One of the most straightforward and pragmatic reasons to believe in an interspiritual future is that if we do not learn to co-operate, and continue the all too apparent trend of unbridled competition, the human world as we know it, will cease to exist.

It’s by now a rather hackneyed thought that “religion is the root cause of war”. Of course this observation by Enlightenment rationalists who broke free from the dark ages imposed by Christendom was important. To step outside of the paradigm that created the crusades requires one to acknowledge the awful truth of institutional religion’s role in fanning the flames of hatred and xenophobia, exercising  judgement and genocidal hypocrisy, and of power mad avarice in the name of God.

But many now agree that despite all the negative aspects of our religious traditions that these traditions have bequeathed to us a rich heritage of wisdom. In overcoming our prejudices against others and their beliefs, we may find that we have been changed in ways that “staying put” could never have done.

An important example of such prejudice is the dismissal of Eastern thought and paths by many middle-western monotheists. But I am convinced that Eastern and Western thought need each other far more than they know. For example the idea of “yin”, the feminine receptive principle, shows the “Christian west” an alternative to its Trinitarian patriarchy which casts God as majority masculine shareholder in the Divine.

If we are not relating to our “other” in any of its manifestations, we are in fact dying. This could be in very small ways, bothering to learn an greeting in a foreign tongue, catching ourselves dismissing the voice of one we have always considered “wrong”, or “irrelevant”, making a visit to a temple or church that we have always thought of as “not us”, attempting to see the beauty in someone else’s scripture.

Or it could be in much larger ways, such as bringing peace to parts of our world that remain in the grip of demonically arrested, fundamentalist, and power-crazed forces.

Interspirituality offers us a way into our own prejudices, our own poisons, our own stale ideas that have not been expanding and reaching for deeper understandings of what Love might mean. And it may just be a blueprint for a new model of being human.

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