The Interspiritual Age: Practical Mysticism for the Third Millennium by Wayne Teasdale

This is the abstract of a seminal essay by Bro Wayne Teasdale which overlaps with his ‘classic’ book The Mystic Heart:discovering a universal spirituality in the world’s religions

Bro Wayne Teasdale with Ken Wilber (I have attached below the first part of a wonderful conversation between these two – don’t be put off by the poor videography at the start)


In the following article Wayne Teasdale proposes his view of a unitive spirituality which transcends tradition.

Copyright © by 1999 Wayne Teasdale Used by CSP with permission of the author All rights reserved.

Global spirituality or Interspiritual wisdom has become possible because of a tangible sense of community among the religions and the real necessity for the religions to collaborate on the serious challenges to the world, notably the ecological crisis. Only spirituality can move us from within to change and become more responsible for the Earth and one another. Global spirituality is basically a consensus on the practical values, practices, and Insights found In all traditions of spirituality including moral life, deep nonviolence, solidarity with all life and with the Earth, spiritual practice and self-knowledge, simplicity, selfless service, and prophetic action. Mature spirituality also grants us a number of gifts or capacities that enhance our relations with others and our work: openness, presence, listening, being, seeing, spontaneity, and joy. Finally, spirituality is a resource for building a universal and enlightened civilization.

We are at the threshold of a new age, a Second Axial Age, a decisive period that will be characterized by a deep sense of community among the religions – of interspiritual wisdom – and a profound commitment to environmental justice. The Second Axial Age will thus also be the Interspiritual Age and the Ecological Age, as Thomas Berry calls it.1 These terms are actually interchangeable, for the Second Axial Age names these two fundamental shifts in consciousness that imply one another: the emergence of interspiritual wisdom from the discovery of community among members of the various religions, and the serious focus on the ultimate value of and concern for the Earth. Interspiritual wisdom includes a healthy eco-spirituality that, as a new form of nature-mysticism, emphasizes this new value and concern for the planet as part of mystical life and understanding. Whatever term we may use to describe this new, formative historical time, it seems undeniable that a new age is upon us.2

I would like to explore these insights, and suggest that they require a multifaith understanding of spirituality that is universal while preserving the rich diversity. This global or multifaith spirituality is the basis of speaking about interspiritual wisdom. I will develop the elements of such an understanding then reflect on the capacities they awaken. What is essentially being addressed is the deeper foundation of a new universal society and what the religions can contribute to it. It is necessary, therefore, to examine the nature, role, and extent of spirituality as it functions in a global context, contributing toward substantial change.

To read the full article go here –

Teasdale & Wilber video conversation – The Mystic Heart – Part 1- The Supreme Identity