This Is Our Story offers a daily value on its home page. It is a Humanist liturgical calendar without days of obligation. This calendar, like everything else here, is an invitation. I have enjoyed following it for several years, to remind myself of core values in sequence, in keeping with the seasonal nature of life. So as you look at the calendar presented below, with explanations of the seasonal dividing lines, consider how it tracks the seasons of the calendar year in the Northern Hemisphere. You can follow the link to each value from its corresponding calendar entry.
Throughout much of the year the calendar follows a format that opens with the global value on Sunday, followed by the corresponding thought, emotion, action, value, conviction and attitude on Monday through Saturday, in that order. Not all weeks follow this formula. In the first week, for example, such an ordering would be completely at odds with the values for the respective dates. That is because we begin by exploring the development of the human mind through its evolutionary predicates. The first characteristic to develop in living things is action: bacteria and ants are action machines. The evolutionary sequence thereafter, in order, is sensation, emotion, then thought. This corresponds with the development of the human brain, with the brain stem (seat of action drives) at the bottom, the midbrain (seat of emotion) in the middle, and our marvelous cerebral cortex, which develops last, at the outer layers. When we begin exploring ethical development in week 5, the order (Global on Sunday to Attitude on Saturday) begins to make sense. The calendar below spells out where this order applies and, by silence, where it does not.
I have also tried to state each value as a verb, in keeping with the idea that we are the ones living these lives, so that ethical commitments and practices, and spiritual living are for us to develop and practice. This is our human story, which we can see as an invitation to a dance. The living is up to us.
SEASON 1: DORMANCY
Weeks 1-3: Foundations, a universal commitment to the worth of all people. This consists of the universal principle of Human Worth (the life experience that we have in common) in week 1, its universal application in week 2, and the resulting conception Justice attained by the marriage of the first two. With an unwavering commitment to the worth and dignity of all people, we can arrive at an enduring conception of justice.
Week 4: But what has gone wrong? In the dark of winter, we assess the dark side of our condition
|Suffering||The Material World; The Physical Body||Separation and Alienation||Powerlessness||Mortality||Ego – Selfishness||Evil|
Weeks 5-7: How can we emerge from the darkness? In mid-winter, we consider predicates to development, similar to the latent phase of perennial plants that lie dormant within the Earth. This is the “do-no-harm,” “thou-shalt-not” stage of ethical development, characterized by the distinction between evil and not evil. It is indispensable but only the barest of a beginning.
Week 8: An awakening of sorts: we could say that all ethics and all religion is about order. That is one way of looking at it, among many, utterly true and complete in theory, yet incomplete as we humans are inclined to see these things. This week explores the principle of order, which marks the beginning of positive ethics.
|Living in Good Order||Being Selfless||Concentrating||Habits and Practices||Being Stable and Constant||Living in Discipline, Self-control and Self-regulation||Civilization|
SEASON 2: SOWING
Weeks 9 and 10: Desire, preferences and the human will. (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence.)
|Preferences – Desire||Health||Satisfaction||Pleasure||Longevity||Happiness||Fulfillment|
|Autonomy||Will||Planning||Choosing||Liberating||Freedom||Zest, the Spice of Life: Opening to Horizons|
Weeks 11-13: Life opens to the light. (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence.)
Weeks 14-16: As the infant becomes a young child, she becomes aware of herself. This is the beginning of the progressive development of Self-Worth. (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence.)
SEASON 3: GROWTH
Week 17: This week is an eye to the future.
|Future||Appreciating Nature||Chronicling Nature||Preserving and Stewarding Nature||Diversity||Sustainability||Children|
Week 18: How can we progress ethically and spiritually? The question is “HOW?” The answer, by happy coincidence, is “Honesty, Openness and Willingness”: HOW. However, as we have seen, willingness occurs at an early stage of development, in week 7. The order of development is Willingness, Honesty, Openness: WHO. We must answer the question. Ethics, morality, spirituality and religion are up to us.
|Being Honest||Being Sincere||Being Intellectually Honest||Being Principled||Being Forthright||Pushing Through Your Resistance||Being Scrupulous, Yet Flexible|
Weeks 19-20: This is the journeyman’s (level two) stage of ethical development: obligation and duty, characterized by the distinction between good and merely not-evil.
|Meeting Obligations in the World||Being Interested||Reasoning||Working||Being Prudent and Cautious||Being Attentive||Being Competent|
|Fulfilling Duty toward Others||Respecting Value||Respecting Worth||Observing||Understanding||Being Responsible||Being Reliable|
Weeks 21-23: In these weeks we flesh out what it means to be good and do good. At this stage, we come more fully into the integrated spiritual self. Week 22 is the week of obstacles and opportunities: every thought, emotion, action, etc., is both.
