“The Coming Interspiritual Age is a long-awaited follow-up to Brother Wayne Teasdale’s classic The Mystic Heart:
Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions which initiated the modern “interspiritual movement.”
Kurt Johnson– scientist, comparative religionist, and close monastic associate of Brother Teasdale– and David Robert Ord — Editorial Director at Namaste Publishing– elaborate Interspirituality through a powerful overview of the world’s spiritual heritages, the discoveries of modern science and a riveting ride through the developmental view of history.”- That is a direct quote from the book’s website (http://thecominginterspiritualage.com)
The Coming Interspiritual Age was a surprise for me. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It took me a very long while to read it because of how “heady” it is, but this book could not have been anything but heady. I appreciated that it was written from a scientific, historical and educational perspective while maintaining the theme of mysticism.
This book was very hard for me to read, but I’m very glad it was my first/initial introduction into Interspirituality as defined from a historical and social perspective (rather than an overly religious one). I’m not very educated and don’t have an extensive vocabulary like many of my colleagues do, so I had to read and re-read some of these paragraphs, pages and chapters to keep up. It was worth the work.
Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord take us on a pilgrimage from our ancestry, from the dawn of man (scientifically speaking, so don’t expect any Adam and Eve stuff here) to the evolution of the rational mind that leads to empires being built (and eventually empires falling).
The most important thing I will take from this book is the idea of the “I, We and It” mindset. The individual person is an I. A group of folks who are interconnected are a “we”. And institutions are “its”. All too often, I think we identify ourselves with institutions like political parties, religious affiliations, socio-economic barriers and state or national boundaries that we create divisions. When we align ourselves with “its” and define ourselves by the “its” we are a part of rather than the interconnected “we”, we have the likelihood of causing pain because we are more concerned with an instituion (it) than our neighbor (we).
I didn’t expect this book to enforce my ideas of living intentionally and perhaps even monastically, but it did. This book encourages us to share our resources and live intentionally with one another because “we” is all we have. The “its” of our days are going to pass away. Our institutions are dying and our neighbor will be all we have, so it’s best that we learn to live with them (no matter their religious tradition, political leanings or race), because these blocks of institution we have created (political systems, religious hierarchies, racism, etc…) are failing, thanks be to God.