October 2012 Newsletter

The Spiritual Naturalist SocietyMEMBER NEWSLETTER
October 2012
Visit your Society’s website at www.SpiritualNaturalistSociety.org



Hello friends!  October has been our second month of operation after our launch in September and it’s been an exciting month. Before I get to some of the big news, I wanted to mention that records show many of you, although you are members, are not yet subscribed to receive notice of our new public articles. While you are getting exclusive content and features for your membership, it would be a shame to miss out on the free public articles as they are released. You can simply click here to subscribe (and don’t forget to click the confirmation email once the system sends it to you).  I also want to remind you to drop by and introduce yourself to the other members on your member forums (here). Thanks to Jason, Patrick, and Dave who wrote their introductions to you all this month!

Now for the news – first thing is that the Society’s public articles will now also be available at the popular religion & spirituality website, Patheos.com (link here). Part of our mission is to help spread spiritual naturalism and happiness-inducing wisdom in the world, and our presence on Patheos certainly helps with that.

It’s also a pleasure to announce that, where local chapters are concerned, we have moved beyond our first one in Houston, and now have another local chapter of the Society in Portland! We will continue to work to build local chapters in other cities, as volunteers come forward to help host them, thus adding to the benefits already received by members of the international organization.  Truman Smith, who organizes the Portland chapter, has also joined our Advisory Board and you can read more about him on the website in our Advisory Board page.

Our Facebook page has been growing rapidly and now exceeds 740 ‘likes’. These represent people who can now get notice of our articles and other news. Hopefully many of them will choose to join our community and become members, further supporting the Society. But even for those who don’t, we hope our existence and publications will help them to improve their lives and the world – which is the essence of our mission. Lastly, this month we added a new function to the members area – a very simple chat room! You can go there anytime, but are not likely to see anyone else there without arranging to meet them at the same time, of course.  So, we have scheduled our first live staff & members’ chat session next week, which you can read about below.

Thanks so much for your membership in the Society and for your crucial support of our operations. I hope you find this, and the rest of the newsletter below useful and interesting, and that the next month brings happiness. If you ever have questions or input, please feel free to contact me any time, or to post to everyone on the member forums. And, if you happen to know of friends, family, or others who might be interested, please tell them about our Society!

With best wishes 🙂

Daniel Strain
Executive Director


This will be our first scheduled open live chat! Whether you’re a member, Adviser, Writer, Contributor, Organizer, or other volunteer, please join us Monday, October 29, 2012, 7:30pm (Central Time Zone) for a live chat. To get to our chat room, just go to the Member Area of the website, go to the Community page, and click the link to the SNS Chat Room (or click this link). Our Executive Director, Daniel Strain, will be answering your questions, talking about general vision for the organization and our community, and more.


If all the materials we have collected for members in our educational archives were put into standard paperback format, it would be a 100,000+ word book of over 400 pages? And that’s not even counting the images, video, and music resources we’re beginning to collect. This is a continually-growing collection and we’ve only launched a month ago! Some of these materials are exclusive to members and some are available elsewhere, but nowhere is a collection of this kind and diversity being built in one place for your convenience. Many of the authors are even available to join the discussion in our member forums. This is just one benefit of your membership in the Society, so be sure to take advantage by exploring the archives and discussing with the other members!


Dear current members of the Society – could you please consider taking a moment to write back (reply to this email) with your answer to the question, “What inspired you to become a member of the Spiritual Naturalist Society?” along with any other words of encouragement you might offer others to join? We’d like to know how best to serve you, and also would like to publish some of the comments from our current members to help others understand why it would be a good idea to join our community. Don’t worry; we won’t publish your name unless you tell us it’s ok to do so, and certainly won’t share your private information. Anything you could write to help would be greatly appreciated!


The following are some of the most recent pieces added to the membership’s growing archive of inspirational and educational materials. Please feel free to discuss what you think about these with the other members in the Society forum!

Distractions to Spiritual Practice by DT Strain
Many things are worthy endeavors, and may seem to be spirituality, but can actually become distractions to our spiritual practice…
(Please note, while an abridged version is being published publicly, this is the complete article available to you, the member.)

Vibrations across the Centuries by Professor Carol Wayne White
Anne Conway’s Early Modern Cosmology and Postmodern Spirituality

Newsletter Archive
On our member area Community page, we’ve added a new section to store past newsletters, for your reference.


Please join us on the forums to discuss these current topics!

Marcus Aurelius
Discussion about Pierre Hadot’s book on his Meditations

Article discussion: Distractions to Spiritual Practice
Discuss this essay, recently added to the Member Archives

Introduce Yourself!
Click here to post a little about yourself and read other members’ introductions. Also, check out some of those who have already posted their intro’s and give them a warm welcome into our community!


The Society’s shop includes an Amazon bookstore and a Cafe Press shop with T-Shirts and more.

The Scientific Buddha, by Donald S. Lopez, Jr.

Note: We’d like to add a bumper sticker to the SNS Shop – What do you think would be a good short wording or phrase for our bumper sticker??


Articles the Society has publicly published recently, as part of our mission to help others by sharing helpful wisdom and practices for better lives. If you’d like to get notice of these as they are released, please subscribe to the Society blog by clicking here if you haven’t already.

Marriage and Spirituality
Marriage and Spirituality
by DT Strain
How can marriage help illuminate our spiritual walk?

How do you understand nature?
How do you understand Nature?
by B.T. Newberg
B.T. Newberg continues his series: What is nature exactly? And how can it suggest how we ought to live?…

Distractions to Spiritual Practice, Pt 1
Distractions to Spiritual Practice, Part 1 and Part 2 by DT Strain
Many things are worthy endeavors, and may seem to be spirituality, but can actually become distractions to our spiritual practice…
(Please note, this is an abridged version of one section of the complete article, which is also available to members. See above, in the Member Archives section of this newsletter for the link to the member-exclusive complete article.)

Big History: The Heart of Spiritual Naturalism
Big History: The Heart of Spiritual Naturalism by B.T. Newberg
Also called the Epic of Evolution, the Great Story, or the Universe Story, B.T. Newberg says that “Big History” lies at the heart of Spiritual Naturalism’s narrative core…



Don’t forget, if you haven’t already you can like our page on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more content and up-to-date info. You can also check out our Local Chapters page (here) to meet spiritual naturalists in person, or start hosting a local gathering if there isn’t yet one in your city by contacting us. Thanks so much for your kind support and your membership in the Spiritual Naturalist Society!