We live in uncertain times. This is to be expected, because we are living through another historical turning point within human history: one characterized by a new Story of the nature of being human in an evolving universe. The implications of such a new Story inspire many; others find the implications confusing at best and overwhelming at worst. How do we discover our place of belonging within a new Story?
In response, this website offers a resource in the form of: principles and practices for living meaningfully in today’s world.
an ever deepening experience of connection and belonging within daily life.
Within a new Story, the human is no longer the central protagonist. That position is now held by the science based Universe Story. As a result, we humans are now required to re-pose our spiritual questions around identity, purpose and belonging within the light of the Universe Story. Such a task may seem daunting. Yet it is not one to be feared. It is simply part of the evolutionary process of the sacred work of being human. As Anne Hillman declared:
“Transformation is born at the great hinges of Time – one like ours in which everything about us is fundamentally changing.”
The human tradition
One emerging theme within a new Story of meaning is that of the human tradition. The human tradition consents to the ever evolving nature of the human species. At the same time, the human tradition includes knowledge, beliefs, values, wisdom teachings, and spiritual practices from ancient cultures until the present, which continue to resound in our time and place in history. The human tradition also transcends that which does not. In this way, the human tradition seeks to discover a Story of meaning which both draws from the wider human experience and also coheres with present knowledge, beliefs, and lived experience. Such a framework for understanding ourselves-in-our-world is called an integral framework.
The human tradition is not to be confused with humanism, which in its narrowest form, involves a system of thought giving prime importance to the human species, based solely on rationalism and empiricism. Such an understanding sits within the old Story. Rather, the human tradition takes humanism into account, within an integral framework for understandings ourselves-in-our-world.
The sacred work of being human
Within such a backdrop, the sacred work of being human involves an ongoing dynamic of calling forth, longing, and responding:
calling forth: “our call takes place underground, far beneath our awareness. Like a soundless song, it sings to us all our lives, whispering in a wordless way, ‘Follow!’ . . . I believe this ongoing inquiry into life is the song we are here to learn.” Anne Hillman
longing: “the human heart is full of longing . . . we long to discover who we are . . . the voices of longing keep our lives alert and urgent. Yet if we cannot discover a shelter of belonging within our lives, we could become a victim and target of our longing.” John O’Donohue
responding: by taking the time to discover a Story of meaning (shelter of belonging) which is congruent with our current understandings of “how the world came to be and our place of belonging within it.” Thomas Berry
The sacred work of being human requires that we continue to attune ourselves to both the primordial call within Life Itself, and the human longing to belong. Responding to such a call/longing draws us into an ever deepening experience of connection and belonging in the here-and-now, while at the same time continuing to participate in the ongoing transformation of the human family within the wider Earth community. Therefore, the sacred work of being human is not static. Rather it is an ongoing life adventure.
How do we discern the call of the era, respond to our longing to discover who we are, and discover a shelter of belonging?
Within each new era of human history, the sacred work of being human requires of us to once again pose our time-honored and time-specific spiritual questions, within the light of our current knowledge, beliefs, values and life experience. Our time-honored spiritual questions are ones like: “Where did we come from?” “Why are we here?” “Where do we go when we die?” “Is there a god?” One time-specific question is: “What does it mean to be human in an emergent universe?” The responses we discover to such questions form our current Story of meaning, from which we source our identity and purpose. As such, our Story of meaning offers a shelter of belonging. Accordingly, a coherent Story of meaning is central to the sacred work of being human.
Living a new Story
For more on living a new Story see: