About Sacred River
Humans have an intrinsic need for things like purpose, connection, order, and a sense of how the universe works. We also depend on society to help guide our behavior and provide a set of values and beliefs. These things have long been the purview of religion. As science progressed, a split between reason and spirituality occurred, seemingly leaving us with a choice of either dry empiricism or groundless supernaturalism. Although many religions have, in modern times, tried to integrate science into their teachings, it has largely resulted in, at best, an uncomfortable truce.
Fortunately, there have long been voices calling for a very different kind of religious orientation. Perhaps sacredness isn’t a quality bequeathed by a transcendent god, but rather emerges out of meaningful relationships as an embodied experience. Instead of needing to attain a state of grace in order to gain entrance into Heaven after death, maybe our efforts are better spent by trying to attain a higher level of meaning, fulfillment, and joy in our lives. Although scripture can provide an outline for human behavior, it might be more beneficial to develop an ethics grounded in reason and compassion. It could be that objects and processes in the manifested universe (including humans and human functioning) are not corruptions, but are actually worthy of awe, wonder, and reverence.
Sacred River heeds those calls and aspires to add to the rising chorus. As such, it has accepted three general aims.
- To promote a naturalistic approach to spirituality that is grounded in (a) progressive, humanistic principles, (b) scientific inquiry as the primary discipline for understanding the universe, and (c) a reverent orientation towards the natural world.
- To establish small communities for the purpose of common celebration, support, and creative exploration.
- To develop a system of thought and practice for the purpose of personal development.
This site will share ideas found in numerous fields of thought, including religious naturalism, pantheism, emergence theory, process theology, psychology, neurotheology, and any other area that might beneficially inform our work. Our object is not to create a new religion or even a church, but rather to add another vehicle for a larger movement well under way. This movement strives for a kind of spirituality that recognizes sacredness in ourselves and the natural world without a need for transcendent gods, non-corporeal intelligences, super-terrestrial environments, or occult forces.
This project is only in its bare infancy, but grand plans are in the works. Ultimately, we hope to develop a vibrant community that is open, respectful, supportive, and creative. If the general ideas presented here are attractive to you, please consider lending us your own thoughts and stories. As we grow, no doubt the site will change, and we look forward to the adventure that awaits us.