The Big Mistakes of Religion and Secularism

People have a choice about religion and spirituality: to conform more or less rigidly to accepted teaching, or to think and act independently. Both bring problems, but the issues resolve spontaneously as we grow more mature and find a true set of values to follow

Thomas Merton at 100

"For me, to be a saint means to be myself." Thomas Merton at 100 remains an excellent social critic and spiritual guide.

Four Types of Madness

We are all mad, all of the time!

Two Halves of the Brain Make a Beautiful Whole

Left brain rational either/or thinking, breaking things down into parts, and right brain unitary, both/and thinking, concerned with experiencing things and people as whole are both important for understanding, appreciating and living life to the full. The task is to mould ourselves, and sympathetically help shape each other into wiser, more compassionate beings.

Spirit-Matter! Keeping Body & Soul Together

Indigenous people feel kinship with nature as being, like them, a manifestation of the 'Great Spirit'. It is a matter of shared experience, out of which grows respect for creation and for each other.For them, the 'Great Spirit' is an empowering breath, a creative energy, a unifying essence, the forerunner of all.

Is Religion a Bad Thing?

Religion causes social rifts and divisions, is often an excuse for barbaric wars, torture and executions, but has also inspired many noble and courageous acts, stimulated great art and architecture, and been a major force for major endeavours like education, health care and commerce... The left and right sides of our brains evaluate such important matters differently.

Spiritual Pioneers

Theologians tend to steer clear of psychology, and psychologists tend to avoid religion. James and Huxley - pioneers of psycho-spiritual enquiry - were among those to buck the trend. Their words still resonate with wisdom today.

What Is Christianity?

The statement "I believe...'" has two parts. Firstly the "I" (or "ego") is always worth examining. Who is it that is asserting belief? How close have you yet come to knowing your true self?

The Meaning of Life

Wherever we are on the path, we can make further progress. We need only accept that we are not yet fully ripe, then work daily towards the maturity which is our birthright.

Spirituality and Health

A new, universally appealing spiritual paradigm encourages people to take responsibility and explore inwardly for strength, courage and hope in the face of ill-health, ageing, death and other forms of adversity, rather than adhere to specific religious practices and theologies.

Raven's Final Words of Wisdom

Raven says, "With your soul as your guide, eventually you become your own teacher, and you realize that you had the spiritual power all along... that is your soul's purpose for being on the planet: growing, evolving, becoming one with that power, love, wisdom."

The Big Bang and the Holy Spirit

Everything was imprinted in less than a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, and that includes us. We human beings are linked seamlessly to the cosmic whole, and through it to each other and to nature. By means of an increasingly contemplative attitude, through regaining a mature form of spiritual awareness, we can each discover why we are all truly here.

Science and Spirituality

Science cannot solve the ultimate mystery of nature because we are part of it. The mystery can, however, be grasped and lived, according to the spiritual masters, but a different methodology is required.

Spiritual Experiences: Eight Major Types

Over three-quarters of people polled in the largest British survey of spiritual experiences in the year 2000 reported at least one of eight major types of spiritual experience. Non-religious people, when interviewed, also acknowledged that their lives had a spiritual dimension.

A Challenging Year

When your wife gets cancer, it really teaches you about the meaning of commitment. It forces you to discover the resources you need: external support, sure... But inner strength, faith and hope too!

Suicide and Compassion

Who knows how he or she might behave in the face of persistent adversity, chronic pain or mental illness?

Religion & Spirituality: The Well Is Not the Water

It is important not to mistake the well for the water. They are not the same. World religions offer wisdom in various guises aimed at linking people, as individuals, with a transcendent, spiritual reality. What we seek is a way of linking a sparkle eternally present deep within us to that which is unified and universal, to that which many would call divine.

SYRIA - Wisdom's Third Way

It is painful to witness the suffering of others. This is compassion. We each must learn how best to manage the pain in our own hearts before we can best bring help to others.

Meaningful Coincidences

I wrote the name of a man I'd never met on a piece of paper, put it in my wallet and forgot about it. Weeks later, right across the world, I met and teamed up with his sister. How unlikely is that?

Spirituality in Sport 2: Golf

Golf has wonderful unifying power and potential. Every round is a journey, and each forms part of the greater journey that is a person's golfing experience throughout life.

Spirituality in Sport 1: Running

It was mostly mature runners, no longer competing, who spoke of the spiritual dimension in running, describing it in terms of 'presence' and 'a mystery', and as a way of finding meaning and value in life.

Powerful Dreams

Some dreams have the power to transform your life, helping you get your bearings, set your ambitions, discover your purpose, and find your true values.

What is Schizophrenia?

Much about schizophrenia can be explained by a healthy part of the mind trying to make sense of its malfunctioning elements.

Adapting to the Demands of Technology

The many risks to the misuse of technology include ecological mayhem and nuclear apocalypse as well as information overload. According to two excellent new books, spiritual writer Thomas Merton offers good advice for us both as individuals and collectively.

Meekness is not Weakness

To be blessed means experiencing something greater than ourselves deep within, giving us guidance, strength, courage and hope, helping us cope.

Dante: 'The Divine Comedy' Revisited

Dante's 'The Divine Comedy' is an allegory of spiritual development through Hell and Purgatory, to Paradise. This parable has been updated by several authorities, without the necessary requirement of an after-life, by including a spiritual dimension in our understanding of human psychology.

Merry Christmas!

Christmas is a good time to reflect on the true nature of generosity, and on what we have already received.

Our Parents' Children

We have jobs to find, work to do, money to make, and families to raise. Our priorities and values are set... Or are they?

Taking Sides (Spirituality for Beginners 16)

It is natural to take sides, but an atmosphere of perpetual rivalry and competition can easily degenerate into something regrettable and ugly. When there are winners and losers, people always get hurt, those who are successful included.

Spiritual Growth (Spirituality for Beginners 15)

The wish to conform and belong to a social group is opposed by a similarly powerful drive to think, speak and act independently. This plays out in many ways, as people work towards personal, emotional and spiritual maturity.