While the words "spiritual" and “spirituality” have supernatural connotations for many, they are widely used to refer to the domain of ultimate existential concerns that engage all of us, eventually. Our approach to these concerns need have nothing to do with the supernatural. Instead, the realization that human beings and their emotions, thoughts, desires and actions are empirically “at one with the universe” can ground a naturalistic, non-dualist spirituality, one that generates wonder, compassion, gratitude, and acceptance.
Spirituality can thus be naturalized, and a naturalistic vision of ourselves and the world can inspire and inform spiritual experience. Naturalism understands such experience as psychological states constituted by the activity of our brains, but this doesn't lessen the appeal of such experience, or render it less profound. Appreciating the fact of our complete inclusion in nature can generate feelings of connection and meaning that rival those offered by traditional religions, and those feelings reflect the empirical reality of our being at home in the cosmos.
See the links to the left for major articles and scroll down to "related content from other sections" for reviews of books on naturalized spirituality by Chet Raymo, Andre Comte-Sponville, William Murry and Eckhart Tolle.
- Debunking Enlightenment (link is external) - a review of John Horgan's Rational Mysticism: Dispatches from the Border Between Science and Spirituality.
- Ursula Goodenough's (link is external) The Sacred Depths of Nature (link is external), a must read about religious naturalism.
- Jerry Stone's Religious Naturalism Today: The Rebirth of a Forgotten Alternative (link is external).
- Spiritual Naturalist Society (link is external)
- Zen Naturalism (link is external)
- Institute for Religion in an Age of Science (link is external) (IRAS)
- Religious Naturalism online (link is external) (has FAQs and links)
- Yahoo Religious Naturalism discussion group (link is external)
- Pantheism.Net (link is external) - reverence for nature translated into environmental concern.
- Center for Pragmatic Buddhism (link is external) - a group that's modernizing Buddhism to become more naturalistic.
- Secular Buddhism (link is external) & The Secular Buddhist (link is external)
- ThinkBuddha.Org (link is external) - a very thoughtful blog by a philosopher-Buddhist.
- Stephen Batchelor's homepage (link is external), author of Buddhism Without Beliefs.
- Humanist Contemplatives (link is external) - an experiential, personal approach to ethical and existential concerns.
- A skeptical take on Buddhism (link is external) - by John Horgan, to guard against complacency.