means, by throwing a list of the doctrines of various churches at it, but it clearly meant something…"
5th month 3
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"The Kingdom of God is not a distant foreign country either. It's the ongoing divine response to the prayer, "Thy kingdom come [here]; Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven." Our response to that at work within us does not come…"
5th month 1
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"The notion that our personal will is intrinsically evil began with the Puritans, was retained by Barclay -- and clearly underlies the practice of trying to eliminate our wills. If God were a distant foreign country, an ambassador would be…"
5th month 1
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"I have directly said that John Woolman's model of what 'being led by God' looks like put him in an unnecessarily passive role in the process, ie feeling that having his own will "dead" was the necessary and optimal condition…"
5th month 1
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"The metaphors John Woolman used suggested that this is about what he felt was required for a sufficiently-pure Divine/human collaboration. I've read a great many criticisms of other Friend's messages that suggested, basically: "If…"
4th month 29
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"The trouble with the traditional Quaker understanding is that it grew out of the Puritan notion that the only good human was being like a zombie under Divine remote control. As with automatic writing, the ego can all too readily self-deceive as it…"
4th month 29
Forrest Curo commented on William F Rushby's blog post 'From John Woolman on Ministry'
"The classical understanding of Quaker ministry is deeply flawed. I know some very good people who manage to fit their religious thought into that framework; but God prefers His people alive. Yes, we're typically more trouble that way; but…"
4th month 29
Forrest Curo replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'QQ Response to the Virus'
"I also feel very much on the fringes of the Society of Friends. It's not that theologies can be 'liberal' or otherwise; but there are correlations. There's a tendency to theological vagueness on the political left and to verbal…"
4th month 23
Forrest Curo replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'QQ Response to the Virus'
"Consider what makes you tick; and you'll probably be close? Quakers seem to be split by theological loyalties; but much of the divergence seems to be more in words than attitude. The major split is probably political; and even there I'd…"
4th month 22
Forrest Curo replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'QQ Response to the Virus'
"Why do you think so? Did you have something else in mind? Or were you thinking we should be given more to do? Aside from making better-than-nothing facemasks for local hospitals (which some of us have done)?"
4th month 22
Forrest Curo replied to William F Rushby's discussion 'A Time of Spiritual and Social Ferment'
"I was referring to driving the Romans out of the country, where the extra layer of taxation their demands for tribute imposed on subsistence farmers, coupled with the introduction of Roman commercial practices overwhelming the Torah's…"
4th month 16

Profile Information

About Me
Attended one Quaker Meeting ~1961, invited by my best friend in high school. Returned a few times over the decades -> 1991, when I got roped into some pro-homeless activism & felt nostalgic for what I remembered of Friends. Attended regularly awhile, admitted I was a Quaker & therefore had to make it official in 1996. One school year (2002-3) at Pendle Hill, whee! Still knowing God, still being led, still wondering how this all comes out...

"You don't do it through intellectual processes. What you do is you telepathically tap in to the one great world religion,
which is only one,
which has no name,
and all of the other religions are merely maps of that."

Stephen Gaskin

Forrest Curo's Blog

The "Presence" of God

Posted on 8th mo. 26, 2018 at 7:01pm 0 Comments

Our experience of the presence of God is our entire experience, including all internal and external senses and our awareness of experiencing.

We can't say that some subset of our experience is the presence of God.

Some aspect of our experience may come to symbolize or represent or indicate the presence of God to a person, but that's an agreed 'codeword' between God and that person: "When I feel ___ then I know You are here & open for business." God is always here and open…


The Metaphor is the Meaning

Posted on 5th mo. 20, 2017 at 12:33am 0 Comments

You don't do the Bible, or any human being greater honor, or understand them better, by taking them literally.

To take something "metaphorically" doesn't mean that we treat it as just a fluffy literary decoration.

In mathematics there's a term for what a metaphor does: it's called "a mapping." A useful metaphor says that one thing has a similar structure to another thing; they behave alike in analogous circumstances. One of them can be taken as a useful hint toward…


Truth is a spiritual reality

Posted on 5th mo. 1, 2017 at 3:10pm 4 Comments

The word 'spiritual' gives a lot of people problems, and I'm not going to define it. I'm not even going to claim I understand all that it entails.

But one description that works: "If you can't define something; if you can't reduce it to a combination of some other categories or interactions between them" -- words like say, Truth, Beauty, Love and the like come to mind --

then it very likely is spiritual.

Friends have a lot of trouble with the word 'Truth' anymore. It…


The Liberal Quaker (Multi)-Dilemma

Posted on 4th mo. 4, 2017 at 10:06am 1 Comment

If a Meeting takes a stand on any significant issue whatsoever it excludes (and temporarily alienates) people who see the matter otherwise.

If a Meeting can not take a stand on matters causing great suffering (and there is always disagreement about these, or someone would have simply corrected them) we seem to fall short of a basic Christian duty.

A possible resolution to this might look like what we did (as I heard it) with the Quaker House in Ulster. Of two warring groups,…


Truth and vs Love Among Us

Posted on 3rd mo. 26, 2017 at 9:00am 0 Comments

[Thanks to C. Wess Daniels for the nudge!]

People have come to think of a concern for ideas as pathological.

