WHAT IS INTERSPIRITUALITY?
"The Interfaith initiatives of the late twentieth century—the opening of dialogue and sharing of wisdom among leaders and practitioners of different religions – have flowered into an exciting new possibility for spiritual exploration and expression. The late Wayne Teasdale, author of The Mystic Heart, coined the term “Interspirituality” to describe this new spiritual perspective.
"Beneath the diversity of theological beliefs, rites, and observances lies a deeper unity of experience that is our shared spiritual heritage. Mystical spirituality is the origin of all the world religions, and every authentic spiritual path offers unique perspectives and rich insights into this deeper, direct experience of truth. In our time, the wisdom and depth of all paths are available to anyone who brings an open mind, generous spirit and heart to the search across traditions.
"All authentic spiritual paths, at their mystical core, are committed to the common values of peace, compassionate service, and love for all creation. An inner life awakened to responsibility and love naturally expresses itself through engaged spirituality, in “acts of compassion…, contributing to the transformation of the world and the building of a nonviolent, peace-loving culture that includes
everyone.(The Mystic Heart)"
- Rev. Diane Berke
"The real religion of humankind can be said to be spirituality itself, because mystical spirituality is the origin of all the world's 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 those tradition's individuality for a homogeneous superspirituality. 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. Interspirituality as a world-changing force is made possible by the openness of people who have a viable spiritual life, coupled with their determination, capacity and commitment to the inner search acrtoss traditions."
- Bro. Wayne Teasdale
The Mystic Heart, p. 26
- It may be helpful to remember that we are coming together to esablish common ground, among all the religious and spiritual traditions of this planet. In the words of Wayne Teasdale, we are endeavoring to "discover a universal spirituality in the world's religions".
- There are many controversial issues in religion and spirituality, and those issues should be strongly discussed and debated. In general, however, in this alliance context, we are primarily concerned with establishing broad agreement around universal fundamentals, rather than taking strong advocacy positions on controversial issues.
- Within the framework of this broad agreement, we can support vigorous discussion and debate on any subject, and encourage advocacy among our participants in a spirit of balanced respectful grace. We are inclusive, and we respect all voices. We want to see enlightened collaborative solutions to the demanding issues that divide the world community.
- In pursuit of strong clear agreement in the context of vast global diversity, we are interested in the fundamental principles of universal spirituality, wherever they are found. It is these emerging universal principles which we see as our primary cause and advocacy.
Eight Points of Agreement (Snowmass Group)
Established by Fr. Thomas Keating's Snowmass group at St. Benedict's Monastary at Snowmass Colorado over a period of 30 years
From Rabbi Rami Shapiro's article on Intersprituality
- The world religions bear witness to the experience of Ultimate Reality, to which they give various names.
- Ultimate Reality cannot be limited by any name or concept.
- Ultimate Reality is the ground of infinite potentiality and actualization.
- Faith is opening, accepting, and responding to Ultimate Reality.
- The potential for human wholeness – or, in other frames of reference, enlightenment, salvation, transcendence, transformation, blessedness – is present in every human being.
- Ultimate Reality may be experienced not only through religious practices, but also through nature, art, human relationships, and service to others.
- As long as the human condition is experienced as separate from Ultimate Reality, it is subject to ignorance and illusion, weakness and suffering.
- Disciplined practice is essential to the spiritual life; yet spiritual attainment is not the result of one’s own efforts, but the result of the experience of oneness with Ultimate Reality.
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