We are living in a time of rapid technological change accompanied by unprecedented sociological pluralism, diversity and ‘fluidity’ of identity and spiritual designations. Over a third of America’s population, nearly one hundred million people, are not affiliated with a major religion. (see Pew Research Polls) The term “trans-“ (sexual, racial, ethnic, ideological and spiritual) is gaining usage. In this new era we are experiencing the morphing and blending of personal identity and spirituality.
Amidst this period of fluidity and change, there remains a persistent human need for personal spiritual answers, identity and universal connectivity. Since spiritual identity is generally considered a necessary condition for healthy human development, new methods of spiritual education and practice (like ours) are now required to help people fill this gap in their lives.
Concurrent with these trends of diversity and fluidity, the human psyche naturally craves certainty and fixed identity. This craving is a counterbalancing force to the trend towards diversity and fluidity. To fill this second need, many are looking back in history to find fixed religious, sexual, racial, ethnic and ideological identities to anchor them in these times of radical change. Therefore, our InterSpiritual curriculum is designed to both (1) help people engage and flourish in the dynamic present and (2) draw forth the wisdom from the past to guide and anchor their lives amidst radical social change.
The Emerging InterSpiritual Impulse
The term “inter-spiritual” is emerging to help convey the inevitable mixing and matching of spiritual knowledge and practice that surrounds and inhabits us. Now, as never before, people are drawing from diverse sources of spiritual knowledge and practice. They are attempting to mold all these ingredients into a nourishing meal that satisfies their hunger for meaning, purpose, identity and connection. It is as if they are collecting and mixing together the spices and recipes of foods from all over the world to create a meal that is both personally and universally flavorful. However, the random results are often not that tasty and do not satisfy the underlying hunger or quench the persistent spiritual thirst.
Harnessing the Power of the Internet
Throughout history, humans have built vast libraries to contain the accumulated wisdom and information of the past. The Internet is now providing a universal library of all knowledge from all the worlds’ spiritual traditions. It is providing virtual spaces for people to congregate in sacred communities around their spiritual preferences, personalities and questions. These community sites are both augmenting and supplanting churches, synagogues, mosques, and temples. In these new virtual sacred spaces people are gathering to deepen and celebrate both the old and new forms of spirituality that are emerging in this new age.
The Internet is now replete with billions of pages of information to draw from. Yet, without a process and methodology for selecting, proportioning and mixing these, these spiritual ingredients are unlikely to satisfy. There is a need, therefore, for a new website that provides a comprehensive process and methodology to help people sift and winnow information on the Internet and to gather together for themselves wisdom from one or more sources and to mold them into a coherent personal path and contemplative practice.
Our new web-based curriculum does not intend to create a new religion or universal spirituality. Rather, it intends to provide a process, methodology, content and access to authentic, trustable information to help each individual develop their spiritual knowledge, path and contemplative practice. It provides a structure, process, content and search algorithms to help each individual to honor and harness their own individual spiritual styles and questions, to celebrate the spiritual diversity of humanity, and create their own paths and practices of deep personal meaning, purpose, identity and universal connectivity.