About us (aka WTF is a Spiritualtarian?!?)
A spiritualtarian is someone who "endeavors to align each one of their choices with their spiritual values." We are interested in reducing the suffering perpetrated on the 8.7 million other species that humans share the planet with. We admit we are not perfect at it. We realize that this is a messy process and hard to explain to others. We acknowledge that each human is on their own journey. We don't want to tell you what to do on yours, and yet, we will share with you what we have learned, if you are interested, in the hopes that we all can shed the thick blanket of denial that can keep us from treating all beings with compassion.
This newfangled (and useful!) word was coined in 2019 by author Sarah Bowen in her book Spiritual Rebel: A Positively Addictive Guide to Finding Deeper Perspective. Sarah explains:
I wrote Spiritual Rebel for people who couldn't check a single box in those surveys asking "What is your religion?" We spiritual rebels resist being pigeon-holed into a single box. We’re redefining what sacred, spiritual, and religious mean for us. Drawing on activities that come from multiple faith traditions, we may do yoga in the morning, meditate in the afternoon, hit a popup Shabbat some Friday nights, gather in community the following Sunday morning, and teach our kids about the awesome power of the Cosmos. We may spend summer weekends roaming through festivals, and we most likely resist being tied to any particular building or specific location. We’re as likely to say May the odds be ever in your favor or May the Force be with you or Namaste as we are to say goodbye; our language is increasingly fluid and multicultural rather than tied to a rigid formula.
As I was writing the chapter "May the Fork Be With You," which deals with how our choices affect the people around us, other beings in the world, and our planet, I found myself constantly frustrated at my inability to neatly answer the question, "What are you?" when it came to my consumption choices. While I eat a plant-based diet, there are always sticky things. For example, the cats I share my home with are obligate carnivores, and so I must feed them animal meat or they'll get sick. When I got keen to the problems in the fashion industry related to animal cruelty and stopped wearing clothes that come from animals, I wondered "Is it responsible to throw out all my sweaters, or should I wait till they wear out? Gift them? Donate them?" There is never an end to these questions. Every choice I make has the potential to affect another being.
Back when I was in seminary, I developed a four-page ethics statement for myself, detailing how I would deal with the messy questions that would appear as I navigate the world as a consumer. It's bigger than what I eat. It extends beyond what I wear to what is in my 401(k) and what I do with my free time. It's about every choice I make.
There wasn't an easy word for "what I am" ... So I made one up.
And if it is useful to you, I hope you will use it too.
"A lighthearted, upbeat take on questions that have churned within human minds for millennia."― Spirituality & Health Book Review
"Informed and informative, thoughtful and thought-provoking, exceptionally insightful and ultimately inspiring, Spiritual Rebel is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library Contemporary Spirituality collections.” – Midwest Book Review
“Bowen’s delightful book smashes assumptions and stereotypes while managing deep respect for diverse beliefs. As soon as I finished it, I knew that I wanted to read it again and again.”— Science of Mind
Coming in 2021
An animal chaplain's guide to surviving animal loss, making life meaningful, & trying to heal our planet
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