I’m frequently accused of, or credited with, presenting a spiritual message. The statements typically emanate from people I’m inclined to describe as spiritually religious. I used to argue with them. I no longer argue, and my message hasn’t changed. I have.
I’m a rationalist. I’ve no place in my life for paranormal or supernatural phenomena. I generally describe myself as either an indifferent agnostic or a militant anti-theist. My perspective on rationalism has not wavered in the 16 years since I’ve concluded abrupt climate change will lead to near-term human extinction. And yet, I’ve changed.
I’m more compassionate than I was 16 years ago. I’m kinder, too, and more tolerant. And these are not the attributes to which I refer when I mention I’ve changed. Rather, a definition and etymology come into play.
Spiritual (initial definition): of, relating to, consisting of, or affecting the spirit : INCORPOREAL spiritual needs
Digging deeper, into the etymology, we find that spirit is derived from the Latin root spiritus, literally, breath, from spirare to blow, breathe
Am I spiritual? I don’t believe in ensoulment, an idea for which there is no evidence. I don’t believe in god(s). In fact, I used to tell my students pursuing one of the an Abrahamic religions that I believed in one fewer god than they did. I’d occasionally mention the 33 trillion Hindu gods, much to the surprise of my students.
I used to rabidly deny my religious spirituality. I still do.
Am I spiritual? I believe breathing is important. I believe how we breathe affects our thoughts. I believe the movement of air — that is, the wind — impacts everything from the structure and function of ecosystems to our daily emotions. Without wind of a certain direction and speed, our food supply declines profoundly and perhaps even vanishes.
I’m a fan of food. Does that make me spiritual?
Was Bukowski’s message a spiritual one? I suspect your answer to that question is the same as your response to the title of this essay.
As a result of my move to Belize, the mud hut is for sale. Read the details here.
Thanks to my volunteer booking team for seeking additional volunteers in support of my speaking tours. If you would like to host me in your area, please send me a message at email@example.com
I’ve received several requests for a workshop focused on emotions for people who accept the evidence underlying our near-term demise. Such a workshop is described here. It is generally available at the homestead I occupy in Belize.
I’m featured in a video series that airs now and then. Catch all released episodes of the Guy, Fawkes, and Jamen show here.
My latest book is available in audio, and can be purchased here. Ms. Ladybug and Mr. Honeybee: A Love Story at the End of Time is intended for ages 11 and up.
Mugs, tote bags, iPhone cases, tee shirts, and other pragmatic goods affiliated with the book are available here