PODCAST: SN Today #1: What is Spiritual Naturalism?

Episode 1: In the first episode of our new podcast by the Spiritual Naturalist Society, we talk about what Spiritual Naturalism means to us, some of its varieties, and how we practice it in our lives. Click here to get Email notices of new episodes and SNS articles Learn about Membership in the Spiritual Naturalist Society See a full episode list at our main page for the Spiritual Naturalism Today podcast __________ The Spiritual Naturalist Society works to spread awareness of spiritual naturalism... Read more

The Marriage of Spirit and Soul

In his book Alchemy: Science of the Cosmos, Science of the Soul, Titus Burkhardt writes of the chemical marriage: the marriage of gold and silver, which is symbolic of the integration and harmonization of one’s spirit and soul.  In the mythic language of alchemy, the spirit is characterized as male and associated with the sun and gold, while the soul is characterized as female and associated with the moon and silver.   In this alchemical ideal of the marriage of spirit and... Read more

Oliver Sacks and the Comforts of Metal

I was first aware of Oliver Sacks with the publication in 1985 of his book The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, descriptions of his mentally ill patients, cases that were as intriguing as the title. A few years later the popular movie Awakenings, based on a Sacks’ memoir, told the story of the kind, idealistic doctor, played by Robin Williams, who finds a drug to revive catatonic patients at a hospital in the Bronx. Sacks died on August 30,... Read more

Buddhism and Naturalism

Traditional Buddhism began over 2,500 years ago. It was founded on the metaphysical understandings of the time. In this age of myth and magic, all the world was supernatural. There were invisible beings and mystical realms everywhere. For ancient civilization, there was no such thing as naturalism. They had no way to distinguish, let alone conceive, of a difference between the natural world and the supernatural. The first to begin to cut through the vale, where the Greeks. They began... Read more

On Spirituality & Politics

In many ways, our efforts in the Spiritual Naturalist Society are part of a quest. That quest is the rebirth of spirituality among naturalists – something which can be said to have died, almost completely, save for a few bits of inspirational and eloquent observations about the natural universe from people like Carl Sagan and his intellectual heirs still writing wonderful contributions in spiritual and religious naturalism. Yet, nothing like a systematized set of practices built upon that naturalistic inspiration... Read more

AWESM: Ancient Wisdom for Everyone from Seneca & Marcus #1

Reflection One: Books and Reading The philosophers, poets, and playwrights of the ancient world, specifically from Greece and Rome, have so very much to teach us. Sure, they may have lived centuries ago, on the other side of the globe and from a very different time than our own, but truth is truth. Human nature hasn’t changed, and we can draw upon their wisdom to motivate us and improve our lives if we are willing to open our hearts and... Read more

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 has a meaning within a sentence, a spark plug has a purpose within a machine, a person has a purposeful or meaningful role within an... 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 joy is. Yes, there is a sense of accomplishment, and this is important. But it is half the story. We need to rediscover the joy... 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 in contemplative practices. Our mission at the Society is to promote these ideas and practices for the sake of helping more people to be happy... 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 who reminded himself that, “your only joy, and your only rest, is to pass from one action performed in the service of the human community... Read more
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