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As a long-term project I am looking for the ways in which the central spiritual core of Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Taoist teachers are similar or the same – it is a project in celebrating Oneness beyond the diversity.
Naturally as a focus I am looking at what for Baha’is is deemed; ‘The Changeless Faith of God, eternal in the past, eternal in the future’ (Gl 118/9), and less at what is called ‘progressive revelation’.
PERENNIAL SPIRITUALITY Here I will use the term perennial spirituality in a special way. By it I mean that part of the great traditions which remains the same – the central mystical teachings that are unchanged regardless of the age and the Teacher.
From the perspective of the individual I mean to combine heart and head. The heart is the experience we have via meditation and prayer, and service to others, or other deepening life events that cause us to feel at one with our Maker. Only in silence can we feel truly united and this is the teaching of mystical teachers from every age and time.
The head side of perennial spirituality is the intellect, philosophy or theology, but we will confine ourselves to teachings from Baha’i, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Islamic, Jewish and Taoist teachers that point to the Oneness beyond any diversity. Some recent writers are particularly helpful as ‘map makers of the territory’. This is especially true of Bro Wayne Teasdale in his The Mystic Heart, Eckhart Tolle in his three main books and Aldous Huxley in his The Perennial Philosophy. It was Teasdale who coined the term ‘interspirituality. These writers I call the map-makers of the inter-spiritual territory – because they illumine the Oneness. In this model I have one or more teachers from each great tradition who aren’t map-makers but whose purity of heart and mind points, in their teaching to the Oneness behind all traditions. I sometimes refer to these teachers as gate–keepers or ‘pointers’. Pointers because they point to the Oneness beyond the tradition in which they are situated.
Not being a scholar in all the parts such a vast field I have restricted the ‘gate-keepers’ in the various faith traditions to those who are readily accessible and who are teachers who ‘point’ to the Oneness that envelops the diversities – in their writings but more especially in their lives.
There are many pieces of guidance in Baha’i Writings to support the idea of Oneness. Here is just one such passage;
Bahá’u’lláh has not brought into existence a new religion to stand beside the present multiplicity of sectarian organizations. Rather has He recast the whole conception of religion as the principal force impelling the development of consciousness. As the human race in all its diversity is a single species, so the intervention by which God cultivates the qualities of mind and heart latent in that species is a single process. Its heroes and saints are the heroes and saints of all stages in the struggle; its successes, the successes of all stages. This is the standard demonstrated in the life and work of the Master and exemplified today in a Bahá’í community that has become the inheritor of humanity’s entire spiritual legacy, a legacy equally available to all the earth’s peoples. One Common Faith Baha’i World Centre SOURCE
Please send in your views and if you know of better appropriate quotations than the ones I’ve used please send them to me – thanks – Roger – onesummit AT gmail DOT com