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Transcendence through Human Relationships

A group of smiling young adults hug.

For a long time now, I haven’t believed in a god with a will, intentionality, or consciousness. I don’t put all my eggs in the basket of a god who will save and transform me. Rather, I look to humans, to my relationships with people.

Transcendence with life, with the holy, comes through my human relationships. And yes, I get that humans will let me down and will hurt me as well. They will disappoint, betray, and otherwise fail me. But they also have repeatedly saved me from a selfish me-ism that can destroy my well-being and lead me to false idols. They have loved me so fiercely that I am brought back from despair, loneliness, and isolation. They have cajoled me into my better self, when, frankly, I sometimes don’t want to bother with the effort. They have challenged me to aspire to possibilities that I fear are unobtainable, because they see something in me that I far too often can’t see in myself. They are human. They are the four Fs: flawed, fragile, f*#&!d up, and, most importantly, fabulous. This understanding is the Humanism that has transcended the intellect, buried itself inside me, and inspires and heals me daily.

My Humanism/nontheism is rooted in right behavior, not creeds. Science tells us that, surprisingly, our behavior influences our reason, not the other way around. So if our intellectualism doesn’t influence our living and loving, our good—with or without god—what use is it?

Humanist Voices in Unitarian Universalism

By Kendyl R Gibbons, William R. Murry

From Skinner House Books

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