Book Review: The Mystic Heart

This week Zoe is reading The Mystic Heart by Wayne Teasdale, a monk and mystic devoted to interfaith understanding. In this open-minded book he seeks to discover the universal spirituality that can be found at the heart of every world religion, with the aim of bringing about what he calls the Interspiritual Age.

This is already happening due to the new awareness of the interconnectedness of life which is arising in response to the destructive materialist values that dominate Western culture. Since all our major problems are global, we need to find global or collective solutions. We need to build a universal civilisation with a heart that draws its inspiration from the perennial wisdom found in all spiritual traditions.

Every religion has a similar origin: a spiritual awakening experienced by its founders. This is the mystic heart and the foundation for a new universal religion. In talking about a universal religion, Brother Wayne doesn’t mean all religions will blend into an homogenous mush. He advocates a multifaith collaboration built on mutual respect and a shared vision.

If we want to change the dysfunctional structures of society and steer a course away from the destruction of everything we care about, we must transform ourselves from within first. A revolution without spirituality at its heart would fail because only spirituality transforms from the inside. The coming age needs a spiritual revolution because only a transformation of that depth and profundity will bring us together. The Mystic Heart provides the tools needed to participate in this spiritual revolution.

“Each of us is called to be a mystic. To be a human being means that we are invited into the possibility of transcendental life and experience. We are not here simply to pursue a profane existence spent plotting the course of our human happiness. That is what seems to happen to so many of us, but it needn’t be that way.”

The Mystic Heart is an inspiring guide to mysticism and spirituality, providing a necessary balance to religious fundamentalism, secular pluralism and fragmentation. Whatever your chosen tradition, whether you identify yourself as a mystic or not, this book is an excellent place to start developing a deeper understanding of the variety of faiths we share and find the common values on which we can build a future worth living for.


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