I’ve read quite a few books on New Age ideas and comparative religion, but this is probably one of the most important books on the topic to hit the shelves in a long time. But not for the reasons you may think.
For years, conspiracy theorists have expressed concern about and fear of a UN initiative called Agenda 21. Essentially, the nonbinding resolution seeks to prevent further degradation of the earth by humanity through wealth redistribution and the relocation of the population to areas designated for human living, closing the rest off to allow it to remain or return to a natural state. The resolution has even inspired a fiction novel by Glenn Beck by the same name.
But what was once relegated to conspiracy paranoia is now beginning to gain traction in the mainstream, and putting it out there for us to consume and embrace is the interspiritual movement, which is described in stunning detail in this textbook-like volume.
The book is well-written and somewhat easy to understand and follow, although it is intellectual in style. It really is like a textbook on the interspiritual movement. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see it used in college courses on the subject in the near future. And it is very engaging and interesting. It strikes an almost perfect balance between intellectual, textbook style and real-life application. And this, I think, is what makes this book and the interspiritual movement so scary.
It’s one thing to say that all religions lead to the same place and something completely different to say that all religions are essentially the same idea expressed in different ways. The interspiritual movement seeks to bring all the world’s religions together as one worldwide religion disguised as a generic spirituality. The reason? To preserve the earth. The language of the interspiritual movement is drenched in “green” talk and the idea that the only way to save the planet is for all the world’s religions to come together and implement working structures that seek to bring about a sustainable life for all humankind.
The language of the book reads eerily similar to that of the Agenda 21 documents. it even, at one point, calls for a redistribution of the wealth and technology of the richer nations to the poorer to help them get to an equal level of sustainability.
I have a strong feeling that we are going to begin seeing more and more coming out of the interspiritual movement in the next few years and that it is going to begin becoming more and more accepted among even mainstream Christian (as well as other religions’) leaders. In fact, I think it is safe to say that the idea of all religious experience being essentially the same experience is already becoming more acceptable an idea among the religious mainstream of our day.
All that said, this book is well-written and easy to take in. But that is the problem. Not all religions are created equal, despite what this book, and many others, want to claim. And not all religious experience stems from the same place. Not everyone can be wrong in the same way that not everyone can be right. But because of the ease with which this book makes its case, the lines between truth and lie can become so blurred that one doesn’t know what to make of them and they may come away accepting a vision of bringing all the world’s religions together…at the expense of the truth and their own soul.
***Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author and/or publisher through the Speakeasy blogging book review network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR,Part 255.***