Beings have gone after answers to “big questions” for ages. Often individual answers were inexact, incomplete, confusing more than settling, especially when shared with others who might also have their own inexact, incomplete and confusing “takes” on those big questions. For much of our time on this planet, distances kept these group answers physically apart, religions grew up and often did not interact. As travel and trade happened, differences between those answers, codified in religions, became evident. Competition of ideas became rivalry and wars of religion occurred. Religion has often become a marker of identity, bestowed at birth, often imposed by families or clans or tribes and reduced to a one time choice for this life.
Over time, ideas can become restricting, identities can shift, and choices yearn to be re-made. Religion can become a box, and as in the Christian parable, the “salt” of religion can lose its savor. What to do? How to frame the “big questions” outside of any particular religious tradition, any philosophy or none?
“Religion without spirituality is prone to fundamentalist thinking, cultic superstition or magic, routine and mechanistic practice, and moral minimalism or legalism. Spirituality without religion is prone to egocentrism, immaturity, superficiality, and sometimes isolation and a lack of engagement with the world.” (The Transformed Heart, Tom Zanzig)
Interspirituality is the space where the possibility of holding the threads of truth exists; interspirituality combines the vantage points from many perspectives that have been reached by various sentient beings over time. Interspirituality does not hold a dogma and often connects with what is indigenous, what is of nature, what is mystical and direct personal experience.
In a practical sense, interspirituality is a movement with people being trained in service to anyone that does not find a comforting home in existing religious, humanistic or spiritual communities. There are interspiritual practitioners who may have “multiple belongings” within those existing communities and who are unconstrained by doctrines, who embrace multiple practices. There are Interspiritual Seminaries, Interspiritual Ministers, Interspiritual Groups. I have been Ordained by One Spirit Seminary and am honored to teach there and to guide students as a Dean.
The lens that I use is an interspiritual one: rituals for life events will combine the elements that support your beliefs and convictions; spiritual companioning and eco-spiritual therapy are held in the largest possible container of meaning.