Defining ‘Spiritual Federalism’ and introducing some of the great Spiritual Federalists

Spiritual Federalism is a term that I have started to use meaning ‘to have a faith but to also extend one’s love and respect into deep appreciation of other paths and the celebration of  the golden core of oneness shown in those other paths.Such people like citizens lucky enough to live in a federal democracy value and identify with bot their state and province and the country of which the state is an integral part – as in someone who says, “I am both a proud Californian and a proud American”. – and preferably they would also say, as Socrates did, that they are also proud world citizens.

How many of such people are there?  Two per cent?  Two per cent of two per cent?  Who knows, but this small minority are very important.  Apart from anything else they are the spiritual equivalent of Maslow’s self-actualized human beings, or Baha’u’llah’s equivalent as in the one who knows ‘of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor’  – see His second Arabic Hidden Word he speaks of Justice as the best-beloved of all things..  They are the vision-creators for a more peaceful, united world.


If one person has created an outline of the basis for Spiritual Federalism it is Brother Wayne Teasdale – see his book The Mystic Heart.  He didn’t use that term instead he coined ‘interspirituality’ and ‘intermysticism’.In this video he is in conversation with another great of Spiritual Federalist Ken Wilber;

Chosen because they either lived the Spiritual Federalist life or helped us understand more about what Spiritual Federalism means.  Please tell me others who should be on the list.

Brother Wayne Teasdale
Huston Smith
Shaik Kabir Helminski
Abraham Jousua Heschel
Brother Steindl-Rast
Thich Nhat Hanh
The following who named no specific ‘community of belonging’ for themselves but who have made extraordinary contributions to understanding the golden ore of oneness
Eckhart Tolle
Karen Armstrong
Ken Wilber
Of course Spiritual Federalism is a continuation of the Perennial Philosophy and Traditionalism and The Golden Rule ethic.  But SF honours people who wish to stay with the religion of their birth of of their choice – both possibly accidents of culture or geography – yet who have universal hearts that recognize that light is light regardless of the  the lamp from which it shines. Huston Smith seems to me to be a very clear example of a Spiritual Federalist.  His research and writing is voluminous in describing interfaith reality, but he has rested content with the Methodist Church in which he was brought up.  See Dana Dawyer’s article HERE

SF also holds the (hopelessly?) vision that if all of the religions stopped trying to convert everyone and focused instead of discovering the golden core of their own and other religions the world might be in a happier place.   How about a 3 year trial for a start?


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