Towards the end of the last millennium a new vision was birthed across the inter-religious landscape to describe the co-mingling, co-exploration and co-operation that was happening among the world’s great spiritual traditions. The named coined to describe it by Br. Wayne Teasdale was “Interspirituality.” There were many individuals who were the forerunners of this vision such as Vivikenanda, Yogananda, Bede Griffiths, Thomas Merton, Raimundo Pannikar, Thomas Keating, and numerous others from North and South and East and West, but one of its most prophetic and articulate proponents was Br. Wayne Teasdale.
His seminal work on Interspirituality: “The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions” is the cornerstone of this movement. If you want to grasp the full vision of Interspirituality, I would urge you to read this farsighted book.
As Br. Teasdale writes in “The Mystic Heart,” p. 25: The real religion of humankind can be said to be spirituality itself, because mystical spirituality is the origin of the all the world religions. If this is so, and I believe it is, we might also say that interspirituality – the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions – is the religion of the third millennium. Interspirituality is the foundation that can prepare the way for a planet-wide enlightened culture, and a continuing community among the religions that is substantial, vital, and creative.
Interspirituality is not about eliminating the world’s rich diversity of religious expression. It is not about rejecting these traditions’ individuality for a homogenous super spirituality. It is not an attempt to create a new form of spiritual culture. Rather, it is an attempt to make available to everyone all the forms the spiritual journey assumes.
Building on the vision that was introduced in “The Mystic Heart” published in 1999 is the recently published visionary and pioneering volume entitled “The Coming Interspiritual Age” by Dr. Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord. In this work we see how the Interspirituality vision is currently being fleshed out and lived in the world.
As the authors write: “..spirituality and religion, often confused, aren’t the same. Spirituality differs from religion in its sense of unconditional value that’s unaffected by circumstances. In spirituality, seen through the heart’s unconditional lens, God is one.
Although historically the offspring of spirituality, religion is more focused on whose view of reality is correct. In religion, God isn’t one. This is the antithesis of a prescription for a world that is both good and concerned for the interests and wellbeing of every creature.
However, as the millennium turned, a vision of interspirituality was emerging from within the world’s religions. …. those who seeded the vision began talking to each other across continents and oceans, and between traditions and cultures, they discerned that their experience, though hugely diverse, was ultimately much the same. All shared a sense of profound interconnectedness, oneness, and a unity that transcended the boundaries of their theological traditions, cultural backgrounds, and historical narratives.”
We are now at the beginning stages of this evolutionary wave. There truly is a movement afoot and its drumbeat is getting louder and clearer every day.
If you want to know more and want to get involved, I encourage you to go to www.interspirituality.com to find out about the inspired, transformational work that is in progress. Here you will find a wealth of resources that will help you to catch the vision and see where you might fit in.
As well, go to www.thecominginterspiritualage.com and learn more about the groundbreaking book, “The Coming Interspiritual Age”.