In very broad terms there are three main streams of spirituality from around the world: the indigenous shamanic, the religions of the East (for example Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism) and the Abrahamic religions (Islam, Judaism and Christianity) Each of these streams brings it’s own unique gifts and when treated together as a whole I believe we have something more potent than any on their own: a world spirituality.
What follows are massively simplified generalisations of vastly complex systems. I know there are many exceptions to these examples. I am focusing on the main themes that are front and centre of each tradition:
The indigenous shamanic tradition has a deeply ecological and communal sense of self. The ritualistic use of psychedelic plants is prominent in indigenous spirituality in almost every part of the world. These plants consistently deliver one directly into mystical and healing experiences.
The religions of the East have excelled at developing practices that shift one’s identity towards the ‘peace that surpasses all understanding’ otherwise known as Enlightenment. This is exemplified in the statutes of the Buddha serenely smiling in a meditation posture.
The message of the Abrahamic religions is one of the Heart and the personal as a spark of the divine. Figures like Jesus demonstrate how deep love of God can go as he drank right to the dregs of the human experience.
It’s my opinion that something potent arises when one is able to weave these threads together into a single vision and set of practices. This is what we might call world spirituality. I don’t mean this in the sense of an empire dominating the world or blending everything into a bland homogeneity. A world spirituality respects traditions and enjoys their unique offerings. It is a path open to the generalist, those people with many and varied interests. The specific traditions are suitable for specialists, but not everyone is drawn to be a specialist.
P and C owned by Ralph Cree 2023