The Meaning of Life?

The old question What is the Meaning of Life? has become something of a joke — not because it has been answered, but because it seems incapable of being answered.  Below I attempt to address the question, though perhaps I only add to the joke. Meaning and purpose always relate a part to a whole.  A word [Read More…]

Joy in the Journey

We live in a society that is obsessed with getting someplace. It’s all about meeting our goals, being someplace. There are deadlines that need to be meet, appointments we need to keep. Everything is focused on the destination. We need to remind ourselves that, as important as goals may be, they are not where the [Read More…]

Spiritual Naturalist Society Launches Annual Funds/Membership Drive

This month, from December 15th to January 15th, we are holding our annual Funds/Membership Drive! No matter who you are, whether you’re a member or not, there is something everyone can do to be a part of it. We hear from so many of you who are moved by naturalistic forms of spirituality and interested [Read More…]

How Stoics Treat Jerks

This article by guest-writer Matt Van Natta…   “People. What a bunch of bastards!” –The IT Crowd Stoics love people, even the bastards. The heart of our philosophy is love for humankind. The virtue that we seek to cultivate can only be properly expressed in relationship to our human family. We agree with Marcus Aurelius [Read More…]

How Hard is Empathy?

Why is it so easy to immerse ourselves in our own suffering, but so difficult to understand the suffering of others? Take these two essays about accommodation in yoga for instance. In the first – a self professed skinny white woman (Jen Caro) shares her thoughts – which she admits she was projecting – onto [Read More…]

Roots of SN, Part 3: Evolution and the Way to Live

Most ancient peoples had some notion of how life came to be, quite sophisticated in some cases, and such ideas shaped conceptions of how to live.  What is peculiar, historically speaking, is that modern Western people generally don’t draw such conclusions based on evolution.  Values cannot be derived from facts, so they say.  By contrast, [Read More…]

Spirituality and the Meaning Crisis, Part 2: The Emergence of the crisis.

Acknowledgement: This article is based on Science and the Sage which is written by myself and Christopher Mastropeitro, as well as work on the nature of wisdom by myself and Leo Ferraro. In part one I introduced the connections between spirituality, meaning, and the meaning crisis, and historically examined this meaning in terms of three [Read More…]

Spirituality Without the Supernatural? New Book Offers Bold Vision

For most, the term ‘spirituality’ evokes the supernatural, such as the afterlife, God, prayer, and so on. But some who aren’t believers in those things are, nonetheless, taking spiritual practices head on. A new book gives a sweeping panorama of what practitioners call Spiritual Naturalism. “Exploring Spiritual Naturalism, Year 1 is an anthology of articles [Read More…]

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…]