One Life Course Week Six: Humanist Spirituality
21st May 2021 - 3 min read
On May the 20th we ran the sixth and last session of the Central London Humanists’ Zoom presentation of Humanists UK’s One Life Introduction to Humanism course. In Session Six we looked at what a humanist spirituality looks like and also explored how humanists can improve the human experience.
Some participants were resistant to the idea of Humanist Spirituality as they felt the term was too associated with and tainted by religion. They prefer to use terms like wonder and awe in relation to heightened emotional experiences. For others, the meaning of Spirituality has significantly broadened and is now used beyond a religious context. Humanists can claim this word to represent their understanding of being alive and experiences of connection to all of nature. For them, a new word is not needed.
There was considerable openness to using mindfulness and meditation. It was seen as a good way to focus and calm the mind. Several participants already practice one form of mindfulness or another, but in general all were open to it.
When speaking about the human experience, everyone was open to the idea of having humanist ritual and ceremony to mark key life and communal events. Participants believed that it’s very important to mark events in life and that they are essential to create feelings of connection, validation, purpose, and a pattern to life.
Humanist Celebrants provide structure and content to ceremonies. Importantly, their objective is to focus on the individual lives being celebrated. Humanist ceremonies and celebrants were seen as being superior in practice to their religious equivalents, particularly the personal touch that they introduce compared with religious events.
Overall, participants enjoyed the session and the course in general with some saying they would do it again. Many participants found very interesting and valuable information in all the presentations while having a social after session six seemed to have been a great idea.
On behalf of Central London Humanists, we thank everyone who participated in this six-week Introductory Course to Humanism and we hope to see you all in any of the many activists and events that we host each month.