Newsletter #27 – The Church of Spiritual Humanism
September 10, 2015 – Philadelphia
Autumnal Equinox 2015
The waning days of summer serve as reminder of the constant motion of the seasons, punctuated by the celebration of the Fall Equinox. For many people September marks the return to work and school. In most locales Equinoxes are marked by a more dramatic change in the weather than the Solstices. This heralds a relatively greater variation in human activity as the seasons change in autumn (or spring). In many traditions the full moon nearest the Autumnal Equinox plays an important part in the scheduling of human celebrations.
In many East Asian cultures this special full moon is observed with the consumption of moon cakes and an association with fertility. The roundness of the Autumnal Equinox full moon mirrors the form of a near term pregnant woman. As contemporary cultures have moved away from civilization’s agrarian roots our Autumn celebrations continue to evolve. Few people in the developed world have a life or death dependence on the bounty of the harvest, and consequently most have become less observant of the natural world and our place within it. Perhaps this has contributed to the complacency that has led to the rapid deterioration of our environment.
The Autumnal Equinox is Wednesday, September 23. In North America the Harvest Moon will be on the night of Sunday, September 27. The full moon will be also be extra large in the sky that night because, coincidently, it is happening very near to the Moon’s closest approach to the Earth all year.
A renewed appreciation and spiritual connection to nature would help curb the destructive appetite of humanity. This Equinox and the Harvest Moon are the perfect times to personally contemplate and encourage others to reflect on our individual and cumulative impact on the planet. The use of fossil fuels has enabled us to greatly accelerate the process of building civilizations and learning about the world around us. But now we must greatly curtail, and if possible, stop using these sources of energy. In our homes, cars, and factories overseas we must make use of alternative, less destructive energy sources.
IN THE NEWS:
There are more atheists and agnostics entering Harvard than Protestants and Catholics – by Sarah Pulliam Bailey September 9
<snip>For the class of 2017, atheists and agnostics made up 32.4 percent of the campus, while they made up 35.6 percent of the class of 2018 and 37.9 percent of the class of 2019. Class makeups of other religious traditions appeared to remain mostly the same. <snip>
This is a very positive trend that should give us hope for the future. The United States’ religious profile is becoming more like Europe’s. Perhaps maturing cultures share an inevitable trend in declining supernatural belief much like they share a dramatic drop in population growth.
On a side note the author of this article mucks up in her comparison of the Harvard survey with the results of a Pew survey. The Pew survey found a similar trend, but to a less dramatic extent. She spuriously notes for the Harvard poll “The number appears to be a striking contrast with the rest of the U.S. millennial population, those from ages 18 to 34.” Contrary to her statement, this is exactly what one would expect since the Harvard freshman are all around 18 years old and the annual poll results have been changing every year.
READERS WRITE IN:
If you have a question feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I trust in the Lord in all I do, but I am going to ask for a little extra prayer right now the devil is attacking me left and right and my spirit is in constant disoraye , I seem to be constanly fighting a battle that has my life in a state of confusion and I can’t shake this depression, please pray for me for I am in need of God to step in and take this load off of me …in Jesus name .,….amen
I am truly sorry to hear about you troubles. From time to time we all face adversity in life, unfortunately some of us more than others. The Universe is not a fair place and it is true there is much unnecessary evil and suffering, but there is also great joy, compassion and love. Try not to focus on the negative things around and learn to appreciate the beauty and good that desperately needs your attention and acknowledgement. I recommend daily meditation as a method of gaining personal control over negative emotions and cognitive disorganization. I also suggest you try taking regular long walks, in a natural park like setting if possible. Regular exposure to nature and time to think things through for yourself can do a lot to alleviate depression. Hang in there and keep on persevering and things will get better.
The current state of the world is dynamic and rapidly changing. I am extremely hopeful that humanity has the will and ability to continue to make improvements in our general welfare while amending the mistakes of the past. If you have not done so already please consider ordering a clergy pack from our online store at http://www.spiritualhumanism.org/shop.php The proceeds from these support the continued development of Spiritual Humanism.
President, The Church of Spiritual Humanism
PO Box 180, Jenkintown, PA 1904