The June 14th Examiner article, “Corporate and personal chaplains – their time has come” corroborates the premise here.

As several experts have noted, faith is in transition. It is not, however, dying no matter how many physical places of worship are closed.

Enter the corporate chaplain as part of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) and the personal chaplain/spiritual adviser retained privately for tailored spirituality by individuals.

Paul Jesep then goes on to say about concierge (corporate and personal) chaplains:

They approach spirituality with a secular, ecumenical mindset finding truths in all great religions while judging none of them. They meet with employees in the workplace or counsel degreed professionals and senior executives who find the spoils of success leaving an inner void regarding purpose in a world that is cold, mean and complicated. The “good life” doesn’t equal happiness.

Business chaplaincy or using a personal chaplain/spiritual adviser is not about religion or proselytizing. It’s about spiritual wellness – exercise for the soul. These spiritual professionals provide an array of services and are a confidential resource.

Even atheists, agnostics or humanists have spiritual needs and the right chaplain or spiritual adviser can play a part in helping them craft the right questions in finding meaning and direction in their life.

Business chaplains or spiritual directors don’t give false hope. Nor do they pretend to have answers to the unanswerable whether the death of a child in a traffic accident or premature loss of a parent with a young family. Bad things happen to good people and bad people get away with bad things. A chaplain is a presence during a time of tragedy and a guide and confidant in an intense business or professional setting.

Paul is himself, an attorney, corporate chaplain and author of “Lost Sense of Self & the Ethics Crisis: Learn to Live and Work Ethically”.

But what is “Spirituality”?

For Valerie Tarico, author of ‘Trusting Doubt,’ who reluctantly recognized that despite her departure from religion, she was left with something ‘spiritual.’ And that for her is:

…the profound sense that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves; the delight of reveling in the grand mysteries that lie beyond the bounds of our knowledge; the sense that some things are deeply, unspeakably sacred and others are deeply, unspeakably wrong; the yearning to have our lives matter, or as Steve Jobs put it, “to leave a dent in the universe.”

To truly move beyond religion we need to engage in a process that will let us refine new answers to some of life’s big questions. But absent the traditional vocabulary of spirituality, we are left without words with which to express deep existential questions and answers to each other or even to ourselves. That can leave us personally impoverished. It can also leave us isolated, because honest religious modernists who cherish what I am calling the spiritual dimension of life look for bridges into our community and fail to find them. Lastly, without a spiritual vocabulary we end up sounding hyper rational (and hyper boring) in conversations ranging from kitchen table banter to public policy debates. We face theists who speak from the heart, tapping some of the most powerful emotions known to humankind, while we limit ourselves to the kind of words and clauses that work in college essays.

And in her article, she goes on to acknowledge the contributions being made by the nontheists who ” have thought deeply about what it means to be human — to live well and die well. Many of us have devoted our lives to leaving this world more compassionate, or pursuing humanity’s age old quest for truth, or protecting the sacred web that gave us birth. Our experience of love and wonder sustains us.”

In her quest to leave behind the contradictions and moral poverty of religion, she slowly came to realize there is no need—and much to be lost—in abandoning spiritual and moral language. Religion has no exclusive claim on the innate moral dimension of human life that infuse every kind of religion and non-religious community quest for ethical behavior. After all, we are born into a religion. It is our intrinsic moral sense that allows us to make some meaning out of the archetypal teachings. And it allows us to eschew them. Spiritual and moral language then, allows non-theists and other religionists who do not pursue a faith-based cosmology, to talk meaningfully about shared, innate and altruistic public policy. There is no moral obligation to relinquish such language to religionists only.

Secular Spirituality

Secular spirituality then, when considering Sam Harris’ prescriptive morality in The Moral Landscape, does have useful meaning and is not of necessity, an oxymoron.

Perhaps it may be time, as Tarico says, “.. to reclaim spiritual and moral language… and (not) go through life wearing muzzles that we ourselves have tied on.”


O #conciergechaplain #executivecoach #siliconvalley O

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