Here are the 'before' and 'after' of some emails to the Nontheist Friends' planning group email list of my draft to Quaker "Friends' Journal" ...
Hi Walla, Clair, Ani, Kit, Oz, and NtF planners,
Thanks for all of your focusing feedback. Here perhaps are some more 'scottings' (per Oz's coinage).
What I appreciate about conversation, in general, is its potential generation of ideas, and what I appreciate about soaking in the Harbin warm pool, and to some degree Quaker Meeting, are their enjoyableness, or pleasure, even, due especially to "de facto 'relaxation response meditations,' biologically."
And when idea-generative conversation, feelings and enjoyableness come together in unfolding gatheredness, they are some of the best experiences of life. Examples of this for me can include Quaker Meeting (NtF informed for me), but also especially for me soaking in the Harbin warm pool, listening to the Grateful Dead, to Raga music, or to chamber music, - and so many more neural qualities of this. But I'm oriented in the direction, as a focus of inquiry, of "loving bliss neurophysiology" in terms of feelings, and particularly neurochemistry-wise (see the WUaS link in the postscript below), - and with my NtF sympathies. (In terms of meaning of "God" questions, I'm personally sympathetic with the reasoning in, for example, Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion," as well as with some of the implications of Charles Darwin's writing and thinking), but have changed the language in my draft letter below, in response to some of your observations.
Thanks for thinking actively of the target Friends Journal reading audience, Oz, and for these helpful observations:
"As you write in this style consider your audience and your purpose. You may ask them to suspend their usual expectations and learn how to read what you write. But many may turn away and if avoiding that is important, then pull it into more normal form. This could mean using shorter sentences that help the reader pause and collect themselves, and avoiding stylistic innovations that we don't usually see in Friends Journal."
Here's the letter I've just submitted on Saturday, March 15th, to Friends Journal's "Letters to the Forum" - http://www.friendsjournal.org/submissions/.
As a courtesy to Friends Journal, to which I have submitted a letter that was formerly here for publication, and to avoid possible related confusion, I have removed this draft letter to avoid pre-publishing it.
San Francisco, CA
San Francisco Friends' Meeting
Head Clerk, Founder and President of
startup, Quaker-informed World University and School
(which is like Wikipedia with MIT OpenCourseWare)
PO Box 442
Canyon, CA 94516
And here's a revised, recent version from 2 days ago, but not the above version which I submitted:
(Yellow wattled lapwings: Nontheistically F/friendly draft letter to the Quaker "Friends' Journal," Continuing to explore enjoying Nontheistically F/friendly "de facto 'relaxation response meditations,' biologically," and daily, and deeply when I'm in the field doing fieldwork (for my Harbin ethnographic book project)" ... http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2014/03/yellow-wattled-lapwings-nontheistically.html).
I'm aware of the challenges historically of talking about "God" (I was a social science of religion major at Reed College, and wrote my senior thesis on the feminist theologian, Rosemary Ruether's book "Sexism and God-Talk"), in general, - which is also partly why I'm heeding your "shorter the better" suggestion, Oz.
Again, as in conclusion to one of my draft versions of the above: I'll continue to explore enjoying nontheistically F/friendly "de facto 'relaxation response meditations,' biologically," and daily, and deeply when I'm in the field doing fieldwork (for my Harbin ethnographic book project), as well as in Quaker Meetings.
Thanks, f/Friends, again for all of your feedback, and excellent, editorial suggestions, and this ongoing, generative, nontheistic f/Friendly conversation.
PS: 'Loving Bliss (eliciting this neurophysiology),' wiki, subject page - http://worlduniversity.wikia.com/wiki/Loving_Bliss_(eliciting_this_neurophysiology) ...