Comparative Spirituality 101 Comparative Spirituality 101

COMPARATIVE 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.

  • Esoteric 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.

  • Exoteric 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.

Other points of emphasis include:

  • The difference between "armchair" comparative religion (as practiced in academia) and empirical comparative spirituality, based on Spiritual practice and Realization.

  • A comprehensive framework for understanding spiritual traditions and practices.

  • Evaluation of spiritual uniqueness claims: which ones are ungrounded (and the justification for "holy" wars) and which ones are worthy of serious consideration.

Alternative Views of Reality

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