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Reinventing the Sacred

November 19, 2008

(Salon) Forget the “God” word for a second and just try to feel yourself as a co-creating member of the universe. It changes your stance from the secular humanist lack of spirituality to a sense of awed wonder that all of this has come about. For example, I was sitting on my patio and started thinking about the trees around me. I thought I’m one with all of life. If I’m going to cut down a tree, I better have a good reason. It’s not just an object. It’s alive. Then I thought about the river I’m sitting next to. I can dam the river if I want to. But I’m going to change the ecosystem downstream from it and change the planet.

So even without talking about God, this new scientific worldview brings with it a sense of membership with all of life and a responsibility for the planet that’s largely missing in our secular world. In a materialist society, being spiritual is — if not frowned upon — what you do in the privacy of your own mind because there’s something flaky about it for those of us who don’t believe in God.

In his book Reinventing the Sacred biologist Stuart Kauffman critiques a view of reductionist science that is quite similar to the critique Michel Henry presents especially in La Barbarie.

Read the full Salon interview. There is also a very good summary of his views in his essay at or download his article Beyond Reductionism

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