Five Clues That You Are Secular Spiritual 

by Melina Ponak

Have you ever tried to succinctly describe your spiritual identity and couldn’t find the right words? If so, the phrase secular spiritual might be very useful to you!

Here are 5 more of the most common signs that you are already part of this increasingly popular cultural movement:

  1. The materialist worldview just doesn’t satisfy you.

The idea that absolutely everything that exists can be perceived with the senses or with scientific evidence just doesn’t fit what you see when you look at reality. 

You have too many experiences, gut feelings or questions that don’t fit into the materialist worldview. Where you go from there comes in many flavors, and may change without notice, but your working hypothesis is that reality is not limited by our perceptions.

  1. One label cannot describe your path. 

The ways you go towards finding meaning, understanding and making this world a better place don’t trace one clear, paved, pre-named path. Sometimes you are blazing trails alone and sometimes you are trying out the well-trod path of an ancient tradition. Depends on what you’re needing at the time, right?

You feel free to engage with the tools, teachings and teachers that you need at the moment.

And, don’t worry, “secular spiritual” isn’t just another “too closed” label. You are expected to jazz it up with descriptions of your roots and influences. Besides, it is too open-ended and not well-known enough to be closed. Secular spirituality inspires people to ask questions and dig in.

  1. Digging into these sorts of things is fun!

If you are secular spiritual you probably hang out with other people like you. You can move seamlessly from small talk into big topics. You want to explore the mysterious and the powerful while staying connected to the practical, impactful, and worthwhile. 

In other words, you are willing to “go there.” 

  1. Your relationship options are wide open.

Who you “go there” with and how close you get as a result is an open question. You can marry, date, befriend, or be in any kind of consensual relationship you want, with whoever you want. (And you like to see everyone else have that freedom too.) 

  1. You feel called to acknowledge and connect with your roots.

Your roots are the religion (or religions), culture (or cultures) and perspectives you were raised with. They influence you, but definitely don’t limit you. Acknowledging and connecting with your roots, on your own terms, brings vitality and a sense of groundedness, aka “rootedness.” 

To answer your call to acknowledge and connect with your roots you can always identify your particular flavor of secular spirituality by stating it like this:

I am “secular spiritual with _______ roots.” 

Now if these 5 clues remind you of yourself then take the phrase “secular spiritual” and enjoy it!

If you think of more clues then please send them my way. The more clues we all have, the better.