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“Completing the Darwinian revolution therefore requires a massive reset in our understanding of humanity, which must take place at a timescale of years, not decades. We need not just a theory that states what is, but a worldview that informs how we ought to act, while remaining fully within the bounds of scientific knowledge.”
Here, the reality of Interspirituality enters the stage again as evolutionary example. But first we must first explain what we mean by Interspirituality and then show how, as an evolutionary phenomenon, it has been progressing from theory to worldview—from what tells us “what something is” to its influencing “how we act.”
Let’s start with Brother Wayne Teasdale’s original vision of Interspirituality. It’s vision and tone, from his words, help us understand what a cooperative ecosystem of world religions and spirituality might look like and the context in which it could help realize positive outcomes for our inevitably globalizing and multicultural world. In Teasdale’s words:
- We are at the dawn of a new consciousness, a radically fresh approach to our life as the human family in a fragile world. This journey is what spirituality is really about. We are not meant to remain just where we are. We cannot depend on our culture either to guide and support us in our quest. We must do the hard work of clarification together ourselves. This revolution will be the task of the Interspiritual Age. The necessary shifts in consciousness require a new approach to spirituality that transcends past religious cultures of fragmentation and isolation. We need to understand, to really grasp at an elemental level that the definitive revolution is the spiritual awakening of humankind.
With these words penned nearly two decades ago, Brother Wayne Teasdale, a contemplative monk also famous for his advocacy of social activism, spurred an already existing global trend toward trans-traditional and transcultural spirituality in a world inevitably moving toward globalization and multiculturalism. He called the emerging global spirituality “Interspirituality,” and identified it in the message in over 50 major historical spiritual figures from across the multiplicity of our world’s spiritual and faith traditions. Today, it is widely acknowledged that a universal spirituality is, in fact, arising on a global scale, uncannily reflecting Teasdale’s suggestion that the only viable religion for the Third Millennium is spirituality itself.
This vision, now resonating strongly across the world’s interfaith community—and particularly in an emerging Interspiritual movement—is identified by many as a “spirituality of the Heart,” and one reflecting the emergence of a new global “unity consciousness.” This trend, identified by developmental philosophers as “a great conveyor belt” toward a successful global civilization , is attributed to multiple and convergent causes. In the evolutionary consciousness movement, and the consciousness sciences, it is recognized as the natural next step in our cognitive evolution. Social scientists see it as a global adaptation driven by inevitable trends toward globalization and multiculturalism. Some spiritual and religious leaders see a “divine purpose” at work, some even considering it the “spiritual perfection” of our species.
If such a “world awakening” is possible, moreover real, there are diverse and complicated implications for our complex world—including in the arenas of religion, science, social structure, governance, economics, culture, and more.
Globalization of planet Earth is inevitable; the question is what kind of a globalization it will be and whether it will include significant contributions from the Great Wisdom Traditions;
Multiculturalism is inevitable; again, the question is what kind of process will unfold and whether it will be a bumpy ride full of competition and conflict (indeed possibly even outright economic and military warfare) or whether a more reasoned dialogue may emerge, mitigating such negative consequences to some degree;
The world now faces an array of critical challenges that could affect its long term stability and peace. These include resource scarcity and competition, drastic global climate and population changes, and political agendas and fundamentalisms tied to narrow and competing national, religious, ethnic, or racial identities.
If the world’s religions could move away from the atmosphere of competing creeds, dogmas, and end-time scenarios, and take up their role as the world’s true Wisdom Traditions, they could help spur positive world transformation. "