Deepak Chopra wrote an article this past week about how people need to be spiritual to help solve the problems of the world. It has caused a lot of discussion within the Humanist community. Mostly generating a WHAT! Response. And, “gosh – well isn’t that offensive.” For the record, it hurts our feelings when we are excluded like that.
Anyway, Chopra defines spirituality in a very Humanistic way. He defines spirituality as the experience our universality. Something we Humanists are always aware of and embrace and find inspiring. He then goes on to talk about how cultivating that feeling of unity through the experiences of universality and unity consciousness will help us want to work with each other to solve our problems. I couldn’t agree more. Sounds a lot like Humanism to me.
The problem is that he couches everything in religious language and makes this spirituality thing he is talking about all about religion. As if the non-religious can’t experience that. Boy is he wrong. I talked to some Humanists over the weekend about this and we pretty much all agreed. We experience the feeling of being intimately connected to the universe all the time. It is pretty near constant for us and yes – it does feel great. We just don’t call that experience spirituality. We’re not even sure what that word really means. But in trying to come up with an equivalent secular term to describe the Humanist experience of connectedness and at oneness with the universe, all we could come up with was the word. “Humanism.”
You don’t need some supernatural spirituality mumbo jumbo to help you feel connected to the universe and to your fellow humans. You just need to acknowledge that as humans we are intimately connected to the universe and to others. And yes, it feels great and yes, it does motivate you to help work with others to solve our problems because yes, we do have more in common then we normally realize. But is that spirituality? No. Just Humanism.
My podcast this week was on the subject of interconnectedness. Listen to it here