Reason 5: Pluralism gives us breadth, faith traditions offer depth.

Emerging integral culture and spirituality, including integral monotheism, must move from shallow breadth (everything is right, all are welcome, anything goes) to depth. But mere modernism, as well as post-modernism, has lost the depth offered by the older traditions in their rejection of traditional faith.

In general, so-called “New Age” spirituality of the last 50 years has been deeply affected by a lowest common denominator approach which has packaged easily consumable aspects of world traditions and left us undernourished.

Rabbi David Rosen of Jerusalem, said recently in Cape Town that we had to distinguish between pluralism and relativism. Our monotheist religious traditions are largely scornful of the relativism of our times, but have not sufficiently differentiated this from a positive, celebratory, pluralistic engagement.

Those from different traditions have held wisdom not accessible their our own traditions, and often the oldest have held this wisdom best and deepest.

treeKen Wilbur, who has pioneered the study of the Integral worldview, points out that we need to rediscover what our older traditions can offer. We have to “transcend and include” these traditions;  if we merely “discard” them, we will be far worse off. The real challenge is to include them as we outgrow them, as a tree includes all its previous seasons’ growth to be what it is.

“Transcend and include” is in fact a worthy mantra for emerging integral spirituality in a pluralistic age.

The Open Mosque Inaugural Interfaith Retreat will take place between the 16th and 18th September 2016, in Greyton, Western Cape. To take part, see the website of The Open Mosque.