There’s a mistake in concept of “secular.” The mistake is integral to the magazine FREE INQUIRY and its definition of SECULAR HUMANISM — wherein the word “secular” is defined as “Pertaining to a world of things not spiritual or sacred.” Alas, dictionary definitions lead this astray. There are spiritual realities and sacred realities in this world without/aside-from/beyond “religions.” My MEMORY is full of spiritualties. My WORLD is full of sacred things. They have no connect with any institutionalized religion. The growing domain of those labeling themselves as “spiritual but not religious” have so experienced the world. Indeed, a SACRAL HUMANISM is much more a pungent-purposive-positive reality than SECULAR HUMANISM. The pursuits of “religious humanism,” the American Humanist Association, Freedom From Religion Association, and segments of the Unitarian Universalist movement — all have a more SACRAL HUMANISM perspective than the “dictionary” limitations of the world “secular.” Alas&Indeed, we must comprehend the sacred-spiritual [non-institutionalized] dimension inherent in the non-religious secular. Therefore, if one refers to one’s self as “secular,” this does not mean the avoidance/non-existence of spirituality & sacrality as givens in human experience. Thus, show me&anybody a “humanism” that is in denial of spirituality and the sacred — and you’ll reveal a shallow-dim humanism without music, poetry, the A-Ha’s of insight/inspiration, an impoverished sense of creativity, and, thus, a “dogmatic-drag” on the “Human Presence on this Earth. So-it-is & So-be-it that I proclaim myself a SACRAL HUMANIST in my/our world of “secular” experience and hope.—– Now, as usual, I’m not alone in this domain. Professor of Religion, B. B. Onishi, of Skidmore has just published a book THE SACRALITY OF THE SECULAR– Postmodern Philosophy of Religion. Obviously on the same subject, which I discovered online after writing the above. Ahh, research!! [Have not read it. It costs over $50.] However, I would not use “religion” in the title: for me “spirituality” would take its place. So it is, I write about The Poetries of a New Spirituality. [Also, I try to stay away from terms like “postmodern,” which take some much explaining and positioning — and happily for those who need to do that. My sense of AUGURIES is more like “early dawn.” AFIRADAPO! Quite backyard-simple as I see/say it.
Another “S” world so in the news today is SUICIDE. Now, why do I not consider suicide? When you try to digest nourishment from the everyday daily news — the ABSURD of Camus’s rantings about and rebellion from are stunningly present. Camus, age 47, dies instantly in a car wreck. Call it RAPE — The RANDOM ABSURD’S PLAYGROUND EXTRAVAGANZA. Yes, this RAPE is happening in about every way possible every day. Fortunately, we — humanity — have been managing this and surviving it from day one the theater opened. In the mix, some people are depressives and some are just not: and like everything else, some go back and forth. I’ve never been a depressive. I’ve been in three or four situations where I could have died or seriously injured. I’ve made it through ruptured appendix scare, colorectal cancer survivals, shingles, heart attack, pneumonia — and who knows what’s ahead up the road. I lost my Marilyn over 9 years ago. Lost my dogs. Have no active collegium or cadre of friends. Nobody, but a few email companions, reads anything of what I’ve published. Fortunately, I’ve three children close by. They, as others who know me, wonder when the final event(s) will happen. Also, it’s growingly obvious that, at 84 today, I’ll probably not live long enough to accomplish all on my To-Do-List. When you are my age — you live in a world where everyone (even–shudder shudder–you yourself) won’t be surprised if you’re not around tomorrow. Furthermore, in today’s world for such a writer as I, if you’ve no connections, no Doctorate, etc. — such as “I” really have to write a novel to find a readership. HA! I should live so long. My Dad, age 88, willed himself to death when Mom died, age 84; two weeks after which he was, broken-hearted, gone. For various reasons, many a lot younger ponder and commit suicide. The mind can be RAPED beyond its will and the “person” wants to die. Can’t give or give-in anymore. The road ahead is always full of unknowns — except for the final known of death. I’ve counseled a few pondering suicide. Same counsel I give myself. We are each a unique journey which can be sailed & trekked by no one else. Some find meaning in the dream that the journey goes on after death; that the real home is beyond this one. Personally, I’ve seen nothing in life that gives reality to that. What is real is my personal journey. A stray bullet or boulder or car or disease or stupid mistake — could end it abruptly……………..or it could go on to master storms and arrive joyously at new ports of call. As always, it’s steering the ship home. In the great unfathomable seas of mystery, we craft our own destiny. Camus saw Sisyphus as happy having to keep rolling his stone up the mountain–just to have it come down again. But the view from the mountaintop of anyone’s journey is captivating. Those who can pause to take in the view and plan the journey to come, will find the courage of meaning to forge ahead. In AUGURIES I’ve much of this “pause” — more so than Camus, yet I expect had he lived his rebellion of WE ARE past the absurdities and powers that limit life’s promise–he would have voyaged the reality of love, which, as I see it, always causes us to pause, hold hands, covenant, and feel at home. Oh! To want so to live!! Even in those times when we only have our own hands to hold. Live the pauses and breaks in the action. Moments TO HAVE AND TO HOLD. So, I stamp my books with this. LOVE – Life’s Odyssean Valiant Earthsong — is what beats the RAPE. But one has to stop — and feel the homing-hold of that covenantal bond. It seems that when the fractures of RAPE dominate the holds of LOVE — suicide becomes an option. In most instances, however, the LOVE can be restored if desired and timing is right.
This leads to the third “S” word which is the known alchemic-mystery-code of life processes: namely SYMBIOSIS. Plants, animals, cells, all things that thrive and live are so endowed. Why: because this word is for the reciprocal relationship between things such that each benefits the other so that together they can make things happen. Life forms — to have life that is actually living — must be endowed with marching armies of SYMBIONTS & HOLOBIONTS engaged in covenantal bondings. Scientists say that these symbiotic happenings are what gives innovatjon to evolution. It’s like a Michael and a Marilyn forming a rather “no where planned” relationship of great symbiosis out of happenstance. Bionts are organisms of microbiota and HOLOBIONTS are “host” organisms of various microbial symbionts that compose it to be the organ, flower, creature, etc. that is a living reality. We humans are so considered to be “holobionts” in that we are a “hosting” complex of many-many “symbionts” working together. Symbionticism is the study-science of all of this. —- I bring this “S” word to surface here because we humans have taken what happens organismically to a consciousness operative — the word for which is COVENANT. My book AUGURIES explores this covenanting of humanness and our earthly world. I don’t get into this “S” and “H” words much there, but I do make note of the ION in many concepts — THE PROSPEROION, for instance — which indicates an “action-active-alive” state of being.
So, SACRAL-SUICIDE-SYMBIOSIS have a connective thread. It is what HOLDS & HOMES.& HARMONIZES.