Universalist Humanism is an extensive and rich doctrine
While Universalist Humanism is an extensive and rich doctrine we can highlight the following points as a conceptual base over which a new vision of the human being, society and history has been constructed.
The Human Being
Universalist Humanism defines the human being as an historical being whose form of social action transforms his own nature, a being open to the world with a social-historical dimension. A being whose consciousness is active and whose activity is the transformation of the world in accordance with his intention, an intention directed to the overcoming of pain and suffering that leads to the humanization of nature, society, one´s own body and oneself.
Universalist Humanism emphasizes the existence of humanist attitude in the history of different cultures where the following characteristics can be found:
Placing human being as the central value and concern
Affirmation of the equality of all human beings
Fecognition of personal and cultural diversity
Development of knowledge beyond that accepted as absolute truth
Freedom of ideas and beliefs
Rejection of all forms of violence
Beginning with experience
Universalist Humanism develops its doctrine beginning with human experience. It doesn´t begin from ideas, theories or abstractions but instead from the observation of one´s own experience. This leads its development to include the observer in structure with the phenomena being observed, not from an assumed objectivity that does not consider how the observer affects that which is being observed. This posture of the observer leads one to employ a rigorous phenomenological description before a theoretical description. This is a method that leads not only to an explanation but above all to the understanding of what is being studied.
In this sense and in essence, Humanist Psychology begins from the experience of the existence as the structure consciousness-world. Moreover, the consciousness is experienced as open to the world and in constant dynamic. It is in this dynamic structure where the base of human experience is found and where the doctrine of Universalist Humanism begins. It is from this foundation that a methodology of thought and an ethic of action based.
Methodology of thinking
We can observe a double capacity in the consciousness. On one hand, it has the ability to perceive phenomena from both the external and internal world; on the other hand, it attempts to order and give meaning to what is being experienced through thinking. It is from the registers of thinking and the observation of its mechanisms that a methodology of knowledge based on the " experience of thinking " can be founded. The most general developments of thought permit the elaboration of principals and universal laws.
For its studies and investigation the WCHS proposes a method based on the observation of the experience of thinking. This method, together with universal principals and laws, forms a coherent structure that facilitates the understanding of the problems being addressed.
The Method is presented as an assembly of analytical-synthetic procedures that enables an ordering of the phenomena being studied and facilitates their understanding. The use of the Method tends to re-educate the way one approaches learning and one´s way of understanding and in so becomes a tool that transforms both the one who investigates and the surrounding world.
Ethics of Action
Having experience as the initial consideration, the validity of behavioural acts cannot be pondered without the register that one has of them. It is because of this, rather than an external moral value, that Universalist Humanism proposes "Principals of Life" that relate with internal registers and orient behaviour towards carrying out "valid actions".
The indicators that enable the identification of these " valid actions ", that is those that produce meaning, coherence and internal growth are:
The register of deep relaxation when they are carried out
The desire to repeat them
The sensation of internal growth
On the contrary, actions that produce contradiction between what one does and what one thinks and feels weaken the internal development of people.
In social terms, having relationships with others must consider not harming others with one´s own actions; for this to be coherent with the aforementioned we should consider the Golden Rule which states "Treat others as you want to be treated".
This constitutes a scale of values whose highest value is coherence, a new morality that is not indifferent to whatever type of action, and a new aspiration to be consistent in the effort to give direction to human endeavour. Genuinely solidarity actions, those that look out for the wellbeing of others over one´s own interests, go in this direction and are those that help the growth of human society.
The search for knowledge and its application should necessarily also have an ethical framework that demands that the investigation and the use of knowledge will only be in favour of the growth of human life, never generating or justifying harm or destruction.
It is for these reasons that the WCHS proposes that scientific research should be accompanied by an "Oath of Ethics" that explicitly commits scholars and researchers to apply their knowledge only in favour of human life. This "Oath of Ethics" gives a basis to all research and guides the mental direction of the investigator, deepening a process of self- transformation while he develops his study. Only this, and nothing else, can be the final interest of knowledge, which is the patrimony of the human process and can then be considered "good knowledge".
The social and ethical construction of nonviolence
Universalist Humanism aspires to the building of a Universal Human Nation as the goal of the human social process. In order to work towards this objective it is necessary to have a methodology of action that is coherent with its ethic. This methodology is nonviolence.
Nonviolence can be understood as a system of determined moral concepts that rejects violence, as well as an operating strategy of the systematic and consistent denouncement of the forms of violence that the system applies. Nonviolence is recognizable in the actions carried forth by Mathatma Gandhi, Martin L. King, Kwame Nkrumah and others.
While pacifism is the denouncement against the arms race, nonviolence is a method of action and a way of living.
This method of action is formed by the internal coherence of thinking, feeling and acting in the same direction and the social coherence of treating others as you want to be treated.
In moving towards liberty the human being fights to overcome conditions of pain and suffering. In doing so the methodology of nonviolence is a tool for transforming the social-historical environment and for building a Universal Human Nation that is coherent with his own register of his internal unity.
Personal formation of the WCHS members
Corresponding to the proposal of Universalist Humanism for simultaneous social and personal change, the members of the WCHS periodically carry out works of personal formation. These works are found in the Manual of Personal Development for Members of the Humanist Movement. The manual includes themes for study, seminars and retreats that are generally held in the Centres of Work in the Parks of Study and Reflection in different cities and countries on 5 continents.
The study themes are organized in 4 parts:
Themes of Universalist Humanism
Themes of overcoming suffering
Themes of nonviolence
Themes of Humanist Psychology
The seminars and retreats of personal work are based on the books Self Liberation by L. Ammann and Guided Experiences by Silo (Completed Works, Vol. I). Among the diverse works we note the seminars on the practices of attention, psychophysics and relaxation, and the retreats of self knowledge, guided experiences and the space of representation.