Magazine article Tikkun

Interfaith Spirituality

Magazine article Tikkun

Interfaith Spirituality

Article excerpt

BOOK REVIEW

The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the World's Mystical Traditions, by Andrew Harvey. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishers, 2000.

Increasingly, spiritual seekers are looking outside their native religious traditions for spiritual insights, practices, and teachers. forging uniquely integrative spiritual paths. A deep, wise, and passionate teacher who has inspired me and many others to explore the world's traditions and develop our own direct relationship with God is Andrew Harvey. Born in India, educated in England, and now living in America, Harvey was raised by Christian parents, spent time at the Hindu ashram of Sri Aurobindo, was a devotee of the Hindu guru Mother Meera, studied with Tibetan mystic Thuksey Rinpoche, and was a close friend of the Catholic priest Bede Griffith. When Mother Meera would not accept his homosexuality, he renounced her claim to be an avatar of the Divine Mother and in 1993 broke off their fifteen year guru/disciple relationship.

Harvey's new book, The Direct Path: Creating a Journey to the Divine Using the World's Mystical Traditions, warns seekers about the corruption and damage done by the master-- disciple system in all the major mystical traditions. Each of these traditions "in different but fundamentally similar ways, controls believers and claims to broker the relationship between the believer and God in ways that both subtly and blatantly keep the believer from claiming the full range of his or her innate divine powers." He believes that all these traditions have "failed in one essential task-the reducing of human anxiety and aggression through the instruction of human beings in their essential divine nature."

Harvey's "radical disillusion" with abusive religious power structures had a very positive result: it expanded his "vision of the possibilities of mystical activism" and birthed his vision of "the Direct Path," which is "the Path to God without dogma or priests or gurus, the Path of direct self-empowerment and self-awakening in and under God in the heart of life." This Path "has always been known and followed by a certain part of humanity."

While the Path opens the seeker to her own divinity, it is neither self-centered nor isolated because the seeker simultaneously discovers the divinity in all beings, commits herself to deepening this awareness, and dedicates her life to serving God and God's creation. …

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