Seven Candles

Science for a Deeper Spirituality

Spin-off Talks/Sermons

Each of these is a shorter talk, with illustrative graphics, on a specific Seven Candles-related topic.

Note: there are new ones all the time. Use the Contact form to ask about the latest.

Mystery 

Today’s culture war pushes us to perceive spirituality and science as enemies, and holds up a false dichotomy between reason and mystery. The universe, as science reveals it, speaks only of transcendent unity, and holds up Mystery as both muse and ground of reason.

 

One Song

For millennia mystics and prophets have told us “All is one” and yet we feel ourselves surrounded by separation, antagonism, and isolation, plenty of reasons to conclude instead that “All is horribly splintered.” Recent advances from mainstream science reveal an underlying integrity, connectedness, and wholism in everything from human bodies to ecosystems to the fabric of space-time. Science agrees: “All is one.” New findings from science offer an interfaith, non-dual spirituality, grounded in Reality itself.

 

Active Love: An Antidote for Anthropocene Angst (a.k.a. “A5”)

That humans are having major impacts on the planet is now quite clear, and some of those impacts may be evident millions of years from now. Are we a cancer on the biosphere, a plague? Would it be better if we had remained blissfully in the stone age? Our angst about such matters may be no more helpful to building sustainable systems than is white guilt in forging racial justice. JD somehow relates all of this to romantic relationships, parenting teenagers, Venn diagrams, and Joni Mitchell.

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How guilt about environmental destruction won’t help build a sustainable society, but active love might, the kind of love we have for our teenagers when they’re being especially obnoxious.

 

Befriending the Thief (Ten- and twenty-minute versions; no slides)

An exploration of both the loss and the grace offered by Death, and how science can help us make peace with it, especially if we remember the gifts it brings.

Note: “Thief” was a one-time homily for my home church’s annual Service of Remembrance.  It got such a favorable response, along the lines of “I can finally let go of my mom” that I plan to lengthen it, generalize it, and offer it more widely as a sermon.

 

This is Not My Beautiful House (No slides)

One of our culture’s foundational myths is about ownership, security, and permanence. JD offers a bit of science, some personal experiences, and a Talking Heads song as puzzle pieces toward a new, more vulnerable humility.