Is “Interspirituality” an Enduring Trend?
Are most of the younger generation, especially those about 18-29 years old, on a truly different kind of spiritual track than older folks? Is it a genuine spiritual pursuit, although it may appear haphazard or even self-centered on the surface? That they are and it is (taking a different approach, and a genuine one) is the point of an excellent article by Rory McEntee and Adam Bucko in the Huffington Post religion section.
After discussing how younger adults (and others) today don’t necessarily need a single religious tradition for adequate grounding and guidance, nor do they necessarily need a particular “new age” practice or group, McEntee and Bucks contend, “….Rather, they need an intimacy in which life is shared deeply, where they can be mentored in a way that brings them into the depths of their own life experience and aspirations, and where they can begin to articulate a new, more universal storyline that springs from their own experience and inner contemplative unfolding, which so often exists outside of a particular wisdom tradition.”
To be clear, the authors are not dismissive or critical of a commitment to one or multiple spiritual traditions (Christianity, Buddhism, etc.). They recognize the value and power in these more historically typical approaches, through which those they name as current “interspiritual” leaders or elders have come. A couple of these are Father Thomas Keating, founder of Snowmass Interspiritual Dialogue Fellowship, and Brother Wayne Teasdale, a Catholic/Hindu (!) Monk, who coined the term “interspirituality” in 1999.
The point of the article seems to be in full harmony with the Integral vision of Ken Wilber and his many Christian and other colleagues: the concept of an interspiritual quest and process of dialog and fellowship is beyond mere “tolerance” of other beliefs and spiritual “paths”. It is beyond religious pluralism, which is, for sure, a step up from religious superiority or attempts to dominate. It is a reflection of the maturation happening by the Spirit who has originally inspired the breakthroughs of spiritual leaders and still inspires the ever-so-gradual spiritual development of humanity’s shared spirit.