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Spiritual Naturalism

Spiritual Naturalism
Being, Inspiration, and Faith

CREATION is yesterday, today, and tomorrow, not just something in the remote past. It’s occurring now more rapidly than ever, as populations and technologies expand, and will continue to increase for the knowable future.

Life posits process, process posits change. Some things of nature, like the peaks at Yosemite, transform so slowly as to be unnoticeable, while others, like computer technology, morph rapidly. Between these two extremes are biological entities, for example us. Excepting perhaps birth and death, our change is more or less gradual, at varying rates.

We know that nature itself is creative, since it brought the universe from a heat mass to the capability to foster and support beings that can think, learn, and themselves create. This inherent sustaining ability, whatever you want to call it— God, Being, etc— must still be working developmentally if unconsciously via natural law for life and love.

Through awareness of its power this elemental principle can form the foundation of inspiration, and through belief in its creative potential the foundation of faith.

Naturalism Versus Supernaturalism

As our knowledge and culture has matured, there are an increasing number of reasonably scientifically-oriented people who believe that the rejection of supernaturalism does not require so much as a decrease, much less an abandonment, of aspects of the spirit— the appreciation, even in a mystical sense, of life’s mystery, wonder, and hope.

As we move from reliance on tradition, scripture, and dogma to science, observation, and philosophical logic for guidance in ultimate matters, the intellect is freed for revelations not limited but expanded by the influx of new discovery, understanding, and knowledge.

Being trumps non-being. In being one can know both (and even choose between) being and non-being, while in non-being one can’t. Being then is superior to non-being— in other words, it is good. In life one has being, therefore life is good. Life has two components, quantity— real or perceived length— and quality— comfort, variety, enlightenment, love, etc.

Upon this foundation an entire moral and philosophical system can be assembled, which can serve as a guide to decision-making as well as belief. Thus the great traditions and wisdom of the past can be enjoyed, while evaluated and applied based on an ultimate concept of law, life, and love, or being.

Power of Being

Scientists are finding, through the study of quantum mechanics, that the universe is inherently indeterministic. Randomness allows nature, even while unconscious, to be creative. Through evolution and change something new is created and tried, after which it is either retained, modified, or allowed to die out, without awareness of process.

With enough time, via this imperfect but sufficient method, we came about. We too can create, but we can create consciously with awareness or being. The artist or designer’s every decision might begin, as with nature, by a random choice, but with awareness ideas can be selected or rejected in an instant, without years of actual trial.

If machine mental power can be ever added to human consciousness, or vice versa, this creative process is accelerated, and creation itself increases. However good itself, assuming good is being, is only increased if quantity times quality of life increases. As technology expands so does its power, for good or evil.

One definition of God is ultimate reality. Being itself, as potentially aware and creative as well as unconsciously constructive, may be that supreme basis. It is not we ourselves who are thereby divine, rather life in the form of being is received as a free gift to us. Through being, creation found, finds, and will continue to find highest expression. triform

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© 2010 Warren Farr for the Unitheist Fellowship — revised 8/26