What is the future of spirituality?
I’ve thought a great deal about this question over many years. I’ve watched institutional religion decline over my 20 years of being a pastor. I’ve interviewed hundreds of people about their relationship to those institutions and how they have shifted.
Ultimately, here is what I can say with conviction about the future of spirituality: It will be in service to the pursuit of aliveness.
Scholar and teacher Joseph Campbell reflected in The Power of Myth, “People say that what we’re all seeking is a meaning for life. I don’t think that’s what we’re really seeking. I think that what we’re seeking is an experience of being alive, so that our life experiences on the purely physical plane will have resonances with our own innermost being and reality, so that we actually feel the rapture of being alive.”
Spirituality in its purest essence removes the veil between our inner world and our interdependence with the rest of creation. We glimpse the awe and wonder of Being, living within such a glorious universe animated by a loving God. We revel in the Oneness of it all.
Spirituality – the experience of encountering the Sacred – may very well be breaking free from congregations as its natural home. Our seeking of Spirit leads us beyond the structures of most traditional religious spaces and into places that hold more of us – more diversity, more honesty, more brokenness, more joy, more adventures, more questions, more hope.
My advice: let’s follow the leading of the Spirit even if it means we lose the comfort of “what was.” All wisdom traditions promise that we find our way to new life through wandering in the wilderness. The wandering leads to wondering, which finally leads to awe. That’s the journey of a sacred life, which is the point of it all.
We are in this together,