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A Secularist’s Perspective on Spirituality

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I don’t seem to believe in things that I can’t see and touch. There is no God in my universe. Authors of the Torah, as well as Jesus, Buddha and Adi Shankara, are wise men to be respected for what they have much of great value to teach. However, they are not in any way of divine origins. I believe that spiritual texts and psychic readings are often interesting and filled with remarkable insights. But I don’t buy into their purported source from some greater, nonhuman power.

Yet I attended Harvard Divinity School for two years and spent many an evening writing many complex theological essays. I had the pleasure and honor of witnessing Paul Tillich deliver one of his memorable Easter Sunday sermons at the Harvard Chapel (acknowledging his own impending death). I have consulted with many church-related colleges and attended many religious services—ranging from those held at a Reform Jewish Synagogue in Southern California to a Black American (Gullah) “Shout” in Red Top North Carolina.

When I have consulted in Taiwan, Europe and North America, I have asked to visit temples and cathedrals rather than corporations. One of my favorite teaching locations for students at my psychology graduate school has been a walk and reflection on the labyrinth located at the magnificent Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. This is the same cathedral where I went as an undergraduate student to see and hear the great theologian, Karl Barth offered great theological insights. I was particularly impressed that Karl Bart sprang from his seat to deliver his lecture even as a 70 something old scholar.

Yet, I remain a secularist. What is this all about?

The Nature of Spirituality

I wish to consider my secular status–yet strong interest in spirituality–from three perspectives and relate each perspective to the matter of spirituality and coaching.

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