A Possible Definition for the Term “Inter-spiritual.”

When it comes to possible definitions of inter-spiritual, I’d like to offer the rather terse statement below into the mix.  As you know from our many conversations, my tendency is to refrain from statements that imply overarching metaphysical beliefs.  But rather to focus on shared contemplative intentions, insights, processes, values and experiences.

Often times, overarching metaphysical belief statements create unintended disagreements, despite the good intentions of those who propose them.  Also, from a apophatic perspective, the naming of an absolute often limits its grandeur, simply because of the limitations of the conceptual mind.  It might be helpful to liberate the absolute from our preconceived notions and refrain from naming the source of our numinous experience.

Therefore, from an inter-spiritual perspective, I suggest that we contemplate resisting the tendency to name or even to imply a shared metaphysical source. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t one.  Rather, that we are humble enough to refrain from asserting that we know what it is and that it is the same for every tradition.  In other words, we don’t all have to proclaim the same source as a prerequisite for entering into loving, collaborative, inter-spiritual relationship with one another.  This leaves the door open to folks like agnostics, Buddhists and those who say they are spiritual but not religious and, who don’t adhere to a single spiritual belief system or theology.

That said, here are some rather dry definitional words to add to the mix:

InterSpiritual: the compassionate intention to engage in an open, non-judgmental and non-hierarchical sharing of the foundational contemplative insights, processes, values and experiences among people from diverse spiritual and non-spiritual traditions.