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Friday, November 3, 2006

Personal Humanism

I recently received my latest issue of The Humanist magazine. It had many well written and interesting articles as usual, but I was again somewhat disappointed to see it so heavily focused on politics. Even the subtitle to the magazine is, "A Magazine of Critical Inquiry and Social Concern". Both of these things are important, but where is the personal Humanism that is supposed to guide and enrich our daily life practice?

Paul Kurtz (ironically, the strongly self proclaimed Secular Humanist) has done an excellent job of outlining many elements of this personal Humanism, its virtues, and the pursuit of excellence in life in his books, including Forbidden Fruit: The Ethics of Humanism, and The Courage to Become: The Virtues of Humanism.

Getting to the personal side of Humanism as a life practice is precisely why I have formed a local activity called the Humanist Contemplatives Club, as a focus group with my local Humanist group. I was seeking to improve my lifestyle, my values, my commitments, my habits, etc. and decided I needed the feedback and support of others in these efforts. After participating in these explorations for some time now, getting the latest issue of The Humanist was a stark contrast to a very different focus concerning Humanism. It's not that there isn't room within Humanism for different foci, but I wish more Humanists were working on what I'd call 'Natural Spirituality', which seems to be the best direction for human religion (in the broadest sense of the word) in the future.

So I went to the web and ran a search for "personal Humanism". Ironically, my own site came up high on the list, but I also found another article by the former Director of the American Humanist Association (which published The Humanist), Frederick Edwords. I would recommend reading this wonderful article, especially to my fellow Humanists...

Life Is To Be Lived Now: A Vital, Personal Humanism

Take Care :)

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