SPIRITUALITY 101 is the home page for the Comparative
Spirituality Department of The
Institute For Real God.
Taken together, all the great wisdom traditions around the world and throughout
history offer a wide variety of views on (and experiences of) the nature of the
Greater Reality and human potential in the context of the Greater Reality.
On this site, we make sense of and compare the differing views, placing particular
emphasis on the views of materialism, esoteric spirituality, and exoteric religion:
- Materialism, the
view that what you see (or hear, or touch, or taste, or smell) is what you get
(or all that is real), is seen to have many limitations, including its tendency
to insist on reducing everything to its own materialistic terms; and its inability
to adequately account for human consciousness and hence, human death.
spirituality deepens human potential by acknowledging the Greater Reality,
and providing the means for experientially embracing It. We describe four different
dimensions of the Greater Reality — psycho-physical, Spiritual, Transcendental,
and Divine — and we elaborate upon these dimensions, their Realization, and the
means for Realizing them.
religion is understood to derive from an originally esoteric source (such
as a great Spiritual Master or a shaman). The practitioner of a legitimate
exoteric religion — one that is still in touch with its esoteric roots — engages
disciplines aimed at bringing him or her to full human maturity, in preparation
for taking up the esoteric practices of his or her tradition. When an exoteric
religion loses touch with its esoteric roots (e.g., by being re-shaped
for the sake of political and social survival), it can devolve into an illegitimate
exoteric religion that may be socially and politically influential, but that
is nonetheless spiritually bankrupt.
points of emphasis include:
difference between "armchair" comparative religion (as practiced
in academia) and empirical comparative spirituality, based on Spiritual
practice and Realization.
comprehensive framework for understanding spiritual traditions and practices.
of spiritual uniqueness claims: which ones are ungrounded (and the justification
for "holy" wars) and which ones are worthy of serious consideration.