Blog Site

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Consumerism and other news items

(c) The Humanist.
I've gone too long without posting on this, but my friend Rick Heller has written an excellent article in the current issue of The Humanist magazine called, "Slowing Down the Consumer Treadmill". Rick is the editor of The New Humanism, a publication of the Humanist Chaplaincy at Harvard University, and a facilitator of the Humanist Contemplative Group in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

In other news, I've decided to take my birthday as an opportunity to refocus on personal goals and begin building better habits. Along those lines, I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how 'spiritual practice' really includes all of our daily habits and a conscious effort toward self development, in all areas of our life. I recommend the practitioner keep a daily journal. Although I am a long time blogger and do a lot of writing on computer, I've found that a small traditional notepad is more accessible for this purpose. The Stoic Marcus Aurelius recommended that at the end of the day we review how the day went, what we did right, and where we need improvement. A journal can be just such a place to log these things and give us something to report to nightly.

And for my last news item, I would like to announce that early plans have begun for the founding of a new non-profit organization I will be founding called The Spiritual Naturalist Society. The mission of the Society will be to spread awareness of Spiritual Naturalism as a philosophy, encourage the further development of Spiritual Naturalist thought and practice, and educate others on the traditional wisdom and practices that inspire Spiritual Naturalism. In addition, the Society will exist to help bring Spiritual Naturalists together for mutual learning, growth, encouragement, and fellowship.

The organization will cut across traditional groups, labels, and pigeonholes. Supporters and members of the Spiritual Naturalist Society will be an eclectic group, coming from the world of science, Humanism, Buddhism, Unitarianism, even some naturalistic segments of pagan and pantheist communities. None of these areas can solely be said to comprise Spiritual Naturalism. Scientists are not always spiritual, Buddhists and Unitarians are not always naturalists, but in each of these cases many are. Humanism and Spiritual Naturalism are certainly compatible, but only a subset of Humanists feel comfortable pursuing a ‘spiritual practice’ – even in a naturalistic sense. Yet, significant numbers of people in each of these areas, and more, exist and are growing. They often have far more in common with one another than they do with others in their traditional pigeonholes – in terms of their attitudes, their value systems, priorities, even their very tone and demeanor. Therefore, a new paradigm is needed, and the SNS is designed to help further it.

Stay tuned for more updates on the development of this organization! Although it is under construction, you can go to now to join the mailing list to get updates on our progress.

For those interested, Wikipedia has a decent article on Spiritual Naturalism.

Subscribe to The Humanist Contemplative
Share on Facebook
Follow on Twitter
On your mobile phone: text "follow dtstrain" to 40404


  1. Moment diary is a good android app for recording daily thoughts. It has a calendar and lets you create notes for each day.