It is hard to disagree with the aims of any mysticism that calls for love and compassion in all we do, for unconditional forgiveness, and that understands our innate need to live in joy and peace, with total respect and love for all sentient beings.
But this is the message of Jesus Christ. We don’t need another religion based on His teachings!
I've recently written of the philosophies of both Stuart Kauffman and Henryk Skolimowski. Now I come to modern mystic and visionary Andrew Harvey - who arrives from a different direction altogether with his ideas on psychic free radicals of collective unconscious, which he claims are penetrating our individual psychic fields. This clearly has some common features with what certain scientific studies now tell us about consciousness and psi. Harvey's book Sacred Activism is a call to bring consciousness of the sacred into everything we do, to be agents of profound change. Harvey lectures on his idea and has founded his Institute of Sacred Activism, from which he is setting up Networks of Grace and a Global Curriculum, extolling the virtues of his own particular brand of Divine Transformative Power and evolutionary mysticism.
Harvey shows a respect for the faiths and religious beliefs held by others, for the wisdom of elders and his love for Jesus Christ, the greatest love of his heart throughout his life, he claims. But this is the Jesus Christ of the Gospel of Thomas, and many may be unable to reconcile the Gnostic teachings of Christ with their own faith.
Nonetheless 'hope for our survival lies in massive spiritual transformation and radical action,' he writes, and I cannot disagree with that, although the reader will by now understand that I think this should be the domain of the established religions. After many years of study and immersing himself in different mystical traditions and their sacred texts, which he uses generously throughout his book, Harvey forms a vision of a new mystic spirituality.
The problem I have with Harvey and his Institute of Sacred Activism is that his ideas are already put into practice in churches everywhere;
the prayer, bible study Lent and other church based groups I attend seem very similar to his Networks of Grace by another name. In fact I am not sure that the world needs another spirituality or mysticism when most of his ideas can be found, albeit perhaps expressed differently, across all the great faiths, in the teachings of the mystics and in ancient wisdom, as he will know from his own spiritual explorations.
My book Why Religions Work explores religious tolerance issues. It could not be more relevant at the moment with the world in its present state.
This blog has concentrated recently on the wonderful pilgrimages I have been on - to the Holy Land and to Turkey and more recently to Holy Georgia , Greece "In the Steps of St Paul" , Ethiopia and most recently my experiences in Iran.
"If I was allowed another life I would go to all the places of God's Earth. What better way to worship God than to look on all his works?" from The Chains of Heaven: an Ethiopian Romance Philip Marsden