Posts in Spirituality
Secular Spirituality, aka, Spiritual Atheism - Blog#21 - 12 July 2019

The following blog recreates the lecture I recently provided, on June 30, 2019, to the members of the United Universalist Fellowship of the Emerald Coast, in Valparaiso, Florida. The topic of secular spirituality requires us to define spirituality, its evolving meaning, and why it is important to human beings. It further requires us to distinguish between secular and religious versions of spirituality. And what is nonreligious spirituality?

Is there evidence to support disembodied consciousness, as in gods, ghosts, and souls? If spirituality isn’t about spirits, what is it about? Spirituality lies at the intersection of consciousness and connectedness. We can celebrate our consciousness of the gift of life, and our connectedness to each other, and the “All,” without believing in spirits or immortality. We can practice the positive spiritual emotions: existential joy and gratitude for the gift of life, humility regarding our special, small place in the universe, awe regarding existence, and love for our brethren. We can indeed be spiritual, but nonreligious.

 

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Birth, Death, Sex, Awe, and Mars - Blog#18 - 7 June 2019

Birth and life are amazing, and reproduction all the more so. There is incredible variation in the ways that living species recreate themselves, and thereby produce the gift of life. Our daily dose of spiritual awe is bolstered when we take time to notice the diversity of life, and appreciate the intricate wonders of its recreation. Whether sexual or asexual, single-gendered or hermaphroditic, there are a host of ingenious strategies out there that renew life, propelling it forward, generation after generation. We hear about them in school, but appreciate them more with age.

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The Gift of Consciousness - Blog#15 - 27 April 2019

Consciousness and matter are two fundamental properties of the universe, radically different from, and irreducible to each other. Consciousness is an incredible gift, and can be deliberately developed, mentally, not just chemically. We can identify various dimensions and dichotomies of consciousness. It can be private, or shared as a means of connecting, since connected consciousness is the essence of spirituality. It can be externally or internally focused, rational or intuitive, conscious or unconscious, and goal-directed vs. associational. Consciousness is as complex as matter, and just as fascinating. But it needs to be understood, managed, and altered to meet our needs and influence our feelings.

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Environmental Spirituality - Blog#9 - 8 March 2019

Spirituality involves a celebration of our consciousness, gratitude for the gift of life, and immersion in our connectedness to the “All.” We all need to belong, to attach, to connect to something beyond and larger than ourselves, something “trans” personal. We can connect to a lover romantically, to friends socially, and to broader tangible entities such as humanity, the environment, or the universe. We can also connect to invisible spirits, such as God or the souls of deceased loved ones. But we must connect somehow, lest we feel alienated from our surroundings, lonely, isolated, and adrift. How can we re-center ourselves spiritually? Today we focus on environmental spirituality, and eco-awe.

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Mindful or Mindless: Spirituality by Expansion or Subtraction - Blog#5 - 9 February 2019

By now, we’ve all heard about mindfulness, and we’ve been warned as children about mindlessness, but how can they each add to our spirituality? Both meditation practices, and “higher” spiritual practices, can be categorized in different ways, and understood from different perspectives. One such perspective is whether they expand our consciousness, as in mindfulness, or whether they narrow our consciousness, as in concentrative meditation.

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From "No" to "Yes" - Spiritual Atheism - Blog#4 - 2 February 2019

Yes, atheism is a reasonable response to the emotion/need-driven fantasies and delusions of religions. It is a decent starting point, but it is not a destination, any more than adolescence is a destination in life. It is merely a departure gate for your spiritual exploration. … Spirituality is a much larger tent than religion, and there are many non-religious avenues toward spirituality. If you reject religion, …

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