The Search for Meaning

Viktor E. Frankl was a psychiatrist, who founded a school of psychotherapy based on humanity’s search for meaning. This search for meaning, he claims, “is the primary motivation in his life and not a ‘secondary rationalization’ of instinctual drives” (Frankl 2006, 99). The problem is that few of us know what motivates us, and even fewer know how to find meaning in life. This requires wisdom, a wisdom that is no longer taught or passed down from parent to child…. Read more

PODCAST: SN Today #5: What is Demeanor Practice?

Episode 5: Have you ever thought about the vibe you’re putting out into the world? Demeanor practice is mindfulness of how we carry ourselves, and how we interact with others. We talk about compassion a lot, but are we projecting an impression of compassion? A large portion of our communication with others is beyond just the words, such as body language, tone of voice, and facial expressions. Demeanor Practice is based on the recognition that these behaviors and bodily actions not… Read more

Purpose-Driven Life and Secularism

How can you find purpose and meaning from a secular perspective? Mike meets regularly with friends and acquaintances from his neighborhood in a large building. There, he enjoys listening to presentations about big life questions: on the meaning of life, on the nature of morality, on ethical behavior, etc. He participates in study circles that engage with these questions in more depth. Mike sings, dances, and enjoys musical performances there. Together with others, he volunteers to help clean up the… Read more

The Evolution of Morality

We know that we carry inside us the history of our bodies—the chemistry and bones and nervous systems that have evolved over the millennia. But we carry with us another history as well. Our morality, our capacity to harm, help, or ignore each other, began with our earliest ancestors as well. I divide this inheritance into three stages. To take them in reverse order, the most recent stage is roughly the last several thousand years during which humans have developed… Read more

Book Review: “Secular Meditation” by Rick Heller

Guest article by Michelle L. LeBlanc… If you are anything like me, I enjoy a book that sees the benefit of spiritual practice without the assumption of the supernatural intertwined, not that I am completely closed to the idea, but due to my religious background, I have learned to trust those who give more “naturalistic reasons” for their perspectives – rather than those who give “personal experiences” or “faith-based” reasons. Thus, this book is great in that it takes everything from… Read more

New Year, New You

It’s a New Year. Did you make a New Year’s resolution? Some of the more popular ones include losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking, stop drinking, or get out of debt. But, as we quickly realize, changing ourselves is hard to do. Why is that? Most people attribute change or a lack of change to will power. But this is actually only a small part of the picture. What we don’t realize is that there are many influences that support… Read more

Celebrations, Rituals and Constructing Meaning in Life

My family emigrated from the former Soviet Union to the US when I was 10, and our cultural heritage of ritual celebrations comes from that background. The most important Soviet celebration was New Year’s Eve, a combination of Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled into one. A few hours before midnight, close family and friends gathered together. There was always a big New Year’s tree with a bright red star on top, and a huge dinner table piled with delicious food. We… Read more

Bringing Light to (Most of) the Darkness

The Winter Solstice is upon us, and the year is in its darkest phase. In many ancient societies the return of the sun and rebirth of the world was by no means seen as a guarantee. Monuments were built, sacrifices made, and ceremonies held to ensure that the sun would once again return to the sky, the world would thaw, and life would go on. Today, barring a disaster of unconscionable scope, we can be assured that the days will… Read more

PODCAST: SN Today #4: Real Life – on the job

Episode 4: How does one apply Spiritual Naturalism to real world problems? Find out in this exciting episode, as the hosts tackle a real life problem as they hear it for the very first time. See how embedded spiritual principles come out in a real life struggle dealing with the challenges of a new job in a less than optimal situation. Click here to get Email notices of new episodes and SNS articles Learn about Membership in the Spiritual Naturalist Society… Read more

Naturalism and the Idea of One Mind

“The Self is the ear of the ear, the eye of the eye.  It is the mind of the mind, the speech of speech, and the life of life.  Not clinging to any of the senses, not attach to any thought in the mind, the wise become one with the deathless Self.”  (from the Upanishads) “Meantime within man is the soul of the whole; the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal… Read more

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