Roots of SN, Part 2: Modern Cosmology

It is surely strange to begin a history of ancient naturalism with modern cosmology. Nevertheless, starting with the present can help elucidate preconceptions before proceeding to the past.  In so doing, a clear picture of current understandings can be developed, the better to distinguish our own assumptions and avoid projecting them onto ancient peoples.  At [Read More…]

Gnothi Seauton: On Being Human

This article is written by guest-writer, Maggie Jay Lee… Elizabeth Vandiver states in a Teaching Company Course that the first Delphi maxim, gnothi seauton – know thyself, means, “Know what kind of creature you are, remember your limitations, remember that you are not a god, you are mortal.”(1) She interprets this as meaning in effect, “Know your place.” Donald Kagan in an Open [Read More…]

Book Review: Waking Up, by Sam Harris

Review by DT Strain for the Spiritual Naturalist Society Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris To be released September 2014 ISBN 978-1-4516-3601-7 Simon & Schuster   Sam Harris is a neuroscientist and author who is often referred to as a major voice in atheism (though having little use for the [Read More…]

Harvesting Happiness

We’ve all been in frustrating situations such as standing in a long line in a crowded store, caught in highway traffic, and so on. I was in a crowded coffee shop recently. The teller at the register was stressed. The woman making the coffee was clearly upset that she was having to be so busy [Read More…]

Tao and Governance (a personal view)

The Tao Te Chingis a book about leadership and governance.  Many of its chapters are addressed to an ideal emperor or king.  Since most of us are not in line to be emperors or kings, we may wonder how such instructions are relevant to us.  To understand this, it helps to recognize an idea that [Read More…]

Roots of Spiritual Naturalism, Part 1: Introduction

Were there Spiritual Naturalists in the ancient world? This is the central question of this series of essays exploring the historical roots of naturalistic ways. Many may assume that Spiritual Naturalists are an exclusively modern phenomenon.  This series questions that assumption, probing various historical spiritual traditions for something resembling naturalism. The significance of this project [Read More…]

Meditation Framing & Procession: A Spiritual Naturalist Ritual

The following is a description of a ritual I have designed to precede and follow a meditation session, which I plan to use in my practice and would like to share. It can be conducted alone or in a group. Given it contains more elaborate steps than simple meditation, it may be suitable to perform [Read More…]

The Role of Philosophy in Spirituality

Our Education Director, B.T. Newberg, has published an article for us discussing the role of science in helping us find a Way of Life. So, I thought it would be fitting to cover the role of philosophy in our practice, as philosophy is something we discuss and write on a lot at the Society. Just [Read More…]

Encounters with Indentified Flying Objects

Editor’s note: What we pay attention to is important, and Thomas suggests paying attention the commonplace can be very interesting and entertaining, and there is something spiritual in that. The commonplace includes those odd and funny moments too…   I am a birder.I have never been competitive about it like the guys in the book [Read More…]

The Blues and Abstract Truth

The Blues and Abstract Truth is the title of a jazz album by Oliver Nelson recorded in 1961. The title might also be a formula for all great art, including the art of living. Feeling and thought, substance and form, passion and detachment, yin and yang, Bacchus and Apollo, the blues and abstract truth – [Read More…]