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What might a 21st Century Spirituality look like?

By Rod Mitchell in All Sorts

two expressions of Spirituality that give some hope for our future as human beings

What might a 21st Century Spirituality look like?
A familiar way of understanding spirituality is as follows. It can be seen as a way of life that is based on the development of an individual’s inner self and the search for meaning and purpose in life. It can also be seen as a way of connecting with others and the world around us, and as a way of finding peace and harmony in our lives.
This is a very personal inner and some would say very individualist model. So, I want to highlight two totally different approaches.
1.Ursula King’s book “Christ in All things” – Exploring Spirituality with Teilhard de Chardin. A particular feature of the book is the way in which it focuses on Teilhard’s early essays written in the trenches of he First World War. These are perhaps least known of all his writings, for it is in these early, with their prayerful meditations that we discover the emergence of a powerful spiritual vision and gain insight into a new spiritual practice and energy, embracing the earth and all living forms. He expresses this new spirituality not as something separate from the world of action and evolution but as he writes “as communion with God through the earth.” In the unpublished diaries of his later years of his life he often refers to this new spirituality as a ‘spirituality of Evolution.’
2.Kurt Johnson and David Robert Ord two authors who have written a book that attempts to summarize new developments in the field of spirituality.

In the book, ‘The Coming Interspiritual Age,’ they offer a responsible survey of the global factors that might influence and contribute to the possible emergence of world change based on a significant input from the reservoir of collective human wisdom available in the world’s perennial Great Wisdom Traditions. Absent such a contribution, the world appears destined to march toward globalization led by self-serving special interest groups, political and financial institutions, leaving the public at the mercy of uncoordinated planetary resource exploitation and consumerism, coupled with a cacophony of competitions and conflicts over politics, financial wealth, natural resources and the various other currencies of international power.
The Coming Interspiritual Age
Specifically, we inquire into a potentially constructive role for religion and spirituality in the world’s future, while also noting possible negative roles that should be identified and, if possible, circumvented. Is the future role of religion basically an impotent one, represented only as multiple organized religions’ differing creeds and dogmas across the planet’s various conflicting, complex and competing cultures? Or is there an inherent role for spirituality and religion from the innate reservoir of human wisdom that forms the underpinning of our species’ millennial history— albeit obscured by a plethora of social and cultural factors? This is a reasonable and important question to ask.
Foreseeing the possibility of a coming ‘Interspiritual Age’ joins a host of other global human visions that hope for a brighter future for our planet—be it from courageously upbeat and optimistic leaders of the environmental, economic-technological or social justice sectors of our global society. This particular visioning of an emerging Interspiritual Age has arisen from the world’s religious, spiritual, and philosophical traditions, anchored in the foresight of a host of historical visionaries across the millennial wisdom traditions who have forecast such a possibility—specifically in the last centuries, pioneers such the West’s Teilhard de Chardin and the East’s Sri Aurobindo, and from these and other wellsprings there has evolved a burgeoning and multifaceted ‘evolutionary consciousness movement.’
The focus of our recent survey has been one part of this evolving consciousness movement, the emerging global ‘interspiritual vision.’ It has arisen internationally, especially in the last two decades from within the contemplative core of the world’s many religious traditions.

These two expressions of Spirituality give me some hope for our future as human beings, particularly if we are welling to tune in to the best that wise people of our world can offer.
Rod Mitchell.