Life Challenges as Mirror


This morning my wife discovered that the left side mirror on her car had been smashed by vandals sometime during the night. The same thing happened to our neighbor’s car, both parked on the street. As I later reflected on my initial response to this, I found it interesting. Sometimes, as we are making progress [Read More...]

Three Transcendents, part 1: Naturalistic Transcendence


  As my wife and I slogged along on our bicycles, generally irritated at each other, suddenly there was a pop. Her back tire went flat, and we were in the middle of nowhere on a Korean highway. We had to find a repair shop, communicate our problem, and somehow make it home. As we [Read More...]

Dealing with Negative Nellies and Neds


  One of the side effects of being a happy person is that unhappy people sometimes attach themselves to you hoping that a little of your sunshine will rub off on them. I’ve attracted people like this to me for as long as I can remember. I used to call them hangers on. But really, [Read More...]

Last Hum of the Cicada: Death for Naturalists


Deep in the mountains of South Korea, a cicada hummed its last. Walking along the roadside, I saw a spider fall upon it with its venomous mandibles. Caught in the web, it had no escape, and cried: hum… hum… silence I stood equally silenced as the spider carried off the corpse into the splintered bark [Read More...]

SNS announces new partnership with Charter for Compassion


The Spiritual Naturalist Society is proud to announce that the Charter for Compassion and the SNS have recently become partner organizations. This will mean that the SNS has agreed to share Charter announcements with its members, subscribers, and the public; and the Charter will likewise provide a link to the SNS on its website, and [Read More...]

Spiritual Naturalist Drumming


Drumming is an ancient art that has played a ritualistic and spiritual role in different cultures all over the world. Drumming practitioners today may be most familiar with West African and Native American traditions, but there are many others – for example, Taiko drumming techniques from Japan. Why does drumming have a spiritual role in [Read More...]

Beauty in the Equation


“It is more important to have beauty in one’s equations than to have them fit experiment.” –Paul Dirac. There is a general notion that “beauty” is something that belongs to the arts and humanities and has more or less been banished from science. Yet, in the last hundred years, many prominent artists and humanists* have [Read More...]

Happiness upon reflection


More and more I have come to realize that happiness is a matter of reflection. We rarely feel happiness in the moment. We may feel good, or pleasure. But it is only when we take a moment to reflect in the moment that we realize: we are happy. If we seek to have more happiness, [Read More...]

A New (old) Skepticism


Skeptics have often been accused of being cynical, negative, etc. They will (quite appropriately) correct us that skepticism is not the same as cynicism – always about denying or a denial that we can reasonably know anything. While skeptics might reject certain claims on the basis of lacking or contradictory evidence, skepticism also includes the [Read More...]

Working toward Liberation


Many philosophies and wisdom traditions have independently come to realize that anguish and emotional suffering is caused by our attachments. Buddhism is perhaps the best known, but Taoism is closely related in this, and many other philosophies touch on it as well. Some philosophies approach the matter by talking about fear, or greed, or false [Read More...]