If you subscribe to a long-standing religion based on belief in God, then it can be easy to figure out how to act and what to do. You worship God, and you follow centuries of tradition. But if your spirituality doesn’t have anything to do with God, then what do you do? What do you focus on? Where do you find the rules?
May I suggest that you borrow an idea I’ve found helpful. This isn’t even a new idea. It dates back at least 2,500 years to a fellow in India named Siddhartha Gautama who gave up the luxurious existence of a prince to find a better way of life.
Eventually, he found his way, was given the title of The Buddha (meaning Enlightened One), and created a spirituality based on principles. Called The Eightfold Path, these principles require Buddhists to engage in such things as right understanding, right speech, right action and right livelihood.
Buddhism is only the most well known religion that has replaced belief and worship with spiritual principles. As 21st century heretics, may I suggest that we do the same? As heretics we’re free to adopt whatever spiritual principles we want. We can borrow from the Buddhists, others groups that are governed by principles like the Unitarian Universalists or from someone else, or we can create our own. I’ve done a little bit of both.
What about you? How do you want to live? What spiritual principles do you want to base your life on?
A NOTE ON THE PHOTO: This amazing image is by Colton Brown.