The term “interspirituality” was coined in 1999 by a Roman Catholic lay monk and pioneer interfaith leader, Brother Wayne Teasdale, in a book aptly entitled The Mystic Heart: Discovering a Universal Spirituality in the World’s Religions. Brother Teasdale affirms:
The religion of humankind can be said to be spirituality itself, because mystical spirituality is the origin of all the religions. If this is so, and I believe it is, we might say that interspirituality — the sharing of ultimate experiences across traditions — is the religion of the third millennium. Interspirituality is the foundation that can prepare the way for a planet-wide enlightened culture…
Humanity stands at a crossroads between horror and hope. In choosing hope, we must seed a new consciousness, a radically fresh approach to life drawing its inspiration from perennial spiritual and moral insights, intuition and experience. We call this new awareness interspiritual, implying not the homogenization of religion, but the recovering of the shared mystic heart beating in the center of the world’s deepest spiritual traditions. At the heart of interspirituality is the “lived experience”; it offers us direct knowledge of the divine and unites the conscious with the unconscious. Specifically, it is the deeply personal, spiritual encounter we have with God or “that which is” and can be experienced regardless of religious preference, practice or doctrine.
From an interfaith perspective, interspirituality is a profound way of working toward the goal of global understanding, respect, and peace by elucidating the common themes, methodologies, meanings and truths of the world’s religions while respecting the unique gifts and particularities of each tradition.
Teasdale eloquently summarizes interspirituality when we writes: “Interspirituality as a world-changing life force is made possible by the openness of people who have a viable spiritual life, coupled with their determination, capacity, and commitment to the inner search across traditions.”
There is an interspiritual revolution occurring, a “re-visioning of spirituality” due to the fact that humanity is waking up to the emptiness of their consumer-driven and materialistic worlds, and are beginning to re-evaluate what truly matters. In essence, people are no longer interested in living in a world that doesn’t feel like their soul’s home, but rather, entering into a divine milieu which embodies all of humanity, the animal kingdom and eco-system.