Dally Messinger: On the Meaning of HumanLight

Dec. 2002, by Dally Messenger, of The International College of Celebrancy and The Celebrants Centre (Australia).   (Introduction given at the HumanLight celebration in Little Falls, NJ, Dec. 2002)

At the moment I live on top of a mountain. It is even better than that. I live on the sixth floor of a building on top of that mountain. Of a morning I have this beautiful vista across from the mountain of Montclair to the awe-inspiring metropolis of New York City. In the morning I see the red glow of the sunrise getting richer and richer, until the red ball of the sun moves up from within it, to make the day. Before long all is white with light and the world springs to life.

This holiday celebration we have called HumanLight because, just as we are conscious of how the sun brings light and life to the physical universe, we realize that human beings can bring light and life to one another. Many of us call ourselves Humanists. This means that we are dedicated to bringing light and life to our fellow human beings.

The light we bring, we usually call reason, which means the clearest and best thinking we have to guide our ways through life’s challenges. The life we bring is the love, the hope and the compassion we have for our fellow human beings, our neighborhood, our environment and our world.

The life we bring is also a joy in living. We know that life brings sorrows, but it also brings its moment of happiness, enriching relationships, fun and laughter.

HumanLight means all these things.

We get our light and life and love from our own experience and from carefully listening to the best thoughts and insights from all kinds of people, sources and places within our world. As “HumanLight people” we sort out, we sift, we scrutinize, we search out what is best, no matter where it comes from. In an unclouded way we take it into ourselves and develop it so we can become the best kinds of human being we can be. Thus we live life as happily and responsibly as we can, and we bring to others and ourselves all the joy we can. I short, we try to be enlightened, and to bring to our local circle, and our world, that human beauty and light which mirrors the beauty and the color of the morning sunrise over Manhattan.

We believe this is the good way to live, the best way to live, We feel good about this, we feel honest, authentic and comfortable, because we are not passing the responsibility for difficult decisions to any other person or group.

But even though, from the light of our own knowledge and reason, we deeply develop our personal inner life, our humanist spiritual life if you like, we are well aware that we are often very fragile on our own. So most importantly of all, we need to bond, to connect and to work and share with others. That is why, with us, our relationships, with our loved ones, our friends, with the people who share our values, our relationships I repeat, are the most important values in our lives. That is why we are together today.

We are here to celebrate each other, to create and strengthen bonds, and to enjoy and have fun with each other in this traditional holiday season.