July 18, 2024

 by Thomas Schenk Photo by Susan Bolke A tablet, dated from the fourth century B.C., was found in a tomb in Southern Italy. It contained instructions on what to do after dying, including what to say when one met the guardians of the pool of Memory: One was to say to them “I am a child of Earth and starry Heaven, but of Heaven is my true lineage.” The idea of a separation between an earthly, bodily being and a celestial... Read more

July 11, 2024

 by Eric Steinhart If we naturalists ever want to escape from irrationality and superstition, especially as they appear in society and politics, then we need to build positive naturalistic cultures.  We need people who can help serve as pathfinders or cultural leaders.  Cultural leaders are never perfect – and we can benefit by studying their flaws.  At least because of the immense popularity of his writings, it’s fair to say Richard Dawkins is a cultural leader.  He has his flaws and... Read more

July 4, 2024

by SNS Guest (Today’s article is by guest writer Katherine Peil-Kauffman. With degrees from University of Washington and the Harvard Divinity School, she writes and speaks on the function, evolution, physio-chemical, and informational nature of emotion, its role in optimal health, development, psychological function, moral reasoning, and spirituality.  Katherine is Founding Director of nonprofit EFS International, whose mission is fostering global emotional wisdom.) Philosophers and psychologists alike have struggled to answer the question: What is the nature of human emotion?... Read more

June 27, 2024

 by SNS Guest Source: Wikimedia Commons Artist: Piet Mondrian (Today’s article is by guest writer Tony Wolf. For a brief bio, see below.) Poetic Faiths are those new religions that based on a skeptical, scientific worldview, but go on to ask “now what?” They tend towards: Rationalism/naturalism Creativity/artistry An open-source ethos Anti-authoritarianism They are, in various permutations, simultaneously post-theistic and post-atheistic; beginning with the premise that there is no literal supernatural and then honoring the actual power of myth, symbolism, etc.... Read more

June 26, 2024

 by SNS Guest (Article is by guest writer James Jarrett. See bio below.) The following is a parable of One Person’s subjective experience of reality. It is not intended as a template for others. Perhaps the moral is, however a person comes home to their true self in love is worthy of celebration: There once was a child who was born in a box. The box was in a tree house high off the ground. The child grew up in the... Read more

June 22, 2024

 by Thomas Schenk Introduction To me, the point of sitting still is that it helps you see through the very idea of pushing forward; indeed, it strips you of yourself, as of a coat of armor, by leading you into a place where you’re defined by something larger. The quote above is from The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, by Pico Iyer. This is one of a number of books published in the last decade that touts the benefits of... Read more

June 22, 2024

 by SNS Guest (Today’s article is by guest writer, Alexander Cheruk. For a brief bio, see below.) In Religion is Not About God, American philosopher Loyal Rue presents a series of plausible doomsday scenarios that merit our attention. Citing ecological discontinuities, unpredictable chemical synergisms, runaway greenhouse disaster, infectious diseases, worldwide crop failures, and bioterrorism, Rue highlights a sobering reality: the possibilities for global catastrophe are endless. This is not idle speculation: it’s a warning. As we push beyond the limits of sustainability... Read more

June 15, 2024

by Gregory Gronbacher The sociologist of religion, Mircea Eliade, observed that religious ritual is a powerful means of creating “sacred space” and “sacred time,” pulling the participants out of the normal confines of the mundane moment. The question I’d like to explore is what meaning and purpose might ritual play from a spiritual naturalist approach? For those who subscribe to a supernatural worldview, religious ritual is often an actual opportunity for encountering God or the gods, for working and channeling... Read more

June 15, 2024

by James Jarrett Source: Wikimedia Commons “The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.” – Indigo Girls (1) Driving through Yellowstone National Park a few years ago, I saw a bumper sticker that read, “Your ego is not your amigo.” Gratefully, I’ve been around long enough for that statement to ring true with my lived experience. As a younger person, I would not have known what to do with that aphorism. I remember... Read more

June 15, 2024

 by Thomas Schenk Photo by Richard Todd There are three great questions that have greatly interested me for much of my life. They regard: 1) the nature of the world; 2) the nature of the self; and 3) the interrelationship of these two. Intellectually, science is the main source of information about the first of these. I have looked broadly and deeply into the various sciences as I’ve sought a greater understanding of the nature of the world. Learning, when it... Read more

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