From Outside Online’s article “We’ve Reached Peak Wellness. Most of it is Nonsense“:
Organized religion is on the decline in America, especially for younger people. The 2018 American Family Survey, conducted by Deseret News in Utah, found that “for millennials and GenXers, the most common religion is no religion at all.” This may not be problematic in itself, but for centuries, religion served as a driving purpose for many people. When nothing fills this vacuum, the effect can be a negative one. A study published earlier this year in JAMA Network Openfound that people without a strong life purpose—defined as a sense of feeling rooted in your life and taking actions toward meaningful goals—were more than twice as likely to die between the years of the study (2006 to 2010) compared with people who had one, even after controlling for things like gender, race, wealth, and education level. Speaking to NPR, Celeste Leigh Pearce, one of the authors of the study, said, “I approached this [study] with a very skeptical eye, [but] I just find it so convincing that I’m developing a whole research program around it.” Alan Rozanski, a cardiology professor at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, in New York City, says that purpose is “the deepest driver of well-being there is.”
What both religion and spirituality have in common is a sense of the supernatural. A spiritual person who does not affiliate with a religious institution has the freedom to design and foster an individualized set of views on the supernatural. Commonly, especially in modern America, where SBNR is prevalent and growing, these views pull from Eastern religious concepts. Fascination with Zen, Buddhism, meditation, especially Mindfulness and Transcendental meditation, and other eastern fixations are common within within SNBR, especially with New Age thinkers. One might also find influence from classical philosophy such as Stoicism.
- NPR on SBNR: an interesting article by NPR.
- New York Times on SBNR: an interesting article trying to pinpoint the title and examining its growth.
- Huffington Post on SBNR: another article trying to pinpoint SBNR. This one reads like a self-help article.
- SBNR facebook: an official SBNR facebook group.
- Top 10 reasons for SBNR: an interesting article of self-realizations and a good video at the end.
- Beliefnet.com: a lifestyle site dedicated to faith and inspiration. Doesn’t subscribe to any particular religion, but pull from all of them equally for inspiration.
- Dailyom.com: offers daily inspirational articles. More New Age, the site shows a fascination with eastern religions.
- SedonaNewAgeStore: Here is a fun case study of a New Age hub in Arizona. You can find shops for crystals, horoscopes, articles, and other learning resources for New Age Spiritualism here.
- Nine Gates Mystery School: “Initiations and rites of passage open gateways out of normal states of awareness, revealing new views of yourself and all you once labeled as “real.” You will touch a Universal Truth not as something out there, but rather as near as your own heart.”
Oprah Winfrey interviews a preacher who accepts SBNR
TEDx talk on SBNR: a lecture about an Iranian immigrant’s experience as an SNBR
The Church for the Spiritual But Not Religious: a silly parody/satire of this way of thinking.
What is Spirituality? an answer from a Guru called Sadhguru. He is an example of a non-denominational Indian guru that many SBNR westerners look to for guidance in their spiritual wanderings.
Osho: Oracles, Tarot, and Other Divination Tools: Osho, a well-known eastern guru, who many consider to be a New Age cult leader, has many videos on youtube. Here is one where he addresses Divination Tools and things to understand oneself.
Crystals: What they are and How they Help Us: A new age subject approached by a New Age hippie. Healing and vibrations!
Tim Minchin’s Storm the Animated Movie: A musical comedian collaborates with an animator to create a video criticizing New Age beliefs. A hypothetical scenario of Minchin at a dinner party reckoning with a SBNR person, in which he offers that ignorance and unknown is ok, even enlightening, and faith/spirituality need not be a means of reckoning with the un-explainable.
The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. Whoever does not know it and can no longer wonder and marvel, is as good as dead. It was the experience of mystery, even if mixed with fear, which engendered religion. Our knowledge of the existence of something impenetrable to us, our perceptions of the profoundest reason and the most radiant beauty, which only in their most primitive forms are accessible to our minds – this very knowledge, this emotion, constitute true spirituality and religiosity. In this sense and in this alone, I am a deeply religious man. I cannot conceive of a God who rewards and punishes his creatures, or has a will of the kind that we experience in ourselves. Neither can I nor would I want to to conceive of an individual that survives physical death; let feeble souls, from fear or absurd egoism, cherish such thoughts. I am satisfied with the mystery of the eternity of life and with the awareness and a glimpse of the marvelous structure of the existing world, together with the devoted striving to comprehend a portion, be it ever so tiny, of the Reason that manifests itself in nature. – Albert Einstein
- Funk, Cary; Smith, Greg. “”Nones” on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious Affiliation” (PDF).pewforum.org. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.
- Kenneson, Philip D. (July 2015). “What’s in a Name? A Brief Introduction to the “Spiritual But Not Religious””.Liturgy. 30