At a time when our society has become very secular, it is easy to assume that religion has less to teach us than other sources of inspiration, such as poetry, literature, art, and philosophy. And yet, despite the qualities of religions that make us describe ourselves as non-religious, religions that have stood the test of time have nuggets of great wisdom within them. A day for excavating wisdom and inspiration from traditional religion.Read More
War is seen as glorious and horrible, noble and demeaning, and the combatants alternatively brave, cowardly, and inhuman. Peace is longed for but quickly abandoned when anger and conflict intervene. What can we learn about ourselves and our societies from our deeply conflicted view of war and peace? Where’s the inspiration for how we live today?
It is extremely tempting to try to humiliate your opponents in a dispute and decimate their arguments. Sometimes we might even succeed in doing that. Usually, we don’t. We just make both sides angrier and angrier so that the next engagement is even nastier and more brutal. And if we should succeed in winning through verbal and physical violence? What then? We may win the battle, but we create angry, vindictive enemies for life and sometimes for generations.Read More
As I walked with my dog the other day, I had thoughts of today’s message in my head. I thought - just as an experiment - what if I imagine that all the plants I passed by had consciousness. What if each of them thought and felt and mattered as much as humans do - or at least as much as my beloved dog does?Read More
Our weekly Sunday Gathering is a chance to meet other New Unity members, to be uplifted by the message, to share joys and sorrows, to feel togetherness. This week we welcome guest speaker Stephen Reid. Psychedelics (from the Greek psyche: mind, delos: make visible, reveal) are substances that induce an altered state of consciousness sometimes compared to a 'waking dream'. The best known psychedelics are psilocybin (found in magic mushrooms), DMT (found in ayahuasca), mescaline (found in peyote and San Pedro cacti) and LSD.Read More
Earth, rain, and sunlight combine to create beauty around us and foods that can sustain our lives. Imagine what a wonder and mystery this was to the ancients. Their response was an outpouring of gratitude, such as at the festival of Sukkot. How plants grow and fruit is no longer a true mystery to us. What have we lost when we take the wonders of the natural world for granted? This Sunday is a day to reconnect with the inspiration, awe and gratitude engendered by the natural world.Read More
This Sunday falls just after the Jewish Day of Atonement - Yom Kippur - which is a time when Jews look back over the previous year and admit where they have failed to be the people they wanted to be. The Sunday Gathering will be an opportunity to explore the power of admitting our wrongdoing, apologising, making amends, and restoring relationship.Read More
Our weekly Sunday Gathering is a chance to meet other New Unity members, to be uplifted by the message, to share joys and sorrows, to feel togetherness. This Sunday Gathering, which takes place close to the Jewish New Year of Rosh Hashana, explores the reality that we are continually new in a real and physical sense and the potential for newness of mind and possibility every day of our lives. Led by Andy Pakula. In the chapel at Newington Green, 39A Newington Green.Read More
So how much do we know? How much of nature is really understood and what still remains a mystery to us? I will discuss particle physics to illustrate the success and limitations of human discovery. In the process, I will share how the process of doing scientific research impacted me personally.Read More
For all the talk about reason and science, Humanism is really about a passionate love affair. It is a love affair with life, not a mythical hereafter. Humanism is a love affair with a progressive vision of civilization in which each of us can add to our growing library of wisdom, our evolving knowledge of what there is and what is truly important. None of the great achievements in history would have been possible without a love of the adventure of learning and the adventure of creating a better life. Our great cultural achievements in science, art, music, literature, philosophy, history, psychology, and political thought all inform each other and have been born of that long Humanist tradition.Read More
These are difficult times. This has been a difficult week.
For those of us keeping a wary eye on what is happening in the world’s most powerful nation, there has been more horror and a sense of constant anxiety. A resurgence of far right-wing movements, of neo-Nazis, white supremacists, fascists, and the KKK exploded into violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The violence of the so-called alt-right was disgusting. Along with clubs and pepper spray and fists, again, a vehicle was used as a lethal weapon and a young woman died on the scene. Many other lives were severely impacted.Read More
On Tuesday the 10th of March, Shaun Nichols delivered the 2015 Wellcome & Loebel Lecture in Neuroethics. Nichols presented a range of intriguing empirical data on how our view of the self affects our attitudes. The common view about the self is that it is something that persists through our lives. The self is an essential part of us that remains the same from childhood to adulthood. However some views in philosophy and religion see the self as something much less permanent.Read More
This message is about the women who made a difference in our world and how much we have to thank them for what they’ve done. A special focus will be on botany and the plant world and how amazing plant life is and what plants can tell you. Led by guest speaker Grace Graham. In the chapel at Newington Green, 39A Newington Green.Read More