Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Mirabai Starr ~ Interspiritual connection


“For decades I was conditioned to believe that to engage a mature spiritual life I needed to “pick one tradition and go deep,” which implied that my attraction to the teachings and practices at the heart of all religions was superficial and indolent. Also, that the path of non-dualism—with its affirmation of undifferentiated consciousness—was superior to my devotional disposition. Also, that my experience of longing for God was an illusion—some kind of unconscious blend of unresolved childhood abandonment and magical thinking. In other words, the energy that fueled my journey was predicated on a perfect storm of delusional inclinations.
It was only when the fire of loss swept into my life and burned the scaffolding to the ground that all conceptual constructs came tumbling down and these insidious messages revealed themselves as 1) unkind, and 2) untrue. From the ashes of grief a transfigured, more authentic self began to rise, and she felt no obligation to choose sides. She was a Jew and a Sufi, a believer and an agnostic. She practiced Vipassana and Centering Prayer, observed Shabbat and received communion. She rested in blessed moments of unitive consciousness and sang the praises of Lord Krishna.
I am not alone. A tribe of people is coalescing around the world to celebrate a reorientation from religious separation to interspiritual connection. While many of us have been pilgrims on this path for decades—sometimes feeling alone in the wilderness, sometimes gathering with other seekers who are similarly drawn to worshipping the sacred in every single holy house we encounter—now, at last, our numbers seem to be reaching a tipping point and what was a fringe phenomenon is becoming a global movement.
The interspiritual path is characterized as much by what it is not as what it is. It is not a new religion; in fact many of its most enthusiastic adherents consider themselves “spiritual but not religious.” It has no creed or dogma, no tenets or prohibitions. No special attire sets it apart and no single symbol represents its core philosophy. Its membership is as diverse as the full spectrum of humanity. It is not about belief, but action. And the only action required is love.
The mystics of every tradition—and those whose hearts thrum with yearning for God but do not have any religious affiliation—embody this Way of Love. The language the mystics speak is the Language of Love. Drenched in love-longing, the mystic dissolves into the ocean of the One. Mystical poetry transcends theological distinctions and neutralizes ideological ultimatums. These love poems to God do not describe Ultimate Reality: they evoke it. The poems of the mystics slip past the thought-guardians and batter down the gates of the heart. In crying out to the Holy One, the ecstatic poets offer us a direct connection with the object of their souls’ deepest desire, and ours. Mystical poetry generates a sacred field, and invites us to step in.”


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