SEASON 4: RIPENING
Weeks 24-26: Excellence refers to the distinction between good and best. It can refer to an individual’s best or to a state of excellence relative to the community, to which we can aspire as we develop. (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence.)
Week 27: As noted earlier, openness is the final stage in the process of unblocking the obstacles to dignity.
|Being Open||Being Open-hearted||Being Open-minded||Welcoming – Assisting – Offering (Open Hands)||Being Ready and Adaptable||Communicating: Listening and Discussing||Living in Dignity|
Weeks 28-31: The fourth stage in development is the level-four stage of transcendence. This refers to transcending previously understood boundaries, as Beethoven’s music transcended previous music and Einstein’s science transcended all science to that time. There are also personal moments of transcendence, which occur when we discover possibilities we had not previously seen. (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence.)
Week 32: As social creatures, we are ethically obligated to be publicly involved.
|Displaying Citizenship||Being Public-spirited||Being Informed and Socially Aware||Being Publicly Involved through Activism||Opposing Injustice||Being a World Citizen||Democracy – Self-government|
SEASON 5: HOUSEKEEPING and INTERLUDE
Weeks 33-34: These weeks address steps toward personal integration.
Week 35: This is a week of respite. Everyone needs time to step back, relax and reflect.
|Restoring the Self||Being Calm||Reflecting – Contemplating||Resting||Being in Reverie||Going on Retreat||Playing – Being Playful|
SEASON 6: FULFILLMENT
Week 36: We have reached the stage of creativity, when we offer our contribution to personal and community life. This week’s calendar addresses creativity in the physical world.
|Being Creative||Being Enthusiastic||Imagining||Being Resourceful and Innovative||Taking Inspiration||Being Spontaneous||Being Original and Unconventional|
Weeks 37-39: In these weeks, we explore the creative forces in human relations: the Truth of our common humanity (the intellectual component), Love (the emotional component) and Faith (the action component).
Week 40: Through the creative forces we can be reborn. When this occurs, the world usually seems fresh, new and alive. We have attained a state of vitality and creativity that we had not thought possible.
|Being Reborn||Knowing the Soul||Meditating||Transcending Ego||Living in Flow||Living Spiritually||Living in Exuberance, Glory and Ecstasy|
SEASON 7: ASSESSING
Week 41: Once reborn, we can return home with new eyes and a new heart. This is a week for homecoming (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence.)
|Home and Our Debt to the Past||Taking Comfort from Home||Reconsidering||Reuniting – Reconciling – Reclaiming||Taking Pride||Healing||Embracing the Past|
Weeks 42-44: In these weeks, we consider the elements of Spirituality: a sense of intense vitality, and integration within and without.
Weeks 45-46: A tremendous satisfaction is now present. We have attained a state of maturity. You may notice that at this stage in our spiritual/life journey, many of the values are now presented as nouns instead of verbs, because the value has been mastered, so that we turn our focus a bit to the shared value, which empowers us all, together.
SEASON 8: HARVEST and CELEBRATION
Week 47: We have transcended the idea of happiness found in week 9. We have attained well-being and are flourishing. This is our personal reward for spiritual growth.
|Flourishing||Living in Positive Emotion||Finding and Having Meaning in Life||Being Fully Engaged||Being Grateful||Having and Nurturing Healthy Relationships||Success: Living a Life of Achievement|
Weeks 48-50: Now we can assess the product of our labors as we put the finishing touches on spirituality. (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence. Week 49 appears on the calendar once every five or six years, only when the year has 53 Sundays.)
Weeks 51-52: We explore what we Humanists mean by the Sacred. (The italicized entries do not correspond to the Global-Attitude sequence.)
Week 53: In this final week of the year, we celebrate, take stock and prepare for the cycle to renew.