When ideas come to matter more to us than our love for each other, it is pathological.

But people die when the ideas they love and the truths they live under fail to match; bad ideas can kill people as surely as intentional violence.

We have got to resolve our differences; we have truly got to resolve our differences — not smooth them over, not crush them…


Comment Wall (36 comments)

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At 3:13pm on 12th mo. 7, 2016, Keith Saylor said…
Thank you Forrest. I appreciate you thoughts. I am enjoying reading this person's perspectives. He writes well.
At 6:45pm on 12th mo. 6, 2016, Keith Saylor said…
At 5:52pm on 12th mo. 10, 2015, Kirby Urner said…

Where am I in QuakerQuaker in replying to a Profile comment?  Sheesh.  Um, we may not take the same Exam.  Don't pretend you can see over my shoulder necessarily.  "How effective an Activist were you?" is maybe the only question on my interview with Jesus, who knows?

At 11:25am on 8th mo. 1, 2015, Keith Saylor said…

Hi Forrest. Thank you. I was particularly struck by your words:

"The idea of anyone being, not 'a liar', but simply mistaken, or seeing from another perspective, seems to be largely inconceivable to the religious worthies of that time... or that, at least, was my impression from a small dose of their pamphlet wars [like very slow internet flame wars, yes?]"

I agree. My impression is that those Children of Light who do not establish themselves in outward leadership positions on either side (to impose an outward form on others) manifest a supple spirit guided by the inward light filling their conscious and informing their conscience so that identity rests firmly in Presence itself is not lost or overshadowed by outward forms such as anger, fear, ideology, institution, tradition, etc. 

The Spirit to impose outward forms and institutions on the consciences others is as alive today as when Wilkinson felt it needful to speak against it just 25 years after the Children of Light gathered in England. On the flipside, the Comforter is as alive today as when the Children of Light gathered together around 1650ish in England. The Light is alive in many of us today filling our conscious and guiding our conscience so that we know the original witness of the Children of Light through direct personal experience of Presence within. What a blessing to know in ever present faith that the Light is eternal and shines within ... a beacon ever before our mind and heart directing our journey in all things and all our activities in daily life. And that the darkness of outward forms, institutions, practices, and traditions, can be overcome in the Light itself.

At 9:38am on 8th mo. 1, 2015, Diane Benton said…

Forrest, those are some keen observations.

"Fox was clearly a man of great faith, but where the mission he hoped to perform for God seemed at risk, it seems as if it was hard for him to trust God's purposes to God... That's been a subtle and powerful test of faith for many of us, yes?"

I agree.

At 7:51am on 5th mo. 14, 2015, Mike Shell said…

Hi, Forrest.

Glad to be connected.  I'm at a library conference till Friday.  I'll be in touch after that.


At 12:34pm on 12th mo. 11, 2014, Paul Klinkman said…

"side of mountain... warmer than overall atmosphere, same height. flexible tube, held by warmth?"

Yes, side of mountain.  The steeper the hill, the less cost for the chimney for a particular height. 

The air inside is warmer than the overall atmosphere.  Making the air inside hotter increases the power output.  The site engineer picks a particular maximum rated temperature, installs insulation suited for that temperature and the control unit enforces that maximum temperature.  Solar hot water control units already do this.

The Manzanares experiment was 600 feet high.  A chimney of 3,000 feet was once proposed. 

A flexible tube puffed out by the warmth is one option.  If so, the turbine would be at the top of the tube.  A flexible tube with air-filled ribs would stay puffed out.  From a minimizing the air pressure standpoint, putting the turbine halfway up the chimney puts only half the stress on the chimney.  The positive  pressure would be highest just below the turbine and the negative pressure would be highest just above the turbine.  The final option is a non-flexible chimney built out of concrete/whatever or a chimney with a solid (dirt?) bottom and flexible tent top.  Yes, tent poles are allowed inside the chimney if they don't cause too much air friction.

On my to do list, put a proposal together for Allete Clean Energy, not too bad an outfit.

At 8:22pm on 2nd mo. 12, 2014, Steve Bradley said…

Hi Forrest!

I have just accepted your "friend" invitation......but I should just let you know that I am a lousy friend -- if Facebook is an indicator.  A loving acquaintance set up a FB site for me about five years ago, and a couple of loving family members periodically install new photos, but I pay scane attention to it.  Not only am I perplexed by the technology, but the zippity-doo-dah nature of FB just depresses me.  Hopefully, however, i will do much better at following the conversation here; that's the plan, anyhow!

At 10:48am on 1st mo. 7, 2014, Jon Watts said…

Thanks for the friend request!  Blessings on your musical endeavors!  :)

At 11:35pm on 8th mo. 5, 2013, Forrest Curo said…

The site is for ongoing commentary. It needs bright and honest people to comment on the Bible verses, people who won't either wallow in uncritical acceptance or automatically dismiss them -- but take an open look at why they're there and why they're the way they are, whether for 'all-too-human' purposes or God's.

Since you'd written about having to fight yourself free from dogmatically-imposed interpretations of the Bible and to see what you could find in it by yourself, I hoped you might still be interested. My wife & I spent a few months attending the weekly Torah study at a good synagogue; and it seems to be a different sort of experience when people can just say what comes to them about a passage. (More people would be [potentially] even better...)


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