For me, the beauty of the Secular path is best summed up by Elizabeth
Cady Stanton: "The great lesson that nature seems to teach everyone of
us at all ages is self-dependence, self-protection, self-support. Alike
mid the greatest triumphs and darkest tragedies of life we walk alone.
In hours like these we realize the awful solitude of individual life,
its pains, its penalties, its responsibilities." On the secular
path - atheist, agnostic, ecelectic, etc - we rely on no one but
ourselves so we can become truly independent beings.
Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, or Zen -
Not any religion or cultural system - I am not from the East or the
West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or
ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not
an entity in this world or the next, did not descend from Adam and
Eve or any origin story.
My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul.
I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one
call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing
There is a way between voice and presence where information
flows. In disciplined silence it opens. With wandering talk it closes.
An ocean of suffering floods the horizon,
Whence beams yet the sun, But thankfully,
Lao Tse guides us in service to humanity,
As the three great religions have also taught,
Mainly to be benevolent of both character and deed.
Confucius has illuminated morality;
From The Buddha we've learned compassion;
The Way of Immortals urges us toward spirituality.
From one root spring three counterpart stems.
Once it is well-comprehended, We shall purify self and pray!
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do great things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing that I asked for-but everything I had hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.
O God, our Father, Thou Searcher of menís hearts,
help us to draw near to thee,
Make us choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong,
and never be content with half a truth when a whole can be won.
Endow us with courage that scorns to compromise with vice and injustice,
and knows no fear when truth and right are in jeopardy.
Kindle our hearts in fellowship with those of a cheerful countenance,
and soften our hearts with sympathy for those who sorrow and suffer.
Help us, in our work and in our play,
to keep ourselves physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight,
that we may realize our ideals and our duty
All of which we ask in the name of the Great Friend and Master of men.